Review: Chronos Club Level at Gran Destino Tower

Chronos Club is the concierge lounge atop Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs Resort. It’s the cheapest Club Level at Walt Disney World, and the only one at a Moderate hotel. In this review, we’ll share lounge food photos, cover how Chronos Club stacks up to the competition, and more.

For starters, this focuses only on the Chronos Club lounge. If you’re looking for our thoughts on the new tower as a whole, check out our Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort Review. For more general thoughts on concierge level at WDW, check out our Is Club Level at Walt Disney World Worth It? post.

The biggest question about Chronos Club Level is whether it’s worthy of comparison to the other concierge lounges at Walt Disney World. There’s fair concern about this, as it’s the only Club Level that’s in a Moderate Resort, and it’s literally hundreds of dollars cheaper than the other Club Levels at Walt Disney World. Even if you rented Disney Vacation Club points to stay at Kilimanjaro Club, you’d still likely pay more. So, how does it stack up? Let’s take a look…

Upon arrival at Gran Destino Tower, you should be welcomed at the door by a Cast Member with an iPad, who greet you by name before you say anything. (Isn’t tracking technology “great”?) From there, you’ll be introduced to Gran Destino Tower’s smart elevator system, and taken directly to the Chronos Club check-in desk.

This is much more comfortable process than standing in line at the front desk. You’ll receive a welcome packet with a Coronado Springs Resort map, greeting & info from Chronos Club, and MagicBands (if you don’t already have them). We were also offered mimosas while checking in, which was a nice touch.

Unlike other lounges, this one is not 24/7; the Chronos Club lounge is open from 6:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. daily. Those hours might seem reasonable, but keep in mind that the fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios end around 9:50 p.m.

Clearing the lounge so shortly after this show had ended felt a bit abrupt, especially since the lounge was still fairly hoppin’ at 10 p.m. each night. Hopefully this closing time is adjusted, especially at a tower hotel that skews towards a more adult audience.

Throughout the day, the Chronos Club lounge serves the following:

  • Coffee: 6:30-7 a.m.
  • Continental Breakfast: 7-11 a.m.
  • Light Snacks: 12-4 p.m.
  • Hors d’oeuvres & Select Beverages: 5-7 p.m.
  • Desserts & Cordials: 8-10 p.m.

As with all other Club Level lounges at Walt Disney World, the hors d’oeuvres/dinner options are the highest quality and most substantive, followed by dessert and breakfast services.

In fact, breakfast at Chronos Club was a huge standout. Not because anything here was particularly revolutionary, but because there were hot items!

We’ve harped on this when reviewing other lounges, but how difficult is it to have bacon, eggs, and sausage?

Thankfully, Chronos Club delivers on that front, and also serves some exceptional pastries, cheeses, and meats.

It’s still not a great spread, but it’s the best Club Level breakfast we’ve had at any Walt Disney World hotel. Given that breakfast is the meal most guests can take advantage of in the lounge, this is a big deal.

The light snacks/lunch spread is predictably weak with not much that’s substantial.

Of course, my ‘hack’ of using bread and meat from breakfast and putting that in the room’s fridge for lunch holds up at Gran Destino.

Dinner is the most substantial offering, and by far our favorite. As with other Club Level lounges, the offerings rotate on a nightly basis.

In general, we found this to be very seafood and vegan heavy. Arguably to a fault.

Don’t get me wrong–I enjoy a lot of Walt Disney World’s vegan options and think they’ve improved exponentially in the last couple years, but I’d still rather have regular crab cakes or meatballs to meatless ones.

In general, we found the dinner-time options to be on the more adventurous side, with fewer crowd-pleasing, comfort food options. We generally enjoyed what was served (Sarah especially) but it won’t be for everyone.

One night, chicken and mushrooms were served, which were definitely the highlight for me.

There were also sustainable lion fish nuggets (if you’re looking for something more approachable) but I found those to be pretty bland.

Another highlight for us was the Shrimp Paella. This is probably the closest Chronos Club got to “comfort food” during our stay.

We had heard reports of the same lamb chops as the glorious ones we ordered at Three Bridges Bar & Grill but, alas, those were not served during our stay. The “reports” we heard revolved around the lamb chops being in high demand and short supply, so perhaps they’re gone for good. Or maybe we just missed them.

Speaking of short supply, these macarons put out for the dessert service went quickly. When dessert service first started, I was outside researching bus crowds and wait times (as one does), so Sarah grabbed this plate.

By the time I arrived at the lounge (less than 45 minutes into the dessert service) the macarons were gone. No matter, as the macarons were just fine, whereas the tarts and truffles were fantastic.

From the perspective of cuisine, Chronos Club is not a cut-rate version of Club Level. It may not be as broadly appealing as what’s offered at Wilderness Lodge, but the quality and selection is there. (If anything, the superior breakfast puts Chronos Club a notch above some other lounges in terms of food.)

Since that’s mostly what matters when evaluating Club Level lounges, that should answer the question of whether Chronos Club is worthy of comparison to Club Level at Deluxe Resorts.

The next question is whether the lounge itself stacks up to other Club Levels at Walt Disney World.

This brings us back to the ‘debate’ around Gran Destino’s theme (or lack thereof) and design, in the first place.

I’m not going to rehash all of that here, but Chronos Club is arguably the entire hotel’s biggest offender in terms of lacking in theme or engaging design elements.

Basically, you have a big hidden Mickey on one wall and views of Disney’s Hollywood Studios & Epcot. Take away those two things and this felt a lot like a classy airport lounge.

The question is thus whether the views are a sufficient hook to give Chronos Club appeal?

I’d argue that they are. On a personal level, this isn’t as cool as overlooking the lobby of Wilderness Lodge or Animal Kingdom Lodge, but it’s still pretty awesome to sit down in the air-conditioning, eat dessert, and watch the fireworks at both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Perhaps I’m easy to please, but I spent most of my time here gazing out the window. You can easily see Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Tower of Terror, Spaceship Earth, and more from this lounge.

Even if the underlying design is boring and generic, the views are sufficient for me. I think plenty of others will likewise appreciate these views. (In fairness, the same “boring and generic” design criticism could be levied at Stone Harbor Club at Beach Club.)

Otherwise, my biggest complaint about the lounge would be that it’s too large.

Capacity-wise, I’m not sure how it stacks up to other lounges at Walt Disney World, but most of those do a superior job of breaking up the space with walls or multiple seating areas. Chronos Club is one big room.

On a different note, part of me wonders if Gran Destino is intentionally hostile towards families in subtle ways. Obviously, this being Walt Disney World, there’s no way they can make an entire hotel tower adults only.

At Gran Destino, it’s with little things like the shower and sink situation, the lounge television set to business news, and a selection of more adventurous and vegan cuisine. Cumulatively, all of this might be off-putting for parents with small children.

As much as Walt Disney World’s coveted family demographic may dislike that, it makes some degree of sense at Gran Destino. Here, the truly coveted demographic is conventioneers.

This tower exists primarily because of Disney Meetings & Events, and the lucrative convention business at Coronado Springs. Gran Destino is available for anyone to book, but Disney is catering to conventioneers with the style and substance of the tower.

One final thing to note here is that Disney often puts its best foot forward with new offerings, only to dilute and increase their cost over time.

Frequently, there’s even a noticeable drop from the first few nights to weeks thereafter. Because of this, we deliberately avoided opening week, but still stayed at Gran Destino during its first month of operations.

However, we are not particularly worried about a drop off here (a price increase is another story entirely). Again, this is because Gran Destino caters to conventioneers, which are lucrative business for Walt Disney World.

These business travelers are more likely to have experience with swanky concierge levels at real world hotels, and thus hold Disney to a higher standard. If you’re used to Hyatt or Marriott’s nicer concierge lounges, Gran Destino still feels fairly middling.

In tandem, these two factors are likely to keep the quality of Chronos Club high–Disney wants its convention guests to stay happy, and their companies to continue booking events at Walt Disney World. Nevertheless, we will return to Gran Destino and Chronos Club at some point in 2020, and will update this review then just in case anything does change in terms of quality.

Ultimately, Chronos Club is not among the best overall concierge levels at Walt Disney World. The lounge is huge, the design is not particularly interesting, and although the elevated views are cool, they’re largely wasted (at least for now). The food is good, especially breakfast, but it’s also very taste-specific. With that said, once you factor price into the equation, Chronos Club’s stock increases considerably. This is unquestionably the best Club Level in terms of value for money, and even though Chronos Club isn’t as memorable as some others, it’s in the same league.

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!

Your Thoughts

What do you think of Chronos Club? Does this lounge or its food look appealing or unappealing to you? If you’ve already stayed at Club Level at Gran Destino, what do you think of it? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

14 Responses to “Review: Chronos Club Level at Gran Destino Tower”
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