Pro/con onsite vs offsite for a large party

The Great Disney Adventure 2.0 trip is tentatively being planned for October 2020. Right now we’re looking at 34 people. It has been proposed by someone other than me to get an Airbnb for everyone to stay together.

Here’s the lowdown for context:
11 households
age 2-9: 3
age 10+: 7
age 18+: 24

We’re all related.

Cons: together time never ends, no DME, would have to rent multiple cars/vans, FPP at 30 days instead of 60, transportation to/from parks not as convenient, no potential for package/promo deals, may not actually be cheaper even without a package or promotion, no magic bands

Pros: together time never ends, potential money savings on accommodations.

What else am I missing? Is there a good reason to do this? Or more bad reasons that I can present to convince them it’s a disaster waiting to happen?

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This is what they were looking at:

I think you’ve hit them all.

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I think if you are saving all that money on lodging you could use some of that savings for some special events that would give you access to the attractions you will not get FPs for.


How many nights?

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That’s a great idea!

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4 nights, 5 days Friday - Tuesday

Well for me I would be able to handle that amount of together time then. But you know your fam! Plus being two houses might give you some time apart.

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From someone who has planned an offsite stay for a large group, albeit not nearly as large as yours, here are my thoughts…

Even if you got a good deal on a moderate resort that could sleep 5, say $200pn, you’d need 7 rooms. Thats about $400-500 per night savings. So your actual savings will be appx. $1,600- $2,000 for renting the homes.

Now factor in the rental cars, the parking, the magic bands. Lets say you do 3 of the 12 passenger vans. They are about $100 per day and thats a great price. So theres $1,500. Parking will be $75 per day. So add another $300 if youre doing 4 parks. And magic bands, if you want them will run you another $350 if you pick them up at $10 a piece. So in total you’ll be spending $2,150 to save lets say $2,000. These numbers are purely fictitious. You may pay a little or much more depending on your wants and needs. Im not sure with a party that large that you may be eligible for some sort of a group rate. You may want to call.

Yes, youll save money on meals as you can cook at the house. But really who wants to cook on vacation? And where will you find the time? The properties are beautiful and if you plan on spending more time there than at the parks then id say go for it.

But if your family is anything like mine then youll have a diverse group and you cant please everyone. The chaos of whos going to parks, whos staying, who leaves early, who stays late, who needs a break midday, etc… will be the main reason staying onsite makes the most sense.

My advice. Let DME pick you up and drop you off. Let everyone use DW transportation and come and go as they please. Let DW send you the magic bands. You gain the 60 day FPP which will help with that size group.

Despite my very generous accommodation calculations at the beginning you will spend much more staying on site. Unless you go value which for my family would not work. But if you can keep it to around $1,000-$2000 more to stay onsite in moderate like a POR or FQ for a group that large id say you should stay onsite.


I think you raise some really good points. However, I think the cost savings on food is significantly underplayed. You won’t just “save money”, you’ll “save TONS of money”. :slight_smile: We usually cook two meals each day we’re at the parks when we are out. The cost savings is enormous. Multiply that by 34 people? The savings could be in the thousands!


I agree it could be significant. Then again it could be minimal. Hard to factor with this group. For our group it would of been somewhere in between. We planned on RD’ing most days with a late breakfast ADR planned in the parks. Midday break for dinner at the house and back to the parks for nightime touring. So 1 meal saved per day. Not sure of the plans for that group. But you still gotta buy the groceries


I agree with your calculations 100% @OlafsDad. In fact, depending on promotions, it may cost comparatively more to stay off site. We’re thinking of early October, which is typically free dining time. One of the reasons I like onsite is because that way everyone has the flexibility to stay at a hotel class that fits their budget. Some may stay value, others moderate, and we will probably use our DVC. Because of the DVC, my family wouldn’t see any savings at all by staying off site, but would maybe be willing to do it for the “fun” of being together. TBH, if staying at the same location was a requirement, I’d rather stay in a value on site than somewhere offsite.

@ryan1 I’d have to poll the group and see what they would be thinking as far as in room cooking. I’m guessing it would be primarily for breakfast, which does not offer up much in the way of savings.

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This is true. Breakfast offers the least financial benefit.

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We planned for mid October ourselves. Great time to go and good value imo. The house sold us right away for the amenities alone. We knew everyone would fall in love with it. Just factor in the taxes, fees, and other costs like heating the pool or having a grill etc. I planned our trip for over a year. And the biggest challenge i had was transportation. If you can get past that then you’re all set. My advice is dont be the only person in charge of the plans. With a group that large id break it up into thirds and have three 12 passenger vans. Each van has a leader whos in charge of everybody for that van. Fpp’s, what time we leave, what time we come home, etc…
Keep us updated i love hearing about others plans especially with larger groups


Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it. Transportation is one of the the things I’m most worried about. My plan is to not be the one in charge, but everyone keeps looking to me. It’s not the first time we’ve gone together either. We went in 2015 as a party of 30 and stayed on site using our DVC points. Since then some have gotten married and others had kids, adding to our numbers. :slight_smile: I’ll definitely post here as the plans come together!

I can see the transportation thing being a great concern. Like herding cats if you need to transport everyone. With so many people you will likely have a few stragglers who delay everyone else. In that case it might be easier to stay on-site so they can just use Disney transportation.

We just stayed at Pop for 4 nights and really liked the renovated rooms. They have a Murphy bed that you can keep in the wall so you have a nice table/chairs and open walking space if you are not sleeping. Plus lots of storage. We had a great rate from MVT ($90/night plus taxes).

We usually preferred to stay off-site, especially for a long trip.

So true. The teens of our life are sure to be the last ones out of the room. Thanks for the review on Pop. We haven’t stayed there, but have heard it’s pretty nice.

Whenever I hear the words “We could cook at the condo and save so much money,” I always wonder who “we” is. :wink: In this case it also applies to the drivers, because of the rental contracts they will spend the whole week as designated drivers in more ways than one.

So I’d be sure to work out exactly who is responsible for what now. Solicit an opinion from everyone. (No volunteering of one’s spouse without checking it out with that person). It may come to pass that when someone is faced with actually BEING the cook or driver, staying at the resort is going to look a lot better.

Also, does any one have dietary needs/preferences that others will have to work around? That needs to be brought up now, too.

We travel regularly with other families and have worked through all of that but I can tell you it has the makings of disaster if these things are not agreed upon ahead of time.


Really great advice! And yes, several of us have dietary needs. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that since I have all these same people over for Sunday dinner once a month, that I will be involuntarily volunteered to cook. Which I have no desire to do. This whole thing is much more complicated than “let’s stay offsite in these giant houses to save money!” Once we start getting into the nitty gritty of driving, and cooking, and sleeping arrangements it gets to be more trouble than it’s worth.


Oh, we can’t get the dining plan if we stay offsite either, can we? That’s a deal breaker all by itself. The dining plan was brilliant when we went last time. There are several in the party that are always trying to pay for others, which honestly is kind of uncomfortable. The dining plan totally alieviated the nightly argument over who was paying at each meal.