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Old Key West vs Saratoga Springs Resort: Which is the better option?

Old Key West vs Saratoga Springs Resort: Which is the better option?

You are getting ready to plan your Disney vacation and trying to decide between Disney’s Old Key West and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. Read on to find out if which resort is right for your family.

Disney Vacation Club

Credit: Jamie F

Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney’s version of a timeshare.They work off of a point system, so you are not stuck into a particular accommodation at a set time every year. In Walt Disney World there are twelve Disney Vacation Club Resorts. They are: 

  • Bay Lake at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Bungalows 
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Want to know more about Disney Vacation Club? Read all about what Disney Vacation Club is HERE.

Old Key West

Credit: Maggie

Disney’s Old Key West is the original Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort. The resort opened on October 1, 1991 and was renamed Old Key West in January of 1996. Old Key West resort boasts the largest DVC rooms on property. The accommodations are spacious, comfortable, cheerful, and perfect for bigger families or longer stays.

Check out our complete resort guide to Old Key West HERE. Looking for our reviews on this hotel? Check those out below:

Saratoga Springs Resort

Credit: Katie P

Disney’s Saratoga Springs is inspired by historic Saratoga Springs, a late-1800’s New York retreat famous for its spas and horse racing. At this Disney Deluxe resort, guests enjoy this charming, Victorian-style Resort hotel is nestled between rolling golf course greens and Lake Buena Vista.

Check out our complete resort guide HERE. Also, be sure to check out our review of a studio at this resort HERE. Check back soon for a complete One Bedroom review!

Similarities

Credit: Susan

At first glance these resorts have a lot in common. They are both Disney Vacation Club Resorts and they are quite large, however Saratoga Springs is larger.

These resorts both offer an internal bus system due to their size. They have multiple bus stops, so depending on your room location you could be very (and I mean very) far from the lobby.

Credit: Katie P

Both of these hotels are fantastic, especially if you have your own transportation. If you have your own car, you can park it almost right outside your room! This is a huge advantage compared to other Deluxe resorts which have large parking lots. Lugging your suitcases and groceries just got so much easier!

Both of these hotels offer a feature pool and multiple quiet pools. I (Heather) won’t deny that I LOVE quiet pools and pick those over a feature pool almost every time. These pools are usually open longer than feature pools. However, there is no lifeguard on duty, so be sure to swim at your own risk.

Complete Guide to Boat Transportation at Disney World
Photo: Disney

I love being able to go for a swim first thing in the morning. Rope dropping the pool is amazing – give it a try!

I know this one is going to sound crazy, but these resorts are “cheaper” in price. For the amount of space and accommodations you get, the value is incredible. It doesn’t matter if you are using your Disney Vacation Club points or booking a cash stay, your dollar gets you more at these resorts than any that are on the Monorail or around Crescent Lake.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs and Disney’s Old Key West are both located near Disney Springs. You can walk to Disney Springs from either, however you can’t walk from Disney’s Old Key West to Disney Springs from dusk to dawn! They both offer bus transportation to the parks and Disney Springs and boat transportation to Disney Springs.

Lastly, Lake Buena Vista golf course is weaving throughout both of these resorts and offers a unique and relaxing view for Guests.

Differences

Credit: Disney

Now that we have looked at what these two resorts have in common, let’s see what is so different about them besides basic theming.

One thing that Saratoga Springs offer that is hands down an amazing perk, is two (YES TWO!) feature pools! Feature pools are the main pools at the resort that tend to have a little extra theming and water slides!

At Saratoga Springs, you can choose between two amazing pools! Both pools even offer a small quick service option for Guests to enjoy. Saratoga Springs Resort has a total of 5 pools and Old Key West has 4.

Credit: Susan

Another big difference is the room layouts at Old Key West. Here you will find the original (now the Resort Studios at the Villas at the Grand Floridian also have this too) studio to have two regular queen beds. You won’t find any pullouts here, even though I do love the new pull down beds in the studios versus the pull out couches.

The layouts of the villas are a bit different than other Disney Vacation Club villas. The one bedroom villas at Old Key West are the largest on property, and I will say my favorite!

Saratoga Springs has the unique accommodations of the Treehouse Villas that sleep up to 9!

Another BIG difference is the booking categories. At Old Key West you will find two booking categories, a standard booking category and near the Hospitality House. There is no “price” difference in points between these booking categories.

Credit: Disney

At Saratoga Springs Resort you will find a standard booking category and a preferred booking category. The preferred costs more, but will put you close to the Carriage House or near Disney Springs.

Saratoga Springs also has a unique accommodation of the Treehouse Villas. These unique villas offer a completely different vibe than a regular DVC villa and can sleep up to 9.

Buildings 62, 63 and 64 are the only buildings at Old Key West that have elevators.

Credit: Susan

The BIGGEST thing to note about Old Key West is that NOT every building has elevators. If you are unable to do stairs or don’t want to have to worry about lugging a stroller up stairs requesting a ground level room may be beneficial. Buildings 62, 63 and 64 are the only buildings that have elevators.

Final Thoughts

Credit: Maggie

If you are looking for spacious rooms, Old Key West is probably your best bet. if you are looking for amazing feature pools, Saratoga Springs is your resort.

Either way, these two sprawling resorts have a lot to offer and you will not be disappointed in either. I personally have not had a bad stay at either resort and both have unique theming and accommodations that offer a different experience. I tend to gravitate towards Old Key West just because I love their one bedroom set up.

Both resorts will provide you and your family with a magical stay!

Have you ever stayed at either Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort or Disney’s Old Key West? Which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share this post with a friend!


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Juan M Fermin

Thursday 16th of November 2023

My 19 year old son has Autism and is Non Verbal. As such he is like a big Toddler. Unfortunately, when we get to our room (we almost always get the 1BR Villa) the FIRST thing he does is go to the Master BR and strips down and hogs the bed. Because of this we will often sleep on the Sofa Bed. OKW is our fav because of the size of the room and especially because it still has the Jetted Tubs. However, with the upcoming remodel, my guess is that they're going to take out the Jetted tubs and if that happens, Saratoga will most likely become our new favs.

Charlene Oliver

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

I've also stayed at both and much prefer Old Key West. The studio we stayed in at Saratoga was so much smaller; we had two ECVs and had barely enough room to walk around.

Jim Flemming

Saturday 29th of July 2023

SS is our home resort, but we stay at OKW whenever possible. Love the larger rooms. Stayed at about half of the 12 resorts, but always prefer OKW.

RandyC

Thursday 20th of July 2023

This article presents a very nice comparison. We prefer OKW. The rooms are more than spacious, they are huge! Full size washer and dryer too. Both stays are enhanced if you have your own car. You can still use WDW transportation to the parks, and have your own car for other needs like grocery shopping, and dining off property. We are DVC and neither resort is our home resort. Still, we can almost always get in at the last minute at Saratoga Springs. If you want spacious and quiet lodging at the end of a long WDW day, you can't go wrong with either resort. We like staying at OKW when I plan on playing golf during our stay.

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