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Old 08-14-2007, 05:36 PM   #1
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Talking Coronado Springs Resort Report Aug 2007 w/PICS!

A work in progress...

Hi, Just back from six wonderful nights at CSR. It was 8yo grandson and myself. Very pretty resort! Took lots of pics! Will post them.
We enjoyed our stay at CSR! We would stay there again.

In the past ten years, we have stayed at Poly 4x, YC, WL, POR 2x, and Pop.

Back in 1997, I wanted to book CSR for the first week of Aug. Since it was a brand new resort, they were not taking reservations yet, when I was making mine, so we stayed at the beautiful Dixie Landings and the lovely Yacht Club instead. I love trying new resorts, though, and never forgot about CSR. So finally made it, ten years later, Aug 2007.

Pre-trip info: After researching this board and Buzz' wonderful site, when booking, I decided to request Cabana 8a. I liked the beach theme and it looked to be close to the dig site and not too far from the main area, El Centro.

The only rooms available at the AP rate when we booked were king rooms. I checked often for a standard, but no luck. The king is a tad more expensive than a standard, but to look at the bright side...I told myself the king takes up less space than two doubles, so I heard the room might seem bigger because of that (a correct assumption ) Much more on our room(s) later.

more to come!

Last edited by tinkerbellmagic; 08-15-2007 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:37 PM   #2
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CSR Buses, Courtesy Coaches, Pools, Housekeeping etc

Here are my experiences with bus service, courtesy coaches, pools, housekeeping, conventions (and more).

BUS SERVICE: The transportation to and from the theme parks rocks! In my experience, it blows the POR bus service right out of the water. The wait for buses was usually between 1-10 mins and surprisingly, that includes the buses from MK to CSR. We only had to stand on a bus once from MK. Even though we caught the bus to the theme parks at bus stop #1 at El Centro (the last stop to be picked up for theme park transp), we always found a seat.

CSR's central location is a huge plus. It never seemed to take too long to get anywhere, including MK.

Only once did we experience a bummer of a long trip. That was when we wanted to go to Typhoon Lagoon in the very late afternoon. Typhoon shares a CSR bus with downtown Disney. So when we got on the bus at El Centro (bus stop #1), we had to make the trip around the entire resort picking up and dropping off guests. Then we had to go to downtown Disney Market Place, then Pleasure Island. From the time we got to the bus stop at CSR bus stop #1 til we got to Typhoon, was about an hour due to traffic, DTD crowds, and bus stops. Because of this, we only got to spend about 45 mins at Typhoon Lagoon, but that's what we get for leaving so late in the first place.

About POR.. I am not dissing POR. I will always have a special place in my heart for POR as it was our first onsite stay back in 97. And although I find POR has the most beautiful grounds, the bus service there is severely lacking. Plain and simple, they need more buses!

Buses in general: There were a few times from MK that we felt the bus driver was driving too fast. I noticed this more on this trip than on any others. I thought it was just me, but I heard others mention this as well.

COURTESY COACH: I'm sorry, but in our experience, these courtesy coaches were pretty useless. They usually whizzed by so fast that you would have to step in front of it to get the driver's attention. The drivers didn't appear too eager to drive hot tired folks around the resort. I am sure there are exceptions, but it would have been nice if just once, one of them would slow down and ask, "Can I give you a lift?" Typically, if you heard one approaching, you got the heck out of the way fast. We only got to use these coaches one time to go from Casitas to the main pool.

My advice? Don't depend on these cars to get you around the resort. Your best bet is to have a room close to a bus stop so you can use the theme park buses to take you around the resort. CSR is HUGE! And it's sunny. We did walk from Casitas to the main pool a few times in the intense heat. I think if you go during the winter months, the walk would be pleasant, just like it is at POR. Btw, CSR is much bigger than POR.

POOLS: The main pool is great! We liked this pool better than the one at Poly, WL, and POR simply because
it is big enough to handle the crowds and there are even chairs with no towels on them!!! The pool slide is awesome. My only complaint is the same as other WDW pools. The water is so warm, like bath water, that it is not refreshing. We also used the Casitas quiet pool. With all the pools, though, the depths are so scattered and confusing, kids never really know how deep the water is going to be at any given place, but it is usually 3-5 feet and never over 5 1/2 feet anywhere. Just remember you need to bring your own towels (or your resort towels) to the quiet pools, but the main pool provides towels for guests.
photo I took of main pool:

HOUSEKEEPING: The housekeeping folks were always pleasant and courteous. Clean towels were always plentiful and toiletries remained well stocked. There were two times our room did not get cleaned until after 3 pm, but it was a minor inconvenience. Well, like most Disney resorts, mousekeeping is not what it used to be. Upon checking in, there was an old washcloth under the bed and in both our rooms, there were hairs on the bathroom floor. I noticed this in the other Disney resorts as well, so not singling CSR out for that. Still, the ewwww factor was there.

CONVENTIONS: Upon arrival, the MPUC convention was being held at CSR. Representitives from US Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserves, Special Operations forces, and more, were in attendance. These folks were a nice addition to CSR. Most in uniform and some there with their families. If you were a single woman at CSR that week, you would have been in for a real treat... er.. but that is getting off the subject.

The second convention during our stay was the Gospel Music Workshop of America. Folks from this convention started trickling in on Wed and flooding in on Thurs, Fri, and Sat. While they made no negative impact on the resort, the lobby was packed and crowded with conventioneers with luggage in tow almost every hour of the day including 1 am on a few nights. We left the resort on Sunday, but we did not experience any ruckus or much yelling at night. We once heard someone singing, which was pretty, and thought it was the entertainment from El Centro, but realized it was someone from the convention practicing.

That said, there were some unhappy gospel conventioneers. From what I could see and hear, some were not happy about all the walking in the heat with their luggage, waiting in the heat for the coaches, trying to find their way around the resort, heck, just trying to find an elevator is a feat in itself on your first day... one older woman commented to me that she didn't think this family vacation resort was the proper place for a religious convention. Others complained about the prices. I'll tell you one thing, though, the Gospel Conventioneers sure gave the courtesy coach drivers a run for their money. It was nice to see somebody using those cars for their intended purpose.

So as for CSR being a convention resort, neither convention took much away from our vacation. If a crowded lobby is what I have to deal with for that awesome bus service with low crowds, I'll take it!

Edited to add that another poster mentioned that I was not there for the start of the events for the gospel convention. This is true, so bear that in mind.

Last edited by tinkerbellmagic; 08-15-2007 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:38 PM   #3
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Pepper Market, La Tienda, Siestas, playground etc.

Pepper Market plus recent menu with prices, La Tienda store, Siestas poolside bar, playground, and outdoor areas... etc.

PEPPER MARKET: There is a wonderful variety of offerings at PM that I am sure many will love. For DGS and I, simple grab and go pizzas or dogs are fine with us. Love the homemade pizzas at PM! The prices are high though!

Here is a recent menu from Pepper Market - there are two sides, one for breakfast and one for lunch/dinner:

I had heard the stories about PM, so was apprehensive. I have come away with mixed feelings about the Pepper Market. Yes, it was a bit confusing at first, but no more so than any other resort where you have to try to figure out just what they are grilling behind that counter. I would say it's easier to see what types of foods are being offered at the Pepper Market. They really need to do away with the old fashioned card stamping and get into the 21st century with card swiping.

I thought I had things figured out ahead of time. I had planned on avoiding the automatic gratuity PM charges by always asking for food "to go." This would save a teeny bit of money and DGS and I were doing an EL Cheapo trip. The glitch in that plan if you are alone with a child is, let's say you would like to order an adult size pizza. So you have your child's food on the tray and your drinks, but have to wait 15 mins for your pizza to be cooked. Since it is to go, where to wait until it is ready? They won't bring your food to you outside, so waiting outside, which we did at first, doesn't work out. Also, if you eat outside, some of these tables along the lake are being used by smokers, so that was unappetizing. I found the best solution while you wait for your to-go food to be ready, is to just sit at a table inside PM on the far wall as close to the pizza section as possible until your pizza is ready... that is if you were able to get the attention of someone to order it from. Then go eat in your cool air conditioned non-smoking room. Along with the tasty pizza, eating in our cool quiet room was a slice of heaven after a long hot day.

Getting the attention of someone to help serve you at PM is the same as what I experienced at POR and any other restaurant for that matter. Sometimes they are helpful, sometimes they ignore you on purpose, and sometimes they are rude.

The PM manager there seemed to really want to take care of us and show us how everything is done. I really appreciated that. He went out of his way to accomodate us. Another worker behind the kid's counter was very friendly and helpful. A girl behind the pizza counter, while cordial, did like to ignore people who just wanted to order a pizza. Didn't appreciate that too much, but the rude worker I encountered was a man by the drinks. He gave us our paper cups for soda and mentioned to me that I could get ice from the barrel on the floor. Then he watched us like a hawk while we filled our drinks. DGS was trying to fill his cup with all the flavors of soda. I was trying to stop him before he put pink lemonade into Coke and without thinking, I put his cup against the ice area that is built in the drinks machine, like you would any where else, trying to get some ice to which the man said, "No, not there! The ice is over here, just like I told you!" That was the last time we went to the PM. From then on, we would eat at the parks and stop by La Tienda for snacks.

LA TIENDA: A nice little store which is right next to PM. You'll find snacks in there.. tiny boxes of cereal, granola bars, drinks, candy, etc. Oh, and they have most delicious cinnamon rolls in the morning! I wish La Tienda was bigger, but that might have something to do with the construction going on. We always had nice experiences at La Tienda. Oh, and as pointed out somewhere on this board... sodas at La Tienda are 2.25, while these same sodas are 2.50 in the pop machines throughout the resort.

SIESTAS: this is a fun little poolside snack/drink bar. We ate there once after swimming. Nice, friendly service. The hot dog was ok, the fries were so-so, but it was fun eating by the pool! My only complaint is that the eating area next to the volley ball court is most unattractive. There are no plants or flowers, just concrete with tables and umbrellas. Plus, it was being used by smokers. DGS suggested we eat someplace else. We picked up our trays and found a nice table with umbrella in the playground area by the pool. Much better! Now that was eatin' by the poolside!

See those umbrellas on the side of Siesta's pool snack bar? That's the unattractive area that you might not want to eat in... unless you get the table closest to the pool, it's more out in the open. The table in the playground is a much better choice.

This photo above was taken from the lakeside at night. It is the side view of the snack/drink bar, Siestas. The main pool would be to the right of the photo.

PLAYGROUND: I was surprised to see that the playground was for kids under 48". The swings are large and can hold bigger kids. The other equipments is better suited for little ones, but if you are just over 48" and 8 years old, those big swings are hard to resist. I will say that all ages of kids played here and no one paid attention to the under 48" rule.
Here is my photo of the cool slide.

OUTDOOR EATING AREA: I must say, CSR has more outdoor tables and chairs than other resorts. It's nice to find a place to sit, but sometimes we never knew if we were sitting in an outdoor restaurant where a waiter would come to take your order, or just sitting at a free table. Here are some pics I took of an outdoor eating area. Is it a restaurant? Is it just an eating area? Who knows, but it's pretty!

There was another outdoor eating section that was, perhaps part of a restaurant. I didn't get any pics of it, but it had lots of well made rataan style tables and chairs.

Last edited by tinkerbellmagic; 08-24-2007 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:40 PM   #4
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Room #1 Cabanas building 8A or "the tale of two rooms"

Room #1 Cabanas 8A

Check In: We arrive at CSR by DME about 10:30 am. We do not wait more than a few minutes to be checked in by a nice and friendly CM. Our room is not only in our requested Cabana 8a building, but it is ready! How cool is that! I can now fulfill the lifelong dream of being a cabana girl!

Since our luggage would be delivered by DME, with map in hand, we happily make the trek across the bridge to our room. Ah, the excitement of exploring a new resort. This resortaholic is in heaven.

Our king room in Cabana 8a: Our room is on the ground floor. Before I even put the KTTW card in the door, DGS8 notices the adorable towel animal perched on the window sill greeting all passersby and welcoming us to our new room. Cute!

The next thing behind door number 1, is a blast of in-your-face frosty air! Gotta love that relief from the hot FL sun. Our first impression of this room was a favorable one. Nice decor, pleasant room, great location. Unfortunately, our glee did not last.

Which brings me to Handicapped Accessible Rooms: I want to mention here that if it were not for the DIS boards, I would not have known that the king rooms at CSR may also be handicapped accessible rooms (HA rooms). I think the resorts should tell people this when they are booking, especially since you are paying more for king rooms than standard rooms. I didn't think a handicapped accessible room would be a problem, though, so I kept the king reservation at CSR, since no standard rooms were available, rather than go with a standard at POR or CBR.

This HA room is worn and in need of refurbishing (pictures of the room condition are in another post), so that is depressing. There is peeling and rust near the floor in the bathroom and the HA bath seat is a bit scuzzy. I would think handicapped people needing such a room would not appreciate this room's condition.

What really makes this room a problem for me is the handicapped shower/bathroom. I take 2 to 3 showers a day when in WDW in the summer months. When using this HA shower, I did not like the shower water making it's way all the way to the toilet, getting that floor area all wet as well, and then when you try to put your shorts/capris on, they could also get wet. I didn't think this shower would work out with DGS showering and dressing either. Plus, you need to hold the handle down on the toilet to get it to flush completely.

I wonder at this point if I should walk back out the door and request a room change. I do not do this because it was so nice having a room ready after being awake since 3 am for an early flight. I also am not sure I'd be able to get another room as the resort was pretty full and then there's the AP rate dilema. So we unpack and head for the Magic Kingdom.

Later that day back from MK, as soon as I take that first shower, though, I begin thinking about changing rooms again. I dread the thought of packing everything back up, so I brush it off. We go back to MK for the fireworks and I keep thinking about having to deal with that depressing shower room for the next six days. I find myself fantasizing about standard bathrooms during Wishes. I think about how I don't want bad feelings about this resort. That's it! I decide I am going to request a switch when we make it back to our room.

We do not get back from MK that first night until 11:30 pm, but once inside the room, I call the front desk anyway and tell them I have never requested a room change in all the times I had visited Disney, but this HA bathroom is just not working out for us. They say they will put me on the list to move the next morning. I feel so much better after that. A huge load is lifted.

I must say at one point in our HA room, DGS says, "These people at Coronado sure know how to take care of kids. They even have a look out hole in the door just for us." I tell him the low peep hole is to make it easier for people using a wheel chair to look out their doorway, but that yes, it would be nice if all the rooms had a lower peep hole for children (children who might fling open a door before checking to see who it is... not mentioning any names ).

I am exhausted, but need to pack for our move tomorrow. That's ok, I look forward to a new room, any resortaholic would. We have no idea where we will end up. It didn't matter. Even with this great location and convenient bus stop, I want out of here. For anyone wondering, this is room 8510.

Is it adios, Cabanas?

Where will be end up?

Last edited by tinkerbellmagic; 08-15-2007 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:40 PM   #5
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On to Room #2

While it is a teeny bit of a bummer to not head out early to a park because we have to move to a new room, I am VERY ok with it. We were told to be out of the room by 11 am. We are ready to walk out the door by 9 am, but before we do, I call the front desk to see if by chance there is a room ready so I won't need to store the luggage at bell services. The front desk says, "We have a room for you." I say "Great! I am on my way." Whoopie! So we go to the front desk to check out. We are told we don't need to check out since it's a room switch. We tell them we were told they have a room for us. We are told that they do have a room for us, but our room is not really ready. Ok, we didn't expect the room to be really ready anyway, but there is a room, so that's great! We don't ask where it is. We want to be surprised. We store our luggage with bell services and head out to the park. A big thank you to Disney for being so nice about the room change.

We come back some time that afternoon. Our room is really ready, but there is some confusion with the luggage. It's missing. This takes about 20 minutes. We even get to go behind the scenes in the luggage storage area! Turns out it was just a matter of wires getting crossed and the bell guy was waiting outside our room, sweating profusely, when we finally found room #3312. And yes, there is our luggage. Isn't that always a welcoming site?

We are in Casitas building 3. Oh, Amigos, this is gorgeous! We are thrilled! We are on the third floor looking out over a fountain! We are located between Bus stop 1 and 2. We are close to El Centro. We are very happy!

Below is the view from our room "balcony" looking to the left.

Below is the view from our room "balcony" looking to the right.

If memory serves, this is a pic of our room. I mean, it must be our room. Why else would I take this picture, right? It's the green door smack dab in the center of the photo.

I am happy to discover, we have another king room. It is a basic king with no handicapped accessibility. And yes, there it is, the standard bathroom I dreamt about that night while watching fireworks at the magic kingdom. That shiny white tub was such a site for sore eyes.

Our new room is bright with a gorgeous view. The counter space is much larger than our previous room. My cabana girl days are over. I am now a casita-ista and DGS is a casita-isto?

Now that we are new residents of Casitas, we have to find our way around. Not so easy, Pal, but point me to the nearest ice machine. I must have ice for my root beer. We discover said machine near the magical mystery elevators.

Time for a swim. After going through some kind of maze, passing the same areas over and over again, and asking for directions, we finally happen upon the Casita quiet pool. After that, it's trying to find our way back to the room, then trying to find our way out of our room and on to the bus stop to head to the parks again. We're not sure how we found our way to the bus stop and do not know how we will find our way back to the room, but what the heck.

Photo below is the view from bus stop #2 path to the Casitas (I think).

When you are lost in the Casitas, this is one of the paths you may see. If you see the path below, you will no longer be lost. Get it?

We took this photo above in an effort to find our way back to our room from the bus stop. Just think of it as leaving bread crumbs. Sorry about the trash can.

Below is a shot of the path to the Casitas quiet pool. We weren't sure how we got here and we're not sure how to get back, so we better take a picture.

Funny, after a day or two of walking through never ending courtyards and beautiful gardens, you finally do get the hang of it. We follow the principal of sticking to the main path, sticking to straight paths, and whatever you do, don't get caught in the maze of courtyards and gardens or you might not ever come out. If you see los tres Caballeros, you are in the thick of it and should consider yourself lost. If it weren't for DGS, I might still be wandering around the Casitas wondering how to get out. Remember, I am just kidding.

DGS informs me he spotted a snack machine on floor 2, so we'll have to hit that one on our next ice bucket run. I see some lost souls with luggage. They are looking for an elevator. Now that I'm an old hat at this, I try to explain how to find the phantom elevator. Apparently, they are not able to find it (and rightly so) and the next thing I notice, they are lugging their suitcases up the stairs one by one. It's 96 degrees outside. Welcome to the Casitas, Newbies!

Last edited by tinkerbellmagic; 08-15-2007 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:41 PM   #6
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Night time pics and Misc

CSR Late afternoon and Evening strolls along Lago Dorado

See? Even Casita parking lots (below) look nice at night!

Casitas walkway

Ranchos below

Last edited by tinkerbellmagic; 08-15-2007 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:44 PM   #7
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a great start to your review! I am looking forward to the next installments!!
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:46 PM   #8
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I love your report so far! I'll be staying at CSR in a couple of weeks on a mother/daughter/granddaughter trip. It looks beautiful!
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:47 PM   #9
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Welcome home, glad to hear you had a great time! So did we! can't wait to see the rest of it!
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:14 PM   #10
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Thanks for the report. We are anxiously awaiting our arrival at CSR on September 1.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:32 PM   #11
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WOW! That's a review!! Glad you enjoyed your stay!
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:57 PM   #12
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we have stayed at CSR 3 times and love it there... your pictures are beautiful as is the resort
1963-1999 Disneyland... Too many to list /Feb 2003 WDW All Star Sports- (Honeymoon- 1st WDW trip) / Jan 2004 WDW CSR (1st Anniversary)/ Aug 2004 Disneyland (Home-Sweet-Home) / Aug 2005 WDW CSR & POR / Dec 2005 CBR (MVMCP)/March 2006 WDW CSR (Braves / Dodgers) / April 2006 POR (Daughters 21st Birthday)Dec 2007 WDW ASMusic & Villas @WL (My Birthday & Our 5th Anniversary & 2 MVMCP)
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:11 PM   #13
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Welcome back! I'm glad you enjoyed your stay! From your pictures (and Buzz's pictures) the CSR looks nicer then I thought it was...

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Old 08-14-2007, 08:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by eeyoresnr View Post
we have stayed at CSR 3 times and love it there... your pictures are beautiful as is the resort
Thank you for all the compliments. The photos were taken with a new camera. I was not sure how it would behave, so wasn't sure how the night photos would turn out.

I wish I was at CSR right now... walking our well worn path to the ice machine.. and the Casitas walkway to El Centro... and the path along the lake...


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Old 08-14-2007, 08:38 PM   #15
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I was thinking about changing my November ressie at CSR to a deluxe if some good AP rates come out, but after reading your review, I think I will stay put. We've stayed there several times and I always forget how beautiful it is!
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