It's almost free dining time again for Walt Disney World visitors
Travel agents are reporting that the Walt Disney World Resort is about to open reservations for its annual "free dining" promotion for Disney World hotel visitors. (Update:
And now the offer is live
The promotion allows people staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel to add the Disney Dining Plan to their vacation package at no extra charge, when their arrival dates fall within valid dates in the late summer and fall. This year's dates are reported to be:
- August 21 - September 30
- November 14-20, 25-27
- December 8-23.
The free Disney Dining Plan is in lieu of other discounts, so if you're considering a stay during one of these periods, you'll need to consider whether the free dining plan or a room discount provides the better deal for you and your family. Look for the offer on Disney's Special Offers page, or call Disney at +1-407-939-5277. The level of the Dining Plan available with the package will depend upon the type of hotel booked. (Value and Moderate resorts get you the Quick Service Plan. Deluxe and Deluxe Villas get you the regular Dining Plan.) You will need to book park tickets along with your package, too. Just booking a room and using an AP or unexpired previously purchased tickets won't qualify for the free dining offer. Sometimes, Disney Visa card holders get first crack at the reservations, too.
In the meantime, if you'd like to find out more about the Disney Dining Plan, please read our guide, Learning about the Disney Dining Plan. And for general tips on saving money on a Walt Disney World or any other theme park vacation, check out our ultimate guide to saving time and money when visiting theme parks.
Why is all of October now blocked out of this promotion??
A lot of schools in the south tends to have Vacation during October, and when kids are out of school parents will bring them, since its cheaper then the summer. Disney got smart and decided to exclude October due to the growing popularity of MNSSHP and those school breaks
October is high season with Halloween and the EPCOT Food & Wine festival.
I was wondering too! We're going in October!
Because they have figured out that October is when everyone's fall break is and they can get heavy enough traffic without providing the promotion during those times.
We've been traveling to WDW during the fall dining promotion period for the past 8-10 years (covering 4 trips), and the promo has steadily declined to this year's version, which is practically useless.
Reservation lines have been so swamped that many callers cannot even get through...those that have are claiming 1-2.5 hour hold times before getting connected to someone. As of 11am, almost all rooms reserved for this promotion have sold out.
If you like getting the meal plan it seems like it would be better to just go when they offer 20 to 30% off specials on the hotels. Then just add the meal plan. At a minimum it seems like it would be about the same price as this deal. Even less if you did not do park hopper. Any opinions on that?
Exactly Jason. I think repeat visitors have gotten accustomed to this fall promotion, and Disney has slowly pulled the reigns back on it to where we're at this year. The fall free dining promo used to be one of the best deals Disney offered throughout the year, but considering the additional money guests have to outlay just to qualify for the minimum promotion (Disney will let guests upgrade from the free quick serve DP to the standard DP for an additional cost without having to upgrade rooms), it's really not all that it's cracked up to be anymore. Ultimately, the applicability of this promotion comes down to how you like to visit the parks. Some people don't mind twisting their plans to take advantage of a promotion they find valuable and can extract maximum value from. We've done this same promo the last 4 trips to WDW, including when I calculated that we got over $500 of "free" food on a trip in October 2010, making our effective room rate $14/night
"just add the meal plan"
They're not offering room discounts for October, either. If we don't get a discount, we'll definitely be forced to skip the Halloween party. And probably stay off-site. The greed of this company is even starting to turn off hard core fans like me. Thanks for nothing, Disney.
"The greed of this company is even starting to turn off hard core fans like me."
Russell, Jersey Week is the first full week in November. A teacher convention is the Thursday and Friday of the week, a bunch of schools are closed that Tuesday for Election Day, and some districts, like ours, have half days on that Monday and Wednesday for teacher conferences. That's why the offer isn't available at the beginning of November.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.