Continuing from earlier today. Part 1 is here. And I guess really this is Part 2 of Part 2 since the post last week is really Part 1.
Basin is closed for refurbishment for another six weeks or so. Feed your bath salt addiction at the Basin in the Grand Floridian.
“arribas bros” is hiding back here too. It’s across from the side entrance to World of Disney.
Inside, you can watch a live glass blowing demonstration. As opposed to the taped glass blowing demonstrations, I suppose. I have never been to one of those before.
It’s vast. A lot of it is expensive, but there are some less expensive options.
A unique memento.
Or this $37,500 Cinderella Castle. I would buy it, but I feel like it would clash with my Hogwarts Castle.
The Magic Artisans have set up shop out here as well. They are the purveyor of temporary tattoos. It’s a good opportunity to test out that Mickey Mouse tattoo you’re planning to get on your face.
They have hundreds of choices in the $5-$10 range.
These two kiosks are adjacent to the Marketplace Stage, which is apparently called the Waterside Stage. Who knew?
They have some baked goods too. I’m just glad it’s “Express” because I feel like we always get bogged down at the normal one.
Another of the Italian Ice kiosks.
Depending on your memory, it should look familiar. I guess when you have four spots and only three flavors you just sort of put them wherever?
The Ghirardelli. It is sort of rude for me to mention this place – I realize that. So I’ll only show you the non-ice-cream-stuff.
Just look at that thing. Hot Fudge Sundae – $8.95. Two scoops of vanilla ice cream overflowing with our freshly homemade hot fudge, whipped cream, chopped almonds, and a cherry. Add a homemade waffle bowl for $1.50. Wait, I said I wasn’t going to do that right? Sorry. The pricing reminds me of the diner scene in Pulp Fiction. “That’s a pretty !@#$ing good sundae. I don’t know if it’s worth nine dollars but it’s pretty !@#$ing good.”
My head is so big that I don’t have much use for caricatures.
Three Persons. No Bodies.
Marketplace Snacks across the way from Ghirardelli.
The Nachos with Cheese sound like a good use of a snack credit.
One more here before we head over to Saratoga Springs. We’ll get the rest of Downtown Disney next time. This is Rainforest Cafe behind a wall. They are getting a new volcano and lounge area. Everything should be ready to go by October and the Cafe remains open during the work.
The Marketplace bus stops should open back up on Wednesday.
Walking over to Saratoga Springs Resort. One of the walkways is over here to the left of the Marketplace bus stops. We’ll take the boat back to Downtown Disney later.
Continuing up along this pedestrian path.
Across a bridge.
Once you cross the bridge, you’ll have the option of taking a left toward Congress Park or continue walking straight.
The straight path.
It’s a very pleasant walk. Downtown Disney is in front of us across the water.
Around the bend.
To confuse things a bit, there are a lot of these winding paths that branch off the main walkway. They aren’t lit and close “from dusk to dawn.”
We are basically at Saratoga Springs now. Just a bit further. All told, the walk is only a few minutes to this point, but Saratoga Springs is so vast we have a ways to go to the main building.
A great view across the water.
Saratoga Springs is a very pleasant looking resort, though the theme is lost on most people. Officially:
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa is an equestrian-themed, Victorian-style Disney Deluxe Villa Resort on the shores of Village Lake.
Inspired by historic Saratoga Springs, a late-1800s New York retreat famous for its spas and horse racing, the buildings and grounds of this 65-acre Resort are truly inviting. Stroll among green rolling hills and discover gurgling fountains and placid lakes.
Pretty and prettier in the summer, probably.
More pretty evidence.
Are you convinced that it’s pretty yet? There were only a handful of people out and about – it’s about 5pm on a Saturday.
Research continues on my Best Places to Drink Scotch at Walt Disney World eBook. This has to be pretty high on that list. We’ve got rocking chairs along the railing, this fountain going in the background, Downtown Disney across the water, and a helium-balloon-on-a-strong above us. Paradise?
One of the resort’s four pools.
And a cute little playground attached. Painted the same colors as parts of the resort.
I honestly have no idea where we are right now. Saratoga Springs? Check. Planet Earth? Check. But other than that I don’t know.
The front side of
Congress Park I guess.
It’s the boonies.
The Congress Park bus stop, which is one of five, right?
Maybe if you know what you’re doing around here, you could give me a tour? Just be gentle. You’re talking to someone that gets lost in a studio apartment.
Okay good. This is the Carriage House in front of us. We’re on our way.
Disney Vacation Club Preview Center. Almost as dangerous as the LEGO store.
Over to one of the pool complexes. We’ll return to walk around until we find the Paddock super-complex.
The arcade is off to the side here.
Your prototypical Disney pool bar.
With your prototypical menu:
A $7.75 beer, huh?
I like that they have the soft drink dispenser out here in the open. Very convenient.
Zero entry. Like the ocean. Or something.
The slide in the background. It’s a very pleasant area. Serene, maybe because few people are around. The Paddock Pool is a nice addition too. One of my (few) complaints about a property like the Polynesian is how crowded the pool always seems to be. That’s less of an issue at Saratoga Springs, but it would certainly be busier when temperatures are higher.
Maybe people are apprehensive about joining Donald because of his anger issues? You just never know when that guy is going to erupt.
Just very pleasant.
I created a “Winner’s Circle” in my apartment around my computer desk. So I am usually in the winner’s circle.
The Carriage House, where you’ll find check-in, the concierge, the restaurants, and other sorts of things. Magical Express would drop you off just to our right.
Which you can’t ride here.
It’s not one of the more ornate check-in areas.
But they do have this horse.
And pictures of cartoon horses:
A cute touch I thought.
I took a sip of scotch here. I feel like it looks like a better spot than it ended up being.
Over to Artist’s Palette, the resort’s quick service/store.
Some Saratoga Springs resort merchandise:
Can you hear that? I think it’s the merchandise whiners quieting down a bit. I mean they have Saratoga Hot Fudge Sauce for crying out loud.
Artist’s Palette quick service.
I wonder what a Smith Stack is?
They have the food choices prepared and sitting out for you to gaze at. The Smith Stack is on the left in the middle. Those sandwiches actually look pretty good.
That coffee cake looks interesting.
There had been a question as to milk options at the resorts. Here’s what was available at Saratoga Springs:
Check the date as that whole milk is “expiring” the next day. Since this is a Villa level resort, it has more choices than the non-Villa resorts. You may not be able to find all of those milk sizes and varieties elsewhere, but they do exist!
Wine. Closer to this website’s style:
Not terrible prices you might say. About twice as expensive as an ordinary grocery store.
Kind of a shabby walkway down to The Turf Club restaurant.
The menus – Lunch then Kids then Dinner:
Now I’m not a fashion expert, but I don’t think this racing top is working. And I mean really, you are a walking, talking mouse. Do you really think the mouse ears are necessary? We get it. You’re Mickey Mouse. It is pretty obvious.
So now we know what the Smith Stack is. You knew I wasn’t going to leave you hanging, right?
Specials at Artist’s Palette. We missed the peppermint pig!
And your breakfast options.
The seating area outside Artist’s Palette and sort of overlooking the pool. I had run out of scotch at this point so I’m not sure how good it is. We are coming back for the Paddock Pool and the Peppermint Pig anyway.
They have a spa.
And it sits next to a golf course. So there is that too.
And a “pro shop.” Is that the name? I’m as coordinated as a sack of rocks, so I’ve never golfed.
Getting on the boat that will take us to Pleasure Island. And I mean really, don’t all boats lead there? My dad says a boat is just a hole that you pour money into. That’s probably more accurate than all boats going to Pleasure Island.
It’s a very pleasant ride. Only a couple of minutes.
It pulls up right next to Paradiso 37.
It’s about 6pm and the “bars” have opened. That girl has the same look that I do whenever I run out of scotch.
And the Cantina.
Getting busier. Saturday nights are almost always the busiest. Parking is a mess and taking the Disney buses can be horrifically time consuming.
One last menu, this time Wolfgang Puck Cafe’s dinner:
Try the Squash Soup!
Next up is a look at flowers at Epcot, the full meal deal at Morocco, Grand Floridian resort merchandise, the Volcano at Kona Sushi Bar, AND FUN!