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Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort vs Disney’s Polynesian Resort

During our most recent Walt Disney World vacation we had the opportunity to stay at both Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort as well as Disney’s Polynesian Resort.  After experiencing both of these outstanding Disney Resorts, I wanted to compare the two of them so you can determine if either of them will work for your next Walt Disney World vacation.

Gran Destino Tower
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is a moderate resort that offers Guests a Southwest feel with the casita, rancho and cabana section as well as the new Gran Destino Tower.  This resort has one feature pool at the Dig Site as well as three leisure pools throughout the Resort property.

For dining, Disney’s Coronado Springs has numerous options such as El Mercado del Coronado the food court as well as sit-down options at Three Bridges Bar and Grill, Rix Sports Bar and Grill, Maya Grill and Toledo’s the signature dining option located at the top of the Gran Destino Tower.  

There are also a few bars throughout the Resort that provide great drinks throughout the day.  Barcelona Bar is located on the main level of the Gran Destino Tower and the Dahlia Lounge is located next to Toledo’s at the top of the tower.  Guests at the pool can get a drink from the Siesta Pool bar as well.


Disney’s Polynesian Resort is a deluxe resort that offers Guests a South Pacific feel with tropical and lush vegetation throughout the Resort.  This resort has one main pool called the Lava Pool as well as a second pool called the Oasis Pool.

Ohana, one of the most popular dining locations, is located at Disney’s Polynesian Resort as is the quick service option Captain Cooks, the fun lounge in Trader Sam’s .  Guests can also enjoy dining options at Tambu Lounge, Kona Cafe and delicious dole whip at Pineapple Lanai.

So how do these two Resorts compare when we look at them side by side?  Let’s look at rooms, transportation, pools and dining to see how we would compare these categories for each Resort.

Coronado Springs Room
Credit: Disney


When it comes to rooms at these two Resorts, they are very similar.  Both resorts have been renovated within the last five years (the Polynesian within the year with new Moana themed rooms), but overall they are very similar.

The big difference for us was that with the Polynesian room we had an additional pull out couch that allowed our kids to each have their own sleeping areas.  Although they do a nice job sharing, having their own space is definitely a bonus and does allow them to sleep better at night and during rest time (when we can convince them to rest).

We thought both rooms had great storage throughout the room giving us a lot of room to put our things so we weren’t always tripping on them.  They also both had a lot of USB and charging ports that allowed us to stay connected throughout our trip.

Polynesian Room
Credit: Disney

When it comes to rooms, we would probably give the start to the Polynesian room just because of the addition of the pull out sleeper.


Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort offers only Disney buses to and from the Disney Parks and Disney Springs.  There are four stops throughout the resort itself as the buses pick up everyone before heading out.

At Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Guests have a few other options when it comes to transportation.  The monorail as well as a walking path can take Guests to the Magic Kingdom.  Depending on your location you can also choose to walk to the Ticket and Transportation Center and take the monorail to EPCOT.

After the monorail, Guests have bus access to the other Disney Parks just like at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

WaltDisneyWorld Bus
credit: Disney Tips

When we look at transportation between these two Resorts we would actually give the star to Disney’s Coronado Springs.  This might be surprising as having the monorail is fantastic; however, it does make transportation to other Parks longer.  We felt that being at Disney’s Coronado Springs we were more centrally located and it made the time to all the Disney Parks very similar.  

If you are a family that is going to focus mostly on Magic Kingdom, then I could see a stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort when it comes to transportation to be a good choice.  If you plan to visit all the theme parks, we might suggest looking at Disney’s Coronado Springs where you are more centrally located between all of the Disney Parks.

Dig Site Pool Coronado Springs Resort
Credit: Disney


Both of the main pools at these two Disney Resorts offer a slide for kids to enjoy.  We were surprised; however, when our kids both preferred the pool at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Even though it is amazing to see the castle from the swimming pool, the main feature pool at Disney’s Coronado Springs was a lot larger and deeper which our older kids enjoyed.

The Lava Pool at Disney’s Polynesian is a lot smaller which prevents the kids from being able to move around as much.  We actually spent a lot of our pool time over at the less themed Oasis Pool as it was a lot deeper and a lot less busy.

When it comes to the pool and the pool area, we will definitely give the star to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  There was just a lot more room overall at the pool as well as around the pool for sitting and eating meals.

Credit: Disney


Our final category is going to focus on dining.  This might be more of a personal preference depending on what types of food your traveling party likes so keep that in mind.

Overall, we enjoyed the food at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort over the offerings at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.  The quick service options at El Mercado de Coronado were a lot more expansive and fit our eating style more.

We also found that there were a lot more quick dining options throughout the resort at Disney’s Coronado Springs.  From being able to order from Three Bridges Bar and Grill to the quick meals and snacks we could get at the Siesta Pool Bar, we felt like we had a lot more options overall when it came to food at Disney’s Coronado Springs.

If your family is looking for more sit-down options, you might prefer the dining choices at the Polynesian; however, we would go to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Gran Destino Tower
Credit: Disney

As we look at the two resorts overall, we were surprised that Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort won out over Disney’s Polynesian Resort.  We truly enjoy the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs and will definitely be back in the future.

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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