Written by Gal Disney
I struggle with where to stay every time I start to plan a Disney Vacation. As a Disney Vacation Club Member I’m always torn between staying at my home resort – The Polynesian Village and wanting to explore other Vacation Club Resorts. Before I became a DVC Member I struggled with staying at my favorite moderate resort – Port Orleans French Quarter and other moderate resorts. Check out Jolly Frogger Diva’s post on Tips From the Disney Diva all all there is to love about Port Orleans French Quarter!
Am I along in this conundrum or are you with me?
Through the years I have heard of people splitting their stay between a couple of resorts. In all honesty transferring mid-trip of a 5-6 day vacation sounded like a lot of work. Also, when I was trying to get the best package deal I could this didn’t seems to make the most financial sense. TIP: This is where an awesome Travel Agent can help you get the best deal AND determine if a split stay makes sense for your trip.
Now that I’m a DVC Member and my trip planning is a little different I started warming to the idea of a split stay. We took the plunge during our Disneymoon in December 2016. We decided to stay at Bay Lake Towers for two nights and then transfer to our home resort for the remainder of our stay. During our spring 2018 trip we split our stay between The Boardwalk Resort and Villas and, you guessed it, our home resort.
Having successfully navigated two splits stays I’m ready to share what I consider to be the top three benefits! Are you with me?
#1 – It is a great way to explore other Disney resorts while guaranteeing an overall good time! It is so much fun to check out other resorts. Comparing and contrasting resort features with your known favorites. You may find a resort you have pined over and held in high regard isn’t all it is cracked up to be. Or you may find it is completely awesome and your new favorite resort! I have also found I tend to have an open mind when I am staying for just a couple of days at a resort and moving on. In other words, detractors aren’t that big of a deal! TIP: Book a known favorite for the bulk of the stay after starting your trip with a new resort to help guarantee an overall good time.
#2 – Maximize park time while limiting transportation time! I accomplished this by complete accident our first split stay but quickly caught on. I strategically incorporated this into our second split stay trip this past spring. So, you’re asking what does she mean? Here is an example; Bay Lake Towers is the transportation King of all resorts in my opinion. You can walking (Yes WALK!) to Magic Kingdom. It’s on the monorail loop making for easy access to EPCOT, The Polynesian Villas, The Grand Floridian and Magic Kingdom (if you want to take the long way). It has boats that take you directly to The Wilderness Lodge too! What?! Another example is The Boardwalk Resort and Villas where you can walk or take a friendship boat to both EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. You are also within walking distance to Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf, The Swan and Dolphin Resorts, and The Yacht and Beach Club. TIP: If planned right you could spend a portion of your trip either completing transportation free or at a minimum bus transportation free!
#3 – The trick of the transfer! During our first split stay I spoke with Guest Services to find out how to best navigate the transfer to our home resort. While I was fully prepared to drag my luggage onto the monorail going from Bay Lake Towers to The Polynesian Village I felt there had to be a more magical way. Sure enough – there was! Bell Services is happy to ferry your luggage between resorts. That part is pretty easy – simply bring your luggage to bell services desk and fill out a transfer ticket to your next resort. Here are two important tips on making the transfer go as smooth as possible – First, unlike your arrival on magical express where bell services leaves your bags in your room regardless. You MUST be present to accept your bags on a transfer. Also, depending on how busy they are it can take the better part of a day for them to arrive at your new resort. Because of this, I suggest packing a little bag of essentials so this does not impede your plans. Second, formally check out of resort. Rather than waiting for the imposed 11am check-out time this officially check you out and trigger your next resort check all the faster!
Have you done a split stay? What are your tips and tricks?