Pro/con onsite vs offsite for a large party


“involuntarily volunteered” Lol! You mean “drafted”.

If you’re going to head off this impending disaster, start now by insisting that you can’t do all the cooking- surely that is obvious, or ought to be. Make it real for them by sending out an email with a signup sheet to cook, with the aforementioned list of dietary needs attached. Figure out who the drivers will be and ask them if they are willing to drive the party bus home from bluezoo. They are going to have to be stone cold sober all week.

You’ve got to name names. And then sweetly say, “Or, we could just let Disney take care of all these little details.” That is, after all, what you’re paying Disney for.


Exactly! That’s going to be the perspective I present. Unless the savings are substantial for everyone (which I know they won’t be), it’s worth the extra money to stay onsite and get all the perks.


When we go to the beach on vacation each sub-family is assigned a night of the week to cook. Then we have two or three nights when we dine out. Would that work?


Sounds like too much stress and different moving parts to struggle. AND if it’s all falling on you it will Be such a stressful few days. I like Disney to take care of all the cooking and not fun stuff!



It might. I’m afraid that the cooking will fall on the ones with food allergies, or at a minimum we’ll be left to fend for ourselves. There’s both kids and adults with allergies. If it was just me, I’d suck it up and make my own food. Typically that’s what happens anyway because we’re such control freaks over it. Because of that we’d end up doing the cooking. Coming full circle.


Me too!


At first I was going to weigh in on the offsite side but then started having flashbacks of traveling in a group that large for my boys hockey or soccer teams. All of the cons people have mentioned came rushing back…so, I think staying on the property, at whatever level each household can afford and let Disney do the driving is a much better choice. You want everyone to enjoy their vacation and the drivers, cooks, etc will just miss out on a lot because they have to adhere to someone else’s schedule. :frowning:


Don’t forget the clean up after cooking. How long does it take to wash all those dishes? I don’t think I could fit all those dishes alone in my dishwasher it would be 2-3 loads. I would pay extra just not to have to do that.


There are some families who do great offsite - they love it and can reap all of the cost savings by carpooling, sharing meals and enjoying the together time.

Then there’s my family. My husband and I stay onsite every time and invite anyone who would like to join us and stay in their own rooms. We give them our plan and say - here’s our plan for each day (schedule, dining, etc.) Then we tell them - if you want to join us at any of the day’s scheduled activities please feel free to do so but understand that the activity will commence at “x” time (i.e. we will be getting to the bus stop at 6:30am or arriving at that ADR at 2:00pm) and we will not wait for latecomers.

I plan our trips for my small immediate family and for me it would be a huge headache if I did not have the ability to pick up and go on our schedule. Most of the horror stories I have heard told about large Disney trips come down to the logistics of everything. To me, staying onsite is the easiest way to avoid these logistical headaches.

But again, only you know your family. So take my $0.02 for what it is :slight_smile:


Sounds like a nightmare for me, 34 people? And you have DVC points? I’d plan the trip for my family and say we are going x dates, feel free to join us and make your own plans. NO WAY would I want to be in charge of splitting up costs for a group that big. I’d suggest getting food catered a few times and cleaned up if going with that many. Sharing a house works better for a beach trip. 34??? You’d need 2 or more houses to be comfortable, I can’t imagine the disaster a kitchen would be. Transportation sounds like a nightmare. (But I also can’t imagine traveling with 8 people, normal trip is 3)


This! I think these 2 houses and location would be fantastic for a trip that involved no theme parks, and was somewhere without time and driving constraints, like the beach. No way I could do that at Disney though, like others have said some will spend the entire trip cooking and cleaning up. Stay onsite so transportation is covered, each group can pick their own accommodations and price point, and plan at most 1 meal a day together. Let each family group do their own planning. 34 people split between 2 houses, no matter how big, is too close for comfort for me. I cannot imagine the state of the kitchens.



Totally! Doing dishes now makes me bonkers. It’s never ending

My husband said the same thing, then turned around and said, well if we’re all going to do our own things, what’s the point in going together? It’s a never ending struggle. When we did a similar trip in 2015, we all pretty much toured together. I don’t mind the logistics of it all, I kind of thrive on creating the plan and organizing. I just get my panties in a bunch if I plan it because no one else wants to take responsibility, then they give me shit if it’s not what they expected. Reason #1 my husband does not want me to be the point person this time around.

I know 34 sounds perfectly bonkers, but we all live in the same town and are really close knit. It’s not so much the together all the time part I’m worried about, it’s more the loss of on-site benefits. I don’t think we’d save money. We live in a beach vacation area, so typically we don’t do beach vacations.

That’s what I’m trying to convince “camp house” of. As a member of “camp onsite” I’m looking for as many reasons why a house is a bad idea. :wink:


Why not both? If you decide for onsite and choose your own accommodations, why can’t some of the group choose an offsite location? Sure it won’t be the huge place you looked at originally but they could still have whatever advantages they think would make offsite the better choice. The on-site contingent can have the advantages of staying onsite - transportation, DDP, shorter transit time to and from park, etc


I organise a big family holiday for 50 plus every few years, we find a very large house and apart from 1 day trip to the beach, we don’t go anywhere. If I was doing that at WDW things would be very different. The houses together sound like a nice holiday when that’s where you are going to be spending most of your waking hours. I agree with above advice. How far away are the houses? I’d go with onsite.


This may very well end up being what happens. After an informal poll, I know for sure that my people do not want to stay offsite (5 people) and one of my cousin’s families does not want to either (6 people). One group probably will stay offsite because they have a Marriott timeshare. Another family unit (mom, dad, 2 DD, their SO’s, 2 grandbabies) would totally rent a house and be happy as clams. Which is awesome. More than anything, I just want everyone to have their best vacation without pressure from anyone else to conform to the group.

That sounds like so much fun!!!

I think they’re 20 minutes away. So close, and yet so far. :slight_smile:


This actually sounds more ideal. Because it no longer all falls on your shoulders. While you are going together, you are all having separate vacations. Rather than trying to do everything together, you can organize “get together” times each day. Like, “Everyone meet at 3:00 pm for such and such.” You get some things together, but don’t have the nightmare of trying to make everyone happy all the time.


Exactly. Because this is my vacation too and I don’t want to spend it miserable or making my kids miserable while I make everyone else happy.


I like the idea of everyone staying where they want. No stress of organizing accommodations, transportation, food, or plans for everyone. And everyone will be happy with the plan.

Maybe as the planner, you could schedule a meal each day for all and then a chunk of touring time together after/before the meal. Like, everyone meet for early dinner at Ohana at 4, tour MK after dinner, watch HEA, and head off into the night. Or character brunch at TH, visit Dinoland and Nemo, and then split up. Or a DS night? ADRs for 34 please! :laughing: And I am having trouble getting an ADR for 6 at the time I want. That sounds like lots of together time and if some want more, they can organize amongst themselves, and if less, they can just not meet up for whatever event. And best part, you can enjoy your vacation once you are there!!


You could also make everyone’s FPs based on your own 60 day window that way.

I realise that would be a lot of work, but broken down into family groups it could work.

And you could book ADRs for 34 people through the group booking line, for the length of your stay too.

Seems like a “win-win” scenario to me. The only thing is, it maybe won’t seem like one big family vacation to some of them. But I think it’s the best solution all round.


Instead of one massive house, why not multiple houses in the same neighbourhood?
Everybody takes care of their own meals or takeout. You can still meet up for drinks and pool parties.

We like Formosa Gardens (Sea Pearl Circle specifically). We’re renting this house next year - found via the hometogo website ( ). I really like the hometogo site because you can really zoom in on the map and you can choose “flexible dates” to see more houses.

The other thing - the cooking and cleaning - I am currently researching good take out and catering firms. 4 Rivers is 13 miles from Formosa Gardens and they definitely cater and they have a great reputation Sakura Asian Fusion is another restaurant with an excellent reputation and is within 3 miles, so they deliver for free.