on April 21, 2006
The unexpected first choice among the moderate resorts for travelers with disabilities, often overlooked because of its rep as a “convention” resort.True that, but the convention center provides advantages to the leisure traveler: Coronado Springs has the most services, most amenities, and most recreation of all the moderate reports at WDW.Coronado and Port Orleans Riverside are the only ones with sit-down restaurants, and Coronado’s wins easily. For example, “Maya” has the same filet mignon that you would get at the Wilderness Lodge’s Artists Pointe restaurant, but for $26 instead of $32 (as of this writing). Although not as thoroughly themed as the places at the Deluxe resorts, it has food and service every bit as good.Coronado’s food court is the biggest, best, and most varied of the moderate resorts. In keeping with the resort’s theme, you will find Tex/Mex aplenty, but also ample other options.Handicapped people may be deterred by how spread out the resort is, with buildings surrounding a largish lake. Not to worry. Just get into one of the buildings near the central area and you will be fine. Preferably, get into buildings 9A or 9B, and ask for near the elevator on the second floor facing AWAY from the lake. You will have a sweet view of a quiet pond, easy access to the wonderfully themed pool, and the shortest route to the lobby, the food, and a bus stop (look for the shortcut that bypasses the lobby). The buildings on the other side of the central area have covered walkways to the lobby/restaurants, but they are a multi-story rat maze. I got lost repeatedly. No cheese for me! Not to mention the often-noisy party courtyard for conventioneers. (These buildings are where they tend to house the conventioneers.)Handicapped parking is typical of the moderate resorts. That is, scattered all over the place, consistent with the way the lodging buildings are spread out around the lake. So it is more convenient than at Deluxe resorts, which tend to have one central handicapped parking area (see the major exception in my review of Animal Kingdom Lodge).Bus transport is fine, with stops convenient to all rooms. Unlike most of the Deluxe resorts, the bus stops are level with the lodging areas – no downhill routes. Go figure. Don’t overlook the bus stop at the convention center. It might be your best bet and usually has fewer people waiting (bonus: in hot weather, you can wait indoors and watch for the bus in air-conditioned comfort). Coronado does not share bus service with any other resort, an advantage over the Deluxe resorts in the Magic Kingdom area (Grand FL, Polynesian and Contemporary share a bus route, which is criminal considering what you pay for lodging there). Another advantage of having the conventioneers for neighbors: they do not compete with vacationers for seats on the buses!
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