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Marriott Sabal Palms vs Disney Saratoga Springs

rmclain73

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I see a lot of weeks that pop up for Disney's Saratoga Springs on Interval. I have an exchange for Marriott Sabal Palms with eplus for a Disney and Universal split vacation. I am wondering if its worth switching over to the DVC property to take advantage of the on-site perks Disney offers. I realize the bus situation at DSS can be a con for some, but switching would then eliminate the need to rent a car for the week. We are also doing Universal for 2 days, but we could always Uber it over from DSS. Aside from having to bus to the Disney parks from DSS, is there any other reason why I would want to keep my exchange at the Sabal Palms that I am missing?
 

bnoble

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It is unlikely that you will get a 2BR, so the Palms unit will be quite a bit larger. And, while you can use Disney transportation to get within property, you will still need to get there and back from the airport, as well as back and forth to Universal (twice). A rental car might not be much more expensive, and gives you significantly more control.

It still might be worth trying Saratoga out though. We really like it there. But, when I am staying there I nearly always rent a car.
 

rmclain73

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It is unlikely that you will get a 2BR, so the Palms unit will be quite a bit larger. And, while you can use Disney transportation to get within property, you will still need to get there and back from the airport, as well as back and forth to Universal (twice). A rental car might not be much more expensive, and gives you significantly more control.

It still might be worth trying Saratoga out though. We really like it there. But, when I am staying there I nearly always rent a car.
I do not actually need a 2 bedroom, but I will take it if one comes up. I have seen a few.

How much is parking at the parks? I would also have to take that into consideration in the costs of renting a car. Also have to fill the tank when you return the car.
 

bizaro86

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I would get Saratoga and still rent the car. There is an extra fee but the savings from it including theme park parking covers it imo. Plus the value of getting early entry every day and late night access to the parks twice in the week is substantial.
 

travelhacker

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It's worth noting that Disney charges a $190 fee to exchangers (but you won't have to pay parking, get transportation, etc).
 

paxlin

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I would get Saratoga and still rent the car. There is an extra fee but the savings from it including theme park parking covers it imo. Plus the value of getting early entry every day and late night access to the parks twice in the week is substantial.
I would also recommend SSR for the after-hour access it gives you. For the early entry it's also nice but you would need to be there at least 30 min before the early entry time to really take advantage of it.
 

rmclain73

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I would also recommend SSR for the after-hour access it gives you. For the early entry it's also nice but you would need to be there at least 30 min before the early entry time to really take advantage of it.
We are early risers anyways. Last time we went and did the early hours at Epcott we did the entire park by 1:00pm. Its also nice to be able to book the paid LLs at 7:00am as they can sell out by the time off site guests can book.
 

rmclain73

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Parking at WDW parks is $25 a day. Parking at the resort (DSS) would be included and should also get you parking for free at the parks.
So staying as a DVC owner/guest get you free parking at both the resort and the parks? If thats the case then yeah I can totally see why renting a car at DSS would still be worth it.
 

bnoble

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Yes, it does.

If you can eplus into a 2BR at Saratoga from Sabal Palms, I would definitely do it, even with the $190 nuisance fee. The resort is quite nice, and while some don't like the location, I like being next door to the various dining options at Disney Springs.
 

dioxide45

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Sabal Palms is a great property and I would say the quality of the unit is a step above Saratoga Springs. We have stayed in both and the renovated units at Sabal Palms are very nice. You also have access to the pools and slide tower at the Orlando World Center Marriott hotel. No access to their River Falls waterpark though. You will have to pay for parking at WDW, but would save the $190 nuisance fee that DVC charges II exchangers.
 

bizaro86

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Sabal Palms is a great property and I would say the quality of the unit is a step above Saratoga Springs. We have stayed in both and the renovated units at Sabal Palms are very nice. You also have access to the pools and slide tower at the Orlando World Center Marriott hotel. No access to their River Falls waterpark though. You will have to pay for parking at WDW, but would save the $190 nuisance fee that DVC charges II exchangers.

Speaking only for myself the early entry was worth significant money. We were able to do all the ILL rides with minimal waits, and otherwise would have bought ILLs for them. That saved us at least $500.

Obviously that depends on your individual style, whether you'll use it, etc.
 

rmclain73

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Sabal Palms is a great property and I would say the quality of the unit is a step above Saratoga Springs. We have stayed in both and the renovated units at Sabal Palms are very nice. You also have access to the pools and slide tower at the Orlando World Center Marriott hotel. No access to their River Falls waterpark though. You will have to pay for parking at WDW, but would save the $190 nuisance fee that DVC charges II exchangers.
Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Sabal Palms have a queen and a twin in the second bedroom while DSS has 2 queens in the second room? Also DSS has a queen murphy bed whereas the Sabal Palms offers a pull out sofa. May be a smaller unit, but offer more comfortable sleeping at DSS if we want to have another family join us.
 

dioxide45

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Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Sabal Palms have a queen and a twin in the second bedroom while DSS has 2 queens in the second room? Also DSS has a queen murphy bed whereas the Sabal Palms offers a pull out sofa. May be a smaller unit, but offer more comfortable sleeping at DSS if we want to have another family join us.
You are correct. I was speaking more to the quality of the unit overall rather than the number of sleeping surfaces. That said, while 2BR DSS do show up, they aren't as common and may not be available on the specific dates you want. I wouldn't expect a 2BR at DSS, thus you may be limited to a 1BR that sleeps five.
 

rmclain73

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Yes, it does.

If you can eplus into a 2BR at Saratoga from Sabal Palms, I would definitely do it, even with the $190 nuisance fee. The resort is quite nice, and while some don't like the location, I like being next door to the various dining options at Disney Springs.
One last question. How many cars can get the free DVC parking at the hotel and parks? Getting 4 adults and 3 kids into one car would be pretty hard. We would need to rent 2 cars.
 

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Each driver should have a My Disney Experience identity; as long as that identity is listed as one of the occupants in the room, they can enter the resort gates and park at the theme parks. I *think* that person has to have unlocked the room door with their identity at least once for the identity to open the resort gate.
 

Steve Fatula

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At Sabal, there was a shuttle from the World center to Disney. we didn't rent a car. That means no parking fee either.
 

rickandcindy23

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At Sabal, there was a shuttle from the World center to Disney. we didn't rent a car. That means no parking fee either.
I had no idea there was a shuttle. That is pretty convenient.
 

Steve Fatula

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Huge money saver since rentals expensive these days. It's still there too, had called today as I might go this summer again. You have to pay the world center for the shuttle, when I was there was about the same as Disney parking but no hassles. And no car rental.

i really hate parking at Disney.
 

dioxide45

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Huge money saver since rentals expensive these days. It's still there too, had called today as I might go this summer again. You have to pay the world center for the shuttle, when I was there was about the same as Disney parking but no hassles. And no car rental.

i really hate parking at Disney.
How long ago was this? I beleive they discontinued the shuttle for all but World Center guests during and post Covid.
 

amyhwang

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At Sabal, there was a shuttle from the World center to Disney. we didn't rent a car. That means no parking fee either.

Stayed at Sabal last year. We used Uber. If there is a shuttle, it‘s either not free or not convenient. Sabal is very close, so about $10 to nearest park.
 

Big Matt

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A couple of clarification points.
1) Disney announced that they would no longer charge for parking at their resorts effective Jan. 10
2) Rental cars are very expensive, however, you can get them daily if you need them. There are many near/at Disney and the World Center. I'd price it out.

My opinion is that SS has way more upside in terms of what you have in terms of things to do. You are a quick walk or boat ride to Disney Springs for lots of dining and entertainment. Same with the other transportation to the Disney resorts and parks. The 1BR at SS is pretty small, but if that doesn't matter then who cares. SS also has a restaurant and quick service options on site and a golf course if that matters. Sabal is fine too, but the "free" access to all of the Disney stuff puts SS ahead IMO. FWIW, staying on site at Universal has a ton of upside also. Check that out even if it is for one night.
 

dioxide45

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1) Disney announced that they would no longer charge for parking at their resorts effective Jan. 10
The reason parking is being mentioned here is because if you stay offside you still have to pay for parking at the theme parks. The change to no charge for parking was only related to Disney hotel properties. DVC guests and even those II exchanges into DVC didn't have to pay for parking at the resort or the parks. But if one is staying at Sabal Palms and drives to any of the four theme parks, there is a $25 charge to park.
 
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