June 15, 2024

Review: Chronos Club Level at Gran Destino Tower


Chronos Club is the concierge lounge atop Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs Resort. It's the cheapest Club Level at Walt Disney World, and the only one at a Moderate hotel. This review shares lounge

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Chronos Club is the concierge lounge atop Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs Resort. It’s the cheapest Club Level at Walt Disney World, and the only one at a Moderate hotel. This review shares lounge food photos, cover how Chronos stacks up to the competition, and more. (Updated April 11, 2024.)

For starters, this focuses only on the Chronos Club lounge. If you’re looking for our thoughts on the new tower as a whole, check out our Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort Review. For more general thoughts on concierge level at WDW, check out our Is Club Level at Walt Disney World Worth It? guide.

The biggest question about Chronos Club Level is whether it’s worthy of comparison to the other concierge lounges at Walt Disney World. There’s fair concern about this, as it’s the only Club Level that’s in a Moderate Resort, and it’s literally hundreds of dollars cheaper than the other Club Levels at Walt Disney World. So, how does it stack up? Let’s take a look…

Upon arrival at Gran Destino Tower, you should be welcomed at the door by a Cast Member with an iPad, who greet you by name before you say anything. (Isn’t tracking technology, uh, swell?) From there, you’ll be introduced to Gran Destino Tower’s smart elevator system, and taken directly to the Chronos Club check-in desk.

This alone is a nice perk, as Gran Destino Tower’s front desk serves as the check-in location for the entirety of Coronado Springs, which is an absolutely massive resort. During busier times–such as a cheer/dance event or convention–there can be long lines for the front desk. Bypassing that and being taken directly to Chronos Club is a nice touch.

Sitting in chairs and receiving personalized service is much more comfortable process than standing in line at the front desk. You’ll receive a welcome packet with a Coronado Springs Resort map, and greeting & info from Chronos Club. We were also offered mimosas while checking in, which was a nice touch.

While checking in, you’ll also be informed of the perks available to Chronos Club Level guests. Currently, this is pretty much just Early Entry. We’re big fans of Early Entry, as it essentially offer a couple of ride headstart for on-site guests, which can be pretty significant. (Learn more strategy in our Guide to Early Entry at Walt Disney World.)

Since Coronado Springs is a Moderate Resort, guests staying in the Chronos Club Level are not eligible for Extended Evening Hours. This is a fairly significant drawback, especially if you’re staying Monday through Wednesday when Extended Evening Hours are offered. Additionally, there is currently no special line-skipping option for Club Level guests, but we expect that to return in late 2024 or 2025 after pre-arrival Lightning Lanes debut.

Unlike other lounges, this one is not 24/7; the Chronos Club lounge is open from 6:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. daily. Those hours might seem reasonable, but keep in mind that the pyro at Disney’s Hollywood Studios sometimes ends after that. (There currently is no fireworks show at DHS, but both Fantasmic and the projections show have pyro. It’s not worth seeking out, but is neat to see from Chronos Club.)

Clearing the lounge so early feels a bit abrupt, especially since the lounge was still fairly hoppin’ at 10 p.m. each night. Hopefully this closing time is adjusted, especially at a tower hotel that skews towards a more adult audience.

Throughout the day, the Chronos Club lounge serves the following:

  • Coffee: 6:30-7 a.m.
  • Continental Breakfast: 7-11 a.m.
  • Light Snacks: 12-4 p.m.
  • Hors d’oeuvres & Select Beverages: 5-7 p.m.
  • Desserts & Cordials: 8-10 p.m.

As with all other Club Level lounges at Walt Disney World, the hors d’oeuvres/dinner options are the highest quality and most substantive, followed by dessert and breakfast services.

In fact, breakfast at Chronos Club was a huge standout. Not because anything here was particularly revolutionary, but because there were hot items!

We’ve harped on this when reviewing other lounges, but how difficult is it to have bacon, eggs, and sausage?

Thankfully, Chronos Club delivers on that front, and also serves some exceptional pastries, cheeses, and meats.

It’s still not a great spread, but it’s the best Club Level breakfast we’ve had at any Walt Disney World hotel. Given that breakfast is the meal most guests can take advantage of in the lounge, this is a big deal.

The light snacks/lunch spread is predictably weak with not much that’s substantial.

Of course, my ‘hack’ of using bread and meat from breakfast and putting that in the room’s fridge for lunch holds up at Gran Destino.

Dinner is the most substantial offering, and by far our favorite. As with other Club Level lounges, the offerings rotate on a nightly basis.

In general, we found this to be very seafood and vegan heavy. Arguably to a fault.

Don’t get me wrong–I enjoy a lot of Walt Disney World’s vegan options and think they’ve improved exponentially in the last couple years, but I’d still rather have regular crab cakes or meatballs to meatless ones.

In general, we found the dinner-time options to be on the more adventurous side, with fewer crowd-pleasing, comfort food options. We generally enjoyed what was served (Sarah especially) but it won’t be for everyone.

One night, chicken and mushrooms were served, which were definitely the highlight for me.

There were also sustainable lion fish nuggets (if you’re looking for something more approachable) but I found those to be pretty bland.

Another highlight for us was the Shrimp Paella. This is probably the closest Chronos Club got to “comfort food” during our stay.

We had heard reports of the same lamb chops as the glorious ones we ordered at Three Bridges Bar & Grill but, alas, those were not served during our stay. The “reports” we heard revolved around the lamb chops being in high demand and short supply, so perhaps they’re gone for good. Or maybe we just missed them.

Speaking of short supply, these macarons put out for the dessert service went quickly. When dessert service first started, I was outside researching bus crowds and wait times (as one does), so Sarah grabbed this plate.

By the time I arrived at the lounge (less than 45 minutes into the dessert service) the macarons were gone. No matter, as the macarons were just fine, whereas the tarts and truffles were fantastic.

From the perspective of cuisine, Chronos Club is not a cut-rate version of Club Level. It may not be as broadly appealing as what’s offered at Wilderness Lodge, but the quality and selection is there. (If anything, the superior breakfast puts Chronos Club a notch above some other lounges in terms of food.)

Since that’s mostly what matters when evaluating Club Level lounges, that should answer the question of whether Chronos Club is worthy of comparison to Club Level at Deluxe Resorts.

The next question is whether the lounge itself stacks up to other Club Levels at Walt Disney World.

That really depends on what you want out of Club Level. For me, this doesn’t hold a candle to Old Faithful Club Level in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, which offers views down into that gorgeous lobby and is oozing themed design. But I realize not everyone is me.

Chronos Club feels clean and modern, more like a real-world business hotel than one at Walt Disney World. That’s arguably a downside for fans of themed design, but several Club Level lounges are dated and tired without being particularly well-themed, anyway.

Besides, you’re not going to be spending a ton of time looking around the lounge. The highlight here, like the guest rooms at Gran Destino Tower, is the big views of Walt Disney World. From here, you can see Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, and beyond.

On a personal level, this isn’t as cool as overlooking the lobby of Wilderness Lodge or Animal Kingdom Lodge, but it’s still pretty awesome to sit down in the air-conditioning, eat dessert, and enjoy an ‘aerial’ view of Walt Disney World.

Perhaps I’m easy to please, but I spent most of my time here gazing out the window. You can easily see Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Tower of Terror, Spaceship Earth, and more from this lounge.

Even if the underlying design is boring and generic, the views are sufficient for me. I think plenty of others will likewise appreciate these views. (In fairness, the same “boring and generic” design criticism could be levied at Stone Harbor Club at Beach Club.)

Otherwise, my biggest complaint about the lounge would be that it’s one large and continuous space.

Capacity-wise, I’m not sure how it stacks up to other lounges at Walt Disney World, but most of those do a superior job of breaking up the space with walls or multiple seating areas. Chronos Club is one big room. This is very noticeable when the lounge is at or near capacity; it gets loud and chaotic.

On a different note, part of me wonders if Gran Destino is intentionally hostile towards families in subtle ways. Obviously, this being Walt Disney World, there’s no way they can make an entire hotel tower adults only.

At Gran Destino, it’s with little things like the shower and sink situation, the lounge television set to business news, and a selection of more adventurous and vegan cuisine. Cumulatively, all of this might be off-putting for parents with small children.

As much as Walt Disney World’s coveted family demographic may dislike that, it makes some degree of sense at Gran Destino. Here, the truly coveted demographic is conventioneers.

This tower exists primarily because of Disney Meetings & Events, and the lucrative convention business at Coronado Springs. Gran Destino is available for anyone to book, but Disney is catering to conventioneers with the style and substance of the tower.

These business travelers are more likely to have experience with swanky concierge levels at real world hotels, and thus hold Disney to a higher standard. If you’re used to Hyatt or Marriott’s nicer concierge lounges, Gran Destino still feels fairly middling. As compared to other Walt Disney World offerings, it’s a standout.

As noted above, Chronos Club is the cheapest Club Level at Walt Disney World. Actually, least expensive is probably more apt of a term, since it’s still pricier than, say, staying at the All Stars or regular rooms in the outlying buildings at Coronado Springs. The starting rack rate for Chronos Club rooms is approximately $450 per night. That may seem like a lot, but it’s still a few hundred dollars cheaper than the next cheapest option!

About the only way you could, theoretically, do Club Level at a lower cost is by renting Disney Vacation Club points and staying at Kilimanjaro Club at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Even that is likely to cost you more–and that’s if you can find availability (a big if as there are only a handful of those rooms).

So really, the only realistic alternative is buying DVC at Animal Kingdom Lodge and using that to stay at Kilimanjaro Club annually. That’s a $15,000+ upfront expense and multi-decade commitment, so probably not what many first-timers or infrequent Walt Disney World visitors have in mind.

Anyway, Chronos Club rooms start at $450 per night during the off-season (see When’s Cheapest to Visit Walt Disney World in 2024?) and can cost $600+ during peak dates. That amounts to a surcharge of about $125 to $200 over a standard room in Gran Destino Tower, which is also the lowest ‘upgrade’ cost of any Club Level.

With that said, those prices are all pre-discount. Coronado Springs frequently offers 20% to 30% off, and usually has the best availability during deals. The biggest asterisk on that, naturally, is Chronos Club. Walt Disney World diehards recognize what a good value Chronos Club is, and it’s often tough to book as a result and thus unavailable via discounts. Additionally, Club Level is sometimes flat-out excluded from special offers.

If doing Chronos Club for the duration of your trip is cost-prohibitive but you want to splurge on a night or two, that can be a great option via split stays, with the Chronos Club Level portion for 1-2 nights at the end of a trip. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a split stay, see our How to Do Split Stays at Walt Disney World Hotels. As you can see there, we are huge advocates of split stays for a number of reasons.

Split stays also work really well with Chronos Club because there’s a good chance you won’t want to be “stuck” out at Coronado Springs for the duration of your trip. This has two strikes against it in terms of transportation: it has both an internal bus loop and doesn’t have any novel forms of transportation to the parks, meaning it’s all buses.

As such, a split stay between (for example) Pop Century or Caribbean Beach (two Skyliner resorts) before moving to Chronos Club could be a really savvy move. You also won’t have as pronounced of a difference in quality, making the transition a bit less jarring.

With that said, there are a ton of different ways to leverage split stays and Club Level. If you want more thorough guidance or assistance navigating the ‘split stay’ planning waters, we’d highly recommend contacting an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Those travel agents are free-to-use so long as they handle your booking, and they can offer personalized planning that takes into account your priorities and preferences. No Disney planning advice is one-size-fits-all, and that includes our strategies for split stays!

Ultimately, we view Chronos Club as one of the best Club Levels in all of Walt Disney World. Like Gran Destino Tower as a whole, it punches far above its weight, and offers tremendous bang for buck. In fact, if you want to do Club Level and your only consideration is value for money, you can stop right here: Chronos Club is the clear winner, and the competition isn’t even close.

The lounge is huge and offers plenty of seating, along with a near-aerial perspective of Walt Disney World and cool views. The food is fantastic, especially breakfast, but it’s also very taste-specific. We enjoy the cuisine here a lot, but if you’re a family with picky eaters it may not be a good fit for you. This is unquestionably the best Club Level in terms of value for money, and even though Chronos Club isn’t as memorable as some others, it’s in the same league.

Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!

Your Thoughts

What do you think of Chronos Club? Does this lounge or its food look appealing or unappealing to you? If you’ve already stayed at Club Level at Gran Destino, what do you think of it? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

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