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This Disney Deluxe Villa resort features a theme wordily described by Disney as recalling an "1880s, Victorian, upstate New York lakeside retreat" amid "pastoral landscapes, formal gardens, bubbling springs, and natural surroundings.” Saratoga Springs comprises 1,260 studio and one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas across the lake from Downtown Disney. Housed in 12 buildings, most accommodations are of recent vintage, while the fitness center and check-in building are retooled vestiges of the erstwhile Disney Institute. An adjacent 60-unit DDV complex, Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, opened in 2009.
The fitness center is by far the best at Walt Disney World. The Senses spa, like the Grand Floridian’s, was refurbished in 2013 along the lines of those on Disney’s cruise ships. While we've not yet sampled it, we can tell you that results from the Grand Floridian’s refurb were excellent.
Surrounded on three sides by golf courses, Saratoga Springs is the only Disney-owned resort that affords direct access to the links (the military-only Shades of Green also provides golf on-property).
Furnishings and soft goods in the villas and studios are less whimsical and a little more upscale and masculine than in other Disney resorts. Chairs, sofas, and tables are quite substantial, perhaps a little too large for the rooms they inhabit. The overall effect, however, is sophisticated and restful. A Gulf Shores, Alabama, family, however, takes a slight exception to the restful part:
Saratoga Springs Resort was beautiful, comfortable, and exactly what we needed for our family of five. It was VERY quiet . . . except for the toilets. When you flushed, it sounded like the space shuttle launching.
A couple from Peru, Indiana, takes a more critical tack:
Saratoga Springs is our least favorite resort. We didn’t enjoy the theming, and unless you have a car, getting around by the bus system is a real hassle. The food court is very small for the size of the resort, and the food is expensive for what you get. Also, the checkout process was very slow, and our room seemed smaller than comparable rooms at BoardWalk Villas and Old Key West.
A Cartersville, Georgia, reader echoes the previous complaint about bus service:
No matter what time we attempted to leave a park for Saratoga Springs, there were no buses. Forty-five minutes was the norm. We loved Saratoga Springs, but why pay the premium when we ended up driving or taking cabs so as not to waste 2–3 hours per day?
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa||76% (+7%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||76% (+0%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||57% (+0%)|
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa||90% (+13%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||92% (+2%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||79% (-7%)|
Good (and Not-So-Good) Rooms at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
This resort's sprawling size puts some of its best rooms very far away from the main lobby, restaurants, and shops. If you don't have a car, the best rooms are those in The Springs, numbered 3101 - 3436 and 3501 - 3836. Ask for a room toward the northeast side of these buildings (away from the lobby), as the southwest rooms border a well-traveled road. Avoid Rooms 4101 through 4436 in Building 14; a pedestrian walkway runs behind the patios of this building and gets a lot of use early in the morning from guests headed to breakfast.
If you've got a car or you don't mind a couple of extra furlongsâ€™ walk to the lobby, Rooms 1101 - 1436 and 2501 - 2836 in Congress Park offer quietness, a view of Downtown Disney, and a relatively short walk to the bus stop. Also good are Rooms 4501 - 4826, 6101 - 6436, and 6501 - 6836 in The Paddock. Avoid rooms on the northeast side of the 5101 - 5435 building of The Paddock, as well as the northwest side of the 5501 - 5836 building; these border a swimming pool and bus stop.
In addition to being quiet, Rooms 1101 - 1436 of Congress Park and Rooms 6101 - 6436 and 6501 - 6836 of The Paddock afford the closest walks to Downtown Disney shops, restaurants, and entertainment.
|Extremely nice studio rooms and villas||Traffic congestion at resort's southeast exit|
|Lushly landscaped setting||Small living areas and villas|
|Best fitness center at WDW||Distance of some accommodations from dining and services|
|Convenient self-parking||Limited dining options|
|Close to Downtown Disney by boat or walking path||No character meals|
|Golf on-property||Theme and atmosphere not very kid-friendly|
|Hiking, jogging, water recreation||Spotty bus service|
|Excellent themed swimming complex||Large, confusing layout|
Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa Dining
- Backstretch Pool Bar (Bar or Lounge)
- On the Rocks (Bar or Lounge)
- The Artist's Palette (Counter Service)
- The Paddock Grill (Counter Service)
- The Turf Club Bar & Grill (Table Service)
- The Turf Club Lounge (Bar or Lounge)
|Magic Kingdom||23 minutes|
|Disney's Hollywood Studios||24 minutes|
|Disney's Animal Kingdom||27 minutes|
|Quietness of Room||A|
|Shuttle to Parks||Yes|