Gran Destino Tower Debuts at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

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Gran Destino Tower Debuts at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

By Rich Luna | Jul 9, 2019

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort debuted its glistening new Gran Destino Tower on Tuesday, giving the Walt Disney World Resort yet another jewel in its offerings for the meeting, event and hospitality industry.

While Coronado Springs Resort was already one of the largest convention hotels on the East Coast and home to the largest meeting space on the Walt Disney World campus, the opening of the 16-floor Gran Destino Tower enhances the options for meeting planners and attendees with 545 new guest rooms and 3,000 square feet of sophisticated and collaborative indoor and outdoor meeting space that aligns with engaging and productive learning environments.

“This has been a total transformation,” said Amy Pfeiffer, director of resort sales and services for Walt Disney World. “We wanted to transform the experiences for meeting planners and attendees. It was all about connectivity—spaces that allowed for ideal networking and learning. We got input from meeting planners about what they would like and what you see are all these great gathering spaces.”

With the opening of the Gran Destino Tower, the Coronado Springs Resort now has 2,385 guest rooms, all of which are new or completely refurbished, and more than 225,000 square feet of flexible space for meetings and events. The convention center is just a short walk from the new tower, but the two spaces are virtually seamless in terms of access for meeting attendees.

The culmination of a two-year project came to fruition on Tuesday morning when Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president for Walt Disney World—with help from Disney’s top ambassador, Mickey Mouse, flamenco dancers and Spanish musicians—officially opened the new tower. He called the opening a “continued investment in our parks and resorts. Welcome to a new chapter of Disney resorts.”

The new meeting venues at Gran Destino Tower include a 24-seat boardroom with views of the 22-acre Lago Dorado lake that is at the center of the resort, a 2,859-square-foot Lantana room that divides into three smaller rooms, an adjoining 1,674-square-foot pre-function space that includes a show kitchen and 12,000 square feet of outdoor function space.

While the convention center is capable of managing meetings of all sizes with column-free ballrooms and an 86,000-square-foot exhibit hall, the meeting space in Gran Destino is ideal for more intimate gatherings. The Lantana Room is a mix of comfort—elegant leather chairs and couches—and technology, with multiple big-screen televisions and plenty of places to connect in an open area, all features at the top of meeting planner and attendee needs.

The room’s design was led in part by Alan Bruun, show director for the Disney Event Group, who beamed with pride at the end result.

“What is so cool about what happened is that we were able to take down barriers to create an experience, a lifestyle experience,” he said. “It’s interstitial space, a community space that we wanted to make more organic for the attendees.

“We’re storytellers, and I look at all of this and get very excited. You can tell so many different stories here in Lantana.”

The space offers a mix of a business setting with options for relaxation, while having plenty of outlets to stay connected.

Among the 545 new guest rooms are 50 suites, highlighted by two presidential suites. All of the existing rooms at the Coronado Springs Resort were completely refurbished.

The design and inspiration for the new tower are rooted in the collaboration between artist Salvador Dali and Walt Disney, and the seven-minute film, Destino, released in 2003.

The design and look of the new property are a mix of Spanish, Mexican and South American cultures, from the warm colors and patterns to the food, music and decor.

The inspiration can be found in the property’s two new restaurants and a stylish rooftop lounge. Tolédo Tapas, Steak & Seafood, offering a full tapas bar, is the restaurant on the 16th floor with the Dahlia Lounge, both sure to be popular locations for catching a glimpse of fireworks shows and views of all four Walt Disney World theme parks while enjoying Spanish-themed food and drinks.

Chef Robby Sayles said Tolédo is one of the first restaurants to present tapas on a Disney property, proudly showing some of the offerings, such as charred octopus, Manchego cheeses, char-grilled hanger steak and seared scallops.

“Oh, I have my favorites, but I think you’ll find a little bit of pleasure in all that we are going to offer,” Sayles said. “We’re bringing in original ingredients from Spain so that our guests can experience the full flavor.”

The restaurant features a pair of large olive trees nestled beneath an intricate vaulted ceiling with shimmering stained-glass accents. The top floor also includes three private dining areas for small groups.

Dahlia Lounge is named after the “Destino” heroine, a mortal woman who enchants the Greek god Chronos; dandelion chandeliers, metal bell accents and ceiling coffers with swirling patterns all draw inspiration from the restaurant’s namesake.

The look of Spain continues in the Barcelona Lounge, with its stained-glass feature wall behind the bar, on the lower level of the two-story lobby. The Barcelona Lounge will offer coffee in the morning and cocktails the remainder of the day. The space can be used for events; a pre-grand opening function included artists and musicians while attendees mingled in the spacious area.

A second new restaurant at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is on an island in the middle of Lago Dorado. Three convenient new walkways stretching across the 22-acre lake lead to Villa del Lago and its Three Bridge Bar.



Rich Luna

Rich Luna is Director of Publishing for MPI and Editor-in-chief of The Meeting Professional.