Caribbean Seaside and Coronado Springs are resorts at Walt Disney World which have similarities in eating, swimming pools, and rooms–however theme and transportation variations. As the 2 Average Resorts to obtain latest reimaginings and big expansions, trip planners may marvel which to choose. This head-to-head smackdown helps reply that query. (Up to date March 29, 2022.)
Recognizing that the selection between Caribbean Seaside and Coronado Springs is more likely to be a standard one for guests Florida, we lately did stays at each, and have up to date a few classes right here consequently. These two Average Resorts are among the many largest at Walt Disney World, steadily have the perfect reductions, and each have a whole lot of goal promoting factors. Regardless of this, every lodge caters to considerably totally different demographics.
Caribbean Seaside Resort is a well-liked alternative with households, notably ones wanting a tropical getaway. We’ve been calling it the “Poly-Lite” and have really helpful it as a Polynesian-esque expertise on a tighter price range. In contrast, Coronado Springs Resort is steadily used for conventions, and has upgraded facilities for this viewers. In consequence, it’s one thing of a “Deluxe-Minus” resort. Framed that approach, it comes down as to whether the Poly-Lite or Deluxe-Minus is the higher decide…
Notice that this comparability won’t embrace something added by Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs or Disney’s Riviera Resort, the DVC property on the previous grounds of Caribbean Seaside. Each are quick walks (5-10 minutes) from the outlying resort buildings, this comparability is extra concerning the ‘legacy’ Average Resorts.
We now have a separate comparability of Gran Destino Tower v. Disney’s Riviera Resort. We’d extremely advocate studying that too, as most of the facilities at these properties might be utilized by visitors of those two Average Resorts. In reality, these additions are among the many greatest promoting factors for each of those properties, even for visitors staying in commonplace rooms.
What this put up will search to deal with is whether or not it’s best to select Coronado Springs, or if it’s higher to stay with family-favorite Caribbean Seaside. With that in thoughts, we’ll evaluate theme, value, eating, swimming pools, and different facilities that will help you decide which is best for you…
Theme: Caribbean Seaside – Each of those resorts have declined thematically because of their latest “reimagining” and enlargement initiatives. Whereas the development introduced substantive features to every, these initiatives had been thematic steps backwards as massive towers encroached upon the seclusion and intimacy of every resort.
Coronado Springs added the extra visually jarring and incongruous tower. The brand new lodge didn’t negatively impression Caribbean Seaside to as nice of a level, as Riviera Resort is partially remoted by Barefoot Bay (and the truth that it’s a standalone property). Nonetheless, Caribbean Seaside additionally had the Skyliner and its help pillars dotted all through the resort.
Coronado Springs Resort has three totally different architectural influences in its varied sections: Ranchos, Cabanas, and Casitas. These types transition from city to countryside as you wander the resort (considerably akin to Port Orleans Riverside). Additionally they fluctuate in vibrance, with ranchos being fairly impartial, whereas the cabanas are vibrant, virtually harking back to Mexican seashore resorts.
With that mentioned, each retain a whole lot of their thematic strengths. Caribbean Seaside Resort is a seashore resort by identify, however may virtually move for a port metropolis within the Caribbean. In some methods the main points and structure should not as fully-fleshed as Coronado Springs, however it does the job in conveying an island theme. It’s enjoyable, gentle, and ethereal.
Caribbean Seaside does an distinctive job of capturing the essence of vacationing within the tropics. Even post-overhaul, the grounds are nonetheless lush, there are some stunning seashores, and all of it culminates in a calming setting that may be a ton of enjoyable to discover. Specifically, Caribbean Cay is a gem hiding in plain sight.
I like wandering Caribbean Seaside Resort resort late at evening or within the early morning–one thing I can’t say for Coronado Springs. The setting is simply extra nice and welcoming at Caribbean Seaside.
Rooms: Coronado Springs – We simply did stays at each Caribbean Seaside and Coronado Springs in March 2022 and have up to date this class from being a tie to Coronado Springs being the clear-cut winner.
Caribbean Seaside Resort’s redone rooms are good, and are why we dubbed the resort “Poly-lite” within the first place a number of years in the past. These rooms don’t appear like price range motel lodging, and have a whole lot of particulars. Thematically, Caribbean Seaside Resort has the perfect rooms of any Average. Nonetheless, they’re beginning to present their age.
Coronado Springs had been redone barely extra lately and have held up even higher. These are the best high quality rooms of any Average, with upgraded bedding, a nicer desk for getting work finished, and refined particulars that simply make it appear good. These are feature-filled rooms on par with many Deluxe Resorts, undoubtedly finished to make it extra interesting to enterprise vacationers.
We’d describe Coronado Springs rooms as tasteful and prime quality, with sufficient thematic touches to present them character. They’re additionally brighter and have a sure freshness to them that’s tough to articulate, whereas Caribbean Seaside’s rooms are beginning to really feel a bit dated and worn (but once more).
Eating: Coronado Springs – Coronado Springs has far and away essentially the most eating of any Average Resort, which is the principle (however not solely) approach it’s a Deluxe-Minus resort on the facilities entrance. The spotlight is Three Bridges Bar & Grill, the brand new over-the-water desk service restaurant. That is among the many most underrated eating places at Walt Disney World. Past that, there’s the El Mercado de Coronado meals court docket, Rix Sports activities Bar & Grill, Siestas Cantina, Maya Grill, and extra.
Disney’s Caribbean Seaside Resort has its personal duo of underrated eating choices in Sebastian’s Bistro and Spyglass Grill. Whereas the latter remains to be closed (and will realistically by no means reopen), the previous has a new family-style meal that’s the greatest dinner deal in all of Walt Disney World.
Caribbean Seaside additionally has Banana Cabana and Centertown Market, two different strong choices. Nonetheless, these eating places don’t measure as much as the various at Coronado Springs Resort–and that’s not counting Gran Destino!
Swimming pools: Caribbean Seaside – On our listing of the Prime 10 Swimming pools at Walt Disney World, Fuentes del Morro Pool (aka the “Pirate Fortress Pool”) at Disney’s Caribbean Seaside Resort ranked #3 and The Misplaced Metropolis of Cibola Pool ranked #9. The Pirate Fortress Pool scores severe factors for its Spanish colonial fortress fashion, fortresses, cannons, and basic pirate enchantment. It’s an superior place to faux you’re a pirate, and who amongst us doesn’t wish to do this?!
Though these rankings make it appear decisive, the Dig Web site pool and recreation space at Coronado Springs has a whole lot of vary that may make it enchantment extra to you. For youths, there’s the 123-foot water slide, Mayan temple ruins, arcade, play space, and 50-foot tall pyramid. For adults, there’s the massive Siesta’s bar, volleyball court docket, and largest sizzling tub at Walt Disney World. Dig Web site is a really strong, well-rounded pool space.
Transportation: Caribbean Seaside – It misplaced a whole lot of its lush appeal and secluded high quality to realize the sting right here, however the Skyliner is a big win for Caribbean Seaside when it comes to transportation. Because of its two Skyliner stations, attending to and from Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now a breeze. This immediately moved Caribbean Seaside from the worst to the perfect Average Resort transportation-wise.
With that mentioned, bus transportation stays the achilles heel of each of those resorts. Since these are each sprawling resort complexes, every have a number of bus stops inside the resort. This implies a shorter stroll to your bus cease than at another resorts, however the draw back is that it takes longer to get to the parks.
On common, each have among the many longest room-door to park-entrance time of any resorts at Walt Disney World. As we’ve mentioned earlier than, there’s nothing magical about using a bus (even one that claims “Disney” on the skin), and this could get outdated over the course of a visit.
Fortunately, bus transportation is barely vital for Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Disney Springs in case you’re staying at Caribbean Seaside. It’s vital for all parks in case you’re staying at Coronado Springs, that means it’s best to both have a rental automotive or be ready to pay further for Uber or Lyft there.
Value: Coronado Springs – On common, room charges are about $10 to $20 increased at Caribbean Seaside for nearly each price season of the yr for traditional rooms. Costs are a bit much less predictable when you get into the upper tiers of rooms, however Caribbean Seaside is increased throughout the board.
This may be straight attributed to the Skyliner. Beforehand, these two resorts had been virtually identically priced. We’d contend that the Skyliner is well value $20 or extra per evening, however that’s why Caribbean Seaside has the sting within the transportation class above. Fortuitously, reductions are constantly good between the Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Caribbean Seaside.
Verdict: Caribbean Seaside – We’re declaring Caribbean Seaside the winner right here, however on the identical time add the numerous caveat that there are a whole lot of Deluxe-caliber facilities at Coronado Springs superior to Caribbean Seaside. Nonetheless, we predict that when you’ve got the time on the resort to get pleasure from all of these facilities, you even have it to discover the resort, which is a extra satisfying expertise at Caribbean Seaside.
There’s additionally a rising hole between the visitor rooms at every. We first turned huge followers of Caribbean Seaside when the “new” rooms debuted, however that was now virtually 8 years in the past. The rooms at Coronado Springs have been redone extra lately, and their stability of type and performance is superior. Additionally they have aged higher.
Nonetheless, the Skyliner is a complete game-changer for us. Transportation was irritating at each of those resorts for all parks, and now that’s solely true at Coronado Springs. That is the type of transformational, purposeful addition that by itself outweighs actually every little thing else. And it helps that Caribbean Seaside has not one, however two gondola stations.
The Skyliner makes getting from Caribbean Seaside to Epcot or DHS a complete breeze, and we frequently begin at a kind of parks and hop from there to Animal Kingdom or Magic Kingdom consequently (or simply use Uber/Lyft). We’re large followers of the Skyliner, and Caribbean Seaside is the perfect Skyliner resort.
On a private notice, we’re entrenched within the Caribbean Seaside Resort camp even with out the Skyliner. Coronado Springs scores some well-earned factors, however in the end, it’s not a resort that we discover ourselves desperate to revisit. In reality, there have been instances when Coronado Springs is the one Average Resort accessible with a superb low cost (as soon as the usual rooms are offered out at Caribbean Seaside and we’re left with solely Pirate Rooms…), however as an alternative of reserving it, we’ll have a look at charges for Pop Century.
Our difficulty with Coronado Springs might be that it’s only a bit blah. So many impartial colours and customary design components simply make it not stand out in our recollections. To make certain, there are splashes of vibrance, an superior pool space, and we actually like Three Bridges Bar & Grill, however we’d nonetheless select Caribbean Seaside Resort each single time when the 2 are comparably-priced.
That’s simply us, although and your mileage might fluctuate. If you analyze Coronado Springs ‘checklist style’ it actually does have lots going for it, so possibly we have now some misplaced bias in opposition to it. Nonetheless, we’re guessing that a whole lot of you agree with us, albeit possibly for various causes. Not like nearly each different resort at Walt Disney World, Coronado Springs doesn’t appear to have a powerful and passionate fanbase.
In reality, other than the All-Stars, Coronado Springs is the Walt Disney World resort we hear absolutely the least about from Walt Disney World followers. We suspect that one a part of that is it missing the distinct character or appeal of the opposite resorts. One other half may very well be just because the resort targets enterprise vacationers, who aren’t as prefer to type attachments to Walt Disney World resorts as us Disney geeks. 😉 In any case, we’d actually love to listen to your rationale on your decide within the feedback.
Our objective is for this put up to be useful in providing a head-to-head comparability of essentially the most essential components of every Walt Disney World resort expertise, however we advise supplementing this with our full evaluation of Disney’s Caribbean Seaside Resort (in case you haven’t seen the brand new rooms, it’s undoubtedly value testing only for that) and our Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort Overview. With that mentioned, what do you assume…did we select the proper lodge right here?
Do you agree or disagree with our verdict on this Caribbean Seaside v. Coronado Springs head-to-head? What about our conclusions in every class? Is there one thing we missed or received flawed? Any questions we will help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even if you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!