In 2004, Disney Vacation Club began saying “welcome home” to guests at their seventh resort – Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa! Inspired by the histories of horse racing and spas of Saratoga Springs, New York in the late 1800s, this resort is big in not just size, but also Victorian charm!
Personally, I find the Saratoga Springs Resort to be an underrated gem! It has fantastic pools and activities, a tranquil atmosphere, comfortable accommodations and amenities, and is close to the shopping and dining haven of Disney Springs! Let’s take a virtual tour of the grounds and explore all of the magic that this resort has to offer!
A visit to Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa typically begins at the Carriage House! If you’re taking advantage of Disney’s complimentary Magical Express transportation, this is where the motorcoach will drop you off (and pick you up at the end of your stay.) Bell Services will be more than happy to offer assistance with luggage if needed, and you can make your way inside to the check-in desk to get your stay underway!
It can be challenging to begin a Disney adventure on an empty stomach, so once you’ve checked-in, I would suggest walking a few steps down the hall in Carriage House to visit The Artist’s Palette. The Artist’s Palette offers a menu full of delicious quick-service items, and there is plenty of space to sit and enjoy your meal. You can also stock up on snacks and pantry supplies for your villa, and browse through items in the adjacent gift-shop.
If you’re looking for a spot to stop and savor a sumptuous table service meal during your visit, The Turf Club Bar and Grill can also be found in the Carriage House. Inspired by racetracks and country clubhouses across the USA, this location serves up robust dinner time favorites such as prime rib, steak, salmon, pasta, and more, as diners enjoy beautiful views of the lake and nearby golf course.
As you make your way out of Carriage House and towards the buildings that house the villas, you’ll find yourself in the “preferred” sections of the resort. This is a specific booking category to keep in mind when you’re considering a stay at Saratoga Springs and includes Congress Park and The Springs sections. The Springs is a great area for those who want to be as close to the Carriage House and the High Rock Springs feature pool.
The first of two feature pools at Saratoga Springs is the High Rock Spring Pool! The zero-depth entry pool has a waterslide that careens right through the rocky landscaping and is a spacious spot for swimming. There’s also a whirlpool spa, mini waterslide for little ones, and a Donald Duck water play area where kids can splash away the day!
For those looking for a little extra pampering, the Senses Spa can be found just a few steps away from the High Rock Spring Pool. This full-service spa offers a variety of treatments, perfect for relaxing and rejuvenating after the hustle and bustle of hitting the theme parks!
Venturing down the path from the High Rock Spring area, you’ll find even more spots that are full of fun! There’s the Win, Place, or Show Arcade, Horsing Around Rentals shop, which offers bicycle and surrey bike rentals, as well as the Saratoga Springs Community Hall. Arts and crafts, games, and movies are just a few of the fun activities at the Community Hall, and many are complimentary!
As you wind through the pretty pathways of the Congress Park section of the resort, you’re sure to notice that many guests lounging by the quiet pool in the area and often times are chatting about their adventures at Disney Springs! The shopping and dining complex is just a stone’s throw away across the lake. Visitors to Saratoga Springs can take a leisurely stroll along the waterway, or boat transportation is also available if you prefer another chance to relax! The views are lovely, and as a shopping junkie, being so close to so many stores is definitely one of my favorite features of this resort!
The Springs and Congress Park make up the “preferred” sections of Saratoga Springs; however, there is still plenty more to enjoy and explore through this resort! The Grandstand, Carousel, and Paddock areas make up the “standard” sections. Though they may not be quite as close to Disney Springs or the Carriage House, each of these areas has a lot to offer, including their own bus stops and neighboring pools! Let’s start with a stop at The Grandstand!
Nestled into a quiet area next to the golf course is where you’ll find the buildings in the Grandstand section. Because of its convenient location from the main entrance to the grounds, this is usually the first pick-up and drop-off spot for the Disney World transportation buses to and from the parks, so if you’re a rope drop to fireworks kind of person like me, this is a great section to request for your stay. Not only does it have convenient access to transportation, but the quiet pool in The Grandstand area also has a cute little water play area that’s perfect for kids to cool off in!
Across the green fairways from The Grandstand, you’ll find The Carousel section of the resort. This is the only section of the resort that doesn’t have its own pool; however, in my opinion, it is the most charming and is perfect for those looking for a tranquil retreat. There is a BBQ grill and gorgeous gazebo surrounded by whimsical carousel horses, making it the perfect spot to enjoy an alfresco gathering by the sparkling fountain!
Following the many pedestrian pathways, you’ll then make your way down to The Paddock. This is one of the largest sections of the resort and can be reached by crossing the quaint walking bridge from The Springs area.
The colors of the buildings really pop against the water, and you can often hear the giggles and splashes echoing over from the Paddock Pool!
The Paddock Pool is the second of Saratoga’s two feature pools and features an awesome water tower slide. For those traveling with kids, you’ll also find another water play area here, which includes two mini waterslides and lots of ways to splash in the sun!
If you’re looking for a more unique place to stay, you’re in luck! The Saratoga Springs Resort features Treehouse Villas, which are raised up off the ground and dot the tree lines in their own secluded and serene area of the property. There are two bus stops in this area so guests can access the internal resort transportation system and get to the parks, as well as a leisure pool and whirlpool spa. Each Treehouse Villa has its own private deck and charcoal grill, perfect for enjoying the peaceful surroundings of the great outdoors!
Along with bike rentals, games at the Community Hall, and a variety of pools, there are so many activities that visitors to Saratoga Springs can enjoy! Movies under the stars, sunrise yoga, campfires, fishing, and other sports are also offered, and if you love golf, this is the resort for you! The resort is home to Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, a county-club style course that has hosted PGA and LPGA events. Golf carts, a driving range, and lessons are available to guests, as well as access to the Pro Shop and Clubhouse at Saratoga Springs. Reservations are recommended, but Disney will try to accommodate walk-ups if possible.
Now that we’ve toured the grounds, perhaps it’s time to settle in for your stay. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resorts offers the Treehouse Villas, as well as Studios, One Bedroom, Two Bedroom, and Three Bedroom Grand Villas. Each room type is full of little Disney touches to keep the magic flowing through your stay, and the villas feature convenient and comfortable amenities.
Saratoga Springs Resort is also undergoing a lengthy refurbishment, and work has begun on updating guest rooms and spaces. Progress is currently underway, and I look forward to seeing what new magic is to come! If you want to see even more of what the Disney Vacation Club has to offer, you can also check out the on-site DVC preview center at Saratoga Springs for more details and tours.
I know I love soaking in the peaceful charm of this resort, and I hope you’ve also enjoyed our visit to Saratoga Springs today!
Which Disney resort should we visit next?