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  • Author
    • Elaine Hammond

      Registered: January 2007
      Location: Voorhees, NJ
      Posts: 32
      Review Date: Thu March 19, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Beautiful grounds and elevators
      Cons: More selections needed at food court

      We stayed at Saratoga from March 7-14. Our arrival was delayed 2 days by the snow storm in NJ. Saratoga was very helpful in moving our reservation forward 2 days.
      The room (a one bedroom #5714) was in great condition and had a lovely view from the balcony.
      We were able to take the bridge over the lake to the food court and that was very nice.
      All in all a great experience and I would definitely stay here again.
      Another plus was outlets outside the door to plug in our scooters. This was a big help.
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      Registered: July 2012
      Location: Michigan
      Posts: 16
      Review Date: Tue February 24, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Convenient, Size of Rooms, Pools
      Cons: None

      We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa the week of February 13th in the Springs section of Sarasota Springs. We felt the location was very convenient to all the parks and to Downtown Disney. There is a walkway on either side of the resort and its a quick 10 minute walk to DTD. The food choices were excellent. The Turf Club is a hidden gem. The Springs section was great as you could walk out either way and get to a feature pool with slides. We spent most of our time at high rock pool which had great entertainment for the kids. We were highly satisfied with this resort. We are not DVC members. The two bedroom suite was amazing and gave our family of five enough space for all to enjoy!
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      Registered: May 2009
      Location: Maine
      Posts: 12
      Review Date: Tue January 27, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Clean, quiet, points paid were very reasonable.
      Cons: Very large resort, we were very far from the Concierge building/ restaurants

      We stayed at Saratoga Springs 1/2-10/2015. We found the resort to be clean, quiet, large, very spread out. We were in the "Carousel" area of the resort, which is about as far away from the restaurants as you can get. It was nice because we were usually the 2nd bus stop when coming back from the parks. But I think if we stayed there again I would request to be in the "Springs" area if possible. We really don't spend much time in our room when at Disney, just need a place to shower and sleep, and Saratoga certainly was sufficient for that. There were 2 adults and 2- 19 yr olds in our room, we had a deluxe studio.
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      Registered: December 2007
      Location: Tallahassee, FL
      Posts: 7
      Review Date: Sat January 24, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Beautiful, peaceful, quiet rooms, close to Downtown Disney
      Cons: None for us

      My husband, son and I stayed here from 12/19-12/22/14. This was our first DVC stay as new DVC members, and this was the only DVC resort available when we made the reservation 3 months before our stay. That said, we would have chosen this resort anyway, since we were coming down for a relaxing weekend away from the parks, except for one evening at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.

      We weren't sure what to expect after reading some of the reviews about this resort on All Ears and other sites, but our experience far exceeded our expectations. We requested a room in Congress Park because we planned to spend quite a bit of time in Downtown Disney, and I requested VIP cleaning for allergies. Those were our only requests, and we were given room 1812 in Congress Park, a studio overlooking Fulton's Crab House in DTD. It was perfect. The room was spotless and the decor recently updated. We were very close to the bus stop and the Congress Park quiet pool. We had a gorgeous view of DTD from our 4th floor studio. Aside from wanting another extra blanket in the room, we had everything we needed. The studio layout was spacious, and we liked having the sink separate from the tub/shower area, which allowed two people to get ready at once. Also, the rooms are quiet. We did not hear anything from neighboring rooms. These were the quietest rooms we have had in 10 stays on property at every level of resort.

      The resort is spread out, and this may be an issue for some, but our room was only a pleasant 5-minute walk to the Springs area with restaurants, the main pool, the spa, and other amenities. We have walked farther when staying at some value and moderate resorts. The bus stop was just a few hundred feet away. Most importantly, we were only a quick 10-minute walk from DTD using the new boardwalk, which was very convenient for shopping and dining.

      We ate breakfast each day at the Artist's Palette counter service restaurant. We loved the Dale Chihuly-style light fixtures and the abstract paintings in the dining area. The food was good - among the better CS food we have had, and typically priced for WDW. Breakfast items were made to order. The adjoining gift/sundry shop was fairly small for a deluxe resort, but adequate.

      We did not have the opportunity to try the Turf Club, but the menu looked quite appealing, and we plan to dine there during our next visit.

      The Rock Springs (main) pool was beautifully themed but a little chilly (daytime temps were in the low 70s). The quiet pool in the Congress Park section was warmer, and we spent quite a bit of time there. There are whirlpools/hot tubs at the quiet pools as well as at the main pool.

      I was able to book a same day pedicure at Senses Spa at Saratoga Springs, and it was a marvelous experience. I would stay at this resort again just for the spa.

      We did Online Check-in prior to our arrival, so our resort check-in was quick and smooth. All of the cast members we encountered during our stay were welcoming and friendly. Checkout was equally seamless.

      We enjoyed the theming at Saratoga Springs. It does not scream Disney like many other resorts, but there are hidden Mickeys everywhere and little touches of Disney magic if you look for them. We enjoyed the equestrian theme, from the carriage outside of the Carriage House (main building) to the jockey silks lining the walls of the Turf Club and adjacent hallway, to the sketches of some of the most beloved horses from Disney animated films on the walls of the Carriage House, to the throw pillows and artwork in our room. The grounds and buildings are beautiful, and the resort has an elegant, peaceful, northern resort feel to it. Since we live in Florida, we didn't want to feel like we were in Florida, so we were pleased.
      In addition, the holiday decorations in the Carriage House and spa were quite lovely - especially the large Christmas tree in the Carriage House. Swags of holiday greenery in the walkways added to the festive atmosphere. A visit from Mickey Mouse in the Carriage House lobby one morning, along with carolers, was a real treat.

      We used the buses to go to MVMCP. We waited 5 minutes for a bus to the Magic Kingdom just before 5pm, and we waited less than 10 minutes for a return bus to the resort. Buses were full, but we expected this the weekend before Christmas, and it was not an issue for us. Although full, they were not crammed or uncomfortable. Riding to multiple bus stops within the resort only took a few minutes and so was not an issue for us. We stay on property so we do not have to drive. The convenience of not having to drive more than outweighs the slight inconvenience of multiple bus stops. We do not have unrealistic expectations for bus transportation, and we have always encountered shorter than expected waits. The ride to the MK took about 20 minutes. For reference, the Congress Park bus stop is the second to the last stop when leaving for the parks (the Springs/main area is the last), so when going to a park, there is only one stop after Congress Park before leaving the resort.

      We appreciated being able to park right in front of our building, which made for easy loading/unloading of luggage. It also made it easy to jump in the car for drives to Fantasia Gardens (about 10 minutes away) and Wilderness Lodge for dinner (15-20 minutes). Epcot and Hollywood Studios are only about 10 minutes from the resort by car.

      In summary, we had a fabulous, relaxing stay in a beautiful resort in a very convenient location. Although our home resort is the Grand Floridian, we can already tell that staying there will be a challenge because we do not usually plan our vacations 11 months ahead of time, and their villas book quickly. We plan to return to Sarasota Springs for years to come.
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      Registered: February 2013
      Location: Mechanicsburg PA
      Posts: 30
      Review Date: Sat December 13, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Centrally located
      Cons: Very big!

      I liked Saratoga Springs more than I expected. Yes, it's huge and stopping at five bus stops within the resort got old. However, it's close to Downtown Disney, Epcot and the Studios, and not too far from the Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom, so bus rides weren't horribly long. I've heard about waits for buses, but we did not experience that at all. I don't think we ever waited more than 10 minutes, either at the resort or at a park coming back. Still, while the resort was nice, it's missing the amazing theming that resorts like the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge or Polynesian have. Also, the on site dining was lackluster.
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      Registered: October 2007
      Location: Michigan
      Posts: 21
      Review Date: Wed November 5, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Close to DTD and a Beautiful Resort
      Cons: None

      We just returned from a 4 night stay at Saratoga Springs Resort. We have never been disappointed with this resort. We were in a two bedroom villa which was clean and newly refurnished. We enjoy the proximity to Downtown Disney and we especially liked the new boardwalk which makes it even closer.
      We enjoyed renting bikes and riding through the Treehouse Villas and Old Key West Resort before taking the bikes to Downtown Disney.
      Our children enjoyed the campfire in the evenings where they were given marshmallows to roast. It would have been great if the store would have sold graham crackers so that they could have made s'mores.
      My husband and I visited the gym almost every morning. It is probably the best equipped gym we've used.
      This is just a great resort and we truly feel at home here.
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      Registered: January 2008
      Location: Refton PA
      Posts: 41
      Review Date: Sat August 30, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): quietness of the resort
      Cons: nothing to help you with your luggage and the sofa needs to be replace

      had 2 villas - each was a 2bedroom - traveling with 14 - 6 teenagers - 1 year old - 87 yr old - 6 Adults - the resort was clean and very quiet. I did the cooking in the 1 villa. housekeeping brought me all the pots I needed.

      the teenagers complain about the 2nd bathroom being too dark but loved the all the space on the vanity.

      the kids used both the main and quiet pool near our villa. they thought the main pool was too loud and noisy.

      our villa was near Downtown Disney which was nice. we used the walkway and didn't have to worry about parking the cars.

      the frig doesn't have an ice maker - had to walk to get ice or use the ice tray in the freezer which took awhile to make

      Housekeeping did stop by on our check out day to ask what time we would be leaving - trying to feed everyone and pack everything up, I felt like they were trying to get us out of the villa. They stopped by both villas. I did the early check-in and on that I stated I would be out by 10:30 AM. I didn't need someone knocking on my door at 7:30 to find out what time I thought I would be gone. A better way is to give housekeeping a call when you are leaving the room. We were out by 9:30am .

      Old Key West is still my home but Saratoga Springs was nice to visit.
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      Registered: August 2008
      Posts: 13
      Review Date: Sat June 14, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 4 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Price/cost of points
      Cons: Size, location

      We decided relatively last minute to take a 4 day, Memorial Day weekend trip. By 'relatively last minute', I mean that we booked the middle of February. When I went online to look, Saratoga Springs was the only DVC resort with any availability. So we took what we could get.

      I stayed here before, back in 2010, and while I remember that it is a huge, sprawling resort, it really impacted us this time. We had 2 studios in the Paddock area. The walk from out room to the Carriage House/Artist Pallette was roughly a mile round trip. Not so much with that. Besides that, the bus service, as it is everywhere around WDW, was as inconsistent as ever. I almost prefer to just cab it from resort to resort than screw around waiting for the busses.

      The room was nice, and well kept, so no issues there. The Paddock pool was also very nice, and much more convenient to us than the main pool.

      All in all, while it is a nice resort, it's definitely down on the bottom of the list for me when it comes to DVC resorts.
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      Registered: October 2006
      Location: Bel Air, Maryland
      Posts: 15
      Review Date: Mon February 3, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Quite and clean
      Cons: Each time we had sat down on the coach. We sank about 6 inche or more.

      The room we had stayed at was clean and the bed was comfortable. This is a nice room, except for the coach. The resort is huge. Disney does everything on a large scale. The parks are spread out, so as to handle the crowds and the many different forms of entertainment.
      I enjoy the walks from our room to the main house. In the parks, the I enjoy walks from one ride to another ride. The employees are pretty good at there jobs. We had always been treated well. Will be going back to Disney for many years.
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      Registered: February 2012
      Location: Massachusetts
      Posts: 14
      Review Date: Fri January 31, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Got a great location for our family
      Cons: Theming is not very exciting

      We went from Jan 4th to Jan 11th. All the Disney hotels are nice. What I enjoy about staying at a Disney resort is being in the Disney bubble all week and having everything function perfectly. All I have to do is get my kids moving in the morning and the Mouse does the rest. That was the case at Saratoga. We decided being close to the bus stop was better than being close to the restaurants. We got a room in The Grandstand which was one minute from the bus stop (and the first one on the line in the morning, first stop on the way back) and about five minutes from the main building/restaurants.

      That location was perfect. It was early January and we get moving early with a 4 and 2 year old, two mornings we had our own bus. On the return trip we only waited more than 10 minutes twice. One night there was a big crowd but clearly Disney ordered more buses because they just kept coming one after the other.

      Saratoga has the boat to Downtown Disney, that's nice.

      We only ate at the quick service restaurant which is pricey for what you get, Disney has gotten very greedy about it's food pricing. The soda refill policy is annoying as well, I mean, soda is pure profit.

      The location is only okay, long bus ride to MK, medium bus ride to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

      This is the least appealing deluxe resort in my view. A late 1800s horse race theme isn't very exciting to me, my kids were completely indifferent.

      If you get over the lack of appeal everything else is nice, several pools, clean and so on. We have other resorts we want to try so we probably won't be back to Saratoga soon but we enjoyed our stay there.
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      Registered: April 2008
      Location: Darien, Il
      Posts: 15
      Review Date: Sat January 4, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Proximity to Downtown Disney
      Cons: Large resort

      We stayed here for 5 nights just prior to Thanksgiving, 11/22-11/27. Myself, DW, twin 12 yo DD & DS and both grandmas shared a 2 bedroom villa at Congress Park. Room was awesome...clean, great theming, with plenty of space for all. View of Downtown Disney, Characters in Flight, Cirque etc.

      Bit of a hike from our room to the Artist's Palette or High Rock Spring pool... it's a really large resort that takes up a huge amount of acreage. But a pleasant stretch of the legs in nice weather and we had a car so I'd drive over to pick up coffee & danish on more inclement mornings. And hey, it's Disney, so how bad can it be to have to walk around a little?

      The pool area is impressive with a nice bar area and the arcade right there. Lots of activities around the resort and we participated in a few poolside games and had a great time at the nightly marshmallow roast/smores campfire.

      While we loved Artist's Palette and ate several meals there, a bit disappointing that AP & The Turf Club are the only dining options on property. Especially with a resort of this size and the TC's restricted hours it would seem another casual sit down/counter option or two might be appropriate.

      We really enjoyed the equestrian theming of this resort and found it to be very relaxed & restful. We've stayed previously at GF and our fav the Beach Club and found Saratoga to compare favorably. Great attention to detail as with all WDW resorts.

      Circumstances dictated we drive to the parks so can't comment on resort bus transportation. The pedestrian walkway/boat dock near our building was closed due to the construction on the new Disney Springs so we had to grab a boat from the dock near the golf course. We did use the boats several times over our stay and encountered no issues.

      Overall it was a great trip and all agreed it was a very nice resort that we'd be happy to stay at again.
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      Registered: September 2006
      Posts: 55
      Review Date: Mon December 23, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Location near Downtown Disney, beautiful room
      Cons: bus transportation

      We stayed here for one night before transferring to the Grand Floridian Villas and we were pleasantly surprise with how much we liked the place! It was beautiful and bell services was quick to load us into a golf cart and get us to our room. We were right near the walkway to Downtown Disney (which was closed) and could see the balloon and Fulton's boat from our porch. The room itself was really nice and spacious and we were close to a quiet pool, bus stop, and had a short walk to the main building.

      The one time we did take the bus it took forever though. There are 4 or 5 stops at this vast resort and it does eat up some time. We figured out the fastest way was getting off at another stop and just walking back to ours, but had we stayed there longer I think this would have put a damper on the trip. This is definitely a resort designed around you having a car!
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      Registered: November 2013
      Posts: 4
      Review Date: Thu November 14, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Great pool/lots of events
      Cons: Room was far from main area

      We stayed only one night on 10/31/13. The check in was fast. Our magic bands gave us trouble but i realize they re still in the testing phase. The room was very nice. Bed and sofa bed were comfortable.Main pool area was beautiful. Nice slides and tons of activities for kids for Halloween. At night there was a halloween party with contests and characters. Food court and restaurant were delicious!!Our hotel was a little far from main area. There was a closer pool that was quieter however
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      Registered: January 2011
      Location: Boston, MA
      Posts: 54
      Review Date: Fri August 30, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros):

      This is our home resort and we usually love it. It nice and clean. We usually don't have problems with bus service either. We did have one problem this trip. Usually our room is ready for us when we check in - be it at 11am or 4pm. And while I realize that officially check-in time is 4pm, they actually did not release that room to us till almost 4pm (we had checked in about 12pm). Although I found the wait inconvenient we did make use of the pool. And considering the location of the room that we got, I'd say it was worth the wait.
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      Registered: July 2013
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Fri July 19, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): clean, beautiful, patios, kitchenette, golf course, water, boat ride, basketball, pools
      Cons: large layout, not close to parks

      Had an amazing stay at Saratoga Springs. We've stayed there many times actually. Paid $162 using www.saratooga.com, which specializes in arranging DVC rentals for Saratoga Springs. Amazing pricing.
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