What is a Split Stay and How Does it Work at Walt Disney World?

What is a split stay and how does it work at walt disney world

Some of my favorite trips to Walt Disney World have been those where I have done a Split Stay. Now, what is a split stay you ask? A split stay is when you book at least two different resorts on Disney property during the same vacation. This is a great option to check out all of the different resorts on Disney property! Since each resort offers different restaurants, themes, pools and prices, there are so many different ways to enjoy your vacation!

One of the main reasons I choose to do split stay is that I want to stay at every resort on property at least once! I think I only have 4 to go and I’m so excited! On one of my recent trips, we stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Villas for 4 days before switching over to All Star Music for the last three days. For us, there was a total of nine people starting out, but halfway through we were losing three and it was the most cost effective to do it this way.

How are split stays booked you may ask? Well, in order to book a split stay at Walt Disney World, guests need to make two separate reservations. If you are booking a package, a $200 deposit would be due for each room once you book. If you decided just to book room only, the deposit would be one night’s stay for each room. The biggest thing to note is to make sure that the check-out date of the first resort is the same as the check-in date of the second resort. So if check out for Pop Century is on Thursday, check-in for the Contemporary should also be Thursday.

What about park tickets? The cheapest Disney tickets are when you book more days instead of less. Due to this, the best way to book tickets is to book your whole length of tickets with your first reservation. With the new ticket structure, the tickets are good for a few days after the selected start date.

Here are the details:
• 1-day – The ticket expires on the selected start date.
• 2-day – The ticket expires 4 days after the selected start date.
• 3-day – The ticket expires 5 days after the selected start date.
• 4-day – The ticket expires 7 days after the selected start date.
• 5-day – The ticket expires 8 days after the selected start date.
• 6-day – The ticket expires 9 days after the selected start date.
• 7-day – The ticket expires 10 days after the selected start date.
• 8-day – The ticket expires 12 days after the selected start date.
• 9-day – The ticket expires 13 days after the selected start date.
• 10-day – The ticket expires 14 days after the selected start date.

As long as you want to go to the parks more days than hanging out at the resort, this would be the best way to book your tickets.

Can I still purchase the dining plan? Yes, you can! The only catch is that you have to book it separately on each reservation so you can’t use all of your credits from both stays in the first stay. The great news is that Disney allows you to book a room with dining without tickets, so there will be no problem if you book your tickets to your first room. When it comes to promotions like Free dining though, tickets need to be booked as part of a package so you won’t be able to save on tickets. When this happens, it’s better to see which promotions save you the most money before deciding.

What do I do with my luggage on my switch day? Don’t worry about it! When you check out of your first resort, just take all of your luggage down to bell services and they will transport it over to your new resort. All you have to do is give them the details. They usually have it delivered by late afternoon/early evening so make sure that anything you will need during the day is in your day bag with you. Once you drop off your bags, you can go to the parks, shop at Disney Springs, or whatever you feel like! When you are ready, head on over to the next resort and check in!

Will I still be able to use Magical Express? Of course! Any guest staying onsite can take full advantage of Disney’s airport transportation. Just make sure when you set up Magical Express that they know you are switching resorts so they know the right place to drop you off and pick you up!

Will I receive two MagicBands? Two MagicBands will be set up since you have two separate reservations so you can choose two different colors if you’d like! If you are like me, I like to match the color of my MagicBand to my outfit each day! If you would rather just have one, you can decline the second set of MagicBands in My Disney Experience and use the first one for both reservations. The great news is that once a Magicband is activated on the first day of your reservation, you can use it for all future trips!

In my opinion, split stays can be a little more complicated to plan, but they are a great way to experience all of the different resorts that Disney has to offer!

Are you ready for a pixie perfect vacation? I’m a travel agent specializing in Disney Destinations and Universal Orlando! I’m with Chip and Company’s official travel partner, Key to the World Travel! My concierge planning services are completely free when you book your magical vacation through me, so what are you waiting for? Let’s start making memories for your family that will last a lifetime! Email me at shannon.ewing@keytotheworldtravel.com today or message me on Facebook!

Shannon Ewing