Have you heard of a split stay? I didn’t know staying in two hotels during one trip was significant enough to have coined its own name, but this is Disney, and the addicts have written their own language.
We have done a few split-stays. For the first we booked everything through Disney (prior to my Priceline knowledge). I had gotten the coveted free dining promotion, but it started a day after we wanted to fly down. We booked a one night stay at All Stars Sports to bridge the gap between our plane landing and our 11 night reservation at All Stars Music. The fabulous thing about this was that the proximity of the two resorts being so close to each other. As soon as our Music room was ready, we threw everything into the suitcases/ stroller, crossed the parking lot, and unpacked right away. This was a value resort to value resort slide and something I would recommend. You keep to same level of amenities, same room size, same expectations, no disappointments.
Side note, I love that you can check- in to your resort pretty much as soon as you book it, getting your room requests all in. Then, they text you as soon as your room is ready. If you have your magic bands already, there is no need to check in at the desk, just head straight to your room. Check out is just as easy. You are automatically checked out at 11 am. No need to turn in your keys. Anything you have charged to your room will be billed to the credit card on file – so if you have Gift Cards, make sure you get down to the front desk before 10pm or so the night before you leave.
As a side note to my side note, every seperate resort booking you have gets you a new set of magic bands. If you stay at 2 resorts, you can get 2 sets. You can have fun with your bands, mixing and matching colors, but that’s a post for another day.
The next way isn’t a way I would recommend. On our last trip, we did 3 nights in a Moderate resort and the last night in a value. We got used to the larger size rooms at Caribbean Beach, the awesome pools with pirate ship splash pad, playground on its own island, and spread out lush setting.
We then moved to All Star Music, a resort we really love and have spent tons of time at. But the smaller room size and less fun pool area felt like a tiny bit of a letdown. We were also only there for one night, so we really weren’t really able to settle in and enjoy.
We would probably recommend 1. Staying for a minimum of 2 nights at each place AND 2. Staying at the same level for both trips OR starting at your lower level and moving upwards.
How did we go about this resort switch? We talked to bell service at our resort the day before the transfer. They took the information on our room number, time we wanted things picked up, and resort we were moving to. They usually deliver to the next resort between 3pm and 5pm. If there is anything you are going to need in that time, make sure you bring it with you. Definitely have enough diapers & wipes, swimsuits, sunblock to get you through! Make sure you have a couple dollars to tip bell service for moving your luggage. If you are relatively close to the main building, only have a few items, or are morally against tipping, feel free to drop your things off at bell service yourself.
To get yourself to the next resort, you have a few options. First, you can Uber, Lyft or use a Minnie van (the Disney version operated by Lyft. They are cute red mini vans with white polka dots). We are a bit money conscious, so we use the free transport to get from place to place (except that once we used the Minute Van). It’s really easy. Take a bus/ boat/ monorail from your resort to any of the parks or Disney Springs. Once there, take a bus/ boat/ monorail to your next resort. This is how we get to other resorts for dinner reservations or just to explore. I usually look at a map and decide what resort is closest to where I am and/or where I am going.
Our next trip is a lateral slide. We are spending 4 nights at Coronado Springs, then 3 nights back in our beloved Pirate rooms at Caribbean Beach. Both hotels have amazing themed pools with water slides and hot tubs. They have little sandy areas with hammocks for me to swing in. They are great for resort only trips, something we are mastering the art of, but that is an article for another day.
Mandatory “hot dogs, knuckles, or knees” in a hammock pictures. Caribbean Beach, January 2019
If you would like more help planning your Disney vacation, contact our friend Audra, a travel agent with Travelmation LLC, which is an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. She can help you plan the vacation of your dreams at no cost to you!