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The Ultimate Disney Resort Challenge: Would You Stay at 4 Resorts in 5 Nights?

The Ultimate Disney Resort Challenge: Would You Stay at 4 Resorts in 5 Nights?

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You might have heard of a split stay, but you have never seen one like this!

Split Stay Details

credit: Jamie F.

The Disney Resorts Collection includes resorts of all styles and price points and truly has an option that appeal to everyone. Many guests choose a resort that fits their particular visit based upon several factors like budget, amenities, accommodations, and proximity to particular parks or other entertainment options. Most guests select one resort to book for the entirety of their stay.

In some circumstances, however, guests book a split stay, meaning that they split their time at Disney amongst several resort hotels. Split stays have a lot of perks but also have drawbacks to consider. Booking a split stay allows guests to experience the vast differences among resorts, potentially save money, and change proximity to various theme parks.

However, split stays require some additional logistics and planning in order to be successful. Check out this article that goes more in depth about split stays as a whole and why they may work for your family. Also check out Kate’s experience of a three resort split stay here!

Why Did I Do it?

Credit: Maggie

My (Jaelyn’s) family frequently books split stays on our Disney trips. We enjoy renting DVC points and frequently plan last minute trips as out of state annual passholders who make trip decisions based upon availability of flights and resorts. Split stays often allow for us to visit some of the “high end” resorts for a much more affordable price tag.

In the past, we’ve done split stays with only two resorts involved. We’ve split time between a Magic Kingdom resort and an Epcot/Crescent Lake area resort or a monorail resort and a Skyliner resort to provide various types of direct access to different parks.

This particular split stay was planned for Spring Break season. We waited later in the game to book our resorts, as it was after Christmas when we committed to the trip. Our original plan was to stay the entirety of the trip at the Polynesian resort. Not surprising to anyone, this resort is very popular, especially during busy Spring Break season.

We were only able to secure two consecutive nights at the Polynesian during our Spring Break. Hoping to extend the trip, we grabbed a night at Bay Lake Tower that was available just prior to our two nights at the Polynesian. We were prepped and ready to go for a three night Spring Break stay, as shorter stays are typically our favorite.

Credit: Monica

Alas, however, our plans changed. A friend reached out to me with a great deal on some DVC points to rent and there was availability at Animal Kingdom Lodge in Kidani Village, a place we’d never stayed before. I couldn’t pass up the deal so I added one night to the end of our stay. Then, after looking at flights, I discovered it was significantly cheaper to fly out the day before I had planned, even after factoring in a night at a resort. I was able to grab one night in a new resort studio at the Grand Floridian.

So, simply because of limited availability and relatively last minute planning, we ended up with four resorts booked (Grand Floridian, Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, and Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village) for our five night Disney trip. We packed for adventure and were ready to take on an amazing challenge!

Pros of a Massive Split Stay

Credit: Jamie F

There were so many great benefits to this crazy stay! We were able to enjoy all of the resorts and all of the amenities each resort had to offer. My travel party included my two young sons whose favorite part of a Disney trip is always exploring the resort. Due to the nature of our stay, they had four times the amount of resort rooms and amenities to explore!

We loved checking out the pools and splash pads at each of the resorts and truly relished the variety we were able to experience. We also enjoyed a lot of the resort specific dining and experiences like Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and the Easter Egg displays at the Grand Floridian. While we could have stayed at one resort and visited the others, it was much more convenient to explore the resorts as we stayed at each one.

Credit: Susan

While I was nervous about transferring amongst the resorts, it was so easy! We brought our luggage to bell services for transfer at the end of each leg of our stay and went into the parks. When our room was ready, we headed to our next resort and our luggage was ready for us each and every time! Choosing resorts that had direct access to the parks via simple transportation like the monorail made this experience even more convenient.

Another small but great benefit to this massive split stay was, surprisingly, the housekeeping! When we’ve stayed for several days in a DVC accommodation, we’ve only had our trash taken out. By switching rooms so frequently, we were basically guaranteed fresh sheets and towels every single night, which was a big perk after spending the day in the parks and the pools.

Cons of a Massive Split Stay

The inside of my packed bag prior to travel. It easily held a packing cube and belt bag with room for more! Credit: Jaelyn W.

One significant con of our massive split stay was packing (and unpacking!). We flew Frontier, which already required strategic packing for our trip. I didn’t feel like it would be worth the time to unpack at any of our resorts, so we kept our items in packing cubes and only pulled out the clothes and other items we needed for each leg of the stay and kept everything else in the suitcase. We packed our toiletries in a really handy fold-down organizer, so this process was relatively easy so we didn’t have to unpack.

Not unpacking, though, left me feeling a little “unsettled” in each of the rooms. We never truly stopped to fully make a space feel like home for the length of the stay. It was so nice the two nights we were at the Polynesian because we were able to settle into the room a little more and my boys could spread their belongings out.

Credit: Jaelyn

Another con is booking for advanced dining reservations and other enchanting extras that require booking at the 60 day mark. Guests of Disney resort hotels can book at the 60 day mark for the length of their stay. Due to the nature of our stay, we were only able to book a day at a time, giving us no advantage over off-site guests for booking dining. We were still able to grab everything we wanted though, including opening day at Roundup Rodeo BBQ and ‘Ohana breakfast.

Top Tips for Completing the Challenge

credit: Jamie F.

If you are planning to try this type of split stay, keep these top tips in mind:

  1. Vary your resort areas and take this into account when planning your park visits. We ended up selecting all Magic Kingdom area resorts with the exception of Animal Kingdom Lodge. If I was strategically picking resorts, I would have subbed out Bay Lake Tower for either the Boardwalk, Beach Club, or Riviera to allow better access to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.
  2. Pack Strategically. Use packing cubes and a toiletry organizer. Try not to overpack…this will just complicate your life. Have a system for the souvenirs and other items you buy in the park to keep them organized amongst your resorts.
  3. Plan your Park Days Strategically. You should plan and assume your room won’t be ready at each leg of your stay until 4 p.m., especially during busy seasons at Walt Disney World. We planned to be in the parks between the check-out time of 11 a.m. at our previous resort and the check in time of our new resort. Once we got the text that our room was ready, we often headed back to our new resort to re-group prior to heading into our evening plans.
  4. Upgrade As You Go. End with the nicest resort accommodation and start with the oldest/smallest/least convenient. We did not follow this advice and it was a little jarring to go from a brand new resort studio at the Grand Floridian to a small and outdated studio at Bay Lake Tower. It was also jarring to go from monorail resorts with easy and convenient park access to Animal Kingdom Lodge with long bus rides to parks.

Would You Try It?

Credit: Monica

Ultimately, I loved the experience of the Ultimate Split Stay Challenge. While this wasn’t my most relaxing trip nor my most convenient trip, it was so much fun! My favorite part of Disney trips is checking out the resorts and all of the different vibes and amenities of each, and this trip allowed me to really experience as much as I could in 5 short days!

Would you trip a split stay challenge like this? What are your thoughts? Comment below and be sure to share your thoughts with your most adventurous travel partners!

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Danielle C Shekoni

Monday 8th of May 2023

We always do split stays. We can never decide on a resort I have been to Disney 24 times and all were split stays except for 2. The most we have done was 8 hotels in 2 weeks.


Sunday 7th of May 2023

I most always do a split stay! The most resorts I've done on one trip was three, and now I pretty much stick to two resorts. Two is good for a week, but three a hit much. Never had a problem with luggage transfer until my last leg last December. Got to the Riviera from Animal Kingdom Lodge and my luggage was FINALLY in my room when I got back from seeing Harmonious and freezing because I had on shorts and short sleeves, no jacket. Split stays are great!


Sunday 7th of May 2023

Biggest con which was mentioned and I've experienced...not being able to make ADR 60 days from the start of your entire trip for your whole trip...Disney should figure out someway to tie the reservations of a split stay together so guests can still take advantage of this. I try to avoid split stays.


Sunday 7th of May 2023


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