This past week we stayed 6 days at Disney's Saratoga Springs resort, which is a DVC ( Disney Vacation Club ) resort. You do not have to be a DVC member to rent points and stay here. This was our experience.
The theming of Saratoga Springs is horse racing and I think Disney carried out that horse theme very well!
Typical resort check in is at 4:00pm, but I do believe every Disney resort we've ever stayed in had our rooms ready before then. Our room here at Saratoga was ready around 10:30 am. We knew from the My Disney Experience app which building and room to go to.
Our driver dropped us off right outside our building, which was the 7500 building in the Carousel section. Since we had never stayed here before, we did not put in a request for a specific building. We wanted to be surprised.
Saratoga Springs is a very large resort and there are five sections ( six if you count the Tree House Villas). The sections are, The Carousel, The Paddock, Congress park, The Springs, The Grand Stand, (and the Tree House Villas which actually have a separate bus).
The Carousel buildings are the closest to the entrance of the resort. We were always the second stop to be dropped off when coming back from the Disney parks. The Carousel building does not have it's own pool in this section. The closest pool is at the Paddock ( which is the next section over and just a short walk). There is a bus stop at the Carousel ( as there is with every section). The Carousel is probably the furthest from the main building ( check in at the Carriage House, food court, fitness center, etc) but it is still walkable and we did it with ease almost every day. We were told there is also an internal bus, but we never saw one.
The Paddock buildings are a bit closer to the main building as it is connected by a bridge.
The Paddock has it's own swimming pool, and pool bar which also serves lunch and snacks ( and I heard it was open at breakfast time as well).
We like this pool as it was a zero entry pool, and we thought the twists and turns of the water slide here were even better than the slide at the main pool. This pool area also had a hot tub.
The Congress Park buildings are the closest to Disney Springs if you want to walk there. This set of buildings has it's own pool, but no snack bar.
The Springs buildings are the closest to the Main Carriage house, registration, food court, gift shop, bell services, Community Hall, etc.
The food court is called Artists Pallet, which I thought was an odd name since the rest of the resort had a strong horse theme throughout.
We thought the food court had a god variety. You can see their current offering HERE.
While we were there, they had just set up their Halloween items display.
The spa and fitness center is also here but the Spa is no longer operable and we were told that it has been turned into office space.
The fitness center was rather large ( more than what this picture shows) and was quite busy on the day we visited.
There are two hot tubs in this pool area, as well as a snack bar that serves beverages and food. Across the pool area is the Win, Place Show Arcade.
Also in this area you will find bike rentals and community hall.
The cast members here even let us do our own Derby Dash fun run ( which has since been discontinued for the foreseeable future).
Here you can even create some crafts ( for an additional fee).
In the back of the main building you will find the Golf Pro Shop ( there is a golf course here).
Beside the Golf Pro Shop is a cute lunch counter called Chip and Dales. This is not an indoor restaurant, but has chairs and tables with umbrellas outside. We sat here one afternoon and had a nice lunch before our round of golf.
Right around the corner from Chip and Dales is the walkway to the boat launch that goes to Disney Springs.
There is also a walk way that you can take to walk to Disney Springs but it will take you to the West End ( near Circe de Sole and the Movie Theater). If you want to be in the Market Place section ( Where World of Disney and Rain Forest Cafe is), you'll want to take the walking path near Congress park, or take the boat.
The Grand Stand buildings are a short walk to the Main building. This section has a pool and a cute splash pad for the kids.
Again, it is nicely themed with horses. This is sort of a quite pool, so there is no water slide at this pool. There is a pool bar/lunch counter that is open seasonally. We were excited to find that this particular pool bar sold Doles Whips!
We came back here one afternoon to get the chicken nachos, only to find out they had run out of chicken.
Overall, we really enjoyed this resort. The grounds were beautiful, as was our room. We liked that there were several pools to choose from ( we tried each of the water slides and although they were both fun, liked the one at the Paddock better).
We also enjoyed the variety of food available here. Between Artists Pallet, the multiple pool bars, and Chip and Dales, there was always something near by for lunch or a quick snack.
Every set of buildings had their own bus stop. Ours in the Carousel was two buildings away and it wasn't too far of a walk. The buses were pretty accurate on following the bus schedule. We never had to wait too long for a bus. However, since we were the second pick up stop, we had to ride the bus all the way around the loop. We timed it once and it took 12 minutes of riding around the resort before we left for the park. FYI: more than one bus could be at your stop at the same time. As we were waiting for a Magic Kingdom bus one evening, An Animal Kingdom bus pulled up. The Magic Kingdom bus pulled up behind it ( which was not in view of the bus stop). We never saw the Magic Kingdom bus pull up until it pulled away. Thankfully a cast member in a golf cart picked us up and took us to the last bus stop so we could still get on that bus!
We felt this resort was a good value for all that it offered. Because it is so large, there is a lot to see and do. However, the size can also be a negative too. There are a lot of bus stops, which takes longer to get to and from the parks. Because we were in the Carousel building, we had a lot of walking to do to get to food, pool, recreation, etc. If we stay here again for a significant amount of time, we will pay extra to stay in a preferred building ( which is closer to the main building).
Stay tuned for more of our resort and restaurant reviews!
Till next time, M & L
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