We actually rented a house for our first two family trips. It was great and actually much cheaper than staying on-site. However, we started staying onsite in 2009 because my DMIL was with us and we wanted to ensure we could make it back to the resort super-fast if needed. We love the EMH and the food court at POR. And, if free dining is offered, that makes the deal. However, last year they didn't offer FD until August and by then I made alternate arrangements to stay off site, just in case. We'll do it if we have to, but I do so like the convenience plus all that great Disney customer service that I'm not sure I'll get somewhere else.