Saratoga Springs- Do you feel like you are in WDW?

I have been trying to rent DVC points for a GF 2 bedroom villa at the end of October but now there is no availability. (There was availability as of this weekend, but David’s had no renters with GF as their home resorts so had to wait to under the 7 month mark which was today - but now no availability. Really disappointed.

There* is* availability for Saratoga Springs. The villas look nice and the pools seem pretty good for young kids, but the units and resort seem pretty generic - not like you are at Disney at all. Almost like you are off property.

Any owners or past renters at Saratoga have better feedback to share?

I think many of the DVC resorts (and the newer refurbed rooms) have a “theme” but not necessarily a “Disney theme”. Saratoga’s theme is throughout the resort with photos on the walls and little touches. I stayed in a one bedroom and I loved the space. I am also a big fan of Disney Springs and the walk, especially at night, is beautiful.

I think I felt like I was at a very nice but huge resort. There are multiple pools with some great features.

As a Copper Creek owner I would be hard pressed to identify any “Disney” touches in the CC rooms. My home Resort is beautiful, as is SSR, but I personally do not “see” Disney.

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thanks Tinker. That’s what I was talking about. I don’t need tacky Little Mermaids all over the place, but did want to have a sense we were on property. GF wasn’t exactly hard core “Disney” but is so beautiful, has the monorail, is across the lake from MK, etc.

Question on SSR - it seems really spread out. Do you think it’s worth the extra money to stay in a preferred villa? (BTW - Cooper Creek has no availability. We’ve stayed twice at WL and loved that vibe.)

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We will be there that week in a 2-bedroom at SSR! So I am obviously biased. We own there and really do love it. However, not very much does compare to the Grand Floridian! It is Disney’s flagship resort for a reason, so I think you probably do need to set your expectations accordingly. It most certainly will beat the GF in the pocket book department!

The pools are fantastic! I like that there is more than one feature pool so we can mix things up a little. We do like Disney Springs for dinner. The restaurants are more varied and better priced than at the parks. I would perhaps think about budgeting some uber or rental car money with what you will save in the points rental because there is no monorail obviously. But it’s a nice and central location so it will be all quick bus rides.

I don’t think the preferred rooms are quite worth the extra cost unless you really don’t want to walk. Remind me again where your original reservation was?

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We own at Saratoga (have done since before it even opened) and absolutely love the resort. I think we have stayed there 15 or 16 times so far, as well as other DVC resorts.

The theme is definitely understated, but the Disney touches are there. Since you’re going with kids I would stick with the Standard room and request the Paddock section. This has a great pool with a brilliant slide and a quick service bar, as well as a fenced in splash pool which is great for younger kids.

Saratoga doesn’t share buses with any other resorts. There are five internal stops before you head to the parks (Grandstand - Carousel - Paddock - Congress Park - Springs). Being in the Paddock has the added advantage of making it easier to get a seat on the bus before it fills up at Congress Park and the Springs at busy times.

As others have already said, the easy walk to Disney Springs is a major plus. The food court, Artist’s Palette, is also very good, as is the Table Service restaurant, the Turf Club. You also have a golf course and spa right there, in case either of those options appeal to someone in your family. :slight_smile:

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Great point ! We relied on Uber/Lyft . You can set the location to the parking lot right at your villa!

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I think that @OBNurseNH just stayed there in February she might have pictures or advice.

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You guys are so great. Thanks for the info. I am feeling better already.
We will have a rental car - traveling with a 4 and 2 year old who will need car seats. I will definitely splurge on Minnie Van for MK days (just hope I can get one). And we will probably drive to other parks. I have no patience for the buses.

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I just thought of something else to feel better about - the reason we aren’t big Disney Springs people is the hassle of parking there. If we can walk over, that might be a game changer! :slight_smile:

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With kids, having Disney Springs so close is brilliant. All those food options just a quick walk away, and they can fall asleep in the stroller if they want.That used to be how DH and I snuck in our date nights - DD asleep while we had dinner together. :laughing:

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We are DVC (not SSR owners) and have stayed at SSR multiple times because it was available when other locations weren’t. It’s certainly not overly themed but it’s beautiful. We’ve enjoyed our stays there. Since you are driving I think you will really appreciate the ample amount of parking by the villas (we certainly have). There are multiple pools and they are great (especially the main pool and Paddock pool).

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In my opinion if you want to feel like you are at “Disney” a value resorts are where you want to stay. That is based on theming which is how I read your question. I live less than 40 miles from Saratoga Springs New York and Disney does a good job making you feel like you are there from what I have seen.

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thekid - it’s so true. The cheaper the resort, the more themed it is! We thought about getting 2 value or moderate rooms and hoping our request for connecting rooms would be honored, but we really wanted a real sitting area that wasn’t someone’s bed. And the kitchen is a plus.

Not a two bedroom but have you looked at a suite at AoA or Allstar?

thanks but our first reservation was for a Cars suited at AoA. We first thought it would be perfect but then realized the bed situation would not work well for the 4 and 2 year old (really not good sleepers). Wasn’t crazy about All Stars…

My husband and I just stayed there for a long weekend getaway without the kids.

It’s a huge, sprawling resort. And while it does not feel overly themed, it’s quite pretty. We loved our time there.

But if I am to be honest, it doesn’t feel particularly immersive. I would almost agree with the statement that it almost feels like being offsite.

The rooms are about to undergo refurbishment, and it does feel like the place could use a little sprucing up. I did not care for the “hallways” - those really need some love and attention as some of them were not just unattractive but almost sketchy looking. They could do a lot to warm them up and make them more welcoming. The decor was fine and the bed was comfortable. I enjoyed having the couch to lounge on in our studio.

What we liked most was the proximity to Disney Springs, especially in the Congress Park area where our room was located. From there, it was under 10 minutes to walk to the Marketplace. In fact, Starbucks was a shorter walk than the walk to Artist Palette, the resort quick service location. And the view from there was pretty amazing

Overall I would very happily stay there again, but it would not be my first choice unless it were another Disney Springs focused trip. I’m not sure the kids would love it (the feature pool is pretty cool but not close by and the quiet pool was nice but … well … quiet). But for what we were after - alone time just us grownup types - it was perfect.

Hope this helps!

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Definitely if you’re spending a lot of time at DS

My parents have stayed there multiple times (I want to say maybe 15-20, I lose count!) and absolutely love it. I stayed there with them once and definitely understand the appeal. They swap timeshare points so they stay in the one-bedroom apartments with laundry and a kitchen; between that and the ‘lack of Disney theme,’ if you will, it does almost feel like an off-site location, so if you want the pure Disney vibe, stay in the value properties! It’s a great resort, super close to Disney Springs, with a decent restaurant. I do know that my folks always request a certain building so they are close to the main bus stop (I want to say Grandstand, but someone check me on that), because it is a large property with multiple bus stops.

Saratoga is one of my two home resorts, and I’ve owned there for eight-plus years. I guess I’m the odd man out, but I prefer that it doesn’t have an especially obvious or immersive theme. I really like that, when staying in a building facing one of the internal lakes or one of the golf greens, the rest of the resort can seem a hundred miles away. I was in the Grandstand on the weekend of the 15th, and sitting on the balcony in the morning was a very enjoyable part of the weekend.

For all that seeming distance, I was maybe ten minutes from Disney Springs, and three from the Carriage House and the main pool.

Though, as @OBNurseNH can attest, my travelling companions were truly revolting people who should be kept hidden from polite company.

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Rapscallions all of them. Degenerates even.

I do love them so :heart: