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Old 03-26-2014, 11:26 AM   #1
IMReady
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Exclamation Saratoga Sp. Grand Villa or WL?

I need your advice. My in-laws are taking the entire family to WDW in late Sept. There will be 5 adults and 4 kids (ages 8-12).

We have our resorts narrowed down to either Wilderness Lodge (3 separate rooms) or a 3-bedroom Grand Villa at Saratoga Springs (through Vacation Club rental points).

WL Pro's
  • My family has stayed here before so it's a known entity (it's our favorite resort so far)
  • Decent bus service
  • Boat that goes directly to MK

WL Con's
  • My family has stayed here before and my husband was looking forward to trying a different resort.
  • $2,000 more expensive than the Grand Villa

Saratoga Springs Grand Villa Pro's
  • Um, it's a Grand Villa!
  • Full kitchen, so we can eat breakfast there without wasting time obtaining breakfast at a counter service place
  • Cheaper than the three separate rooms at WL

Saratoga Springs Grand Villa Con's
  • I heard the bus service is terrible here? Is this true?
  • Being a vacation rental, once the reservation is made, that's it. No switching and no cancellations.


The bus issue could be a showstopper for us. We will have three vehicle on premises but we planned to use Disney transportation exclusively rather than deal with the hassle of driving and parking.

Also, if it makes a difference, my Mother-in-Law, who will be traveling with us, is mobile but tires easily due to health issues so we will be renting a scooter for the week for her. If one is more accessible than the other please let me know.

What would you guys do?
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:22 PM   #2
nalajms
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I think the bus is a non-issue. We were at WL 18mons ago. They stopped the boat service to MK for some reason and didn't bother telling people. There was a long line at the boat launch. We went to the bus area, they said there would be extra buses, but they never came!

So besides MK, you'd have to bus everywhere from WL. And don't they stop at Ft Wilderness as well?

With SSR, I think the bus just makes stops within SSR.

If the sleeping arrangements work out, I'd go with the GV. That's a lot of room! Plus cheaper!
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:23 PM   #3
GrandCalifornian
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While it costs more, one benefit of the WL option is that you will each have your own space. We got two rooms at WL for a trip with my parents and it worked out great. We could be together when we wanted, and have alone time too.

The bus service at Saratoga Springs isn't bad, it just takes time. We were surprised at how the bus seemed to spend almost as long within Saratoga Springs as it did in transit to MK. The area is beautiful, and you do have boats to DTD, but you would just have to plan on longer bus rides, particularly for MK.

Either way, have a great trip!
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:23 PM   #4
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I think it all depends on where you plan on spending most of your time. If you see yourself doing more in the parks, I would go with WL. If not, the SSR would be the way to go. As for the transportation issue, as much as you would like to use Disney transportation, it is almost always faster to drive yourself with the exception of driving to MK. Keep that in mind when people begin to tire out throughout the day...
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:29 PM   #5
IMReady
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Thanks you guys. We will be spending one day in each of the parks (no park hopper). I'm leaning toward SSR but still not convinced...

Isn't driving to the parks kind of a pain with the long walk from the lot to the gate? I know we'll be doing a boatload of walking, but I'd rather save it for inside the parks rather than to/from the car. Thoughts? We also have a scooter to transport.

Any and all input welcome!
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:12 PM   #6
SharonZ
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I vote for the Grand Villa, but I'm surprised that it would be available. I may be in the minority, but I really like SSR.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:25 AM   #7
roydavid7771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IMReady View Post
Thanks you guys. We will be spending one day in each of the parks (no park hopper). I'm leaning toward SSR but still not convinced...

Isn't driving to the parks kind of a pain with the long walk from the lot to the gate? I know we'll be doing a boatload of walking, but I'd rather save it for inside the parks rather than to/from the car. Thoughts? We also have a scooter to transport.

Any and all input welcome!
Driving to the parks would actually save you time as you won't have to worry about being on someone else's schedule and you don't have to worry about making multiple stops (take the bus back to your resort after a night at DTD, you'll know what I'm talking about!).

Driving to the MK would be a bigger pain as you have to take either the monorail or the ferry at the TTC to get there, as opposed to the buses, which drop you off just in front of the main entrance. As for the other parks, there is still a bit of a walk from the various Disney transportation depots to the main entrances to the parks, so you reaslly wouldn't be saving all that much. Besides, all of the parking lots have trams running from your car to the main gates....
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2014: Coronado Springs (WDW Marathon Weekend)
2013: Port Orleans Riverside (WDW Marathon Weekend), Animal Kingdom Lodge, Villas at Wilderness Lodge, Beach Club Villas (Nephew's 1st Visit)
2012: Boardwalk Villas (Our 1st DVC Stay!)
2011: Beach Club, Swan (Honeymoon!)
2010: Pop Century, Wilderness Lodge
2009: Swan
1989: Marriott Orlando World Center
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:36 AM   #8
Shelly F - Ohio
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I would do a treehouse villa at SSR. It sleeps 9, has a full kitchen and the points required for a week are about 35% less than the amount of points required for a Grand Villa. Its for 485 point for a GV for a week and 281 for a treehouse. Right now the going rate to rent is $12 - $13 a point. So a GV would cost $5820 - $6305 or a TH would be $3372 - $3653.

At SSR you can take a boat or walk to DTD. The walkway over by the west side is still open at SSR but the other one is closed till 2016 when the construction at DTD is done.
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Last edited by Shelly F - Ohio; 03-27-2014 at 08:43 AM.
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