Walt Disney World Resorts provide magical experiences for countless visitors every year, but returning guests and Disney Vacation Club members find additional ways to make their stay even better. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa is a deluxe villa resort offering an elegant atmosphere, comfortable rooms, and great amenities. You’ll probably enjoy your stay no matter how much advanced planning you do, but if you want to raise the bar for your next vacation, consider these top eight Disney pro tips before booking at Saratoga Springs.
8. Guest Appeal
The stylish buildings and attractive grounds at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa certainly appeal to mature guests. The resort theme mirrors traditional, upstate New York resorts influenced by Victorian architecture and equestrian décor, like those found in the city for which it is named. The lakeside view and the perfectly manicured golf greens inspire most lodgers with their beauty but do little to impress children. The characters, bold designs, and kid-friendly activities offered at other resorts may dazzle younger guests, but they’re largely absent here. If bringing children, then request rooms near the main pools or in the Treehouse Villas to add adventure to your stay.
7. Pool Plans
Most of us love pools, especially in the middle of the summer when the Florida heat starts baking us alive. However, diverse families have different pool priorities. Those with small children will appreciate High Rock Spring Pool and The Paddock Pool because of their zero-depth entrances and aquatic play areas. Older kids will enjoy the slides at these two pools, and adults may relish the whirlpools and poolside bars. Everyone will love the thirst-quenching Rapid Fill stations near these pool areas, so make sure you purchase and bring your mug. Naturally, if you’re seeking a bit more tranquility, try the pools at The Grandstand or Congress Park, where the lack of waterslides won’t draw teeming masses of adventurous children. As for the Treehouse Villas, only the local residents typically visit the stripped-down pool there, so it’s likely the quietest swimming hole at the resort.
6. Bussing Around
Using the bus system at Walt Disney World can be froth with challenges no matter which resort you choose. Naturally, you want to be the first to board the bus, because it fills up quickly during peak season. The first strategy is to arrive at your local bus stop an hour or more before the time you need to reach your destination; this is crucial when you have reservations. Warning: during your wait, you may discover busses marked with your destination passing by without stopping, because they’re already full. Not interested in early and long waits? Make your way to The Grandstand, since it’s the first pick-up spot and will give you the best chance of getting on a bus and securing a seat before it fills. The Springs bus stop is the last pick-up and drop-off location. When visiting during peak season, consider requesting a room in Congress Park, if you don’t minding walking to Disney Springs to catch a bus.
5. Water Taxi
Since the popularity of Disney Springs has exploded in recent years, you can be relieved to know that you have special access to this area when you stay at Saratoga Springs. Walt Disney World Resort guests normally rely upon busses or their vehicles when they want to visit the shops, entertainment centers, bars, and restaurants at Disney Springs. Saratoga Springs will ferry you over aboard a water taxi for a time of great food, fun, and shopping. You can launch at either of their two docks, located at the Treehouse Villas and near the Turf Club Bar and Grill. You may have to wait, but you’ll likely arrive before the busses.
4. Spa & Fitness
If you can’t enjoy your vacation without a workout, then you’ll appreciate the 24-hour fitness center and the outdoor jogging trails. Sports-minded guests may prefer tennis, basketball, or golf instead. When all of this activity starts activating aches and pains, massages at Senses, Disney’s spa at Saratoga Springs, bring much-needed relief. Senses offer not only a selection of massages, but also a variety of facials, manicures, pedicures, and body treatments, all designed to relax and rejuvenate you after a strenuous workout, rigorous theme park action, or just because you deserve it. Make sure that you bring extra money for these spa services, if you enjoy such things, since normal theme park walking produces a multitude of pains for most people.
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3. Tee Off!
Avid golfers should consider staying at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa whenever they visit Walt Disney World, because it hosts Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. This world-class course tees off near The Turf Club Bar and Grill and winds its way throughout the resort. Be prepared to rent a golf cart, since this isn’t a walking course. Also, you’ll want to make advanced reservations, since tee times go quickly and the golf pros attempt to schedule players into groups of four to keep the play moving for everyone. Lastly, be sure to pack your clubs and favorite golfing outfits, remembering that you’ll need to meet Disney’s dress code.
2. Disney Chefs
Though the cuisine at The Artist Palette and The Turf Club Bar and Grill may be tasty, we’re talking about you becoming a Disney chef. Well, not officially. Nevertheless, the villa kitchens at Saratoga Springs make this resort ideal for those who love to cook. Whether you simply prepare breakfast before heading off to the theme parks or cap off your day with a late supper, you’ll find everything you need to prepare a meal. Purchase food products at The Artist Palette, use Garden Grocer to deliver groceries to your room, or venture off-property to a local supermarket for a wider selection. Becoming your own Disney chef saves you money when you’re budget is tight. Of course, if you’re not interested in cooking, but you still desire cuisine variety, you’re only a boat ride or walk away from a treasure trove of culinary delights at Disney Springs.
1. Location, Location, Location
Location selection is probably the most important consideration to make when booking at Saratoga Springs. The property sprawls out over a large distance to give room to its accompanying golf course. Most of the resort doesn’t provide easy access the main hub where the best services and amenities are found. If you need to be near the action, then request The Springs or The Grandstand rooms closest to The Carriage House. Guests planning to spend a lot of time at Disney Springs should also ask for these rooms or the Treehouse Villas to catch the water taxi or at Congress Park and the southernmost buildings of The Paddock to walk. Lastly, location may also affect your view and the traffic you experience. It’s better to select rooms on higher floors for the best views and balconies; otherwise, enjoy parking lots and patios. If you really like great views or quietude, then avoid The Carousel, as it sits adjacent to the road where plenty of vehicle noise may disturb your peace.