The Great Disney Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort Pool Hop Challenge
The Great Disney Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge:
Five Pools in One Hour

(or 30 minutes if your family is really fast!)

At every Disney Deluxe Resort that we visit, we try to create fun and unique family challenges. One of the great things about Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa is that is has five separate and distinct pools spread across its massive 65 acres.

Mike Belobradic's Disney Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge

The graphic that I created for the running of the inaugural Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge on August 24, 2017.

Inspired by the popular challenge of doing all four Walt Disney World Parks in one day, I decided to create the Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge (#GSSPHC): Five Pools in One Hour.

On a sunny Thursday in August 2017, we ran the first ever Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge. The Cast Members who we spoke with at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort were all excited for the event, since they hadn’t heard of anyone doing this before (a good sign).

Disney Saratoga Springs Pool Hop, Congress Park

Pool #1: Congress Park. Start Time: 10:35 a.m. The Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge began at the Congress Park Pool.

So without missing a beat, my wife, daughter and I prepared for the best approach to take to hit all five pools at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.

Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge, Paddock Pool

Pool #2: Paddock. Time: 10:44 a.m. The Paddock Pool was next.

Take the Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge!

The Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge is not only a lot of fun to do with your family, but it’s also an excellent way to see the entire breadth of this beautiful and picturesque Deluxe Walt Disney World Resort property. The point of the challenge is to see how quickly you can visit (and swim) in all five of the Saratoga Springs pools. If you’d like to try to take on this challenge (and beat our time) we created a set of rules to follow.

Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge, Grandstand Pool

Pool #3. Grandstand Pool. Time: 10:53 a.m. The Grandstand Pool was third.

The rules are pretty straightforward. The point is to get from pool-to-pool as quickly as you can, while still actually swimming in each pool. Also, you want to travel safely of course(!) Also, make sure that ask if anyone in your group needs to use a restroom before the clock starts ticking. It is also busy around the High Rock Spring pool, so be courteous and watch for foot traffic.

Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge, Treehouse

Pool #4: Treehouse Pool. Time: 11:00 a.m. The Treehouse Villas Pool was #4. One more to go!

The Six Rules of the Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge

  1. Time Starts when you enter the water of your first pool.
  2. Time stops when you complete one minute in the water of your fifth and final pool.
  3. Time does not stop or suspend at any time throughout the challenge.
  4. There is no prescribed order of pools: start and finish wherever you like.
  5. Motorized vehicles are not allowed for an official race time (you can’t drive your car or a scooter between pools).
  6. Take a photo before you enter each pool. A single shot of one family member is fine. The time stamp on the image also helps to track your time.
Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge, High Rock Spring

Pool #5: High Rock Spring. Time: 11:09 a.m. Total Elapsed time: 33 minutes and 39 seconds. We almost broke the 30-minute mark.

The Time to Beat

Our time was 33 minutes and 39 seconds to go to all five pools and spend at least one minute in the water. The challenge clearly is to do this in under 30 minutes! Timing works best if one member of your party has a waterproof watch with a stop watch function to time the event. Take a photo before you jump in to each pool. It’s not only good for capturing the event, but the time stamps on the photos will tell you exactly when you entered each pool. Very handy!

Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge, Bike Rentals

Rental bikes from Disney’s Saratoga Springs are a must to do this challenge in good time.

Tips for Your Own Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge

Here are a few tips that we learned during the creation of the first Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge.

a) Rent bikes
It is much more efficient (and fun) than trying to run around to each pool.

b) Do a dry run
Chart your course and do a dry run on your bikes first so that you can pick the best order of pools and route for your family. You also want to know where you’re going so that you don’t waste time looking at maps when the race is on.

c) Wear quick change clothing
You can save time by wearing shirts and shoes that are easy to slip in and out of at each pool. Travel light and plan ahead.

We were staying at Congress Park neighborhood of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, so we wanted to start at that pool and my daughter wanted to end at High Rock Springs pool. You may be able to beat our time with a better order of pools.

Not Your Typical Disney Vacation

Through my Luxury Disney Travel Blog, I specialize in helping travelers to create unique and customized Walt Disney World vacation experiences. My vacation planning style means that you will not have a typical Disney vacation, because I my tips, advice and information will help you to create a well balanced, fun and customized experience that will be the ideal blend of Disney fun for your family.

Planning a Walt Disney World Deluxe Vacation?

Be sure to read my Guide to Planning A Walt Disney World Vacation and my post on the Five Golden Rules of Walt Disney World Vacation Planning.

Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist
The Finer Side of Travel