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by iBelieve Diva

It seemed as if the MagicalExpress had dropped us off many miles North of Lake Buena Vista, Florida – Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa magically resembles upstate New York in the 1800s Victorian era. The landscaping throughout the resort area was so lush, tangled, and thick, I found myself wondering how anyone could have cleared the way for this fantastic resort to come alive. Peeking out from behind mature trees and emerald shrubbery, the exterior of the buildings were dyed in pastels – paint colors that could have been named “Bashful Banana,” “Almost Almond,” and “Peaceful Peach.” Brilliant colors, elegant architecture, and plush upholstery woven into each of the five areas on this 64 acre Deluxe Villa Resort would have to wait, we were on the hunt for our free refillable resort mugs! After dancing around impatiently at the registration counter, I finally had the hot, freshly printed free mug vouchers in my hands! It was as if these mugs were a symbolic representation of the official start to our vacation… And we were off to The Artist’s Palette gift shop to fill our mugs with green tea and ice cold lemonade! Cheers to the beginning of our vacation stay at Saratoga Springs.

The Lobby

While waiting for bell services to gather our luggage, we were able to peek around the lobby. One of my favorite Disney details was the pictures of famous horses from Disney animated films! To personify the resort’s motto of “Health, History, and Horses,” there were framed portraits of the mighty steeds from Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, and Mulan. These famous equine star sightings, the gleaming honey wood floors below, and grand chandeliers glowing above may distract you from noticing the aroma in the building. Now, with all the horse references, thankfully Disney did not go as far as to make you feel like you stepped right into a living breathing stable… Instead, there are scents that resemble honeysuckle, pine, and a fresh summer breeze that float like pixie dust through the halls of the main building – a purposeful, memorable experience created by the masters of the unexpected expected, Disney Imagineers.



The Rooms

Out of over 1200 rooms at the largest Disney Vacation Club resort hotel, we were lucky enough to have a studio in The Springs that was very close to the bus stop, lobby, and of course the refillable mug station inside The Artist’s Point counter service! Our porch area had a spectacular view of a water area and fountain, although, we did not leave the sliding doors open without supervision (to avoid any unauthorized legless, slithering visitors). On short walks to and from the lobby and High Rock Springs Pool, we were able to see some less threatening fauna including a couple turtles, tiny lizards, bunnies, and water birds.  One early morning on our way to the bus stop to make rope drop at the Magic Kingdom, we just happened to see magic in progress while a rock wall was painted to match surrounding decor! I would have never guessed that these rocks around the pool area were not real – the depth of Disney enchantment is inspirational and will leave you breathless. The simple is transformed into the extraordinary, the complex is simplified, and the magic is lived.

This is Vacation!

Although Saratoga Springs Resort is quite different from some of the overtly Disney themed resorts, there is no shortage of magic, happiness, and wonder. This resort was one of our favorites; the laid back atmosphere and casual elegance seemed to inspire smiles and laughter. Real life routines and rat races are sometimes breeding grounds for monotony and sameness. Staying at a Disney resort hotel for a week seems to inject a revitalizing shot of joy that takes over your body and manifests as believing in wishes, living in dreams, and trusting in magic.  Everything on Disney property, background music, smells, colors, and minute details are purposeful and persistent in creating a rich bank of memories that are alive and vivid long after the vacation has ended. Saratoga Springs will take you to a place in which you will want to remain forever… Ariel seems to have said it best, “Up where they walk, up where they run, up where they stay all day in the sun wanderin’ free – wish I could be part of that world.” This ability to inspire true happiness keeps my family coming back every year, wanting to be a part of the World…