Top 4 Reasons to Consider a Split Stay on Your Next Disney Vacation
When it’s time for me to book my family’s Walt Disney World vacation, it always seems that one of the hardest decisions is where to stay! There are so many great on-property resort options and I love them all! Not only does Disney offer various resort categories (Value, Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villas) to fit each budget, but the variety of resort theming is also incredible! One of our goals is to stay in every Walt Disney World resort, but we also have some favorites that we like to visit over and over again! So to help solve this problem, many times we like to do “split stays,” meaning we stay in more than one resort during our vacation. We usually limit our split stays to two resorts, to still be able to take time to enjoy the amenities in each. We also love to strategize our park, dining and fastpass planning around where we are staying! Read on to decide whether or not a split stay may be right for your next WDW vacation.
1. You want to experience different resorts
If you are like my family, as I mentioned above, we want to be able to stay at every WDW resort; however, we still have our favorites that we like to visit and do not want to rule those out. So if you book a split stay, you can continue to add a new resort with each vacation, but still experience past favorites! Or maybe you want to try two that you haven’t been to before at all! By staying at two different resorts each vacation, you will hit your goal of staying in each resort much faster!
2. You want to stay within your budget
Let’s be honest, when planning a vacation anywhere, budget and cost usually drives how long we can go, where we are able to stay and what activities we can do. This is no different when planning a Disney vacation! We need to have a financial plan that we are comfortable with. So sometimes, it may not be in the cards to stay for a week in a deluxe resort…or maybe you don’t want to set aside that much of your budget for resort costs. So here is a way to help! If you would like to experience a deluxe resort, but want to reduce costs, consider staying in a value or moderate resort for part of the time and then staying in a deluxe resort for the rest! It can help you cut costs and stay within your budget!
3. You want to strategize your resort location with your parks and dining reservations
This one is a big one and a fun one for me! Not only do I love the different resort theming, but I love the different resort locations and what each offers! For me, once I decide where we will be staying, I then start thinking about what dining reservations and FastPass options will be my top choices for those days. For example, if we are staying at Polynesian for 3 nights and BoardWalk for 3 nights, then I would plan to visit Magic Kingdom and Epcot while at Polynesian, since you can use the monorail to get to both. I would plan to visit Hollywood Studios and Epcot while at BoardWalk, since both are within walking distance or accessible by water taxi. The day we switch resorts would definitely be an Epcot day, since we could take the monorail there from the Polynesian and return to BoardWalk by walking! Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs can be done anytime, since you would take the bus from either resort. Then I would be sure to coordinate our resort dining plans also (‘Ohana, Chef Mickey’s and 1900 Park Fare would be during our Polynesian stay, while Cape May, Beaches & Cream and Bon Voyage Breakfast would be during our BoardWalk stay!)
4. You just can’t decide
There are just too many options and you want to try them or revisit them all! That’s ok…you don’t have to decide! Choose your top two that fit your budget, the amenities you are looking for and the location you want and book both! Why not? This is Disney and anything is possible at Disney!
Once you decide on your resorts, you just need to coordinate the rest of your package…
- Tickets: You buy the number of days you need for your entire length of stay and attach those to your first resort reservation. These will carry over to your second resort.
- Dining: If you are purchasing a dining plan, you will need to purchase it separately for each reservation. This will link to your resort reservation, as credits are valid from the day of check-in and expire at midnight on check-out day (for each resort.)
- Memory Maker: If you purchase Memory Maker (which, by the way, I ALWAYS recommend getting) you just link it to your first resort reservation and it will cover all photos from your entire vacation.
So, with all the great reasons why you should book a split stay, why wouldn’t guests always do this? Well, the reason I hear most is that they don’t want to have to unpack and repack…they want to get to their resort and just settle in for their length of stay. I totally get that, so split stays may not be for everyone! Also, if it’s a vacation that is shorter in length, like 3 or 4 nights total, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend switching resorts. However, if it is a longer stay and guests are only concerned with the ease of changing resorts halfway through, I am always sure to let them know just how easy it is to do! Take a look…
- Pack up your bags.
- Pack a separate bag for the day to carry with anything you may need.
- Bring your bags to bell services at your first resort. You can also call them to pick up your bags, but you will need to be in the room when they pick them up. (We just bring our bags down first thing in the morning before we head out to the parks.)
- Go enjoy your day: start with a character breakfast, ride the rides, watch a parade, see a couple of shows, enjoy your favorite Disney snacks, etc.
- Disney will transport your luggage to your new resort in the afternoon.
- If you have completed the online check-in for your second resort, you will receive a text and/or email notification informing you of your room number when your room is ready.
- When you are ready to head back to the resort, just go to your new resort, where your bags will be waiting for you!
It really is that easy!
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