During a recent visit to Disney Springs, we decided to walk over to Saratoga Springs Resort to see if there was any visible progress on the massive 2-year refurbishment project. In this post, we’ll share construction photos, a tentative timeline, and thoughts on how this will impact stays at Walt Disney World’s largest DVC resort.
However, in typical Florida fashion, what was a nice day turned into a rainy one, followed by an oppressively hot and humid one. Don’t let the puffy clouds and blue sky here fool you–it was raining the entire time I was taking the photos in this update…
Currently, there’s construction on two buildings in the Congress Park section of Saratoga Springs, which was also the first area of the resort to open during Saratoga Springs Resort’s phased opening.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the layout of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, here’s a map to familiarize you with what we’ll be looking at in this post:
The buildings that are pictured here are the two in Congress Park that are nearest Disney Springs: 1101-1436 and 1501-1836.
These two buildings in Congress Park are entirely closed off, with a large construction crew working on both the building exteriors and interiors.
Again, these buildings are entirely closed to guests at this time, and a portion of the parking lot is also walled off with a large staging area.
It’s tough to ascertain the size from this photo, but this is a big work-site in the parking lot. There were construction workers everywhere and I didn’t want to get too close, so you’ll just have to take my word for it, I guess.
This marks Saratoga Springs Resort’s first hard goods refurbishment since it opened.
Saratoga Springs opened in three phases from 2004 to 2007, and in the most extreme cases (such as Congress Park), that means it hasn’t seen this type of work in just over 15 years.
Above is a closer look at the building interiors.
As you might be able to see, the windows are tagged, some have already been gutted, and there’s equipment inside.
Disney Vacation Club has not yet released concept art for the new rooms.
However, during last year’s annual DVC Condo Association Meeting, photos of test rooms were shown, featuring a new style sofa bed.
We are big fans of this pull-down style bed, and think it’ll be a nice addition to Saratoga Springs. We assume that this will become the new standard for all DVC resorts as they undergo future hard goods refurbishments.
During our visit to Saratoga Springs, we stopped by both the front desk and Disney Vacation Club Preview Center to inquire about the project and any model/test rooms they might have available.
Sadly, there are not any rooms (or so we were told).
We did learn a few other things, though. (For what it’s worth, this info struck us as credible and based upon actual info released to Cast Members, rather than just rumor and speculation.)
First, this project began in June and is projected to last 2 full years.
Second, the buildings that are currently being refurbished in Congress Park are not expected to return to inventory until January 2020. (Six months for these two buildings seems like a long time to me, but that’s what we were told.)
Third, after Congress Park, the next section that will close is the Paddock.
Finally, the refurbishment will take two buildings out of commission at a time, with extensive interior and exterior work being done during that time.
That last one can more or less be gleaned based upon what we see happening, and recent refurbishment patterns at other Walt Disney World resorts.
It sounded like a fact sheet had been distributed to Cast Members at Saratoga Springs Resort regarding the project, but I didn’t press any further regarding timelines, subsequent buildings, or anything else.
I’m also curious as to whether they’ve received concept art, but also didn’t feel comfortable asking about that. I’m not exactly smooth with this type of thing.
With all of that said, we cannot speak to the veracity of any of the timelines, duration, etc.
About the only thing we know for sure is that this is a hard goods refurbishment, it’ll probably feature the addition of pull-down sleeper sofas very similar to Riviera’s, and it’s going to take a long time to finish up.
Note that there are currently about a dozen lifts, closed pathways & parking, and dozens of construction workers in Congress Park. Despite this, we felt the construction impact is minimal.
The closed paths and parking area are around buildings that are closed, so these won’t impact you. Noise is minimal, and there are no large walls or heavy machinery outside of the construction area. The paths to Disney Springs are still open, and while walking those, you might mistake this for routine exterior cleaning or maintenance. The quiet pool over here more or less separates the areas of Congress Park that’ll open from the buildings that aren’t.
Suffice to say, we would not hesitate to stay at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa during this construction. Another thing to note is that the rooms being remodeled right now are in Preferred areas, which is something to keep in mind when booking stays at Saratoga Springs later in 2020. We’re debating whether to book a Preferred Studio here in late January 2020 for one of the last dates they’re 13 points per night, but hoping for a new room then is still a big gamble. Either way, we’ll keep you posted with periodic updates on this construction at Saratoga Springs!
Thinking about joining DVC? First be sure to read our Ultimate Guide to Disney Vacation Club. This covers the pros & cons, resale v. direct, how much money you’ll save, and other important things to know before taking the plunge.If you still can’t decide whether membership is right for you, “try before you buy” and rent points from DVC Rental Store. If you are convinced a membership is for you, check out the discounted options at DVC Resale Market. Planning a Walt Disney World trip? For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know.
Are you looking forward to the room renovations at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa? Will these new rooms plus easy access to Disney Springs make Congress Park more appealing to you? Any additional insight into the construction? If you’re an owner at Saratoga, what do you think? Share any questions, tips, or additional thoughts you have in the comments!