Disney Split Stays: Unlock Luxurious Magic On A Budget Adventure

Want to experience Disney like the rich on a shoestring budget, it’s time to talk about split stays.

Is anyone else’s for you page on social absolutely filled with deluxe Disney resorts, or is that just me? It seems like week long stays at the Grand Floridian are the new normal for folks! And while I love living in the lap of luxury once in a while – these fancy resort rooms can cost more than $1,00 per night!

What is a Split Stay at Disney World?

Simply put, a split stay is when you stay at more than 1 hotel during your Disney trip. That can mean a few days at Pop Century and a few days at Art of Animation. It could be a split between the Poly and Boardwalk.

Recently we spent a full week at All Star Sports and finished our trip with 2 days at Animal Kingdom Lodge – club level. Now did those last couple days cost more than the week prior, absolutely. But they cost a lot less than if we had stayed there the whole time.

Vibrant lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge featuring African-inspired decor and intricate designs. Perfect for a luxurious split stay at Disney on a budget."

Why Consider a Split Stay

There are so many reasons to consider a split stay, it’s actually more difficult to think of reasons against it.


The biggest reason, of course, is the cost! Staying at a moderate or deluxe hotel at Disney World can cost anywhere from $400 to well over $1,000 – and that’s for a standard room. Even the newest “value” resort, Art of Animation, is regularly around $200 per night. A

Charming exterior of Jelly Rolls on Disney's BoardWalk, perfect for nightlife and entertainment. Enhance your split stay at Disney with a visit to this lively spot.

A split stay allows you to experience and enjoy these amazing locations (because they are amazing) when you’ll actually be able to enjoy them. Most of the time on a Disney trip is spent in the parks. Your hotel room, usually, is just the place to store your souvenirs and sleep. Instead of booking a full trip at The Contemporary, stay at All Star Sports and add a day or two at the end to unwind and actually relax at a fancy hotel.

You can even stay (gasp) off-property for the bulk of your trip, and move over for a celebration day.

Location, Location, Location

Disney World is the same size as Manhattan or San Francisco. There is a LOT to see and do, and it’s all spread out across 47 acres. The bus ride from the Animal Kingdom are to the Magic Kingdom area can be more than an hour at times.

Picturesque view of Disney's Polynesian Village Resort with its iconic tropical-themed buildings. Enjoy a split stay at Disney with a touch of island magic.

Split stays let you spread your time across the entire resort. I find it especially useful for Magic Kingdom days. It’s the most isolated park, especially if you are driving yourself. If you are taking the bus, you’ll quickly see how crowded they can get! Planning an MK day at the start or end of your trip, let’s you stay nearby and take the resort boat or monorail.

Variety and Experience

Even if you’ve won the lottery and have the ability to teleport to park entrances, a split stay can offer you a whole new experience.

There are more than 20 hotels at Disney World. Each of them with unique theming and a variety of amenities. I love the charm and community of the original value resorts. The entire place is bustling by 8:00 am because everyone there means business! We are rope dropping and park hopping till the sun goes down.

Stunning lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge featuring grand chandeliers and intricate wooden details. A luxurious option for your split stay at Disney World."

But I also love the quiet calm of a slow resort morning. Filling a plate in the Kilimanjaro club lounge and taking it back to watch the zebras and antelope from the comfort of my savannah view balcony. Or a full pool day at the Beach Club complete with water slide and lazy river, followed by a night out at Jellyrolls across the Boardwalk.

Planning Your Disney Split Stay

Now that you are fully persuaded, let’s talk about how to actually book a split stay at Disney World. And don’t worry, it’s actually pretty easy!

  • Check Availability: Visit the Disney World Website and see which resorts are available during your stay.
  • Research Resorts: Check out the rooms and amenities at each to see which stands out
  • Write it Down: Split stays can get complicated if you book the wrong dates or place by accident, so write it down to keep track
  • Book Away: Book each stay for the dates and hotel you’ve chosen.

Words of Caution

Split stays at Disney can be the best opportunity to experience more of the resort while sticking to a budget, but there are a few things to consider.

The impressive exterior of Animal Kingdom Lodge showcasing its grand entrance and unique architecture. An ideal choice for a split stay at Disney World.

Each hotel that you book is considered, by Disney, to be a separate trip. If you are purchasing a ticket package, you will need to do so for each hotel. Unfortunately, this could prevent you from fully realizing multi-day ticket discounts. Rather than purchasing an 8-day ticket, you would need to purchase a 6-day ticket and a 2-day ticket. Or however your trip is split.

The same applies to the Disney Dining plan. This additional package must be purchased separately for each hotel.

Making the Most of Your Split Stay

From packing, to transportation, pricing discounts, and more! Here’s our top tips to maximize your next split stay!

  • Consider a travel agent. They’ve seen it all and can help navigate package options and discounts.
  • Save your hotel upgrade for rest and resort days, plan to actually spend time where you’re spending all that cash!
  • Transfer at the beginning or end of your trip. It just works out better for ticket pricing and dining plans
  • Pack like a planner. Consider a separate suitcase, or packing cube, for the shorter stay. No need to unpack and repack repeatedly.
  • Try the dining package for your upgraded hotel. With fewer days the cost is less, and if you’re going to be lounging anyway – might as well plan to take full advantage!

What are your top tips and reasons for booking a Disney World Split Stay?

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