One of my favorite ways to experience all that Disney has to offer while sticking to a budget is by doing a Split Stay.
What is a Split Stay?
What is a Split Stay? A split stay is when you stay at multiple resorts during your vacation.
Why would you do a split stay? The benefits of doing a split stay are so you can afford to stay at a more expensive resort, offset by staying at a less expensive resort. This also allows you to experience more during a single trip. Or if you’re having a hard time deciding on what resort you want to stay at, don’t choose! Stay at both.
With over 25 resorts on Disney property, it can be very hard to choose what resort is best for you. Some people make their selection based on price, location or amenities. But what if you REALLY want to stay at a Deluxe resort but just can’t justify the cost? What if you REALLY can’t decide between the Savannah View room at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Pirate themed room at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort?
Now there are some things to consider before booking two separate resorts.
Is it worth it to do a split stay? YES! If you are really torn between resorts or just really want to stay on the Monorail but really can’t afford to shell out the big bucks. A split stay is worth every bit of effort. And yes, there is a little bit of effort involved when doing a split stay. Depending on how many nights you’re planning on spending at Disney, you may only spend a couple nights at each resort. The idea of packing and unpacking might be a turn off for you.
However, Disney does make it pretty easy to transfer. While staying at a Disney resort, they will transfer your luggage to any other resort on property. All you have to do is take your luggage down to the Bell Services desk on your check-out date and tell them where you are headed to next. Then head in to the parks. Remember, you can check-in on the My Disney Experience app, so you can head straight to your room when you’re headed back to your new resort. Your luggage will be delivered and you can either pick it up at your second resort’s Bell Services or call to have it delivered to your room!
You will have two separate ADR windows
The other thing to keep in mind is your reservation window. Currently, the only reservation window you have to worry about is for your Advanced Dining Reservations. When doing a split stay, you will have 2 separate reservation windows; one 60 days from your first check-in and another 60 days from your second check-in. So keep in mind that you’ll have to make your reservations on 2 different days. TIP: Make your first reservation for at least 3 nights. This way you’ll have a couple more days worth of advanced dining reservations in case you’re trying to get a reservation at a popular restaurant.
To me, the biggest reason to do a split stay is to afford to stay at a resort you otherwise wouldn’t be able to stay at. By doing split stays, my family has been able to stay at some amazing resorts that we wouldn’t have been able to stay a full week at.
FULL DISCOLURE: Doing a split stay isn’t going to “save” you money if you compare a full length of stay at a value resort to a split stay of a value to a moderate (or a moderate to a deluxe). The “savings” is the difference of staying the full length at the more expensive resort to the split stay.
- 6 Nights @ Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort = $2,016.90
- 6 Nights @ Disney’s Yacht Club Resort= $3,109.72
- Split Stay 4 Nights @ Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort = $1,344.60
- Split Stay 2 Nights @ Disney’s Yacht Club Resort = $1,036.57
- Total Cost = $2,381.17
If you were to use my example, you would save $728 by doing the split stay over staying the full time at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.This allows you to save a significant amount and still have the opportunity to stay where you really want to and get to experience all the things both resorts have to offer.
The last thing I want to say is TRADE UP. Don’t start with a Deluxe Resort and then move down to a Value Resort. You will be extremely underwhelmed. I’m all about managing my expectations and if you set the bar too high and then go down, you might end up feeling disappointed. Unless you’re staying at the same category hotel or doing a Split Stay between a value and moderate, you might not feel much of a diffence as you would going from deluxe to value or moderate.
You may be reading this and thinking this isn’t for you. And that’s ok! Everyone has their preference on how they like to plan their vacations and that is ay-okay with me! But for those of you who never considered a Split Stay or wasn’t sure exactly how it works, now you know and you can make an informed decision!
If you have any more questions or need claification, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Spreading magic one post at a timeKristin