Large group advice

So, my brother sprung on me yesterday, that he would like us to celebrate our birthdays (we are 10 years / 3 days apart) (40 and 50) at WDW for Christmas 2019! This would include his family, my family, and possibly both sets of grandparents. So approx 8 adults and 4 children. We have never taken a trip of this size before.
But, he is not a millionaire, (boo), so each family needs to pay their own way, so I am trying to figure out whats the most cost effective solution. Or if we just let everyone fend for themselves and just be happy we are all there at the same time :), which is totally an option.

So, are their 2 bedrooms / suites that actually sleep 8 adults on real beds, pref queens? Or maybe (2) two bedroom rooms is the way to go?

Side questions

  • where is this room finder thing I keep reading posts about? I can’t find it on the touringplans site navigation, and it doesn’t come up under the search.

  • Does anyone have advice or experience on having 2 rooms next to each other, either with the connecting door or without? At a value or moderate resort. On paper this looks to be better / cheaper than a family suite. My daughter will be almost 8, and I trust her not to sneak out of her room, but she would absolutely need to be next to us.

Thanks for your help!

I think that this makes for happier people. That is a big group to organise and keep happy :fearful:. What a lovely way to celebrate.


Renting a 3-4 bedroom house offsite would certainly be cheaper and keep everyone together. I’m considering a similar trip some years from now (maybe) and looked at some VRBO homes just outside the gates that look very nice and have their own pool in the 200-300$ a night range. Worth considering!


I agree, thats def the most affordable option. I just don’t know if I want to give up the onsite perks, especially at Christmas.

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What about the Disney Springs resorts? They get the 60 day FPs and EMH, but you could get a 2 bed condo for far less than onsite. Maybe get one for each family and each take one set of grandparents.

We did a trip with 4 families totaling 12 people last Christmas, all relatives. We really enjoyed having the time together in the parks but were quite glad to go back to our own space at night. None of stayed at the same resort, everyone stayed where they wanted to be and afford. We all met in the mornings and stayed together thru dinner, then everyone was free to go back to the resort whenever they pleased. Trying to get everyone to meet on time and follow the tour plan that I am sure you will create will be stressful enough without all having to live together for a week.


A very good point.

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I don’t chime in very often, but my family has only ever gone with large family groups, so I thought I’d offer my two cents. Our last trip in January 2017 was my family reunion and had 6 families containing a total of 34 people. We all stayed in AoA family suites. We generally rode to the park in the mornings together—cousins enjoyed that time. We planned 1 or 2 fastpases each day together and 1 meal together. The rest of the day, people were free to do what they wanted. My family lives all over the country so it was great to spend time together but moving that many people from point A to point B was a painfully slow process. We loved it overall and didn’t want to leave at the end of the week. We are planning a trip for January 2019 with 13. My sister’s family and my parents will join us. I can’t imagine going with only my husband and kids—extended family is the best! Have fun!

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We have gone on three trips with about nine people on each trip. Once we had two rooms at the Poly, and one we had three rooms at Coronado Springs. Both times we were put next to each other. At the Poly - we were next to each other but not connecting. At CSR - two rooms were connecting and one was not. The other time we had 8 people and 1 infant - we had booked a two bedroom at Saratoga Springs and were upgraded to a grand villa. It had three bedrooms and a pull out couch. But I think two bedrooms are a king - two queens and pull out couch. So not enough actual beds for 8 people if you don’t like a pull-out.

Obviously, the grand villa was the most comfortable, but I don’t think we would book that based on cost. Although I didn’t like Coronado Springs as a resort - I think having the three bedrooms was nice. Everyone had some space. Thinking - we also went as group of six and had two connecting rooms at POR. So - getting connecting rooms has never been a problem in my experience.

For the most part, we do hang out at the park together almost the whole time. A couple of times - one group went earlier or stayed later but we always ate together and had most fast passes together. I always just planned it with input on restaurants and everyone went with it. I had to split up some ADRs into groups of five and four but I think they always sat us together or close.

Big groups are fun! It will be a fun trip.

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No 2-bedrooms sleep 8 adults on real beds. Even OKW only would sleep 6 adults in actual beds (2 queens, 1 king). Your best bet there would be 2 studios or 2 1-bedrooms (or one of each) at OKW because that’s the only DVC with two queens. And I guess that is assuming that each bed is sleeping 2 adults.

We went in 2014 with 30 people. We got three two bedroom suites at AKL plus one studio. We covered the rooms with our DVC points. It was great being together at the same resort. If someone from my family wanted to go back to the room, a kid from another family could go as well, knowing that the rooms were all near each other.
We’re planning another large family trip, probably more than 30 because each family has grown some, in 2020 after SWGE opens. Certifiably insane, but it’ll be great. This time around though, everyone will be paying for their own rooms. I love them and all but… That said, unless someone has serious FOMO (which I know some in my party definitely do), everyone will be invited to book the onsite hotel that makes the most financial sense for them. Being there together is what matters. I don’t want to create a situation where someone is stretched financially because of the hotel that was picked by the crowd. We’re staying at a DVC resort, but I can’t reasonably expect the others to pay a premium just to be closer to one another.