The Coronado Springs Resort is the Walt Disney World resort with the largest amount of convention and meeting room space, so you might think of it as being more business-minded than kid-friendly. On a recent visit, I found that the beautiful Coronado Springs Resort was a very nice fit for my active and energetic three-year-old son as well as for everyone else in the family. Here’s how we had fun at the resort with our preschooler.
Coronado Springs Resort
The Coronado Springs Resort is comprised of Casitas, Ranchos and Cabanas that encircle the peaceful Lago Dorado. The lake is surrounded with bright flowers that my three-year-old son just had to stop and smell each day before we headed into the Disney parks. The hibiscus are familiar to us in Southern California and living so close to Mexico (the Coronado Springs Resort is designed with an Aztec theme). However, the moist humid air of Florida and the lush greenery was new to us! The grounds are beautifully maintained and the colorful buildings and floral design really transports you to another place. My preschooler loved waving to the topiary trio of Donald, Pablo and Jose from the movie The Three Cabelleros that stands just outside the lobby.
Our check-in process was quite lengthy and my three-year old was bored sitting in the stroller while we straightened out Magic Bands and credit cards. Fortunately, there was a table set up with crayons and paper and a cartoon playing on a television. It was a handy distraction for impatient kids. There is also a fountain in the lobby that my son enjoying tossing coins into.
At three-years old my son is already pretty good at spotting “Hidden Mickeys”. We enjoyed finding the Hidden Mickeys throughout the Coronado Springs Resort.
We found a Hidden Mickey in the resort logo on the wall and more in the resort room. This is a fun game to play with preschoolers while waiting in long queues.
Having trouble finding Hidden Mickeys in the Disney parks? There are tons of books on the subject to help with finding them all over Walt Disney World.
Swim, Splash and Play
The highlight of the Coronado Springs Resort is the pool and play area, called The Dig Site. This area is delightful! On the afternoon of our visit, Cast Members were hosting poolside activities for the children. Preschoolers will love the splash pool with the bubbling fountains. More adventurous preschoolers can zip down the Jaguar water slide that splashes down into the feature pool. No lap sitting is allowed but parents can wait at the bottom of the slide to catch children when they slide off at the end.
Lounge chairs are hard to come by, so I’d recommend staking your spot early on busy days. Life jackets are available for the safety of little guests. The resort guide we received at check-in suggested bringing your own towel from your hotel room, though there were clean towels available at the pool on the day we visited.
Around to the left of the Lost City of Cibola Pool is a compact play structure. At Explorer’s Playground, kids can run, jump, climb and slide. The unique structures are in keeping with the Aztec-theme, even down to the colorful snake slide! There is also a small sand play lot for actual digging at The Dig Site (you’ll have to bring your own sand toys, though, as we didn’t see any there to play with).
As this resort is quite large, there is a considerable amount of walking. If your room is situated away from the lobby or if you want to visit the main pool (called The Dig Site) you may be faced with up to a 10-15 minute walk. For little legs, it could be more like 20 minutes. With a preschooler, all this extra walking can be considered either a benefit or a disadvantage. Other moms at the resort said they were told there is a shuttle that goes around the property; I was never made aware of it and ended up walking each time we left our room.
When returning from the Disney parks to the room mid-day for a break (aka: naptime) I let my son run the winding paths that led back to our room. This allowed him to run off some steam so he wasn’t bouncing off the bed once back inside the hotel room.
Be sure to take this extra walking time into consideration when timing dinner reservations, bus schedules or Park entrance.
Bring a Stroller
Unfortunately, the weary walk back to the room at the end of a long day with a tired kid could be a challenge. Fortunately, I had a stroller with me and didn’t have to carry my sleeping son back to the room. Bringing a stroller with you from home or renting from an outside source instead of renting inside the Parks can be a lifesaver when everyone is tired at the end of the day.
Ending the Night at the Coronado Springs Resort
We didn’t have the chance to participate but the Coronado Springs Resort hosts a nightly Movies Under the Stars at the Lost City of Cibola Feature Pool. These are G or PG-rated movies shown in the moonlight (Tangled was playing one of the nights we were there). Snuggling with your preschooler and watching a Disney movie under a starry sky? What a lovely way to end a magical Disney day!
Here are some other Walt Disney World tips for traveling with toddlers and preschoolers from fellow TravelingMoms!