One of Walt Disney World’s most popular moderate hotels, Coronado Springs is a resort and convention center that mixes Colonial Mexican architecture with American Southwestern flair. With so many conventioneers converging on this little slice of Tex-Mex flavor, there are lots of great, free features here:
Everybody knows that WDW snacks don’t have any calories. But if you’re feeling the need to burn off some of your edible souvenirs, there are two awesome options. First, the 0.9 mile Esplanade (promenade) circles the resort’s 15 acre man-made lake, Lago Dorado. If that’s not enough of a walk, consider the nature trail, which winds its way through the resort’s wooded areas.
Coronado Springs is made up of three incredibly distinctive villages: the Casitas (little houses in a colorful urban environment), the Ranchos (villas in a rustic, rural locale) and the Cabanas (adobe bungalows set in a coastal region). A walk around the resort is literally like walking through the Southwest!
After all of that exploring, head to the Cabanas, which are bordered by white sand beaches and littered with hammocks.
Looking for a little piece of Vegas in Orlando? Check out Rix Lounge, a genuine nightspot featuring drinks, tapas and a DJ. This is pretty much the only place in WDW where you can find an upscale, swank lounge, and you have those conventioneers to thank for it!
The feature pool here is called The Dig Site—as in, an archeological dig, complete with a 50-foot Mayan pyramid known as the Pyramid of the Sun! And with a pool like that, you have to open it in style. Each morning at 10 a.m., cast members and resort guests chant to the water gods to get the water going.
Every wished you could watch a movie without getting out of the pool? At Coronado Springs, you can! Check out the nightly movie schedule and then grab your suit and hit the water!
Okay, so shopping isn’t really free, but Panchito’s Gifts and Sundries is really sort of more like a museum. The 6,000-foot shop is filled with authentic handmade items and is covered with murals of scenes from the Three Caballeros.
Melissa Sue works in higher education communications in upstate New York, where she lives with her cavapoo George (as in King George). Melissa began visiting Disney World when she was six and today owns a piece of the magic at Bay Lake Tower. She blogs at Mouse on the Mind and tweets @msorrellsgalley.