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View Full Version : Please help me decide - split stay or not?


DISdreamin'
09-01-2010, 09:51 PM
I'm having a terrible time deciding what to do. This will be our second trip to WDW, and although we might return down the road someday, it won't be any time soon. So the pressure is on!

The first time we went two years ago, we stayed at POR and the one thing the kids loved about it was the boat ride to DTD; the carriage ride was a favorite with DH and me. Other than that, one afternoon at the pool, and the buses, we didn't really avail ourselves of any resort amenities. :confused3

So now we're going back, and I booked POR again with free dining (the DTD boat ride is the real draw)...but I SO want to try a deluxe, and, honestly, a monorail resort. What I really want is to do BLT theme park view for eight nights, but lets talk reality here. :lmao:

Seriously, I can't find it in the budget to do any deluxe for the whole trip, so help me decide whether to try a split stay. We won't have a car (well, we could, but then something else in the budget will have to give) so we'll be relying on WDW transportation all the way. I'm thinking of changing to booking POR for the first five nights (with free dining plus tix for the whole trip), and then transfering to a deluxe for the last three nights, room only. I've looked at WL and BLT, and I like the idea of each for different reasons. The theming at WL sounds right up our alley, and if it was warm enough, the pool would be wonderful! BLT, well...who wouldn't like to stay that close to MK, right?! But I think it might too expensive to swing ($450 more than WL for three nights).

So help me, please - those of you with more experience, please sound off on how much of a PIT-keister it will be to change resorts mid-trip without a car. I don't plan on bringing too much stuff (I'll probably have to do a laundry blitz half way through one night), and we tend to live out of our bags, not unpack, if that helps. Also, we'd have some food (cold cereal, milk, snacks and water) that would need to go with us if possible. How much time do you think the room change would probably cost us? I'm not so worried about check-in as I am about checking out and getting our bags settled in for transport.

I know no matter what, doing a deluxe will cost us...we'll have to foot the food bill instead of having free dining, and the room will also run more. I'm not too worried about that difference for WL (it's maybe $300 or so) but I'm really worried about losing a lot of time and being stressed. But if I don't do it, I'm worried I'll regret not having the experience of staying at WL. BLT, I just don't think we can do it. :sad2:

Thanks in advance if you made it through this rambling post, and thanks also for any guidance and advice you WDW veterans can offer!

WeRblam
09-02-2010, 09:20 AM
Well, I can say that a split stay is worth it! We have done it in the past and plan to do it again on our next stay. We just returned from the BLT and it was fantastic!
To switch resorts is not that hard at all. Just inform the bell services you want your luggage transferred to the new resort and they will take care of it. You can then head over to the other hotel and check in without carrying all your luggage. I had them take everything as I was prepared to go to one of the parks that day. When I returned from the parks, my room was ready and my luggage was inside!

As far as the free dining, it is available for deluxe hotels too! You have to decide whether it is worth it to take advantage of the free dining or getting a big discount on the room rate. Hopefully you subscribe to mousesavers.com as she is one of the first to know when the discounts come out. If you split your stay, you start a new reservation so you will get your dining for the amount of nights at each hotel.

HTH.

kaffinito
09-02-2010, 09:42 AM
Personally I love split stays. :goodvibes We just got back from one at BWI/GF and when we checked out of BWI Bell Services asked if we wanted them to transfer our luggage for us, or if we wanted to do it ourselves.

As far as the free dining goes, I would see if you can get the three days at WL with it but if you can't then going room only works too. They often have discounts for RO, so you could see about that too. :goodvibes

Princess_Jo
09-02-2010, 09:56 AM
I think it is a great idea! The perfect way to experience everything in one trip. Especially if you don't plan on going back for a while.

Last year we did a split stay and simply took a cab from one resort to the next. I think it cost us $12. Our room was not ready at the second resort so we checked-in, left our luggage with bell services and headed to the parks for the afternoon.

Would you be interested in staying at the CR - not BLT? If so you may find it more affordable. Especially in a garden room. And then you'll be able to experience a monorail resort and all the conveniences that go along with it.

of the seas
09-02-2010, 10:07 AM
Do a split stay! You have the right idea, mod first, then deluxe!

mickey&minniealways
09-02-2010, 12:39 PM
Okay I am going to be the only one disagreeing here. But I don't like split stays. To much work putting everything back in suitcases etc. and making sure that you didn't forget anything. The one time we did a split stay we were getting in late at night. We had points to stay at a marriot so we did for our first night. Didn't take out much for just sleeping. Checked out early in am and headed for OKW. Have you considered renting points from a dvc member to make staying at BLT cheaper. You didn't say what time of year you are going or how big you want your accomadations. Just remember that BLT are the most expensive dvc rooms. The VWL are not my cup of tea but they are my sisters favorite.

DISdreamin'
09-04-2010, 01:12 PM
Thank you all for your input! However, we sort of had this decided for us - it turned out that my in-laws (who seemed like they were totally anti-Disney) are going to join us for three of our eight days! When I looked at the logistics (grandma has a bit of trouble getting around, and we'll be renting her a scooter) it seemed like staying at a monorail resort made the most sense, especially since two of the three days they join us will likely be MK days. :thumbsup2

So I go on the web site to see what is available, and lo and behold I got a BLT 2BR villa at the 40% off rate! :banana: :woohoo::banana::woohoo::banana::woohoo: I am so excited! It's standard view (lost my MK view ~sigh~) and I know BLT won't be as convenient for DGM as CR would be, but the CR rooms available couldn't accomodate 6 peeps. So we've got everything lined up, and I'm really excited. I especially like the thought of just packing all the dirty clothes in one suitcase willy-nilly and then washing, folding and packing them at BLT for the trip home.

So thanks again to all for sharing your thoughts! I don't expect the resort change to be without hassles, but my plan is to send DH, the kids and his parents into the park and stay behind to do the final packing and get the luggage taken care of for all of us. I'll use bell services, and I hope to be only be an hour or two behind them by the time it's all squared away. And on the other end, we have dinner planned at Chef Mickey's the night we check into BLT, so that should ease the pain on that end too if I can get there a bit early and check in while everyone else takes their time getting over from the parks for dinner!

lovesdumbo
09-04-2010, 01:19 PM
I'll be the 2nd to say I'm not a fan of split stays. I would be more interested and seeing all there is to see at the parks then spending time changing resorts.

I would stay CR over BLT. I think you'll find a "regular" room at CR more comfortable than a studio at BLT.

jackemail
09-04-2010, 01:59 PM
I am a big fan of split stays. Just remember that your luggage will not be available to you until AT LEAST 3:00 (and most likely a bit later than that), so take whatever you might need for the day. We always like to spend the day at a park, and check in to the next hotel around 4, then call for our luggage once we are in the room.

Disney grandma
09-04-2010, 02:04 PM
Your trip sounds wonderful and you will love your final three nights at BLT!!!

DISdreamin'
09-04-2010, 02:54 PM
I'll be the 2nd to say I'm not a fan of split stays. I would be more interested and seeing all there is to see at the parks then spending time changing resorts.

I would stay CR over BLT. I think you'll find a "regular" room at CR more comfortable than a studio at BLT.
Lovesdumbo, you are so right about the regular CR room versus BLT studio, judging by the numbers! When I booked, I asked and it was over 400sq ft to only 340 or so. I originally had booked CR w/MK view once I saw the feedback here and decided to take the plunge, but two rooms like that were waaaay more than a single BLT 2-bedroom standard view, so that is what we went for. As for split stays, since DH can take the kids and his parents and go play, I'm not worried about it. I'll lose a little time, but with 8 days we'll be just fine, and grandma will, I believe, really enjoy the convenience of the location.

I am a big fan of split stays. Just remember that your luggage will not be available to you until AT LEAST 3:00 (and most likely a bit later than that), so take whatever you might need for the day. We always like to spend the day at a park, and check in to the next hotel around 4, then call for our luggage once we are in the room.
Thanks for the reminder! What I had in mind was checking out and taking a tote with necessities and either stashing it at the CR or seeing if the park I'll be meeting them in has lockers. As for the 3:00 thing, our one and only time before, our room wasn't ready until 5:30. :scared1: I'm hoping we have better luck this time, but we'll see. I just told DH to warn his mom and dad that there won't be a room to crash in that one day, and if they're worried that they should hang at POR as late as possible and DH can take the kids by himself. :confused3

And Disneygrandma, I really hope it works out well! I want DH's parents to enjoy the trip - or at least like watching the grandkids experience the parks. I have no illusions about them liking the rides, as they aren't interested...or they think they aren't until I get them on Test Track and such. ;) Me, I'm ditchin' the family after dinner one night once DHs parents arrive to do EMH at HS - RR and TOT, here I come! :banana:

lovesdumbo
09-04-2010, 03:03 PM
Lovesdumbo, you are so right about the regular CR room versus BLT studio, judging by the numbers! When I booked, I asked and it was over 400sq ft to only 340 or so. I originally had booked CR w/MK view once I saw the feedback here and decided to take the plunge, but two rooms like that were waaaay more than a single BLT 2-bedroom standard view, so that is what we went for. As for split stays, since DH can take the kids and his parents and go play, I'm not worried about it. I'll lose a little time, but with 8 days we'll be just fine, and grandma will, I believe, really enjoy the convenience of the location.


I think you'll be VERY happy in a 2BR!:thumbsup2

ppony
09-04-2010, 05:53 PM
@the OP. I think you've made a great decision. the reason we used to do the splits was exactly why you were/are considering doing it. Time between trips was just so long (years) and couldn't afford a deluxe/monorail stay for our entire trip either. So a split was the best compromise. We've never actually had any issues doing the change though we only used Disney to move our luggage the last time and that went easy as pie. IMO, the pros far outweigh the cons of a split and it sounds like you are prepared for all of it, so ENJOY!

DRDISNEYMD
09-04-2010, 11:53 PM
I totally support split stays when it involves an upgrade! A two bedroom villa sounds wonderful! Have fun! :)

Poly-Anna
09-05-2010, 07:22 AM
We do split stays most WDW trips. I don't like taking a bus to MK and the last few trips I usually book a monorail resort for a few nites just because of that. This next trip we're doing GF and BC. Can't wait!

Each Disney resort has so much to offer. Just take advantage of the locations and amenities and enjoy! Great choice, have fun! :banana::surfweb:pirate:

time4Mickey
09-05-2010, 08:52 AM
Sounds like you have a wonderful trip planned. We have done a split stay on our last 2 trips with 4 kids(last trip ages 3-8). Easy as can be and lets you enjoy 2 different vacation experiences. My only problem is that I LOVE the Poly so its hard for me to get away from it. Have a great trip!

DISdreamin'
09-06-2010, 08:58 AM
@the OP. I think you've made a great decision. the reason we used to do the splits was exactly why you were/are considering doing it. Time between trips was just so long (years) and couldn't afford a deluxe/monorail stay for our entire trip either. So a split was the best compromise. We've never actually had any issues doing the change though we only used Disney to move our luggage the last time and that went easy as pie. IMO, the pros far outweigh the cons of a split and it sounds like you are prepared for all of it, so ENJOY!
Thanks for the support, and hope DVC is working out for you guys! I'd love to own, but so many of our vacations are devoted to visiting grandparents that we probably wouldn't be able to fully utilize it anyways.

And the big update - MK view became available this morning!!!! I just switched over our ressie and am thrilled to spend a few extra $ to have that view. The entire ressie for three nights actually ended up being about the same as one night at the full holiday rate - how crazy is that?!?

So my planning (and stalking the Disney web site) is over. :thumbsup2

VALDAN
09-06-2010, 09:16 AM
Split stays are great way to try different resorts yet still stay at our favorite, The Polynesian.:goodvibes

Enjoy!!:cool1: