062 Member Review: Saratoga Springs Resort – Part 1
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Season 2 of the My DVC Points Podcast was made possible through financial support from DVC Resale Market, Vacation Club Loans and by community members in My DVC Points VIP Producer Club.


Part of the Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort series! Our SSR love is so huge, we had to split the podcast into episode 062 and episode 063.

On Episode 062, Chad is joined by Mary Ann Tracy (Episode 52), Randy Wylie (Saratoga Springs Resort for DVC Members Facebook group), and Samantha Kurtz-Seif to share their vacation experiences at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. Chad, Mary Ann, and Randy are all SSR owners. Samantha owns Old Key West but has a deep appreciation for SSR. We took the liberty of embedding some of our favorite YouTube videos from SSR into the show notes.

Resort Areas

The resort is laid out into 5 areas plus the main resort facilities area. We highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the areas and layout of the resort before staying there.

  1. The Grandstand – 4 Buildings
  2. The Carousel – 2 Buildings
  3. The Paddock – 5 Buildings
  4. The Springs (Preferred Rooms) – 3 Buildings
  5. Congress Park (Preferred Rooms) – 4 Buildings

Accommodation Types

  • Deluxe Studio (264 Standard and 168 Preferred Units)
  • One-Bedroom Villa (264 Standard and 168 Preferred Units)
  • All studios and one-bedroom villas are available as lock-off units.
  • Two-Bedroom Dedicated Villa (220 Standard and 140 Preferred)
  • Three-Bedroom Grand Villa (22 Standard and 14 Preferred)
  • Treehouse Villas (60 Units)
  • SSR has 18 identical buildings. Each building contains 24 lock-off units, 10 dedicated two-bedroom units, and two grand villas. In comparison, Grand Californian has 23 lock-offs, 23 dedicated two bedrooms, and 2 grand villas.

Where Have We Stayed?

  • Mary Anne: Grandstand and Paddock in Deluxe Studios and Two-Bedroom Villas
  • Samantha: Paddock in Two-Bedroom Villas
  • Randy: Stayed in all 5 areas and every accommodation except a Grand Villas.
  • Chad: Treehouses twice, Paddock, Carousel, Studios, and Two-Bedroom Villas

Room Requests and Our Favorite Areas of the Resort

Chad – The Paddock

  • Slide at pool ranks in top three of DVC resort slides
  • Poolbar and quick service combined
  • A bus stop with a nearby restroom
  • Easy walk to Disney Springs or Carriage House

Randy – The Springs

  • High Rock Spring Pool
  • Access to a bus stop and Disney Springs
  • Close to The Carriage House (Artist’s Palette, Turf Club, etc.)

Mary Anne – The Paddock

  • Great for families with small children, because the splash play area at the pool is gated off from the main pool (not the case at Grandstand)
  • The swimming pool has zero-depth entry (same as High Rock Spring Pool)
  • Restrooms at the bus stop
  • Two bus stops service this section (Carousel and Paddock)

Samantha – The Paddock

  • A bus stop with restrooms
  • Great pool
  • Close to The Carriage House (approximately seven-minute walk)
  • Close to the action, but also tucked away and quiet

Amenities

  • 5 Pools in the Resort
    • High Rock Springs Pool (The Carriage House, feature pool with slide, hot tub, kids splash area, and zero-entry)
    • Paddock Pool (Feature pool with slide, hot tub, and zero-entry)
    • Congress Park Pool (leisure pool)
    • Grandstand Pool (leisure pool with limited splash play area)
  • The Best Fitness Center in all of DVC
    • A favorite of Chad, Samantha, and Sara (Mary Anne’s daughter)
    • Large, well-appointed fitness center
      • Recumbent and spin bikes
      • Treadmills
      • Ellipticals
      • Free weights
      • Weight machines
    • Magic Band required for access outside of Senses Spa operating hours. During spa hours of operations, the fitness center doors are open to the public (fitness center hooping possible).
  • Jogging Trails – offer Derby Dash 5k weekly
  • Sunrise Yoga – check the resort schedule for a weekly class on the lawn by High Rock Spring Pool
  • Golf at Lake Buena Vista Golf Course (Check out our Golf Episode with Alicia!)
  • Community Hall
    • Mary Anne’s family utilizes it every trip!
      • Arts & Crafts
      • Comfy leather sofa with a big-screen television, always playing Disney movies
      • Video Games
      • Ceramics 
    • Shout out to the “fun people” (recreation team of Cast Members) at Saratoga!
    • Great for a no-park day or half-day in the parks

Resort Dining Options

  • Quick Service
    • Artist’s Palette
      • One of Randy’s favorite quick-service locations!
      • Samantha’s family stops there for coffee in the mornings or lunch during breaks from the park.
      • Mary Anne’s family has visited for lunch and dinner. She loves that the menu has so much variety, so everyone can find something they love.
      • Chad loves their Turkey Club Wrap.
      • This dining location accepts Tables in Wonderland!
    • The Paddock Grill
      • Mary Anne says this is an excellent spot to grab a sandwich or snack.
    • Backstretch Pool Bar
      • Mary Anne has found a fantastic bartender at this location!
    • Chip n’ Dale’s Cafe (Lake Buena Vista Golf Course)
      • Beer is cheaper than at other pool bars (shhh….it’s a secret!).
  • Table Service
    • The Turf Club Bar & Grill
      • Joyce (Mary Anne’s sister) said her meal here was “to die for!”
      • Chad calls this dining location, “the hidden gem of DVC.” He adds that the Cast Members are top-notch!
      • One of Valerie Fairnington’s favorite dining locations! She’ll make the trip to Saratoga from whatever resort she’s staying at, just to eat dinner here. (Episode 2)
      • One dining credit on the Disney Dining Plan, but the food is Signature Dining quality.
      • A hidden gem, so it’s easy to get an Advanced Dining Reservation or walk-in on most days.
  • Bars and Lounges at the Resort
    • On The Rocks Pool Bar
    • Backstretch Pool Bar
    • The Paddock Grill

Resort Theming

  • Randy
    • Old, upstate New York resort
    • Horseracing
    • “Old soul, laid back comfort ” feeling
  • Samantha
    • The victorian vibe, similar to the historic district in Saratoga Springs, New York
    • Nods to racetrack history all around the resort
    • Spa and fitness center don’t showcase the theming of the rest of the resort. They resemble your “typical” high-end spa.
  • Mary Anne
    • Not “overly Disney,” which can be a negative to some. Her family appreciates the “grandeur” and subtle Disney theming of Saratoga.
    • Loves the jockey uniforms showcased on the walls of The Turf Club, and the big bronze horse in front of The Carriage House!
  • Chad
    • “If Old Key West and Grand Floridian had a child, you would get Saratoga Springs.”
    • Vibrant colors from Old Key West, with the Victorian flair of Grand Floridian
    • Not his favorite theming prefers more of a beachy vibe (Beach Club, Polynesian)
    • Classical music on WDW News Today channel immediately reminds him of Saratoga

Today’s episode was produced, edited, and engineered by Chad Pennycuff. Show notes by Samantha Kurtz-Seif. Facebook admins and moderators of the My DVC Points Community Group: Andrew Darden, Valerie Fairnington, Donna Bickert, and Jeremy Murray.

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