The Coronado Springs Cabanas are “History” Already?! [Poll]

Wow!  So, this is where all the action is going to happen?  Coronado’s Cabanas are already on their way out!  Can it be?

My friends, you saw my fears, regret, sadness, and overall opinion in …

The Re-Imagineering of Coronado Springs? An Opinion.

Frankly, I am alarmed to see that it is happening so fast!  What am I talking about?  Well, credit goes out to blogmickey.com.  Follow them!  Very good site!

In “Coronado Springs Cabana Demolition”, they lay it out in pictures!  The walls are up!  Some of the buildings have been gutted!  Disney does not mess around!

Coronado's Cabanas ... as they once were ...

Coronado’s Cabanas … as they once were …

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If I felt sadness when I wrote my earlier article, it turns out that that angst was mild.  Now, I feel a bit of horror!  Wow.  Already Disney?  The shock of the announcement hasn’t even subsided yet!

For those that don’t know, Coronado Springs was formerly comprised of three sections – Casitas, Ranchos, and Cabanas.

Truthfully, we’ve never been huge fans of either the Cabanas or the Ranchos (having stayed in each only once), but to see the Cabanas get demolished.  Ugh.

Whether in All in WDW’s words or on the WDW Main Street Podcast, you’ll clearly “hear” my distress.  But, how about you, folks?

Does this inevitable progress fill you with endless excitement?  Or, like us, are you shaking your heads with sadness?

Will room prices skyrocket?  Will old favorites – like Laguna Bar – be destroyed?  Will the allure of the tower’s roof-top views be too much to deny?

Let us know your thoughts!

Really? The Re-Imagineering of Coronado Springs? An Opinion …

Over the last few days, a lot of All in WDW’s readers have asked me, “Hey!  You love Coronado Springs, Bob.  What do you think about the big news?”

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What news?  Well, unless ‘real life’ has had you completely covered up, you’ve seen the reports by now.  It’s all over the ‘net!  Coronado is being “re-tooled”!

More Guest Experiences and Dining Options Coming to Disney’s Coronado Springs!

First, let me ‘pat myself on the back’ for a minute.  I somewhat saw this coming.  Want the proof?  Listen back to …

WDW Main Street – Episode #311 – An “Untouchable” Marathon – The WDW Resorts!

Go to the 1 hour and 14 minute mark, my friends, and you’ll get an initial taste of how I’d start to re-imagine Coronado.

Further, go back to my post from last Monday!  In “Two Unheralded Table Services …”, I commented …

“Coronado Springs is currently undergoing a full refurbishment of their guest rooms.  I’m going to sit back and dream a bit.

Might one of their little-known, under-appreciated Table Services – Maya Grill or Las Ventanas – be next?”

Sure, I never dreamed that Disney would “transform [Coronado’s] landscape with floating gardens and an island oasis that connects the resort through a series of bridges.”

Neither did I imagine an “expansion”!  A “new 15-story tower”?  “[R]ooftop dining with panoramic views” of Disney’s fireworks?  Wow!

Back to the original question … what do I think?  It’s simple.  At the same time as I feel excitement, I also feel deep regret.  So many family memories.  And, our beloved Laguna Bar!

Laguna Alive

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I’ve said this many times before … Mrs. All in WDW and I consider Coronado to be a resort with a Deluxe feel at a Moderate price.

Clearly, this transformation is aimed at elevating the resort.  With the major investments that Disney is making, I think it’s fair to expect Coronado’s moderately-priced status to become a thing of the past.

With this in mind, my opinions are this …

  • I fear that the Coronado we’ve long known and loved is about to become a distant, fond afterthought.
  • I fear that our $150 – $200 per night room is going to be transformed, itself, into a $350 – $400 per night room.
  • I fear that our favorite place on property – Laguna Bar – will, too, become a thing of the past.
  • How, exactly, will a 15-story tower fit in with the resort’s “Spanish Colonial” theme?
  • I could go on and on …

My friends, we know that “progress” is inevitable.  The metamorphosis that Disney has laid out is truly exciting.  I can’t wait to see the results.

Yet, I can’t help but be very, very sad.  Oh, it’ll make for a great resort, I’m sure.  However, it won’t be our Coronado Springs.

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Two Unheralded Table Services …

Good morning, my friends!  Welcome to a new and exciting week!  There!  How’s that for enthusiasm?  Actually, do you want to know what I’m really enthusiastic about?  Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort …

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Oh, I know.  My love for Coronado is legendary.  Well, it’s legendary if you’ve been following me for any length of time.  It makes me glad to see others jumping on the bandwagon a bit.

In recent months, my podcast partners – Doug Davis and Dennis Conroy – have either stayed at the resort or enjoyed one of its best amenities – Laguna Bar.

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Plus, on our last visit, in early January, Mrs. All in WDW and I had the pleasure of spending some time with Geekin’ On WDW Podcast’s host (and Coronado guest) – Curtis Stone!

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But, enough about those “legends”.  You want to know what isn’t legendary?  Not even amongst my wife and I?  Coronado’s two Table Service venues – Las Ventanas and Maya Grill.

“Unheralded” might be an understatement, in fact.  Unless you’re staying at the resort, these two establishments might never reach your dining radar.

It’s too bad, to be honest.  They each offer some pretty good options.  And, what are those, you ask?  That’s what we’re going to look at today.  Below, I present a “Menu Update” for them both!

Folks?  First, Las Ventanas …

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Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, their menu is small but satisfying.  For breakfast, I’d choose the Chorizo Skillet.  For lunch or dinner, I’d order the Roasted Corn Chowder and Ventanas Burger.

Las Ventanas is the smaller of Coronado’s two sit-down restaurants.  Open for dinner only, however, Maya Grill is the resort’s other alternative …

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You know me.  When it comes to this menu, I’d be all about the braised Beef Short Ribs.  No question in my mind!

Dennis Conroy often says that some spots – like Polynesian’s ’Ohana – are “destination restaurants”.  I’ve long said that I’d love to see Coronado Springs elevate one of these venues (most likely Maya) to that kind of standing.

Coronado Springs is currently undergoing a full refurbishment of their guest rooms.  I’m going to sit back and dream a bit.  Might one of their little-known, under-appreciated Table Services be next?  Ah, if only …

Menu “Recon”: Las Ventanas [Dinner]!

Still not very well known, Las Ventanas at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is a small and cozy table service option.  Having said that, even we haven’t found time to stop there as yet!

Why not?  Frankly, we just never seem to be able to pass by Coronado’s Laguna Bar.  Well, what can I say, folks?  You already know that I love my seat at Lago Dorado’s waterside refreshment “post”.

My Seat at Laguna

Anyway, I’d be misleading you if I said we’ve never had a meal from Las Ventanas.  Their kitchen, you see, prepares all of Laguna’s hot food!  Especially …

The Laguna Burger! The absolute BEST burger on WDW property!

The Laguna Burger! The absolute BEST burger on WDW property!

When I look at the restaurant’s dinner menu, however, one thing strikes my eye immediately.  Their Ventanas Burger is my Laguna Burger … only better!  Peppercorn Bacon?  Yum!  It definitely gets my vote!

How about you?  If you were to stop by Las Ventanas for dinner, what would you order?  Let us know in the poll below!

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Where’s My Pretzel Dog?!

Continuing our quick break from “Food” & Garden, I’d like to give you an update on one of our favorite WDW destinations – Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort!

You probably caught the news a few weeks ago that Coronado has re-engineered the private dining room once “owned” by Rix Lounge into a breakfast and lunch-serving restaurant.

Take this brief tour of Las Ventanas before you find out what wasn’t well-publicized.

Go down the hall towards Rix Lounge and the resort's convention center.

Go down the hall towards Rix Lounge and the resort’s convention center.

Las Ventanas awaits!

Las Ventanas awaits!

Welcome!

Welcome!

Enter please!

Enter please!

A modest amount of seating.

A modest amount of seating.

You have to wonder if they'll rearrange things to add more seating.

You have to wonder if they’ll rearrange things to add more seating.

Televisions on the wall.

Televisions on the wall.

The Chorizo Skillet sounds fantastic!

The Chorizo Skillet sounds fantastic!

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As do the Crab Cakes!

So, earlier, I said “what wasn’t well-publicized”.  Maybe what I should have said was, “I didn’t remember hearing what impact that the new restaurant’s opening had on Laguna Bar and Cafe Rix!”

You remember my review of Laguna Bar some time back?

One of my favorites on their limited bar menu was their 1/4 Pound Hot Dog on a Hot Pretzel Roll. Imagine my surprise when we arrived at the resort only to have our favorite bartender – Paola – tell us that Laguna no longer has a menu!

What? Why? Well, that leads me to the big change that you’ll find when you visit Cafe Rix. This grab-n-go was a favorite amongst returning park-goers in need of a burger or other hot item. No more. Look!

Hey! What happened to the grill?

Hey! What happened to the grill?

This boarded-up wall of snacks used to be a service counter … complete with grill and a pretty wide selection of quick meals. It also supported the Laguna Bar’s menu.

What happened? Well, that little kitchen serves Las Ventanas now, and, according to a Cast Member, it just can’t handle both Cafe Rix and the new restaurant. You might ask, “But, Las Ventanas is only open for breakfast and lunch, Bob! Why can’t they serve dinner at Cafe Rix?”

Well, hold onto that thought. The rumor is that “the little kitchen that could” might be in line to handle a new, revised menu for Laguna Bar in the near future. After all, it currently covers an array of appetizers for Rix Lounge.

So, quite a big shift for Coronado. No food at Laguna. Cold options only at Cafe Rix. Wow!

And, that’s not the end of Coronado’s changes!

Next up? The resort’s primary Quick Service – Pepper Market – has undergone MAJOR changes as well … again! And, many more are in store! Yikes!

We’ll tell that tale another day!

See ya’ tomorrow, folks! Time to get back to the pool!