Question: Hi. Just booked Saratoga Springs, 1bed for February. Can you tell us the best bit to request a room in and any helpful info. 3 adults and a 3 year old in our party.
February should be a great time to go – low crowds and not too hot. Great choice, especially with a little one in tow! Saratoga Springs is quite a big resort, but lovely and is close to Downtown Disney. If you want to specifically request a location, I think where you choose will depend on what you’re looking for from your holiday. If you want to be close to the main check-in, you’ll want to ask for the Springs. This will have a couple of advantages – you’ll be near to Carriage House – the hotel dining areas and shop, so is convenient for keeping stocked on supplies and if you plan to eat at the hotel. They will sell a refillable mug which gives you unlimited soft drinks and coffee for the length of your stay and that is only worth getting if you’re close enough to take advantage of it regularly. The other advantage to the Springs is that it is where the main swimming pool and slide is along with the arcade and bike rentals etc. If you think you’ll want to visit the pool in particular, it may be worth requesting this area. You can also get the boat to Downtown Disney from here. I think it may also be the last stop before the buses leave for the parks meaning it is quicker to get there, but buses may well be standing room only as they’ll have been to the other stops first. The main disadvantage to this area is that it is likely to be the busiest and noisiest area.
A big advantage to Saratoga Springs is it’s close proximity to Downtown Disney, where you’ll find lots of shops and restaurants including the world’s largest Disney store, a Lego store and a great Christmas shop. If you think you might want to visit here a lot, you’ll want to request Congress Park. You can walk to the Marketplace from here. It’s is also a little quieter, and has it’s own pool and hot tub. With a young child, you might find a quieter pool preferable to the main pool. For us, this would be our ideal location but we’re happy being further from the main area.
Wherever you choose, I’m sure you’ll have a fabulous time.
As for other tips, as you’re saying in a 1-bed you’ll have a full kitchen. If you plan to cook in it then, if you’re driving, leave Disney property to buy groceries. If not, consider ordering an online delivery in advance. It will be a lot cheaper, especially if you’ll need supplies such as nappies etc.
If you plan on booking any dining, do it early. The most popular will book up very quickly and will be available 180 days in advance of your first night there. Chef Mickey’s is popular for character dining, or Pooh and friends at Crystal Place in Magic Kingdom, perhaps.
Make sure you make full use of fastpasses to shorten queues. With quite a young child I’m guessing you may not make it to the early extra magic hours but if so, find out which park is offering them that day and avoid that park. EMH are worth it if you take full advantage but will be the busiest park for the rest of the day,
so worth avoiding if not.
Hope that helps!