Saratoga Springs: A Last Resort or Underrated Gem?
So you are ready to book your dream resort, you submit your reservation request form excitedly imagining your perfect trip. Then you get the dreaded reply back—unfortunately, your resort choice is unavailable; however, there is availability but only at Saratoga Springs.
For many of our guests, Saratoga Springs is a last resort and often at the bottom of their list. I admit, when I first started working at David’s Vacation Club rentals, Saratoga Springs was at the bottom of my list as well. That is until I went to stay there.
My name is Meagan, and I am a Senior Vacation Coordinator at David’s Vacation Club Rentals.
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa is inspired by the historic resorts of late 19th century New York. Saratoga Springs has Victorian-inspired architecture painted in pastel greens, blues, and terra cotta. The recently renovated lobby located in The Carriage House is decorated with famous Disney horses—how many can you recognize?
Stepping into the lobby, you are met with the unique scent of the resort – to me, it smelled of sea salt and kettle corn!
One of the largest resorts with the most inventory of rooms, Saratoga Springs, is spread out over 65 acres of green grass with 18 buildings that provide up to 828 rooms! Despite its size, the resort has a quiet, peaceful atmosphere, quite unlike any other.
Last year in April 2022, I was lucky enough to stay the night at Saratoga Springs before going on the team Thank You Cruise on the Disney Dream.
We arrived in Orlando in the late afternoon of April 22, 2022. The last time I had been to Disney World was with my family back in 2004; at that time, we did not stay on property. I was so excited to stay at my first on-property Deluxe DVC Resort!
Disney’s Saratoga Springs is divided into two room types: Standard and Preferred. Typically, the designation of Standard or Preferred for the other DVC resorts refers to the view type from that room. At Saratoga Springs, the Standard and Preferred categories refer to location rather than view. The Standard category rooms are located at The Paddock, The Grandstand, and The Carousel. The Preferred category rooms are located at Congress Park and the Springs. Congress Park is the closest building to Disney Springs. Our group stayed at the Preferred rooms located at Congress Park, and I could not recommend this location more!
I stayed in the recently renovated Two-Bedroom Preferred and was impressed by the quality of our room. The Two-Bedroom Villas feature a main bedroom with a king-sized bed, a living room with a queen size pull-down bed and pull-down bunk, a full kitchen, in-suite laundry, two bathrooms, and, as we were staying in the Dedicated Two-Bedroom format, a second bedroom with two queen beds. Kelly stayed in the main bedroom while my co-worker Cassie and I shared the second bedroom. I was excited for a chance to bond with Cassie as we would also be sharing a stateroom aboard the Disney Dream!
Upon stepping into our bedroom with its fresh white linens, walls of calming pale sage green, equestrian art, and modern accents, I was embarrassed that I started to cry! After two years in lockdown, this was my first trip, and I couldn’t think of a better place to be. Kelly and Cassie popped in to share my moment of Disney magic, and then we began to explore our room.
Although our group of three did not sleep on the queen-size pull-down bed or pull-down bunk in the living room, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to pull down each bed and try them out!
While my roommates unpacked, I took advantage of the complimentary WiFi to FaceTime my family back in Canada and show them the view from the balcony. The green grass, blue skies, and sparking water were in stark contrast to the gray skies and snow back home!
From the living room, we stepped out onto the balcony. It was so magical to stand out there to look over the crystal blue water to the hubbub of Disney Springs. After we had dropped off our things, our group made our way to Disney Springs for dinner and shopping. The journey was just a short walk across a small bridge, and then we were there!
In addition to being close to the action at Disney Springs, Congress Park is also close to the High Rock Spring Feature Pool and the Carriage House. The High Rock Spring Feature Pool is a rocky oasis with rushing waterfalls and a large water slide. My one regret was not taking the time to try out the stunning feature pool during my stay!
After a delicious dinner at Earl of Sandwich, buying too many pins at Disney’s Pin Traders, and splurging on all the merch we could at World of Disney, we headed back to our rooms. Cassie and I recounted our adventures to Kelly around the kitchen table in our Two-Bedroom Villa before getting ready for bed. The bedding was soft and luxurious, and we soon fell asleep.
We got up early the next day and headed to The Artist’s Palette for a hearty breakfast before heading to the port. Artist’s Palette is a Quick Service dining option located in The Carriage House. In addition to being a Quick Service dining location, The Artist’s Palette is also the place to go for sundries, groceries, and resort souvenirs. While I didn’t buy any souvenirs, I did get some gluten-free Mickey Waffles for breakfast. Our group enjoyed our breakfast among the brightly colored walls and admired the bold glass art that decorated the space. As we ate, Kelly asked us what our most interesting job was. I answered that working at David’s Vacation Club Rentals had to be the most interesting job I have ever had– what other job would send you on a Disney Cruise AND a learning trip to Disney World?
After our filling breakfast, we gathered our things and waited at the entrance to The Carriage House for our private shuttle to Port Canaveral. While looking over my journal from my trip last year, I had written that I enjoyed my stay at Saratoga Springs so much that I didn’t want to leave to go on the cruise! In the end, Saratoga Springs far exceeded my expectations, and I hope to return there someday to explore more the resort has to offer!