Walt Disney World offers new dining, room discounts for summer

April 24, 2019, 10:42 AM · Okay, Disney fans. It's "free dining announcement" day again. The Walt Disney World Resort has opened its annual free dining offer to guests who book eligible stays at one of the resort's on-site hotels. But there are some big changes this year, and Disney also is offering a room discount special for fans who prefer to save money up front on their rooms rather than their food.

This year's free dining offer is available for rooms booked today through June 30 for stays most nights beginning May 28 through August 21, 2019. The offer is for non-discounted packages that include four nights at a select Disney Moderate or Value resort hotel and a five-day theme park ticket.

But you don't get a free Disney Dining Plan with this offer. Instead, you will get one free quick-service meal per person per night of your stay. Details are available on Disney's website.

If you rather would go for a room discount instead of the "free" meals, then Disney World is offering discounts of up to 25 percent on rooms at its Moderate and Deluxe hotels, and up to 15 percent off Value hotels, for most nights between May 28 and August 28, 2019. You can check availability and book, again, through Disney's website.

The old Disney Dining Plan offers used to be valid for stays in the fall, and the resort typically does not discount rooms this deeply during the summer high season. So why the change in dates?

If you're a long-time reader of the site, you might have guessed already. Say it with me, everyone... "Galaxy's Edge."

Walt Disney World's installation of the new Star Wars land opens at Disney's Hollywood Studios August 29, 2019 — one day after the hotel deal ends. That's also the kick-off date for this year's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which has turned fall into the high season at Epcot. With those attractions drawing fans to visit later in the year, Disney is looking to balance its attendance with these inducements for summer visits.

But with summer already being an attractive time for so many fans to visit the resort, I suspect that Disney managers decided that they did not need to offer a full Disney Dining Plan to make this offer enough of a draw for fans to keep the resort's hotels filled during the season.

What do you think? Will these deals entice you to change, or make, a Disney hotel reservation?

Replies (3)

April 24, 2019 at 11:33 AM

At this rate, in a few years, you'll need to book a Deluxe hotel accommodation for a minimum of 4 nights (non-discounted), and in exchange, Disney will give one member of your family ONE free small Coke for the duration of your stay.

Take this deal while you can get it!

April 24, 2019 at 12:07 PM

You're right, Gabriel. The free dining option will more than likely be slimmed down over the years until it's gone forever.

April 24, 2019 at 9:00 PM

It's not really a special offer anymore is it?

You already pay a vast premium, compared to hotels just outside the Disney gates.

The vast volume of people will use a Disney hotel mainly because of the transportation factor. You can simply go 2 minutes away outside the Disney gates (10 minute walk from the Caribbean Beach resort) and find a far superior hotel for a fraction of the price. But you are then left using your own transport.

Offering a meal deal doesn't even come close to making up the huge difference in prices of hotels.

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