Coronado Springs Resort — Part One


First, a little history.

In the early 16th century, the people living in New Spain (now Mexico) began to hear rumors of the “Seven Golden Cities of Cibola” located in the deserts hundreds of miles to the north. The legend told that these cities held vast amounts of wealth just waiting to be claimed by anyone fortunate enough to discover their whereabouts.

In 1535 Francisco de Coronado left his home in Salamanca, Spain and came to the New World. He climbed the social and political ladder quickly and was soon appointed to the position of Governor of Neuva Galicia. In 1540, Mexican Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza sent Coronado on an expedition to find the “Seven Golden Cities of Cibola” and secure their riches for Mexico and Spain. Coronado’s travels took him through Northern Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico, and as far north as Kansas, but he never did discover these magnificent cities teeming with gold. He returned to Mexico empty-handed in 1542.

Francisco de Coronado

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort was not so much named for Francisco Vasquez de Coronado as it was for his journeys. While traveling through Northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States Coronado encountered breathtaking landscapes, unique architecture, and fascinating cultures. The resort draws its inspiration from the missions, pueblos, haciendas, and cabanas he saw during his journeys. In addition, a new myth regarding the “Seven Golden Cities of Cibola” has emerged at the Coronado Springs Resort. It proposes that if the stars align correctly during the new corn moon, images of the golden cities will be reflected on the waters of Lago Dorado, the Lake of Gold, found in the middle of the resort.

El Centro at Night

Coronado Springs is one of three moderately priced resorts located at Walt Disney World. The others are the Caribbean Beach Resort and the Port Orleans Resort. Coronado Springs opened on August 1, 1997, has 1,921 guest rooms and suites, and is the only resort in this price category to have a full-fledged convention center. The entrance to the complex is located off of West Buena Vista Drive.

Main Entrance Sign

The Spanish influenced architecture is unmistakable when you approach El Centro (The Hub or Center). This area was intended to create the illusion of a 16th century Mexican village marketplace, complete with stalls, civic buildings, and eateries set alongside the waterfront. A multifaceted façade was created to invoke the look of a community that has grown over the years.

Underneath the porte-cochère are a number of cast members waiting to help you with your luggage and direct you to the registration desk.


The indoor design hints at the lavish palaces and town halls of latter-day Mexico. The centerpiece of this design is “La Fuente De Las Palomas” (Fountain of the Doves). This lovely fountain is a gathering place and acts as a seating area for families and friends waiting to begin their day. On top of the fountain is the traditional symbol of hospitality, a pineapple. Be sure to take a look at the hand-painted domed ceiling which is filled with clouds and doves. The sky and clouds were painted on canvases off-site and applied to the dome in pieces. The doves were added once everything was in place.

La Fuente De Las Palomas


In a room to the right of the fountain are the registration and concierge desks. The architecture in this room is stunning. Large wooden beams crisscross the ceiling, hammered-tin chandeliers hang from wrought iron chains, and stucco arches line the wall. Be sure to take a look at some of the murals located behind the check-in desk. They depict colonial life in Mexico.

Registration Hall

Mexican Mural

To the left of the fountain is Panchito’s Gifts and Sundries which sells the typical array of Disney souvenirs. Named after Panchito Pistoles, this feisty rooster is one of “The Three Caballeros” and joins Donald Duck and José Carioca in a tour of Mexico and Latin America.

Panchito's Gifts and Sundries

“The Three Caballeros” (1944) followed the movie “Saludos Amigos” (1943) and was part of a good-will tour promoting Latin and South America. Tiles depicting these feathered adventurers can be found high overhead in the shop. In addition, a statue of Panchito Pistoles is prominently located in the middle of the store and a likeness of José Carioca can be seen perched on a balcony railing.

In the Disney series “House of Mouse” (2001-2003) we learn a little more about Panchito’s lineage and find out that his full name is Panchito Romero Miguel Junipero Francisco Quintero González III. Somehow his original family name of Pistoles is lost in this explanation.

The Three Caballeros

Panchito Pistoles

José Carioca

“The Three Caballeros” was a collection of short segments loosely bound together by the presence of Donald Duck opening gifts throughout the movie. One of these shorts is titled “The Flying Gauchito” and tells the story of a little boy from Uruguay who discovers a winged donkey, Burrito. A likeness of this cute little animal can be found near the entrance of the shop.


Also radiating off of the fountain is a long hallway. Along this corridor you’ll find several restaurants and a lounge/bar. This is also the way to the convention center.


Café Rix, a grab-and-go restaurant, was added to Coronado Springs several years ago. Before its existence, there wasn’t any place for guests to quickly pick up a bite to eat and be on their way. Breakfast is offered from 6:30am to 11am and includes such items as egg-&-cheese sandwiches, pastries, quiche, and fruit plates. Lunch and dinner is served from 11am to midnight and offers standard fare such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizza. A temping selection of ice cream is also offered. Tables are available next door in Rix Lounge. If you want to take the food back to your room, the cast members will be happy to provide you with a nice carrying bag.

Café Rix

Café Rix

Café Rix

Rix Lounge, located next door to Café Rix, is perhaps one of the best watering holes at Walt Disney World. Even though it can accommodate 300 guests, it feels dark, mysterious, and cozy due to its well-designed layout. It’s a wonderful place to hide away for an hour or so. Although the tables are available all day to accommodate Café Rix, the bar is only open from 5pm to 2pm. A DJ cranks out music from 9pm Thursday through Saturday and a private room is also available for special events. Full catering options are available. For more information about Rix Lounge, click here.

Rix Lounge

Rix Lounge

Rix Lounge

One of the things I hate about the food courts at the other resorts is the way you pay for your meal. By the time everyone in your party gets what they want and you make it to the cashier, your food is already starting to cool off. And if there’s a line waiting to pay, your meal can be cold by the time you get your beverage and find a table. But this isn’t a problem at Coronado Spring’s Pepper Market.

Pepper Market

Your meal begins with a host or hostess escorting you to an assigned table. As you’re being seated, each person is given a “receipt” and it’s explained that everything you order will be recorded on this piece of paper. Shortly after the hostess leaves the table, a server will approach and take drink orders and each person’s selection is written on their receipt. Refills for Coke products and similar beverages are free and brought to you by your server.

Pepper Market Receipt

Designed to resemble an open-air marketplace, the Pepper Market is comprised of a number of stalls and booths, each serving a specialty. One stall might offer grilled items while another serves pasta dishes. It’s fun to wander from stall to booth and vendor to merchant, inspecting their wares.

Food Stall

When you finally make up your mind, you tell the vendor what you’d like to order and they will stamp your receipt with your selection. Depending on cooking time, you order might be dished up immediately or within a couple of minutes. Once you’re served, just return to the table with your food and receipt in hand. If you want dessert, just take your receipt back to the food stalls and make another selection. At the end of the meal, one person in your party can gather up all of the receipts and pay as you leave. No more cold food. A 10% gratuity is automatically added to your bill unless you’re on a Dining Plan. In this case, no tip is added so please remember your server.

The seating area is very festive. A large kachina doll stands watch over multi colored tables and chairs, complete with umbrellas to add to the illusion you’re dining on an expansive patio. Strands of lights hang overhead and soft music plays in the background.

Kachina Doll

Pepper Market Seating

At the far end of El Centro is the Maya Grill. But you won’t find typical Americanized Mexican fare like tacos and burritos here. This is an upscale restaurant where guests sit inside a Mayan temple and are offered seafood, chicken, beef, and pork prepared with a Latin and Caribbean flair, much of it cooked on a wood-fired grill. The restaurant also features wines from Mexico, Argentina and Chile. The Maya Grill is open for Breakfast from 7am to 11am and for Dinner from 5pm to 11pm.

Maya Grill

Maya Grill

Maya Grill

I think I’ve eaten at the Maya Grill five times, but to be honest, it’s been at least four years since my last visit. The reason? This restaurant has yet to knock my socks off. The food and service has always been fine, but just fine, nothing spectacular. And although I like sections of the restaurant, other areas in this room leave me cold. To me, portions of this eatery have a “coffee shop” feel about it. When I’m paying $7-$13 for an appetizer and $20-$29 for an entrée, I want things to be better than “fine.” But as I said, I haven’t eaten here in a while. Although the atmosphere is unchanged since my last visit, maybe the food is now spectacular.

If any of you would like to share your dining experience at the Maya Grill with me, either positive or negative, please feel free to add a comment to this blog. Whenever I’ve had a less than fantastic experience at Disney, I like to think it was just bad timing on my part and not indicative of an overall pattern. If you leave a comment, others can scan the remarks and obtain more than just my opinion.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, Coronado Springs is the first moderately priced Disney resort to offer full convention services. Although I have never had a problem with conventioneers interfering with my enjoyment of the resort’s facilities, I started to wonder what would happen if a group of 500 let out for dinner and they all descended on the Pepper Market or Rix Lounge at the same time. I like to think that Disney designed Coronado Springs with this in mind and the resort can handle the ebb and flow of people. I asked several cast members about this, but I was unable to secure a firm answer. Once again, I’m curious about your thoughts. If you’ve experienced a convention letting out while staying here, let me know how everything went. Remember, I’m looking for positive as well as negative feedback.

You can also leave and read comments in the Rate & Review section of Allears.

El Centro sits on the shores of Lago Dorado or Lake of Gold. This fifteen acre body of water offers a tranquil setting for cocktails at Laguna Bar (open 11am to 11pm) or for a run around the ¾ mile jogging track.

Lago Dorado

Laguna Bar

This area is also the perfect spot to gather with your friends and family and enjoy some good conversation. There are a number of tables, many with umbrellas, in which to kick back and relax. Nighttime is especially pleasant here when the heat of the day has dissipated and a cool breeze blows off of Lago Dorado.

Seating by Lago Dorado

Seating by Lago Dorado

Seating by Lago Dorado

And don’t forget to check out “The Three Caballeros” topiary located nearby.

The Three Caballeros

The Marina is the spot to rent surreys, bikes, kayaks, pedal boats and more. Please note, this facility is open seasonally so if these amenities are important to you, check with your reservationist when booking your room.

The Marian

This ends Part One of my article about Coronado Springs Resort. Check back tomorrow for Part Two.

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42 Replies to “Coronado Springs Resort — Part One”

  1. Hi Jack! I love, love, LOVE your blog! Thanks so much for all the helpful information.
    After reading your review of CS I am torn and would really appreciate your opinion.
    We are planning a trip in early December with my parents and my 3 kids (ages 1,3, & 12). Which would be a better resort choice for us – CS or Old Key West (where we are currently booked)? CS looks like so much fun for kids!
    Thanks for your help!!

    Jack’s Answer:

    Stay at Old Key West. The rooms are bigger and a family would appreciate the extra space.

  2. We are staying at CSR for our trip this year, Sept 17-Oct 1. Thank you SO much for the information you provided. It makes it much easier to know how to plan for things and what to expect. I do have one question…We are on the dining plan and always get refillable mugs. Which means we always had extra milks, orange juices and waters since those come with the meals. Does the overall process of getting our meals and drinks work the same even with the server? Do we collect our meal, drinks, desserts and they stamp the receipt which we will “pay” for when we are done?

    Again thank you for all of your helpful information.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I’m sorry, but you asked the wrong person. Because I live in Orlando, I have never used either the Dining Plan or the Refillable Mugs. I have no idea how this works. But I’m sure the cast members will be more than happy to explain it all to you as soon as you get seated.

  3. I enjoyed your report on CSR my family has stayed only once but we will again. I love the atmosphere and bus system is great the waits were not to long. I wish all the moderate resorts had queen size beds. My granddaughter loved the pools and play areas. I give CSR an A+

  4. I’ve stayed at CSR a number of times, both with and without kids……LOVE the Pepper Market….can take or leave the Maya Grill. Never had any problems with conventioneers. I do think the resort is better suited for adults.

  5. How can I find out if there are any conventions going on during my visit to CS and if so, what they are? THANKS!!

    Jack’s Answer:

    My only suggestiong is to call the resort directly and ask. However, I’m not sure if they will give out this information. But it doesn’t hurt to ask. Here’s their number:

    (407) 939-1000

  6. I just booked a trip to DW, staying at Coronado in December. What would be the best rooms to be convenient to the main area (restaurants, etc.), and also to the main pool?
    What is the best way to contact the hotel to request a room location?

    Jack’s Answer:

    I stayed in building 9B and don’t think I could have done any better. It’s close to the main building and the primary swimming pool.

    Call however made your reservation to make your request. If you used a travel agent, call them and ask them to amend your reservation. If you booked this yourself, call Disney reservations and give them your request. Please remember, Disney will note your request, but they cannot guarantee anything.

  7. Hi Jack!

    We stayed at CSR in June for the first time and loved the resort grounds- they were gorgeous! I agree that Pepper Market is such a great value for the dining plan since it is a quick service. We really loved the renovated rooms with the more contemporary look- and the fact that they don’t have those icky quilt/comforters like the other mods. I think if Port Orleans would do a room renovation, CSR might have some competition for us, but for now, CSR is our favorite mod.

  8. One of my “never miss” favorites is the Maya Grill. The food is always fantastic along with the service (and margaritas). As you say, sometimes the service is better than others, but have never had any major issues.

  9. We stayed at CS for the first week of May and loved it. Queen size beds are so nice, you don’t want to ever go back to a full size. Also, I had only two issues with sharing my stay with conventioners (and neither made me think less of the resort – we knew it was a convention center before we booked). As several people mentioned, the golf carts seemed to always be picking people up and dropping them off. No biggie…but it was little noise and sight pollution. Second, one day we came back from one of the parks and decided to get lunch. As luck would have it, several hundred conventioners descended on Pepper Market at the same time as us. My wife tried to go up to the pool bar to avoid the rush and that was packed with conventioners too. The day they left (our 4th day), the resort became everything we were looking for it to be. I would stay there again in a heartbeat.

  10. Hi Jack,

    I recently stayed at CS (Feb 2010) for a week and ate at the Maya Grill twice once for dinner and once for breakfast. I have to agree with you that the food is just fine, but nothing more and so is the atmosphere. I found that the selections did not reflect the theme of the restaurant or the resort very well at all, and while the food was good enough to eat, it didn’t blow my socks off. With so many wonderful eateries all around the World, the Maya Grill will not make to my “have to eat there” list and I would certainly never go out of my way to eat there if I was staying at another hotel.

    The Pepper Market on the other hand is fantastic! The portions are huge and the food super tasty. I wish more quick service restaurants were like it!

  11. My family and I love Coronado Springs. This moderate resort offers everything we could want in a resort without busting our budget. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  12. Hi. Loved your review. Just got back 2 days ago form 9 days at Coronado. Had a Tupperware convention there in the beginning & they were kind of loud, but aside from that I loved it. Thanks for the wonderful review.

  13. Another nice blog and a good theory on the naming of “Rix Lounge”. I would have never made the Casablanca connection, but I bet you’re right !

  14. I am a 10+ years conventioner at CS. My family has tagged along for several of those visits. It has become their favorite resort for many of the reasons you have stated. I agree that the Peppermarket employees don’t always measure up to Disney standards. Probably the only downside.
    In our opinion, the resort offers some of the best pools, most relaxing night walks and best bar/lounges on Disney property.
    Having stayed on almost every Disney property, I don’t think you can go wrong with CS.

  15. Hi, just came back from 3 weeks at Coronado. The convention was not a problem at all until the tupperware ladies arrived then suddenly it was difficult at times to get a table in the pepper market abd we did feel a bit squeezed out. I do love your reviews. we have been to WDW 17 times and love it. We always take on board your comments.

  16. Hello Jack! Thanks for the info. We are currently booked for CS in mid-November but we were considering switching cuz the reviews in The Unofficial Guide to WDW don’t look so great. I see the writer before me is thinking the same thing.

    2 questions for you please:

    1) Should we consider the Polynesian or elsewhere? If it helps, we have 3 and 6 year old daughters.

    2) Since it’s mid-November and the weather may not be that warm, is there an indoor pool?

    Thanks for your help.

    Jack’s Answer:

    Thanks for writing.

    Let me answer your second question first. There are no indoor pools anywhere at Disney World. However, normally the temperatures in November are in the 70’s and Disney keeps all of their pools heated to 82 degrees.

    Now onto your first question.

    You asked if you should consider switching to the Polynesian. You’re comparing apples to oranges. Coronado Springs is a moderate resort and the Polynesian is a deluxe resort — and costs a lot more money.

    If you read all of the comments I received in response to the Coronado Springs (Parts One and Two), you’ll see that most people think the resort is very nice and the conventioneers don’t cause any problems. Some people complain that Coronado Springs is too spread out. Well it’s no more spread out than Caribbean Beach.

    I actually think all of the Disney resorts are good, but here are my favorites in each price category. Mind you, these are MY favorites, not necessarily someone else’s.

    Budget — Pop Century
    Moderate — Port Orleans French Quarter
    Deluxe – Contemporary or Boardwalk

    I hope this helps.

  17. Hello,

    I’m planning a trip for my daughter (age 7 1/2)for either Oct. 20 -24 or mid-November. We stayed off site at a condominium a few years ago and thought it would be nice for her to say on site this time.

    There have been many posts in other reviews, blogs etc. that have not spoken that well of this resort due to how spread out it was, conventions, not very kid friendly. The reviews look intriguing from this review though.

    Would you suggest this hotel over such places as Pop Century, Ft. Wilderness, and Ft. Wilderness Cabins? I know they are all different and not as easy to compare. Comfort in accommodations (new queen beds and refurbishment sounds good) and some fun factor for us.


  18. Visited CS in June, Wife was collecting pressed pennies, so impressed will stay there on next trip to the world, was surprised that there was a 3ft gator in the lake, being fed by guests.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I’m glad you found Coronado Springs welcoming enough to warrant a return visit. However, don’t expect the gator to be there when you come back. Disney has a policy of moving these critters to unpopulated areas whenever they venture too close to guest areas.

  19. CSR was the hotel I stayed at when my girlfriend first dragged me to Disney World five years ago. It was when first seeing that fountain and the ceiling of El Centro that I first realized that I would love Disney and it would be a fixture for the rest of my life.

    Do they no longer have Francisco’s Bar? Unlimited chips and salsa’s always appreciated and while my waitress at Francisco’s was far more interested in the two conventioneers hitting on her, the salsa was spicy and the chips were hot and fresh.

    I think you’d be disappointed going back to the Maya Grill now. While once it may have had traditional Latin-style influences, someone somewhere must have decided that it was driving people away, since now it’s just another basic dumbed down Disney restaurant. Steaks and chickens. To be honest, I think Disney could use an Americanized Mexican restaurant. El Pirata at el Perico in MK is hardly ever open. Having Hacienda del San Angel serving tacos and burritos might be a nice contrast to the more authentic San Angel Inn inside the pyramid.

    Jack’s Comment:

    Disney has a habit of “dumbing down the food” to the bland tastes of the below-average American. Another good example of this is Sanaa located at Animal Kingdom Lodge. When this restaurant opened, it featured very unique and flavorful food. Unfortunately, they got some complaints that the food was “too spicy” and now they no longer put any pizzazz into their meals. It’s still a great place for lunch or dinner, but it’s not as good as it once was. Sad.

  20. My family and I spent at week at CSR back in June. The rooms are remodeled and absolutely gorgeous! We enjoyed the “pyramid” pool, as our son would call it, each afternoon and an occasional night swim. The staff was extremely friendly and the grounds looked stunning. At the time they were painting some of the buildings, but never once did it take away from the lush foliage, landscaping, and fountains. I timed our trip via our own car to the TTC and it took only 9 minutes! We were so thrilled with our stay that we will be returning there in October for the NSSHP and again in December for Christmas family picture weekend!

    We are so thrilled with all the improvements they’ve made to the resort.

    P.S. there were two different extremely large groups/conventions there while we were-you never would have known it!

  21. Hi Jack,

    As always great blog!

    I love the WDI story created for this resort(one of my favorites) going all the way back to Francisco de Coronado and the seven cities of gold.

    About dining at Pepper Market when a convention lets out; I have been in that situation a couple of times, even after they added Cafe Rix, and it has gotten very congested in both areas.


  22. This will be our 3rd year staying at Coronado Springs resort. We love it there. The quiet pool is one of our favorite spots. My husband love the cinnamon rolls at the Rix. We will be there in September.

  23. I attended a small conference at Coronado Springs in December 2008. Most of our meals were provided in the convention center as part of the conference, so I would say this actually made the restaurants less crowded, not more. There were 350 people at the resort who were NOT eating in the restaurants.

    I absoultely loved the resort. I had stayed at Riverside a few months prior, and I have a hard time choosing which one I liked best. I think CS would win for the queen-sized beds.

  24. We stayed at the CS in july 2008. We at the Maya Grill.I have to agree it is nothing special, It was last on are list out of all places we ate at during our trip. Also, The place seemed Empty most of the time you walked by. we also ate breakfast there one morning and it was terrible.

  25. My husband and I love CSR. We have stayed there the last three times we’ve visited the World. The time before those was POFQ. We loved it but now that we’ve stayed at Coronado we can’t imagine going back to French Quarter. The updated rooms are beautiful and the queen beds are so comfortable. CSR is the only moderate that offer queen beds. We stay in the Cabanas. We have never had a problem with conventioners but they mainly stay in the Casitas. The only downside to the Cabanas is it is the third bus stop so you may have to stand or wait for the next bus. But we go during the value season. We loved the Maya Grill and have always had amazing meals there. The Pepper Market is very good too. The process is a bit confusing at first but the waiter/waitress will explain it it you. In my opinion, the food is much better at CSR than POFQ. French Quarter does not have a sit down restaurant and the quick service is very generic. However, the food at Pepper Market is so fresh and unique. You must try the Breakfast Burrito. It is amazing! I persoally feel CSR gives you the feeling of a deluxe resort for a moderate price!

  26. Thank you! I love Coronado Springs – went there several times with my sister & her family. Next to Polynesian, this is my favorite

  27. I stayed at Coronado Springs this past March for a conference. There really wasn’t much problem with lunch/dinner time as they provided food. However, breakfast was a free for all. But I really didn’t find the food options all that crowded. With sit down, cafe, window, and food court options, there was enough variety that nothing got terribly crowded. I ate one morning at Pepper Market, and it was busy, but not overly crowded. I think they plan for a surge of people if there is a conference and seemed to be on top of things.

  28. My husband and I will be staying at CSR in Nov. for the 4th time. We really enjoy the beautiful resort and the more “grown up” feel of CSR. We have never found any of the conventions to interfer with our visit. We are 2 adults traveling without children and the fact that many of the rooms are taken by adults at meetings all day, makes for a quieter resort. After a day in the parks, the peacefulness of this resort is a welcome relief. We love Pepper Market for it’s variety of food and it feels a step above the classic food court. A breakfast there will carry us through a day at the parks with only a snack option needed for lunch.
    We have had such positive visits here that my husband doesn’t want to stay any place else!

  29. Great review, Jack. We stayed at CSR a few years in September. We were pleasantly surprised at much we enjoyed it — although after having stayed at PO-FQ the previous few trips, I didn’t enjoy the long walk to the bus! At night we’d get off at El Centro, hit the lakeside bar for a bit, then hitch a ride to our building on the courtesy cart.

    We didn’t have ADRs one night, so decided to try Maya Grill. We still had to wait almost two hours for a table — the place was packed! I have to stay it was one of our better meals, and the service was great. We were on the DDP, so it didn’t bother us that the steaks were $34!!

    One night we had a problem with conventioneers when we got back to our room. We had a first-floor corner room, where a group of people were hanging out and drinking. By 1 am, I’d had enough and called the front desk. They were gone in no time!

  30. Going to WDW in December, and thinking about staying at Coronado. We have 2 kids, 7 and 10. What is the best area to stay as far as being as close as possible to the food court, main pool, and bus stop?

    Jack’s Answer:

    Building 1 (Casitas Village) is the closest to the food court. But Building 9B (Cabanas) is probably the best overall building. It’s still relatively close to the food court but it’s also convenient to the main pool.

  31. Once again, a spectacular blog Jack! I absolutely love reading your articles. I have only been to WDW twice, and only really remember once. My husband and I visited WDW last Nov (2009) with our family and decided to stay at CSR. It was a magical place, and will always have a special place in our hearts. Reading your blog brings back great memories. We did get the chance to eat at Maya Grill while we were there. I was hesitant to eat there, due to the mixed reviews, but we seemed to hit it on a good night. There weren’t many people there, but we kind of liked it that way. It felt more secluded and the servers were VERY attentive. The food was amazing, and the whole party agreed that it was in the top 3 restaurants of our whole trip. Saying that, however, we haven’t had the luxury of eating at lots of places around the ‘world’, as this was his first visit, and basically mine as well. We are going back to WDW in 35 days, and this time staying at Port Orleans – Riverside. I’ve made reservations for Boatwright’s, and seeing as how most people say that Maya Grill isn’t that great in comparison, we are VERY excited to try it out.

  32. I have to say that we LOVE CSR!!! I have been to 4 conventions there and from personal experience, most of the conventions provide meals, so there is really not a huge impact on the Pepper Market and Cafe Rix at the end of the day (again, this is just what I have personally experienced). I actually love how spread out the resort is and the multiple bus stops are great! I have missed CSR since we haven’t stayed there since 08, you have me wanting to go back again!

  33. My husband and I stayed at Cornado Springs in January 2010. We were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary and thought this would be a great hotel to vist. We were wrong!!! We booked the trip 2 months before we arrived and we were not told that the hotel was almost full. Crowds don’t bother us, however when the crowd is the largest convention the hotel hosts all year ~ this is bad!!! We never got to see the Rix Lounge or the bar area by the marina because of the large crowd. At one point we were walking around the resort and could not get through the crowd outside the lobby area (marina bar area) ~ we had to go in the lobby and exit down the hall a bit. The conventioneers were driven around the resort area on golf carts that drove past all other hotel patrons. The conventioneers were very loud as the were dropped off at their room area after a night of “partying” (this occurred between 11pm and 2a ~ I felt bad for people in the other rooms that had kids!) ~ the language used was offensive at times. The large pool area and hot tub were closed for refurbising for our entire stay ~ we received a letter in the mail stating this major inconvienence 2 weeks prior to our arrival!!! After this experience I have decided to not return to this hotel ~ regardless of how beautiful the hotel is!!!

  34. Thanks Jack. This was my “first trip to Disney resort” so it has a very special place in my heart. The new quick service and lounge look great. My husband would like the fact the bar is open until 2am unlike other resorts! To date, Coronado has my favorite resort pool and gift shop.

  35. I agree with your assessment of the Maya Grill and, as it is rarely busy, apparently many others do as well. It seems a moderate restaurant like Boatwright’s or a “special” restaurant like ‘Ohana, Cape May Cafe, or Boma would do much better. I would definitely be interested in a Boma type restaurant themed to Mexican/Spanish influnces and cuisine.

    Also, do you have (or know of) a list of all the third party vendor restaurants? We recently made a reservation at Yak and Yeti but, as my son is a picky eater, purchased chicken nuggets from the outside to bring in with us. They would not allow us in the restauraunt. When my wife complained (politely) and said we have never had any problems with this at any other Disney restaurant they told us they were a third party restaurant and did not follow the same rules. We are frequently in the parks and this was a rare instance where employees were rude and non-accomodating. Are these third party resturants subject to different rules, policies, and employee courtesy standards?

    Jack’s Answer:

    There are a number of “participant” restaurants at Disney World — too many to list here.

    All participant cast members must attend the same “Traditions” class as Disney cast members so they can learn the “Disney way.” Hopefully the impolite cast members you encountered were the exception and not the rule.

    Depending on the contract negotiated with Disney, the restaurants may or may not be subject to the same rules as a Disney eatery. That’s why some participant restaurants honor the Disney Dining Plan and others do not.

    I find it sad that Yak & Yeti couldn’t accommodate your son bringing in his nuggets. It would have cost them nothing to let him eat his chicken while the rest of you ordered off of their menu. Instead, their policy just created bad will.

    In the future, if you are dissatisfied with a policy or a cast member (participant or Disney), be sure to stop by Guest Relations and let them know. If enough people complain, maybe an unpleasant trend can be reversed. But I can’t stress this enough. Keep your cool and be polite at all times. Do not let a bad situation get the best of you.

  36. We stayed at this resort during a convention. The area that did get crowded was the pool, especially the hot tub. That was usually later in the evening. The convention was for boats and all the boys in our group had a great time yalking to the reps and looking at boats. It added something different to the visit. All the conventioneers were friendly and did not take away from the experience in any way.

  37. We stayed at CS in Dec. of 1997 and I liked this resort but my husband thought it was too far away from everything so we have never been back to this resort. The lobby was beautifully decorated for Christmas and we stayed in the Rancho section. I liked this section because we had a quiet pool right outside our door and no one else used it so it was like having a private pool. It was Dec. but that year we had a warm Dec so this woman from central PA was going to swim!!

    I enjoyed reading the history.

  38. Quick question about the Rix Lounge and Cafe Rix:
    Do you know why the “Rix” name is used here or its significance to Coronado Springs? I ask because it is my last name and our family name is traced back to a Rix family in the 1600’s living in England. As always, great blogs. Thanks.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I do not know why the Imagineers named these venues Rix, but I have a theory. The lounge has a Moroccan theme. In the movie Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart (Rick Blaine) ran Rick’s Café Américain. I’ve always suspected this is the connection. But this is only a theory on my part.

  39. Great blog as usual Jack! We stayed at the Coronado a few years back and loved it. This was before they remodled the rooms so I am guessing it is even better now. When we were there there was a truck driver’s convention going on, but you would have never known it. I think most of the guests stay in a block of rooms close to the convention center, and the resort is so spread out the only way we even knew of the convention was when we rode the buses past the area they were staying and saw all the trucks.

    Looking forward to Part II

  40. Coronado Springs has become my families favorite resort, you get the Disney magic with a more grown-up feel without spending an arm & a leg! The only “complaint” I have about the food service at Coronado is that the Cast Members (at least at Pepper Market) are NOT Disney employees (unless this has changed since 2008). We have eaten there every trip to mixed results, some servers are very attentive and make sure your drinks are refilled, but many did not, out of the 8 or 9 times we ate there on the last trip, we had 1 attentive server. When we spoke with a manager we were told that since the Pepper Market was a third party vendor “there was nothing they could do.” I am hoping things have changed as I will be heading down again in December 🙂
    Long ago there was a grab & go “convenience” store where Cafe Rix is now. It sold pre-packaged salads & sandwiches, pop tarts and individual boxes of cereal & milk.
    Can’t wait for part 2!

  41. Jack,
    Loved the article on Coronado! We just returned from a 9 night stay there and loved it! Great atmosphere and awesome rooms. We did have lunch one day with a lot of conventionears and the Pepper Market was not crowded at all. I don’t think having the convention center there took away from any of the magic.
    Can’t wait for part 2!

  42. Hi Jack,

    I’m so happy you’re doing more resort reviews…I love the background information, photos and narrative you provide. We have visited this resort several times but have never stayed here. I have a colleague who is going to Disney for the first time in December and staying at Coronado so sending her the link to your article.

    I’m looking forward to part II.