Planning a Split Stay at Walt Disney World

Hello out there! I’m keeping busy traveling and planning more travels but in between adventures I like to keep you guys in the know on all things Disney. The topic of a split stay has most Disney fans well, uh, split! If you don’t know what a split stay is, it’s when you choose to stay at more than one hotel during your vacation. This may be a conscious decision, to sample some of Disney’s awesome accommodations, or borne of necessity when you can’t find all your vacation dates available at your desired resort. Another reason to split your stay is financial. Back in November for our Disneyland vacation we got a great rate at the Disneyland Hotel. That being said it was still double the price of most of the off-property neighborhood hotels. We compromised and stayed 3 nights on property and 4 off. Whatever the reason, done right, a split stay can be really fun. 


Our first experience with doing a split stay had its ups and downs. I booked a single night at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village through the DVC Rental store to get some experience renting points (always researching!) The first part of our stay was at AKL Jambo House, right next store. We stayed 5 amazing nights and on checkout morning, the cast member let us know that a room was ready at Kidani village. This saved us from one of the biggest complaints about splitting up your stay and that’s being without a room from check out to check in. This can be a real pain, as it can be such a relief to take respite from a hot busy day in your air conditioned hotel room. You’ll have to have a plan for what to do with your luggage as well. Disney concierge at the deluxe resorts will transfer your bags, but they don’t guarantee when the bags will arrive and you tip the guy who picks up your bags and the guy dropping them in your room. That can get expensive if you’re doing more than 2 resort hotels.

Another issue that kept me from really enjoying our split stay was the packing and re-packing factor. I am a horrible packer and I always bring a lot of dresses that take up a lot of space. Having to pack our bags to move hotels when I could be strolling down Main Street U.S.A just doesn’t appeal to me. However, my recent discovery of packing cubes has proven to be a game changer. On my recent trip to Iceland, I stayed in a different hotel every night! My pre-packing cube self would’ve freaked out at the amount of unpacking and packing I was facing. But with packing cubes I simply unpacked the cubes, took what I needed for the next day and packed the cubes back into my suitcase the next morning. So easy and time-saving. I highly recommend trying an inexpensive set of packing or compression cubes. I bought some for the whole family in different colors so we can quickly tell whose is who.

The last consideration when booking a split stay is ADRs and Fastpass reservations. Since you technically have 2 (or more) check in days, you won’t be able to make reservations for your length of stay (for Fastpass, you should be okay, as long as your ticket covers your length of stay) but only for your first hotel reservation. This summer I’m staying 5 nights at Wilderness Lodge and 3 nights at Bay Lake Tower. I had to wait 180 from my check in date at BLT to finish making ADRs for the remainder of my stay. Not a huge deal, but if you’re trying for those tough reservations that fill up fast you won’t have as good a chance as if you had one continuous stay at one hotel.

So that’s the lowdown on split stays. They can be a fantastic way to sample more Disney hotels, but they’re not without drawbacks. Have you done a split stay, or would you consider it? Let me know in the comment section!

Here is the brand of packing cubes that I own.

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