Q: When will Disney’s Free Dining promotion be available to book for 2017?
A; Disney’s Free Dining promotion is probably the most sought after discount that Walt Disney World releases each year. When it is on offer, guest with resort and tickets packages have the option of adding one of Disney’s Dining Plans to their reservations at no additional cost. The discount is tiered with those booked into a Value Resort getting the Quick Service Dining Plan and those at the Moderate and Deluxes being offered the regular Disney Dining plan (which offers both Quick Service and Table Service options).
What are the dates that the Free Dining promotion usually covers?
Disney has been offering this promotion for a while and it usually covers the Autumn months from late August – December with some blackout dates around popular holidays and in the lead-in to Christmas. Though there is no guarantee that the discount will re-occur in 2017, it is likely we’ll see it again this year unless Disney decides to dramatically shake up their discount offers.
So when can we expect this offer to be announced for 2017?
In 2016, the Free Dining promotion was released on April 27, 2016. However, this year Disney seems to be offering its discount offers earlier in the year and the discounts seem to be encompassing a larger block of dates. For this reason, I would really start being on the lookout for news related to a possible Free Dining promotion starting in March.
Should I book my package now or wait until the Free Dining promotion is released?
I usually advise visitors to book their package beforehand and then add the Free Dining discount in when it becomes available. This promotion in particular is wildly popular and sometimes makes booking a reservation on discount day next to impossible. Also there is limited availability at the resorts which may make getting the resort of your choice a difficult task. Disney has a great change/cancellation policy which means that you can change resort, dates etc. up to 31 days before departure without penalty. So I say create a package just how you want it, book everything in, have a member of your family or your travel agent monitor for discounts and apply them to your existing package when available. I find that this method is often easier in the long run.
Are there usually resorts that are exempt from Free Dining promotion?
Yes. Again these can change year on year depending on popularity but the resorts exempt often include: Art of Animation- Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter, campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Bay Lake Tower, 3-Bedroom Villas and the Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows.
Are there any additional requirements for packages to qualify for Free Dining?
There may be, so you’ll want to be aware. Last year, in order for a Walt Disney World vacation package to qualify for the Free Dining offer, guests had to have either Park Hopper tickets added to their package. Though we don’t know for sure whether the same requirements will be extended to this year’s offer, its good to be aware of the impact this upgrade might have on Disney budgets.
Be the first to know about Free Dining.
Sign up for our Free Dining Mailing List and be among the first to find out when this year’s Free Dining promotion is announced. Just pop a quick email to [email protected] and well let you know as soon as Disney releases details of an official on-sale date.
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Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels I’ll be on hand to help you with everything from finding your perfect package to nabbing those hard-to-get dining and Fastpass reservations. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025, via email at [email protected] or follow along on Facebook.
Image copyright Disney.
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