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I recently spent a few nights at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and I think that it has a lot to offer!
If you are trying to rent Disney Vacation Club points (get the details on how to rent points for big savings here) just a few months before your trip, often the only option will be Saratoga Springs. This resort is one of the largest at Disney World (1,260 rooms!) and because of this is usually the last to fill.
This makes Saratoga Springs a good choice for an affordable Deluxe resort for last minute trips. I paid $170/night to stay here in the peak summer season by renting DVC points. A stay here booked through Disney would have cost over $400/night!
Here’s my Disney Saratoga Springs review plus seven reasons I think you will love this resort.
1) The Relaxing Atmosphere
Saratoga Springs is themed around a town by the same name in New York state that was a vacation destination in the late 19th century.
It was famous for its mineral springs spas and horse racing, hence the horse and racing related elements found around the resort.
People from all over the East coast flocked to Saratoga Springs to relax and unwind, and Disney has remained true to that aim with the design of this resort.
Water features, muted colors, and plenty of trees lend an atmosphere of relaxation to Saratoga Springs Resort.
We went over to Disney’s Art of Animation to have dinner with friends one night during our stay. I was happy to leave the bright colors, in-your-face design elements, and loud music to return to Saratoga Springs!
It is such a contrast to the over-stimulating theme parks and I personally love the tranquil environment there.
2) Proximity to Disney Springs
I don’t know about you, but five years ago I could take or leave Downtown Disney.
But Disney Springs is now a destination for me, thanks to the addition of many excellent new restaurants and the improved atmosphere provided by the lovely springs that run through the area.
Saratoga Springs is the only Disney World resort that offers both walking and boat access to Disney Springs.
Rooms in the Congress Park section of Saratoga Springs are only a five-minute walk away from the Marketplace section of Disney Springs via the footbridge circled in red on the above map!
So if you want to easily take advantage of the dining, shopping, and entertainment options at Disney Springs, Saratoga Springs is the best resort for your stay.
3) Two Feature Pools
I believe that Saratoga Springs in the only resort at Walt Disney World with two feature pools.
Feature pools are different from “leisure” pools in that they have a dining option and extra features (at least at the deluxe resorts) of water slides, hot tubs, and/or water playgrounds.
The High Rock Spring pool (pictured above) is located next to the main building and features a pool bar, long waterslide, two hot tubs, kiddie water slide, and Donald Duck water play area. It is a large zero-entry pool with lots of seating around it.
The newer second zero-entry pool is the Paddock Pool. It has a 146-foot long waterslide, horseshoe-shaped hot tub, kiddie water play area with two waterslides, and a quick service dining location poolside.
We spent a day at each of these pools and I actually preferred the Paddock Pool. It is so nice to not have to get dressed and go into the freezing air conditioning to get food, and the kid’s play area was perfect for my 5-year-old daughter.
Just one of these pools would be a highlight of any Disney resort, but the fact that they are both located at Saratoga Springs makes the resort have a lot of appeal for my family.
4) Amenities & Dining Galore
Not only will you find wonderful pools at Saratoga Springs, but also four restaurants, an on-site spa, a golf course, and a fitness center.
You can click here to check out the current menu for The Turf Club, the table service restaurant at the resort. You can also grab quick service fare at the Artist’s Palette, The Paddock Grill, and The Backstretch Pool Bar.
I had this Chicken, Spinach & Artichoke Thin Crust Pie ($10.99) from the Artist’s Palette for lunch and it was so good I ate every last bite!
Saratoga Springs is one of a handful of Disney World Deluxe resorts that has a spa on-site. Get details on the offerings at Senses Spa here.
Next to the spa is a huge fitness center with cardio equipment, free weights, and machines.
Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course is adjacent to Saratoga Springs so getting in a round of golf is easy. There are also bicycle rentals, evening campfires, poolside movies, even free Sunrise Yoga at 7:00 am on Mondays and Wednesdays.
In short, you will find plenty to eat and plenty to do at Saratoga Springs.
5) Villas with Great Theming
We stayed in a Studio Villa in the Paddock section of Saratoga Springs.
I was really pleased with our room – everything was in tip-top shape and made from quality materials.
The theming in the rooms here is perfect – just enough to tell the story of where you are without being in-your-face, and just enough Disney touches for it to feel like a special place!
There are nods to The Fox & the Hound throughout the room which are really fun.
6) Availability is Usually Not a Problem
Saratoga Springs is a massive resort that contains only DVC villas. It is usually the last resort to fill up, so you can often find availability at Saratoga when other resorts are booked.
As of 2017, there is a “Preferred” category which includes villas in the Springs and Congress Park sections of the resort. These rooms require more points per night because of their proximity to the main building and Disney Springs. Click here to view the 2018 Point Charts for Saratoga Springs.
We had a Standard Studio, so I requested a room in the Paddock section. We were assigned a room overlooking the Paddock Pool. I loved that there were a quick service dining location and bus stop close by.
We found that we never even needed to go to the main building until it was time to check out. Don’t feel that you need a room in a Preferred section to be close to the amenities!
7) It’s Perfect For A Resort-Only Stay
This one is kind of just a summary, but for all of the reasons mentioned above, Saratoga Springs is a perfect resort for a resort-only trip to Walt Disney World.
We sometimes visit Disney World and don’t go to the theme parks because there is so much we like to do at the resort hotels and Disney Springs. With ALL of the things to do at Saratoga Springs plus it’s proximity to Disney Springs it might be the perfect resort for a theme park free trip!
I think anyone would enjoy a stay at Disney’s Saratoga Springs. Have you stayed there or are you interested in staying there? Join the discussion in The Budget Mouse private Facebook group!