Why 2025 Will Be Great for Split Stays at Disney World…and Beyond!

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We are big followers of cut up stays at Walt Disney World. We’re fairly passionate and advocate usually it to trip planners. Split stays are proper up there with the excellence of the family-style meal at Sebastian’s Bistro, wondrousness of Wilderness Lodge at Christmas, and Dino-Rama’s suckiness by way of issues about which we received’t shut up.

Our cut up stays at Walt Disney World have been borne of necessity. We purchased a small Disney Vacation Club contract on the resale market with the intention of seldom utilizing it at our residence resort, Saratoga Springs. Because we didn’t have many factors or the 11-month reserving window, we needed to be strategic in our reservations. That was our inadvertent introduction to separate stays.

We cherished it. From that, we started increasing our cut up keep situations–not utilizing factors in any respect for weekends, doing single-night stays if we may rating an elusive Kilimanjaro Club factors reservation, reserving an affordable arrival keep and hitting ‘reset’ on day two. And a lot of this was pre-blog. Our method bought extra elaborate as soon as we began “needing” to check totally different room varieties…and simply eager to expertise extra resorts. We’ve realized what works (and doesn’t) for us within the course of.

Lots of readers have requested us about cut up stays, whether or not they’re well worth the effort, and tips on how to leverage them strategically. We reply all of these questions and share far more than you most likely need to know in How to Do a Split Stay at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels. Among different issues, that covers what we expect works and doesn’t, a couple of cut up keep situations, and extra.

I don’t need to rehash all of that since (hopefully!) you’ve already learn that submit in your planning course of. In case not, I’ll make a condensed model of our “pitch” for cut up stays. First, resorts assist set the tone of the journey and altering inns can thus change the vibe.  You can journey to each the tropics and the Pacific Northwest throughout your Walt Disney World trip with stays at Caribbean Beach or the Poly and Wilderness Lodge.

Second, cut up stays can allow you to stretch your trip finances and splurge on a resort you won’t be capable to afford (or justify) for the total journey. You may begin at Pop Century for 4 nights, ending with 2 on the Polynesian–checking it off your bucket listing within the course of.

Our third and fourth factors are strategic extensions of this–timing that keep proper on the Poly opens the door to Extended Evening Hours not simply as soon as however probably twice. Likewise, the Poly is handy to Magic Kingdom and Pop Century is good for attending to EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Great for Early Entry or noon breaks.

Finally, there are the extra advanced-level cut up keep situations. These contain reserving Club Level stays, utilizing the Disney Dining Plan, renting Disney Vacation Club factors, and extra. These intersect (to some extent) with why you must do a cut up keep throughout your 2025, so we’ll circle again to them.

Let’s begin with the cut up keep situation for 2025 that breaks the Disney bubble–a cut up between Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World. With Epic Universe debuting subsequent 12 months, Universal goes to be competing for vacationers’ time–and being the homebase for Central Florida holidays.

For anybody doing multi-day visits to the Universal parks, our suggestion is staying on-site there. This is nothing new–it’s what we’ve at all times suggested. Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World aren’t as shut as you would possibly assume, every provide helpful perks, and transportation (or strolling!) from Universal’s on-site inns to its perks is way simpler than driving and parking. All of that is triply true in 2025 when Epic Universe opens.

Anyone who has complained about digital queues, upcharges, or convoluted entry in relation to Walt Disney World is likely to be in for a impolite awakening with Epic Universe. We’ve executed the 2 present variations of Super Nintendo World (only one land within the new park) in California and Japan. It’s unimaginable. It additionally attracts nightmarish crowds, and you want to do every part in your energy to beat them.

Given that Epic Universe is a brand-new theme park that may attract free-spending vacationers, my expectation is that Universal pushes the upcharges so far as attainable. Paid Early Access and Express Pass are apparent candidates, together with who is aware of what else. Both of the at present present variations of Super Nintendo World additionally use digital queues when attendance is excessive simply to enter the land.

Some of you would possibly assume staying in Hard Rock Hotel, Royal Pacific, or Portofino Bay for a couple of hundred bucks per evening is the simple answer, as that’ll provide Unlimited Express Pass to Epic Universe, simply because it does with the prevailing gates. That is likely to be wishful considering. I’d be shocked if the legacy Loews Premier Hotels will get Express Pass at Epic Universe. Maybe I’m improper; perhaps it would.

But when you solely have at some point for Epic Universe, I’d most likely plan on staying at Universal Helios Grand Hotel, the flagship in-park resort at Epic Universe. Whatever one of the best entry is for the brand new park and its hottest lands, it’ll most likely be supplied to friends of Helios Grand.

Those perks–whether or not they be Early Access or Express Pass or one thing else–will most likely be essential to expertise every part at Epic Universe in a single day. Of course, that’s all only a guess, but when I have been planning a 2025 Florida trip now and had the finances for one fancy lodge and one common one, I’d allocate the cash to Universal’s Helios Grand Hotel over Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Obviously there are nonetheless plenty of unknowns with Universal on-site perks and Epic Universe, however our preliminary plan is to do Universal first. The purpose for it is because it gives flexibility on the checkout day, which may change into one other park day at Epic Universe if essential to knock out every part–or it may very well be the beginning of a go to to Walt Disney World.

This opens the door to utilizing the new-for-2025 on-site perk at Walt Disney World, which is arrival day admission to one of many water parks, Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. This is included in all room-only reservations, trip packages and Disney Vacation Club stays on factors for check-in day.

The solely “little” drawback with this perk is that the water parks usually shut at 5 or 6 p.m. relying upon the season, that means that the common visitor would have 2-3 hours to get pleasure from them on their precise arrival day. And that’s most likely one of the best case situation assuming you land at MCO round midday, aren’t cursed with the final cease on the Mears route, and so forth.

A cut up keep sidesteps all of these issues. It doesn’t have to be a cut up keep between Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World–it may very well be a Disney-only one. We’re simply utilizing the instance right here as a result of it really works out that approach for this versatile situation between the 2.

Even on as a part of a cut up keep, we most likely would make the most of that free day within the water parks by arriving late. Assuming you’ve got a pleasant lodge for the primary half of your journey or have simply had whirlwind days within the parks, you would possibly need to calm down within the morning. And that’s completely nice! The wonderful thing about this water park day being free is that you simply shouldn’t really feel the stress to be there from opening till shut (a feat only a few individuals handle, anyway).

Instead, intention to reach round 3 hours or so earlier than the water parks shut. This is when the early-arrivers begin getting their fill of enjoyable within the solar and head for the exits. The water parks have a really related dynamic to Animal Kingdom (too dangerous they’re not providing free arrival day tickets there!), which has a mass exodus in mid-afternoon. That leaves the tip of the day as a good time to go to, as crowds are decrease and solar hopefully isn’t fairly as vivid.

The water parks have altering areas, so you’ll be able to arrive in road garments and alter into swimwear. You also can change again into regular apparel previous to leaving. From Blizzard Beach, think about a go to to close by Animal Kingdom Lodge or Coronado Springs Resort for dinner. Sanaa, Jiko, Boma, Three Bridges, and Toledo are all wonderful eating places which are steadily neglected. If you’re doing Typhoon Lagoon, head to Disney Springs for dinner and dessert.

This water park day presents a chance for a brand new riff on certainly one of our favourite cut up keep choices, which is a Club Level keep paired with pool days. That’s nonetheless fully attainable right here, even when the lodge pool is way extra handy to the lounge than a water park. It works as a result of you’ll be able to nonetheless check-in early, do an enormous breakfast on the lounge, head to the water park, after which return and proceed utilizing the lounge.

You’re eligible to make use of the concierge lounge and the entire perks that include staying Club Level on each your check-in and take a look at days, that means that one evening basically lets you entry that lounge over the course of two days. Doing Club Level for an evening or two, arriving early and leaving late provides you probably the most bang to your buck, and is an effective option to get a style of the Club Level life with out breaking the financial institution.

This would possibly look like lots of transfers (and probably is relying upon the way you pack/unpack), however we like placing a Club Level ‘break’ for rest and rejuvenation between parks days. So you possibly can simply begin at Universal (park days), transfer to a Club Level room at Walt Disney World (no-park days), and switch once more to a daily room at Walt Disney World (park days). For our favourite concierge lounges and suggestions, see our Guide to Club Level at Walt Disney World.

One choice that we notably love for that is Chronos Club at Gran Destino Tower, which presents far and away one of the best bang for buck out of all of the Club Levels at Walt Disney World. And, when you’re actually reticent about one other switch, you possibly can merely go from Gran Destino over to the common rooms at Coronado Springs. As a double bonus, the lodge is a stone’s throw away from Blizzard Beach!

The solely draw back is that transportation from Coronado Springs to the entire parks is by bus, which is lower than excellent from a strategic perspective. So this isn’t the place I’d need to keep for my park days at Walt Disney World (although I do it usually–it’s a type of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ kinda offers).

(Once advance-booking of Lightning Lanes debuts later in 2024, it’s additionally attainable that Club Level friends could have entry to extra or higher journey reservation choices. See When Will Pre-Arrival Lightning Lane Bookings Start at Walt Disney World?)

As an various to the Club Level keep, an alternative choice is doing the Disney Dining Plan (DDP) for one a part of a cut up keep at Walt Disney World. (Do not do each Club Level and the DDP on the identical time–full overkill and a waste of cash.) As coated in our Guide to the Disney Dining Plan, we expect the DDP gives an excessive amount of meals and may take an excessive amount of time.

Only doing the Disney Dining Plan for one portion of the journey permits us to do an attractions-oriented half of the journey, and a food-oriented half. This works particularly nicely for the laid-back lodge day(s), as you’ll be able to deal with good dinners, snack crawls, or no matter. It additionally helps that lots of the finest makes use of of DDP credit are resort eating places. So with this feature, you’ve got the chance to discover different resorts–one other nice option to have enjoyable with out park admission.

Honestly, the DDP shouldn’t be actually needed to do that, and it’s usually not even advantageous. But when you’re going throughout Free Dining dates and even when the eating reward card is being supplied (two particular presents it’s secure to imagine are returning in 2025), this could be a higher choice than reserving Club Level. Even if it’s “free,” the Dining Plan remains to be overkill when paired with Club Level–so don’t do each concurrently.

Finally, use cut up stays to assist not bust your finances. If you need each Club Level and Free Dining, for instance, do a cut up keep and take the room-only low cost for the Club Level portion of your journey after which Free Dining for the rest. (As famous above, each on the identical time is overkill–but additionally, room-only reductions are nearly at all times higher for Club Level.)

A extra frequent instance of utilizing cut up stays to economize is by being conscious of resort charges on totally different days of the week. In the Cheapest Times to Go to Walt Disney World, we cowl seasons in addition to days of the week. Cutting to the chase, Sunday by means of Thursday nights which have the decrease costs than Friday and Saturday nights, with Mondays by means of Wednesdays having absolutely the most cost-effective charges.

During sure occasions of the 12 months, the variations are fairly pronounced. For instance, the Polynesian has a regular rack fee of $738 per evening on October 1, 2025 and the weeknights earlier than and after that date. Now, you would possibly assume that’s insanely costly; no argument from me there. However, it’s really the cheaper of the charges on this situation. Weekend costs on the Poly for October 3-5 are $917 per evening.

This shouldn’t be a cherry picked instance to magnify the purpose. Weekends are often significantly costlier than weeknights, that means it can save you significantly by doing a less expensive resort on the weekends and fancier one on weeknights. This doesn’t keep away from the difficulty solely–the All Stars are additionally costlier on weekends, however the unfold isn’t as massive.

In addition to that, there are some dates when reductions are solely supplied for Sunday by means of Thursday nights. Even if that isn’t the case (and it usually shouldn’t be), availability below particular presents usually improves when you’re prepared to do a cut up keep and have flexibility in your resort/room preferences.

I do know it is a firehorse of knowledge and potentialities, however my mind instantly started gaming out attainable cut up keep situations and tips on how to finest leverage them for 2025 when the brand new water park perk was introduced and room/bundle pricing was launched. I’ll reduce this off right here, as I do know cut up stays are sometimes complicated, and that is already lots.

Ultimately, I hope that this helps you perceive the strategic facet of cut up stays and how one can leverage them to your benefit when visiting Walt Disney World and/or Universal Orlando in 2025. In case you’ll be able to’t inform, we love cut up stays. There’s one thing really particular about sleeping within the rustic seclusion of Wilderness Lodge for an evening, after which flipping a swap to the isles of the Poly the following. Or going easy with All Star Sports to avoid wasting up for a splurge at Coronado Springs’ Chronos Club.

There are limitless permutations for cut up stays, and we’ve executed a lot of them over our years as Walt Disney World followers and resort fans. With Universal opening Epic Universe and Helios Grand presumably being fairly expensive (however providing wonderful entry), we assume the door goes to be opened to much more strategic situations for cut up stays between Universal and Disney.

With that stated, we all know all of this may be complicated and never tailor-made to your get together’s wants, preferences, and so forth. If you need extra thorough steering or help navigating the ‘split stay’ planning waters, we’d extremely advocate contacting an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Those journey brokers are free-to-use as long as they deal with your reserving, and so they can provide customized planning that takes under consideration your priorities and preferences. No Disney planning recommendation is one-size-fits-all, and that features our methods for cut up stays!

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Learn about inns on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To lower your expenses on tickets or decide which sort to purchase, learn our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets submit. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips submit takes a singular take a look at intelligent objects to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, one of the best place to start out is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for every part you want to know!

Your Thoughts

Have you executed a cut up keep at Walt Disney World? What about one between Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World? Planning on doing one (or a number of) in 2025 to benefit from the free water park day at WDW or on-site benefits for Epic Universe? If you’ve executed cut up stays previously, are there any lodge combos you notably like? Do you agree or disagree with our recommendation? Any questions we will help you reply? Hearing your suggestions–even while you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!



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