2018 Disney Free Dining- What You Need To Know
2018 Disney Free Dining- What You Need To Know
2018 Disney Free Dining- What You Need To Know. As we settle in for a long winter, we dream of Walt Disney World, but we also think and cringe about what’s ahead like holiday spending. Money doesn’t grow on trees, believe me, I have searched high and low for that species in the forest. So we search for deals, promotions, and freebies. Let discuss Walt Disney World’s Free Dining Offer. Is Walt Disney World Free Dining promotion really free? Is it worth paying full room rack price?
Since 2005 Walt Disney World has a promotional offering of FREE Disney Dining Plan. This offer usually is announced in the Spring. The free Disney Dining Plan is the most anticipated special offer for many families. With this special offer, Walt Disney World guests booking a vacation package with a non-discounted resort hotel stay and park tickets receive the Disney Dining Plan for no additional charge. Each member of your party receives free dining making it very affordable for many families.
What You Need To Know
Free food is like the “call of the wild”, keep in mind this offer sells out very quickly. If you would like to be notified when the 2018 Free Disney Dining Plan is announced, sign up here for my monthly newsletter. I will email subscribers the minute I hear any rumors, or updates for free dining so you can get a jump start on your reservations when the offer opens to the public.
There is no time to hesitate when booking this special offer, have all your ducks in a row, know where you want to stay (have a second choice in mind) and the dates for your Walt Disney World vacation. Every year Walt Disney World’s Free Dining offer dates change a bit. Historically the free dining offer is from the end of August into the first week into December with some block out dates such as most of October and Thanksgiving week.
For those who may not be familiar with the Disney Dining Plan, click here for a description of each dining plan offerings.
There are a few requirements if you are looking forward to taking advantage of such a special offer. Guests must purchase tickets that include a minimum of a two-day Park Hopper or the Park Hopper Plus option. A three-night minimum stay, with a maximum stay of 14 nights is required. You can not purchase discounted tickets from a licensed broker for this Special Offer.
NOTE- Keep in mind, these facts are coming from the 2017 Free Disney Dining Plan offer. Resorts minimum stays, maximum stays, ticket requirements can change for 2018.
Disney has tweaked this Special Offer through the years.
Room exclusions for this Special Offer
-All-Star Movie Resort
-Bay Lake Tower
-Port Orleans French Quarter
-Fort Wilderness Campground
-Art of Animation- Little Mermaid Rooms
-all three bedroom villas
-Grand Floridian Villas
-Port Orleans Riverside has a small window for eligibility August 21 to September 30
I will repeat myself this is the 2017 promotion, 2018 may change.
Past Disney Free Dining offerings included the standard dining plan to all guests bookings, however, it has changed. Quick serve dining plan is now offered to guests booking at Value Resorts and Moderate Resorts. Deluxe Resort’s and selected Deluxe Villa Resorts bookings receive the standard dining plan only. You may upgrade your dining plan for a fee to receive the standard plan which includes one quick service meal, one table service meal, two snacks, and of course your refillable mug. It is the table service meal you are gaining by upgrading to the standard plan. Maybe you would like to upgrade to the Deluxe Dining Plan, which in my experience is a waste of money.
Disappointingly Disney has excluded the Moderate Resorts from the standard dining plan since Moderate Resort pricing isn’t so moderately priced. Many have mixed feelings about this change since 2018 dining plan will include alcohol. Expressed feelings of the new alcohol offering have been negative, many guests rather have food than booze.
Do Your Math
Do your math. Depending on your choice of the resort, Free Dining Plan may not be giving you the biggest bang for your buck. Free Disney Dining Plan is offered you are not paying a discounted room rate, you are paying full (rack ) room rates. Walt Disney World historically has a different promotion running the same time as the free dining offer, it’s a room only discount offer. Depending on Value, Moderate or Deluxe accommodations, the room discount offer can be a greater value. I can not stress this more, do your math, numbers don’t lie.
“Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better. -Walt Disney
What do you think? Do you plan your Walt Disney vacation around the free dining offer? I would love to hear from you. Tell me what you think.