In my early days of planning a big family vacation to Walt Disney World, it was sometimes a challenge for us to find a Resort hotel with accommodations for all of us (party of 8) for at least 8 or 9 nights. We were flying in from Seattle so we wanted to stay a decent amount of time – like over a week. Plus, we wanted a "living room" area where we could all sit down and reminisce about our day.
One year, we'd already made our hotel reservations but the flights on our check-in and check-out days were so high-priced. Since it's less expensive to fly on certain days of the week, we decided to come in a day early and stay an extra day too. That's always a good thing in my book!
By this point in our Walt Disney World travels, we had only ever stayed at Disney's Old Key West Resort and the bulk of our stay for this trip was at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort. We were not Disney Vacation Club Members yet, but the two-bedroom villas were just the right size for us which made it an easy choice.
Since we'd never seen anything but online photos of the uber-themed Value Resorts, we decided to give Disney's All-Star Music Resort a try for our arrival night. We had two rooms and none of us unpacked much on that first night. Our kids were 6 and 10 at the time and they just loved all the larger-than-life musical instruments and decor around the property. They had a ton of fun in the pool and slept like babies – we all did!
The next morning, we were quick to pack up and call Bell Services for assistance with all of our luggage. We let the Bellman know that we were moving over to Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and he took care of everything right there on the spot with regards to having our luggage moved for us so we were free to head off to the theme parks – easy peasy! That evening when we checked in at Saratoga Springs, all we did was call Bell Services when we got to our room and they brought everything right up.
Now, let's fast-forward to the end of our stay. On our last night at Saratoga Springs, everything was basically the same; we were packed up and ready to go first thing in the morning and handed our luggage off to Bell Services to transfer it back over to the All-Star Music Resort then went about our day.
Here's the kicker: it was tough to move from a Deluxe Villa to a standard room in a Value Resort. While the move at the beginning of our trip was glorious, there were noticeable differences in the furnishings and such that made a not-so-glorious way to end our vacation. In the Value room, the towels were much thinner, the mattresses weren't quite as comfy, and the biggest issue was that we didn't have room to really spread out.
The bottom line is that I was so happy to have experienced the split-stay because Disney took care of everything for us. I should also mention that they offered to take us all over to our new Resort each time we moved, but we didn't take them up on it because we were heading to the parks – we were happy to have that option, though.
My recommendation for any of you looking to enjoy a split-stay at Walt Disney World is to definitely do it, especially if you're wanting to experience a stay at a couple of different Resorts at a time. Just save your Moderate or Deluxe stay for the entire last part of your vacation; you'll be glad you did!