That’s me, the Scorcese of hotel room tour videos! You know, just with fewer brutal gangland murders, epically long tracking shots and Rolling Stones cues.
But I don’t know what to tell you – I really like putting together these room tour videos, everything from the filming to the editing to the nitpicky little adjustments that have to be made before it can see the light of streaming day.
And I positively LOVE getting the opportunity to stay in these fabulously themed Disney resorts. I’ve always been a little enchanted by the Disney hotels. We all know the biggies across from the Magic Kingdom, the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian and the A-frame Contemporary. These resorts have been there since I was a kid (and in the case of the Polynesian and the Contemporary, there since my parents were just kids themselves, vacationing at the brand new World of Disney in Orlando, Florida in 1971.) I can’t have been more than three years old, but I remember my parents taking me over to the Polynesian during the blazing heat of a July afternoon for a fortifying nap. Before conking out with my head on my dad’s lap, I remember thinking of the palm tree-shrouded pool, “That pool is awesome and I want in there with all those kids!”
Polynesian prices being what they are (A LOT) we’ve never stayed there, even though it remains a pretty major item on my Disney accommodations bucket list. One day, gigantic passholder discount willing.
But for now we’re quite content to work our way through the moderate resorts that also occupy space on our bucket list, like the Port Orleans French Quarter, where we recently stayed. This is one that I’ve wanted to stay at since it was built over 20 years ago, and I’m delighted that it lived up to my admittedly pretty high expectations (that’s what happens when you dream about something for two decades!)
And our room was lovely, so I filmed a video of that for our YouTube channel, Park or Perish! I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed filming it, and also getting the opportunity to stay at the French Quarter. 🙂
We just returned home from an awesome long weekend trip to Disney World, during which we stayed on property at the Coronado Springs Resort – quite fitting, given that it was hotter in Orlando, Florida last weekend than I think it ever was in the actual Mayan Riviera! Floridian friends, I know you have acclimated to a lifetime of heat, sun and humidity in the same way that I have acclimated to a lifetime of cold, snow and freezing rain, but I DO NOT know how you do it. Mr. Finger Candy and I just wilted like a couple of pansies – and by that I really do mean the flowers; a near constant intake of water is all that kept us upright!
Coronado Springs’ reputation has – unfairly, I’d say – been somewhat tarnished on account of the great deal of construction being undertaken on the property at the moment. There’s a large, multi-unit tower being built on the west side of the property, as well as a vast amount of landscaping work. Given that razed flower beds and 15 stories’ worth of exposed rebar are the very first sights that greet you upon arriving at the resort, I can understand some of the dissatisfaction with the state of the place.
But with the construction mostly confined to the front-most edge of the property, and only during reasonable daylight hours (during which we were never there), I didn’t find the ongoing renovations to the resort to be that obtrusive. Besides, you don’t stay in the lobby of a hotel, a fun little accommodations fallacy Disney has disproved time and time again – it’s the rare hotelier that has rooms just as nicely appointed as its lobby. Though if you were looking to bunk down in a public lobby, you could do worse than Coronado Springs’. Please note the not-so hidden Mickey projected on the back wall of the reception area. 🙂
The property itself was gorgeous, laid out very much like another favourite moderate resort, the Port Orleans Riverside, and also like the Riverside, it was very, very quiet. On our walk to the main Dig Site pool one evening, we had a mile-long stretch of meandering, lantern-lit path all to ourselves, with not another soul in sight.
Of course, that’s because everybody else was at the Dig Site, an incredible resort pool (one of the best ones across the entirety of the Walt Disney World Resort) that we visited one evening. The big Mayan pyramid is the Dig Site’s main showpiece, but there’s also a sweet little waterslide off to one side, a spa, a playground, lots of lounge chairs, Siesta’s, one of three on-property pool bars, and, present company excluded, many, many hard bodies. I guess if you’ve got it, flaunt it, right?
Not one of those hard bodies. 😉 Or sorry, did you say HOT bodies? Because he definitely was one of those! Did you know the tops of your kneecaps can sweat? Well, now you do! However, in Florida’s defence, Mr. Finger Candy is sitting by the pool in a long-sleeved sun shirt, cotton work shirt, full pants and leather high top sneakers, and I spent three days bombing around in all black, so really, who are the dummies now?!
Of our actual room, I completely spaced and took virtually no photos – a true shame, as we were given one of the newly refurbished rooms, and it was lovely – spic and span, up to date and very, very comfy, a wonderful place to call home for three nights. Show of hands if you also like sprawling out in front of Resort TV at the end of a long park day!
I did, however, take the time to film a quick room tour for our YouTube channel when we first arrived, and you can find that video below.
For all the talk of the disruption the construction has caused, I found it to be just that – all talk. I suppose if your Disney experience is hanging out at your resort all day long, you would find Coronado Springs justifiably lacking – not sure how happy I’d be having my relaxing pool day scored by a symphony of jittering jackhammers and reversing backhoes. But if you’re park-bound for most, if not all, of the day, then Coronado Springs – particularly with its slightly discounted, “Pardon our pixie dust” prices – is just the resort you’re looking for. And not for nothing, but all of the usuals are present and accounted for here – a great restaurant in the Maya Grill, a fulsome food court, a cute gift shop in Panchito’s, and a great breakfast joint in Rix, the sports bar-turned-restaurant where we enjoyed an amazing end-of-vacation feast of Huevos Divorciados (that’s Spanish for heaps of Mexican breakfast yumminess on a bed of cheese quesadillas.)
Coronado Springs is also home to a rather splishy convention center. We whiled away an hour or so there as we waited for the Magic Express to not-so-magically return us to the Orlando International Airport and 10 solid hours of travel. Holy cats, what a gorgeous facility! The carpet was utterly mesmerizing, as was the fact that that salon I’m dancing in? Is Salon L. Which suggests there are Salons A through K, which are presumably just as large and grand as L. And there are more salons beyond L! The place goes on FOREVER. I couldn’t stop contemplating the incredible (and incredibly large) wedding you could throw in one of those ballrooms. And then I danced around a bit more. 😉
The only nit I have to pick about our stay at Coronado Springs – indeed, it was THE nit to pick with regards to virtually all of our Disney interactions – was that during check-in we were really held at the mercy of some seriously misbehaving tech. It’s no fun feeling like you’re missing out on the fun because you’ve been stuck in a line-up merely trying to reach the fun for 40 straight minutes. Regrettably, this bad tech juju followed us straight to the parks, where our annual passes were failing to register (did I mention we became annual passholders?!), as were our PhotoPass privileges. To paraphrase my new friend Peter Pan, I’m not that good at math, but even I know there’s nothing that screams vacation fun quite like account management and administration. 😉
All in all, though, we loved staying at Coronado Springs, and I think we’d go back regardless of whether the construction had ceased or not – given how we vacation, it barely impacted our stay at all, and our experience was a great one overall. Happiness is an awesome stay at a Disney resort. Looking forward to our next one.