Booking a Split Stay During Your Walt Disney World Vacation
With over 25 fantastic resorts making up Walt Disney World, the hardest part of planning your Disney getaway might just be decided on where to lay your head. With each of Disney’s stunning properties offering its own unique theming and range of amenities, narrowing your resort preferences down to just one property can be quite the challenge. That’s where a Split Stay comes in! This is the term that Disney regulars use when you opt to stay in at least two different resorts during the same vacation!
How Exactly Would a Split Stay Work?
An example of a Split Stay would be a family opting to stay at Walt Disney World for 7-days. This family may really want to stay in a deluxe like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort but don’t have the budget to make it their resort for 7-days. Under a split stay the family may instead opt to spend four nights at the Disney’s All-Star Music Resort in the Value Category before moving over to Disney’s Grand Floridian for the last two nights.
How Would I Go About Booking a Split Stay?
When it comes to a split stay, my recommendation is always to work with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner like MickeyTravels who can help you with all of the logistics of coordinating a stay at two Disney properties. However, for those wanting to book this on your own, you would need to make two separate Disney World reservations (one for each property you are staying at.) Since a $200 deposit is required to secure your Disney reservation at the time of booking you would need to pay this fee for each separate reservation you are making. Also, double check to make sure your check out date at the first property coincides with the check-in date at the second property.
Does This Mean I Have To Pay For Two Separate Sets of Theme Park Tickets?
No. For those that have been to Disney World before, you know that the more days of theme park tickets you book in a row the cheaper the tickets are! For this reason, it wouldn’t be the best value for money to make two separate ticket reservations, one for each resort. Instead, I recommend attaching the entire block of tickets to the first resort you are staying at. These tickets can be used for up to 14 days from activation which means you can continue to use them even if you switch resort. This allows you to take advantage of the lower rate.
Do I Have To Move All My Luggage Myself If Booking a Split Stay?
One of the biggest concerns that most guests have about organizing a split stay is having to take time out to move all of your belongings to another resort when you would rather be at the theme parks. However, you are in luck as Disney World does try to make split stays as easy as possible for guests. One the day that you are switching between resorts you can bring your bags to Bell Services and then can arrange to have all of your luggage moved for you. This frees you up to head out to your favorite theme parks. When you check in at your new resort later in the day, you simply check in with Bell Services to pick up your luggage. Be mindful that this process can take several hours so it pays to keep important items including medication with you during the day.
Is It Possible To Get a Dining Plan With a Split Stay?
For those looking to make your Walt Disney World vacation package-all inclusive with the addition of a Disney Dining Plan it pays to reach out to your Disney Travel agent or call Disney to make your bookings. Since the Disney Dining Plans are linked to the total nights you stay at each property, you will need to attach the Dining Plan to both resort reservations to cover you for your entire stay. Disney’s online booking system will only allow you to book a Dining Plan if you have theme park tickets purchased on each reservation. However, if you speak to Disney or your TA they can override this and attach the plan to both packages (even if the second package doesn’t have tickets attached to it.) Guests who want to sample the dining package but don’t want it during your entire stay also have the ability to attach it to one reservation and not the second or vice versa!
How Do Discounts Like FREE Dining Work With a Split Stay?
With a few weeks left of Disney World’s Annual FREE Dining Promotion you may want to include a discount with your split stay vacation. It is possible to still quality for Disney’s FREE Dining offer however this could only be applied to the first reservation where you have both the tickets and the dining plan attached. The pre-requisite for the FREE dining promo is that guests must have park tickets with park hopper attached to your reservation in order to qualify. That being said, offers like FREE dining often run in tandem with other offers like a room discount. In these instances you could apply the FREE Dining promotion to your first reservation and then a room discount to your second. Alternatively you could split up your tickets and apply FREE Dining if available to both reservations. However, in these instances it is always best to chat with a Disney Travel Agent or with Disney directly to do a price comparison and make sure you are organizing both reservations in a way that will give you the best value!
What Impact Does a Split Stay Have On Making My FastPass Reservations?
This depends on the way that you have set up your split stay reservations. If all of your theme park tickets are attached to your first room reservation and extend the length of stay then you can make FastPass reservations for the entire stay at the 60-day mark. If you split the tickets up and have them added to each reservation you would have different FastPass booking windows for each reservation. That means your first window would open up, you’d make your reservations then wait a few days for the second window.
For dining reservations, onsite guests have the ability to make bookings for you entire stay at the 180 day mark. However, with a split stay, similar to FastPasses you could book your first block of dining reservations at the 180 day mark. Then you’d need to wait until the 180-day mark on your second reservation to make the rest of your bookings. However, it pays to call 407.WDW.DINE and speak to Disney directly. I have heard of clients being able to book all reservations in at once if you call it in.
Will I Get Two Sets of MagicBands If I Book a Split Stay?
Disney World will automatically issue you with a MagicBand for each Walt Disney World resort reservation that you book. That means if you are staying at two properties you will have the option of customizing two sets of bands. When you arrive at Disney, both sets of bands will contain all of the information of BOTH reservations so you can use them interchangeably. However, if you don’t want two sets of bands you can always opt out of having the second set sent to you and just use the first during the duration of your stay.
Can I Still Use Disney’s Magical Express Service to Get To and From the Airport If Booking a Split Stay?
Yes. Visitors on a split stay can still take advantage of Disney’s Magical Express airport transfer service. At the time that you make your Magical Express booking you just need to let Disney know that you will be arriving and departing from two different resorts.
Planning a split stay can be a very rewarding way to enjoy more than one of Disney magnificent resorts during your visit. However, it does mean that there a few more logistics you need to sift through in organizing your stay. Why not let the agents at MickeyTravels do this for you!? Simply fill out our form below to receive your FREE, no-obligation quote.
Why not make 2020 or 2021 the year you visit Walt Disney World? There are still fantastic vacation packages available. Simply fill out our form below to get your FREE no-obligation quote with MickeyTravels.
Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to assist you with everything from finding your perfect package to helping you plan lots of special touches to make your visit truly magical. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025 via email at email@example.com or follow along on Facebook