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Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Ranked #79 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 7, 2009

For the last couple of years we have stayed at the Port Orleans resort so I thought it would be a good idea to compare a Deluxe Villa resort with a moderate resort as well as just review SSR in it’s own right.

Let me start by saying that we loved SSR and have already booked to go back next year (In a one bedroom rather than a studio) so don’t be put off if some of my initial comments seem a little negative in comparison with POR

Firstly lets look at size. SSR is big. There are lots of reports saying that you need a car to get around this place. You don’t. What you need is the will to walk. We stayed in Congress Park, opposite Downtown Disney and about as far from the main pool and restaurant etc as it is possible to get. The walk takes about 5 to 6 minutes; a bit of a pain if it’s raining hard but not too bad if you remember what your legs are for. If you are not good at walking then just take your time. The scenery is mainly very pleasant and you are on vacation so why rush. Take a while to look at the trees for the Hawks (these have a tendency to eat the ducks, which isn’t very Disney); or look at the turtles in the ponds (there are loads) and make sure you avoid the snakes (we saw one about 4 ft long sunning itself in the hedge next to the path). The kids will also love all the frogs and lizards.

It must be said that the walk from Congress Park to The Springs (the central area of SSR) is not very Disney either. The area around the rooms is very nicely landscaped and very pretty, especially at night. However, the central road does feel and look very much like an access road (which, of course, it is). The Disney “imagineers” must have had the day off when this bit was designed.

When comparing this resort with POR there are some down-sides. The restaurant/Shop are much smaller that POR and have a much smaller selection. They don’t even serve pancakes at breakfast! I can only assume that this is because SSR is a villa resort and most guests are expected to buy and cook their own food. Although much smaller than POR we never had a long wait for breakfast.

In addition the reception area is smaller and not very heavily staffed and the Arcade (if you have younger children) is tiny in comparison. There were also a lot of broken machines and some wag had walked off with the puck from the air-hockey table when we were last there.

The main pool is very large and very well designed. They show movies around the pool nightly (although these are tricky to hear and we never made it through one without a thunderstorm closing the pool area – not something even Disney can control). The down-side with the pool (the same was true of POR) is that at 9pm the life-guards go off duty and this is seen as an excuse for the “older kids” to take-over the pool. At this point the pool area stops feeling like Disney and starts feeling like summer break in the Bahamas. Unless your kids are ok with having a twenty something jump on them in the middle of the pool it’s probably a good idea to beat a hasty retreat at this point. Sadly the “quiet pools” tend to suffer from the same problem (predominately, I report with much sadness, caused by my own countrymen).

Lets get to the room now. The room was very good, although not significantly larger that at POR. Where it did have a big advantage though was with a balcony (or patio on the ground floors) which opened the whole room up and made it much lighter than the rooms at POR. Another significant advantage is the pseudo-central air. POR has the old-fashioned in-window aircon units that sound like they are made by jet-engine manufacturers. SSR has a locked-closet (by the kitchenette in the case of a studio) that contains the aircon unit and this is then pumped in centrally. I say pseudo because the aircon unit is still technically in the room and still a bit louder than I would ideally like but it is a lot better than POR (oddly the temperature controls didn’t really seem to work either – whatever I did with them it was either too hot or too cold).

One other area that didn’t really work for us is the pull-out bed. The studio apartments have one double bed (which is extremely comfortable) and a sofa-bed. For 2 this would be ideal, and it does serve to make the room look bigger. However, when in use the sofa-bed is not all that comfortable and certainly not big enough for teenagers and above. The room would have been better served with the more traditional 2 bed layout in my opinion.

See, I told you it would sound like I was being very negative. Now for the good stuff. The room feels very much higher quality that POR and having large sliding doors to the balcony gives you a much greater feeling of space and certainly affords better lighting. There are other nice touches too, like the DVD player and the radio-alarm with an iPod doc so you can listen to and charge your iPod whilst in the room.

The soundproofing is also superb. Although there was some evidence of external noise this was extremely limited. What noise there was unfortunately came from the afore-mentioned testosterone-fuelled antics around the pool late into the night.

Because of the time of year we visited the view of downtown Disney was obscured by trees, but the view we did have was still very pleasant.

One thing Disney do get wrong in all of their hotels (IMHO) is the size of the safe. As with POR the safe was a maximum of an inch deep. This is fine for money or passports but not much good for those of us that travel with several thousand dollars/pounds worth of camera equipment. I’m not expecting a walk-in vault, but something big enough a camera would be good, other hotels seem to manage it ok.

So to sum-up; the grounds have lovely landscaping, the rooms are excellent and for us the location was ideal (we used the restaurant at downtown Disney a lot, which we could easily walk to from our room).

Oh, and one final thing that always seems contentious, the Disney transportation system. We had no problems with busses going to SSR (and we were there for 19 days with no car). However, there were delays sometimes in the busses going to the parks and you can often find you have been on a bus for 45 minutes and ended up 100 yards from where you started. This is not unique to SSR however.

Would we go back? Absolutely (already re-booked for Aug next year). Would we recommend it? Absolutely.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank OmniCognate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 5, 2009

My husband and 9 year old son stayed here from 11th to 28th August. We booked with Disney UK who were offering free dining on top of 44% off so a great deal. Infact it was cheaper than staying at say Caribbean Beach. We had a 1 bed villa in the Grandstand section, which in my opinion is the best area of the resort. It has it's own wonderful pool and only a couple of minutes walk from the main reception area, restaurants and main pool. Its worth calling to request a room as we got exactly what we asked for.
The room was lovely and both the bed and sofa bed were very comfortable. Housekeeping were very good and the whole resort is very clean. We ate several times in the Turf Club which is one of our favourite restaurants at Disney. The quick service fodd is also very good and and freshly prepared.
There were lots of daily activities including pool parties and movies by the pool.
I really can't think of anything bad to say and will definitely be going back.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank Portugal100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2009

We stayed in the Springs section which was perfect for the pool and restaurants. Yes they did get busy at peaks times but nothing unusual.
STUDIO ROOM
Wider than expected from the pics of it! Very nice size, room was extremely clean and cleaned every day no probs at all.Lots of room. Extremely well lit internal corridors to room.
TRANSPORT
Disney buses were excellent. 80% of the time a bus arrived within 5 minutes and only once were we let down, after the Fantasmic show at Hollywood Studios where it took 2 hours to get back. (Avoid Fantasmic 10pm show if Magic Kingdom is going to be busy as they divert available buses to there eg. no magic hours elsewhere so everyone goes to the Magic Kingdom)
SERVICE
If you've not stayed at disney before you'll be amazed by the service. Going to be difficult getting used to British service again!

FACILITIES
Gym was the best Ive seen at a hotel. Pool is nice but very shallow, great for kids of course. Lots of people leave towels on beds and disappear for hours, not fair!! Spa looked amazing but expensive. We liked both the quick service and the table service (you DO have to reserve in August!!)

DISNEY EXPRESS
Were really let down. Didnt get our bags for 16 hours. We never received a yellow tag that you add to your bag to ensure quick collection.(MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ONE) Our flight was delayed so we arrived at 9.45pm just in time for them to collect your bags for you, but the lady at Magic Express never told us that our bags wouldnt arrive until the next morning otherwise we would have collected them ourselves, Didnt sleep expecting them to arrive 12pm-1am.

If you are arriving in Orlando via an internal flight I would suggest collecting them yourself if it is late evening as its easy to do and a short walk to the Disney Express.

LOCATION
Very close to all the parks, around 15mins ride. We walked to downtown disney a number of times. (go through the turf club and around the path to Cirque de soliel.) If you are worried about walking a lot all the buses do a loop of Saratoga first so you can catch a bus to the main pool, restaurant etc every 5 mins.

We absolutely loved our holiday here! We had the Dinning Plan added for free and easily saved £1200. Reserve the table services as soon as you can (90 days before you leave) as they were very full in August.

Oh one other thing under no circumstances use the phone in the room. We had to make a 25 minute phone call, -£180

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AWindsora9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2009

we stayed at the Saratoga Springs hotel at orlando which has to be one of the disneys best hotels we ever stayed in. the meals were fabalous in the turf club resturant they had a choice of what we wanted but all of us was on the disney dining plan and theres no hassle. but if you dont want to use the car there is a disney bus that takes you to the disneys theme parks.
I would come again in the future :)

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank EmilyNics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2009

We stayed here for 10 nights in August on our honeymoon. Both mid 20's. Had a great time. This is a big resort but easily walkable, considering the amount you will walk around the disney parks. We were in the furthest part away from the main reception and the restaurants. It was a leisurely 5 minute stroll. As we were on the disney dining plan we had breakfast over there every morning and then went straight out to the parks. Then caught the disney bus from just outside. There are 5 different stops around the saratoga, so no more than a 3 minute walk to your room where ever you are staying!!

We stayed in a studio room, which was ideal for us and had everything we needed. It was very clean along with the whole resort.

I think as it has 1,and 2 bedroom villas this is ideal for families. However it is also ideal for a couple as I think with was a bit quieter than other disney hotels.

We chose this location as it is close to downtown disney. However the disney buses are excellent so no need to worry about getting to all the other parks.

I would definately recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Oli_M_1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2009

we recently returned from a 5 day trip to disney and were lucky enough to get a free upgrade to saratoga springs. we stayed in the springs section of the resort which i would highly recommend. we were about 2 minutes from the main pool and building which was very convenient. my girls loved the pool and water slide. we stayed in a studio which was very spacious and perfect for the 4 of us. room was very clean. balcony view could have been better but was still very nice. we have stayed at other disney resorts in the past and saratoga springs was by far our favorite! we loved the quick ferry ride to downtown disney. the scenery around the resort is beautiful. will definitely return! thanks for the upgrade disney!!

Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
Thank hadleyOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2009

We have just returned from Orlando .
We stayed at Disneys Saratoga springs in a one bedroom villa. we have stayed on Disney in the past and thought it was OK but Saratoga springs is special, very clean,safe and the staff could not be better.
This is by far the best place i have stayed in orlando.
Saratoga springs is a large area which is split into smaller areas , we stayed in Congress park which was across the lake from downtown disney.
if you are a keen golfer you could stop at the Grandstand which is set within a fantastic golf course.
when we go back to orlando we will be staying at Saratoga springs again.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Thank Robbothemainman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Address: 1960 Broadway, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8446
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#18 Spa Hotel in Orlando
#30 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#54 Family Hotel in Orlando
#63 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $333 - $934 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 1320
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Inspired by historic Saratoga Springs-a late-1800s' New York retreat famous for its spas and horse racing-this charming, Victorian-style Resort hotel is nestled between rolling golf course greens and the shimmering Village Lake. Delight in stately Studios and multi-bedroom Villas, dazzling pools and a spa. You can also explore the fun activities and exciting dining options of the Downtown Disney area, just a boat ride away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Disneys Saratoga Springs Hotel
Saratoga Springs Disney
Disney Saratoga Springs Hotel
Saratoga Springs Resort Florida
Disneys Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Saratoga Springs Orlando
Disney Saratoga Springs Resort
Saratoga Springs Fl

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