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, charcutería, and cheeses. Walt Disney World has released some specifics about the menu, which will offer an aged, hand-cut Spanish chuletón 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.
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!