063 Member Review: Saratoga Springs Resort Review – Part 2
My DVC Points Podcast

 
 
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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. We pick up from episode 062 and finish out the discussion.

Transportation

  • Magical Express
    • Drops guests off at The Carriage House
    • Bell Services can drop guests off to their rooms with golf carts or vans, upon request.
    • Bell Services Cast Members receive high praise from Chad, Randy, and Mary Anne!
  • Buses
    • There are quite a few bus stops within Saratoga, so guests should allow for ample travel time to and from the parks and Disney Springs.
    • Where your room is located has a significant impact on your experience with the buses!
      • Huge resort
      • There are 5 bus stops within the main resort.
      • There is also an internal bus that runs from the Treehouses to Carriage House.
    • Bus Loop Order
      • Leaves a park
      • Grandstand
      • Carousel
      • Paddock
      • Congress Park
      • The Springs and Carriage House
      • Out to the parks!
    • Pay attention to this order and allow for extra travel time if you’re looking to rope drop! The bus may be full by the time it arrives at your section for pick-up, or you may not get a seat and have to stand.
    • Mary Anne recommends hiking over to Grandstand or Carousel if your group is worried about arriving at the parks on time for rope drop or a morning dining reservation.
    • Randy and Mary Anne recommend using Uber, Lyft, or Minnie Vans if your party is in a big hurry to get to the parks.
  • Boats to Disney Springs
    • A relaxing, beautiful way to travel to Disney Springs!
    • Boats will be out of operation if there is a thunderstorm in the area.
    • Boats drop guests off by The Boathouse
  • Walking Path to Disney Springs
    • Samantha thinks this is a huge perk of staying at the resort.
    • Mary Anne warns guests that “the walk is a little longer than you think!”
    • Randy uses his walk to Disney Springs to observe the geckos! (He’s from Chicago.)
  • Parking at the Resort
    • Mary Anne has had a friend drive up from Miami, and she finds the ability to park right in front of your building a considerable convenience. 
    • Samantha’s family has rented a car for trips to get groceries or drive to the parks. She loves the ability to park right outside her building, and spaces are plentiful. 
    • Chad considers SSR as one of the best in DVC for having a car on the property. To him, it is only rivaled by Kidani Village, which features an underground parking structure.
    • Each building has an elevator, so getting strollers, ECVs, and groceries up to the room is easy!

Saratoga Springs is the Ideal Resort For…

  • Samantha – Adults-Only
    • Easy access to restaurants and lounges at Disney Springs
  • Mary Anne – Families
    • Pools, Community Hall, playground, and space are great for kids!
    • Great for a family that wants to spend some time at their resort and take a break from the parks
    • Saratoga may not be the resort for those with mobility issues unless they’ve rented an ECV. 
  • Randy – Adults-Only and Families
    • Perfect for a Food & Wine trip or for visiting Disney Springs
    • Large resort with something for everybody!
    • Usually has a lot of availability (especially at 7 months), due to its size
  • Chad – Adults-Only, Guy Trips, Families
    • Pools are great for kids. “Just add water, and kids have fun!”
    • Something for everyone
    • Great for value-oriented point stretcher DVC Members (My DVC Points app coming soon!)
    • Cast Members are among the best at Walt Disney World
    • Would be a great resort on its own, if removed from Walt Disney World

Is Saratoga the Resort of Last Resort?

A lot of members consider SSR the “Resort of Last Resort.” We wanted to address this issue.

  • Randy – No, because it has so much going for it! 
    • Guests have access to Disney Springs, and the resort has something for everyone to enjoy. 
    • Treehouses are three-bedroom units for a point cost much lower than other three-bedroom villas in the DVC system.
  • Mary Anne – No, because it’s an excellent point stretcher resort. 
    • Her family can stay more days at Disney at Saratoga than they could if they stayed at one of the monorail resorts. 
    • The Two-Bedroom Villas are spacious and comfortable.
  • Chad – No, your points go much farther at Saratoga!
    • New room renovations are going to really change perceptions about the resort!
    • A lot of this concept has to do with the size of the resort. SSR is the last resort to sell out simply due to size. It has the most rooms and the most availability. Many members delay staying at SSR preferring to stay at a smaller resort with less availability because they know, SSR is usually available at the 7-month mark where their next vacation may be their only chance to stay at Beach Club or the Grand Floridian.

Room Renovations at Saratoga Springs

  • Mary Anne – “I cannot wait!”
    • The studio will have a “real bed,” not a pull-out couch
    • Loves the “white, bright, and modern” look
  • Samantha – “If these rooms look anything like the refurb they just did at Old Key West, I’m super excited to see these new rooms!”
    • Usually travels with at least one other adult, so having the second “bed” would be great
    • Rooms are older, and the 2019-2020 refurbishment is justified.
    • Donna Bickert mentioned a drawback of the refurbishment is the lack of a dining table and chairs (no workspace or place to eat other than the coffee table).
  • Randy – “I was blown away by the concept of art.”
    • Room looks spacious
    • Shower space looks great, and removal of jacuzzi tub is welcome
  • Chad – “It’s a game-changer for the resort.”
    • Some drawbacks to the refurbishment
      • Murphy bed is still not a “real” second bed
      • LED nightlights in GFI in the bathrooms are super bright, and the only way to turn them off is to trip the outlet by hitting the “Test” button

Closing Thoughts on Saratoga Springs Resort Review

  • Mary Anne – Saratoga is still one of the best buys in DVC (low cost per point and low dues). She really enjoys the “family atmosphere” at the resort.
  • Randy – Great value!
  • Samantha – Don’t listen to the negativity you might hear about Saratoga! Try it out, and you might find you like it. The resort is all about that “laid-back vibe.”
  • Chad – Saratoga points are cheap, and he uses them as “network” points to book at other resorts at seven months.

Final Question: Team Saratoga or Team Old Key West?

  • Mary Anne – Team Saratoga Springs
  • Samantha – Team Old Key West
  • Randy – Team Saratoga
  • Chad – Team Old Key West despite being an SSR Owner!

Connect With Us!


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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