Coronado Springs Update: January 2019
Our first Walt Disney World construction update of the year takes us to Coronado Springs Resort. Work progresses on Gran Destino tower and over-the-water bar & grill, and is now completed on the Dig Site. In this update, we’ll cover the latest details and also take a stroll around Coronado Springs to see how things are looking now.
We dedicated the first half of our last Coronado Springs Construction Report to debating how Gran Destino works within the thematic framework of Coronado Springs (or doesn’t), sight-lines, style, and how it’s likely to resonate with Walt Disney World guests. If you are concerned about how Gran Destino will impact Coronado Springs, consider giving that a read.
Since the update, a few things have happened. First, Disney Meetings announced that the new lakeside lounge will be named “Villa del Lago,” an oasis for light fare and cold drinks with capacity for 60 guests plus additional event space. I guess we don’t have to refer to it as Coronado’s forthcoming over-the-water bar & grill anymore.
Second, Gran Destino is now available for booking for dates beginning July 9, 2019. There are eight different room categories in the Gran Destino Tower, some of which include Club Level access. I mean to grab a rate chart from Coronado’s front desk during this visit (assuming they even have one–many resorts never seem to have copies on hand), but I failed at my one job. Apologies.
Instead, you’ll have to settle for what I was able to glean from a few cursory searches. It looks like rack rates start in the neighborhood of $275/night for Gran Destino in the off-season, and settle into the mid-$300 range for most ‘regular season’ nights after that.
October, November, and December are all (unsurprisingly) more expensive. The first of those months is the heart of convention season, and the second two are not just the popular holiday seasons, but potentially range ranges when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be open. For nights during those months, rates in the upper $300 range are more common.
For the summer and early fall, the “Sun & Fun” room discount is applicable to Coronado Springs for up to 25% off Gran Destino, which puts its rooms below $200/night for some dates. I did a decent amount of searching, and this was the best I could find:
Our original plan was to wait until a really good deal became available for Gran Destino and then to just review it whenever, but opening night is “only” $191 right now, which is very tempting. Plus you never know, we might get something incredibly cool for being the first official guests, like free buttons.
Wow, we basically cannot afford not to do it with so much on the line.
Moving on to the construction portion of the update, there’s honestly not a ton of visible progress on either Gran Destino.
Not much has changed since our last update in November (in fairness, that was posted at the end of the month, so it was basically 5-6 weeks ago), which we assume is because a lot of the work has moved inside the tower.
Glass panes are being installed for the giant floor to ceiling lobby windows.
It’s possibly a weird thing to care about, but I’m hopeful that this lobby will be nice. I’m not expecting the thematic greatness or even the grandiosity of Wilderness Lodge, but a striking open space–tall enough for an icon Christmas tree!–would be awesome.
It should be noted that Gran Destino is still very much an active construction site, with a lot of exterior work still being done.
The cranes and a lot of heavy machinery are long gone, but there’s still a lot of movement. From a noise perspective, it doesn’t help that the sound carries pretty easily over Lago Dorado and the other bodies of water.
This means you can hear construction on both projects from any waterfront area–even on the far side of the resort.
However, once you move away from the water, sound is almost nonexistent. Right now, the safer bet on room selection is with a Courtyard or Parking Area room view, rather than Lake or Pool.
Work progresses on the Villa del Lago over-the-water lounge.
We assume this could be done before July 2019, so it’s really just a matter of whether Walt Disney World management wants to open everything at the same time or not. It does seem like the pace on this lounge has slowed a bit, but that could just be due to the holidays.
Moving over to the Dig Site, which has reopened following its ~3 month refurbishment.
This project refreshed the entire the Dig Site, which includes the volleyball court, playground, Iguana Arcade, Siestas Cantina, and the Lost City of Cibola feature pool, which is also known as the Mayan Ruins Pool.
During our last few visits, we saw a large amount of visible work being done inside and outside the pool, volleyball court, bar, and seating area.
Unfortunately, for the life of me, I can’t figure out what substantive changes were made. There’s a slightly darker color scheme and some aesthetic changes to the Mayan Ruins, but I don’t notice anything else.
Part of that could be because I rushed through to get these photos, as it’s always awkward to be fully clothed taking photos of a pool that’s in use. In any case, it looks nice and fresh…just don’t expect any night and day differences.
That’s fine, because this was one of the Dig Site was one of the best pool complexes at Walt Disney World before, so a don’t fix what isn’t broken approach certainly made sense.
That wraps up this Coronado Springs Resort update. Hopefully at some point in the next couple months, the Gran Destino isn’t producing any noise, period, as it should be mostly interior work at that point.
With that said, we’d instead recommend Caribbean Beach Resort with its newly-completed and well-executed re-imagining for stays before July 2019. That resort is a great pick right now before the Skyliner goes live and room rates inevitably increase. After July, consider booking Coronado Springs; for some dates, tower pricing isn’t too bad if that’s your preferred style of accommodations.
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What do you think of Gran Destino Tower? Will you book a stay here in or after July 2019? 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 just booked an 8 day stay for a standard room in the tower. Would have loved to get the water view, but not sure I could justify another $30 a night to move across the hall. We stayed at Coronado in the Cabanas a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Will the pool be open Feb 8-12?
Just booked a standard club room at the Tower for July 14th to the 19th. Park hopper plus pass included for $3K. Hope the club access here is as good and tasty as Animal Kingdom Lodge! I will let you know.
I see my dad already commented above but I’d like to add as well. We were at the resort 12/15-12/21. I was worried the main pool would not be finished in time as we were traveling with a 7, 9, and 12 year old. I was pleasantly surprised (thrilled) to be told it was open at check in. We were informed the slide wasn’t open because they were waiting for a part, but about an hour later while sitting at the pool waiting for our room to be ready they announced over the loudspeaker the slide was opening! My kids were thrilled! When asking if they liked the pool/playground etc area there consensus was “this place is awesome!” Lol. The update did rooms were beautiful, we stayed in Casitas 5, we didn’t mind the walking at all, and a bus stop was pretty much behind our building. I run so I Found the trail around the lake to be a beautiful peaceful run. But I can see how it might not be for everyone. As for food, I enjoyed the black n blue burger, the ribs, the baked chicken and what was I think called the avocado bowl for breakfast. The staff was friendly, the cleaning service did a nice job on our rooms come everyday and were already done by the time we got back from breakfast. As for the noise, I barely even remember hearing any. We spent our first day at the resort, one half day at the pool before MVMCP one day and rest of the time at the parks. We’ve stayed at the Allstars, Art of Animation, Saratoga Springs, and the Polynesian and this was my favorite resort so far. My husband has also stayed at Carribbean Beach years ago and is in agreement with this being the favorite so far. We couldn’t say enough about it.
Hi! Will the club level rooms have the same perks as staying club level at the deluxe hotels? I can’t seem to find any information online about it.
Skyliner was announced for November opening, right? Do you think it will open before then, thus the recommendation for CBR only until July?
Reading these updates, I am finding myself more attracted to Gran Destino than to the somewhat similar in style Riviera resort. Both seem to be based off of (some of the less inspired) concept art for the Magic Kingdom area resorts from the 70’s. Those large lobby windows give me hope of a grand space.
We stayed there a couple of weeks ago during the “monsoon” rainy days. I was very stressed about the construction, but we were not impacted at all from the construction. We did see them working whenever the rain let up. Tower is far enough away from most of the other buildings. It is a lot of walking from the main building to a lot of the other buildings where the rooms are. Our desk person was nice enough to move us to a “closer” building, but it was still about a 7 minute walk to the main building, but it was fairly close to a bus stop. (They have several bus stops). Bus service to the park was “OK” not horrible but not super fast either. Be aware they are very vigilant about Uber’s entering, and I actually thought that seemed like a good security move. Food was OK, bakery area was fine, constantly out of hot chocolate (weird), omelette ordered was a let down. Sandwiches were hit and miss. Didn’t eat a full “meal’ there just grabbed coffee and bakery mostly in the morning. Nice people working there and at the front desk. Rooms were decent. Had a renovated room. We stayed there because they have 2 queen beds per room vs. Pop Century only having 2 double beds per room. For our adult group, we can’t cut it in the double beds anymore. That is a “must” for any hotel we stay at.
To get the free dining deal and still have 2 queen beds per room, this was the only option when we booked. It was fine enough. Only downside was not super convenient to go back to your room from the Parks during mid-day.
Pop has had 2 queen beds for months now…
Thank you for the update – I’ll be there in about 5 weeks for the Princess half marathon weekend. I’m happy to hear the hot tub is open again! Hopefully noise isn’t too bad so I can get to bed early to wake up at 3am for those races…
Stayed at the Springs from Dec 15-21, 2018, and loved this resort…new rooms are fantastic, Dig Site was operational, food at the restaurant was very good, as was the bus service. Did NOT notice any unusual noise from the construction, although we did spend the majority of our time at the parks.
Yes, there is a bit of walking but nothing that would deter me and my family (there were 4 adults and 3 children in our party consisting of 2 rooms) from staying there again. We have been at 3 other resort hotels and liked the Springs the best of all.
Plan on visiting again in 2020 and will likely stay at the Springs again…Destino looks very nice but I think we prefer the low rise sections of the resort…
Stayed ten days at Coronado Springs (Cabanas) over Christmas. Loved the room and got a great deal. That being said, the resort is just too big. We didn’t even check out the DIg Site pool and spa-although we we in desperate need of a hot soak- just because it was so far away. I don’t get why each pool area doesn’t have a spa. Thankfully our room #4256 had a tub.
I’ll stay here again if I can score another deal-but if not, I’ll stay on another property.
I would love to know more about your deal, if you don’t mind sharing. Thank you!
Thanks for the update! We are booked Club Level in Gran Destino for August and super excited to check it out!