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Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort is one of the many resort options available for a Disney vacation. It is considered a Deluxe Villa, which means it contains no standard resort rooms. Make sure you know the differences between the Disney resort categories!
If you are still trying to decide whether you want to stay at a Disney resort, take a look at comparisons between staying on Disney property versus staying in Orlando.
The resort itself is picturesque, and rather spread out! But is it the right resort for you? Let’s take a look and find out. This review is loaded with pictures to help give you a good feel for what the resort looks like, so make sure you look through them all.
Table of Contents
Saratoga Springs Theme and Atmosphere
If you happen to have even a vague knowledge of what happens at the real Saratoga Springs (located in NY), then you already know the theme! That’s right, Saratoga Springs Resort is all about horse racing. And really, horses in general.
Saratoga Springs takes its inspiration from the historic late 1800’s based resort and spa located at Saratoga Springs, NY. The architecture of the resort is based on the Victorian architecture of Saratoga Springs at that time. Around Saratoga Springs you will find golf courses and Lake Buena Vista.
As is typical with Disney design, you can find subtle Disney references nestled in and around the resort details. I love the fact that there are Mickey Mouse silhouettes in the shingles of the buildings.
Location of Saratoga Springs at Disney World
Saratoga Springs Resort is located in the Disney Springs area of Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, you can find Saratoga Springs directly across Lake Buena Vista when you stand in Disney Springs.
This makes Saratoga Springs the closest Disney resort to Disney Springs. In fact, some of the rooms at Saratoga Springs are so close to Disney Springs you can walk there. But more on that below!
Other Disney resorts in the Disney Springs resort area:
- Old Key West Resort
- Port Orleans French Quarter
- Port Orleans Riverside
Saratoga Springs Resort Map
This map really demonstrates the spread out nature of Saratoga Springs resort. And this doesn’t even show the Treehouse Villas, which are even further away.
Because of the size, the resort is broken up into different areas, all with appropriately equestrian themed names. Five of these areas house all of the resort rooms, and one area houses the check-in desk, dining, and other amenities.
The Carriage House is essentially the hub of Saratoga Springs Resort. However, with online check-in, it’s completely possible to never set foot in this area of the resort. Depending on where your room is located, you might be very far away from it.
You can find these amenities all clustered around Carriage House:
- Carriage House itself (guest check-in)
- Disney Vacation Club Preview Center
- Spa and Fitness Center
- Recreational Rentals
- Magical Express Pick up and Drop off
Guest Room Areas
As I mentioned, there are 5 different areas which house all of the villas at Saratoga Springs Resort. Each area has it’s own bus stop and 4 of the areas have their own pools and recreation areas. Perhaps that alone gives you an idea of just how spread out Saratoga Springs Resort is.
The different sections of Saratoga Springs are:
- Congress Park
- The Paddock
- The Grandstand
- The Springs
- The Carousel
And none of those sections even takes a look at the Treehouse Villas, an offshoot of Saratoga Springs Resort. These villas are even further removed from the center of the resort, requiring an additional bus to get there. However, these villas are large and completely unique. You won’t find anything else like them at Disney World.
Disney Saratoga Springs Rooms
As I mentioned, all of the rooms at Saratoga Springs Resort are considered to be villas. There are no standard resort rooms here. This means that you get more square footage and at the very least a kitchenette. On the grandest side of things, you get multiple bedrooms, a full kitchen, and a washer/dryer in your room.
What exactly you get depends on the type of room you choose to book. But before we get into the different types of villas, there are a couple of things to look at first.
Saratoga Springs Resort is technically a Disney Vacation Club Resort. This is why all of the rooms are villas. However, you don’t have to be a Disney Vacation Club member in order to stay here. All of the villas are available for cash bookings as well.
Tip: To save a TON of money on a stay at Saratoga Springs, consider renting Disney Vacation Club points from a member. It could cut your out of pocket cost in half!
Standard vs. Preferred Rooms
All of the villas at Saratoga Springs are offered in 2 different categories: standard or preferred. This basically refers to which section of the resort your room will be in. Villas in the preferred category are in more desirable locations throughout the resort. All of the preferred rooms are located in either Congress Park or The Springs.
All standard villas are cheaper than preferred villas.
Saratoga Springs Room Renovations
At the time of writing this review, the Saratoga Springs rooms are undergoing a complete renovation. Unfortunately, we weren’t assigned to one of the newly remodeled rooms when we went. In fact, there really weren’t all that many completed at that point. So, in my room pictures you can see the general layout, which will remain the same, but the decor is the old style.
It is unknown when all of the rooms will be complete. Unfortunately, the pandemic closings shut down construction projects around Disney World. If you plan to potentially stay at Saratoga Springs resort in the next year and a half to 2 years, you might find yourself staying in the older style rooms.
Since I couldn’t take pictures of the new rooms, head on over to see the photos Tom Bricker at Disney Tourist Blog was able to take of them.
Saratoga Springs Resort Studios
Clearly, the Deluxe Studios at Saratoga Springs Resort are the smallest room options, coming in around 355 square feet. The studios have an occupancy of up to 4 people. Those four people can sleep on either a queen size bed or a full size sofa bed.
After the renovations, this changes slightly. Instead of a sofa bed, the new rooms have queen size murphy beds that come down from the wall. This is a superior option to the sofa bed in both comfort and overall room layout.
You also get a kitchenette which has a microwave, toaster, mini-fridge/freezer, coffee maker, and disposable utensils. There is one sink located outside the bathroom with a separate door leading to the toilet and shower. This is the only size room that DOES NOT have a washer/dryer in the room.
Not surprisingly, these are the cheapest rooms at the resort. Price per night starts around $375.
Saratoga Springs Resort 1 Bedroom Villa
While the 1 Bedroom villas have the same maximum occupancy as the studios, it comes with over double the square footages (around 714 square feet). As you can see in the floor plan above, there is a TON more space to stretch out in, and you get more privacy.
The bedroom contains one king size bed, while the living room has a sofa bed (soon to be murphy bed). But you also get a full size kitchen and eating area, a MUCH larger bathroom with a separate tub and shower, and a washer/dryer.
However, having double the square footage sure will cost you! Prices for the Saratoga Springs 1 bedroom villa start around $512 per night.
Saratoga Springs Resort 2 Bedroom Villa
Clearly, things are starting to get a little self explanatory, now. The two bedroom has the exact layout on one side as the one bedroom, but a second bedroom is added on. This gives you around 1075 square feet of space. And importantly, this also give you a second bathroom!
Max occupancy of the 2 bedroom villas at Saratoga Springs Resort is up to 8 people. This accomplished through one king size bed, 2 queen size beds, and the full side sofa bed (future murphy bed).
And the price for the 2 bedroom villa starts around $743 per night.
2 Bedroom Lock Off
Wait a second, what on earth is a 2 bedroom lock off? Good question! I had to ask it myself at one point. Whenever you see a villa referred to as a lock off, it means it actually combines to separate rooms with a door in between. That door stays locked unless you’ve booked the 2 bedroom lock off.
The floor plan combines a 1 bedroom villa with a deluxe studio. In the floor plan above, you can see that the 2nd bedroom only has one queen bed and a sofa bed instead of 2 queen beds. This is the primary difference. It also gives you the kitchenette of the deluxe studio.
3 Bedroom Grand Villa
Notice there are two pictures of floor plans here. That’s because the 3 Bedroom Grand Villa has 2 floors! Seriously, the square footage is the size of a house (2113 square feet). I think most families would have plenty of space to spread out in here.
With all of those bedrooms you get also get 3 bathrooms, a large kitchen and a full dining room. The master bedroom has a king size bed in it, and once again the living room has the sofa bed. The 2 bedrooms upstairs each have 2 queen size beds. Max occupancy of this room is 12 adults.
This room is a phenomenal option for multiple families traveling together. It allows everyone to stay in one space and split the cost of the room. The Grand Villa starts at $1571 a night.
The Treehouse Villas are an option which is totally unique to Saratoga Springs resort. You won’t find anything like this at any other Disney resort. Originally built in 1975, the Treehouse villas served a couple different purposes until they were renovated and open to Disney guests in 2009.
These octagon shaped “houses” are elevated on stilts above Florida swamp land. They also have a large deck space to enjoy. The treehouses are surrounded by forest and trees, which enhances the treehouse vibe.
There are 3 bedrooms in the treehouses. In total you’ll find 2 queen beds, a twin sized bunk bed, a twin size sleeper chair, and a sofa bed. This gives you a max occupancy of 9 guests. There are 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, eating area, and washer/dryer in the unit.
This quirky option starts at $925 per night.
Resort Amenities at Saratoga Springs
Like all the Disney Deluxe Resorts, Saratoga Springs offers a wide variety of amenities and activities for the whole family. You’ll find pools, sunrise yoga, painting classes, playgrounds, arcades, bike rentals, jogging paths, and more.
Saratoga Springs Resort also houses one of the spas to be found at Disney World. Senses – A Disney Spa, is a full service spa designed after the wellness clubs of the 19th century.
Saratoga Springs Resort Pools
Because of the overall size of the resort, there are A LOT of different pools. This allows guests easy access to a pool of some sort, no matter where their room is.
However, there are 2 feature pools which are definitely the better options if you’re willing to walk (or hop on a bus).
The Paddock Pool
The Paddock Pool is, obviously, located in The Paddock. Here you’ll find a 146 foot long water slide, sure to please the kids. But don’t worry, there’s an area for the younger kids too with smaller slides.
The pool itself has a zero entry section and a whirlpool spa.
The High Rock Spring Pool
The High Rock Spring Pool is located in The Springs section of the resort. This is the grandest pool at Saratoga Springs Resort.
Here you’ll find cascading waterfalls and a 128 foot water slide built into the rocks. This pool is also zero entry, a great feature for younger kids. There is also a bubbling play area featuring Donald Duck and a small slide for the youngest guests to enjoy. There are also two whirlpool spas at the High Rock Spring Pool.
Restaurants at Saratoga Springs
There are a few different restaurant options to be found at Saratoga Springs. Three of the dining options are actually pool bars: Backstretch Pool Bar, The Paddock Grill, and On the Rocks (more pool bar than restaurant). These come in handy if you get hungry during a day at the pool.
Even beyond the restaurants available directly on the resort, guests at Saratoga Springs have very easy access to Disney Springs and the wide array of dining options to be found there.
The Artist’s Palette
The Artist’s Palette is the quick service dining option at Saratoga Springs. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Your options vary from hot food items to sandwiches to grab ‘n’ go types of foods.
This is also where you’ll find market items and groceries if you need anything for your room. Also, Disney’s mobile ordering service is available at The Artist’s Palette. This is such a huge time saver!
The Turf Club Bar & Grill
Every Deluxe Resort at Disney has a table service restaurant, and The Turf Club Bar & Grill is the answer at Saratoga Springs Resort.
Themed in the style of the horse racing clubs of upstate New York in a bygone era, the decor is dark and masculine. The menu has a variety of fairly traditional (and safe) entree options. Entree prices range from $20 for the vegetarian dish to up to $36 for a NY strip steak.
There is also a lounge attached to The Turf Club that offers bar service.
Depending on where it is you need to go, there are a few different transportation options to be found at Saratoga Springs.
Unfortunately, if you want to go to any of the Disney parks, the bus is your only option. That being said, I haven’t found the buses to be a bad experience at Saratoga Springs.
There are 5 different bus stops scattered throughout the resort, one in each of the sections. This does mean that you need to plan on the bus stopping at multiple stops either before or after you get one, depending on where you are staying.
There is a separate bus line that runs from The Springs stop to the Treehouse Villas. Anyone staying in the Treehouses needs to plan on getting off at The Springs and waiting for a Treehouse bus to show up.
There is boat transportation available to bring guests from Saratoga Springs over to Disney Springs. You can find the boat launch over by The Carriage House.
There is another boat launch within walking distance of Congress Park, though technically this boat is part of Disney Springs. That boat will bring guests to the other side of Disney Springs, saving you the walk.
Walking Path to Disney Springs
This right here is the bread and butter of a Saratoga Springs Resort stay. There is a walking path that leads directly from Saratoga Springs into Disney Springs. The walk itself is pretty easy, but only if you are staying in certain sections of the resort.
The walking path is easiest from Congress Park and one side of The Paddock. From all other locations within the resort, the boat or bus is easier.
Saratoga Springs Review
Now that we have all of the details out of the way, what are my thoughts about the resort? As a whole, I really like Saratoga Springs Resort. I love the overall feel of it. There’s something about the colors, the green space, the lake with the fountain in it, and so on which I simply enjoy.
However, the best part of Saratoga Springs is definitely the proximity to Disney Springs. Every time we’ve stayed at Saratoga Springs, it was with the express desire to have easy access to Disney Springs.
We like to make “no park” trips to Disney when we’re driving up or down to South Florida. In that situation, Saratoga Springs is perfect.
So far, we’ve always stayed in a Standard category room, and always request to stay in The Paddock, specifically on the end closest to Congress Park. We’ve always had this request granted, much to our delight. I say this because we’ve been spoiled in that sense. Would we like Saratoga Springs as much if we couldn’t walk into Disney Springs? I don’t know.
Thought on the Rooms
Since we haven’t been lucky enough to stay in a renovated room (yet), I can’t speak to them personally. I’ve seen pictures, and I can say I’m a big fan of the redesign. It adds a much needed freshness to the rooms. And the layout with the murphy bed is far superior to the sofa bed.
That being said, at this time (May 2020) only a fraction of the renovation is complete. I would expect the reno to continue through 2021, at least, so if you’re planning a trip anytime between now and 2022, realize you might end up in an old room.
And the old rooms are a bit tired. The decor is on the dark side and you can tell it’s been well used. Frankly, it’s not really up to the standards you’d expect from a Disney resort. Especially a deluxe resort! While I’m certainly not a fan of this, it doesn’t stop me from staying there. For us, the room is a place to sleep, and that’s pretty much it.
Since we don’t spend a ton of time in the room, the shabbiness doesn’t bother me. But I’m glad that renovations are already in progress though, because there really is no excuse for shabbiness in a Disney resort.
Thoughts on Transportation Options
As I think you’ve noticed, we’re big fans of walking into Disney Springs, so I won’t belabor that part. But what if you plan to hit all of the parks and have to take the bus? Will that be convenient?
I know people absolutely denigrate the buses sometimes, but we have never had a consistently bad experience. Yes, waiting for the bus is sometimes annoying, but the addition of the bus schedule screens and section on My Disney Experience has helped with this somewhat. And sometimes, taking a bus is a whole lot better than the other options available (I’m looking at you, monorail). I know, how can I be a Disney blogger and not like the monorail? But seriously, I’m not a fan.
Yes, having to stop at multiple stops within Saratoga Springs in a little annoying, and adds travel time to your trip to the park. But it’s a fairly well oiled machine and runs efficiently. And Saratoga Springs isn’t exactly close to any of the parks, so expect around a 20 minute ride. But it will get you there.
On one occasion we did wait for a bus at Magic Kingdom for over an hour. That was beyond ridiculous, but not necessarily the fault of Saratoga Springs. Lord only knows what was going on that day. But in all of our trips, an experience like that only ever happened once. Don’t let bus transportation be the factor to decide against a resort.
Thoughts on Amenities
I’m going to be honest: we’ve never even considered eating at any of the Saratoga Springs restaurants. Why would we when Disney Springs has some of the best restaurants in all of Disney World? Frankly, I’d advise you to follow suit.
If your room happens to be close to The Artist’s Palette, it would be a good place to pop in for a quick breakfast or an evening snack. But other than that, head to Disney Springs.
My kids are big fans of the pools at Saratoga Springs. But seriously, my kids are big fans of ANY pool. On our last trip (January) the weather was too cool for swimming, and my daughter, the fish, was so upset. She walked around the resort with me taking pictures and she drooled over the High Rock Springs Pool.
They been in The Paddock pool and have enjoyed that. At least when we’ve been there, it wasn’t crowded and had plenty of space. The slide is a good size and is enjoyable for kids and adults alike. I love the separate play area for the little kids. It has a lot of bells and whistles that are sure to delight the little ones.
Final Thoughts about Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
I would definitely recommend Saratoga Springs as an option for your Disney stay. Because of the perceived inconvenience of the resort, it has the lowest price tag of any other Deluxe Villa (though Old Key West is close). This might make a Deluxe Villa more affordable for those who want the extra space and amenities.
As I mentioned above, absolutely look into renting DVC points as a way to bring the cost down even more (this trick works at ANY Disney Vacation Club Resort).
Listen, I’ll never like Saratoga Springs as much as I love Wilderness Lodge or Boardwalk Resort. But I do appreciate it for what it is, which is a place to stay with the ultimate access to Disney Springs.
Sharing is caring, my friends!
Have you stayed at Saratoga Springs? What are your thoughts? Are you staying there soon? If so, put the dates of your trip in the comments so we can all turn green with envy.