ResortsWalt Disney World (FL)

Four Reasons to Do a Split Stay at Disney World

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Last updated/republished August 30, 2021

There are a number of options to consider when booking your vacation to the most magical place on earth. One of the most important (and challenging!) is which resort to call home during your vacation. One possibility to consider for your vacation to Walt Disney World is a “split stay.” This is when a guest divides their stay between two or more resorts. While relocating from one resort to another during your vacation may sound anything but relaxing, there are several reasons why a split stay may be worth your while and even enhance your experience at Walt Disney World.

Now Walt Disney World divides their vast variety of resorts into four categories based on price: Value Resort Hotels, Moderate Resort Hotels, Deluxe Resort Hotels, and Deluxe Villas. However, each of the resorts within these categories offer their own unique themes, locations, dining options, and concierge, as well as their own pros and cons. So why should you consider a split stay for your Disney World Vacation? Let’s take a look…

1. To Accommodate Your Budget

A room at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Nightly rates for Walt Disney World Resorts vary not only by category, but also by day of the week, time of year, and depending on the holiday. If your vacation dates fall over a more expensive time of year or a long holiday weekend, you may yourself priced out of the resort of your choice or even your trip altogether.

This is where a split stay can save the day! If there’s availability, book your resort of choice during the cheaper nights of your stay, and then book a Disney Value Resort for the more expensive nights. For reference, the cheaper nights are typically Tuesdays through Thursdays while the pricier rates typically fall on weekends.

I recently stayed at a Deluxe Resort during the week of my stay and then switched to a Disney’s Art of Animation Resort’s Little Mermaid room for the weekend. This option not only saved me money but prevented me from having to shorten my trip.

2. To Find Resort Availability

Even though there are twenty plus resort options at Walt Disney World, finding availability at a resort for your specific days and trip length that’s also in your price tier can be a challenge!

Royal Room at RiversideFor example, let’s say your looking to book a five day / six night vacation; however, only Deluxe Resorts or Deluxe Villas are offered for the length of your trip. In this case, consider looking at availability for your resort of choice for three nights, and then another resort within in the same tier for the remaining two nights. You will be surprised at how many options open up when trying different date combinations.

3. To Enjoy More Resort Experiences

Disney’s Yacht Club shares the gorgeous Stormalong Bay with its sister resort, Disney’s Beach Club.

Each resort at Walt Disney World has its own theme, style, activities, dining options, and pools. Each truly offers its own brand of Disney magic and a unique experience. The challenge is, how do you choose? Do you spring for a tropical getaway at the Polynesian Village Resort or the charm of New Orleans at the Port Orleans French Quarter or the majestic Pacific Northwest at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge?

Well, with a split stay, you don’t have to!  A split stay allows you to experience different resort themes, locations, pools, and activities. For example, splitting your trip between Disney’s Beach Club and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground means enjoying one of the best pools on property for the first half of your trip; and then, for the second half, archery lessons and horseback riding.


A split stay is also something to consider if you plan on enjoying a day outside the parks without a park ticket, or to finally splurge on a stay at the Grand Floridian Resort or in a club-level room without committing to those pricey rates for the whole length of your trip.

4. To Take Advantage of a Resort’s Location

Walt Disney World is massive and getting around can be a hassle at times. This is why a resort’s location can make a huge difference in your vacation experience and may be a reason to consider a split stay.

I recently booked a split stay at Walt Disney World for the sole purpose of location. For instance, I stayed at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort as it offers Skyliner access, an entrance into Epcot, and a walking path or boat to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This way I was able to enjoy the close proximity to Epcot’s Festival of the Arts and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to secure a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance. For the rest of my trip, where transportation wasn’t as much of a priority, I stayed at Port Orleans Riverside Resort for the sake of my budget.

There are many other Walt Disney World Resorts with convenient locations to consider if location is your priority.  The Polynesian Village Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, and Contemporary Resort all offer Monorail access and boats to the Magic Kingdom, but the Contemporary’s location is arguably the best due to its views into the park and short walking path to the park entrance. Also, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge sits next to Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and is only a short ride away.

For a convenient location on a budget, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Art of Animation Resort now feature their own Skyliner station, as does the Caribbean Beach Resort.

Have you ever booked a split stay at Walt Disney World? Is this an option you would consider? 

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Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

9 thoughts on “Four Reasons to Do a Split Stay at Disney World

  • Shelly

    We are considering a split stay but trying to decide if we should add a dining plan for the second (shorter) half of our stay. For a split stay, if you put dining plans on both stays, do the credits overlap on the final day at Resort #1/first day of Resort #2 or do the first resort’s dining credits disappear when you check in to the second resort?

  • Shelly: Dining credits expire at 11:59pm. When you are using credits on that transition day, you just need to make sure you inform the cast member that you want to pull them from the 1st stay and not from the upcoming 2nd stay.

  • Dan Brooks

    We want to do this for our next WDW trip in 2021, but we’ve always heard “don’t go down” when doing a split stay. Meaning don’t start out at a deluxe resort and then downgrade to a value or moderate, because you’ll be disappointed to be staying in a deluxe resort and then suddenly have to “make do” with fewer amenities and lesser quality lodging. Each example here seems to go from deluxe to a lower tier, so what do you think of making sure you upgrade accommodations with your split stay?

  • Dean Finder

    One more reason – you have members of the party who want to stay for differing lengths of time. We had a group of 6 for a Thursday-Monday stay, but only 3 of us wanted to stay on for a few more days. So we stayed at a Saratoga Treehouse for the first half, and Caribbean Beach for the rest.

  • I’ve gone from a DVC resort “down to” a value resort once before. The price of All-Star Music was $75 for weeknights with a discount I got. I definitely noticed a difference – room was noticeably smaller, bus more crowded, walk to the room a little longer. But honestly it didn’t bother me much at all. I enjoyed some sights I wouldn’t have seen otherwise and the food court was actually pretty good – a nice option rarely get on my trips. While DVC has made me a room snob, I would do it again in a heartbeat because of the price. Disclaimers: I go to WDW every year. It was just me, so the smaller room didn’t result in people getting in each other’s way. And I spend almost all of my time in the parks, while taking a mid-day nap back in the room (best advice ever from the Unofficial Guide). So while I noticed the difference, it didn’t bother me. And when it threatened to bother me, I just reminded myself that I wouldn’t have been able to stay 4 more days otherwise. (Front desk was much more harried, but the leads did a great job checking with people and trying to move things along – much better than your average moderate and some deluxes, in my opinion).

  • Rachel

    We’ve had what could be couched as “semi-split stays” for nearly every WDW trip for the past several years. Our split stay version has included staying at a value (or partner hotel on points!) the arrival night and night before departure. In this way we’ve saved quite a bit of money, and also didn’t “waste days.” Granted, we were driving a rented vehicle to get back and forth from the airport, our arrival flight came in quite late, and our departure flight left extremely early in the morning. We’re planning what we’re calling a two week “Extravaganza” trip for 2021 to celebrate some family milestones, and are actually toying with the idea of a three-deluxe split stay (3 AK/7 BWV/3 GF), and retooling our touring plans to match park/dining/activity proximity. I travel a lot for work and am quite used to moving from hotel to hotel (on a nightly basis much of the time). Are we crazy to be thinking this might be fun for that long of a stay, or would it be best to just shoot for a long stay in one place?

  • Mark B.

    One thing I’m not careful enough about is what I do on the “change day”. There were times when our room wasn’t ready until 3 or 4 and sleepwalking through the resort while waiting for our room to be ready for our afternoon nap was not fun at all. One trip we all dozed off in the Wilderness Lodge lobby for an hour or so. We would sometimes shortchange ourselves on the nice resort we switched to just because we were so tired. Of course realistic scheduling is the cure for that.

    After our lobby zombie trip, we sorted out the scheduled and “moved up” to the Wilderness Lodge a couple times and once even the Contemporary to end our trip and it was a nice experience.

  • We almost always split stay. Sometimes because of availability, sometimes because we want different locations. The key is packing smart and light, planning intelligently for move days, and minimizing time spent moving through good prep.

  • I recently did a split stay between Grand Californian and Beach Club.

    1) While at GC, we were close to Magic Kingdom! While at BC we were close to Epcot and Hollywood Studios! It’s super nice to have hotel close to the park you are visiting – more time in the parks!
    2) Transferring luggage was easy. Take bags to bell services, and Disney transports them to your next hotel. We checked out of GC, took bags to bell services, hopped on the monorail to Epcot. At end of Epcot day we walked over to BC. Easy Peasy! It worked out really well to do this on our Epcot day, because Epcot opened at 11 am.

    1) At second resort, BC, we were given a pretty crappy room. But it was so late when we got there, didn’t have the time or energy to try to get a different one, so we just put up with it. But still, it makes me sad that Disney did this to us. My advice: don’t wait until the end of the day to visit your room for the first time at second resort.
    2) Even worse … Disney IT systems consider a split stay as TWO separate vacations. This affects your ability to make ADRs, especially at popular restaurants like Be Our Guest.

    I went for a total of 5 nights: first 3 at GC, then 2 at BC.

    On a 5 night stay, one can make ADRs at 60 days out, then for the length of your stay, 5 days.

    On my stay, I could make ADRs at 60 days out, then for the length of my GC stay, 3 days. In order to make ADRs for the last two days, I had to wait until 60 days out from day 4, the first day of the second resort. Yuk! It would be really great if Disney could fix this.

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