With all the wonderful resorts to choose from at Disney World, many of my clients find choosing a resort to be the hardest part of planning their trip! Disney does such a fantastic job creating comfortable, fun and magical resorts at every price point that it can be really hard to choose just one! Some of my clients decide not to choose—and they decide to stay at 2 different resorts during their trip. Did you know that booking a stay at more than one Disney resort actually has an official name? That’s right, it’s called a “split stay!” This is a really fun idea—it can save you $$$ and can really add some extra magic to your trip! It takes some extra planning too, but don’t worry—your Dream Maker will handle all the details for you!
When is a Split Stay at Good Idea?
There are lots of reasons why my clients decide on a split stay. I’ll share some of them here so you can see if a split stay might work for you!
For my clients who dream of staying at a deluxe Disney resort but don’t want to pay for a deluxe resort their whole trip, a split stay can make their dream a reality! I have clients who begin their trips at a value or moderate resort, and then end their trips at a moderate or deluxe. Some even try a villa for a couple of days! The basic idea here is to balance the budget by staying at one less expensive resort and one more expensive resort for a few days each.
I work with many clients who go to Disney every year or so. They’ve enjoyed the resorts they’ve tried so far and are eager to try as many Disney resorts as they can. These clients love the idea of a split stay! I have clients that want to see what it is like to stay near Epcot and be able to walk there from the Beach Club. Other clients want to try a family suite at Art of Animation for a couple of nights. I even have a friend who collects pins from each resort where she has stayed, and selects her split-stay resorts so she can add those pins to her lanyard! Whatever the reason, trying different Disney resorts is a lot of fun!
Sometimes, my clients are disappointed because the resort they really want doesn’t have availability for their entire vacation. This can be a good time to consider a split stay. You can stay at your first choice resort when it is available, and try another one to complete the trip.
Pleasing all the people, all the time!
Does your daughter dream of a Royal Room at Port Orleans while your son wants to stay in a Pirate Room at Caribbean Beach? A split stay can make everyone happy! I’m working with a client now who is considering starting her trip in a Little Mermaid room at Art of Animation to please her young daughter, then moving to a Cars Family Suite (also at Art of Animation) for the second half of the trip to please her son—and to have room for a grandparent who is joining them just for that part of the trip.
Meeting Family/Friends for Part of Your Trip
Are the grandparents or aunts/uncles/cousins joining you for part of the trip? Adding more family to the vacation may change where you want to stay during that part of the trip. In my family, it is important to stay nearer to the parks when the grandparents join us, and also to have more on-site dining options available to make it easier to get around.
Sometimes, clients arrive into Orlando quite late on the first night of their stay. They don’t want to pay a higher resort price just to sleep there! In this situation, staying at a less expensive resort that night when you’ll only be sleeping there and not really enjoying the resort amenities can make a lot of sense and save you some money too.
These are all compelling reasons to consider a split stay at Disney World.
Things to consider when booking a split stay:
When you book a split stay, you’ll be making 2 separate reservations and you’ll get 2 separate confirmation numbers, and at travel time, you’ll have 2 sets of travel documents. You’ll also need to make 2 separate deposits. Your Dream Maker will help you with all these details, including making your Magical Express arrangements arriving into one resort and departing from the other.
Order of Resort Stays
Which resort comes first during your stay? This is totally up to you, but I usually advise clients to stay at the nicer hotel last. I also work with my clients to plan their park visits around the location of their resorts so they get the most from each location.
Moving From One Resort to the Other
Did you know that Disney will take care of this for you? Yup! All you need to do on the day you’re changing resorts is bring your bags to bell services and tell them you’re moving resorts. They will tag your bags for delivery to your next resort and give you luggage receipts so you can claim your bags there later. Super easy, and you can get right to the park of your choice. Later that day, take a Disney bus/monorail/boat to your new resort, check in and go to bell services to either claim your bags or ask that they be delivered to your new room. Keep in mind this transfer can take a few hours, so pack what you’ll need for the day in your backpack. Also, remember that you’ll need to plan some time into your schedule for packing and un-packing mid trip.
Park Tickets and Dining
This is where a split stay can get tricky, but not to worry! Your Dream Maker can help you sort through the choices, find the best deals and take care of the details. Just keep in mind that if you want a Disney dining plan for both parts of your stay, you’ll need to book separate packages at each resort with room/tickets/dining so you can do so (because to get a dining plan, you must also purchase tickets).
Of course, the reverse is also true, and a split stay can be really great for clients that don’t want to pay for a Disney dining plan for the whole length of their stay. Remember, that Disney rules require you to have the same package components for the entire length of your stay. To get around this, you can book a package with dining at just one of the resorts during your split stay! There are lots of ways to plan this, so consult your Dream Maker for the best options for you.
So what do you think? Would you like to try a split stay on your Disney trip? All of us here at Mickey’s Dream Vacations can help you plan one so that you can save some money and enjoy the resorts of your dreams!
By, Nancy Surridge, Dream Maker with Mickey’s Dream Vacations
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