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My family had to stay at 3 different resorts during our 8-day trip to Disney World, and it wasn't worth all the effort

Jill Robbins   

My family had to stay at 3 different resorts during our 8-day trip to Disney World, and it wasn't worth all the effort
  • My family stayed at Pop Century, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Wilderness Lodge at Disney World.
  • We did the "triple stay" because of sparse hotel availability and last-minute changes to our trip.

Disney World is famously busy around the holidays and spring break, which can make it difficult to find a hotel room on the property.

When my family of four went to Disney World for the holidays one year, everything was so booked we had to stay in three different resorts.

We spent one night in a room at Pop Century (a value resort), three nights in a one-bedroom villa at Animal Kingdom Lodge (a deluxe resort), and four nights in a one-bedroom villa at Wilderness Lodge (a deluxe resort). We've done split stays at Disney World in the past, but this was the first time we stayed at three different hotels on a single visit.

We initially planned a four-day stay at Wilderness Lodge and ended up adding on three days at Animal Kingdom Lodge because of changing flight schedules. We then added the first night at Pop Century because we ended up having to fly in a day early.

On our first night, we stayed in a simple room at Pop Century

Our standard room with one queen bed and one Murphy bed at Pop Century was $305 for one night, which isn't exactly cheap, especially for a value resort. At less busy times of the year, rooms are typically in the $200 dollar range or lower.

But booking the extra night at the hotel ended up saving us more than changing our airfare would have cost.

Pop Century wasn't my favorite resort, but it definitely has its pros

It's unfair to compare a value resort like Pop Century to villas at deluxe resorts, but Pop Century was my least favorite of the three.

That doesn't mean I didn't like staying there though. The room was clean with generic Disney theming and the layout worked for us. My kids also really enjoyed the bold, splashy theming across the resort.

It's conveniently located on the Skyliner route (Disney's free gondola-style transportation) and has a pool that's great for relaxing after a long day at the parks.

If you're watching your budget and don't need a lot of amenities, Pop Century is a fun choice.

I liked staying in both of the deluxe villas

This wasn't my first time staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge or Wilderness Lodge, and I'd happily stay in either again. The one-bedroom villas at deluxe resorts cost about $900 a night on average.

I liked the villa at Animal Kingdom Lodge better than Wilderness Lodge because we had two full bathrooms. It was great that I didn't have to share with my 12- and 13-year-old sons.

The lobby at Animal Kingdom Lodge is beautiful, and I love being able to see the roaming animals in the savanna outside. But I actually liked the cozy, mountain-lodge vibes of Wilderness Lodge better.

Moving from one resort to another at Disney World was pretty seamless

It's pretty easy to move between resorts at Disney World. We still had to adhere to regular check-in and check-out times, but Disney was able to move our luggage since we didn't have a car.

We just took our belongings down to bell services and filled out some bag tags to let them know where we wanted them to end up. We received a claim check and checked in with the bell services at the next resort to set up the delivery.

In both swaps, our bags were available at our new location by late afternoon/early evening. We had the option of going down to retrieve them or having them delivered to our room. We chose the latter and made sure to tip.

It was also helpful to have a day bag to carry the things we'd need between resort changes. When it was time to move, we took the free resort bus to Disney Springs and caught another bus to our new resort.

Even though the moves weren't difficult, I didn't like repacking our stuff in the middle of a trip. We love the homelike atmosphere of the one-bedroom villas at Disney World and typically like to settle in and unpack, especially on longer stays.

Having to pack up and move hotel rooms twice in one visit was an annoyance, albeit a minor one.

We also ended up having to spend more on food than usual

Having access to a kitchen and being able to order groceries is one of the easiest ways we save money at Disney World. We typically eat two meals a day in our villa and one meal out.

The logistics of having groceries delivered and making plans to use all the perishables when we were on the move seemed daunting, so we ate all of our meals in restaurants and spent more than we usually do.

In the past, we've had bell services transport nonperishable food items from resort to resort. I've never asked them to transport perishable food, but I ultimately wouldn't trust someone else to make sure my milk was kept refrigerated.

Even if it didn't ruin our vacation, I wouldn't want to go through the stress of moving around so much again

Moving between three resorts went very smoothly for us, but I wouldn't plan a trip this way again.

Although experiencing the themes of multiple resorts on a single trip was fun and a great way to see more of the property, I wasn't a fan of packing all our stuff up multiple times.

If we get caught in a similar situation and have to split any future stays, I'd definitely prefer to only have to go between two resorts.

This story was originally published in May 2023 and most recently update on May 16, 2024.



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