After sharing news of the opening of CoCo Key Water Resort‘s Orlando location, I wanted to provide a more in-depth review of the resort and its amenities. Thanks to the resort and their Orlando representative Vicki Johnson, I was able to spend Mother’s Day weekend there with my family and do just that.
We checked in at around 2pm, even though the official check-in time is 4pm as they had a ‘family suite’ available for us. The front desk hostess asked us what configuration of beds we’d like and after I said a king room and a room with two queen beds would be perfect, she found exactly what we were looking for. We received our wristbands for the water park and she told us we’d be in building 6, the tallest building at the resort. We discovered upon parking and finding the elevator to our rooms on the fourth floor that it really doesn’t matter which side of the building you park on; it was easily accessible on both sides with the elevator in the middle.
I have to say I was hoping to get a room right in front of the water park section, but building 6 was a perfect choice: centrally located between the water park and quiet pool area, right next to the grab ‘n go store and close to the restaurants and arcade. If you were coming to the resort and not planning to take advantage of the water park, I’d recommend buildings 1-5, which are closest to the lobby and quiet pool. Keep in mind that the restaurants are located in the water park area, though.
The theming and redesign of the hotel did not end in the rooms or the lobby, the hallways and areas in front of the elevator are all nicely decorated. Our adjoining rooms 6427 and 6429, side by side. The rooms we were shown on the ground floor in front of the water park were actually adjoined front to back. I’m not sure if the rooms in this building are bigger, but they seemed it. In any event, we had more than enough room and if we were the kind of family that could have a grandmother, two parents, two kids 9 and 11, and a baby in one room, there would’ve been more than enough room if we’d gotten the configuration with two double beds and a sleep sofa. We are not, however, that family, so the adjoining rooms worked out well. 😉
One issue that we noted was with the electrical outlets within the room. There were two nice little pop-up outlets in the vanity area as you walked into the room, but we discovered that those outlets were only active when the light to that vanity was on. Not really good for charging phones or iPods overnight. We then began a quest for working outlets, only to discover one of the bedside lamps actually wasn’t plugged in at all. This was also the case for the lamp on the desk area and a standing lamp, because there were just no outlets by the lamps. Again, this might be an opening-month kink that will right itself as they figure out the needs in each room. We had enough outlets, but I’m sure it wasn’t the goal to have 3 non-working lamps in the room. There were still plenty of working lamps and we weren’t bothered by it at all.
The view we had was actually really interesting because it overlooked the water park and even though one section is covered, there’s an opening below the roof so you could see in to all the fun. The AC units on top of the roofs of those buildings weren’t all that attractive, but I know it comes with the territory. Beyond that, we could see I-4, but it was not at all loud. Once inside the room you could not hear any hallway noise from other rooms either. The water park actually closes at 7pm and does not open until 11am, but we were told at the front desk hours may increase as we head into summer.
Everything in the room from the sofa to the chair to the king sized bed was extremely comfortable. The room and bathroom just had a more deluxe feel than anything you are typically used to at this price range on International Drive, or even the value resorts at Walt Disney World. I mean, my kids love Pop Century and I love the theming, but the beds definitely leave something to be desired. That was not the case here. The granite shower surround and counters in the bathroom, the dark wood throughout, and the flat screen tv also led to a more luxurious feel. Oh, and did I mention FREE Wi-Fi?? That was a godsend!
We wasted no time and headed right down to the water park that looked so exciting during the grand opening. It lived up to its expectations as well. It was nicely crowded as would be expected on a Saturday afternoon but not overly so. There were a lot of day visitors checking in at the counter, which at $14.99 for a Florida resident rate and $19.99 for non-residents, I can see why. There are staff to check your wristbands at the entrance to the water park area. Apparently if you are a guest of the hotel, you are to keep your wristband on for the length of your stay for entrance to the water park. To me, this is not the most convenient method. We had removed our bands after visiting the water park, before heading over to Downtown Disney. We had not been told at check-in to keep them on. When we called to check what we needed to do for the next day’s visit to the park, we were told we were supposed to keep them on, and if we wanted new ones, we had to hand in our old bands first. Luckily we hadn’t thrown them out yet. When we did get new bands, they were a slightly different color, which made me wonder if we were supposed to get new ones anyway? I’d imagine that might be confusing for the check-in to the park. This may just be an issue that will get smoothed out over time though.
I remember thinking at the grand opening that they were bringing out more life guards than usual for the event, but there were the same amount if not more last weekend. They were all very alert and communicated well with each other to track when a guest had exited a slide or keeping guard on on swimmers in the pool. With the amount of kids everywhere, I’d have thought for sure running or horsing around would be an issue, but this was not so. The other thing I quickly realized is that even with what seemed like a big crowd, there was never more than a few minutes wait for even the most popular slides. There was also no shortage of chairs to sit down in or stow your towels. This is the main difference in deciding to check out a smaller water park like this even if you are not staying at the hotel. You give up larger spaces for things like wave pools and lazy rivers, but you are pretty much always in eye-site of your child and they are able to go on slides over and over within minutes.
The 18 month-old had a great time too. We let him splash around the Minnows Lagoon area but he also loved walking around the Parrot’s Perch area, which had lots of little fountains and splashing water everywhere. The big kids had endless fun going from the teen pool with its tube slide to the Parrot’s Perch area, to the big Adventure Slides. They loved the views of Disney World from the top of the tower. Even my more cautious 11 year-old took a turn on the big orange and blue covered slide. And maybe this old mom even had a couple of turns on the slides in the Parrot’s Perch area. Shhh. 😉 (I definitely wasn’t the only parent having fun on the slides either)
My mom also enjoyed the bar service where the waiter came right over to the table and took her order. It was nice having a water waiting when we got out of the pool too. The kids wanted to explore the huge arcade but we still had reservations back at Disney to get to so we didn’t get there this time. I definitely want to next time though, and I’m sure there will be a next time because CoCo Key Water Resort was a big hit with all three kids.
CoCo Key Orlando is about ten minutes from the Disney area and easily accessible off I-4 at the Sandlake Rd. exit, or you can just take I-Drive east all the way. What I liked most about CoCo Key is the fact that it lived up to its name as a resort. You could stay there and never leave the property, which I will admit, is a benefit that I have become spoiled with, thanks to Disney resorts. I can’t imagine staying at just any hotel on I-Drive as a resident, but with CoCo Key, I could comfortably stay there and still head over to the Disney Parks, or Universal too. If you are the exploring type, CoCo Key is located right next to a Dunkin Donuts, across from Chuckie Cheese, CiCi’s Pizza and withing walking distance of Denny’s and iHop, and countless other restaurants and shops. Ooh, I almost forgot, the staff in every area of the resort from check-in to lifeguards to the custodian that stopped to talk to my little guy, were wonderfully pleasant and accommodating. Th definitely makes a difference for overall experience and the desire to return.
Thank you again to CoCo Key Resort Orlando and Vicki Johnson Communications for providing my family with two rooms for one night with two days of water park access. This generous offer did not influence my review in any way.