The Pros and Cons of a Disney World Split-Stay
Updated: Jul 12
Have you been checking out pictures and reviews for all the Walt Disney World resorts and feel torn between the different options? There are SO MANY amazing hotels it can be incredibly difficult to choose just one.
What if we told you, you don't have to choose?!
A split-stay is just how it sounds; two (or three or four) different hotel stays during the same vacation.
Sound intriguing?? At Castle Coaches Travel, we specialize in custom crafting vacations to fit your individual needs. In our experience, we find a split-stay at Disney World to be a great option for many families, but not everyone! Let's dive into the pros and cons of staying at more than one resort during the same vacation.
We love a Disney split-stay because...
You get to experience multiple resorts
The most obvious answer on the list. Maybe you have narrowed it down to two resorts and simply cannot choose between them. You want to enjoy the animals at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, but also want the firework views at Disney's Contemporary Resort. A split-stay allows you to do both without having to sacrifice one of the experiences you are really looking forward to having on your Disney vacation.
Disney takes care of your luggage
The last thing you want to deal with while on vacation is moving your bags from one resort to another. Especially, when Disney transportation does not go between resorts. Disney makes this easy for you with their amazing bell service team. Call bell services to your room to pick-up your bags or take your bags down to their station in the main lobby. They will then transfer your bags over to your new resort. Bag transfers are not immediate, so we recommend going on to a theme park for the day. You can expect your luggage to be at your new resort by 5pm.
"Disney makes it so easy! I organize split-stays on my personal trips and for many families. On my last trip, bell services came to our room and grabbed all our bags early in the morning. So early, we still made Early Entry at Magic Kingdom! Then when we finished our park day and checked into The Cabins at Ft. Wilderness- our bags were already there." - Meghan Malkowski, Family Travel Specialist and Castle Coach
Disney transportation and resort areas
We are big fans of having multiple transportation options and being as close to the parks as possible during our Disney vacations. Unfortunately, all four theme parks are spread out and one resort cannot provide easy access to all. One of our favorite and most requested split-stays is between one of the monorail resorts and a Boardwalk area resort. For instance, splitting your time between Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney's Beach Club Resort will give you the ability to walk to THREE theme parks. Hard to beat that kind of convenience.
It can save you money
Maybe your dream resort is Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, but the price tag for a full week stay is more than you are willing to spend. OR you are ready to try the Club Level experience, but do not want the expense for the duration of your trip. Booking a split-stay allows you to have the best of both worlds, your dream resort experience with a lower price tag.
The downside of a Disney split-stay...
Unable to settle-in to your room
If you prefer to unpack and really settle-in to your resort room then a split-stay may not be the right choice for you. You should carefully consider how you like to spend your time in your room and if you are good with having to pack everything back up again in the middle of your vacation. Disney will not move loose items, everything must be packed in order for Disney to move your luggage to your new resort.
You cannot add the Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan is returning for 2024 vacation packages. If you are hoping to make your Disney vacation all-inclusive and include the Dining Plan then you should re-consider booking a split-stay. Unfortunately, we would not be able to add the Dining Plan for the duration of your stay if booked between more than one resort.
Not enough time
It is possible you may feel like you are short-changing your time at one of the resorts (or both). Especially if there is one resort you are looking more forward to experiencing than the other. Disney resorts have tons of offerings and are unique stay experiences. If you like familiarity, getting a feel for where you are staying, and enjoying everything your resort has to offer- then keeping your Disney vacation at one hotel stay may be a better fit for you.
No direct transportation from one hotel to another
While Disney provides many excellent transportation options from resort to theme park, you will not find any direct transportation between resorts. This means if you would like to head straight to your new resort it can be a little complicated. If you prefer to use Disney’s complimentary transportation then you will have to travel to a theme park or Disney Springs in between your journey. Otherwise, you will need to pay for a taxi/rideshare service. Disney Minnie Van™ Connected by Lyft is our go to and recommendation. Not only will you travel in style inspired by Minnie Mouse, but Disney Minnie Van's offer both car seats and accessible vehicles. Best yet, the drivers are Disney Cast Members. Prices vary based on distance traveled from pick-up location to requested destination within Disney property. Hours of operation are 6:30am to 12:30am daily.
Each vehicle accommodates up to 6 Guests. For accessible vehicles, anyone can order and include the following:
Seating for 5 people
One complimentary car seat (which can be used by one of the 5 passengers)
2 spaces for mobility devices (Guests may remain in their mobility devices for the duration of the ride)
There is a maximum capacity of 7 Guests per Accessible Minnie Van.
Whether choosing a single Disney resort stay, or adding a second (or third or fourth) resort to the mix, Castle Coaches Travel is ready to plan every detail for you!