To my fellow DVC members: the Treehouses are awful. Not worth booking at all. You should just stop reading now and call member services to reserve a room over at the Beach Club Villas – now those are some great rooms. Thanks for reading my review.
OK then. Now that no more DVC members are reading, I’ll share my thoughts on the Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs. They are awesome! The villa was the most unique and relaxing accommodations I have had at Walt Disney World. There are only 60 Treehouses at SSR, and I don’t want to have to stress too much over being able to get in the next time I want to stay there.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Treehouses or only remember them as those abandoned buildings that sat on Disney Vacation Club Way for the last few years, here is the lowdown: The Treehouse Villas are standalone units on the river between Saratoga Springs and Old Key West. Of particular note to DVC members (darn, you didn’t fall for my ploy not to read this) is that they book for the same number of points as a 2 bedroom at Saratoga Springs. The Treehouses have 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and Disney says they will sleep up to 9 guests. More on that fallacy later. As they are part of SSR, check in is done at the Carriage House.
The units are less than a year old and very impressive. The attention to detail in the decor and the fixtures shows that a lot of thought went into bringing the Treehouses back to use for guests. From the vaulted ceilings, to the rustic furniture, to the plumbing fixtures that look like old fashioned pumps, from the moment you walk in the door you know you’re in a really special place.
The set up is a little different from other DVC resorts. The master bedroom has a queen-sized bed and attached bath. Of the other 2 bedrooms, one has another queen and the second has bunkbeds. These 2 bedrooms share a bath. In the living room, the sofa pulls out into a queen sized bed and one chair pulls out into a twin. These are the same type of pullouts all the newer DVC properties use, which means no bar across your back, but still not as comfortable as a bed. There were 3 adults in my traveling party so we had plenty of room to spread out. Our friend who got the bunk bed room reports that the bed was not especially comfortable though most likely fine for kids. The master bath has a soaking tub and a shower in the same area behind a glass door. This is great if you have just run a race and want to alternate between a cold shower and soak in the warm tub, but otherwise it feels a little weird. The rest of the villa is standard DVC – washer and dryer, full kitchen, dining area and living area. Each unit has a large deck. Ours was right on the golf course.
One strange thing we all noticed was that the villa was noisy. Not from other people or even from the buses. The villa itself made a lot of noises like the building was settling.
We had an excellent location this trip. Villa 7036 is directly across from the pool and a short walk to the South bus stop and the trail to the rest of Saratoga Springs. Parking was very close by. My only complaint would be that we could see the Grandstand buildings from our unit which distracted from the otherwise woodsy and isolated feel of the area.
The Treehouses make you feel like you are in your own corner of Walt Disney World. This is a good thing if you want to relax. It is a bad thing if you like close proximity to the services of the resort like buses and restaurants. We were lucky enough to have a car this trip, but used Disney transit half the time. If you choose Disney transit, you can either walk to the Grandstand bus stop or take a bus from the Treehouses to the main resort and transfer to a bus to the parks. Because we were very close to the path to the Grandstand, we chose to walk. If we had been on the north end of the resort, we would have probably chosen the bus. The buses between the Treehouses and the rest of Saratoga Springs run often, nearly on a continuous loop. As far as whether you need a car to stay there, it’s a toss up. The walk to the Carriage House to the Treehouses was no farther than it would have been from the Paddock or the Carousel sections of the resort. There is also boat service to the Carriage House and Downtown Disney from the Treehouses.
There is a pool and hot tub at the Treehouses. Being so close to it, we made good use of it and had it nearly all to ourselves. Towel service is provided. The pool is not themed, nor does it have a slide, but is comparable to other quiet pools at the resorts. The usual poolside rules apply, but if you have the hot tub to yourself, no one is there to judge you if you BYOB. I’m just saying.
Disney claims you can sleep up to 9 people in these units, but I wouldn’t want to try it. To do this, you would have 3 people sleeping in the living area and that area really isn’t big enough for 3 people and their stuff. I would sleep a maximum of 6 people (4 adults/teens and 2 small children) in one unit. Moreover, the living/dining area really wouldn’t accommodate 9 people for meals or just hanging out without feeling really pressed for space. The smaller space and 2 bathrooms for 3 bedrooms is why these villas “cost” the same number of points as a 2 bedroom in the main resort.
Of the 60 units, 4 are designated as accessible with ramps instead of stairs to reach them.
I would absolutely book the Treehouses again the next time I need 2 or more bedrooms on a trip. They are that something special that Saratoga Springs has needed to make it more than the place you book when you can’t get into the DVC resort you really want to book.