Since the opening of Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, it’s been wondered what the future would hold for the former lobby located at El Centro, seeing as though all check-in services had been moved to the newly-opened resort tower.
For years, this impressive large hallway served as the hub for Guest Services, Check-In, and Reservations for Coronado Springs, but now it is mainly used as additional concierge space whenever a large convention is taking place. In an effort to add some more welcoming touches to the former lobby space, Coronado Springs has added a number of brightly-colored seating areas, complete with charging ports for guests. Let’s head on in and check it out for ourselves:
It’s odd seeing this once-bustling space now practically deserted, but that’s because guests mainly utilize this corridor to reach the indoor walkway that leads to Gran Destino Tower, or otherwise use the space to hang out before catching Magical Express transportation (or Minnie Vans) to the airport.
Thankfully, the curios holding a variety of mesoamerican artifacts and antiquities are still intact. (Cue the sigh of relief from this former anthropologist.) Off to one side, you’ll see the first set of winged teal chairs. The two chairs sandwich a middle table with a built-in charging port.
A closer look at the space towards the back end corridor. A hidden Mickey is projected onto the arched ceiling walls by way of lighting the Coronado Springs crest. Off to the right side, you’ll see that the impressive hand painted murals depicting life in colonial Southwest America are still thankfully intact.
A closer look at the tufted teal chairs. The carpeted sections beneath them may look new, but they’re part of the old lobby design. A dark wooden table with two shelves sits in between the two chairs, and if you look closely at the bottom shelf, there’s two electrical sockets and two USB ports for charging your devices.
A set of long orange couches with a large wooden table were also added.
There’s additional seating along the back end, and thankfully they also kept all of the traditional artwork and decor here, as well.
If you’re familiar with the lobby as it was before, the middle section in between those two large windows was actually another window. It was removed to make way for the addition of the indoor covered walkway that leads to Gran Destino.
Some additional signage here, like a marquee over the doorway, would be nice. Also, I’m sure it must be part of code compliance, but those fire doors have always been a huge eyesore. In any case, the walkway serves a mainly utilitarian purpose in linking both parts of the resort together, as guests checking into Gran Destino have no need to leave the amenity-packed Tower. It’s essentially a courtesy for guests staying in older sections of the resort who wish to walk over to Gran Destino. (Or the occasional Gran Destino guest who just really wants some sloppy quick service nachos from El Mercado.)
A Resort Guide is also available for guests to pick up. It of course features Gran Destino Tower on the front cover (Are we really just going to forget that the rest of Coronado Springs exists?) as well as a welcome note from the resort’s general manager, and listings of all the amenities, restaurants, and activities that are available.
In case you didn’t know, the resort features a Nature Walk across the Rio Dorado and hosts a variety of fitness classes, like yoga outside on Gran Destino Plaza. And yes, the resort does have its very own spa called La Vida Health Club. You can check out our full tour of the facility here.
Dining options include Dahlia Lounge, Barcelona Lounge, and Toledo – Tapas, Steaks & Seafood over on the Tower side, plus Three Bridges and all of the resort’s classic eateries. There’s a fun blurb on the resort’s head chef, too.
If you’re curious to learn more about the new Gran Destino Tower, you can check out our in-depth review and tour here. We also had a chance to experience the Tower’s new Club Level concept, the Chronos Club. Of course, not to be overlooked is the existing splendor of Coronado Springs’ older resort areas. During non-convention times, I’ve even been lucky enough to receive upgrades to a King Junior Suite over in the Casitas section of the resort, so if you’re looking to book this moderate resort at even the lowest price available, you won’t be disappointed. (Okay, maybe if you end up at Ranchos, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
What do you think of the new seating areas in the former El Centro lobby? Should this area be repurposed into a food and beverage concept, or stay as an awkward, desolate lounge space? I’m fine with whatever… as long as they leave the murals.