I did kinda know that, so it wasn’t a big surprise. But still just a tiny bit disappointing in the sense that you have to get that version to have the cooler looking square cup. Oh well.
I’ll add here that the droid we had shipped home directly from HS arrived today, so it took 7 total days (or 5 business days) and I think about $12 for standard ground from HS to Wisconsin.
It was a good option to have since we flew AA and didn’t have any paid checked bags. Space was tight.
I love the final thoughts/wrap up parts of trip reports as much as the live reporting. The live reporting gives your immediate on-the-fly reaction, and the wrap-up gives your digested and more reflective considerations. Can’t wait to hear about the resorts!
Overdue in wrapping this up.
Coronado Springs Resort
Appearance, Ambiance, and Room Location:
Pulling up on DME and first seeing GDT illuminated just after dusk was a moment paralyzed in time that will never escape my memory. It spoke to me, “Welcome home.” Gone were the ponderous tribulations of the travel day; they had succumbed to this glorious new reality that I truly was back inside the Most Magical Place on Earth.
The tower’s daunting beauty and the accessible elegance of the entire grounds were breathtaking. Some have likened the tower’s appearance to a Las Vegas strip casino, and while I do see some veiled resemblance to the Bellagio, it is a matter of coincidence, and the tower actually is sufficiently unique.
With a party of 5, two rooms were needed, and connecting rooms in Casitas were requested due to the first bus pickup and dropoff for parks there. With a very limited number of connecting rooms, however, we were given connecting rooms in Ranchos, directly across the lagoon from the tower, and containing the second bus stop. The rooms themselves were lovely and plenty spacious enough for 3 in one and 2 in the other. The mattresses were quite comfortable and reminded me of Pop Century, although I’m not sure if they are the same. I can say that when I was trying to sleep, I slept well. The Ranchos buildings are thoughtfully designed with walking corridors between and through them that created a feel that reminded me of the intimacy of Old San Juan. Ranchos was additionally set up nicely for a short walk to the Dig Site pool area.
The Dig Site Pool has been highly acclaimed on the forums by several of us, and I will add another voice to share in that assessment. The theming is more than adequate to create the ambiance of a secret and forbidden fountain of youth amidst ancient Aztec ruins, similarly to the feel of a Mayan temple at Atlantis in Nassau. The size of the pool, on the evening I visited anyway, was plenty spacious and proportional to the vastness of the resort itself. The Jaguar slide, while small and simple, was an appreciated extra touch. The largest hot tub in WDW was understandably in high demand on the chilly night I was there.
The first negative with Ranchos, of course, is the proximity to the tower and lobby. The resort is HUGE. The bridges over the water help to abbreviate the walk, but it is still a hike from one side to the other. This was mitigated by only needing to get back to the tower one more time upon checkout and bag dropoff.
The paramount issue I had with the resort overall was the shortage of seating at Three Bridges, leading to laborious wait times on the walk-up list. Given our agenda, this took eating there out of play. Not only are ADR’s not given, but joining the walk-up list is impossible until physically on the CSR grounds. I attempted repeatedly on the DME ride. When in range, the wait was approximately 90 minutes for 5 people, and being hungry from travel and already past 8pm, we needed something faster and settled for El Mercado. Being a Saturday night connecting two Spring Break weeks probably inflated the wait time further. Eating at Three Bridges during a busy time would have worked much better in almost any other scenario besides the one I attempted, when able to get onto the wait list at the right time.
CSR is a beautiful resort, and one worth spending some time in, including a non-park day or two. It is not as ideal for a fast-paced always-on-the-go experience. Getting the full value of this location means having some time to soak in the elegant and serene theming. I did not have time to visit any lounges in the tower, but they look vibrant and adventurous, and I certainly would have stopped in with more time.
I’ve already mentioned it, but being aware of the bus stops and schedule is key for rope dropping from here. Park pick up is Casitas-Ranchos-Cabanas-GDT. At a later stop, you risk the bus being full and having to wait for another one. Either stay in a section based on the bus stop or be willing to allow more time and steps to walk to a further away bus stop to help your odds. Just like other resorts, the first bus at the first stop is around 75 minutes before posted park opening, as buses tended to arrive at Ranchos about 70 minutes before, having already been to Casitas.
CSR is in its own sub-bubble within the bubble with nothing really adjacent to it, but it’s very central for short bus rides to AK, BB, EP, and HS with only a slightly longer trek to MK (10 min).
I honestly don’t think I’d pick CSR without the great Hotwire deal, but I’m glad it worked out that way. I love to experience new resorts, and the price paid was easily worth it on the whole. I would consider the non-tower areas again only with another Hotwire deal, and would also like to stay in the tower at some point. A quantitative score is probably unfair, as I haven’t stayed onsite enough yet, but I would describe it as a more adult, peaceful, and higher quality Pop Century.
(Yacht Club and parting thoughts to come)
ummmm, I remember a lot of complaints about checking mattress tags Just go here: Disney® Pillow Top (beautyrestguestpurchase.com)
$1000 off…yikes. Might be time to switch some of the mattresses around in the Bubblez household.
I was a bit surprised at the price too, paid close to that for our guest rooms. I wish I had checked here first… oh well My DDs have been very happy with the guest beds these past 2 weeks.
I had trouble finding the final answer about which mattresses are used where. There is a site that supposedly allows you to buy the same mattresses found at various Disney resorts, but in practice what I found didn’t match that site. And, in fact I found out that Disney has changed mattress suppliers over the years so what you sleep on in one room might not match what is in another room unless you explicitly check. So what @Randall1028 found for me isn’t necessarily the same as what we slept on.
This is frustrating since many other hotels will explicitly list where you can buy the same mattress or pillows.
I am left unsure what mattress we slept on in Pop. Loved the mattress in Pop. At BLT and Boardwalk, however, the mattresses weren’t as comfortable as the one from Pop. They were fine, but not the same.
I have since given up.
Man, I just don’t know how you can sleep at night…
Hehe. I know. It is a hard life.
Actually, reason I wanted to find out is because both my wife and myself loved the mattress at Pop, and our mattress at home is really nearing end of life. Picking a perfect mattress is no small chore, so so thought I would have the solution by simply finding out what mattress is at Pop.
Finding a good mattress is an awful chore. We like our Casper.
Last planned post of this report. 9 days after getting home, sorry for the procrastination. Work has made me pay for leaving.
Atmosphere and location:
A few factors led us to try this place out over others.
- Location for EP and HS
- 5 people, with the need for the daybed to comfortably hold my adult 6’2 stepson (these conditions really seemed to limit our options without paying a lot more for a suite somewhere or two rooms)
- My wife’s aunt used to go to WDW twice a year and always stayed at YC and gave a good recommendation
- My kids are at an age where they don’t need or even want any over the top Disney theming in the room or resort.
- SAB, which got me to change plans to fit in a whole pool day.
- 35% off Disney discount.
I went through a long process of finalizing where we would stay. I kept thinking about how much we could save by just staying offsite vs YC with the discount. But then I thought, if not now for YC at a steep discount, then when? I know it’s expensive to get that bubble feel, but we like it. Obviously the location of YC is beautiful with the view of BW across the water. The mature atmosphere suited our family well. It’s a bit gray and serious to the brighter more colorful BC, but I like the two versions of classy that they offer.
We requested a room facing BC and SAB, and from the balcony would have been able to look right and see Crescent Lake (paid for Garden View), but it didn’t happen. We got the bus stop side of the resort with a view of treetops. It was totally fine, and I’m not much of a view snob or I would have paid for water view. YC is not that big, and we had a short walk to the lobby and pretty much anywhere we needed to go in the resort. We were close to a stairwell on the corner of the building that was much faster than walking to the elevators and possibly waiting for one. The room was spacious and the full balcony was great. But 5 people gets a little tight, and kind of annoying with no housekeeping, but that’s not unique to YC. The beds were a little different than CSR but very comfortable. I was so tired every night I could have slept well on concrete.
I have not seen most of the WDW pools, but I can see why this is almost unanimously considered the best. I love the layout with the separate swimming areas, the lazy river that goes under the bridges, the slide. There is an adults only hot tub close to the resort building that is really peaceful and hidden away, in addition to another hot tub in the open. Crowd-wise, it’s hard to say what to expect, as our day in there was fairly cool. But overall, it was pretty dead at 11 or 12, and slowly got busier throughout the afternoon. By late afternoon, it may have been close to capacity but not sure.
The cabana was lots of fun. I liked having our own attendant who got us anything we needed. I mentioned they messed up and booked me for a cabana at the Contempo, but there were still a couple open SAB ones, so it wasn’t an issue. I was told it was like a $5 difference and they would refund my gift card the whole cost before recharging it for the right amount. PIXIE DUST! They put the money back on but never recharged me, so free cabana instead of whatever it was, like $260. I would have tipped the attendant more than what I did had I known that would happen at the time. It was probably a mistake, but I’ll convince myself it was Disney magic. Even if paying for it, the cabana is worth it to have some cozy privacy to quickly access right at the pool. The padded beach chairs and furniture are comfy, and you can close all the sides if you want, if someone needs to change etc without going to the bathroom. TV, ceiling fan, BT speaker, fruit tray, unlimited soda/water. Something you should try once if you have the chance. Don’t count on it being available in the warmer months though, so call right at 60.
Used the laundry by the quiet pool, and there were not many units, and only about half of them seemed to work. Luckily someone else was there when I arrived and she said which ones to avoid. Even so, a dryer that was supposed to work didnt, and I had to wait an extra hour.
Bell services was outstanding here. Both getting our stuff from CSR and then holding our stuff on checkout day before coming back for it went smoothly.
I would probably try out other deluxes before returning to YC, like any of the MK ones especially, when Poly is refurbed and Epcot monorail is running. I think with 35% off at around $440/night, it was a good deal overall for the atmosphere and convenience it got us. Overall happy with the experience there.
Final thoughts on trip
Side note: For our 2 nights in a Clearwater resort after WDW, I got a great Hotwire deal for about $150/night for a suite that was otherwise about 380. JJT’s methods are transferrable to other locales.
I feel GREAT about this trip. It was everything and more. Words cannot express it. So many things went well, and that’s why we all plan the way we do here. I wish I could thank everyone on here personally who contributed in some way to getting the absolute most out of this trip. I thought I would feel somewhat of a post-partum depression and want to go right back after all that planning and that now it’s done, but I don’t. It’s like I watched a great movie a few months ago, watched it again now with the whole family, and now I can just appreciate the experience and the imprint it left without the urgency to watch it again for awhile. As much as I’d love to go several times a year, I’m too far away (and flight rates are going back to normal) and don’t have the vacation budget for that. There’s a chance my wife and I go near the end of the year again, but it’s more likely we don’t go back until Guardians and Tron are open along with the full traditional park experience AND crowds are not too crazy with everyone who delayed trips this whole time, so who knows. There are lots of other places we want to go in the meantime and may want to add DLR or a Disney cruise before a WDW return. We’ll see what the future brings.
I’m done for awhile, but I feel so much camaraderie here as a liner that overthinks and optimizes everything, and am genuinely ecstatic to see others’ trips come to fruition after all their planning. I’ll be here cheering you all on.
Thanks so much for the great trip report, all of the photos, observations and recommendations. So glad you and your family had a great time!
I have really appreciated your insights and am so glad it was a great trip!!!