Treehouse? I can’t believe this is happening!
I woke up one morning to see that there was a confirmed DVC reservation at the Treehouse Villas for sale for an absolute steal. We’d just gotten back from Disney the previous week, but I’m always game for more Disney! And you know, I really should go, you know, for my blog… hahaha! (Now y’all see why I started this blog!)
But let me back up. Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is Disney’s version of a timeshare. For the record, it isn’t a timeshare, but that will help you with understanding how it works. This post isn’t about DVC, but I do want to give you a little background. So a DVC member only had until the end of January to use his points and he couldn’t use them. So he offered them for sale: someone could use them for a fee (commonly called “renting points”).
I had to do it! This was January 21st. The reservation was for January 29th. 8 days.
Seriously, when the Treehouses call, you come! Even if it’s only a week away!
And we pulled it off! We added a day to the front to make it worth the plane ride. So we had 3 days in the parks. And it was a great trip although short, especially after the 8 day trip we’d had shortly before.
I took my nurser baby (because, boobs) and my two big kids. My husband, Mike, is a farmer and he has a dairy cow about ready to have her baby. He didn’t want to leave her in case there was trouble. So he stayed back with our two year old, Asher, who is just toooooo much for me to handle with three other kids at Disney. My mom met us down there.
Each Treehouse has three bedrooms and sleeps 9 people. We only had 5 and it was sooo roomy. Mom had her own queen bedroom, Seth and Ezra slept in the bunk bed room and I took the master which had a queen too. There was a little crib that the baby could have slept in, but he just slept with me. There was also a fold out couch and a fold out chair.
Anything You Need
We’ve stayed in DVC rooms with full kitchens the last few trips. They’ve all been fully stocked. There were utensils and plates and bowls, and pans. I could literally bake a birthday cake from scratch in that kitchen. Well, I couldn’t because I can’t cook, but someone could if they had the skill set. The Treehouse had everything. There was even a list so you could see at a glance if you had what you needed.
We love having some groceries at the hotel. After this many trips to Disney, we take things a lot slower and having to leave to eat breakfast is no good. So I ordered groceries from Instacart. I really need to do a post about how awesome they are, but for now let me just sum it up like this: download the app, choose the store, shop, check out, respond if the shopper has any substitutions, once the app tells you the delivery has been made, call bell services and have them bring you the groceries.
You don’t have to be in the room when Instacart delivers to Bell Services, but you do need to be there when Bell Services brings it to your room. Prices are the same as in the store and you pay a $5.99 delivery fee. There is also a suggested service fee, but you can decline that if you so choose.
I always get a few snacks, fruit, string cheese, greek yogurt, Larabars (y’all know how I feel about those…) and a box of cereal and a half gallon of milk. Less than $50 for sure and I know there won’t be a terrible starving moment. Here is my referral link for Instacart: http://bit.ly/SMPDinstacart If you use it, you get $10 off and free delivery on your first order (and I get $10 to keep the lights on at this blog!)
The buses were my one regret about the whole thing. My kids are little. Car seat little. I left my 2 year old at home, but my big two need boosters and my baby needs an infant car seat. So renting a car is a lot harder than just renting a car. It includes dragging 2 boosters and an infant carseat through the airport or renting these items at a steep cost (usually more than renting the car!) I try not to do that whenever possible and I thought this was a no brainer. 3 days, Disney buses, I can do this!
But more time to research would have been good here, because I did not realize that the Treehouse Villas are in the “take-two-buses-to-get-anywhere” club. So to get to Magic Kingdom, we walked to a bus stop near our villa (not too far) then waited for that bus, took it to Saratoga Springs, got off and then waited for the Magic Kingdom bus. It took us 90 minutes to get most places.
Plus loading a stroller and three kids on and off the bus a total of 4 times each way was just not something I’d sign up for knowingly. This is why we plan. Come on, LJ!
Uber to the Rescue
It ended up being ok since it was only a few days and because when we were really tired, we used the Uber app to request a ride. We choose the Uber XL with the carseat option and it was about $20 during peak park closing time. It would have been closer to $10 but everyone was leaving Magic Kingdom at the same time so Uber was in demand.
The kids didn’t have boosters, but it was fine for a quick trip back to the Treehouses. If you are doing Disney soon I suggest you take a quick minute to download the Uber app to have it ready in case you are dead tired and do not want to wait in a long bus line for a ride back to your resort. You get your first ride free if you use this referral code within 90 days of signing up: ljj85ue
It was fairly cold (January after all) so we only swam one time. The main pool was closed. It did look very cool though, with a splash pad and two slides. We were surprised it closed so early. It was only open to 8pm, but the quiet pools were open 24 hours. We headed to the treehouse pool and I was happy to see that it had a hot tub. My (completely insane) kids swam in the pool and then the hot tub and then the pool and then the hot tub for about 90 minutes. They loved every second of it. There was a nice shower, and bathroom area. It was one of the nicer pools that I’ve been to at Disney.
We were on the Quick Service dining plan so we didn’t check out the Table Service restaurants. I think there were two available at the main building. We ate a couple meals at Saratoga Springs’ Quick Service location called Artist’s Palette. It was small but had enough offerings that we didn’t get sick of eating there. My son enjoyed the cheeseburger flatbread pizza enough to want it twice and I thought the Caesar salad with chicken was very good. The right dressing to lettuce ratio.
The breakfast was fine, could have been better, could have been worse. They also had a lot of good snacks available- lots of things I could grab and take back for the kids for later. Does anyone else’s kids eat two bites at mealtime and then say they’re starving 6 minutes after your throw their lunch away? So I like to grab strawberries, grapes, veggies, oranges and microwave popcorn for them for later. And those cookies that will change your life! I spent a few snack credits on those! Over all I was happy with the Quick Service location.
Something you may not realize is that Saratoga Springs is Disney’s largest resort. It is similar in size to 4 small resorts in 1. There are 4 bus stops inside it, not counting the Treehouse bus. I’m a fan of smaller resorts because of the busing situation and because the walk to the pool/food is usually better. Saratoga Springs is well organized though. If you are staying at the main resort and not the Treehouses, the bus will take you directly to the park without needing to get off and board another bus. You just may have to wait for a couple stops. This is common at the larger resorts (like Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Old Key West, and Port Orleans Riverside) and is really not too much of an issue.
I thought the building style (for both the Treehouse Villas and Saratoga Springs) and the people were both A+. The resort was so pretty. I loved being that close to Disney Springs. I love seeing the hot air balloon go up and down. The staff was excellent. We had some SERIOUS tech issues while we were there. I’ve gone to Disney approximately 30 times and never saw any problems like this. It was bad. But their staff took great care of us and they more than made it right in my eyes.
You can count on Disney for their service. It’s what brings me back time after time. If you ever have a problem, definitely say something. They do not want you to leave unhappy. Disney is not shortsighted. They want a guest for life and they will do what they need to do to make it better. So always speak up. I find that saying, “I’m not having a good time because of [whatever] and I want you to know that so you have a chance to fix it if you want to fix it” will take care of the issue. I’ve never had to fight or argue. Disney is simply a great customer service based company.
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