This is my second part of my trip report. I am going to do it on the place we stayed, Saratoga Springs Resort.
As you know this is a DVC resort. And it is huuuuge! Check in was crazy, so many people! But I think it was due to the marathon. There were no real marked off 'line' area so it was pretty confusing. The check in area is nice but nothing that stands out to me like in a lot of other resorts. We got our room as soon as we checked in & I was able to get a DTD view & close to the DTD walking path as I had requested. Congress Park is the area we stayed.
We got a 1BR which has the full kitchen which we only used this time to store milk & drinks basically. Normally we always make one meal while there & have an evening in & the family will eat together & watch a Disney DVD. We just never made it to the grocery store this time. The washer & dryer in the room are fantastic! It allows you to pack less & wash whenever you need. I love that part of it. And our view was of the Cirque tent & the House of Blues & Virgin store. I really liked it except for the Saturday night bass thumping sounds that kept me awake until 2am But it was only that one night that it was a problem.
The kids & David only got to swim once, the day we arrived, at the main pool. That day was in the 70's & the warmest of our stay. The pool at SSR is very pretty. I think it's more subtle in it's design than a lot of other resort pools. The slide is nothing fabulous but still fun, Paige must have done it 30 times! The two girls did the quiet pool once. They were not impressed, lol. They require a slide I suppose. It did have a lovely view of the water way & DTD. Off to the side was a playground too.
The walkway to DTD, from where we stayed, was very short & much easier than waiting on a bus imo. You also had a choice of a boat which I didn't realize until halfway thru our visit. We decided to do it one night when it was 39 degrees!! May I suggest that no one else try this!~ hehehe Actually it was one of my funnier memories from this trip because we were all huddled together & laughing & joking about how cold we were. I do love the boat rides but prefer the weather to be a bit more balmy than 39 ;)
The food court, Artists Palette, is not impressive at all to me. We didn't eat there even once. We are just not into the type of food they offered. The flat bread pizzas are good but I think we were all still burned out on those from our stay at the Poly in July. The gift shop & grocery area is all mixed in with the food court which makes for not much of a selection of anything. Why is it the best gift shops are in the moderate resorts it seems? This one was really bad.
The viewing area for the future DVC resorts is at SSR & we walked thru that. Very cool! We got to see the new rooms for AKV & for the new Contemporary rooms. They are going to look a little different than the usual layout. I really liked it, especially that the 1BRs have TWO bathrooms!!
SSR is a lot like OKW to me. Both are very different from the other WDW/DVC resorts in that you don't really have this central lobby you come into & it's set up more like a huge condo neighborhood than a hotel. I think that the differences have their advantages & disadvantages. The biggest advantage to me is that once you step off the bus you just feel like you are a world away from the crowds & such because it's sooooo spread out! I just don't get that feeling at, say, BCV. A lot of people I talk to are turned off by SSR but I say give it a chance. This is our second time staying here & I really like it a lot. The theming isn't as 'WOW' inducing as places like WL or AKL but it has it's charms & appeals :)