Coronado Springs Resort Update: Gran Destino Prepares to Open!

Three Bridges Bar & Grill at Villa del Lago is now open and the Gran Destino tower welcomes its first guests in just over a week at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort! We’ve been covering this hotel expansion project for nearly 2 years in our Walt Disney World Construction Update & Photo Reports, so it’s almost odd that this will be our last ‘in progress’ update from Coronado Springs.

In actuality, this is mostly a ‘finished product’ update. We had dinner at Three Bridges Bar & Grill the other night (review coming soon!) and wandered around Lago Dorado, but there’s very little to report now in terms of construction. The upside is that you can see into the lobby of Gran Destino, and even from a distance, it looks cool.

Most of what still remains to be done is around the porte cochere (the fluid design of which actually looks really cool), and it’s impossible to go up there for photos since it’s an active construction site. It’s visible from the road or a split second while entering Coronado Springs, but there are no good spots to stop and take photos…

Of course we will be back once Gran Destino is open to check out how it all comes together. With an Annual Passholder discount, we booked a concierge stay in Gran Destino Tower later this summer.

It was significantly less expensive than any Deluxe Resort at Walt Disney World, but that’s not necessarily a reasonable comparison since the tower is adjacent to a Moderate Resort and is not within walking or non-bus transportation of any theme parks. I guess Animal Kingdom Lodge is the same way, but this is no Animal Kingdom Lodge. 

Upon arrival, you can see the new signage has been revealed for Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort & Convention Center.

This replaces a temporary banner, which had a more vibrant design. In general, a lot of the colorful styling of Coronado Springs has been muted. If you asked me three years ago what Coronado Springs needed to do to improve, “become more drab” would not have cracked my top 500.

Since our last update, the temporary bridge that went directly in front of the construction area has been closed.

This happened after the opening of Three Bridges Bar & Grill, which is so named because with it opened three bridges connecting the various sides of Coronado Springs.

These bridges will definitely be a huge asset when trying to cut from the current lobby and convention center over to the far reaches of the resort.

The new lobby in Gran Destino should be easier to access from a number of areas, too.

Last month, the only major thing on the exterior of Gran Destino that needed to be finished was the enclosed walkway connecting the tower to the convention center and dining areas.

It’s now impossible to get close, but if you look at the right side of this photo, you can see it’s completed. (It’s the little two-toned corridor with arched windows.)

While I don’t like the exterior design, it also doesn’t necessarily offend me. It’s really the placement, adjacent to a smaller-scale and themed Moderate Resort that I dislike.

If Gran Destino tower were over by Disney Springs along Hotel Blvd., I’d have no issue with it. Gran Destino would fit perfectly among the other hotels in that area, and I’m sure convention guests would love easy access to the restaurants at Disney Springs.

I didn’t bring my super-zoom lens with me, but the glimpses I caught of inside Gran Destino’s lobby look promising. There appear to be several large and eye-catching murals.

I really hope there’s space for an icon Christmas tree in there. There have been a lot of thematic downsides to this project, now it’s time for some upside!

As noted above, Three Bridges Bar & Grill is finished and we dined there earlier this week.

It opened a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t believe Walt Disney World has officially announced that yet. The hours are shown on its page, though.

A full review is slated for early next week, but our first impressions are solid.

It’s fair to say that this is a Geyser Point like experience, but better.

Given that Three Bridges Bar & Grill is going to cater heavily to convention guests, this makes sense. Hopefully that also means it maintains the menu quality, too.

All in all, it’s a nice addition to Coronado Springs. If Villa del Lago was the only addition to the resort, this re-imagining/expansion/whatever you want to call it would be a home run.

Totally unrelated, but I don’t think I’ve ever noticed this fountain or bridge connecting these two buildings.

We seldom stay on this side of Coronado Springs, but we spend a lot of time here, so that’s quite the oversight. In any case, it’s a pretty courtyard.

In case you missed it, Coronado Springs Resort has a brand-new logo.

This was actually in last month’s Coronado Springs Update, but it still hasn’t been officially unveiled by Walt Disney World, so here it is again. About half the trash cans around Coronado Springs have been updated with the new design.

We’ll be back sometime next month with a final verdict on Gran Destino and the culmination of Coronado Springs Resort’s re-imagining and expansion. If you’ve read even a handful of these updates, you probably can guess at least half of that post’s conclusions right now. Rather than rehashing what I’ve already discussed/complained about ad nauseam, I’ll focus on the substance of the tower, what it brings to the table in terms of resort amenities, and whether that outweighs the thematic degradation. I’m eager to step inside, and am truly curious to find out whether Imagineering has crafted something worthy of being a Walt Disney World resort.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!


What do you think of Gran Destino Tower? Have you booked a stay at Gran Destino for Summer 2019 or beyond? Thoughts on the tower’s pricing? Excited to dine at Thee Bridges Bar & Grill? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

29 Responses to “Coronado Springs Resort Update: Gran Destino Prepares to Open!”
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