2014 was a good travel year for us as a family – we visited Walt Disney World twice! In June we stayed at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and in October we stayed at the Coronado Springs Resort. (Our October trip was also our first mother and son vacation but that’s for another post…)
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is a moderate priced resorts. Which means its the best of both worlds: luxury and value.
Relive the romance of Spanish-colonial Mexico as you follow in the footsteps of explorer Don Francisco de Coronado at this Resort hotel. Find your own mythical city of gold in a Southwestern-themed haven of brightly colored Casitas, rustic Ranchos and beachfront Cabanas encircling a glimmering 22-acre lake. Each accommodation provides a unique escape and a welcoming home away from home.
|images via https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/coronado-springs-resort/|
Coronado Springs is a beautiful and sophisticated resort. You know you’re on a Disney property but you’re hit over the head with it. It was romantic enough for a honeymoon vacation and still had the amenities of a family friendly resort.
But was Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort the right fit for our family’s special needs? Yes and no.
What we loved about Coronado Springs
It’s a Disney property. You can never go wrong staying on a Walt Disney World resort property. Coronado Springs is part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Resort Area. We were able to travel to/from the airport and the WDW parks by bus. It was so easy!
The Pool & Amenities. There were 3 pools: 2 small (quiet pools) and one large. The large pool featured a water slide that Norrin LOVED. The large pool was also near the arcade, food stand and playground/volleyball area.
The Food Court. I love that Disney properties offers a variety of foods and beverage. It’s reasonably priced* and definitely kid friendly. I didn’t have the opportunity to check out the restaurants but that was because there wasn’t any time. What I also appreciate about Disney is that they also cater to guests with food allergies – there is something on the menu for everyone to eat. *I didn’t do the meal plan but did buy the refillable cups.
The Room. We stayed in a standard room with 2 queen beds. And it was quite roomy and comfortable. There’s a small fridge and plenty of storage. I loved all subtle Disney details in the decor. The room is ideal for a group of 4.
Why Coronado Springs wasn’t the right fit for our family
We stayed at Coronado Springs because it was part of the Niche Parent Conference. But it’s not a resort I would choose to stay at again. Not at this point in our life. While Norrin and I loved the resort and the amenities – it just wasn’t the right fit for us.
Norrin has autism and safety is a constant concern. My main concern about the resort were the pool areas. Norrin loves the water and has no sense of danger. The 2 smaller pools did not have lifeguards on duty, so it was “swim at your own risk.” The larger pool had maybe 1 – 3 lifeguards and many blind spots.
There also wasn’t a lifeguard/attendant at the top of the water slide area – an area that isn’t visible from the bottom of the pool. And none of the pool areas had a gate – making it easily accessible to run in and out of the area. So it wasn’t as relaxing as I would have liked it to be especially since Joseph wasn’t with us. The playground was open space with several blind spots. Norrin is quick and it was hard to keep an eye on him while he played. I also knew that at any moment he could run out of the playground area and into the pool.
The other concern was the 22-acre lake. While there was a lake at the Art of Animation resort, it wasn’t as much of a focal point. There was one section of the lake where you could walk right in. The lake just added another layer of worry for me.
That being said – I did see a few parents with older children on the spectrum staying at the resort. And there were also many other families there as well. I saw kids Norrin’s age running from the pool back to their hotel rooms alone (something I could never let Norrin do) and parents lounging poolside while their kids played. So it is Coronado Springs is a family friendly resort.
Norrin may be 9 but he is still young in many ways and I need to be mindful of that when we make our travel plans. So while Disney’s Coronado Springs may not be the right fit for us, someday I am certain it will be.