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Old 01-06-2008, 01:16 PM   #1
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Disney's Saratoga Springs & Spa (Disney Deluxe Villas Resort)

Saratoga Springs, the largest of Disney's Deluxe Villas resorts, is located just across the lake from Downtown Disney.

Official Guidebook Review: Our official review of Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort can be read in PassPorter's Walt Disney World guidebook (chapter 3).

Personal Review: We've stayed at this resort twice -- once in 2004 and again in 2006 -- and enjoyed both. Alas, the resort felt isolated the way Old Key West does, yet it doesn't enjoy the spacious rooms that Old Key West has. This is our least favorite Disney Vacation Club property.

Other Reviews: We do not yet have a feature article on file for the Saratoga Springs Resort. If you're interested in writing one, please contact Belle*.

Photo Reviews: See our Saratoga Springs Resort photo collection.

Your Review: What do YOU think of this resort? We want to know! To leave a review AND numerical rating, click the Review button below. If you've written a trip report that includes your stay at this resort, please include a link to it here. Photos are also welcome. Please avoid commenting on previously posted reviews. Tip: Include your pros and cons!

Results from these ratings and reviews will be factored into the ratings that appear in the guidebook, too!
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:18 PM   #2
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Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort

Saratoga Springs Resort, a sprawling and lush DVC resort, evokes a whimsical sense of nostalgia combined with all the modern amenities of a Disney Vacation Club resort.

The resort is reminiscent of a peaceful time in New York State history. Saratoga, NY was the playground of the rich and elite in the early 20th century, and this resort brings that time back!

The grounds are beautifully landscaped, surrounding several small lakes, and decorated in beautiful, rich colors. The rooms are large and accomodating, and although the rooms at Old Key West tend to be a little larger, we never felt like we were lacking.

We tried both the quiet pool and the themed pool, and we really preferred the theme pool. There is a rock slide, a hot tub and plenty of room to sit around and relax.

One of the things that Saratoga was famous for was it's spas. Tourists would travel from all over to "take the waters", and SSR has recreated that with a Niki Bryan Spa right on the property! We have not yet treid this particular spa, but having tested other Niki Bryan spas, I can assume it would be wonderful.

One thing we noticed from this last trip was that the transportation service was vastly improved. I am not sure if that is because the resort is nearly completed, or if transportation on whole improved. There seemed to be an increase in buses, and one of the nice things is that you do the internal route, and then you are off to your destination. No stops at other resorts! We did use the boat service once, and this was very nice, but it was a little bit of a long walk back to our room.

We also took the pathway from DD back to SSR one night. It was a nice easy walk, but also left us alot further away from our room than we would have liked.

One of my dislikes about SSR is that I found the signs and directions to be a little confusing. After the first day, we could easily drive bacj and forth from our room or the Carraige House, but everything else seemed to become a bit of an adventure.

Overall, we liked this resort very much and would stay there again without a second thought!
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:20 PM   #3
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I stayed here in December of 2007 in a studio room. We were located on the first floor of a building in Congress Park with a wonderful view of DTD! The room was clean and well maintained. During our stay (we were there on DVC points) we actually got an extra tidy service because they were upgrading all of the linen at the resort. I will say that the new towels and sheets were higher in quality.

We only ate at the main building once. It was quite a distance and it is the one time I bought a resort mug and didn't get my money's worth. I had brought my own tea bags so would have a cup of hot tea every evening when we got back to the room. After walking at the parks all day I had not interest in hiking (or taking a bus) to get a drink. Having the mini kitchen was great! I used the microwave every morning and evening to make tea and we kept bottled water amd pop in the refrigerator.

I slept on the pull out hide-a-bed. It was fairly comfortable for one. I would fold it up everyday to make space in the room and once it was made up it was kind of snug to close. You had to give it a good tug to get it open.

One feature I liked was the coat hooks by the door. It was a great place to hang jackets, bags and hats. They were easy to find, out of the way and ready to go when you left for the parks. The closet was pretty deep. When you opened the door you could only see about 1/2 of it, but the back area was a great place to put your empty suitcase.

We didn't use the pools on this trip, but I did take a walk around the quiet pool in Congress Park. It looked over towards DTD and at night sitting in the hot tub you would have had a great view across the lake with the lights reflected in the water!

One day we walked over to DTD for lunch at EoS. It was a decent stroll, but very enjoyable.

Overall I would definitely stay here again. I do recommend taking advantage of the kitchen to keep snacks and beverages. Unless you're staying close to the main building it's pretty far to walk to fill up a mug.
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:02 PM   #4
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Our Home Resort

We stayed in The Carousel building during our trip in December 2007. We were in a one bedroom villa, room 7214. It was on the second floor all the way at the end and the balcony had a perfect view of the bus stop. They called it a garden view. It was actually a very quiet location and we never once heard the buses when they stopped. It took about 10 minutes to walk from our room to the Carriage House which we did not find too difficult.
The staff was extremely friendly and definitely made us feel at home while we were there. We were able to get into our room as soon as we checked in at 9 a.m. and that even surprised the CM checking us in. The CM's at the Artist Pallette were extremely helpful and the food was very good. The shop was nice and they had DVC merchandise as well as SSR merchandise, plus limited groceries. It was perfect for one-stop shopping.
The themeing is very low key but if you look closely there are hidden mickey's all over the architecture. We visited the theme pool as well as the quiet pool by the Paddock building and we preferred the theme pool. We have two children, 5 yrs & 11 months, and the zero entry was perfect for both of them as well as the Donald fountain. The playground by the Paddock building was well suited to both ages as well. The resort themeing even extended to the play structure which I thought was very nice.
We did find it was much more convenient to drive ourselves to the parks and DTD instead of relying on Disney transportation, with the only exception being when going to MK. You are able to park right outside your building which was really nice since we had two strollers to haul around.
Overall, we really enjoyed this resort and we plan on staying there again in April.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:14 AM   #5
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Love my "Home"

As you can see by my rating, I love my Disney Home. We have stayed here twice and have not been disappointed yet. I absolutely cannot understand why people do not love this resort. It is the perfect place for me. I guess that is what is so great about Disney. You can find a magical spot just for you and I have found it at Saratoga Springs.

We have stayed in a Studio and a Two-bedroom. There were three of us (DH, DS and I) in the Studio and seven in the Two-bedroom. We had plenty of room.

The theming is beautiful. It is so elegant. The beds are comfortable and the pullout sofa is not bad. I liked having the sofa in the Studio. In the morning we could make it up and have the sitting area instead of another bed. The fabrics are well chosen and beautifully put together. I love the hidden Mickeys in the material. Overall, it has a classic elegance that will not go out of style.

Our views have been lovely. We had a view of the golf course on our first trip and a lake on our second. It was so nice to have coffee on our deck every morning. What a relaxing beginning to a busy day in the parks. Then, at the end of the day, it was hot tea or a glass of wine on the deck. Does it get any better??

We have stayed at the Grandstand on both trips so we have been very lucky. It's the first stop for Disney transportation both coming and going. The bus stop was basically right outside our door. The boys enjoy playing horseshoes while waiting for the bus.

The quiet pool at the Grandstand is nice as well. We used it on our first trip. DH and I took coffee down while DS swam. The walk to the Carriage House was easy and enjoyable. With all the walking you do at Disney, what's a short walk to the main building? And it's a nice one. The main pool is fabulous. I love it. On our last trip we used the hot tub (A LOT!!) and the boys watched the movies poolside while swimming. There are always activities going on. On our first trip you could make ice-cream by the pool!

We have not eaten at the Turf Club but Artist's Pallette is very good. I love that it is not just your basic hamburger place.

The Cast Members have always been so nice to us. Last year there was a DVC rep from Alabama and we had the best time sitting in the Carriage House lobby talking to him. DS and I were walking to DTD one day on our first trip and a CM in a golf cart stopped and asked us if we needed anything. We told him where we were going and he told us to hop on because he was headed that way. Service at SSR has been wonderful.

This resort is quiet, too. I have heard some report that it is noisy. Maybe at night, on the DTD side of the resort, but on the Grandstand side, it is very quiet. There is a golf course around it, so it is quiet during the day, too. I have never had a problem with noise here, even at night when we have been out late at the main pool. It is a quiet, peaceful, relaxing resort.

Anything negative to say about SSR?
I don't like the tile on the bathroom floors, but I don't like the tile in any Disney resort bathroom floor. I think Disney got some deal on bathroom floor tile.

I wish there was a better mapped walking route to DTD.

I wish there was maid service every day so I didn't have to make up my bed.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:25 AM   #6
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Love my "Home"

Duplicate post; should be deleted
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:43 PM   #7
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This is our home resort.
October 2006 9 of us stayed in a grand villa. It was my son's 21st birthday celebration. We absolutely loved the spacious rooms. We enjoyed the main pool area. As always the Cast Members were very polite and helpful when we needed something. I felt at home but was quickly reminded that I wasn't because it is so relaxing and quiet that I knew I couldn't be at home.
We enjoyed the location being right across thepond from Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island, as I said it was my oldest's 21st birthday. Everyone enjoyed shopping and Disney Quest is the greatest.
Saratoga Springs is the perfect place to go with kids and we are looking forward to enjoying it some time in the future without kids. I believe it is perfect for everyone.
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Old 01-27-2008, 03:47 PM   #8
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Wink Our home resort

We had a wonderful time in October 2006. It was my son's 21st birthday, there were nine of us staying in a grand villa. We enjoyed the close proximaty to Pleasure Island and Downtown Disney.
We enjoyed the spacious rooms and as always, the Cast Members were polite and helpful. I can't wait to go back.
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:16 PM   #9
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Absolutely Gorgeous!

I had the unique pleasure at staying at this resort previously while it was still referred to as the "Disney Institute." I enjoyed that stay in the Bungalows and when Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa was unveiled, we were extremely eager to return.

My family and I stayed in a two bedroom Villa (there were 7 of us - Five adults & two kids) in August of 2007. We had a wonderful time walking the beautifully manicured pathways and feel the cool breezes that would come of the nearby river. Despite its immense size and sprawling layout, I found the resort to be relatively quiet. However the only downside is that if you need to go to the front desk for any reason, the walk up there can be daunting. Other than that, I loved it and our room building was so close to Downtown Disney (10 minute walk). I highly recommend this and will definitely stay again in the future.
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:33 PM   #10
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Smile OUR STAY AT SARATOGA SPRINGS

WE STAYED AT SARATOGA SPRINGS RESORT DECEMBER 9-13, 2007 AFTER A 3 DAY DISNEY CRUISE. WE LOVED THE RESORT. AS WE DECIDED TO BOOK OUR VACATION SEPERATELY, WE STARTED OUT WITH A 3 DAY STAY AT THE ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE. WONDERFUL STAY! WE THEN WENT ON THE DISNEY WONDER CRUISESHIP AND HAD A GREAT TIME, FROM THERE WE WENT AND STAYED AT THIS RESORT FOR 4 NIGHTS. WE WERE ABLE TO GET BOTH THE ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE AND THE SARATOGA SPRINGS RESORT AT A TERIFFIC RATE ON THE MOUSESAVERS.COM WEBSITE. WE HAD ORIGINALLY BOOKED OUR STAY AT THE CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT FOR THE DURATION OF OUR STAY LESS THE CRUISE BUT WHEN WE WERE ABLE TO UPGRADE TO THESE 2 RESORTS FOR MERELY 20 MORE A NIGHT, WE OPTED TO DO THAT. WE ARE SO GLAD WE DID. WE STAYED AT THE GRANDSTAND BUILDING WHICH WAS A GREAT LOCATION TO US. IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST STOPS FOR THE BUS WHICH IS GREAT WHEN YOU ARE TRAVELING WITH KIDS. THE WALK OVER TO THE MAIN BUILDING FOR EATS WASN'T LONG. WE ENJOYED THE RABBITS AND SCENERY ALONG THE WAY! THE ROOM WE STAYED IN WAS A STUDIO. JUST THE RIGHT SIZE FOR THE 4 OF US. IT WAS IMMACULATE AND SUITED OUR EVERY NEED! WE WOULD DEFINETELY RECOMMEND THIS RESORT TO A FAMILY OF 4 OR LESS. WE WERE BACKED UP AGAINST THE GOLF COURSE WHICH WAS WONDERFUL TO GO OUT ON OUR BALCONY AND SEE THIS. SO PEACEFUL AND QUIET!

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Old 08-31-2008, 10:43 PM   #11
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We stayed at SSR in June 08 and loved it. We had a 2br for the first half of our stay and a Studio for our last night. We were fortunate enough to stay in The Springs so we were close to the amenities. I have to say the CMs really went above and beyond. Even when we were standing in line for breakfast someone was interacting with the kids to make the time go by faster. When I was trying to get last minute ADRs they were amazingly accomodating. The zero entry pool was big hit for my 4year old because she could be independent without having to be in the "baby pool".
The proximity to DTD and the activity schedule at the resort itself really makes for a great vacation without having to go to the parks every day.

My only complaint is that the busses to Magic Kingdom were hard to come by and were often filled with people parking at DTD and sneaking on to save parking fees.

It isn't as heavily themed as some of the other resorts but we found it to be relaxing and really enjoyed walking the grounds.

I am editing because we stayed in the Treehouses in 2012 and can't wait to go back this year. They have added additional feature pools and a QS dining option since our first stay but the service is just as great. We found the treehouse to be the perfect solution for traveling with grandparents. The boat ride to downtown and the Carriage House is very pleasant.

This resort is perfect if you are not looking to have a go go go vacation and plan on spending time relaxing at the resort. Nice trails to walk, easy access to downtown, the community hall activities and three feature pool areas to choose from make it a great resort to hang out at. For tennis players it has a clay court which is rare. It is also a great resort for those choosing to visit non Disney parks because of easy access to the highway.

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Old 12-15-2008, 07:29 AM   #12
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Thumbs down We won't stay here again

Bus service was erratic at best. We were at The Springs, which was the last pickup point for the park buses. By the time the buses got to us, they were full. At the parks, other resorts had 2 or 3 pickups before Saratoga Springs had the first one. At Magic Kingdom on Tuesday, we waited for an hour before a bus appeared, and that was only because we complained. Our purchases from Tues weren't available until Thurs afternoon. This resort is entirely too big unless/until Disney expands the services there. On the plus side, all the cast members were extremely helpful and pleasant, Disney-style.

Our home resort is Boardwalk and we love it.
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:40 PM   #13
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Thumbs up SSR is Our Home and We Love It!

We purchased our DVC membership in 2005 and hadn't had a chance to stay at SSR until January 2008 due to giving the use of our points to my daughter and son-in-law for a honeymoon present. They used it to go to the Atlantis in the Bahamas and love it. They still are asking to use the points again for a return trip to the Atlantis but we've told them know.

Anyway, as I've said we've stayed at SSR three times now. Once in January 2008, again in May 2008, and most recently two weeks ago in January 2009. We've stayed each time at Congress Park. We love the views from the room over looking the lake at DTD and PI! We always request a lake view of DTD or PI and a top floor so we can have the view. We've had it every time but this last time in January '09. This latest time we had a garden view 2 br villa, room # 1410, which was very nice as well and very quiet!

We enjoy Congress park as it's closest to DTD and an easy walk to DTD where we enjoy dining at EoS. The quite pool is very relaxing since you don't have all the commotion of the theme pool and kids running all over. Don't get me wrong, I like kids but also like to have some quiet time away from them.

SSR is just far enough from Disney and all the goings on to be nice and relaxing but still have the quality and service you expect from a deluxe Disney resort.

Themeing was just right! It has nice touches of Disney but still the nice charm of Saratoga, NY and the horses you would have expected to find there. Lamps both in and outside of the rooms have silhouettes of horses on them which make it charming to see.

All three rooms we've had at SSR have been very nice and comfortable. We've stayed in now two - two bedrooms and one studio. We were very impressed with all of the rooms!

While the walk to the restaurant at the carriage house is a bit of a walk from Congress Park, it's very enjoyable.

We've rented a two person surrey and enjoyed the ride around the grounds. I just wish they let you go farther than just the path they have plotted out. I would have liked to go around the entire grounds.

The bus service inside the grounds and to the parks are very good when we've been there. While we've had some long waits they have been pleasant as we have been able to meet people from all areas of the country and world. We've had the pleasure of also explaining DVC and how it works to people who are not familiar with it.

We would go back there again and again!!! We need to, at some point, try some of the other DVC resorts but we enjoy this one so much it's hard to change and go somewhere else.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:47 PM   #14
shannonwellnitz
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I liked this resort, but it certainly is not my favourite. The buses were the biggest problem. We stayed at the Springs, it was nice and close to everything, but the bus service was awful. We waited forever for a bus, and then when they came they were often almost full. At night on the way home we were the last stop, so it was an additional 12 minutes from the time you drove on property until you reached our stop. It just took up alot of unnecessary time! The staff were great, the meals were okay, but there is a shortage of choice on the menu in the food court. We were disappointed that the restaurant did not off a to go option. There were a few times we would have like to use our table service credits to get a meal from the restaurant and sit by the pool, but this isn't an option.
We had a great visit but I have certainly enjoyed other hotels more than this one.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:16 AM   #15
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SSR September 2009

We just got back from a pleasant stay at SSR but to be honest, I probably will not stay here again. I chose this-our "home" resort for the zero entry pool & the larger food selection at Artist Pallette. We usually stay at OKW. The rooms are much bigger & this was a worry of mine and it turned out to be warranted. The rooms at SSR are much smaller and our family of myself, DH, DD16, DS12 & DD1 felt very cramped in the smaller square footage of SSRs 1BR. The room was very nice & very clean. I chose the Grandstand after PPers recommendations & it WAS a great location. There is a very nice pool with water feature for the kids & you can fill your mug here & there is also a pool bar. It is the first bus stop so we always got a seat -a MUST with the baby & our 3 wheel stroller. And it is a short walk to the main building. IF I ever stay here again, it would be in this section. The rooms here are also more points than OKW & I just felt like I didn't get as much room for my "money" so to speak. The staff were all very pleasant & helpful. The atmosphere is nice but to us it was nothing special and not as Disney to us as other places.

So to sum it up, we had a pleasant enough stay but I didn't feel it was worth the extra points over our usual OKW.
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