Disney’s Coronado Springs vs Port Orleans French Quarter

Port Orleans French Quarter” by HarshLight licensed under CC BY 2.0

Planning a trip to Disney World can be stressful, especially when there are over 30 resorts on Disney property to choose from. Where do you even begin? Well, I am here to help make the hotel selection process a little more manageable by comparing two of Disney’s moderate resorts, as dive into a battle between Coronado Springs vs Port Orleans French Quarter.

Which resort is the best choice for you and you family, factoring in things like theming, cost, dining and room amenities? Well, let’s find out right now.

What Are the Themes of Each Resort?

Part of the magic of Disney is its ability to transport you into a whole new world through its intricate themes. Like all Disney Resorts, Coronado Springs and Port Orleans French Quarter have their own unique theme, which is represented in all the decor throughout the resort. 

Port Orleans French Quarter is obviously New Orleans themed, with wrought-iron balconies, cobblestone streets, and a constant flow of jazz music pumping through the speakers. 

On the other hand, the theme of Coronado Springs Resort is a little harder to place (I believe I had to ask a cast member what the theme actually was). 

Renovated back in 2019, the resort blends together the styles of Spanish, Mexican, and Southwestern American cultures. The resort includes Aztec outdoor recreational areas and Spanish tiles throughout the lobby. 

While the hotel does stay on theme throughout the entire resort, it is much more understated than its previously mentioned contender. 

Since one of my favorite things about Disney is its ability to transport you to a different time and place, I’m going to have to give this category to Port Orleans French Quarter. The New Orleans theme is definitely more predominant and better incorporated throughout the resort. 

  • Port Orleans – French Quarter: 1point
  • Coronado Springs: 0 points

What is the Cost?

Now that we know the overall theme of each resort, let’s start with the most important element when choosing if a hotel is right or not: MONEY! Being that each resort is part of Disney’s moderate hotel collection, the prices are relatively the same, at around $300-$380 a night for a standard room. The real price difference comes in when you start to look at the variety of rooms offered. 

Port Orleans French Quarter only offers five different types of rooms (these are your standard garden view, pool view, parking lot view rooms) while Coronado Springs offers over 15 types of rooms, including suite and club access options. 

Prices of suites and club rooms can reach up into the $1000 a night range, but I personally like that it has a variety of rooms available to fit the different needs and wants of people. 

So, Coronado Springs wins this category for me. 

  • Port Orleans – French Quarter: 1 point
  • Coronado Springs: 1 point

Room Amenities

Again, since both of these hotels are part of the same hotel collection at Disney, the overall room and what is offered in the room is pretty much the same. A basic 301 square foot room at each comes with your standard hotel amenities including standard hotel bed, which was really comfortable in both, shower/tub combo, in room coffee maker, mini fridge and wifi. 

Coronado Springs also had these great mini toiletries. I usually don’t use hotel toiletries, but these were actually a really great brand and I took some extras home. These might be standard throughout all hotels on property, but I don’t remember them from my stay at Port Orleans. Weirdly, at Coronado Springs they really stuck out to me. 

However, I think the real difference for me is the room style. As mentioned earlier, Port Orleans French Quarter is New Orleans themed and does a great job of making its guests feel like they just stepped onto a much cleaner, safer, and family friendly Bourbon Street. That Disney magic extends to the rooms as well, as each room is decorated in that 18th century, New Orleans style. 

And while I love New Orleans, I personally found that this decor made the rooms feel darker, smaller, and honestly just old, which I really didn’t like. I feel like as nice as the rest of the resort property is, the rooms could be better. 

In comparison, the newly renovated rooms at Coronado Springs are very light and airy. Everything has a very new and modern feeling and made it seem like I had more space. Also, the furniture selection is better thought out in the sense that there’s more usable space. I stayed here with my friend and we were both able to store our things without feeling like we were on top of each other. I didn’t have that same experience at Port Orleans.

The bathrooms at Coronado Springs were way nicer as well.  With a glass shower door instead of a shower curtain and sinks that sit on top of the counter, its new renovations really help to make it feel more like a luxury hotel. 

I think it’s obvious that Coronado Springs will be taking the point for this category as well.  

  • Port Orleans – French Quarter: 1 point
  • Coronado Springs: 2 points

Bonus Room Amenities You’ll Love

While cost and room amenities are probably your first priority when choosing a hotel, we know you won’t be spending your entire trip in the room. So, let’s talk about other amenities each resort has to offer. 

Starting with Port Orleans French Quarter, this resort offers an outdoor pool area, with a 51 foot serpent themed water slide, a water play area, and a hot tub. If swimming is not your thing, they also offer bike rentals, horse drawn carriages, fishing, an arcade, a Cajun campfire and weekly movies under the stars. There are other amenities that hotel guests can enjoy at its sister hotel, Port Orleans Riverside. However, it will require walking or the use of transportation to get there. 

As for Coronado Springs Resort, many of the outdoor recreational options are similar to Port Orleans. However, being that the resort property is bigger, there are some additional amenities not available at Port Orleans, including 4 different pool areas. Three are leisure pools perfect for lounging or a relaxing dip. 

But if you’re up for something a little more adventurous, you can head over to the main pool and take a ride down the 123-foot water slide. I personally like the variety of pool areas. It keeps the crowds down and allows you to change it up and explore new areas. 

This hotel also offers campfire and outdoor movie fun, an arcade, an archaeological themed playground and a 0.9-mile scenic jogging trail. But in my opinion, here is where Coronado Springs pulls ahead of Port Orleans in the amenities category. This property includes health and fitness facilities. 

Relax and rejuvenate at its full spa and salon or get your sweat on at one of its two state-of-the-art fitness centers. I don’t always make it to the gym while on vacation but I like having the option while there, so it’s going to be another point for Coronado Springs. 

To be completely honest, I didn’t spend too much time using any recreational amenity, outside of the pools. But for the sheer fact that Coronado Springs has more to offer, I’m going to give this one to them. 

  • Port Orleans – French Quarter: 1 point
  • Coronado Springs: 3 points

Dining Options

Ok, I’m not even going to make you wait till the end of this section to give you the winner because there is honestly no comparison. Coronado Springs far succeeds Port Orleans French Quarter when it comes to dining and bar options. 

In general, Port Orleans French Quarter doesn’t have many options. There’s one cafeteria style, Mardi Gras themed restaurant, a little cafe/ lounge, and one bar. The options were so limited we chose to eat and enjoy drinks at other restaurants on Disney properties. 

On the contrary, you could stay a whole week at Coronado Springs and probably still not experience the dining and bar options. A quick overview, there are over five dining options, which range from sit down dinners to grab and go to pool side bites, and four bar/lounges. 

Now to focus on the highlights. 

First, every hotel needs a Barcelona Lounge. I ended up getting to the resort an hour before my friend, so I decided to wander the property. I didn’t get very far because I quickly stumbled on Barcelona Lounge, located just one floor under the check-in area. 

This lounge offers a variety of specialty coffees, cocktails, and breakfast options. Since we planned on heading to Epcot to eat right after we checked in, I settled on an amazing iced latte and spent the next hour adoring the beautiful Barcelona inspired atrium. This lounge was another part of the hotel that made me feel like I was staying at a luxury resort. 

That night I went to Toledo, which is a rooftop, tapas and seafood restaurant. It’s definitely in the higher price range as far as Disney dining goes, but I think that’s what made it so good. I got the scallops, patatas bravas and brussels sprouts, and besides it all being amazing, each dish was artistically plated, which always adds a nice flare to a meal. 

Also, it’s totally worth mentioning that this is one of few rooftop restaurants at Disney, so that alone gives the resort a bonus point in my opinion. 

This really wasn’t a competition at all.

  • Port Orleans – French Quarter: 1 point
  • Coronado Springs: 4 points

Transportation to Disney World

So I’m sure this is a question you have been dying for me to answer, as I know the majority of you looking to book a Disney resort are also of course planning on visiting the parks. 

And with, in my opinion, outrageous parking prices being today’s reality, I’m sure your fingers are crossed for park transportation. Well, you’re in luck. Both resorts offer complimentary buses to all Disney theme parks and water parks. 

This bus service is the same for each hotel and the time it takes to get to the park varies, depending on which park you are going to. But for the sake of the article and the competition, I’m going to give this point to Port Orleans French Quarter for one reason. Since it is a smaller property, the walk to the bus pick up is shorter and there are less bus pickup spots, which makes it easier to remember which one to get off at as the night comes to an end. 

While staying at Coronado Springs, I forgot which bus stop I got picked up at, and ended up walking a really long way back to my room. 

There are no monorail or water taxi options to the actual Disney Parks. 

  • Port Orleans – French Quarter: 2 points
  • Coronado Springs: 4 points

Additional Transportation Options

Another transportation option that is available at both resorts include Minnie Van service. This service is new since I’ve stayed at both resorts, but it seems to be a Minnie Mouse themed car service connected through Lyft. 

I mean, I guess this is a cute service, but not worth it in my opinion. The buses are very efficient and free. 

There is one transportation option that is unique to Port Orleans and can’t be found at both resorts, which is the water taxi from Port Orleans to Disney Springs. I didn’t use this, but I could see where this would be a much better option than driving to Disney Springs and having to deal with traffic and parking. 

While this is a nice option, it’s not enough for me to give it a whole point so I’m going to give it half a point

  • Port Orleans – French Quarter: 2.5 point
  • Coronado Springs: 4 points

Conclusion

So when deciding between the Coronado Springs vs Port Orleans French Quarter, which resort is the best one for you and your family?  Well, with a final score of 4 points to 2.5 points, the winner is….drum roll, please…Coronado Springs!

With nicer rooms and more activity and dining options, this resort simply offers a bit of a richer all around experience to guests. Coronado Springs just feels and looks a step above Port Orleans.  And with no overwhelming difference in price, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t book this superior hotel. 

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