I wrote last week about how to handle “change of plans” on your Disney World vacation, specifically what to do when you decide to change your Advanced Dining Reservations literally at the last minute. Disney, of course, made it very easy for us to do, and certainly left me feeling that if we ever want to change our dining plans at the 11th hour in the future, I would not hesitate to try!
This week, I want to talk about change again, but this time related to your hotel/accommodations: what happens when you are staying at more than one resort while on your Disney vacation?
While I this may not apply to a lot of you, you may be surprised to know that there are many reasons while vacationers may decide to stay at more than one hotel while at Disney World. To start, I know that many folks do “split stays” at Disney, especially when visiting during busier times of the year. And some people end up staying at more then one hotel if they decide to add on days to the beginning or end of their trip later in the planning process. Then there are the people that, while they may be staying at a moderate or deluxe hotel for the majority of their stay, will have a late arrival at Walt Disney World, and just want a place to sleep for that first night at a minimal cost. And lastly, some vacationers just love so many of the resorts that they can’t narrow it down to one!
Whatever the reason, if you will be calling more than one place “home” on your next Disney vacation…or are thinking about it…..I am here to tell you that, as with most other things, Disney makes the “change” easy.
On our last Disney trip, we did have a split stay in two different Disney properties. As this was our 3rd trip during the uber-busy week between Christmas and New Years, this wasn’t the first time that we ended up switching resorts. But truly, it has never been a problem because Disney is so helpful in the process.
Here’s how it works:
First be sure to take advantage of the chance to check-in online before you arrive. What had already been a painless process is now even more so, by making check-in take literally a few minutes. And obviously, remember to do it for both resorts in advance.
On the day of your “switch”, have your bags packed and ready to go before you leave for the parks. You can either bring them down to bell services yourselves, or request that they pick up your bags in your room (if you do this, someone needs to wait there for them). Either way, inform bell services where your bags should be sent and then you’re off to the parks. (Don’t forget to tip them for their help!)
Later that day, when you are ready for a break in the afternoon, or at the end of the day, go to your new resort, quickly check-in, and stop by bell services at your new resort to either retrieve your bags or have them brought to the room (please again, remember to tip for the assistance!).
And then enjoy resort number 2!
Now for a few things that you should be aware of:
First, this clearly applies only to Disney resort-to-resort changes: obviously you would have to do all the “changing” yourself if you are going from non-Disney to Disney.
Second, keep in mind that this is technically TWO reservations. So if you have the Dining Plan added, your credits from resort #1 would expire at midnight of the day you check out of resort #1….not at midnight of your last day of vacation. The credits don’t get “added together”, they are 2 completely separate Dining Plans. So watch those snack credits carefully, to make sure you don’t lose them!
This process will be easiest if you don’t “spread out” too much when you unpack. For some, that is a problem, but for my family of 3 adults (and especially with a short trip), it’s really no biggie: we can be packed up within minutes, making this a pretty stress-less process.
So there you have it: just another way that Disney makes things as easy as possible for it’s guests.