Split stay between value and deluxe? Or just go moderate?

Howdy! I’m planning a 8 - 9 night trip for October 2015, and am trying to make lodging decisions for a family of four (Mom, Dad, 7yo girl, 4yo boy). I’ve budgeted for a moderate and am looking at POR. However, one blogger I found (sorry, don’t remember who or URL) said he split between a value for 4-5d, and a deluxe for 2-3. One of his primary reasons was he thought theming for kids was less impressive at moderates compared to values and deluxe. Also, price for the split works out roughy the same as all moderate, depending on combo of days and resorts.

So my question, any thoughts on the whole week at POR vs the beginning at AoA and the last 2 or 3 nights at WL or Poly? Also FYI, pools are important, and we do plan on having breaks @ the room every day, and a couple down days at the resort.

Thanks for your insights!

Glad you asked! I’ve been thinking about the same thing, curious what others say. We’re going for 8-9 nights in August/September.
It seems like it would make sense to stay at a Value for a few park-intense days, then enjoy a deluxe when planning more hotel time to enjoy the great pools and theming.
AoA is a great spot, and the Little Mermaid rooms can often be found for around $100. (These are nice with a fantastic pool, but a short hike to dining, splash pad, and playground). The bus service is terrific. The Family Suites, with lots of space (separate master bedroom with ensuite and two other double-sized sleeping surfaces plus kitchenette) rival deluxe rooms for cost, however. My kids love the AoA theming so much that I think they’d complain if I took them away to the more sophisticated theming of a deluxe. The Values personify Disney.
I’m sure someone here will suggest renting DVC points, which let you stay at a deluxe but for much less money, downsides being very restrictive cancellation/change policies (and mousekeeping only every 4 days). We did that before at Wilderness Lodge and it worked out great.
Also, Magical Vacations sometimes buys large blocks of rooms for deluxe hotels and sells them at great prices (for example, currently BC for about $180/night around Labor Day.)
Good luck with the decision-making!

I have never done a split stay. To be honest I have done POR and POFQ, and last I did all stars music. I will go back to the all stars music. I do not spend a lot of time at the resorts.

But as you said pools are important, I recommend POR or POFQ the pools are great and there are multiple pools, plus you can go to either resorts pools, the walk isn’t that bad between the resorts.

And for me split stays do not interest me as I do not like living out of a suitcase, so I always unpack and set my room for being my home for the stay. I would not want to pack up and move to another resort only to pack again.

Also think about this - at POR and POFQ there are 2 queen sized beds, and a larger bathroom area, and the rooms are a bit larger than the All Stars. (I cannot comment on AoA)

AoA was our home reaort for a few years, ds (now 5) loved (and still does) the whole resort! You can not beat the theme imo anywhere else! The pools are great, we love the LM rooms and just the energy of the whole place! So much fun/room to just walk around and take it all in! One weekend trip we decide to try POR… He was disappointed. It’s a very nice resort and the rooms were great but to a 3 year old… So lame… No large mermaids, life sized cars or an awesome splash pad! We weren’t too impressed (sorry POR lovers :wink: ) Last year we tried WL… He actually really loved it! The boat to MK was great and I think we actually loved everything being in one building (especially now with ds1 here) I think a split stay with AoA/WL (or poly but we’ve never stay just visited) would be awesome! You get the best of both worlds really! Good luck and we will be there the first weekend in oct… Think we will try WL again since we just go for mnsshp! :slight_smile:

OK, I’ll be that guy. :smile:

Renting DVC points might be the way to go - the pricing varies according to the season, but for example you could stay a week in early December at OKW for $1,064 ($14 per point) vs POR for $1,178 (assuming a 20% discount is offered). You probably would not be able to get a Studio at VWL as they tend to be all booked up around the 10 month mark, but you never know.

Check out http://blog.touringplans.com/2013/09/01/tips-renting-disney-vacation-club-points/ for more info on renting.

Here’s my few cents… that are worth slightly less than a few actual cents lol.

As you move up and down in category of room so does the quality/comfort of the included bed, shower, and pool. That might not be an issue for you but it was for us. We did a POR/AKL split stay last time. POR is beautiful. The landscaping, environment, and services were all top notch. The boat to DTD is super convenient and it’s also a nice relaxing ride. We really enjoyed the River Roost lounge after a long park day. We were in a Royal Room which has some upgraded theming and is close to the main building but is otherwise the same as a standard room. The biggest downside we found was the bed. It was like bed springs covered with a thin sheet. While we were able to sleep from exhaustion we found ourselves waking with extra soreness. They are queen sized beds and probably fairly standard for hotel rooms. I also recognize that we are kind of mattress snobs lol. The water pressure in the shower was less than awesome as well. they use rain style shower heads so it was very light water pressure with no ‘force’ behind the spray. It was adequate to do what it needed to though.

When we moved to AKL it was a whole different ballgame. I agree with @rachaelmac22 in that it is so nice to have everything in one building. The other resorts are very spread out so even walking to get a drink is a nice long hike. The beds were so much more comfortable and the shower had great pressure. The added balcony was a plus we hadn’t really thought much of until we got there. It’s an amazing thing to sit and wake up on the balcony with the sun and, in the case of AKL, the animals.

As for it being a split I didn’t really mind. We drove so it was no problem to load up the suitcases and drive over to check in. It also wouldn’t have been any problem having bell services pick up our bags and move them to AKL for us.

This next trip is a shorter unexpected trip for us so we’re staying at Pop to save a bit on funds because it was such short notice. I’m a little concerned about the bed and showers but with 24 hour day I could probably sleep on a concrete slab lol.

As for what @mossmacl said you might investigate renting points as it can be a great way to stay deluxe for mod pricing. Check out http://dvcrentalstore.com/ as they are a known and reputable point broker. There are some caveats when renting, but for us once we decide on dates they are set in stone because of work so it’s not an issue. Plus we don’t like daily housekeeping so that also doesn’t present a concern for us.

Remember though that no matter what you choose you’ll be at Disney and the hotel is only part of it.

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We’re leaving for 9 nights tomorrow, and are doing a 4 hotel stay: Portifino Bay at Universal for one night to utilize Express Pass, All Star Music for one night as kind of a place holder, Wilderness Lodge for 3 nights we’re using a dining plan and doing tours an recreation only, and POR for 4 nights for our park days. We’ve done two resort splits before and enjoyed them, but nohting like this.

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Just want to jump in here about the renting of DVC points – while it is a great idea, whether you are paying cash, renting points, or whatever, I would not recommend OKW for your kids. They do not have a splash pad play area and the pools are not zero entry, which means your 4 yo would be largely sitting on the side unable to do much of anything.

I’ve done a split stay, and it really feels like the one day when you are switching resorts is almost like a travel day when you have kids. Because rooms (especially for deluxe) are not typically ready until 4 PM, you will not have the option on that day to go back for an afternoon nap. While that’s not an issue for adults, it can be a deal-breaker with young kids. It can be done, as long as you’re aware of this little snafu, though.

Port Orleans does not have zero-entry pools, and they do not have water play areas. (There is a kiddie pool, but it is just a round hole with shallow water.) To me, that’s what has prevents us from staying at Port Orleans since we’ve had a kid–as adults traveling alone, we love it.

If you’re looking at a moderate, what about Caribbean Beach? It has a zero-entry pool, a kid’s pool, and a kid’s water playground. I also don’t know how price compares, but another option might be going with a Fort Wilderness cabin. With young kids, I’d recommend getting a golf cart to get down to the pool area. The down side is that the pool is not zero entry. On the plus side, the water play area is a great option for kids.


The rack rate on cabins is usually around 300+ a night which is about on par with deluxe. I think it wold be fun to stay there just because of the resort but for that price I just can’t justify it over AKL or BC/YC lol.

Yeah, last year we got a good deal at $260/night for Labor Day weekend in the cabins, which is why I was wondering what it’s running right now.

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I think AoA/WL would be really fun! And the Poly would just be extra great. I loved AoA when we stayed there in February. We stayed in a suite but I found the beds comfortable and the room was very clean. The pool was so awesome looking (but too chilly to take advantage of during our stay) if that is important, and I found the buses very well run. I also loved Wilderness Lodge. We stayed there in May and I think they upgraded their children’s pool to a splash pad since then. The boat to MK was very relaxing. With 8-9 nights losing time to switch resorts shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I would sleep in that day and then have an afternoon/early evening in the parks and get some night swimming in that evening.

Whatever, you choose it will be fun.

Hey @Outer1, I wonder if the bed differences aren’t necessarily category-specific (del/mod/val) but resort/vintage/size specific? Our beds at AoA suite (even the pull-down doubles) were SO comfy they were a dream… but the pull-out Queen at VWL (in a refurb’d room) were ATROCIOUS - hands down the WORST sleep surface I’ve ever, ever encountered. Even the King bed in the master bedroom was pretty good, but not great (it was no Westin “Heavenly Bed”).

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I’ve found very firm, but not really uncomfortable beds at Pop and AoA, but loved the ones at POR and CBR my last two split trips.Mods just felt much more comfortable.

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That’s possible. I just know that the one at AKL felt heavenly after the hellish ones at POR lol. We hate hate hate firm mattresses. The softer the better!

First… any resort you pick will be a hit, trust me.

But… a split stay is a great idea, adds variety, and you’ve picked some winner hotels if you opt for that. If splitting, always do the deluxe on the back end. And check to make sure that the Poly will be in the kind of shape you’d be happy with, or else go for WL or AK. In case you don’t know what I mean, the Poly has been under massive construction, and many are advising to avoid it until completion.

We are doing our first ever split stay this coming trip and I will warn you about the one drawback I’ve discovered. I woke up Sunday at 4 am to book ADRs for our 9 day trip only to discover that I could only book for the first part of the stay. I couldn’t book for the split until this morning. Needless to say, BOG dinners were gone, gone, gone.

As far as POR goes, the pool area was great. Our DSthen11, who is shorter than average, loved the whole thing. Our Royal Room was very comfortable and our beds were incredible. Of course I’m a firmer mattress guy so @Outer1 and I differ on that. I loved just about everything at POR. The food court was good, walking distance to beignets at POFQ, the carriage ride at night, the marina…it was a great experience.

Wow, you’re taking splitting lodging to a whole new level! Let us know how it went once you return, and have a great trip!