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Old 06-08-2012, 07:25 PM   #1
Irishmom23
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Just back from Tree House Villa!!

We just returned from an eight day stay in the Saratoga Springs Resort Tree House Villas. This is our home resort and the first stay at SSS. The trip included myself, a mom of three, age 56, and my three children. DS age 27, and two DD's ages 23 and 20. We also brought along my ex husband so he could enjoy his kids in Disney as adults I requested a tree house "near transportation" so that hopefully we would be near the walking path to the Grand Stand, and this is exactly what we got. We were in tree house 7059 which was just steps from the south bus and the pathway to SSS Grand Stand. It was also on the walking path to the boat to DTD, and within a few yards to the THV pool. I could not have asked for a better location.
We arrived on Jet Blue from Boston at 11:30AM and hopped on the magical Express bus which brought us to the Springs check-in area by 12:30PM. We were warmly received and welcomed home and given our packet. Our villa wasn't ready yet, but we were prepared to drop off our carry ons at bell services and head to the park. Myself and my three adult children all have annual passes, however I had purchased their father's park hopper pass through member services and had to add it to his KTTW card so it would be less that he had to manage. I had a cast member "earning his ears" so this became quite a process to get it right, but as soon as we did, off to the Magic Kingdom for lunch and the parade.
We received a text at 2PM that our villa was ready and what number it was. We watched the parade after lunch and headed back to unpack and get the food I had ordered from Garden Grocer. The food had been delivered at 12PM and was being held in bell services for us.
We were unsure of where to find the walking path from Grand Stand, so got off at the Springs which has the only bus available to get to the THV. We got off at the south bus stop, and there was the sign for our villa. We do not use a car when we go to Disney, unless we plan a trip outside the parks, and then will rent one at the Dolphin for the number of days we need it. We are all walkers and my two daughters and I run so we find the WDW buses to be reliable and not a hassle, and they were fine on this trip as in the past.
The tree house itself has a rustic feel but has all of the amenities. When we walked into our villa it was very impressive. Our luggage had already been delivered which was nice. The living area was large and had a sofa, sleeper chair, table and chairs in the dining area and a good sized kitchen which has everything needed if one wants to cook. Two bed rooms were on the left of the kitchen, one with bunk beds, and a bathroom. On the right of the kitchen was the master with a beautiful bathroom and a jacuzzi tub. The girls and I used that bathroom and the men used the other two bedrooms and bath. The girls slept on the pullout sofa and sleeper chair. My ex and my son were going to switch half way through the trip from the bed to the bunk, but my ex slept on the bottom bunk the whole time and felt it was comfortable.
Soon after I called bell services, our carry on items and food from the grocery delivery were brought to us. We put everything away, got changed, and off we went to dinner at the Turf Club Bar and Grill at the Springs at SSR. The meal was great. We were on the DDP as it was easier for us to prepay our meals. Each of my children paid their own way and paid for their own DDP. I also have a Tables in Wonderland card which I also used for appetizers and any alcohol consumed. Each person contributed money towards the tip and paid for their own drinks. It worked out great for us. I treated myself and the kids to Boma for breakfast one morning before going to Animal Kingdom, and that restaurant is another favorite for us.
Our main reason for going on this trip was to be there for Star Wars Weekend. We all wore our Star Wars shirts and went on both Saturday and Sunday. My son and I went before park opening on Saturday and were able to watch the hilarious show put on by the storm troopers. We also road Star Tours four times before 10AM. We had a different ride each time so that was a treat. We enjoyed the hoopla at 8PM and we all had our picture taken with Boba Fett. One of the sand creatures (forget their names) tried to take my daughter with him (JOKINGLY) and we got some great pictures. I went to the Darth Mall and was able to buy my DVC and annual pass Star Wars pins. All in all a great time.
The weather was great except for some rain on Tuesday which was short lived, however we had a deluge on Wednesday which lasted all day, but thankfully didn't start until after I had our pictures taken at various places throughout the park. I had my picture taken with Merida, the Scottish princess from Brave. So nice to have a princess from the British Isles, considering 94% of my heritage!
Other restaurants we went to were Teppan Edo in Epcot (great food, great time), Captain's Grille at the Yacht Club (disappointing this time around), Raglan Road (good food, good entertainment but very loud), The Wave at the Contemporary (great food), and Biergarten in Epcot (great entertainment and food, reminds me of my German grandmother and her cooking).
Also had a massage at the spa at SSS, very relaxing, and spent a few mornings at the Springs pool, which was so nice when the temperature was 90 degrees. I don't cook on vacation however we had breakfast at the villa most mornings, and my ex even cooked omlettes, toast, and bacon one morning which was a treat.
My daughter and I were able to get a couple of runs in, however as much as I love Florida, I am not used to the heavy humidity, and this cut down on both my distance and endurance. However I walked back and forth several times a day from the villa to the Grand Stand and even to the Springs so I think between the parks and the walking at SSS, I did OK.
It was a great trip, and I do want to stay in a villa in the actual resort area soon. Loved SSS and its quiet, as well as its spread out feel. My next trip is going to be at OKW with my extended family, and of course I plan on a food and wine trip to Beach Club when I do an add on there. Can't wait to go back to WDW
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:15 PM   #2
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Loved the report!! THV is the only other DVC resort option that my DH is interested in outside of AKV. One of these days I am going to get us a stay in one. I think they are terrific.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:20 PM   #3
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What a great little report! DH and I would love to stay at the Treehouses someday...they sound wonderful! I am also loving your little bits about SW weekends, that is coming up for us in May 2013 I think. DH really wants to do it, I told him no I thought we should go in Feb for smaller crowds. Well, his face hung sooo low, and I changed my mind! Did you find the crowds horrible for SW or not so bad? Also what weekend did you go to it?? Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:31 PM   #4
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thats funny i just got back today as well...we stayed in 7034 and i could not have asked for a better location...literally on the path to the grandstand and right on the south bus stop

both of my sons told me they would rather stay at tree house villas than have a 2 bedroom at beach club (although i disagree) i was impressed with the villas
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:31 PM   #5
Irishmom23
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We went week three of Star Wars Weekend, June 1-3, 2012. We did not attend at all on Friday, however arrived before HS opened on Saturday. My son is 27 so didn't really want any autographs except for the guy who played Boba Fett. He was supposed to be there for our weekend but the celebrity stars got switched around and he was another weekend. Early morning was very light for crowds, but being the third weekend and not the first may have played into that. We easily found a seat for some breakfast at Starring rolls after riding Star Tours twice, then about 10:30am it began to get crowded. Toy Story Mania of course went up to a 110 minute wait without a fast pass by 1pm! Star Wars characters were wandering all over the park, the good guys over near Star Tours area, and the bad guys over near the TSM area in the back part. The lines to have pictures taken weren't too bad if you lined up early enough and the times for characters were posted or in the guide (can't remember which or both!) There was a special map for the weekend which did help. Since this was our first time for a SW weekend, we were unfamiliar where the parade route was and didn't get to the Hoopla ending show in time for a good view. Will do much better next time. Of course I had researched all of this prior to going and forgot to print everything up prior to leaving. There is entertainment on the stage near the sorcerer's hat on and off all day, and the Hoopla at the end was fantastic despite my poor view. Not to be missed Darth Mall is where all the Star Wars collectible stuff is and lots of merchandise is available. You could also have your picture taken with R2D2 and C3PO, as well as Luke and Princess Leia. There may have been others but I did not see them The Mall is behind Rockin Roller coaster and from what I understand it can be a very long wait to get in, look around, buy things, and get checked out. We didn't encounter this but I guess the 1st weekend is the worst. I felt it was well organized. Many collectables like pins and figurines were given to you at the checkout desks in original packaging but you could look at the item on table before you purchased them and then let them know at check out what you wanted.
SWW was a great experience. We enjoyed wearing our shirts we purchased prior to leaving, and it was really great seeing even entire families dressed up in costumes. All the characters we saw were so life like and interactive. Some may be frightening to younger children (the dark side ones) but the good guys were also fantastic. Cant' wait to do it again.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:11 AM   #6
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We love the THV! We also vacation with our adult children every year. It's a way for us all to be together when it's not a holiday and just enjoy each other. It's funny how we all fall back into our "role" in the family. What fun.

I'm so glad you had a wonderful trip and some precious time together as a family.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:55 PM   #7
Irishmom23
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Thanks! My kids and I certainly bonded over this vacation. My son was in the USMC for five years and now attends Northeastern University full time, so it has been quite a while since he has been able to travel with us on vacation. It was a blast to be able to be with him again. My older daughter just graduated from college and the younger one is entering her thrid year, so my time with them at home is growing shorter. They all enjoy Disney, so I still have plenty of time to enjoy our vacations and then hopefully grandchildren one day
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:04 AM   #8
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From my experience, as long as we keep going they will keep going. I wondered aloud the other day as to why they even want to vacation with us and my DH said, "We keep feeding them."
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:09 PM   #9
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:38 PM   #10
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Glad your trip was magical
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:36 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing the trip report - we're a smaller family but our home is SSR and we've talked about trying the Treehouse. You have us itching now!
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:28 PM   #12
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My daughter wants to try the Tree House Villas (I do actually as well) but it has been hard finding availability 7 months out. So glad you had a great time-even with your ex-I commend you on that one! I can only hope my 2 children will continue to want to vacation at WDW/DL as they get older. Our son has autism so he is always good for a trip to Disney-let's see how my 13 year old teenage daughter acts as she gets older. Maybe if I get the THV she will cave!
Great trip report!
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:10 PM   #13
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Tanks for the great report. I can't wait to stay in the THV? I used to love camping but now this fits my style of "outdoors and woodsy" just fine.

When my boys were teenagers, they were always hesitant to go with us on "family vacations"--unless we were going to WDW. That's what helped sell us on DVC. Now they are in their late 20's and we can still count on them joining us for at least one vacation with the Mouse each year!
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