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surgefest
06-19-2007, 04:27 PM
Hi, i will be staying at Saratoga for the first time in December. We have stayed in just about every other DVC resort but i am not sure what to expect from Saratoga. I have a bunch of questions and hopefully i get a lot of answers! thanks in advance!

When did you stay there?

What type of room did you have and in what building (How did you like your view and your building location)?

How was the bus service?

How were the restaurants (AP and TC)?

Your experience with the staff?

The pools? Quiet or main pool.

Walking path to Downtown Disney? (was it well lit, how long of a walk. where did it leave in Downtown Disney, and is it true that there's 2 walking paths to DD?)

Your overal experience, Pro's and Con's?

I'll be traveling with a child (3) and my grandfather who is in a wheel chair. any tips?

Thanks so much for any and all information. If there's anything else i should know about the resort please let me know.

cobbler
06-19-2007, 05:34 PM
I stayed in November 05 and October 06. One time in Congress Park, one time in the Paddock. Both locations were great. Water views and very peaceful.

Bus service was good. No different than any other resort.

AP was good, we didn't go to the TC. We also were in 1bedrooms so we didn't use the food court that much.

Staff was great, lots of Welcome Home's :)

Only swam the main pool and it was fantastic.

Yes there are 2 paths, the one to the Marketplace is easier to find and utilize, the one to the West Side is a bit obscure in that you have to travel over some of the golf course and whatnot.

No con's. Love my home resort.

jcanary
06-19-2007, 05:38 PM
i would suggest that you go over to the Disney vacation resort boards and read up. there are alot on SSR. I am sure you will love it.

PlainJane
06-19-2007, 06:51 PM
I've stayed there several times in the past couple years. I've traveled during the months of January, November, August, and Febuary.

I've stayed in a one bedroom in the Paddocks Section, a studio in the Springs Section, and a Two Bedroom in the Springs Section. Both times I stayed in the Springs Section I had a view of well the Springs, which is a large pond with a fountain in it, it was a nice view. When I stayed in the Paddocks I had a view of the Carousel section and a side road, I know it doesn't sound like a very nice view, but the grounds are so nicely maintained it was still a pleasent view. I did prefer the Springs section for its location.

The bus service was fine, it was generally a longer wait for MK,but I've noticed that at several resorts.

I wasn't a big fan of the food at AP. The TC on the other hand was wonderful and the CMs there are always very nice, and always remember us.

I guess I kinda got into that in the previous answer. The CMs at SSR are wonderful, they always make a point of greeting you, and saying welcome home. A manager even went to Walgreens for us to pick up distilled water for my mother because my mother needs it for a medical condition, and it is not sold on property.

I've only been in the main pool, I thought it was very nicely themed, and well kept.

I've never walked from SSR to DTD.

I personally love SSR, and would return in a heart beat.

andreadoiron
06-19-2007, 10:26 PM
Hi, i will be staying at Saratoga for the first time in December. We have stayed in just about every other DVC resort but i am not sure what to expect from Saratoga. I have a bunch of questions and hopefully i get a lot of answers! thanks in advance!

When did you stay there?

What type of room did you have and in what building (How did you like your view and your building location)?

How was the bus service?

How were the restaurants (AP and TC)?

Your experience with the staff?

The pools? Quiet or main pool.

Walking path to Downtown Disney? (was it well lit, how long of a walk. where did it leave in Downtown Disney, and is it true that there's 2 walking paths to DD?)

Your overal experience, Pro's and Con's?

I'll be traveling with a child (3) and my grandfather who is in a wheel chair. any tips?

Thanks so much for any and all information. If there's anything else i should know about the resort please let me know.

we stayed at the springs in april w/a toddler in a 3rd floor room. I would request a room close to the elevator or ground floor level as we had a great view of the pond/fountain and a lovely 1 bedroom but it was as far away as you could be from the elevator so we ended up just carrying the carriage up and down the stairs. congress park was great though, close to food and pool and bus and boat
we walked to dtd from congress park and it was too long for the 9 year old(2year old was in the carriage) I would say it was a good 15-20 minutes but at the end of the day, we were tired. the boat ride is quick and you can relax.

we ordered groceries from gardengrocer.com and had them delivered so we just had snacks from AP (cheescake was great)

the bus service was spotty but it was april break and probably overloaded. the boat to dtd was consistently on time and fast, plus you can take the boat to the okw(our kids played in the sand while we had lunch from the to go place)

tamu91
06-19-2007, 11:20 PM
When did you stay there? Grandstand, newest section just to the right when driving up to the Carriage House

What type of room did you have and in what building (How did you like your view and your building location)? We had a dedicated 2 brm unit, 8821. Our unit was on the first floor right in front of the quite pool in the Grandstand section.

How was the bus service? Bus service was slow and very crowded. Luckily, Grandstand is the first bus stop (Springs section is the last BTW) so we had no problem getting seats but that's wasn't the case by the time we got to Congress Park and Springs sections.

How were the restaurants (AP and TC)? Did not try TC but we ate at AP. AP was good for a quick bite, can get little crowded

Your experience with the staff? Staff is always a plus at DVC resorts and no exception here. Everyone is always so nice!

The pools? Quiet or main pool. Main pool got crowded in the afternoons so we used the quiet pool in the Grandstand section. Both pools (main & grandstand) have a kiddie section

Walking path to Downtown Disney? (was it well lit, how long of a walk. where did it leave in Downtown Disney, and is it true that there's 2 walking paths to DD?) We didn't walk but we rode the boat once and used the bus. DTD buses are very convenient and quick, not the case with park buses.

Your overal experience, Pro's and Con's? SSR is a huge resort! Paddock section is a hike from the main sections of the resort so ask for the Springs or Grandstand sections if you want to be close to the restaurant, main pool, community hall, etc.

I'll be traveling with a child (3) and my grandfather who is in a wheel chair. any tips? Enjoy the resort, pool esp. and take your time.

disneykid4ever
06-20-2007, 01:09 PM
We stayed at SSR this past January and liked it. We had a studio in the Congress Park section, in the building closest to the DTD walkway. The quiet pool was nice and never crowded; using the laundry facilities was a snap since they are right at the pool and you can lounge while waiting for clothes to be done. The walk from our room to DTD was about 6-7 minutes at a leisurely pace; we always saw bunnies eating along the pathway and saw a hawk in the trees right outside our patio. The main pathway is fairly well-lit at night, although there is one section that is not and signs are posted to not go down that "short-cut" path at night. But as I said the MAIN path which winds along the water is fine and we almost always saw at least one other person walking on it at night when we did. We never got more than drinks at Artist's Palette but the food did look good. The shop had some cute resort stuff and you can rent DVD's there to play in your room. Bus service was pretty good and we always got a seat. I think the longest we had to wait for a bus was 25 minutes and that only happened once. Castmembers were all pretty nice. Bell services guys were really nice.

CTPinkPrincess
06-20-2007, 01:45 PM
We were at SSR for our first visit home this past April - stayed in a 1 bedroom in Congress Park. We used the bus system (both ME and the park busses) with no problems.

We had dinner at TC our first night home - OMG it was great! I had the lamb and DH had some chicken - it was all fabulous! :thumbsup2

The quiet pool in the area was nice. We used it when we took a break from the parks, DD5 loved the slide at the main pool.

We used the path that goes in front of Congress Park to get to DTD - we ended up where the busses pick up/drop off. There's a nice little fountain to play in right there too.

Enjoy your trip! pixiedust:

vandy
06-20-2007, 03:33 PM
Just got back from 2 weeks at WDW. 1st week was at SSR, 2nd week at OKW. We were in the Carousel section, in a dedicated 2 BR on the ground floor, room 7111. Bus stop was just across the street. Rooms were very nice and we had an interior courtyard view. To walk to the main area and pool would be somewhat long but not overbearing, especially if you do it at the parks, or just hop any bus and get off at the Springs stop. You will need to walk back though since the Springs is the last stop. One good thing was that the Carousel is the second bus stop. There were two occassions that by the time the bus got to the Springs, we were full and could not take any more riders. One of those times we were at Artist's Pallete and planned on catching the bus at the Springs to Magic Kingdom. After the first bus was full, we walked back to the Carousel stop and got right on the next bus. When we came around to the Springs again, we were full! Never ate at the restaurants. Kids did check out the main pool and Paddock pool. They enjoyed both. Staff was very friendly, welcomed us home several times and were very helpful. While waiting in line to check-in, a staff member greated and talked with everyone so our wait did not seem as long. (While at OKW, we were not welcomed home until the 3rd day). We never tried the walking path to DTD because the water taxi was so much easier and enjoyable. SSR is a very nice resort and one that I hope you enjoy.

surgefest
06-20-2007, 04:55 PM
Wow thanks very much for all of the reviews!! Keep them coming! The "Second" walk way to downtown disney. Is it "marked". Are there signs telling you where to go? Really glad to hear everyones take on the resort!

Mickola
06-20-2007, 06:09 PM
Hi, i will be staying at Saratoga for the first time in December. We have stayed in just about every other DVC resort but i am not sure what to expect from Saratoga. I have a bunch of questions and hopefully i get a lot of answers! thanks in advance!

When did you stay there?

What type of room did you have and in what building (How did you like your view and your building location)?

How was the bus service?

How were the restaurants (AP and TC)?

Your experience with the staff?

The pools? Quiet or main pool.

Walking path to Downtown Disney? (was it well lit, how long of a walk. where did it leave in Downtown Disney, and is it true that there's 2 walking paths to DD?)

Your overal experience, Pro's and Con's?

I'll be traveling with a child (3) and my grandfather who is in a wheel chair. any tips?

Thanks so much for any and all information. If there's anything else i should know about the resort please let me know.

My wife and I stayed there in March of this year. Crowds at the parks weren't bad at all and the resort itself seemed almost empty. It was overcast on only the first day we were there but for the rest of our trip, it was nice and sunny, no too hot.1

We stayed in one of the Paddock buildings and had a one bedroom villa. Our room faced one of the big ponds. It was absolutely beautiful!

The bus service is sometimes hit or miss. We were the first bus stop in our resort so we never had a problem fiding a seat.

We never had a chance to eat at the Turf Club but the Artist Pallette was very nice.

Very friendly and helpful all the time.

Although we never went into the pools, we liked the main pool the best. They had a film night almost everyday we were there. They had a big screen placed in the pool area and were showing Pixar movies. The quiet pools are nice and have some little features that are pretty cool.

We never used this. We used the water taxi form SSR.

We had a great experience at Saratoga and would definitely recommend it to anyone. We especially love the design of the rooms and buildings. The distance to Downtown Disney is also a great Pro. The only con I can think of is paying for extra towels and other items.

I think a 1 bedroom (or possibly a studio) would be great for you. If you want to do some cooking, then I would suggest the 1 bedroom. I know they do have handicapped rooms available.

Mickola
06-20-2007, 06:10 PM
Hi, i will be staying at Saratoga for the first time in December. We have stayed in just about every other DVC resort but i am not sure what to expect from Saratoga. I have a bunch of questions and hopefully i get a lot of answers! thanks in advance!

When did you stay there?

What type of room did you have and in what building (How did you like your view and your building location)?

How was the bus service?

How were the restaurants (AP and TC)?

Your experience with the staff?

The pools? Quiet or main pool.

Walking path to Downtown Disney? (was it well lit, how long of a walk. where did it leave in Downtown Disney, and is it true that there's 2 walking paths to DD?)

Your overal experience, Pro's and Con's?

I'll be traveling with a child (3) and my grandfather who is in a wheel chair. any tips?

Thanks so much for any and all information. If there's anything else i should know about the resort please let me know.

My wife and I stayed there in March of this year. Crowds at the parks weren't bad at all and the resort itself seemed almost empty. It was overcast on only the first day we were there but for the rest of our trip, it was nice and sunny, no too hot.1

We stayed in one of the Paddock buildings and had a one bedroom villa. Our room faced one of the big ponds. It was absolutely beautiful!

The bus service is sometimes hit or miss. We were the first bus stop in our resort so we never had a problem fiding a seat.

We never had a chance to eat at the Turf Club but the Artist Pallette was very nice.

Very friendly and helpful all the time.

Although we never went into the pools, we liked the main pool the best. They had a film night almost everyday we were there. They had a big screen placed in the pool area and were showing Pixar movies. The quiet pools are nice and have some little features that are pretty cool.

We never used this. We used the water taxi form SSR.

We had a great experience at Saratoga and would definitely recommend it to anyone. We especially love the design of the rooms and buildings. The distance to Downtown Disney is also a great Pro. The only con I can think of is paying for extra towels and other items.

I think a 1 bedroom (or possibly a studio) would be great for you. If you want to do some cooking, then I would suggest the 1 bedroom. I know they do have handicapped rooms available.

disneykid4ever
06-21-2007, 04:43 AM
The "second" walkway from Congress Park to DTD is sort of a branch-off of the main walkway. It basically meanders through a wooded and brush-filled area and then connects again to the main walkway. There are signs posted at the entrance where it branches off into the wooded area stating "this walkway is closed at Sunset". There is no rope or anything that goes up but as I said before this portion is not lighted and it would be easy for someone to jump any pedestrians in the dark. The main walkway is lit and people travel it into the late hours. Everything is marked. Don't worry about the walkway, just keep your wits about you as you would anywhere else and try to have someone accompany you after dark (just my philosophy).

TenThousandVolts
06-21-2007, 07:03 AM
When did you stay there?
May 2007

What type of room did you have and in what building (How did you like your view and your building location)?
Paddocks, studio, water view. Very comfortable room and lovely view. Very quiet and peaceful location.

How was the bus service?
Great- we got lucky almost every time we needed a bus- there it was- no more than a 10 minute wait. I LOVED walking to the transportation hub at DTD (marketplace) we did a lot of resort hopping and this was so convenient.

How were the restaurants (AP and TC)?
Only tried AP- loved it.

Your experience with the staff?
Most were excellent, very friendly and efficient. A couple of desk staff seemed like they weren't very experienced, needed a little more training. Still very polite though.

The pools? Quiet or main pool.
I skipped the pools this trip.

Walking path to Downtown Disney? (was it well lit, how long of a walk. where did it leave in Downtown Disney, and is it true that there's 2 walking paths to DD?)
Walking to Marketplace was under 10 minutes from our room. I would walk this path at night without a second thought. You walk along the water in Congress Park, then you are on the sidewalk along a busy, well lit street for a brief moment as you cross the bridge- then you are there at Marketplace. The West side route back to SSR is more isolated, takes longer, and I wouldn't take this route at night. I would take the boat instead.

Your overal experience, Pro's and Con's?
PROS:
new, clean nice rooms
AP is great counter service
DTD proximity
beautiful grounds
ferry rides to DTD (and OKW POFQ POR)
Best resort if you plan on resort hopping
AKV models on site

CONS:
Very big resort- you may have a bit of walking to do depending on your room location
Landscaping needs some time to mature

Mischa
06-21-2007, 12:22 PM
Hi! Hope my answers to your questions help!

When did you stay there?

First trip: December 2006 (studio); Second trip: June 14 -19, 2007 (one-bedroom).

What type of room did you have and in what building (How did you like your view and your building location)?

Both times we were at Congress Park and both times on the 2nd floor. In December when we were at the Studio we had a great view of Downtown Disney. This trip we didn't have much of a view but could see Planet Hollywood's sign through the tree.

We love the Congress Park section. Both times we had a scooter with us and in the studio it was a bit cramped, the 1-bedroom gave us lots of room for us AND the scooter.

How was the bus service?

At Congress Park we had no problem getting on/off the bus (especially with a scooter). I did notice some folks who were in wheelchairs and/or scooters having a problem trying to get on at other locations like The Springs (mostly because the bus was packed and there was usually one (and sometimes two) scooters already on board.

How were the restaurants (AP and TC)?

We personally don't like the food at AP. Both times we've stayed at SSR the food has been terrible. (Again, this is our opinion). And the coffee is terrible (that is if you are a coffee drinker). We usually make our own coffee (Starbucks). Have not tried TC yet.

Your experience with the staff?

Everyone is excellent! We've never had a problem with anyone at SSR.

The pools? Quiet or main pool.

We have never been to the mail pool, except to walk around. The quiet pool at Congress Park is wonderful. There are kids but they are not running around like crazy and the parents were watching the kids and actually told their kids not to splash much. We didn't complain mind you. Kids will be kids, but it was nice of the parents to tell their kids to not splash others.

Walking path to Downtown Disney? (was it well lit, how long of a walk. where did it leave in Downtown Disney, and is it true that there's 2 walking paths to DD?)

Not sure if there are 2 walking paths, the path we took was near the water and brought you to Marketplace (where you'd catch a bus). It can be quite a hike when you are tired, but it was well lit (just a few places where there wasn't any or very low light).

Your overal experience, Pro's and Con's?

Overall we love SSR. Pros: the beauty of SSR, the pools, and if you are taking magical express (it's the 2nd stop from the airport). Cons: the food at AP, and the coffee.

I'll be traveling with a child (3) and my grandfather who is in a wheel chair. any tips?

If the wheelchair is motorized you shouldn't have any problems at SSR or at the parks. If it isn't motorized it might get tiring pushing. I would recommend getting an EVC at the park(s) for your grandfather and a stroller for your 3-year-old.

surgefest
06-23-2007, 04:53 PM
Great info! Thanks to Everyone who's replied! Is there anyone else out there who'd like to leave there input?

Bill K
06-23-2007, 05:33 PM
We were there last August. Stayed in Springs area. Beautiful Resort. Great BBQ area! and theme pool. Had very little in regards to "in resort" dining. The main road was way to busy! Not much shelter from all the traffic in and out.

NedsTJ
06-23-2007, 07:37 PM
Hi, i will be staying at Saratoga for the first time in December. We have stayed in just about every other DVC resort but i am not sure what to expect from Saratoga. I have a bunch of questions and hopefully i get a lot of answers! thanks in advance! .

When did you stay there?
Was just there June 13-17

What type of room did you have and in what building (How did you like your view and your building location)?
Congress Park, 1 bedroom -- Located on 3rd floor. View of bus stop, not a great view but hardly spent time in room. Location of building was nice. Easy walk to springs although just getting on any park bus will take you there. Also very convenient to walking to DTD.

How was the bus service?
Sometimes great. Sometimes very slow and sporadic.

How were the restaurants (AP and TC)?
Didn't eat at AP. But loved the Turf Club. Very friendly staff, excellent food.


Your experience with the staff?
Not much interaction with them, but the little I did I found them typically Disney friendly.


The pools? Quiet or main pool.
Only went to the pool by Congress park. Was quiet for the most part. But I think they need more shade. The trees are all still young and new and there isn't any shade. I think they need to put in some of those trellis things they have at OKW.


Walking path to Downtown Disney? (was it well lit, how long of a walk. where did it leave in Downtown Disney, and is it true that there's 2 walking paths to DD?)
Easy walk from Congress Park. only 5-10 minutes.

Your overal experience, Pro's and Con's?
I think I'm used to OKW and like OKW better. SSR seems more "lively" than OKW in my opinion.

Esmerelda
06-25-2007, 02:46 PM
When did you stay? I am here now with my hubby leaving on 6/26.

What type of room and what building? We have a studio and we are in 3701. We have a lovely view of the fountain and the pond right outside. We are on the 3rd floor which I love!!

How was bus service? It was about a 6 on a 1 - 10 scale. At times its great, other times its slow. We were told they are short about 200 drivers right now? no clue why....

Restaurants? We love the Turf Club and in fact its been one of our bests meals this week and we are going back this evening!! Artist Palette also has some yummy features (which I have photos of and will post in my review)

The staff? Absolutely nothing but stellar....they have treated us great.

The pools? We went to the main pool only once, while it was nice..it was very crowded..and the pavement is so HOT I scorched my feet! They have activities going on in the afternoons that were fun and music playing which was nice...everyone seemed to be having a great time.

Walking path to DTD? It took us maybe 7 minutes to walk and it was quite lovely.

Pros and cons? Pros...lovely...quiet in rooms...pool is very nice...laundry was free to do...staff was excellent...bus service passed by my standards..the boat to DTD was great and quite relaxing. Our check in was smooth on Wednesday with no wait.

Cons...the only thing was spotted all week is to NEVER check in or out on Sunday or Thursday. We had to go to the concierge desk on Sunday afternoon for something and the Carriage House was a mess!!! I mean there were 200 people in line to check in. When I inquired, the staff said alot of folks check in on Sunday and check out on Thursday because of the points....OH MY GOSH...what a nightmare. I felt VERY sorry for the staff. (note to self..never arrive or depart on these days...lol)

Esmerelda :)

LSchrow
06-25-2007, 07:20 PM
stayed at SSR june 3-9 (yup, just a few weeks ago <sigh>)

22yo DD & self in a Congress Park studio.
we were really surprised how much we LOVED the resort :love:
check-in was not the greatest (cranky CM....she was nice until i paid for our DDP using disney dollars, Disney visa reward card, & a gift card. she had difficulty figuring out how to input them, & took out her frustration on us........:confused3 . luckily, a manager saw ~ & heard (the woman was getting increasingly loud) ~ what was going on & stepped in to calm her down) we did not receive a resort map, welcome folder, etc, so returned later to get them. :confused:

once settled (room ready about 4:30PM), everything was GREAT! the 3rd floor room itself was beautiful & clean, our balcony had a partial view of DDT :cloud9: , i really, REALLY liked the open hallways to the rooms, & the closeness of the elevators.
walking to/fro DTD was wonderful! we saw an eagle, snake, & many bunnies.
we felt that there were sooo many transportation options (using buses from DTD), but also found the SSR buses always timely & never crowded.
AP was great for b'fast (YUM!), & convenient for "essentials".
incredible, stunning resort!! we think that SSR may very well be our second fav DVC (BWV with BW view just WOWS us, & will always be "first place" in our hearts), b/c of it's beauty, diversity (quiet "nature" walks, fun at PI/DTD), great bus transportation (the one area BWVs are lacking in).

there is so much more to see/do that we just didn't have time for (pool, biking, watertaxi) ~ we would def stay there again!
hth :)

ebenmax
06-25-2007, 10:04 PM
We too just returned from our first DVC trip to SSR about a week ago.

We stayed in the Grandstand section on third floor, 2BR unit 9427, very close to the elevators. Our view was stunning - lush green manicured grounds w/ the golf course in the distance. This section has several perks to it...own quiet but fun quiet pool w/ kids play area...first bus stop (pickup and dropoff) so you never have to stand...only a short 5 min. walk to the main Springs section where all of the action is...absolutely brand new because it just opened in the last six months, I believe.

Bus service- excellent overall, because you do not stop at other resorts.
The longest ride was to Animal Kingdom and it did seem to take awhile. Also, sometimes buses were full by the time they arrived at the Springs - one reason I would probably not want to stay there unless we were in an off season.

Restaurants - really enjoyed the flatbreads and grilled sandwiches at AP. Plenty of snack items and other goodies you may need/want.
Did not eat at TC but peeked inside. It reminded me of a quiet spot you would eat after a golf game or a restaurant at a country club. We are trying it for the first time at T-giving...have heard good reviews.

Staff - EXCEPTIONAL - especially the bell services - very informative and unbelievably friendly and helpful.

Pools - Were only at SSR for three days. First day a storm ruined our visit to the Grandstand pool. Next two days hit the main pool for a little while. LOVED the zero entry. I kept wondering why everyone kept commenting on it and now I know why. Our DD4 could play there and we didn't have to hold her the whole time. I could sit in the water and relax if I chose. DD20, DS16
and DH"2" threw the water football and went down the slide. Plenty of chairs on a Thurs. and Fri. afternoon. Not overly crowded. Yes, very HOT cement.

DTD walkway - did not get a chance to do, but hope to at T-giving because we enjoy resort restaurant hopping.

PROS:
Stunning grounds
brand new rooms
lots to do w/out the parks
DTD access
Other resort access
is strictly DVC - doesn't share with a resort so I think you have a special treatment
LOVED the spa (had an wonderful pedicure w/DD20)

CONS:
distances if you are tired
need more time to experience all they offer
full buses at the Springs

Disney seems so well trained to accomodate those in wheelchairs. Have you asked for handicapped facilities? 1st floor? Near elevator?
Have any easy to open and close stroller for the 3yr old because it has to be collapsed on the bus.

You will LOVE SSR - we cannot wait to go back and also add more points!!

BroganMc
06-26-2007, 12:11 AM
When did you stay there?

December '06 and May '07

What type of room did you have and in what building (How did you like your view and your building location)?

1bedroom handicap accessible. Dead center of the both my buildings by the elevators. I was in the Springs in December (unit 3525) and Grandstand in May (unit 8525).

Identical rooms but with different views. Springs had a view of a little courtyard and the lake between two buildings. Grandstand had views of a little courtyard, the hills of the golf course and the resort.

Both rooms were accessible with a not-so impossibly high bed and roll-in shower. Only other difference from the models is there was no breakfast counter for the extra two chairs they give you. Have no idea why. It was a loss for us.

How was the bus service?

It was too cold for me to use it in December so we mostly opted to use our van instead. But in May we left the van and always used the bus. My longest wait was about 5 minutes at the Grandstand. BTW, Grandstand is nice because it is the first stop. That means you get empty seats and plenty of space for wheelchairs. My dad rents a scooter when we're down so we needed both wheelchair spots: for my powerchair and his scooter. If we had stayed at the Springs (last stop on the route), we would have had a harder time getting space on the bus.

How were the restaurants (AP and TC)?

Loved AP. We ate there pretty much every day. Love the chef specials. Tried to go to TC but forgot they closed at 9pm. We ended up eating the chef special at AP and had a better time.

Your experience with the staff?

EXCELLENT! They remembered us from our December trip and have always been super nice to us. Our rooms have never been assigned where we wanted them but the Front Desk staff have gone out of their way to fix it. The staff seems more laid back and friendly than other places. Well except for the gals at Whispering Canyon Cafe. :)

The pools? Quiet or main pool.

I can really only use the main pool because it is zero entry. (I can't do steps.) But we checked out all the pools. Grandstand has one with a pool bar and water play area. The Paddocks and Congress Park pools are very ornate and a wonderful haven mid-day when the parks are full.

Walking path to Downtown Disney? (was it well lit, how long of a walk. where did it leave in Downtown Disney, and is it true that there's 2 walking paths to DD?)

The one by Congress Park is well-lit at night (just not the little nature path detour which is optional anyway). You enter from the DTD Marketplace bus depot. Beautiful views at night.

As for time and distance, well I raced my dad home one night from West Side. 3-4.5 mph through PI, Marketplace, back through CP, Springs and to our Grandstand room non-stop. I did it in exactly 30 minutes. That's a fast walking speed, slow run.

The other route is daytime only and goes from West Side, through the parking lot and golf course to a bridge over the canal and winds up at the back of AP. I never took it. Much easier to just pick up the ferry back of AP instead.

I did take the same pathway bridge to OKW. That was a looooooooong walk. Don't do it in the middle of the day when it's sunny and hot.

Your overal experience, Pro's and Con's?

December I did a lot of Christmas shopping. I liked the resort but felt it was too cold in general for me to enjoy Florida. I desparately wanted to come back in warm weather.

In May I was there 8 days. I absolutely adored the place. Getting up early for strolls around the resort, enjoying all those walkways and natural scenery, the accessible pool, etc. I never wanted to leave. In fact, I pouted all the way home. Thank goodness I'm going back in October. (Originally for 6 days but we added on 3 more because we wanted more time.)

I'll be traveling with a child (3) and my grandfather who is in a wheel chair. any tips?

Try to stay in the Grandstand area. Since it's the first bus stop, you'll have an easier time getting space on the bus. Other than that, I'd go for the Paddocks by its pool. Paddocks is the 3rd stop. My reasoning is that the Springs may be closer to the HRS pool but that bus gets awfully full. And the Paddocks pool has a nearby bridge spanning the lake to connect it to Springs area. Makes it a lot shorter.

One other thing, buy a cheap doorstop at Walmart and stick it in your luggage. Those apartment doors are very heavy. It'll be really hard to balance the door, your grandfather's wheelchair and your 3 yr old. Someone's gonna get their fingers pinched. We just threw our doorstep on the floor and kicked it into place before driving out with our chair and scooter.

surgefest
06-29-2007, 09:09 PM
Great information! Thanks!