Here I go again! Tell me about SSR :-)
About This Page: This is a discussion on Here I go again! Tell me about SSR :-) within the Owning the Magic: Disney Vacation Club, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; I am so impressed with all the info I have read on other resorts that I really want to here ...
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I hate to open the discussion with a negative review, but this is my least favorite DVC resort. I stayed here shortly after it opened, though, which probably isn't fair. I've since heard a lot of very nice things about it. In general, I prefer a hotel feel over a spread-out layout or motel-feel, with the doorways to the rooms outside. I like to go inside a hotel and then walk down the hallway to my room. If I traveled with a car I'm sure I'd feel differently on this point. The bus service took forever just traveling around the resort and I never did figure out which bus stop was best for my location-- the buses always seemed to take a different route. At the time of my stay the one table-service restaurant had no entrees for vegetarians and they didn't offer any suggestions! The rooms, however, were very nice and I loved the walkway to Downtown Disney.
We enjoy SSR. Its one of our fav resorts. We also love DTD. So I think that is our draw to there. At this time we have had not a bad experience. Our rooms have always been ready and clean. Towels brought when asked, ect. We tend to use the quiet pools. Sometimes no one is around them, and nothing beats a pool to yourself and family. We like the Granstand area. If you have a car, I would request that or Springs area.
We've stayed here twice and I have to agree that it's among my least favorite DVC resorts. It just doesn't have anything that feels "special" to me. We stayed in the Congress Park section the first time which was nice, there was a quiet pool right behind the building and you could look right across to Downtown Disney. Last time we requested a building near the new Paddock pool area. It was fairly convenient, not too far from the main pool and counter service area but the room we had was in need of refurbishment. The sofa felt like you would sink towards the floor when you sat down and the bathroom in the second bedroom had an awful smell. I also missed having a nice balcony after staying at Kidani.
Honestly, I'd have a hard time choosing Saratoga again unless it was the only resort available for my stay, I'd rather have the extra room at OKW if it came down to the two of them.
It's our home resort and we love it. The buses are not as bad to us as others seems to feel. Yes, the resort is big, but I think it adds to the restful nature of the resort. It is so quiet and peaceful. It feels wonderful after a busy day at the parks, or in the morning for a quiet cup of coffee on our balcony. (we've always had one and we've been in 1. 2. and 3 bedrooms). The early mornings overlooking the golf course is so peaceful.
The buses all follow the same path starting at Grandstand and ending at Springs with the exception of the DTD bus which runs the opposite direction. If you want to walk to DTD, Congress Park is closest for that. Paddock and The Springs has the best pool. Grandstand is first on-first off the park buses, and has a great little quiet pool, and it has a walking path to DTD, though it is a bit of a walk, we enjoy it. We've driven our car to WDW and stayed at SSR and the car stayed in the parking lot the whole time we were there. I love people watching on the buses anyway. There is also a boat to DTD out behind the Carriage House. We love Turf Club, though we are not vegetarian so I cannot speak to that aspect of their menu.
I don't feel having the doors outside makes it feel like a motel at all. It is patterned after a famous resort in Saratoga Springs, NY and meant to evoke that era. There are plenty of hidden Mickeys to find and the views are great. We've never been disturbed by loud neighbors or people walking down the halls as we have with enclosed halls. The doors are not in a line and there are no windows on the passageways. That is 'motel' to me.
We've been in rooms that need to be refurbished, but we've been in rooms in VWL that also needed to be refurbished, last time being this past January. Last time we were at SSR, they were starting to re-do the rooms, having finished with the repainting of the outside of the buildings. We've always found Mousekeeping to be extremely responsive to any issue we might have, and that goes for any of the resorts.
To me, a resort's appeal or lack thereof really is a subjective thing. We love SSR, others don't. I don't like BLT for the very reason it FEELS like being in a hotel. I don't feel AT HOME there. And at the end of the day, the AT HOME feel is why I like DVC.
It comes down to how it meets YOUR needs, really! (and we have the tree houses! )
This was the first DVC resort DH and I stayed at simply because of the deal we got when buying into DVC -- a "free" stay here! So, of course, we did!
Before we went, I, like you, asked about the resort, including which section(s) is best for the buses, etc. since I knew that the resort was so sprawling. I'm glad I did because when I made the ressie, I requested to be in The Grandstand section. It is first for pick-up; i.e. an empty bus in the morning!; it's close to the Carriage House (main building), so it's close for CS meals, etc.; our "quiet" pool was super pleasant because anyone wanting a "big" pool experience just walked over to the High Rock Spring Pool (main pool) which then left ours, well, quiet.
Also, I loved the proximity of the entire resort to DTD. We could have walked -- although I do that enough in the parks! -- so a bus or boat ride is still easy enough and pretty short by comparison to other resorts around property.
I think if you stayed there, you would enjoy it like we did. It's definitely not a resort I would prefer over say the BWV or BLT, simply because of their proximity to the parks, but since it's usually the one resort with availability (since it's the largest), I know I never have to panic if I can't get a room elsewhere because I know I like SSR enough to stay there again.
We love it. We stayed in a treehouse on our visit last year and it was amazing. Yes, the transportation is not the fastest but we are pretty laid back on our visits so we don't mind. We love the quiet, relaxed atmosphere. We also enjoy the boat ride to DTD.
SSR is our home resort, and we have stayed there 5 times in the last few years, and already have 2 more reservations for stays there. We always ask for the Grandstand section (and have been granted that every time we asked!) since, as mentioned previously, it is the first pick-up/drop-off point for the park buses. The quiet pool there is great for those of us that do not care for the craziness of the main pool, and the pool bar there is a great place to get a refreshing adult beverage without the crowds.
We have also stayed at the Treehouses on two occasions, and absolutely love them! Wish they would put in a pool bar there as well. It looks like the building was designed with one in mind. Time will tell.
I guess we are just lucky with the buses, because in all of our stays, we have only waited more than the scheduled 20 minutes once, and that was at Hollywood Studios at park closing, and we learned that our bus broke down. A very nice CM that was driving the OKW bus, took us on and dropped us off at SSR. Most times, are waits are less than 10 minutes. I know other people have had bad experiences, so I guess we are just lucky in that regard.
Other people have stated that they do not like the open hallways, and we have no problem with that at all. It is a very quiet resort, and we like the quiet after a day in the parks. We also love taking the boat to DTD. Very relaxing, and only a few minutes walk from the Grandstand. The main building is also only a few minutes walk, so unless you really want a DTD view, or have to be closer to the main pool, the Grandstand is the place to be.
We also hear that people have had bad rooms that weren't cleaned or appeared very worn. Again, we must be just very lucky, since we have never had that happen to us. We have had a few minor maintenance issues that were fixed promptly (loose handle on a shower door). We even noticed a big scratch on the TV, and told them it would be fine until we left, but they came and replaced it in 30 minutes!
As you can tell, we love this resort! We have stayed at AKL, OKW, VGC, POR, POFQ, and FW on other visits, and we will eventually stay at all of the DVC resorts. I think AKL would be our second favorite.
We enjoyed our stay in the Grandstand area, too. We only used Disney transportation system and we had no issues. The buses were on time.
The kids the pool area there, and it was very peaceful. Our two bedroom was in excellent shape, and it had a water and treehouse view. The spa there was AWESOME; towards the end of the trip we booked massages and pedicures.
We did not eat there, but the restaurant looked very nice.
Disney Trips: BoardWalk Villas and Kidani Village 2011, BoardWalk Villas and Kidani Village 2010, BoardWalk Villas and Saratoga Springs Resort 2008,Beach Club Villas 2008,Villas at Wilderness Lodge 2006,BoardWalk Villas 2006,Beach Club Villas2005, Disney's HHI 2004,Polynesian 2003,Grand Floridian 2000/concierge, Honeymoon at Polynesian 1994,Polynesian 1980,Polynesian 1978
I just requested a downtown Disney view, this is also our home resort and we have never stayed here. I like the idea of quite and have no issues with a outside door. Love all the info, thanks everyone!
Other people have stated that they do not like the open hallways, and we have no problem with that at all.
Honestly, after staying in a few of the "hotel-style" resorts; i.e. with interior hallways, I think I actually prefer the outside corridors simply because they're not as noisy from foot traffic. The noise seems to dissipate better then it does when people are trudging through the hallways on their way to parks, etc. -- especially when not everyone remembers to use their indoor voices.