Are We Crazy? We totally LOVE Saratoga Springs!!


Earning My Ears
Feb 22, 2007
I've stayed at AKL, WL, Poly, Port Orleans Riverside, and the Yacht Club. Saratoga Springs Resort was not even on my radar because I had heard nothing but lukewarm reports at best about this place. However, my family took a last minute vacation there in May so we could attend Disney After Hours combined with some pool days; SSR had availability. We were amazed at how much we loved this lush and gorgeous resort! My 15-year-old daughter's comment was "Mom, can we just sell the house and move here?" Then later she told me that she loved this best out of all the resorts we have tried - 100% better! Why?
* It's LOVELY: the buildings are so pretty. Because the resort is spread out, it has the look and feel of a grand resort not just another hotel. Live oaks dripping with spanish moss, lakes everywhere, flowers, plants, seemingly miles of walking paths -- a walker's dream. My family went into relax mode as soon as we saw the place. That leads to..
* It's RELAXING: There are high energy places if you want them. The main pool, for example! There are activity enough places -- community hall, main buildings. Then there are places that seem so remote and peaceful like .. you know, a spa and nature retreat! (our first night in Grandstand gazing out across the golf course toward a woods, for instance.) It has a SPA! It has massage chairs in the main building (DD and I checked these out twice!)
* It's NATURE at it's finest: in addition to lakes and plants already described -- lovely wildlife! On our walks, we saw several kinds of turtles (incl. a huge Florida softshell turtle); numerous waterbirds including my favorite anhingas; birds of prey incl. kites, hawks, falcons; etc.
* It's got a wonderful THEME: Yes, my family is in the minority here I guess. But we totally got the horse and spa theme. Maybe since we're from the deep south it seemed different and interesting to us? But I felt transported to another world: peaceful, fun, spa...and I loved all the horses everywhere including my Disney horse pillows in our one bedroom! The old fashioned photos of horse racing, horse jockey curtains, carriages... Very fun and immersive theming to us.
* It's got YUMMY FOOD: So why isn't the Turf Club better rated? I found my Caesar salad (lightly grilled with I think balsamic vinegar incl. with dressing) to be delicious. My husband was very happy with his venison over perhaps cream couscous. Venison had a stronger flavor, but not at all "gamey." And the price was quite reasonable for Disney. We will be back. The Paddock Grill had a perfectly nice spice encrusted fish sandwich for $11 and very good cheeseburger for $12.
* It's got The BEST POOLS: "Pool hopping is a theme park" another quote from my daughter, as we hung at a different pool every day! My personal favorite was Congress Park Pool ahhhhh. Most reviewers pan it as nothing to attract anyone. How about this? True, no bar, special kids water toys, etc. but also it is actually QUIET. Most kids are elsewhere. Some kids are here (and welcomed of course). They splash about and have fun but there are just a very few, generally no more than 2 or 3. Most people are quiet adults. You can actually SWIM in the pool as it's not too crowded. Some light jazz music serves as background noise but so very relaxing. The view can't be beat. Beautiful buildings and lush vegetation on one side. The "river" and a lovely view of Disney Springs on the other. Watched the balloon go up and down all day. The pool itself is elegant, shaped, has water spouts shaped as sculptured frogs. All is pretty! And drinks are available from machines. Right in front of the pool, there is an area with rocking chairs where one can rock and gaze at Disney Springs and watch the boats go up and down the river. so HOW ON EARTH can anyone not find anything at this pool? It's about my favorite anywhere! Even my husband loved it! My daughter raved about them all and truly enjoyed what was unique about each pool. She loved the "happy vibe" and the waterslide at the Paddock Pool; she loved all the things to do, being more spread out at the main pool, and Artist Palette's flatbread; she felt like "nature girl" and spent a happy morning at the treehouse pool -- we just sadly ran out of days before she could try out the Grandstand pool but next visit!
* It's got so many FUN THINGS TO DO: My teenage daughter loved family time doing morning yoga in front of gorgeous Congress Park Pool with Disney Springs in the background. We all loved the Derby Dash and getting our cutie horseshoe medals. We drew with an illustrator at the community hall and got our special trading pin "Animating the Springs." Next time, we'll paint ceramics -- they have a kiln and many options of things you can make which are fun for all ages. Mom spent more money than she cares to admit at the arcade (hit it daily). We enjoyed walking, boating, taking the bus to Disney Springs at night. And we can hardly wait to come back and try out the spa, the way cool workout room... and play some board games when we get back.
I think this is the best place at Disney to spend non-park days actually relaxing, while having plenty of fun things to do. And it's soooo pretty! I'd love to hear your thoughts. Or is it just my odd family who loves this place so much?
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Keep it quiet about about the Turf Club, if you get the word out about how good it is more people will make reservations. I agree with you it is a lovely resort. Some people don’t like the how it is spread out. Some people have had some worn out rooms, we have not. I think the refurbishment coming up will change a lot of opinions on it. We own there and OKW. SSR is very quiet and relaxing.
We love it too! In fact we just bought direct points there in April and so we own there as well as Boardwalk. We are spending 6 nights in a one bedroom there in July as part of a 12 night split stay with poly. I'm so excited to be staying at both places! We love how peaceful it is and also like artist palette for the quick serve type meals. Have not tried turf club but will in the future. Glad your family enjoyed the resort too!
Your daughter sounds just like mine! SSR is also her favorite resort for many of the reasons you listed.

Loved your wonderful post!! Thanks for the beautiful review of our lovely resort.

Wow great post, I think you nicely describe why I love SSR also. It will be doubly fantastic when refurbed. One man’s meat is another man’s poison as they say:

Quiet and relaxed a big tick for me- Not in your face Disney enough for some.

Lots of walking, it’s what I love on vacation as I’m sat behind a desk all day- “The size of the resort and walking is ridiculous” to some.

Yoga, my wife loves it- “ I’ve no interest in exercise, least on vacation” many will think (Yoga also at Boardwalk, BLT, Beach Club and I think Grand Floridian though).

Spread out and pretty gardens is what I like for the reasons you say- “ Like a condo village” to others and “ Like a value with no internal corridors”.

Nature, like you I love seeing this stuff, particularly as I’m from the U.K.: We don’t have any remotely exotic wildlife and anything that could injure you was hunted out of existence hundreds of years ago- “ I want to only be in a highly Disneyfied environment, that’s why I come to Disney” to many.

Funny but many U.K. citizens seem to like SSR as we insist on being able to walk to restaurants and bars on an evening so we can have a drink and people don’t like driving if they can help it.

Not saying the other folks are wrong, I am not a big fan of Animal Kingdom as I cannot walk or run anywhere, but I can see why others think it’s fantastic.

By the way did you walk up the canal path to Old Key West? If not you’d enjoy that.
Thanks for sharing! These are all things we considered when we bought our SSR points last year. We haven't stayed there yet but we have visited (love the spa!), and I'm looking forward to booking a stay there in the future. We love DS and being able to walk there is a big plus for us. I'm sure the kids will also enjoy the pools, community hall, surrey bikes, and playground.

We stopped there in May before the DVC event. I found it very relaxing. The community hall was really big (maybe the biggest on property) and seemed to have a lot of activities.

The only issue we had was the bus. We got on at the last stop and it was already full. I think as long as I had a car I'd love to stay there sometime.
We stayed a few years ago and we're concerned up until we checked in because of what we had heard. However we were pleasantly surprised we absolutely loved it there. we found it incredibly relaxing and it was very appreciated after being in the crazy Parks all day
I love it too. Nice layout and proximity to Disney Springs are key elements. I usually stay there once each year but have no trip planned with SSR in 2019 since I substituted a trip to PVB instead.
We love it too along with OKW! Since we've been to Disney World several times we like to relax on vacation and have it feel more laid back, not so hustle & bustle! We would glady stay at SSR for all the reasons you listed above. Our favorite is the walk to Disney Springs for coffee in the mornings when we don't set an alarm!
Thank you so much for your post! We bought there as our first home resort last year without having stayed there. We have our first trip to SSR coming up in 10 days. Your post has us very excited!
I have stayed at most of the Disney resorts including many of the deluxes and I, too, love SSR. Right now I have too many little ones in strollers so we will be staying on the monorail for a few years, but I will definitely return to SSR in the future. I LOVE the horse theming.
Thank you! What a wonderful post! I really enjoyed reading this. But like others have suggested...shhhhh...don't want to the word to get out
I believed that SSR would increase in it's beauty with the maturing of the landscape and it's done a lot of that with more to come. :thumbsup2
We'll be staying on property for the first time this coming October and it happens to be at SSR...I'm absolutely thrilled to see your post and I thank you for helping ease my worried mind! :) Really excited for the trip in whole, but more so now!! Thanks!
I couldn't agree more!! We had a recent stay and just loved it. If it is my "only" choice then that is all right by me!
We feel the same way. Our DD7 loved the pools and having Disney Springs right there is awesome. After the hard goods refurb it will be even better.


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