This was my third year staying at the Saratoga Springs. We are not part of the DVC, but continue to stay here - because why mess with a good thing!
This year we stayed in a 1BR unit and my inlaws stayed in the studio. Well, they were adjoining rooms so with the door open it was the EXACT same room as a 2BR unit. So booking a 2BR unit would have been much cheaper in the end (and it also defeated our purpose of having separate rooms, but I digress....).
This is the first year that I found the carpets to be a little worn, but everything else was great. The room was spotless, linens were fresh and clean and all the dishes/flatware were clean. Housekeeping ran the dishwasher for us each day and always brought new toiletries and detergent, even if we had not used them up. The grounds, like all of Disney, are very well maintained and spotless.
I really wish they had a central room to get on a computer and check email. I would think that would be a no braine for a vacation club resort. You can have internet in your room if you bring your laptop and pay the daily fee for the cord (no wireless), but no common computer area.
No words can describe the convenience of having a washer/dryer in the room, especially now that the airlines are starting to charge for luggage checks. I packed for myself and two childern in one suitcase and simply threw in a load of laundry every night.
The week we were there were the coldest days in the history of Orlando. Just my luck! So we never got to use the pool. But I assume it was heated because some crazy families were still in the water. Our room in the Springs building was conveniently located to the pool, main building and restaurants. The Grandstand building also has its own, less crowded pool which is lovely in warmer weather. Springs is the building to request if you dont want to walk much around this VERY large property. Grandstand is good too because there is a path that cuts across to the main area. The other buildings are a longer walk, but also quieter.
The Disney bus system is often scrutinized in reviews, no matter what hotel it is. It's not a personal limo service, people! The bottom line is that they come APPROX ever 20 mins. It could be a little more at certain times. If you just missed one by minutes, then you will obviously wait a longer time. There were times we waited 3 minutes and times we waited 20 mins. It is what it is. The buses are clean, direct and they save you money on car rental/parking and time. Even if you have a car, I recommend using the bus for the Magic Kingdom because it takes you directly to the main gate (as opposed to parking, taking the parking lot tram, going through gate 1, taking the monorail and then finally getting to the main gate) which is SO much easier. There are 5 bus stops within the SS so those stops adds a few minutes to the ride. The buses stop at them in the same order, so if you have 2 stops going toward the park, you'll always have 3 coming back in.
The water taxi and walking path to downtown Disney are great. the water taxi lets you off on the marketplace end of downtown disney and the path take you to the west side of downtown disney. So if you are going to a specific restaurant, keep that in mind.
General Disney tip - try to make as many of your meal reservations in advance if you can. 407-WDW-DINE does the restaurants in the parks as well as others on Disney property, including the Turf Cub at Saratoga Springs and the Downtown Disney locations. Going "standby" at restaurants will make things much longer and frustrating.
The Artist's Palette is okay. Service was slow during busy times but the food and the variety are both pretty good. They sell some essential groceries at the expected Disney markup prices. If you have a car, there is a Winn Dixie about 5 mins away. Turf Club was very good and I recommend taking advantage of it, especially after a busy day at a park when you don't want to be out walking and dealing with lines anymore.
If you have a baby, the rooms come with a high chair and pack and play so you don'tneed to request them.
Next year I am thinkng of trying the Old Key West, just to mix it up a little. But I am nervous to make that move because SS has always been so great for us. Having a separate bedroom for the kids makes a world of difference at night.
When doing your research here, you need to remember to compare SS against other Disney resorts, NOT against a typical 5 star resort. I really feel that some reviewers here were expecting the Ritz Carton based on the price of this resort and are then let down. This is a pricier Disney location because it is better than OTHER DISNEY resorts. Try to keep the perspective.
I hope you enjoy the SS as much as we have for 3 visits!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Inspired by historic Saratoga Springs-a late-1800s' New York retreat famous for its spas and horse racing-this charming, Victorian-style Resort hotel is nestled between rolling golf course greens and the shimmering Village Lake. Delight in stately Studios and multi-bedroom Villas, dazzling pools and a spa. You can also explore the fun activities and exciting dining options of the Downtown Disney area, just a boat ride away. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Disneys Saratoga Springs Hotel
- Saratoga Springs Disney
- Disney Saratoga Springs Hotel
- Saratoga Springs Resort Florida
- Disneys Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Saratoga Springs Orlando
- Disney Saratoga Springs Resort
- Saratoga Springs Fl
- Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa Orlando, Florida