With the deadline quickly approaching to book your Disney vacation package with Free Dining you may be looking for more details on the program or wondering if this is really the deal for you and your family.
But first, what is Free Dining, and why is it different this year?
What is Free Dining?
“Free Dining” is a special resort reservation vacation promotion that offers a Free Disney Dining Plan with your resort reservation and theme park ticket purchase. Free Dining is offered for a limited-time booking window for vacations taking place during a specific set of dates spelled out by Disney.
Guests who want to take advantage of Free Dining must book a minimum 4-night stay at a Disney Resort, and your vacation package must include theme parks tickets with a Park Hopper, or Park Hopper and More option.
- If you stay at a participating Value or Moderate Resort, you will receive the Quick Service Dining Plan for free. (You can upgrade to the standard or deluxe dining plan by paying the difference in cost per night for the dining plan)
- If you stay at a participating Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort, you will receive the Standard Dining Plan for free. (You can upgrade to the deluxe dining plan by paying the difference in cost per night for the dining plan)
- Offer excludes the following room types: 3-bedroom villas, campsites, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Bungalows at Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, and Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
When is 2019’s Free Dining?
In the past Disney announced the Free Dining Program in April for vacations taking place in late August, September, late November, and most of December. But this year is not your typical Disney year, with the highly anticipated opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in the Fall.
Disney surprised everyone when they announced the details of 2019’s Free Dining promotion on January 2, 2019. What wasn’t surprising was the vacation dates of the Free Dining Program were changed from traditional dates in the Fall and moved up to the Summer, prior to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening.
Is Free Dining a Deal?
Booking the Free Dining promotion cannot be combined with resort discounts or other incentives. Determining if Free Dining is the best option for you and your family takes some thought, planning, time, and number-crunching.
You’ll need to evaluate the value of the Free Dining package against the value of any other incentives, discounts, or offers. You’ll also want to take some time to think through where you and your family would likely eat during your vacation, and add up the rough cost of those meals — and if the locations you would like to eat at accept the dining plan you will receive (use our menu database to help you do this).
Who to Turn to for Help Planning Your Disney World Vacation
Crunching all of the numbers takes a lot of planning and time, which many of us do not have. With the deadline of February 10, 2019, to book your vacation with Free Dining you may want help crunching the numbers, searching for other discounts and incentives, and planning your vacation. If you need that help, AllEars.net recommends Mouse Fan Travel — learn about why you should use a vacation planner/travel agent for your Disney trip here.
Have you taken advantage of Disney’s Free Dining Plan before? Was it a deal for you and your family? Would you recommend it to others? Let us know in the comments below!
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