Coronado Springs Update – February 2019
Our next Walt Disney World construction update for February 2019 returns to Coronado Springs Resort where work continues on the Gran Destino hotel tower and Villa del Lago over-the-water restaurant. In this progress report, we’ll cover the latest details and take a stroll around Coronado Springs to see how things are looking now.
Since our last update, Walt Disney World has opened Advance Dining Reservations for Toledo — Tapas, Steak & Seafood, the rooftop restaurant in the Gran Destino tower. Toledo will be styled as a Spanish haven inspired by surrealist art and the 1930s avant-garde, punctuated by a large pair of olive trees and shimmering vaulted ceilings.
Toledo will have an on-stage tapas kitchen serving small plates, charcuterÃa, and cheeses. Walt Disney World has released some specifics about the menu, which will offer an aged, hand-cut Spanish chuletÃ³n for two, plus sustainable seafood offerings, including oven-roasted shrimp, scallops, tilefish, and Spanish olive oil-braised octopus. A variety of over 75 different Spanish and California wines will be hand-selected by Toledo’s Master Sommelier, in addition to handcrafted cocktails and beers.
Other than that, there hasn’t been any official news about Gran Destino Tower since our last update. At this point, there aren’t many more surprises in order. The tower has been available to book for a couple of months now (and prices are shockingly reasonable for some dates), extensive concept art has been released, and we know what to expect from the hotel “thematically” (using that term loosely).
In terms of progress, Gran Destino tower continues to move quickly. While the hotel remains months away from its grand opening, the exterior is now having plenty of finishing touches put on it, including paint, thematic flourishes, and trim. At night, it’s even being illuminated with show lighting that’s visible while driving by the resort.
We don’t have any photos of that, so you’ll just have to take our word for it, but we do have a look at the daytime progress around Coronado Springs…
Here’s the view of Gran Destino Tower when first turning into Coronado Springs. Ahead you can see the temporary guard booth for the resort, and behind the camouflaged wall is Gran Destino’s porte-cochère.
Driving to the right here offers glimpses into this side of the construction, albeit ones difficult to capture from a moving vehicle. Again, you’ll just have to take our word that this is coming along nicely. It’s still very much an active construction zone, but the final look is starting to take shape.
Workers painting and adding decorative touches to Gran Destino.
I don’t think Disney should be praised for adding slightly more exterior character than the SpringHill Suites a few blocks down on Flamingo Crossings…so I won’t.
I will say that I’ve gotten more used to the existence of this gigantic tower.
You can’t tell from the photo above, but the squiggly decorative pieces are now completely installed, as are lobby windows. Walking by, it looked like work was being done inside the lobby, although I couldn’t tell what.
The way it towers over the rest of Coronado Springs still strikes me as very jarring.
If Walt Disney World truly “needed” something more appealing to conventioneers and this type of tower was actually “necessary,” maybe an entirely new resort tailored to that should’ve been built from the ground up rather than shoehorning a tower into a resort not even remotely built to that scale.
Moving along to Villa del Lago, which is being called “an oasis for light fare and cold drinks with capacity for 60 guests plus additional event space.”
Last month we commented that the pace of work on this seems to have slowed, but if yesterday’s observations are any indication, there were at least 3 dozen construction workers actively working on this.
Outside, it really seems to be coming along.
It might be tough to tell from the photo, but paint and texture is being applied to the back of Villa del Lago.
Stonework has been installed around the chimney, and wood paneling added to the roofline. Walkways are also nearing completion and have had fencing installed.
Obviously, we cannot see how work is progressing inside the kitchen and other back of house facilities at Villa del Lago, but we maintain our long-held belief that this conceivably could open before July 2019. Whether Walt Disney World wants to debut it earlier, or do it all at once with a grand relaunch of Coronado Springs Resort, remains to be seen.
We’ve mentioned this before, but for those new to our updates who are planning a Moderate Resort stay, we’d recommend the newly-reimagined Caribbean Beach Resort for stays before July 2019. That resort is a great pick right now before the Skyliner goes live and room rates inevitably increase. Of course, both Port Orleans Resorts are always solid choices.
For stays in or after July 2019, consider booking Coronado Springs; for some dates, tower pricing isn’t too bad if that’s your preferred style of accommodations. While noise is fairly mild at Coronado right now and you may not notice it at all, you’re still better off at one of those three resorts for the time being.
Finally, we’ll end this Coronado Springs Resort construction update on a mildly amusing note. After taking a surplus of merchandise photos in Panchito’s Gifts and Sundries, I stopped in the lobby to watch a flyover concept video of the project. The footage was interesting so I wanted to record that, but I weighed that against the awkwardness of standing literally by the front entrance doors and recording with my phone. Figuring I’ve done weirder, I opted to record it…only to realize it’s the exact same video in the preview center that I recorded and posted over a year ago.
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What do you think of Gran Destino Tower? Have you booked a stay here for Summer 2019 or beyond? Thoughts on the tower’s pricing? Excited for Villa del Lago? 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!
We have reservations to stay here in early August. Hoping the big stuff is done by then…
Stayed Ranchos 6b in Mid Feb we had 4 rooms family of 11 age range 2 to 62 (5 adults and 6 children from U K we loved our rooms, location was great, easy access to Disney buses. Food met all our needs. No disruption from construction work. All agreed we would return here for our next visit. Staff were outstanding from front of house to housekeeping.
I personally don’t think this fits into the theme at Coronado. Too large and out of place considering the way the rest of the resort looks. Just a monstrosity.
I am interested to see what the tower club level amenities look like once it opens up. $274/night for a standard Club Level Tower room in late August has to be the lowest point of entry for club level at any Disney hotel, correct?
Regardless of how these or any other new hotels look, I think the even bigger problem is the fact that they are even building any more hotels at all. ALL the parks are already so completely packed now that they are nowhere near as entertaining as they used to be. Most rides, and certainly any decent rides have wait times too long. I’ve had to wait up to a half hour in line even WITH A FASTPASS. These parks are turning into ‘By Appointment Only’ parks. You go in, do your fast passes, then leave because you don’t have time or don’t want to wait an hour in another line outside in the heat for a 2-3 minute ride. They need to stop building all these hotels to cram more people into these 4 parks and instead BUILD MORE PARKS. They have more than enough room to build 3 or 4 more parks if they wanted to. Why not build more parks to accommodate the people rather than hotels to put more people into the same parks.
EXACTLY ! But……….as long as they have people to throw down the cash to be part of this madness, what’s the incentive to stop ???
I thought the original blue sky artwork for the Coronado tower maked it look like Atlantis, which in my mind’s eye could have worked for a somewhat separate Caribbean tower.
I think Id like to see a Then and Now of the original Coronado Resort buildings before I change my opinion of “meh, but it doesn’t work better somewhere else.”
Beside the massive tower dwarfing the original resort, the restaurant in the middle of the lagoon has ruined the view for everyone staying in that area, for the sake of sixty people capacity ! One or favorite aspects of Coronado was the view across the lagoon at night, with the reflections off the mirrored surface of the water, the lights and color were a sight that made you feel sone Disney Magic…….Well its all gone now! Way To Go Iger. Current leadership, or lack of it, is destroying the Institution they Didn’t Build!
Hold On! This just won’t happen at WDW! If our governments far left progressive policies take hold, we’re all in for our share of the same thing!
I’m also interested to know if the Coronado springs resort hotel has its own pool? If not, which pool is closest?
Along with several smaller quiet pools, Coronado Springs has a huge pool with a pyramid and a water slide.
absolutely hate this look, have hated it from the first artist renderings when it was announced. this is not what disney resorts should feel like. making everything less disney and more run-of-the-mill generic, just like the room renovations at the all stars and pop century. no character. driving through property and not seeing those big towers was special. swan and dolphin always stuck out like a sore thumb, but now between this and the riviera, yuck.
what have you heard about room increases because of the skyliner? i don’t recall reading that anywhere before.
“what have you heard about room increases because of the skyliner? i don’t recall reading that anywhere before.”
I haven’t heard anything per se, but if anyone thinks Walt Disney World will add a costly new amenity–particularly one that makes transportation easier–and not pass that expense along to guests via a rate increase is kidding themselves. Between this and Galaxy’s Edge, I’d expect the rate charts (or at least availability of discounts) to look very differently at the Skyliner resorts come 2020.
yikes… not a point i considered before. we’re staying at art of animation for the first time this fall and i’ve heard nothing but good things from people. i don’t want it to skyrocket out of our price range..
Every time I see updated resort room pics after they’ve been refurbished, they lose all the theming that made them unique & special. What’s the point of having so many different styles of hotels is all the rooms look the same? â˜¹ï¸
We stayed at the CSR the week before Christmas and absolutely loved it. Truthfully, have no desire to stay at the Towers if we go there again. Refurbished rooms were excellent, as was the Mousekeeping service and we enjoyed the food at the restaurant. Thanks for the update!
Given the premium pricing of the tower, my thoughts on it versus the regular rooms are about the same. We’ll stay at Gran Destino once for the sake of a review, but I doubt it’ll become a go-to resort for us.
Coronado is our favorite in terms of “bang for the buck” … luxurious feel at the moderate price. Is this new tower only to house conventioneers in order to keep the meeting attendees all in one location versus spread out all over the resort? The video doesn’t show one child or family — all adults. Curious if the new tower has its own pool as well? And I agree with you — an entirely separate resort dedicated to meetings/conventions would have made more sense.
Anyone can book Gran Destino (we did!). In addition to being displayed at the resort, the video is being used as marketing by “Disney Meetings,” which explains the downplaying the presence of children and highlighting its chic dining and aspects that will appeal to convention-goers.
I actually like the tower. My wife and I stayed at CSR in November and it looked a lot better than I thought it would. Now, can you update your review of the food court since it’s name has changed?
An update of our Pepper Market Review is coming soon!