On our last trip, we did a split stay wanting to experience two different Disney Resort hotels. My family has their favorites, so we often find ourselves returning to the same hotels over and over! However, as a Disney Travel Planner I think it\’s important to have experience at as many hotels as possible. Since I was traveling with another Disney Travel Planner, we decided to try two \”new to us\” hotels– the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs and Riviera Resort.
While I expected to love Riviera Resort, what I didn\’t expect was how much I would love Gran Destino Tower! Technically it is a Moderate Resort although it\’s the only Moderate with a Convention Center. During normal times, it\’s often more occupied by conference goers than Disney park guests; during Covid times, it was strictly guests.
When Disney renovated Coronado Springs and built Gran Destino a few years ago, they added some great features to the resort and moved the check in location from a stand alone building to the lobby of Gran Destino. Right from the beginning, the resort will wow you!
Standing 15 stories tall, the tower feels impressive! Once you get inside the lobby, it\’s even more so! Unlike the original Southwestern and Spanish feel of Coronado Springs, Gran Destino just says luxury from the pillars to the lighting.
The rooms are either standard view rooms or lake view rooms, but both are lovely. From our room, we could see Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom in the distance. From the rooftop lounge and restaurant, you can see Epcot and Hollywood Studios in the distance.
The rooms are quite nice as well. Two queen beds were in the room–both raised off the floor to allow for luggage storage underneath. There was plenty of drawer space and outlets, a nice lighted closet, and one chair with a small side table.
The bathroom was well apportioned with two sinks and the shower in the main space and the toilet in its own attached room with a door. Two possible negatives with the bathroom: 1. There is no bathtub. That might be problematic for families with little ones. 2. The shower doors are clear meaning anyone in the bathroom area can see you naked! Perhaps that\’s not ideal for families with teenagers! Other than that, the bathroom was a wonderful space. It even had nice toiletries that you typically only find at a Deluxe Resort.
We were disappointed that the rooftop restaurant, Toledo, hadn\’t reopened yet because it got great reviews. However, we did enjoy appetizers and drinks at Three Bridges Bar & Grill, a beautiful open air restaurant located in the middle of Villa de Lago lake, and breakfast at Rix Sports Bar & Grill.
Truly the only negative we found at Gran Destino was the transportation to the parks, and I feel like we just had an unusual experience. The first day we waited almost an hour for a bus to Magic Kingdom. By the time the bus arrived, there was a huge group gathered waiting. Because we had arrived so early, we were the third party on the busy, but we still didn\’t make it to Magic Kingdom before the park opened. The next day we headed to Animal Kingdom; while we didn\’t wait quite as long, it was still a wait before the bus arrived. The app didn\’t have any bus information on it and neither did the electronic sign at the bus stop. However, leaving Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, we got right on a bus without any wait. If we stayed here again, I might be more inclined to use Uber if the waits were that long.
I highly recommend Gran Destino. I would absolutely stay there again and would take my family!