My wife, Amy, and I have always been the type of people who live out of our suitcases on a vacation. Thus, it should come as no surprise that split stays and resort hopping became quite the norm for us after becoming Disney Vacation Club Members.
For those unfamiliar with the term or idea, this means that rather than stay in the same room or resort for an entire vacation, we move around quite a bit. For example, on a recent 8-night trip we, elected to bounce around between the following five resorts:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
While this type of trip may not be suitable for everyone, Amy and I enjoy the flexibility it provides, as well as the opportunity to see and experience multiple DVC resorts in a single vacation.
The planning begins at the 11-month mark with a reservation already secured at one of our home resorts. Once our 7-month window opens, a certain obsession takes over leading to daily (…and by daily I mean hourly) searches for availability at other resorts. Typically, these days and rooms become available for smaller one or two day periods due to other members changing their reservations.
When planning split stays of this type, we have found it best to plan our resort transfers around days that we are prepared to spend entirely in the parks. This allows for an easy process of dropping off our luggage at bell services when departing in the morning and picking it up or having it delivered to our new resort and room after 5pm when checking-in that evening.
Aside from the ability to experience two or more resorts in a single trip, we have also found a few other reasons to consider split stays. Let’s say you really want to stay at a resort that cost too many points for your entire trip. You could book that resort for a few nights along with a more point friendly resort for the remainder of your stay. Additionally, as DVC members we are all too aware that availability some of the year can be competitive. In some cases resort hopping or a split stay may be the only option for experiencing a resort where longer reservations are hard to come by.
My advice: If you think you can manage the logistics of it give it a try! It may be the key to giving you and your family more flexibility when booking your next DVC vacation.