For the past three weeks, we have focused on the 3 different categories of resorts at Walt Disney World.  We mentioned that Value Resorts were lower on amenities but higher on theming.  We told you Moderate Resorts provide the feel of a deluxe resort without the same price while getting the theming of value resorts with more room.  Finally we mentioned that Deluxe Resorts are the perfect mix of staying close to the magic but escaping the magic if needed.  But what if you wanted to experience multiple resorts in one trip?

Welcome to Believe Vacations’ Weekly Post where today, we give you a BONUS resort article where we introduce you to the concept of Split Stays.  For each article, we are coupling the answers with a fun interview video featuring me (Brian Pavlick) and one of the talented agents within the Believe Vacations family.  Today, Brian has invited the second-longest tenured Believer, Whitney Turner (Houston, TX) to share her experiences.  The full interview is in the video above but highlights and answers of the more commonly asked questions are below:

Walt Disney World Split Stays 101 - Theme Park Professor

What is a Split Stay?

Simply put, a Split Stay is where you stay at more than one resort during your Disney Vacation.  For some, that sounds terrible, crazy, over-the-top and selfish.  But for others, they find the draw of experiencing two resorts in one trip very appealing.  Trying to decide between two deluxe resorts?  Try them both!  Or if you want to upgrade at the end of your vacation?  Split stays give you that opportunity.  Split Stays are also an incredible way to change up your scenery if you are staying for a week.  We always suggest finishing your stay at the higher end resort. There is nothing wrong with the value/moderate resorts, but after staying a night at a deluxe, then transferring to a value could potentially have a bit of an underwhelming feel. It’s better to start the magic at a value/moderate and then have it be extra magical for your last couple nights when you upgrade to a Deluxe resort.

How do you book a split stay?

Obviously, you book through a Believe Vacations agent with complimentary services!  Booking split stays is simple – Decide which two (or three) resorts you want to stay at during your trip and see if they have availability at both.  Then you’ll check-in to resort number one, stay a few days, then check-out of resort number one and check-in the same day at resort number two.   When considering booking two resorts consider different themes, different modes of transportation, different rooms, different amenities, just everything different.

If I switch hotel during my stay, does Disney... | planDisney

How does luggage transfer work?

If you are transferring from one Disney to another Disney resort, this is a simple process. In the morning of your transfer, either ring bell services or bring your luggage down yourself and the cast members will tag it and transfer it to the second resort for you.  You may want to consider how much you unpack for Resort #1, only for you to pack it up and unpack it once again at Resort #2.  Transfer day is one of the best days for a park.  Hit the parks while they check you out of one room and check you into another room.  When you are done with the park, go to your new resort, go to your room, take a look around, hit the Bell Services button on the phone and let the cast bring up your luggage.  Just like many other operational systems at Disney, super convenient.  Now if you’re going off campus or going to Universal, you’ll have to handle your own luggage!

What are some “downsides” to a Split Stay?

If you want to keep a regular schedule, this may not work.  For instance, if your baby takes a 1:00pm nap, you may be “resortless” on that day and the baby will either have to stay up or nap inside the park between the hours of 11:00am (check-out of Resort #1 time) and 3:00pm (check-in at Resort #2 time).  If you’re the type that doesn’t enjoy sitting in the lounge and waiting for your room to be ready, again, you may not want to do a split stay.  Split stays are easiest for Annual Passholders who can just get multiple room only reservations for the split stays. Guests needing tickets gets a bit more challenging. While Disney usually offers a room only discount promotions to help split stays, occasionally they will have a ticket package promotion (recently 4 night/3day get 2 days free), that split stay guests could miss out on depending on the length of their stays at separate resorts and the tickets being purchased outside of a package. This certainly limits the flexibility of your vacation but again, a Believe Vacations agent will help you with all the hard thinking!

We are thinking of doing a split stay on our ... | planDisney

Who should do a Split Stay?

Grandma and Grandpa (Elderly couple)? – If you’re mobile and ready to go, yes.  You may find yourselves in a situation where you want to be closer to the park you will visit for the day and not have to take a long ride back on the bus.  And if you have your own chair or scooter, maybe finding a resort that offers transportation for you to remain seated in it works for you!

Honeymooners? – Absolutely!  Many honeymoons these days see couples gone for over a week and to multiple locations.  At Disney, you can apply the same concept by going to different resorts and feel as though you truly are going “around the world” without leaving the country! You’re getting theming, pools, food and different experiences at each stop.

Families with a little baby/infant? – Think diapers, nursing, naps, etc.  We don’t think there is one specific yes or no because it depends on the baby.  Cranky babies will not make for fun transfers; sweet babies will be fine with transfers.  Basically, don’t add stress to your Disney vacation and make a wise judgment call.

“Normal” family with 2 kids – What kid doesn’t love going into a hotel room?  Heck, we still get giddy seeing our room for the first time!  So yes, the more opportunities kids can feel as though they are “moving,” they will enjoy it and you’ll have options to choose from on your next visit.

Large groups with multiple reservations? – Is it tough for everyone to pack up and move to another location?  Depends on your family!  And definitely not on your own.  Our agents can do it more easily than the average Disney-goer.  Family reunions or multiple reservations already take a good amount of planning and adding another location may set a family member over the edge so again, use your best judgement.

What is the ultimate benefit of a split stay?

Being able to get the most Disney you can in one visit is very enticing.  Why not soak up all you can?  Split up your vacation and enjoy as much of Disney as you can!

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick is a husband and father residing in Maylene, AL. His love of Disney goes back to his early memories of watching the New Disney Channel on cable, occasional vacations to Orlando Florida and attending Disney Institute Management Training classes. He keeps up with Disney news and updates by reading numerous websites, experiencing attractions by watching YouTube videos and introducing his family to classic and timeless Disney movies, attractions and songs.