Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort Review – A Disney Vacation Club Resort

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort is Walt Disney World’s largest Disney Vacation Club resort making it the perfect choice to complete a Saratoga Springs review. It is a sprawling, beautiful resort with over 800 vacation club villas distributed among six cozy neighborhoods. From its refreshing pools, outdoor activities, and golfer’s paradise, this resort has lots to offer! 

We recently stayed at Disney’s Saratoga Springs and have lots to share about this resort. This resort offers plenty of recreation especially for golf fans.

Keep reading our Saratoga Springs review to learn more about this fantastic resort!

Saratoga Springs Review: Resort Overview

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort is the largest Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort located in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Spread across 65 acres and boasting over 800 villas, it’s a massive and strikingly beautiful resort.

The resort opened in 2004 and pays homage to the horse-racing capital of Saratoga Springs, New York. With its soft color palette and lush landscaping, you get the sense that you’ve traveled far up into Upstate New York. Plus, you won’t see lots of palm trees here, the resort is even full of trees and plants that you’d find in the real Saratoga Springs! This only adds to the immersive nature of this resort.

We’ll talk more about this later on, but if you’re a golf fan, this is the resort for you. Woven into the resort itself is the Lake Buena Vista golf course. We’re talking right at your doorstep! It’s super convenient if you’re looking to practice your swing and further adds to its outdoorsy vibe.

This resort is an all-DVC resort with no standard hotel room options. If you want to learn more about DVC and how to become a member, be sure to check out our guide on all things Disney Vacation Club! 

Here’s a quick summary of this wonderful resort:

  • Location: Disney Springs Resort Area
  • Size: 65 acres
  • Pools: the resort offers two feature pools, as well as three leisure pools spread across the resort
  • Accommodations: Disney’s Saratoga Springs resort offers studio villas, 1-bedroom villas, 2-bedroom villas, 3-bedroom grand villas, and its famous treehouse villas
  • Dining: the resort has options for casual and quick dining, as well as a lounge

Saratoga Springs Review

Saratoga Springs Review: Accommodations Overview

For our Saratoga Springs Review, we stayed in a newly-refurbished deluxe studio villa. Spoiler alert: they were fantastic! But before we go into a detailed view of the studio villa, let’s discuss the basics.

The Saratoga Springs resort offers studio villas, 1-bedroom villas, 2-bedroom villas, 3-bedroom grand villas, and the Treehouse villas. The 2-bedroom villas come as standard 2-bedrooms and lock-off 2-bedrooms. Lock-off villas are villas that use adjacent studio villas to make a larger 2-bedroom villa. While they are both great options, the lock-off villas do have a different layout and may not feel as grand as a true 2-bedroom villa.

Read our guide to the cost of a Walt Disney World vacation.

Except for the treehouse villas, all other villa accommodations at Disney’s Saratoga Springs have received a full renovation that was completed in the summer of 2021. This refurbishment was a complete overhaul of the accommodations from the new murphy beds to all-new design elements found throughout the villas.

Safest Way to Rent DVC Points! If you’re looking for the easiest way to rent DVC points then our partners DVC Rental Store and David’s Vacation Club rentals offer the most secure ways to book your reservation. DVC Rental Store is the most flexible option (guests only having to put down a 25% deposit for trips booked at least 75 days out) while David’s Vacation Club rentals often offers lower prices (they require a deposit to begin searching availability).

Deluxe Villa Categories and Locations

All of the room categories at Disney’s Saratoga Springs are split between standard or preferred. While some resorts use these categories to denote better views, here it’s all about location. The main lobby is located in the Carriage House building, which is also where you’ll find restaurants and one of the two feature pools. Therefore, when you select a preferred villa, you’re selecting a villa that is closer to the main Carriage House.

For our stay, we chose a Standard Deluxe Studio Villa. Since we were only staying for one night, we didn’t mind having a standard location. Luckily, we ended up fairly close to the Carriage House with our stay in The Grandstand. All of the villas are clumped up into mini pods and all carry a different name.

Here are all of the locations:

  • The Springs (preferred)
  • Congress Park (preferred)
  • The Grandstand (standard)
  • The Carousel (standard)
  • The Paddock (standard)

Saratoga Springs Review: Deluxe Studio Villa

Saratoga Springs Review

Deluxe Studio-Check out all the storage space!

Alright, now for the fun part! As I mentioned, we stayed in a deluxe studio located inside The Grandstand building. Upon entering the villa, we knew we were in for a treat. The newly refurbished accommodations are awesome! We were immediately taken in by the soft and inviting color scheme as well as the beautiful hardwood floors. The fresh paint and new accents elevated the room and made it feel like a true deluxe resort that had just opened!

Saratoga Springs Review-entry

Entry to the Deluxe Studio

The kitchenette area was clean and boasted some snazzy new fixtures and appliances. We appreciated the cool details on the backsplash as well as the moldings in the cabinets.

Saratoga Springs Revie-kitchenette

Studio Kitchenette

The bathroom and sink area were spacious and fresh. Unlike other resorts, this sink area comes with two drawers. This is a wonderful addition as it helps keep the countertop clean and decluttered.

Saratoga Springs Review-bathroom sink area

Studio Bathroom Sink Area

The shower room has been completely elevated with its glass doors-no more shower curtains sticking to you while you shower!

Saratoga Springs Review-bathroom

Studio Bathroom

Coming into the main part of the villa, we were first impressed with how much storage this room has! For only sleeping four, there’s plenty of drawer space for everyone in your party. The new murphy bed addition is also a lifesaver as it’s incredibly easy to pop up and down. Check out the Disney touch on the wall panel!

Saratoga Springs Review-bed

Murphy Bed Pulled Down

The standing queen bed was super comfortable with just the right amount of plushness. After a hot day, we also loved having the ceiling fan! Some resorts have done away with them so we were thrilled to have them in our villa.

Saratoga Springs Review

Saratoga Springs Resort Deluxe Studio

The balcony is always a wonderful perk of staying in a DVC villa. We had a great view of the 18th hole on the Lake Buena Vista course!

Saratoga Springs Review-balcony

Overall, we enjoyed our studio villa and would absolutely choose it again. The refurbishment has given it the new life it was needing. I’m truly struggling to find a downside to our room!

Saratoga Springs Review: Resort Amenities

Saratoga Springs Review

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort comes with lots of amenities. Many of the amenities are the standard ones you’d expect to find at a deluxe Walt Disney World Resort. The amenities at Disney’s Saratoga Springs include the following:

  • Resort Transportation
  • Disney Minnie Van Service
  • Car Rental Options
  • Parking (including valet service)
  • Shopping
  • Wi-Fi
  • Online Check-In Service
  • Banking
  • Designated Smoking Areas
  • Laundry and Housekeeping Services (note that all villas, except studios, come with a washer and dryer)
  • Babysitting Service
  • Locker Rentals
  • Mail Services
  • Concierge
  • Grocery Orders
  • Spa (currently not open)

Saratoga Springs Review: Dining Options

While Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort may not be known for its dining options, it nonetheless has great options to enjoy. The dining options include The Turf Club Bar and Grill, The Artist’s Palette, The Paddock Grill, Backstretch Pool Bar, and the On the Rocks Pool Bar.

The Turf Club Bar and Grill

The Turf Club Bar and Grill is located inside the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course Clubhouse. Luckily, this clubhouse is attached to the main Carriage House so it’s only a few steps away from all of the action!

The restaurant serves classic American cuisine with traditional favorites such as prime rib and pork chops. There is also a full children’s menu with yummy desserts!

The ambiance of the restaurant is reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century club with lots of rich dark wood tones and deep greens.

The Artist’s Palette

Saratoga Springs Review-Artists Palette

The Artist’s Palette is the resort’s main restaurant. It’s a counter-service restaurant so it’s going to have a food court vibe. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The first thing you notice when entering the restaurant is the lovely colors found in the lighting fixtures and furniture. When the restaurant was being built, they commissioned a local New York artist to create a large-scale installation just for the resort!

The food at Artist’s Palette is typical of what you’d expect at a counter-service restaurant. There are tons of options at every meal service so you’re bound to find something for everyone in the family. The Artist’s Palette also includes a beverage station where you can refill your refillable mug!

Another perk is that the restaurant has a convenience store attached to it. Here, you can find grab-and-go snacks as well as small groceries and wine for your villa. We think it’s a great stop for any meal!

The Paddock Grill

The Paddock Grill is located in the Paddock pool area, but think of this as a pool bar plus! It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner which makes it the perfect spot for food options if you’re staying in the Paddock building of the resort.

The grill has plenty of seating and if you’re someone who enjoys adult drinks, alcohol is served all day.

Backstretch Pool Bar

The Backstretch Pool Bar is a lower-key pool bar located next to The Grandstand pool. I say low-key because its menu is not as large as the other pool bars and is only typically open from 11 AM – 6 PM.

Still, this dining spot has great food options such as the Buffalo Chicken Nachos and the Mango Rum-Barbecued Pulled Pork Sandwich. If you’re enjoying The Grandstand pool, be sure to check out this great spot! Alcohol is served here.

On the Rocks Pool Bar

Saratoga Springs Review-On the rocks

This bar is the pool bar located in the main feature pool next to the Carriage House. They serve some delicious food as well as delicious cocktails to enjoy sitting by the pool.

This pool bar has a large seating area located right on the pool deck so you don’t have to travel far from the kiddos splashing in the pool. If you order food, they will hand you a fun little flag that you place on your chair so that they can deliver it right to your seat.

We tried the caesar salad and it was fantastic! Paired with the frosé, it was the perfect poolside meal.

Saratoga Springs Review: Pools

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort has five different pool areas spread across the sprawling resort. Two of the pools are considered feature pools while the other three are considered leisure pools. The difference between these two categories comes down to size and any restaurants attached to the pools.

Let’s start by looking at the first, and main, feature pool: The High Rock Spring Pool!

High Rock Spring Pool

Saratoga Springs Review-main pool

The High Rock Spring Pool is the pool we enjoyed during our stay. It is centrally located next to the Carriage House. Though it’s not the largest DVC pool out there, we thought it was still a wonderful pool area with lots of great theming.

The pool has a wonderful zero-depth entry, a fun waterslide built into the rock formations, and two whirlpool spas. For the little ones, there’s a Donald Duck splash zone as well as a miniature slide that is perfect for those not ready to conquer the twists and turns of the feature slide.

As I mentioned, the On the Rocks pool bar is located within this pool area and that made getting food and drinks super convenient. Truth be told, we enjoyed the size of this pool. It felt big enough that we had plenty of choices for seating but not too large that things felt far away. If you’re interested in seeing what a massive DVC pool feels like, be sure to check out our Disney Beach Club Review!

The Paddock Pool

Resort paddock pool

As the name suggests, the Paddock pool is the pool located right next to the Paddock Area villas. It is the second feature pool on property with many of the same amenities you find at the High Rock Spring Pool.

The Paddock Pool boasts a 146-foot water slide, zero-depth entry, and a neat horseshoe-shaped whirlpool spa. Similarly, you’ll also find plenty of options for the little ones to splash around in, including a smaller water slide.

The Paddock Pool has the Paddock Grill within the pool area so you’re never too far from a snack or refreshing drink!

Leisure Pools

The remaining three pools are much smaller and don’t have the same feature add-ons that the first two feature pools offer. They are convenient, however, since they are spread across the other parts of the resort. You’ll never be too far away from a refreshing dip!

The remaining three pools are located near The Grandstand, Congress Park, and within the Treehouse Villas area. The Grandstand and Congress Park pools also have a children’s playground!

Saratoga Springs Review: Resort Activities

If you’re looking for activities and things to do, then Saratoga Springs is the perfect resort for you! Similar to Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Saratoga Springs has tons of activities to enjoy for those non-park days.

At the time of writing this Saratoga Springs review, the resort offers the following activities:

  • Sunrise Yoga
  • Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course
  • Tennis
  • Basketball Court
  • Shuffleboard
  • Bike Rentals
  • Sport Equipment Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Community Hall
  • Pool Table
  • Playgrounds
  • Arcade
  • Jogging Trails

As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do at this resort! It’s perfect for a nature lover or outdoor person.

Outdoor bikes and recreation

During our visit, we rented bikes near the Carriage House and took a grand tour of the resort on wheels. This was super fun and the bike rental was under $10! For the price and experience, it was a perfect way of exploring the resort in less time than by foot. Of course, given the beauty of this resort, a walk around would certainly not disappoint!

While the Disney Springs Shopping District is not technically a part of this resort, I would put shopping as an activity that this resort offers. Given that Disney Springs is a few steps from the resort, if you’re a shopper, you’ll enjoy its proximity to the countless stores available there!

Saratoga Springs Review: Transportation

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort has no shortage of transportation options that can quickly take you wherever you need to go around the Walt Disney World Resort.

Walking Options

The first option you have for getting around is by foot. As mentioned above, walking is probably the fastest and best way to get to Disney Springs. If you’re staying in the Congress Park area, you’re a mere few steps away from the bridge that takes you straight into the east entrance of Disney Springs.

Water Transportation

Outdoor lake at Disney World

Disney’s Saratoga Springs is one of the lucky resorts to have tons of water transportation options. You can get to many different places, just by hopping on one of the boats that docks right at the resort. From the resort, you can take a boat to Disney Springs, the Treehouse Villas, and Disney’s Old Key West.

If you want to learn more about water transportation at Walt Disney World, be sure to check out our complete guide here!

Bus Transportation

As with all other resorts, bus transportation is available to almost all of the Walt Disney World Resort locations. No matter where you’re staying at the resort, there are several bus stops throughout so you’re never too far from a bus station that can take you to one of the parks. There is also an internal bus loop that can take you from the High Rock Pool area to the Treehouse Villas.

Disney Pixar Bus

Resort Parking

If you drove to the Walt Disney World Resort, parking is also available throughout the resort. One of the nice things about Saratoga Springs is that parking is located right in front of the Villas. This means your car is always nearby and you won’t have to haul your luggage too far!

Saratoga Springs Review: Treehouse Villas

We’re putting the Treehouse Villas in their own category because they truly are a special and unique offering that can only be found at this resort.

Outdoor view of woods at sunset

The Treehouse Villas are special accommodations located within the Saratoga Springs Resort. They are considered Grand Villas and can sleep up to 9 guests. What makes them unique is their octagonal shape along with the fact that they rise from the ground and appear to float among the trees. This is why they’re called the Treehouse Villas. Think of that treehouse you played in as a kid, except bigger and better!

These villas are perfect for those who like to feel a part of nature and have tons of outdoorsy elements in the interior decor. Plus, they even each come with a deck out front so you can truly enjoy indoor or outdoor living. Similar to the other villas, parking is located just outside the villa.

Saratoga Springs Review: Disney Vacation Club

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort is considered a Disney Vacation Club resort. While it may be possible to stay here on a hotel rack rate, it’s meant to be available for Disney Vacation Club Members. This is why people love the vibe of this resort as it can truly feel like a DVC community. Maybe you’re not ready to go all in yet with DVC. In that case, you’ll want to read our guide on renting DVC points that you can use to try out a stay at Saratoga Springs!

Safest Way to Rent DVC Points! If you’re looking for the easiest way to rent DVC points then our partners DVC Rental Store and David’s Vacation Club rentals offer the most secure ways to book your reservation. DVC Rental Store is the most flexible option (guests only having to put down a 25% deposit for trips booked at least 75 days out) while David’s Vacation Club rentals often offers lower prices (they require a deposit to begin searching availability).

Saratoga Springs Review: Final Thoughts and Is It Worth It?

All in all, we loved our stay at Saratoga Springs. It is totally worth it and you get lots to enjoy! This resort can sometimes get a bad rep because of its size, but that never felt like a problem to us. With its refurbishment now complete, you’re getting the deluxe feel that you’d find at any of the other deluxe resorts.

This resort is also low on the DVC point chart value so it’s a great resort to stretch out those DVC points and enjoy longer stays or larger accommodations for less.

We recommend this resort for families of all sizes and especially for those who enjoy outdoor life!

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About Eduardo Silva

Eduardo is High School Vice Principal who loves to share all things Disney and is also an experienced translator with voiceover work in Spanish and French. Originally from Southern California, he grew up visiting the Disneyland Resort and it's there that his passion for Disney was born. Today, Eduardo is a Disney Vacation Club member and enjoys sharing his experiences as a member writing for Mickey Visit and Disney Dose.

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