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Old 06-13-2013, 11:40 PM   #1
klepton
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Reason's for a split stay?

I'm currently planning a 10 day WDW trip for next June, and am considering staying at three different resorts during our stay. My reasons are:
  1. We like to visit new places, different resorts will give us more experiences
  2. I think 10 days is way too long to stay in one place. I actually think 5 days is too long
  3. We'll get a chance to experience pools/activities at multiple resorts
  4. We'll get a feel for the different areas, in case we want to buy into DVC (I'd plan on staying in resorts in different areas (MK, AK, and Epcot)
  5. We can plan parks on the days we're staying near that park.

My questions is, does all my reasoning make sense? I haven't been to WDW since I was in third grade, and pretty much know nothing of the area. Are these reasons all valid (I know some are subjective), or might I be off base with some? Is there enough to do at resorts where you can spend an entire week there and not get bored? Will DD/DW feel rushed after only spending 3-4 days at some resorts?

My thinking right now is to stay 3 nights at the Poly, 4 nights at Beach Club/Yacht Club (or Swan/Dolphin), and 3 night at AKL. And then do the parks close by our resorts for each segment. However, I plan on taking advantage of any early magic hours at parks, and those won't necessarily coincide with the parks we'll be near, so that really might be a non-issue. Plus, from what I understand AKL isn't really anywhere near the AK entrance, so that'd be a shuttle ride anyway.

To give you a little background, it's myself, DW, DD (9) and DS (22 months). The reason I'm thinking these resorts:

Poly - Good view om Magic Kingdom, and so many people rave about it for activities. Also right on the Monorail.
Beach/Yacht Club - Everyone raves about the pool/waterpark. DD loves to swim
Swan/Dolphin - I have a boatload of Starwood points that will work here
AKL - Large pool, unique experience, lots of activities for kids.

I would appreciate any insights you could offer. Also please feel free to shoot holes in my plan, I'd much rather know now.

Thanks!
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:54 PM   #2
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we love split stays. but I would suggest a 5/5 split. we once did a 3/4/3 split. but the time we got to the last resort, It felt like our trip was almost over, so it was kinda depressing checking in there.
a great split would be a monorail resort and an Epcot resort,. do MK, AK at the one, and EPcot, DHS at the other.

I know, AK isn't included there.If that is a must for you, I would suggest AK 2 nights, then 4 and 4. with the little one 3 resorts is a lot of packing/ moving. how would it coincide with naps? (if any). we rarely do parks on
"transfer" day. don't forget on transfer day, you could be basically "homeless" fr hours.
we have OFTEN gotten lucky and had our room at the new resort ready early, in the morning even!!! but not always.
do you have a car or not? it's easier with a car. you'll have all your stuff with you.. disney will transfer your stuff, but even if your new room is ready, you won't get your stuff for HOURS!
actually, last trip, we transferred from AOA to BWV. no car. our original plan was to pack waht we needed in a boarding bag, and have disney transfer our other luggage. and take the bus to DHS and the boat to BW.
then I thought, the 2 resorts are 10 minutes away from each other.. tops! so we took a cab. I took 5 minutes for the bell services to get us a cab. It was like $7! 20% would've been only $1.50, seemed ridiculous, so I gave him $5 extra. and we had all our stuff ! (which bell services has to keep for us anyway, as we had to wait quite a few hours for our room. but we kept that boarding bag with us (had our suits on, etc.) course, we don't have a 2 year old, just hubby and I.
course you could check in, and go off to a park!

with split stays we have learned: leave the longer stay at the end. or else it feels like you are just waiting for it to be time to go home. hope this helps!
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:05 AM   #3
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I would also suggest doing 2 resorts 5/5. All the packing up and unpacking is a lot for a family, and 3 short stays doesn't give you any time to settle into any resort.
Sometimes we do split stays, and it feels like 2 vacations. But sometimes we enjoy staying put. We go twice a year and our trips are usually 7-10 days in January and 12+ days in August. Last January we spent all 10 nights at POFQ and didn't feel it was too long at all.

This upcoming trip is 14 nights, our arrival night we are staying at pop because we decided to arrive a day early. Next 2 nights at GF, just because, and then 12 nights YC. But don't have young kids to pack up and relocate, my daughters are adults. They can do their own packing!
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:09 AM   #4
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I would suggest a 3-3-4 split
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:44 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by klepton View Post
My thinking right now is to stay 3 nights at the Poly, 4 nights at Beach Club/Yacht Club (or Swan/Dolphin), and 3 night at AKL.
I think that sounds awesome!

We are doing a split stay this year...starting at Beach Club and then moving to the Contemporary. So we'll do Epcot and DHS from BC, and then MK from CR. Not so worried about the transfer since we'll have our car. The day of the transfer, we have a Chef Mickey's breakfast scheduled and then hopefully we will be able to get over to MK later in the day!
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:11 AM   #6
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we once did a really weird split stay. 5 nights at POFQ and 5 nights at POR. i know, strange. check in night at POFQ we took the boat over to POR to eat at boatwrights.
and one evening we made a cocktail in our mugs and strolled over to POR to check out the are we requested and see which rooms we might like.
by the time we got to POR we had already been there twice!
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klepton View Post
I'm currently planning a 10 day WDW trip for next June, and am considering staying at three different resorts during our stay. My reasons are:
  1. We like to visit new places, different resorts will give us more experiences
  2. I think 10 days is way too long to stay in one place. I actually think 5 days is too long
  3. We'll get a chance to experience pools/activities at multiple resorts
  4. We'll get a feel for the different areas, in case we want to buy into DVC (I'd plan on staying in resorts in different areas (MK, AK, and Epcot)
  5. We can plan parks on the days we're staying near that park.

My questions is, does all my reasoning make sense? If they make sense to you, it's pretty much a done deal, doesn't need to make sense to me, but I will say, you have a cogent argument! I haven't been to WDW since I was in third grade, and pretty much know nothing of the area. Are these reasons all valid (I know some are subjective), or might I be off base with some? Is there enough to do at resorts where you can spend an entire week there and not get bored? You won't get bored. You will get tired, but you won't get bored. We, frankly, are in our rooms very little. We stay 8day/7ni Will DD/DW feel rushed after only spending 3-4 days at some resorts? That may be a possibility

My thinking right now is to stay 3 nights at the Poly, 4 nights at Beach Club/Yacht Club (or Swan/Dolphin), and 3 night at AKL. And then do the parks close by our resorts for each segment. However, I plan on taking advantage of any early magic hours at parks, and those won't necessarily coincide with the parks we'll be near, so that really might be a non-issue. YES Plus, from what I understand AKL isn't really anywhere near the AK entrance, so that'd be a shuttle ride anyway. Just had friends stay there with young mostly toddlers. Buses ran great, hotter than heck, but buses were fine for them!

To give you a little background, it's myself, DW, DD (9) and DS (22 months). The reason I'm thinking these resorts:

Poly - Good view om Magic Kingdom, and so many people rave about it for activities. Also right on the Monorail. Lots of Poly lovers on the board. My friends with DD9 love it. Fireworks neat from the beach, good restaurant, good pool

Beach/Yacht Club - Everyone raves about the pool/waterpark. DD loves to swim Since it will be summer, a good plan is to park am, swim noon/afternoon/ park evening and their pool complex is cooll

Swan/Dolphin - I have a boatload of Starwood points that will work here
AKL - Large pool, unique experience, lots of activities for kids. Points do equate to saved $$

I would appreciate any insights you could offer. Also please feel free to shoot holes in my plan, I'd much rather know now.

Thanks!
I'd choose Poly and then use your starwood points if you want to do a split stay. I've always been curious about those who do a split stay. I'm not sure I would. I feel even with 8 days/7 nights, if I had to move in the middle of it, I wouldn't like the inconvenience, but we stay at a MOD. Staying at a monorail resort would be killer and even though the SWAN/DOLPHIN isn't Disney, it is so close to Epcot/Monorail, it's ridiculous.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:46 AM   #8
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We always do a split stay on long trips because we just like to try different resorts. But I would really urge you to do 5/5. Packing up stuff for a 22 month old and a 9 year old and moving it three times sounds like a lot of work. and I am sure you know with little ones it is sometimes hard to get them used to a new place. 3 days seems like a short stay to me at one place.

Will you have a car? Disney is nice enough to transport your stuff for you to your new resort, but it is still a lot of work to pack it all up and then you don't have your stuff all day until you can go and check in at the new resort (which also kills time). Plus if you plan on going back to the room for naps with the little one that is more days that you are sort of "out" of having a room unless you luck out and can check in early.

We are taking our 2 year old on a split stay this fall AoA 6 days/AKL 6 days. I am excited, but not looking forward to packing up all his stuff. But we are taking a break day from the parks on our transfer day and we will just enjoy DTD and ride the monorail and swim at the hotel till our room is ready.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:03 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts! I appreciate it!

To answer a questions: No, we won't have a car. Flying in and not leaving WDW at all while we're there.

We are actually a pretty mobile family, and used to a lot a one-night stays. We drove from Ohio to Galveston in January for our first Disney cruise, stopped in Nashville, Little Rock, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio before getting to Galveston. Only stayed one night in each city, and in most cases were in the hotel for fewer than 12 hours between check-in and check-out. Of course, DS was only 4 months and a little more portable then... But in general we like to be on the move.

That said, I do worry about planning too much moving around. Never having been to a Disney resort I don't really know what they have to offer, other than the pools.

My plan was to do parks in the morning and evenings, resorts/pools in the afternoons. And also have at least one full day where we do only resort activities for each resort. So, here's a sample itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive at Poly, check in, explore area, maybe do MK that night
Day 2: MK in AM, Poly in the afternoon, MK evening
Day 3: Poly all day
Day 4: MK in AM, check out of Poly, one of the waterparks for afternoon, check in to BC, Boardwalk in PM
Day 5: Epcot in AM, BC in afternoon, Epcot in PM
Day 6: BC all day
Day 7: DHS in AM, BC or DTD in afternoon, DHS in PM
Day 8: Epcot in AM, check out of BC, do the other waterpark for afternoon, check into AKL
Day 9: AK in AM, AKL in afternoon, AK in evening
Day 10: AKL all day
Day 11: Time to leave...

That of course is very rough... and while I do always have a plan I'm not super strict on keeping to it and timing things. But that's where my mind was... So basically have an equal focus on the parks and resorts, which I think will be a better overall experience and give DS the downtime he needs. And of course, I'd substitute and move parks around as necessary to take advantage of early magic hours.

I thought the resort switching days would be a good time to spend the afternoon at the water parks.

My biggest fear is someone getting bored... my next biggest fear is being so fast paced that I burn my kids out. Though honestly with this much downtime I don't think that's too much of a concern.

So after seeing all that, and knowing I'm planning a full day to just enjoy each resort, would you still say I'm pushing too hard with a 3 resort stay?

I'm also not set on 10 days. I initially started planning for 7, and then realized that wasn't enough time to get the experience I wanted. So I chose the arbitrary 10 day number. If a 4-4-4, 3-3-5, or even 4-4-5 split makes *a lot* more sense, I'm not opposed to it.
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:42 PM   #10
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Sorry but I cannot imagine moving three times during a 10 night stay. It would seem to me like just when I was getting settled in, it is time to pack up and move again. UGH!

I've thought about splitting a stay between two resorts and even that seems to me to be too much hassle.

You haven't been to WDW since you were in elementary school. I'm guessing your children have never been. You may want to spend more time in the parks than you think.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:25 PM   #11
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My husband and I have done split stays a few times. Two years ago we stayed three nights at AKL (husband's pick) and three nights at BC (my pick). This year we are staying two nights at AoA, then six nights at POFQ. The POFQ portion was originally booked then, when we decided to go two days earlier, AoA was added (we "visited" there last year and thought it would be fun to stay a few nights). I love split stays - getting to stay at different resorts is something we both enjoy. We've always had Disney move our luggage (we never rent a car) and that has always worked out well. If you know that the rest of your family would be okay with the multiple moves, I say go for it!
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klepton View Post
Thank you everyone for your thoughts! I appreciate it!

My plan was to do parks in the morning and evenings, resorts/pools in the afternoons. And also have at least one full day where we do only resort activities for each resort. So, here's a sample itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive at Poly, check in, explore area, maybe do MK that night
Day 2: MK in AM, Poly in the afternoon, MK evening
Day 3: Poly all day
Day 4: MK in AM, check out of Poly, one of the waterparks for afternoon, check in to BC, Boardwalk in PM
Day 5: Epcot in AM, BC in afternoon, Epcot in PM
Day 6: BC all day
Day 7: DHS in AM, BC or DTD in afternoon, DHS in PM
Day 8: Epcot in AM, check out of BC, do the other waterpark for afternoon, check into AKL
Day 9: AK in AM, AKL in afternoon, AK in evening
Day 10: AKL all day
Day 11: Time to leave...

I'm also not set on 10 days. I initially started planning for 7, and then realized that wasn't enough time to get the experience I wanted. So I chose the arbitrary 10 day number. If a 4-4-4, 3-3-5, or even 4-4-5 split makes *a lot* more sense, I'm not opposed to it.
I'm sure you could make it work, but with little ones I'd prefer a 5/5 stay. We did a 2/4 stay on our last trip, but it was more of a relaxation trip than a heavy parks trip, plus our kids are 11 and 9.

In terms of your itinerary, I don't think I'd try to do a park in the AM and then return to the resort to check out. You need to factor in travel time, and even while staying at a monorail resort or an EP resort, it takes time to get out of the park and back to the resort. I'd more likely check out of the resort, have bell services move our bags, and then return to the new resort late afternoon to check in. Trying to add in a water park would be too much for us that day, especially since it would mean having to lug all of our swim stuff with us around the park.

I don't think you'll be at risk of being bored at all with a 5/5 split. If you are really considering DVC, you will want to check out the amenities at the DVC resorts. Go to the community halls and look around (check out the one at BWV because BC/YC doesn't have one). You might consider a DVC tour at SSR as well. If you stay at AKL, there are lots of activities for kids and families. Take time to look at all of the amenities if you think you might consider buying there.

Many people find that for their first trip, their itineraries are more ambitious than is really realistic. Again, some of that is travel time. If you plan to do any character meals, those take 1 1/2 hours or so. If your kids want to meet characters in the parks, that takes time. And your feet will be tired, really tired, and you may all need some downtime that you are not expecting. Not having a "home" for two days when you are switching resorts might be more problematic than it's worth.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:21 PM   #13
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We've done several split stays. I have mixed feelings, but I understand the desire to experience more than 1 resort per trip. The travel time, checking in, and general transition to the new resort can be time consuming. I'd say splitting the stay 5/5 would be best. That way you can experience staying at 2 resorts (and/or areas), but still fully enjoy your vacation. There's so much to learn about WDW trips and this is your first one as an adult in charge of the planning/itinerary. I think a split between the MK area and Epcot/HS area is perfect and that's what I'd choose!
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:53 PM   #14
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Two is nice, Three is overkill. First, you will have a day which requires you to pack up and check out at each resort. They will transfer your luggage to the new resort, but it is time consuming to pack and check out, and check in and unpack at the next resort can all take time. Once is doable, twice gets a little annoying, esp with kids. My husband and I did the three resort split stay on a 12 day trip(including universal) pre-kids and he was irritated by the third resort. Just was sick of moving. I would stick with 2.
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klepton View Post
Day 1: Arrive at Poly, check in, explore area, maybe do MK that night
Day 2: MK in AM, Poly in the afternoon, MK evening
Day 3: Poly all day
Day 4: MK in AM, check out of Poly, one of the waterparks for afternoon, check in to BC, Boardwalk in PM
Day 5: Epcot in AM, BC in afternoon, Epcot in PM
Day 6: BC all day
Day 7: DHS in AM, BC or DTD in afternoon, DHS in PM
Day 8: Epcot in AM, check out of BC, do the other waterpark for afternoon, check into AKL
Day 9: AK in AM, AKL in afternoon, AK in evening
Day 10: AKL all day
Day 11: Time to leave...
Looks fine to me. You have three days of just resort time over ten days, so I can't imagine that it will to too tiring. If you are up to it, go for it!
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