Christmas at Gran Destino Tower

Looking to experience a chic and classy Christmas at Walt Disney World’s newest hotel? We head over to Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort to share a look at the decorations that say Feliz Navidad! In this post, we’ll share photos and offer thoughts about the holiday decor here.

In case you’re unfamiliar with it, Gran Destino is the new tower at Coronado Springs, which is a Moderate Resort at Walt Disney World. Gran Destino is essentially a stand-alone hotel that shares some amenities with the rest of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, but is aimed at convention guests.

Our Gran Destino Tower Review covers more of what you might want to know about these new accommodations. In a nutshell, we think Gran Destino Tower offers exceptional value for money and is a significant step up in amenities from all other Moderate Resorts, but that comes with some compromises–and it won’t appeal to everyone. You can read the full review for more on that–let’s turn to how Gran Destino Tower is decked out for Christmas…

As it turns out, Gran Destino Tower is now also the best Moderate Resort at Christmas! In addition to the tried and true Christmas decorations that adorn Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and its convention center, a new overlay and lighting scheme has been introduced at Gran Destino.

As always, if you’re planning on visiting the best holiday-time hotels, consult our Free Self-Guided Walt Disney World Yuletide Resort Tour. That is our patented (not really) “Yuletide Resort Tour of Walt Disney World” and what we suggest doing the morning before attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party so you don’t waste a park day of your normal tickets.

However, when it comes to visiting Gran Destino Tower at Christmas, we actually do not recommend going on your Magic Kingdom day. Walt Disney World transportation is too convoluted, and if you drive yourself, you risk being turned away at busier times. This is not as likely at Coronado Springs as it is at the Epcot or Magic Kingdom area resorts, but it does happen–especially if there’s a convention happening.

Instead, do Gran Destino Tower either at the end of the second day of our 2-Day Yuletide Resort Tour of Walt Disney World or in the evening after your Animal Kingdom day. Consider pairing a Christmas visit to Gran Destino Tower with a meal at Three Bridges Bar & Grill or Toledo Steakhouse–or a nightcap at Dahlia Lounge.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the decorations around Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort…

Above is a side view of Gran Destino’s atrium from the lobby level, where guests check into the resort.

Below is the eye-catching Barcelona Lounge, which is the coffee & espresso bar (by day) and gin & tonic lounge (by night).

Here’s a closer look at the Gran Destino Tower Christmas Tree.

Due to the permanent seating structure and chandelier above, the tree is adjacent to the floor to ceiling windows rather than centered.

This makes the stunning Christmas tree challenging to photograph.

Your best options from the lobby level are slightly off-center upon entering, or way off to the far right side of the seating area that’s across from the front desk. The latter is my preferred vantage, as it also shows the beautiful ceiling of Barcelona Lounge and a glimpse at the festive lobby lighting.

Speaking of which, I absolutely love that Gran Destino has swapped out the normal warm, orange hues for holiday reds and greens in the illuminated lobby columns and panels.

I’m a total sucker for moody lighting. Just ask Sarah about my obsession with “themed” and seasonal lighting schemes for our Philips Hue. (If left to my own devices, I’d have all sorts of other lighting gadgets and such.)

This is how the lighting at the entranceway looks upon entering the lobby of Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. It had me transfixed.

This makes a strong first impression and sets a festive tone. My feelings on Gran Destino are “complicated” but I absolutely love this. Then again, I’m easily impressed by bright, colorful, and shiny objects.

Speaking from my “extensive” lighting knowledge and experience (…with the aforementioned Philips Hue), I’d say this is a pretty simple change, likely accomplished with the flip of a switch and without any physical alterations.

Isn’t modern technology great?! (When it works.)

Perhaps this lighting makes a stronger impression on me than most guests, but it really does elevate Gran Destino Tower to the top of Christmas-time Moderate Resorts at Walt Disney World for me.

The mix of physical decorations along with moody lighting and soothing seasonal background music establishes a pitch-perfect holiday atmosphere.

Sure, Gran Destino doesn’t have a gingerbread display. However, it has just about everything else, including a Christmas tree that is almost icon size. (It’s larger than the Polynesian’s tree!)

Moreover, the garland and adorning ornaments are all on-theme for the resort, and the Christmas-time ambiance is enveloping. The lobby feels like a great place to decompress during the holidays after a long day in one of the parks.

Outside, there are giant bells hanging over the porte-cochère along with more garland.

This continues all around the resort, including out at Three Bridges Bar & Grill.

Overall, Gran Destino Tower far exceeded our expectations in terms of its Christmas decorations and jubilant atmosphere. I don’t want to oversell it (and fear I already have–although the photos pretty much speak for themselves), but there’s just something about Gran Destino at Christmas. It feels like it’d be ideal for a romantic and chic Christmas feast up at Toledo followed by drinks down in the lobby. I think we’ll be putting this “theory” to the test with a couple of holiday meals here in the near future!

Finally, a few plugs. First, the new edition of our free Vacation Kingdom at Christmas eBook is now available for download! This free eBook is 100 pages, with 200+ photos, and has been updated to include Animal Kingdom’s Merry Menagerie and other new additions. The eBook has tons of great tips & info for the holiday season at Walt Disney World. For more details on how to get this totally-free ebook, click here. Did we mention that it’s free?! 😉

For comprehensive tips for planning your Christmas-time trip to Walt Disney World, check out our Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Walt Disney World. For Walt Disney World trip planning tips and comprehensive advice, make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide and related articles.


What do you think of the Christmas decorations at Gran Destino Tower? Do you think the lighting is cool, or am I just overly impressed by shiny objects? Think Gran Destino would be a good option for a holiday time date night? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

5 Responses to “Christmas at Gran Destino Tower”
  1. KenR December 1, 2019
  2. MaxBuffMelvin December 1, 2019
  3. Martha December 1, 2019
    • Tom Bricker December 1, 2019
    • Martha December 1, 2019

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