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When choosing a resort at Walt Disney World, vacationers tend to think of the resorts closest to the parks, like the Polynesian, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the BoardWalk Inn.
However, there are several resorts located right by Disney Springs, which could be just what you’re looking for in a home away from home!
One of the best options is Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa.
Whether you’re traveling without children or bringing the whole family, Saratoga Springs has plenty for you to do at a location you will love.
Check out all the different aspects of the resort, and we’re sure you’ll be booking your stay here in no time!
Table of Contents
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort: Resort Snapshot
- History of the Saratoga Springs Resort
- Saratoga Springs Amenities
- Sports and Recreation at Saratoga Springs
- Saratoga Springs Resort Map
- Transportation Options at Saratoga Springs Resort
- Resort Location
- Contact Information
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort: Resort Snapshot
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa is a quaint and classy location with an upscale feel but without the stereotypical stuffiness associated with a country club atmosphere.
Inspired by historical Saratoga Springs, New York, the resort does have a horse race meets country club theme.
The theme is more subtle than you might see in other resorts, however, that does not mean the theming is lacking.
Everywhere you look, you will be able to pick up on the equine references and even see a few fun Disney twists here and there.
A large resort complex, each space has a name that fits the theme.
The main building, The Carriage House, houses Guest Services, the primary restaurants, and the drop off location for Disney’s Magical Express.
This is also where you will find the main themed pool, High Rock Spring, and the On the Rocks pool bar.
From there, the clusters of buildings containing the rooms have their own horse-related names: Congress Park, The Springs, The Paddock, The Carousel, and The Grandstand. Each section has its own pool (except for The Carousel) and Disney transportation bus stop, as well as parking areas for guests.
From the moment you enter the lobby at The Carriage House, the main building of the resort, the light and airy feel of the lobby makes you want to relax and start your vacation.
Painted a fun yellow and mellow peach, the high-ceilinged rotunda is bright and inviting. Featured right in the center is a carousel horse, introducing the horse club theme of the resort.
Off the lobby and down the hall, you can access the small convenience shop and quick service location, The Artist’s Palette.
The indoor seating area is cozy and whimsical, with colored lanterns and mobiles hanging from the ceiling.
Sticking with the horse theme, The Artist’s Palette and accompanying seating area has a high-class barn feel. It is almost as if a barn were up-cycled into this fabulous eating nook, with bright yellows and blues making you feel like the weather is always perfect.
This area also gives access to the pool and outdoor recreation spaces, or you can continue through to the Turf Club Bar & Grill, Saratoga Springs’ signature restaurant.
The Carriage House serves as the central hub of the resort, with the building complexes spread out from there.
Each area has its own places to check out and explore, so don’t feel confined to just your area! That’s one of the perks of this resort, there are so many places to get out and explore.
History of the Saratoga Springs Resort
While The Disney Institute originally occupied this area, in 2002 the Walt Disney Company decided to convert the space into Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa as a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) property. Disney hired Kevin Cummings, a native of Saratoga Springs, New York, to complete the project.
Taking inspiration from the history of his hometown, Cummings decided to go for a nostalgic 19th-century feel of vacations gone by. Saratoga of the late 1800s was a popular summer vacation spot, from the racetrack to the springs that gave the place its name.
This bygone era helped Cummings to create a Disney location that was bright, light, and colorful and made for summer vacation.
Disney’s Saratoga Springs fits right in with many of the other resorts that take on a classic summer feel, with a fun Hampton’s twist that makes it distinct.
Cummings and his partners at Graham Gund Architects did plenty of research trips up and down the East Coast, looking at architecture and other aspects of shore towns, but Cummings knew from the beginning that the primary inspiration would be Saratoga.
Many of the names of the streets and resort areas are specific references to actual places in Saratoga, like the main pool (yup, High Rock Spring is a real place!).
One of the most beautiful aspects of the resort, the colors of the buildings, even comes from historical Saratoga.
Cummings felt that this was a detail that really made the place feel authentic, and the colors really give the resort its shore vacation vibe.
Saratoga Springs Amenities
Part of the Deluxe Villas tier of Disney Resorts, the rooms at Disney’s Saratoga Springs are all high quality and extremely comfortable.
Since Saratoga Springs is also a Disney Vacation Club property, the accommodations are expected to be of the standard associated with DVC.
Related: Read our full review of all of Saratoga Springs Rooms here.
Within the resort, there are two main categories of rooms: Studios and Villas.
The studios are all one room, like a studio apartment, with an attached bathroom.
The studios come in two varieties based on view, so if you don’t care about what you see off your balcony then you can save the extra money or DVC points and put up with a view of the parking lot.
Studio rooms are equipped with a kitchenette containing basic kitchen supplies (think microwave versus stove), a mini-fridge, free wi-fi, iron and ironing board, DVD player, and other typical hotel room amenities.
These rooms are great for smaller parties (no more than four), and some can connect to other rooms through a lockout door if you have separate accommodations from your travel companions.
Villas come in one, two, and three bedrooms, all with a preferred view counterpart if that is important to you.
These spaces are more like a typical time-share location (with that ever-crucial Disney flair!), including a full kitchen and in-room laundry units in addition to the other components also found in the studios.
Depending on the size of your party, you may wish to go for the extra expense of a larger space, which will ensure more rest and relaxation for everyone.
One of the most unique lodgings at Disney World also can be found at the Treehouse Villas at the Saratoga Springs Resort.
These villas are not directly on the property but have been absorbed by Saratoga Springs after a long history of different uses.
Originally opened in 1975, the Treehouse Villas actually accommodated regular WDW guests until 1996 before the villas were made part of The Disney Institute.
They were then closed to guests in 2002 when Disney decided to rethink their use out of concern for the impact of the villas on the surrounding wetlands.
For about three years, Disney chose to use the treehouses to house their college interns rather than opening them to park guests, before reimagining them into their current use.
The Treehouse Villas have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and can sleep nine people.
These incredible locations have wonderful camping feel without necessarily going the cabin or campground route. Each cabin has its own small deck space, and the resort area even has its own pool and other amenities.
If you are traveling with a large party and you want plenty of personal space, these are definitely worth a glance!
To find out more specifics about each of the room offerings at Saratoga Springs, check out our Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort Rooms page.
High Rock Spring Pool
There are several pools at Disney’s Saratoga Springs, starting with the High Rock Spring Pool.
Located at the Carriage House, this is the main themed pool at the resort.
As historical Saratoga Springs was known for its mineral pools as places to heal, relax, and rejuvenate, it makes sense that the equine theme would take a back seat here and the focus would be a bit more rustic and organic.
Decorative rocks and greenery surround the pool, making it truly an oasis for those wishing to relax and escape. If you want to grab a bit to eat, the On the Rocks Pool Bar is right there to meet your needs!
Over in The Paddock area of the resort, the Paddock Pool is the second largest pool and perfect for kids.
Complete with a 146-foot waterslide flowing from a water tower and a zero-depth entry, there will be plenty of places for children of all ages to play.
If you have younger children and you are concerned about bigger kids playing around your little ones, there is an aquatic play area with two miniature slides ideal for tiny tots.
The Paddock Pool also has its own poolside food option, The Paddock Grill, for you to grab a snack while you sun.
Congress Park and the Grandstand Pools
Congress Park and the Grandstand each have their own small leisure pools available for all ages as well as whirlpool hot tubs. Both of these locations also have public grills for guests to use, but they are first come first serve.
All guests are more than welcome to use whatever pool you would like, you might just have to hike a bit.
You might also want to consider where your room is located when choosing a pool. Your room might be located in the Paddock area, but the closest pool might be in Congress Park. No reason to walk farther than you must to take a dip!
It’s important to know that for all pools, hours and lifeguard availability are subject to change, and the leisure pools are often unguarded.
Complimentary towels are provided and complimentary lifejackets are available upon request, just remember that all Disney pools require that all life jackets and floats be Coast Guard approved (sorry, no donuts or noodles!).
As part of the name of the resort includes Spa, you can expect a fabulous one at Saratoga Springs!
Sticking with the 19th-century theme of the original mineral springs, the spa takes an earthy, organic approach to its treatments.
Services include massage therapies, facial treatments, body therapies and wraps, wet relaxation space with a whirlpool, heated loungers and a steam room, and a relaxation room.
Whatever you choose, all are intended to indulge and rejuvenate you both mind and body.
Each treatment is designed to use natural elements like citrus fruits, tropical infusions, and even cocoa enzymes to pamper you and have you feeling your best.
There are also different add-on elements you can choose to create a personalized spa experience perfect for your own particular needs.
There are even spa-level nail experiences to choose from – this is not your typical trip to the salon, so if you love getting your nails done you should check this out!
Treat your significant other to a spa for two or couples’ massage package for the ultimate romantic getaway, or treat the little prince or princess in your life to the special children’s options that Senses has available.
Please be aware all guests under eighteen must be accompanied by an adult, including during treatments.
For more information about the specific packages and prices at Senses, look at the pricing underneath the “Spa Treatments” tab on the Senses information page.
There are also a couple of key pieces of information you need to know before booking your spa appointment:
- You will want to make a reservation in advance if you plan to use the spa. While the services are offered daily, there is not a guarantee that there will be space for you if you choose just to walk in. Make the most of your trip by planning ahead of time.
- Be sure to show up thirty minutes early to your appointment time to make sure you are there when they are ready for you. If you are late, your time could be cut short and you will still have to pay the full price.
- If you cancel less than six hours ahead of your time or do not show up, you will also be charged the full price of the treatment.
- Senses automatically applies a 20% gratuity to all treatments, although if you have an outstanding experience you may choose to show your thanks by increasing that amount.
Senses spa also has an expected etiquette, so be sure to follow these expectations.
In order to keep the spa experience tranquil for all guests, it is expected that you refrain from loud conversation and speak softly while visiting the Spa.
Cell phones, pagers, smartphones, iPads, and tablets should be left in your Resort hotel room. If you do bring a mobile device, please make sure that you turn it off or silence it once inside the Spa.
There are several other details and suggestions given on the spa’s webpage to help you make the most of your experience.
As with the other resorts at Walt Disney World, if you are not staying at Saratoga Springs as a DVC member or using DVC points you will have to pay a fee to park your car overnight.
At this resort, the parking fee is $25 per night, added to your bill at the end of your stay. Again, if you are a DVC member or renting points you will not have to pay the fee.
If you choose to come to this resort for a meal, as a spa guest, or to play golf, there is complimentary self-parking available.
Please be aware, if you are not a guest at this resort and you choose to visit, you will be asked your reasoning for coming to Saratoga Springs.
At peak times in the year, you may not be allowed to simply walk around the resort without a dining or spa reservation. In other words, don’t plan on using Saratoga Springs as a way to avoid parking at Disney Springs!
Sports and Recreation at Saratoga Springs
Lake Buena Vista Golf Course
One of the biggest advantages of staying at Disney’s Saratoga Springs is the immediate proximity to Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. While you don’t have to stay at the resort to play the course, it definitely cuts down on your travel time!
Operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management, this course has hosted professional golf events, including the PGA Tour.
This beautiful course takes inspiration from classic country club courses with an emphasis on skill, fitting nicely with the theme of Saratoga Springs as a whole.
Lake Buena Vista Golf Course twists and bends through the lush greenery surrounding the resort, giving the players fantastic views of the colorful vintage buildings as well as the serene waters beside the resort.
The use of a golf cart is included within your greens fee, so there is no additional cart fee.
The carts are designed to be shared by two golfers and come with a small cooler, a sand bucket to fill divots, front windshields and rear pull-down club covers in the event of rain.
In order to maintain a smooth playing pace, it is expected that all guests will take advantage of the carts.
Lake Buena Vista Golf Course is a non-metal spike facility. Please make sure you wear the appropriate golf shoes.
There is also a dress code for golfers, men should wear polo-style shirts with collars, turtlenecks or mock turtleneck shirts, slacks or Bermuda-length shorts (denim is not permitted), while women should wear polo-style shirts with collars, suitable shirts or blouses (with or without collars), slacks, skirts or Bermuda-length shorts (no denim).
Disney is rather strict when it comes to their dress codes, so be sure to honor this one, or you might find yourself buying a whole new outfit in the clubhouse. After all, you can bum it all day in the parks or by the pool. It’s a small sacrifice to look nice for a day of golf.
To reserve a tee time, you can book online or call (407) 939-4653. For more information about the course, check out the website.
Every Thursday, Saratoga Springs hosts an instructor-led painting class.
Designs change on a monthly basis, making it an amazing activity for you to do every trip you take!
Classes cost $35 (plus tax) and are for ages twelve and over; the cost includes the time of the instructor and the materials, and you’ll leave the class with an amazing masterpiece!
Reservations are highly recommended if you want to take advantage of this opportunity, call (407) 939-7529 or you can make a reservation at the Front Desk.
Check-in for the classes begins at 5:45, and go from 6:00-8:00pm. If you need to cancel, you must do it 24 hours in advance or you risk losing your entry fee.
This is a great option for a rainy evening or if you have a free night on your vacation. A quiet activity can be the perfect relaxing component to your busy Disney vacation!
Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:00am, enjoy a 30-minute yoga class by the Congress Park Pool.
A peaceful setting overlooking the waterside by Disney Springs, guests of all ages can take part in the easy yoga poses that will help you wake up and be ready for your day.
Anyone of any yoga experience can come, you don’t even need to be able to touch your toes!
If you wish to bring your children or if anyone in your party under the age of 18 is interested in the class, they must be accompanied by an adult.
Mats and towels are provided on-site, but you can bring your own if you wish.
The class space is limited to 20 guests on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if you are interested in the class you should plan to arrive early to secure a spot. You also must be staying at Saratoga Springs in order to take advantage of the class.
Enjoy a movie under the stars or roast marshmallows around a campfire on different evenings throughout your stay!
The campfire comes first, with a complimentary Disney film appropriate for all ages to follow.
See the Front Desk for a schedule of the weekly activities so you don’t miss out!
If you or your traveling companions enjoy outdoor adventures, there will be no shortage of activities during your stay at Saratoga Springs!
You can rent traditional bicycles to ride around the paths of the resort or surrey bikes for a ride for the whole family.
Enjoy playing tennis, basketball, or using the jogging trails if you need to get out of the hotel room or if you want to get your exercise. You can even go on a guided bass-fishing excursion if you’re dying to get out on the water!
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort Map
Using this map, you’ll be able to navigate your way around the different areas of the resort. We promise you, you’ll want to check out everything Saratoga Springs has to offer!
The map also has key items marked, such as the bus stops and laundry facilities, so you’ll be able to find the ones closest to your room location.
The majority of the recreational activities are centralized in The Carriage House area.
You also can see the two options to Disney Springs, the boat dock by The Carriage House and the walking path by Congress Park.
With this map in your hand, you’ll never be lost at your Disney home!
Transportation Options at Saratoga Springs Resort
Like all Walt Disney World resorts, Disney’s Saratoga Springs has several transportation options for guests to travel around the property.
Disney’s Magical Express
When arriving at the resort, if you are coming to and from the airport, the best option is Disney’s Magical Express.
This free service will relieve much of the hassle of beginning and ending your vacation, so you’ll want to take advantage of it!
Disney Bus Transportation
Saratoga Springs is also serviced by the Disney bus transportation, taking guests from the resort to the parks and Disney Springs. Y
ou can also use the busses to get to other locations, like Winter Summerland Mini Golf, but other than the parks the options are pretty limited. The busses won’t directly take you to other resorts, but if you head to Disney Springs you can catch a bus to a different resort.
Minnie Van Service
Disney has also partnered with Lyft to create the Minnie Van service, adorable polka-dotted SUVs seating at least six.
These rides also have the ability to accommodate car seats and strollers, so don’t worry about your little ones!
All you have to do is use the Lyft app and you’ll be able to request your ride. You do have to pay for the service, but if you are concerned about using a standard rideshare company you can have the peace of mind of Disney approval.
Regular Lyft also works throughout all of Walt Disney World and is a great option to get where you want to go at a specific time.
As Saratoga Springs is on the water, you also have access to Disney’s water transportation.
These boats are a fun and relaxing option, particularly if you have the time just to enjoy the ride.
At Saratoga Springs, one water taxi dock is located at the Treehouse Villas, while a second is a short walk from The Turf Club Bar and Grill.
Depending on where you are staying at the resort, you may prefer to use a water taxi to get to Disney Springs rather than walking.
Water taxis also service Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter, so if you want to head over there to explore the resorts just hop on board a taxi!
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort Location
Located across the lake from Disney Springs, Saratoga Springs places you right near the best shopping on all of Walt Disney World property.
The resort is also a short drive away from Epcot and the surrounding resort area, as well as Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.
If you are also interested in exploring other resorts during your visit, right up the road is Disney’s Port Orleans where you’ll be able to find some of the best beignets outside of New Orleans.
If you’re driving yourself to the resort, you should get off of Florida I-4 onto route 535, onto Hotel Plaza Boulevard, then East Buena Vista Drive. A quick turn onto Disney Vacation Club Way and you’re there!
Saratoga Springs Resort Address
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830-8446
For those who wish to call the resort directly, you can reach Guest Services at (407) 827-1100. If you have already fallen in love with the resort and are ready to book, you can do so online.
Prepare to be swept away into a nostalgic and quaint vacation that will have you coming back to Saratoga Springs again and again.
Between the charming aesthetic and the tranquil atmosphere, you’ll find a haven from the hustle and bustle of real life, as well as a peaceful break on your days off from the parks.
We hope you will enjoy your stay, and tell us all about it in the comments!
Written by Grace Hoyos, Staff Writer
Grace is a life-long lover of all things Disney, particularly the parks at Walt Disney World. She is also an avid Disney Cruise Line enthusiast who regularly dreams of the white sands of Castaway Cay. Grace loves the fact that her Disney trips give her time to spend with her family, enjoy incredible food, and try new experiences.