The transformation of the villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort is almost complete. Not since Cinderella’s fairy godmother whipped up a stunning ball gown has there been as magical a metamorphosis. You don’t have to be a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) member to enjoy these stunning, completely redone villas. And, if you are a member you’ll be blown away by the difference – it certainly impressed me.
By Dani Dennison Meyering
New decor and features at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
I’m not one to follow the latest interior design trends. Watching HGTV only raises my blood pressure. But when it comes to hotels and lodging, I love when the décor is fresh and the fixtures are high quality. With Walt Disney World accommodations, it is important for the theme and storytelling to be told, even in the tiniest of details.
The new look of the Saratoga Springs villas is much more modern and on-trend that I would have imagined. Truth be told, Saratoga Springs is toward the bottom of my list when ranking DVC Resorts. With this new makeover, however, I am considering taking it up a few notches.
My parents and my household stayed in a two-bedroom villa for a few nights and the moment I walked in, I was slack-jawed. Every single part of the villa, every piece of furniture, and nearly every fixture was new. From what I could tell, not a single item from the previous design was kept.
The new décor is a blend of modern farmhouse with contemporary geometric touches that feel inspired by the 1970s. At first the new style took me by surprise. Does this really fit with the Saratoga Springs, New York theme? When the resort first opened, Disney adopted a popular slogan used to describe Saratoga Springs: “Health, History, Horses.” Had Disney departed from this storyline?
Neutral colors with cool undertones give a less homely feel than the earth tones previously present in the villas. Each piece of wall art features Disney characters and horses. I especially loved the poster-style art near the entryway featuring Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet from the animated film “Make Mine Music.” In the master bedroom, above the king-size bed are scenes of historic Saratoga Springs, New York with Mickey and friends enjoying the destination.
Room amenities at Disney’s Saratoga Springs
The villas of Saratoga Springs Resort are not as large as other, older resorts, but they are well-appointed. With two households and a toddler sharing a two bedroom together, we had everything we needed. The kitchen itself is small, and felt tight when actually trying to prepare a meal in it. The new microwave must have some sort of NASA technology, because it made anything hot in a matter of a few seconds.
One of my favorite features was the small table in the entryway, a great place to drop keys, MagicBands, and our backpack when coming in from the parks each day. The coffee table in the living area is my favorite style: a lift-top. I loved using the lift-top for the times when I needed to hop on my laptop and work, or when treating my toddler to some cereal while watching morning cartoons.
The guest bathroom used to be a traditional shower and tub combination with a shower curtain. The tub remains, but it has been given a major upgrade with new tile, new fixtures, and a glass sliding door which adds some more elbow room. Plenty of outlets, including USB ports, made it very easy for us to keep the wide array of our devices powered.
One change that felt a little strange to me was the wall next to the soaking tub in the master bathroom. This wall used to have a window-sized cutout with shutters, so essentially, when you were in the tub you could open the shutters to look into the master bedroom. That in itself could feel weird depending on your preferences, but the new enclosed wall was left blank. It just felt bare and forgotten about. A little shelf for placing bath products might have been a nice touch to make the change feel more thoughtful.
The entire villa, with the exception of the master bedroom, has new vinyl flooring that I fell in love with. The color is a perfect blend of dark and light tones, and it felt great on our bare feet. It is definitely a big improvement over the carpet, and brought all the changes together to make the villa feel complete.
Resort Amenities at Disney’s Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs is one of the largest and most spread-out Disney resorts. If you want to be close to the parks and on-the-go, this resort is not for you. But if you wish to have a calm, relaxing environment then it is a good choice.
Normally there is a table service restaurant, The Turf Club, as well as a full service spa, Senses, but both of those are temporarily unavailable. The fitness center is the absolute best on Disney property, and it is open at this time.
Currently, The Artist’s Palette is the main dining option. It is a quick-service location attached to a small merchandise shop. Mobile ordering makes it more convenient than this location usually is, if you place your order well before arriving at Artist’s Palette. However, the readiness of your meal is still pretty slow.
The main themed pool, called High Springs Pool, is near The Turf Club. This pool features zero-entry with a natural spring feeling and a small waterslide. There is also a pool bar, and a lawn where movies are shown under the stars.
Another quick-service dining location is The Paddock Grill, which is toward the outer edge of the resort, at The Paddock section. There is a great water playground here and a small pool. Mobile ordering is not available at this location, but it is worth a visit if you’re going to have a day to relax by the pool.
One of the best features of this resort is that you cannot get any closer to Disney Springs, though that does depend on your room location. Each cluster of buildings is named a different section and has its own quiet pool. Congress Park is the section closest to Disney Springs, and its pool overlooks the vibrant skyline. Usually there is boat transportation to Disney Springs, but it is temporarily unavailable. There is a walkway, however, which takes only five minutes from Congress Park, and about 15-20 minutes from further out sections like The Grandstands and The Carousel.
Final thoughts on staying at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
Although some of the amenities are temporarily unavailable right now, there is still plenty to enjoy at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. It still is not my favorite Disney Vacation Club Resort, but with the massive remodeling of the villas it has vastly improved. For those wanting a relaxing resort with a little bit of luxury, this is a great choice.