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Why Coronado Springs Needs the Next Disney Vacation Club

We have made no secret in the DVC Fan Facebook Group that while we love being Disney Vacation Club members, we hold a special place in our hearts for Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Our love started with nine nights in Coronado’s Ranchos section before owning DVC. Even pre-refurbishment, there was so much to love about those beautiful Spanish/Mexican buildings surrounding the peaceful resort centerpiece – Lago Dorado. We finally got to check-in to the Gran Destino Tower for the first time a few months ago. Throughout our entire time at Gran Destino, we couldn’t help but dream about what it would be like to be able to own a piece of one of our favorite resorts. We know Disney’s odds of adding DVC to a moderate resort are slim but hear me out, Disney. There are many great reasons to add a Disney Vacation Club Tower to Coronado Springs:

Deluxe Rooms

Even before Gran Destino opened, the hotel room upgrades gave off a deluxe feel. They are modern and stylish with just enough theming and hints of Disney. The tower takes that to another level, adding huge rooms, upgraded headboards, an accent wall with hidden Mickeys, floor-to-ceiling windows, and decorative bathroom tiles. The whole remodel is fantastic. The standard rooms at Grand Destino clock in at a whopping 375 square feet, which is larger than most DVC Deluxe Studios.

Deluxe Common Areas

Gran Destino opened around five months before Riviera Resort, and it’s hard not to compare the two. I find Gran Destino’s common areas to be similar to the luxury feel at Riviera, with Gran Destino being just a little more colorful and a little grander. There was also no shortage of Christmas trees, including a large one against the multi-story windows that face Lago Dorado.

Beautiful Grounds

Each morning of our recent stay, Paul and I found great joy in grabbing some coffee from the lobby and walking the loop around the resort. The grounds of Coronado Springs are beautiful. Aside from Gran Destino, the resort has three other sections: Cabanas, which are reminiscent of Mexican beach houses, Ranchos designed to look like southwest cattle ranches, and Casitas, designed after Mexico City buildings. Each area is unique and has its own unique foliage to match. Overall, the theming and grounds of the resort rival the quality and care that goes into Disney deluxe resorts.

Amazing Views

We were completely awestruck by the view we received in a standard room at Gran Destino. We could see the Tower of Terror, Galaxy’s Edge, Spaceship Earth, and so much more from our giant window. We could even see as far as Sea World, Volcano Bay, and The Wheel at Icon Park. I imagine the fireworks would be impressive when they come back. From the large windows at the ends of the hallway on our floor, we could see Expedition Everest on one side and The Contemporary on the other. We realize we were lucky to be put on the 15th floor, which is club level (there were no club services), but I imagine the lower floors offer some great views as well. On a side note, we really want to try club level here, and it seems to be one of the more affordable club level locations on property.

Dining Variety

While Coronado Springs doesn’t technically have a signature restaurant, it comes pretty close with Toledo, where you can find rooftop views while enjoying tapas, steak, and seafood. The rest of the resort provides a wide variety of dining options such as a large quick service location, sports bar, grab & go cafe, lounges, an over-the-water outdoor eatery, and more. Unfortunately, since Coronado Springs is still in its reopening stages, we couldn’t experience all that the resort normally has to offer. Still, we thoroughly enjoyed a peaceful and tasty dinner at Three Bridges Bar & Grill, which sits over the lake – Lago Dorado.

Final Thoughts

I know what you’re thinking. Coronado Springs is a conference resort. They built Gran Destino to add a level of sophistication for executives coming to conferences. There is no way Disney would take any part of Gran Destino for Disney Vacation Club villas. I agree. Indulge me if you will. When Riviera was built, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort lost nine buildings – the entire section originally known as Barbados (buildings 11-16) and half of Martinique (buildings 21-23). Obviously, Disney saw greater value in adding a DVC Resort here and knew the cash villas at Riviera would make up for the lost room inventory. Instead of taking over portions of Gran Destino, I would love to see a new DVC tower that takes over part (or all) of the Cabanas section. This section is not only the smallest but houses the shortest buildings. It doesn’t add a lot of inventory to the resort. It wasn’t even being used while we were there in December. A tower could be placed here that matches Gran Destino’s height, mimics the theming, and doesn’t take views away from its guests if angled properly. It could offer DVC members fantastic views of EPCOT and Hollywood Studios on one side and water and Animal Kingdom on the other. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t sign on the dotted line fast enough.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts. What do you think about DVC coming to a moderate resort without distinguishing itself as a new resort as Riviera does? Would you call it Villas at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort or Gran Destino Villas? What hesitations would you have? Would you consider buying points at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort? Let us know how you feel!

Amy Krieger

Amy loves all things Disney from the theme parks and resorts to the beloved films. She and her husband, Paul, are originally from Wheeling, West Virginia. They now live in Central Florida with their two fur kids, Odie the greyhound and Hermes the Spanish galgo. As Disney Vacation Club members and Disney World Annual Passholders, they visit Disney World and other Disney properties as often as possible. Full time, Amy is the Manager of Loan Origination for Monera Financial, a World of DVC company where she helps buyers finance DVC contracts. Amy and Paul own DVC at some of their favorite resorts: BoardWalk, Grand Floridian, Animal Kingdom, Polynesian, and Grand Californian.

7 thoughts on “Why Coronado Springs Needs the Next Disney Vacation Club

  • It is a beautiful resort! And, underrated. I enjoy that it is a more adult location for those of us who travel without children. If we were staying at BWV, we’d ride over to Coronado for the Maya Grill (which I assume is not yet open) and take a walk afterwards. Making it part a DVC location is a nice idea, but they’d probably get more bang for the buck if they put Reflections back into play.

  • I think a DVC expansion into Coronado Springs makes sense but my opinions differ from yours in several ways: 1) I think that DVC gusts will not like the presence of a lot of conventions and conventiongoers in their midst. While the Grand Floridian, Contemporary and Yacht have convention centers, it is not the same size and scope as what they have at Coronado Springs which was clearly intended to be a convention resort. 2) It may actually be a better idea, given what Covid did to conventions, to convert Gran Destino into DVC. However, they would need to convert many of the rooms to 1,2 and 3 bedroom units to be true DVC. 3) While I enjoyed Gran Destino, I personally dislike the recent resorts built and think that Bob Iger leaves behind a legacy of building bland hotels. Bay Lake Tower, The Riviera, Gran Destino, and Swan Reserve either look like bland office buildings or nice hotels seen near many airports. I miss the highly themed resorts, unique to WDW built in the Eisner era and earlier. 4) I suggest DVC buildings be built that meld into the original scheme of Coronado Springs without more disruption like what Gran Destino did. The Beach Club Villas, Boardwalk Villas, and Grand Floridian Villas match the theme of the hotel side of their sister resort. Coronado DVC should design DVC buildings that match the original Coronado Springs buildings and be no higher than 5 stories. Again, I liked Gran Destino but it in no way feels at all like it is part of Coronado Springs. It messed up the theme of that resort. Kind of the way a big 16 story tower would disrupt Wilderness Lodge, Port Orleans, or basically all of the existing resorts. In fact, if another DVC tower is built, I hope they build it away from the parks and the other resorts so it cant be easily seen. When looking at the The Riviera from Caribbean Beach, it kind of looks like a condo development.

    I also think that any DVC expansion needs to include an additional pool complex for the villas. When they added Gran Destino, they did not add a pool along with the extra rooms and this was a mistake. A skyliner route connecting to Animal Kingdom and the All Stars also makes sense.

    • i agree that i think the resorts they have been building lately have been pretty boring, although beautiful. I’m from Vegas and many of the few resorts have been mimicking our style here, a fancy resort that’s pretty neutrally themed to fit anyones tastes. They’ve given up on “themed” resorts or anything surrounding kids. Even the Disneyland Tower will just be another tower that blends into the current Disneyland Hotel. Its too bad because I feel like there have been some big opportunities to maximize adding a DVC resort in certain areas (i wish Riviera was attached to EPCOT similarly to the Ambassador Hotel at Tokyo Disney Sea with its own entrance into EPCOT). I personally hope that if/when they revisit Reflections, i wouldn’t mind it being something totally different, and maybe they reconsider its location, theme etc. When they finally constructed Art of Animation after 12 years?, it became something totally different from their original plan.

      Secondly, although Coronado is beautiful, it would be the biggest stretch for Disney in adding a DVC resort with transportation options to the parks. Riviera has the skyliner so that’s how they justify you not being able to walk to a park, but at the moment, Coronado is among the worst Disney resorts for transportation to anything. They’d definitely have to solve that, or simultaneously add a skyliner route to at least the CBR transfer point.

      It will be interesting to see what the next 5-10 years holds for DVC since the last time a major event affected Disney plans, we saw very different results than originally planned. Will they do more boutique DVC properties attached to resorts? Will they add more of these towers with tower rooms for 2? Or will there be something completely different once they see what people’s vacation patterns become when we return to more normal travel?

  • I’m all in🤞🤞🤞. CSR is our favorite. There is a lot of nostalgia there for our family. It was the resort of choice for mane memories until 2017 when we purchased our membership.

  • We have never visited this resort, but we will have to make a stop there now for a meal and to wander. I hear you on the DVC. That would be lovely. I wish DVC would expand Fort Wilderness campground and have some DVC sites. I know you can trade points out, but they almost never have availability and we love to camp there.

  • When I first heard about the Gran Destino being built, I literally thought it was going to be the DVC addition. Coronado Springs will always be my favorite resort, even if I own points to Copper Creek. A DVC addition would be a dream come true.

  • Totally agree! Just stayed there Sunday night for the first time. Eleventh floor lake view. What a wonderful resort

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