Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Running around the World: Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

I think this is as good a time as any to talk about how much I love Coronado Springs.

My mom stayed at Coronado for a conference, and we had an amazing time. I had just started working at All Star during her visit, so I was so happy to have a familiar face around while I adjusted to new faces, a new title, and new work environment. Instead of using my Cast Member discount, she used a discount rate through her conference, which included access to the business lounge (the closest thing to a concierge lounge at a Moderate Resort). We had a room with 2 queen beds in the Cabana section, which was one of the closer buildings. I could go on and on about the business lounge, but I think I will save that for another post.

Coronado Springs was one resort at which neither my mom nor I had ever stayed. So of course while we were there, we just HAD to test it out as a new jogging destination. The resort has a similar layout to Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. There is a lake in the middle with guest buildings and pool facilities surrounding it. They used to have a marina for the lake and boats to rent, but it is such a small body of water that they do not provide that anymore. But you can still see "La Marina."

On to the Running the World Ratings!
Run-ability: 3/5
This is not your run if you are looking for shade. Of course this is the truth with most of the Disney runs, but at Coronado there really is no shade whatsoever. There is a slight incline when you run past the casitas, otherwise this is a very flat run.

Ease of access: 5/5
You can park at Coronado Springs with little issues. They may close off the visitor parking for busy times, but I have never witnessed that. I usually parked in the area in front of the Convention Center, as long as there was no events going on. Other options would be parking at Blizzard Beach and walking over. Or parking at any theme park or Downtown Disney and then taking a bus over. But those last 2 really should not be necessary.

Distance: 5/5 *with options for a longer run!
The loop around the lake is a little over a mile. There are also sidewalks in the front of the resort around another pond. If you wanted to you could run from Coronado Springs to All Star and back. That was my favorite run when I need distance, like when I was training for a half marathon. It was at least 5 miles running there and back and I could always do an extra loop at Coronado if I needed more mileage.

Scenery: 5/5
I find the scenery breathtaking at Coronado Springs. From one vantage point, you can see Expedition Everest looming in the distance. From the opposite side you can see the tops of the Swan and Dolphin buildings. How fun :) I also view Coronado Springs as the resort equivalent of the Mexico pavilion in Epcot. Minus the Tequila Cave (sorry, Rix Lounge, you just don't count). How cute are the Three Caballeros??

Facilities: 4/5
I usually used the bathroom by the Convention Center because it was convenient for me; however, it does require going inside the building away from your run. There are 2 quick service food options at Coronado. One includes gelato!

There are several pools at Coronado, similar to Caribbean Beach. The main pool is the Dig Site, and it has the largest hot tub on Disney property! This is important information for recreation buffs like me. Do with it what you will.

*Pool hopping is prohibited at the Disney Resorts.

Overall Score & Thoughts: 4.4/5 glass slippers
I am quite partial to the run at Coronado Springs. A huge factor for me is the convenience. I could go right after work from All Star, but I also would go on my days off, if I needed a distance run. I like the serenity and laid back feel of Coronado. It is a convention hotel, so usually there are less families with children (depending on the season). After an exhausting run I could get a drink from the pool bar and just kind of enjoy the area. They have hammocks, which are a huge plus!

Have you ever stayed at Disney Coronado Springs Resort? Let me know in the comments. And let me know where you run at the Walt Disney World Resort!

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