Yea! I finally got all our Disney pictures edited and uploaded to Flickr, so it's time to kick back into gear with my reviews, starting first with our resort. This is the first review I've done in quite a while, but all of them can be found on my Reviews page HERE. In lieu of describing all the differences between resort levels (yet again), please see my Wilderness Lodge post HERE. Oh, and this will probably be the longest and picture-heavy post I've done in a while, so prepare yourself!
Of the three (although technically four) Disney moderate resorts, Coronado Springs was the only one we hadn't stayed in yet. It's a convention resort and a bit higher priced than the other mods although the benefits are the same except for the added bonus of convention areas and a business center. It is divided into three "villages" which surround a lake, the Casitas, Rancheros, and Cabanas and a main El Centro building. It's set up very similar to Caribbean Beach resort, just smaller.
We encountered our first "issue" on arrival. Our car service dropped us off and bell services were right at the car ASAP as would normally be expected. We told them we would need a luggage cart and someone wisked off to get us one. But it's when he came back that the problems started. Normally, they load our bags, take them to storage, we tip them (quite well, I might add), and then we check in. If our room is ready, then we call bell services to bring our bags up, tip again (well), and we're done and if they aren't, then we call once we get our room. This bell guy brought us the cart, said "here you go" and walked off...something that has never happened to us before.
OK, well, we are able-bodied females, so we loaded the cart and then pushed it inside to the bell services desk to check them in ourselves. We no sooner got through the lobby doors until a cast member came running over practically screaming, "YOU CAN'T BRING THAT IN HERE! HOW DID YOU GET THAT? NO!". We're both shocked that the guy was yelling, but my Sister managed enough composure to explain we were just left the cart to fend for ourselves. The Cast Member had the gall to insinuate that we were making it up, but my Sister stood firm, they took the cart and so went negative mark #1.
We were both shaken (something usually only I deal with), but we wandered into the lobby to check in:
And despite its beauty, this is where negative mark #2 happened. The Cast Member checking us in had NO CLUE what she was doing. We barely made it through the check-in process and if we hadn't been seasoned vets, we would have totally been screwed. We asked for the location to our room and she showed us on the map (something we would come to later realize was the absolute longest and worst way to get to our room). She insisted that my Sister could renew her annual pass at the concierge desk (something we both knew was wrong, but decided to brave the line anyway just in case...our initial theory turned out to be right and we wasted time). I wish I could say that it was the only time we dealt with a bad CM at Coronado Springs, but it would only be the first of many.
By that point, we managed to get a cart-ride to our room (which is how we found out the check-in CM was totally wrong), but I can't remember how that happened because I was popping Xanax like Pez by that point:
I was a bit nervous walking up to our room (for reference, I prefer upper floors and typically book as high as possible), especially after passing the noisiest air conditioning unit I've ever heard in my life.
We couldn't speak to each other on the stairs, you couldn't hear over the noise, but luckily, our room was on the other side of the building and we couldn't hear them at our room. We were on the lake side of the building:
and it was really peaceful on that side:
The inside was exactly what one would expect in a Disney moderate:
Only one sink, but at least plenty of counter space:
And, of course, the requisite Hidden Mickeys scattered throughout:
At least the room was decent...sort of. No matter the level of Disney resort, one thing you can pretty much count on is that the beds are going to be amazingly comfortable (and the deluxe resort beds are so amazing, you'd swear you'd died and gone to heaven). These mattresses were HORRIBLE! If you sat on the end of the bed, the entire bed would tip to the corner and, despite its thickness, you still felt like you were laying on a camping cot with a two inch mattress and wire springs underneath. That was a shock to both of us and we both ended up with sore backs by the end of the trip. Negative mark #3.
Then there was the matter of mousekeeping (Disney's version of housekeeping). A couple of years ago, Disney outsourced their housekeeping to an outside company and service has gone downhill ever since, no matter the level of resort, so we were expecting it to some extent. After our first night, my flip flops stained my feet and I ended up leaving a black foot print in the bottom of the tub. This footprint stayed there the entire length of our trip. I debated cleaning it after the first day, but after a couple of days, it became a running joke (I'm just kicking myself for not taking a daily picture of it). Mark #4.
When it came to toiletries, I usually take the very first set and bag them up for my "Disney memories box". Sometimes we use the other days, sometimes I keep some of them too, but it's always one of those things that are refreshed everyday. Ours were never refreshed. After a couple of days, I left a note asking for new ones with an extra tip (we leave mousekeeping a tip every single day anyway, but I thought maybe the extra would help). Instead, they leave me a big bag of just the hand and body soap. I tried for numerous days to give it back...I put it under the mousekeeping envelope on my pillow, I left it on the sink, in the sink, on the back of the toilet, on the top of the TV stand, but they NEVER touched it. Needless to say, I ended up bringing it home and, even after giving them away like mad, I still have about half a bag. Mark #5.
The ice bucket, which I use everyday, was never emptied, no new bag was ever put in, and the glasses were never replaced. Another really sore spot with me. Mark #6
Granted, our beds were made and our towels were replaced every single day, but that was ALL that was done. No vacuuming, no wiping down surfaces, no restocking, no nothing. Just for fun, I would booby-trap certain areas just to see if they would get touched and nope, not once!
On the positive side, the resort was beautiful and quiet:
We ate at the food court multiple times:
As well as one of the restaurants (Maya Grill, but that is a review for another day). Panchito's, the gift shop in the main building, was quite nice:
We also had an amazing experience at the business center with shipping our boxes back. Very nice guys! We have often found that at convention resorts, conventioneers often tend to be as rowdy as unruly children (just with alcohol involved), but we rarely encountered anyone causing trouble or acting up.
But other than that, it is a very safe assumption that we will NEVER be staying here again. It was beautiful and theming is always one of the important points for me, but there were so many negative aspects to this resort, not even its beauty could save it. Usually, at a bad resort, I can always hide in the room, but we both dreaded going back to those rock-beds and dirty bathrooms every single night.
At least I can say I've now stayed in every single Disney Moderate Resort, so check-list complete! Now I just have to finish the Deluxes and Values.