How To Do a Split Stay at Disney World Resorts + Pros and Cons

Hawaiian tiki statue under glass roof and colorful glass buoys

This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.

Planning a trip to Disney World and can’t decide what hotel to stay at? Here’s were doing a split stay at Disney World is the perfect solution!

A split stay allows you to experience multiple hotels during your trip (we recommend doing two, unless your trip is longer than a week). And best of all, Disney makes the logistics of a split stay super easy! You just need to know how it works plus a few tips and tricks to optimize your split stay.

Want to know how to save money at Deluxe Disney resorts? Here’s how to rent DVC points to save thousands!

Plan the Perfect Disney Trip!

Where To Stay:

Tickets & Reservations:

  • Use Undercover Tourist (an authorized ticket seller) to save money on Disney tickets. You can save up to $80 per ticket!
  • Need a stroller? We loved using Kingdom Strollers for on-site stroller delivery!

Need Help Planning?

  • Aren’t sure where to start? Sign up here for a free 7-day email course that will walk you through each step of planning your Disney World trip!
  • Download our Disney Planning Spreadsheet, a Google sheet you can take with you on the go, to organize all your Disney World plans! (And use some of our tried and true itineraries!)

What is a Split Stay?

A split stay at Disney World is where you divide you time between two or more hotels. You pick one hotel to stay at for the first part of your trip and one hotel for the second part. Often, you pick the hotels based on price or location. For example, if you want to stay at a more expensive hotel but don’t want to pay for it for the whole trip, you could stay at a cheaper Disney resort for the other half of the trip.

While I think doing two hotels works for a week-long stay, you might consider doing more than two hotels if you are staying for longer than a week. This would give you the opportunity to experience the most properties.

multi-story lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge with thatched roof, rich wood floors, and African themed chandeliers
Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby

Why Would You Want to do a Split Stay?

So what are the benefits of a split stay and why would you want to do one? Here are a few reasons why they might be the perfect fit for your vacation.


Let’s say you really want to stay at a Deluxe Disney Resort like the Polynesian or Grand Floridian. But staying there for a whole week is out of your price range.

With a split stay, you could stay on a Value or Moderate Resort for part of your trip, and then switch over to the Deluxe Resort for the second part of your trip. This lets you have the Deluxe Resort experience without paying for the full week there.

French riviera themed exterior of Disney Riviera Resort
Disney’s Riviera Resort

One great way to strategize this is to plan your switch to a Deluxe Resort during the part of your trip that you’ll have a rest day from the parks. That way, you can really soak in the atmosphere and experiences of a Deluxe Resort, and you can spend your time when you’re staying at a Value Resort hitting the parks harder.

Pro Tip: End your trip with the most expensive part of your stay! It’s better to go from staying at a Value Resort to a Deluxe Resort than vice versa, because you can’t help but compare. So level up instead of down!


Because Disney World is SO massive, different resorts are more convenient to different parks. And you may choose to do a split stay based on park days.

For example, maybe you want to stay in the BoardWalk area or at a resort on the Skyliner for the days you want to go to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. And then you can switch to a resort on the monorail for the day(s) you want to experience Magic Kingdom. (FYI you’re still going to have to take a bus to Animal Kingdom no matter what resort you stay at.)

Disney Skyliner cars in the morning, reflecting on the lake
Disney Skyliner


Disney World Resorts are a destination in and of themselves! So doing a split stay allows you to have varying experiences.

Maybe you really want to enjoy all the dining options at Animal Kingdom Lodge AND have a chance to play at the pool at Beach Club. Doing a split stay would let you do both.

How to Book a Split Stay at Disney World

So here’s what you need to know about booking a split stay. I mean, it’s really pretty easy, but there are a couple things to know.

First, book your first stay and attach the tickets for your WHOLE vacation.

Then book your second resort as a “room only” stay.

If you are using/renting DVC points, then you’ll just make your two different room reservations and have your tickets separately.

Keep in mind that Disney treats a split stay as two separate stays, which will impact dining reservations and dining plan decisions. We’ll get to that in a minute though.

Old Key West Resort entrance. Open air walkway with white trim, blue walls, and tropical vibes.
Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Logistics of a Disney World Split Stay

While booking a split stay can be advantageous for lots of reasons, there are some logistical challenges to be aware of. None of these are reasons why you shouldn’t book a split stay! You just need to know all this going in.

Luggage Transfer

So, you check out of your hotel one morning and are checking into a new one at night. Meanwhile, you’re enjoying a day at a Disney park. But what about your luggage?

Luckily, Disney makes this super easy and transfers your luggage for you!

The day before you are checking out of your first hotel, stop by bell services and let them know you are doing a split stay and transferring to a new hotel. They’ll get all your information (including where you are transferring to, how many pieces of luggage you have, etc.).

And then they will let you know what to do with your luggage. At some hotels, you may be required to bring your luggage to bell services the morning you are checking out. At other hotels, they give you special tags to put on your luggage and you just leave it in your room to be picked up.

Then, because Disney is magic, you’re luggage will be waiting for you at bell services at your new hotel when you check in later that day.

Exterior of Pop Century Resort with large cartoonish "POP" sign out front
Disney’s Pop Century Resort


The most important thing to know about tickets and split stays is to make sure your first hotel reservation is a package that includes tickets for your WHOLE vacation, including the time you are at at a second hotel.

Of course, if you are renting DVC points, you’ll buy tickets separately. Just make sure your tickets are valid for your whole vacation and not just for the time during your first stay.


Here’s where a split stay gets slightly more tricky. Nothing major! Just some things to be aware of.

First of all, Disney sees your two hotel reservations as two separate stays. This means you will have two different Advanced Dining Reservation booking times. You’ll be able to reserve restaurants for the days during your first stay 60 days ahead of check-in, and then restaurants for the days during your second stay 60 days ahead of that check-in.

And yes, this applies even though your park tickets are good for the whole vacation.

Second of all, it impacts the Disney Dining Plans if you choose to use one. Dining Plans are tied to your hotel reservations. And when you check out, your unused dining credits will expire after check-out day.

So, you’ll want to be strategic about which stay you attach a dining plan to. Is one part of your trip going to be more dining heavy than another part? Then maybe consider using the dining plan for that part, if you’re going to use it at all (and spoiler alert: I don’t think it’s worth it most of the time.).

Pros & Cons of a Split Stay

There are lots of reasons to do a split stay and we honestly love them when it makes sense. But it also may not always make sense based on what you are doing. So let’s talk pros & cons.


  • Save money by staying less nights at a Deluxe Resort.
  • Ability to schedule your park days based on what transportation options you’ll be close to.
  • Getting to experience to offerings of different resorts.


  • Having to repack your luggage part-way through your trip.
  • On the day you check out, you’ll be hotel-less until you can check in to your new resort.

Our Split Stay Experience

Just to give you an idea of what to expect, here’s an example of a split stay we’ve done.

We split our stay between Pop Century and Animal Kingdom Lodge.

We arrived on a Sunday and checked into a Pop Century and enjoyed some pool time in the afternoon. I also stopped by bell services to let them know when we were going to need our luggage transferred and to get instructions from them about what to do.

For our first day, we rode the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios and enjoyed a full day there with a short break back at Pop Century in the afternoon.

View of flower shaped pop century pool from 4th floor of building
Pop Century Pool

On our second full day, we checked out of Pop Century in the morning and left our luggage in our rooms to be picked up by bell services. Then we rode the Skyliner to Epcot and spent all day there (with no breaks).

After fireworks that night, we rode the bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge, and when we arrived we went to bell services and picked up our luggage.

For our third full day, we spend a relaxing day swimming and eating at Animal Kingdom Lodge. And then we spend our last two days at Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom.

It was honestly a super easy process and I would 100% do it again. Being on the Skyliner to go to Hollywood Studios and Epcot was perfect, and then we were able to move and enjoy some more luxury time for the rest of our trip.

More Disney Planning Resources

Like this post? Pin it for later!

Pinterest pin with picture of Polynesian lobby and Pop Century exterior. Text reading "How to do a split stay at Disney World"