Disney World Free Dining 2011 and 2012

Travel Dates: October 1, 2011 – March 29, 2012

Walt Disney World has extended the existing Free Disney Dining offer to cover dates through March 29, 2012. Only selected dates are available.

Update March 5, 2012: Walt Disney World has released the 2012 Free Dining to everyone, same dates as the Disney VISA free dining, however, the Disney VISA requirement is no longer, anyone can book this deal: 2012 Disney Free Dining

Update March 1, 2012: Disney World has released free Disney Dining for more 2012 dates, August 25 – September 29. Disney VISA Free Dining 2012

Update October 27, 2011: Walt Disney World has extended the booking window for 2012 dates. For travel during 2011, this offer must be booked by October 29, however, for travel during 2012, this offer must now be booked by December 17, 2011.

Update August 24, 2011: Walt Disney World has adjusted the available travel dates slightly, adding some nights in and taking a few away. Here are the current dates:

Available Travel Dates:

  • October 1 – October 6, 2011
  • October 22 – November 3, 2011
  • November 12 – November 17, 2011
  • November 26 – December 1, 2011
  • December 10 – December 15, 2011
  • January 8 – January 12, 2012
  • January 21 – February 2, 2012
  • February 11 – February 16, 2012
  • March 3 – March 8, 2012
  • March 24 – March 29, 2012

Please note that in order to qualify for the free dining offer, your must check in during one of the available dates above. Your stay can extend into a black out period, you will still receive the free dining for your entire stay. Availability is extremely limited, and not all resorts may be available.

Guests staying at a Disney World value resort will receive the Quick Service Dining Plan for free. Guests will be able to upgrade to either the Disney Dining plan or the Deluxe Disney Dining plan by paying the price difference. To upgrade to the Disney Dining Plan, the increased cost will be $11 per adult per night of your stay, there would not be any cost to upgrade kids. To upgrade to the Disney Deluxe Dining plan, guests will pay $44 per adult and $10 per child per night of your stay.

Guests staying at a Disney World Moderate, Deluxe or Disney Villa resort will receive the Disney Dining Plan included for free. Disney World guests at moderate, deluxe and villa resorts will also be able to book the “Free Dining”, and upgrade to the Disney Deluxe Dining for the normal price difference, which is $33 for adults and $10 for children three to nine per night of your stay.

Availability is extremely limited, and must be booked by October 29, 2011. It appears that all suites, campsites and 3 bedroom villas have been excluded from this offer, with the exception of the family suites at All-Star Music, which are included. All Disney resorts, including value resorts are included in the offer. Three night minimum stay required, and a maximum stay of 14 nights is allowed per reservation. You must also purchase a minimum 2 day basic park pass per person per reservation to qualify.

To book this special Disney World “Free Dining” vacation package, please contact our great sponsor Mouseketrips.

Comments

  1. heather says

    HI Keith
    Our family has already booked for our trip to Disney for the dates of 11/7-11/12/11. These are not included in the free dining. Are there any offers available for this time? Or do you have any suggestions? When I called today to extend our stay to begin on 11/5 they stated that I would have redo our entire reservations including our dinnig reservations.

  2. Keith says

    Heather – Not at this point, we are still waiting for them, though there should be some. You should be able to change your dates to 11/5 no problem, then apply the free dining. Should only take a few minutes, and you shouldn’t have to change any dining reservations. Try calling back, if you don’t have any luck, contact a Disney Travel Agent (we suggest Mouseketrips), they would be happy to take over your reservation and get things worked out for you.

  3. Holly says

    I kinda have the same question as Heather. We are going Oct 15-Oct 20. Not in the free dining days :( Do you think there will be any offers for the week we are going? thanks!

    • Keith says

      Holly – Yes, very likely we will see another discount for October – December dates soon, would be a huge surprise if we did not.

      Jessica – Book the free dining now, don’t even wait to read the end of this sentence. If any new room only or other discount comes out that is better, you can alway call back and apply the better deal in place of the free dining. If you wait, you are taking a chance of getting nothing, just doesn’t make sense.

  4. Jessica says

    Love your site. We booked a 7-night room only stay at GF starting 11/13, fully-expecting some discounts to come out later this summer, as we’ve had great luck the last few years (35-40% usually). Now that I see the free dining offer, I’m wondering if that’s the best we’re going to see. We’d much prefer a room- discount. Do you think it would be a mistake to keep waiting rather than convert to a package to take advantage of the Free Dining?

  5. Jamie says

    We are planning to book a trip April 15, 2012. Do you think they’ll extend the free dining into April next year? And when do they come out with deals for April??

    • Keith says

      Jamie – Really doubtful we will see this free dining offer extended to cover additional 2012 dates, though I guess you never know. We will probably see April deals sometime early next year, January or February.

  6. Emily says

    Hi Keith –

    Pop Century vs a moderate resort. Which one? I’ve already made reservations to some character meals and would like to be on the free dining plan. I know that the character meals = a sit down meal and that we should probably then book the Disney Dining Plan rather than the Quick Service Plan. So, do we pay the $11/adult/night upgrade or pay for a moderate resort?

  7. Tricia says

    We’re going Jan 2-7….not included in newest free dining offer. Any chance of other discounts for these dates?

  8. Keith says

    Kari – Nope, you must check in on an available date, so October 2 or later.

    Emily – Depending on your party, it may not be much more to do a moderate resort. Contact a Disney Travel agent, they will be able to get prices for you and get you all options available.

    Tricia – Any dates October – March, except Christmas week, are very likely to see other discounts. I would expect Fall discounts soon, Spring discounts may be a while longer.

  9. says

    Does anyone think they will announce more Free Dining dates later this year for 2012? We would like to go in April but with a family of 6 we NEED free dining!

    • Keith says

      Alisia – Really, really unlikely we will see additional 2012 dates with free dining added. Very possible we may see it again for August/September 2012, but April and May are very unlikely. Other discounts of course, just not free dining.

    • Keith says

      Yuen – Sure, anyone can get the free dining promotion. You must purchase a package that includes your room and 2 day park passes. Many AP holders save the tickets and trade them in towards their AP renewal.

  10. caroline says

    I have already booked our trip for oct 6-11, 2011 at the Contemporary with Dining plan, can we still get the dining for free? I have only paid the deposit.

  11. Keith says

    Caroline – You should, based on availability. You will need to contact whoever booked your trip for you (travel agent or WDW directly) and ask them to apply it for you.

  12. Jennifer says

    Hello.. silly question but we are booked Mar25-Apr 1/2012..8 days / 7 nights but because we are flying in late on day 1, and leaving day 8, we only booked a 6 day hopper pass… do we get free dinning on 7 days or just the amount of days we got a park pass for???

    • Keith says

      Jennifer – The dining plan is always based on the number of nights you stay, the length of your park passes are irrelevant.

  13. Carrie says

    We were planing on staying at the Pop Century but want the Disney Dining plan instead of the Quick Service Dining Plan, so I called Disney and asked them about upgrading the Quick Service Dining plan to the Disney dining plan and the told me it was $20.00 per adult and $11.00 per child.

  14. fran says

    We are considering a DW trip for the end of March (March25-March31). On reviewing historic sites for attendance they state it will be a very crowded time. Since this year this time frame will be 2 weeks before Easter does this still seem to be a crowded time frame?

    • Keith says

      Fran – Yes, very crowded. Anytime between the first week of March and the week after Easter is peak season, expected to be very crowded. The fact they released free dining for this time does mean Disney’s bookings are lower than expected for those dates though. Expect pretty heavy crowds, be pleasantly surprised if that is not the case.

  15. Danica says

    for those booking during theses days beware: we re-booked our reservations to include the ‘free days’ and “thought” we would be saving a lot of money. However, now that I have figured out the costs (food/room/park tickets) of adding the days that don’t count (we arrive 2 days ahead which are not included) we will end up spending more than originally booked so I may end up switching back to our original reservation.

    • Keith says

      Danica – Yep, but you get 2 more days of fun! Definitely do the math on any discount before you start making changes.

  16. Sandra says

    We are a family of 5 – kids aged 5, 7 & 9 staying at the Polynesian in mid Nov. It sounds like the free meal plan might be a bigger savings than using a FL resident room-only discount (which of course hasn’t been released yet) or the AAA rate already applied to our room rate.

    However, I purchased the base tickets already when I heard about imminent park ticket price increases. Is it possible to get a refund for the base tickets or apply it to a lodging/ticket package (with the free meal plan)? We will have to buy 2 park tickets with the package, correct? Just wondering if it’s worth it since we will have to save some or all of the already purchased tickets for another visit (and in that case we wont be able to add the meal plan). Thanks for your help!

  17. Keith says

    Sandra – It is likely that a room discount, whether FL resident or general public would likely be your best deal, though neither has been released yet. Cross your fingers!

    Previously purchased tickets are non-refundable, and cannot be applied to a package reservation. If you wanted to do free dining, you would have to purchase new tickets, you could either save your previously purchased tickets or save your new tickets, up to you.

    If I were you, I would switch over to free dining now if you qualify, and hope for a room only discount to come along. I would also contact a decent Disney Travel agent and have them take over your reservation so they can help you figure out what is best for you.

  18. Susan says

    Does this deal include shades of green? And if I get military discounted tickets can I still get the free dining plan if I come during the travel dates above?

    • Keith says

      Susan – Shades of Green is not a Disney resort, so no, not included. You must stay at a Disney resort to get the free dining, and your package must include 2 day park passes (minimum) for each person. You can do the math, but it would be cheaper to just extend the 2 day tickets to the length you want rather than buying the 2 day tickets and then military tickets.

  19. Samantha says

    I’m booked 2/12-2/18 at ASMu with free quick service dining. The cost to upgrade is $352 for the week for 3 adults and 3 kids. I’ve gotten the same quote twice from two different CMs.

  20. Jennifer says

    Hello, I am booked for the end of Mar 2012. I can book my dinning Sept 28th but as of yet, I can’t see the parks calender for March. Do you know when thats going to be released. If I knew park hours (late hrs) I could plan my dinning accordingly with where I will be!

  21. Keith says

    Jennifer – Park hours are usually released right before the 180 day point. For March, I would expect to see WDW park hours released sometime late this month.

  22. Kirsten says

    Hi Keith,
    Just came across your site. I know this is pretty far out, but we’re planning an October 2-8, 2012 WDW trip. What is the likelyhood of free dining again next fall?

    Kirsten

    • Keith says

      Kirsten – I have absolutely no idea. I was very surprised we saw it released for this year, and I would be even more surprised to see it next Fall. We will have to wait to see if is released for August and September 2012 first, then we will have a better idea.

  23. Teri says

    You said, Holly – Yes, very likely we will see another discount for October – December dates soon, would be a huge surprise if we did not.

    Wondering, what type of discount are you thinking? We are bummed as our trip is booked for Oct. 18-25th, so I don’t think we are eligible for the free dining. Also wondering what the rhyme and reason is for the particular weeks they chose to give it. Kind of frustrating when you are so close but still lose out.

  24. Keith says

    Terri – Nope, you don’t qualify, you have to check in on one of the available dates. Disney releases discounts for dates that they feel need help booking up. The dates you are going are nearly full at many of the resorts, there isn’t any reason for Disney to release free dining for your dates.

    If we see additional discounts, it will most likely be a room % discount, possibly a package discount like kids stay and play free. We really have no idea what we will see, or if we will actually see anything else (that would surprise me).

  25. Z says

    Hi,
    Planning to go Jan. 2-8, 2012. When might we see anything on a possible discount for that time? Do they usually have specials for vacations planned for as early as Jan. 2?

    Thanks!

  26. Keith says

    Z – For 2011, they had free dining for some dates and then a free Disney Gift Card offer for all January dates. That deal did cover January 1 and later, and was released mid-August, but covered dates starting in October. We really haven’t seen Fall deals for 2011 yet, probably unlikely we will see January deals for quite some time.

    • Keith says

      Chrissy – Free dining? Nope. Other discounts? From time to time we see discounts during the summer, but not every year. Historically summer discounts have been pretty rare, though we have seen them cover the entire summer the last 2 years.

  27. Carrie in Kansas says

    I priced out the vacation options for my family of 6 for my husband one day and the next day they had changed the date the offer was good through! (12/17 has been taken off when you go to book through disney online.) Do you think they will be adding that date back or have they offered other discounts around that time before?

    • Keith says

      Carrie – Funny, does look like they removed that date from the information they list, however, while no longer listed there, you can still check in on 12/17 and qualify for free dining. My guess is Disney doesn’t really want to promote that late of a check in, but it is still available.

    • Keith says

      Holly – We are expecting Fall discounts any day now, just no idea what they will be or exactly when they will be released. Your travel dates are already full at many resorts, any discount is going to be extremely limited for mid-October.

  28. Sam says

    Greetings Keith ~

    I am completely new to your informative website (& also to DisneyWorld, as the last time I was there was back in the late 70s! :-O ! ~ boy oh boy am I ever dating myself with THAT comment lol!!), so please forgive me if my questions seem somewhat obtuse ::embarassed grimace lol::

    If I understand correctly I will receive free dining each day of my stay 1/8-14/12 as long as I check in during that time period. Additionally, I must make my reservation by 10/29/11. Must I pay for my reservation at that time? Furthermore, how do I find out, in detail, what each meal plan and meal plan upgrade entails?

    • Keith says

      Sam – Yes, as long as you check in during one of the available dates, you will receive free dining for your entire stay.

      You can see a description of all of the 2012 Disney Dining plans here: 2012 WDW Dining Plans

      I would strongly suggest finding a Disney specialist travel agent, they will be able to make sure your trip qualifies for the free dining and can help you choose your resort and dining plan, etc.

  29. Brian says

    Keith, have we seen all the October discounts we are going to see yet? We are a family of five (kids ages 13, 9 and 9) arriving 10/19 and departing 10/25, which doesn’t qualify us for a free dining plan. So far I’m really disappointed with the discounts for Fall this year. Last year, they were excellent, but we were not able to go until this year. I have a current reservation (at full price, yuck!) for a 1 bedroom suite at Kidani Village, with Park Hopper and a Dining plan. It looks like we’ll have to bite the bullet and pay the absorbent amount for this vacation. It’s a helpless feeling when Disney has this kind of a grip. : (

  30. Keith says

    Brian – We are still fully expecting some other discount to be released for Fall dates, and honestly, very surprised it isn’t out yet. The problem is that many of the dates in October that weren’t included in free dining are basically sold out at WDW, so there really isn’t any incentive for Disney to release a discount. Hopefully we will see something soon, fingers are crossed.

  31. Teri says

    So if these dates in October are sold out, then why is it listed as not as crowded of a time. We picked our week based on knowing it would be less crowded. Now you are saying they are mostly sold out. Also, the dates all the way into March 2012 are too far out to know which weeks are booked- unless they just going on past history. Sorry if I sound negative, just frustrated that we are so close yet it doesn’t look like we will get a discount. And it seems unfair to have someone side by side with us at the hotel that has free dining on the same day we can’t get it (based on the fact you have to check in on those dates). Still crossing fingers though.

  32. Keith says

    Teri – Disney released free dining for October 2010, and the travel dates were very similar. Some weeks were unavailable due to higher crowds, same for 2011. Part of the problem with October is the Halloween Party brings in many locals who stay one night and go to the party. They fill up the hotels just that one night, but the fact that one night is then sold out, it then shows as sold out for any stay that covers that one night.

    We are still fully expecting discounts for October. There are AP discounts out now, if you are staying in a deluxe hotel consider purchasing an AP to get the discount. The ticket will cost you an extra $300, but a 40% savings per night will pay for that extra cost pretty quickly. You can always book that deal and hold off on buying the AP. If a general public deals comes out you just switch. Hopefully we will see something soon.

  33. Teri says

    Thanks Keith, that explains it a little better to me. Our dates are 10/18-10/25 and we are staying in a value resort. This is a big trip for us and our kids (6 and 8) so we’ve splurged (for us!). Although when we booked we expected to pay the amount we were quoted, now that we know about the discounts, of course we are hoping to get something to help us out. We would have picked the discounted days if we had known them when we booked but had to book early for airfare (ff miles) and character dining. I’ll keep checking back. Our balance is due Sept 3rd although the travel agent did say we could be reimbursed if a discount came out that we were eligible for. Thanks again, Teri

  34. Brad says

    When, on average, does Disney post offers. I have seen free dining before and would love to use that, however I can’t make it during the times for this offer. Any ideas when they will be offered for later in 2012?

  35. AGM says

    Same question as Brad. Looking to go Sept. – Oct. 2012. We were just there in May, and had to rush youngest daughter(4) to the hospital from the Magic Kingdom. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Her older sister(9) has had it since 2007. Finished out the trip, but had to be careful with what we did. Want to take her back so that this isn’t her only memory of the greatest place on earth.

  36. Keith says

    Most discounts are released a few months before your travel date. Some deals like Free dining are often released 6 months or so in advance, and only last for a short period. There really isn’t any set answer. Sign up for our newsletter above, you will be notified of any news deals.

    For Fall 2012 deals, it is unlikely we will see anything until Spring of next year.

  37. Kay Jones says

    Keith, We are going to disney on 11/17/2011 thru 11/23/2011. We have rented 2 cabins and 1 campsite at fort wilderness. I think we can get free dining for the people staying in the cabins but not the campsite. Is that correct.

  38. Keith says

    Kay – Correct, depending on availability. Cabins are included in the free dining discount, campsites are not. I would get this booked ASAP, or switched over, I would guess the cabins will be gone quickly.

  39. Jen says

    Hello! I booked my vacation several weeks ago with a check-in date of March 31st. At the time, this date qualified us for free dining for our entire stay. I now see they have changed the dates and this date is no longer included for the free dining. Will this affect my prior reservation? Will I lose the free dining discount?

  40. Keith says

    Jen – The date change will not effect existing reservations. If your reservation is booked, you still have the free dining. It only effects new reservations.

  41. Sam says

    Greetings Keith ~

    Hope your holiday weekend is going fabulously & safely! Since my last question to you I have done a great deal of WDW research and as it turns out we may opt to stay at one of the condos at the Lighthouse Keys as this will give each of us our own room for a FANTASTIC rate/night. Consequently we will not be eligible for the free dining plan as that property is, as I have learned, not WDW-owned; therefore, I’d like to know if there is another WDW discount we can take advantage of during our 1/8-12/12 stay?

    Thanks so much for your help!

  42. Keith says

    Sam – All of Disney’s discounts are for onsite stays. They are there to entice people to stay on property. Staying offsite, there just isn’t anything that is going help you out.

  43. Stacy says

    We normally go to Disney the 1st week of May and love it. Free Dining, smaller crowds. This year we are thinking of going June 13th for 10 days. Is that considered peak time? Do they usually offer free dining then? I’m not sure when the free meals usually are for June and would rather move my trip up a day or two if it would help me qualify for the free meals. Any ideas of when they ususally offer them in June?

  44. Keith says

    Stacy – Disney has only ever offered free dining in May once, that was this year. I really doubt we will see it again, as they have already announced free dining for some 2012 dates. Anytime after the first few days of June is full blow summer season. It is very rate to see any discount for your June dates.

  45. Bridget says

    This is ridiculous. Why does disney keep changing the dates? We have been planning and saving to go from 2/18/12-2/22/12 with the free dining plan and now they have changed the dates. We haven’t been able to afford to book yet but we were told we had til October to book. It’s quite unfair for Disney to change the dates like that. If it wasn’t for the kids I would cancel the trip in a heart beat due to Disneys poor service in this matter. They need to make up their minds and not change a few tiny dates while people are trying to plan their vacations. Absolutely ridiculous.

  46. Keith says

    Bridget – Well, they only changed the dates once, but I agree. If they want to change the dates, fine, but at least give some warning. We have never seen a date change like this before, just not sure why it happened. Sorry you missed out.

  47. melisa says

    i am booking a value resort last week of march for free dining plan i aldready upgraded it to dining plus… how much more would it cost to upgrade it to deluxe dining

  48. Shannon says

    Hi Keith,
    We are going to be headed down to Disney next Oct 2012. Any advice as when the best time would be to book? Also, do you anticipate free dining again in 2012?

    Lastly, other than the monorailed hotels, which have the easiest transportation to the parks?

    Thanks!

  49. Keith says

    Shannon – Book now, no reason to wait. Any discount that comes out you will be able to apply to your existing reservation, based on availability of course. If you just wait, there is a good change the resort/room you want will sell out.

    The monorail resorts only have monorail access to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, everywhere else is bus service. I really like the Beach Club area (Yacht Club and Boardwalk Inn), walking distance to Epcot and boat to Hollywood Studios). The moderates and values are all about the same, bus service everywhere. If you are doing a value, I like Pop Century for transportation, central location and it is by itself until Art of Animation opens up.

  50. Marie says

    We are looking into planning a family trip to Disney next August. We are not sure of when to book in August. We have never tried the dining program but we have heard a lot of great things about it. What are the odds of Disney having free Dining next August? What dates in August would be better to book?

    • Keith says

      Marie – Hard to say at this point, each year it is released, I am a bit surprised, so very possible it will be released for Fall 2012, but I will be surprised when it is. For 2011, the first day was August 19, for 2010, I think it was August 14. If you check in the last 10 days of August, you should be fine for any discount they release for the August/September time frame.

  51. Mike says

    We have a reservation at PO Riverside and received the Disney Dining Plan. My question is can we downgrade to the Quick Service Dining Plan (I know sounds odd – but with our kids it works better).

  52. Keith says

    Mike – Unfortunately not (I know you should, but you can’t). Check with the hotel when you check in though, they might be able to do it for you. If not, consider doing a few character meals for your kids with the table service meals and maybe a nice meal for you. Sometimes, the counter service locations will allow you to use a table service credit to pay for your counter service meal.

    Liz – Looking bleak, isn’t it? There is still a chance, both AP and FL Resident deals were just released a few days ago. If you are staying in a moderate or deluxe resort, you need to look at the AP option. You will have to purchase an annual pass, but your hotel savings may be considerably more than the extra cost of your AP.

  53. Liz says

    Thanks so much. I will be staying Deluxe and it will pay for itself, you’re right. My AP expired in March and I plan not to return for over a year so I was avoiding this but I have no choice. Guess I’ll call and see what’s available for my dates. Thanks!

    • Keith says

      Liz – Understood. Just don’t buy your AP yet, wait until you know there won’t be a better option. If there is a general public deal come out, you can always switch again and save yourself the AP purchase.

  54. Liz says

    To follow up: I called last night to check availability at BWI for a std. view room at Passholder rate. The CM was extremely cordial and helpful. She said there was no passholder rate available BUT that there was a PIN offer. $288.85 per night, which includes the tax. The rack rate on this room is $395 (which is ridiculous) + tax. So, I booked it. This equates to 35% off the rack rate. I’m thrilled. VERY odd to me, though, as in 12+ years of traveling to WDW anywhere from 1-4X per year, I have never been offered a PIN by a CM. Thought you might be interested.

    • Keith says

      Liz – Glad you were able to get some decent savings! What that means is Disney assigned a PIN code to you some time ago, which was then sent to you either by email or post card, but never made it to you due to a bad address (or naughty spam folder). For anyone traveling this Fall that doesn’t have free dining, it is worth a call to WDW to see if a PIN has been assigned to you.

  55. Mike Allen says

    Keith – Thanks. Will the counter service restaurants give us a hard time about using table service credits for counter service meals or as long as I tell them what I want it should be fine. Still holding out hope for the room discounts in November.

  56. Keith says

    Mike – Possibly. Officially, you cannot use a table service credit at a counter service restaurant, but unofficially, most CMs know how to make it work and can do it for you. Make sure you ask before you order.

  57. sanjay says

    We are planning a trip for next summer, probably august. We just assumed they would not offer free dining during that time. Do you think they will offer free dining in august? We took advantage of free dining in 2010 and it was great!

  58. Keith says

    Sanjay – Possibly. With any Disney discount, we really don’t know until they are actually released. Disney has offered free dining every year during late August and all of September since the dining plans were originally released. If we see free dining at all from this point forward, it should be during that same time.

  59. Sanjay says

    Thanks for the quick response. I forgot to ask when you think they would release additional dates if they did august and september?

    Thanks and Love the website!

    • Keith says

      Fran – Hard to say, we saw free dining for 2011, though that was unique. We have seen kids free, buy 4 get 3 free, room discounts, etc. There really isn’t a set deal, we are just going to have to wait and see.

    • Keith says

      Fran – We haven’t seen Fall 2011 deals yet, other than free dining. Probably unlikely we would see anything for May until sometime next year.

  60. Keith says

    Jimbo – Do you mean Fort Wilderness or Wilderness Lodge? They are two different resorts.

    February 12 is a valid date, and at this point, Wilderness Lodge is available with the free dining. You can’t book directly with a resort, you have to use a travel agent or book with Disney directly (use a travel agent). Just let them know when you are going, where you want to stay and that you want free dining. Any decent travel agent will know it is available already for your dates and will just book it for you, but double check that you get the deal.

  61. jimbo says

    we are book at fort wilderness resort for them dates. I have not heard any thing back from agent as of yet and there are 2 adults and 1 child for trip. this is a great deal and don’t want to miss out on it.

  62. Elizabeth says

    My husband and I are planning a trip to WDW with two kids (not big eaters). We are signed up for the deluxe dining plan because we wanted to do Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey, Spirit of Aloha and Fantasmic. I’m looking at the numbers and with not big eaters, I’m not sure it’s worth the money. What do you think? Thanks!
    Elizabeth – 1st time WDW traveler

  63. Keith says

    Elizabeth – I am not a fan of the deluxe plan with little kids, it is just too much food, you have to eat constantly to make it worth it for you. Of the meals listed, only Cindrella and the Luau are 2 per person, the others are only one. Consider doing the Disney Dining plan and just pay out of pocket for Cinderella or the Luau, you will be ahead.

  64. Glenn says

    Hi Keith,

    We are looking to go to Disney 1/20/12 to 1/25/12 (there is a school break, so our travel dates cannot be changed. Looks like checking in 1/20 rather than 1/21 costs us free dining – is there any other type of deal or discount we can get? We are even considering checking in 1/20 for a day, then 1/21 for the rest, but that sounds like a hassle. I’d greatly appreciate your thoughts.

  65. Keith says

    Glenn – At this point, there are not any other discounts available for January, though it is likely that there will be sometime in the future, though no promises.

    Yes, you can book a room only reservation for 1/20 and then a package for 1/21 – 25 and get free dining for those last four nights. However, you would not be able to get your park passes until you check in on 1/21, so depending on what your plans were for the first day, that may or may not work well for you.

    Rumor has it that Disney is allowing you to get your tickets up to 3 days early at guest services, which would help you out, though Disney is denying this program at this time, most likely due to circumstances like yours. Hopefully it will be cleared up soon.

  66. angela says

    I am attending a conference at one of the moderate hotels, with a group rate. I will be checking in during one of the available dates. Would I still qualify for the free meals? I will be purchasing military tickets during that time frame.

  67. Keith says

    Angela – Nope. Disney requires that you purchase a package that include the resort room and park passes (both at full rate) in order to receive free dining. You may want to do the math to see which way is cheaper for you.

  68. Randy says

    We are planning a trip next October. Since the Free Dining begins this Oct for 2011-12. Do you think free dining will be offered for next October 2012?

    Thanks!
    Randy

  69. Jocelyn says

    We’re looking to book end of April 2012. Since the free dining plan appears to only have dates released until the end of March 2012, any chance of having the free dining plan come out for April? If so, do you know when it would likely come out?

  70. Keith says

    Randy – Possibly. I am surprised every year when it is released, I will be surprised again for 2012 too. I think seeing it in August and September is likely, past that, unlikely.

    Jocelyn – I would have to say the chance that we see this free dining offer extended for any dates past March are very minimal. For 2011, all the dates were announced at once, including April and May. Since this current deal doesn’t cover any dates past March, it would be extremely unlikely we will see any extension of the deal until the standard Free Dining time in mid to late August.

  71. Susan says

    What is the difference between staying at Shades of Green (SOG) and a Disney Resort? What perks am I missing by staying at SOG? Is it worth paying $200 more (for a week) to stay at a Disney Resort?

    • Keith says

      Susan – Shades of Green is not a Disney resort, and therefor staying there will exclude you from some Disney programs such as the Magical Express, Disney Dining plans, Disney discounts, resort delivery of purchases, etc. Shades of Green does participate in Extra Magic Hours through.

  72. Alicia says

    Love the website and all the great info….My question…I have received many pin codes in the past to DW, but in the past few weeks, I have gotten several, but all , for DL…I live in Alabama and visit DW almost yearly. Any ideas why they would be sending my out pin codes for DL and not DW? Also, all the books and websites that the pin codes can not be shared with anyone, but a couple of years ago, I used one that someone shared on FB (that was mailed to them), and I was able to use it, not problem. I even hinted to the phone rep that it wasn’t in my name. Have you heard of other cases of this happening? Are they really as strict as they say about this or does it depend on the phone rep that you talk to? Also, if you have a pin code, can you use it to reserve more than 1 room (want both sets of grandparents to go with us). And last question, do you know the discounts that are the pin codes going out for Spring of next year (We are going in April). Have you heard if they are for room discounts or free dining? Thanks so much!

  73. Marie says

    Hi Keith,
    I noticed that Disney currently has free dining from Aug 19th through the end of Sept 2012 for Canadian residents. Do you think that that promo will go out to U.S. residents and if it does do you think it would be the same dates or earlier dates in August?
    Thanks for you input!

  74. Keith says

    Alicia – I have no way to explain the mysteries of Disney PIN codes.

    Disney is super strict, I have never heard of DIsney allowing you to use a PIN code that you didn’t receive, usually they confirm that it is yours long before they will even give you a price let alone book a reservation for you.

    Usually PIN codes can be used to book up to 3 rooms, but the receiver of the code must be in one of the rooms.

    There were a few PIN codes that started this week, they were a room discount and kids stay and play free, similar dates to the 2011/12 dates just released.

    Marie – Doubtful for earlier in August, that is about when it usually starts in August.

    • Keith says

      RJ – anyone can get free dining, but you must purchase a minimum of 2 day passes for everyone in your group. You also cannot combine deals, so it is either free dining or the AP discount, not both. Most passholders save their 2 day tickets and use them towards their AP renewal costs.

  75. Leigh Ann says

    Hi! I was reading the comments on your site and wanted clarification. If I book a trip to WDW now for May 2012, and at a later date Disney offers free dining or a room discount, would the travel agent have to cancel my existing reservation and book a whole new one or could they just add dining to my existing reservation? My concern is that the room category may not be available, or the room rate may increase. I’d like to go next year but could really use a discount so we can stay at the resort we love (beach club!)

  76. Keith says

    Leigh Ann – Most of the time, there is no reason to cancel and rebook, they will just apply the discount to your package. However, just because you have the room booked, and a discount comes out, does not mean you can get the deal automatically. Disney only makes a certain number of rooms available at each resort and in each view each night. If your view is not made available for your dates, you won’t be able to apply it, you will need to look at another view, another resort or pay full price. I see this a lot with standard view rooms at Wilderness Lodge, other resors/views are usually ok.

  77. Mario says

    I would like to book 6 rooms from Jan 5 checking out Jan 11 @ the Grand Floridian, with park hopper for 4 or 5 days for 12 people, will the dining plan be included? How much for everything? Please em me with details.

  78. Hillary says

    Keith- Just found your site; love it! Thank you for all you do.

    My question: We are going to be renting one of the beach club villas and found it’s cheaper to rent the points from a DVC owner than to book with DW directly. Would we be eligible for the free dining plan if we were to book during an eligible time?

  79. Keith says

    Hillary – Nope, not going to be eligible. To get free dining, you must book a WDW package that includes your Disney resort and park passes. Booking DVC with points does not qualify as a package.

  80. Marianne says

    I am planning a trip to Disney in September, 2012 (9/15-9/22). I was wondering if the free dining plan would be available during our stay.
    Thank you,
    Marianne

    • Keith says

      Marianne – At this point, we don’t know, and we will not know until the discounts for September are released, which probably will not be until March or April. I would say it is a pretty good chance, though things can change.

    • Keith says

      George – Is there something less than 0%? I just don’t see Disney adding any additional dates now for Spring. They just extended the booking window the other day, that would have been the time to add dates.

  81. Tee says

    Hi Marianne, you can book sept free dining right now. We booked ours last week. Mid Aug until Sept 29th it is offered.

  82. Keith says

    Tee – You booked a special only available to Canadian residents, it isn’t available to anyone else in the world. Consider yourself lucky.

  83. T.ANN says

    Hi, I am currently booked at the Disney Caribbean Beach for the last week of March 2012 with the free dining. I have read several places of people upgrading to Deluxe Dining for only part of the 6 nights with a minimum of 3 nights upgraded. I actually read one person took the upgrade for every other night of their stay. Do you know how this works? Would I have to check in and out every day? since the “key” card holds the points of the dining plan. Would I simply get one key with a “Total” dining points for the weeks stay? I am considering an upgrade but I think for the entire 6 nights it will be too much food and the split dining plan makes sense. Just not sure how points will expire etc? Any tips?

  84. Keith says

    T.Ann – It does not work, Disney will not allow you to have different dining plans for part of your stay. The dining plans are either all or nothing, all of your stay for everyone in the room, or nothing at all. There isn’t any partial upgrades or anything even close to that.

    It is possible to do 3 nights with the deluxe and 3 nights with the regular, but you would then need 2 separate reservations, and would have to start over on park passes, thereby costing you more money than just doing the deluxe your entire stay. If you have split reservations like this, all your points from your first stay expire at midnight they day that package ends, and you start over. Just book the deluxe or regular your entire stay and don’t worry about it.

  85. Tammy says

    was looking at going to disney in Sept 2012 and i was going over the free dining they are offering now and was curious why they are only offering the free meal plan right now for uk residents only

    • Keith says

      Tammy – The only free dining I know of currently available for your dates is the Canadian offer. Disney often offers deals like this for slow times of the year to international guests early, and usually for a short time, to get them to book early. It is usually a good sign the same discount will be released to everyone sometime in the future.

  86. michele says

    Keith – Just starting my Disney Planning. We are a family of 5, with kids ages 6,5, and 3. I am looking to book during free dining in January, but what are the basic differences between basic dining, disney dining and deluxe dining. Do you suggest I go to a travel agent? Is there a site that compares the three dining plans? Is there a site that compares the hotels that you can stay at and get free dining? Are they on property? We would like to stay on property. Thanks michele

  87. DeVore says

    We are planning a vacation Jan. 12th-16th. I just called Disney and didn’t get any specials. I have never been to Disney. Do you know of anything or have any suggestions?

  88. Keith says

    Michele – Yes, find a decent Disney specialist. We suggest Mouseketrips, they are great. It won’t cost you any additional money, but they or others will make sure you get the best deal possible and help you plan your trip.

    You can see the 2012 Disney Dining info here:

    2012 Disney World Dining Plans

    Free dining is available only at Disney hotels and at all Disney hotels, based on availability. You should be able to look at disneyworld.com to compare those hotels, or ask your travel agent what your options are for a family of 5.

    DeVore – If you call WDW and ask for discounts, they will play dumb, they don’t want you to know about them, you have to ask about a particular deal. Checking in January 12 you qualify for both free dining and the winter room only discount, but you can only do one of them, not both. Contact a Disney specialist travel agent too, they will be able to help you figure out which one is best for you and get it booked. No reason for you to mess around with Disney when they aren’t going to help you.

  89. Allison says

    We have booked at a Deluxe resort for February 12 – 17 for a family of four. We booked on November 7 – are we eligible for the free dining? Of did I have to book by October 29 to be eligible? If yes, I just call Disney and ask for it?

    • Keith says

      Allison – February 12 qualifies, and 2012 dates are still available to book, so it will depend on availability at your resort. You will need to contact whoever booked your trip, either Disney or a travel agent, and have them apply it for you. There is also a Winter Savings offer, you may want to look at that one too. You can’t do both, just pick the one that saves you the most money.

      Winter Disney World Savings

  90. Allison says

    Thanks. I should have mentioned – we got the military rate for the room, so that saves more than the free dining plan, and I guess you can’t have both :) Would’ve been a super deal that way!!

    • Keith says

      Melanie – I would say at this point, it is probable, better than 50% chance we will see free dining for August/September 2012. Historically, it is released around late March or early April.

  91. Renee says

    We are booking our trip tomorrow and it falls within the free dining plan dates. We were going to upgrade to deluxe as it states on here for the additional $33 per person per night and told we couldn’t do it, that it didn’t apply! We will be booked in a moderate resort, Fort Wilderness Resort. Quite disappointed that the website reads one thing and we are being told another. Our travel agent even is quite stunned. She said Disney told her that’s not how it works. we think they should honour what the website says.

    • Keith says

      Wow, where to start?

      1. Disney has nothing to do with this site, the information provided here is by a third party, we provide it to help you save money on your vacation. I would suggest you check out the official Disney site for all terms:

      2012 Free WDW Dining

      2. In order to qualify for free dining, you must meet all requirements. You must check in on an available date, you must stay the minimum length and purchase 2 day or more tickets, you must stay at a resort that qualifies and there must be availability.

      3. If you qualify for free dining, there isn’t any reason you wouldn’t be able to upgrade.

      4. You cannot combine discounts.

      Let me know exactly where you are staying (campgrounds vs cabin at Fort Wilderness), which day you are checking in and how long you are staying and I will look into it for you.

    • Keith says

      Dan – Unlikely. If we see it again in 2012, it is not likely to be until mid-August. You never know with Disney though.

  92. Nicole says

    I have seen the free dining plan offered the last 3 years in September.
    I just can’t remember when we see that advertised???? We are planning to go in September 2012 if they offer it. Anyone know when we should see deals for September 2012?

  93. Jen says

    Booked my family vacation for August 19-24. I am really hoping they extend the canadian free dining to general public. I am staying at Pop. Wondering how much to upgrade from a free quick to a deluxe dining plan?

    • Keith says

      Jen – You can figure roughly $17 per night per adult and $3 per night per child (3 – 9) to upgrade. You will need to upgrade every night and everyone in your room.

  94. heather says

    I am planning to book my trip in advance at AAA in January for the month of Oct. I know for the year 2011 the offered free dining plans. If the offer these for the year 2012 will I still get the deal even though I am booking in advance?

    • Keith says

      Heather – Possibly. If it is made available for your dates, then it will depend on your travel agent. They will need to rebook it for you once released (that is the same with any discount). I would strongly suggest looking at a Disney specialist, they should handle all rebookings for you automatically, you won’t need to do anything. My guess is unless you have an outstanding AAA agent, you are going to have to call them each time a discount is released to have them check it for you.

  95. Denise says

    We are planning a WDW trip August 8-13, 2012. Are there typically special deals in august and if so, when are they usually released? Does this free dining they offer now good if I book now for 8-2012?

  96. Keith says

    Denise – No, this free dining offer is only available during the travel dates listed above, any other dates do not qualify.

    Early August is tough, it is still considered summer by WDW. Some years, we see summer deals, other, nothing at all. I would say it is 50/50 right now if we will see discounts for your dates. If we do, it will probably be sometime next Spring, February or March.

  97. Brian says

    Hi Keith,

    My extended family and I are planning on heading to WDW 10/9-10/20/12. We will have a 2 year old and a 9 month old. Thinking of staying on campus either Coronado Springs or Swan/Dolphin. Can we expect either Free Dining of hotel discount. My gut says no because its wine and food but want to check.

  98. Keith says

    Brian – The Swan and Dolphin are not Disney hotels, and do not participate in any Disney discounts like free dining.

    Historically, Disney has always discounted October dates, however, in 2011, they did not, they only discounted some dates with this free dining offer, others were not discounted at all. Quite a surprise. At this point, I hate to even guess what they will do for 2012, you kind of just have to plan on paying full price, and hope that a deal comes along.

  99. Kristine says

    You list 3/24-3/29 as free dining dates. WDW website doesn’t. Can you clarify? We would like to take my 5 year old son that week but only if the free dining is available. Thank you!

    • Keith says

      Kristine – Just took a look at the WDW website, March 24 – 29 are listed, just look at the bottom of the pages where all dates are listed. I also checked availability, still there at most resorts. Act quickly though, the free dining expires later this week.

      WDW Website Free Dining Info

  100. Kristine says

    Thank you. I see it now. Unortunately after speaking with my husband we cannot go at the end of March. May would be better. Do you know if they have free dining anytime during the month of May? Or will that be released at a later date?

  101. Sammie says

    I see that Free Dining for the dates in early 2012 must be booked by later this week…any chance they will extend that? So if I want to book something for Feb during the free dining window but am not ready to book until early Jan…I wonder if I would be able to get the free dining option?

  102. Keith says

    Kristine – It is not currently available past March, and doubtful at this point it will be seen at all in May. If we see it again for 2012, it probably will not be until August/September if at all.

    Sammie – I doubt the offer will be extended, the 2012 dates have been extended once, and Disney has already released another discount for the first half of 2012. My suggestion would be to get a reservation on hold this week, you should be able to hold it for 7 days. Then, early next week after the deal has expired, you can see if it has been extended or not. If it hasn’t you have a reservation and the free dining, you just need to pay for it. If it has been extended, you can let your reservation expire and hope the room is still available when you are ready to book in January.

  103. Amber says

    We are going to Disney in late September with two other families. We are trying to decide if we should hold out and wait for free dining or book through Disney Vacation Club rentals (which would be cheaper if there ends up being no free dining plan through Disney). What are the chances of Disney having special offers during this time? When could we hope to see these offers announced?

    • Keith says

      Amber – There should be discounts in late September. As long as I can remember, there have always been great deals released for September. Now, whether we will see free dining for 2012 or something else, I don’t know, we will just have to wait and see. Typically, we see these deals released around the first week of April.

  104. Sarah says

    Quick question-
    We’re planning a trip at the end of January, and the dining plan would be great. If I book a vacation now, can I add on days and still get the dining plan on the additional days?
    I’d like to book a 5 day package now, but would like to add on another week after Christmas.
    We’re in the 45 day window so have to pay in full, and I was planning to pay with my bonus which hasn’t arrived yet. If I can book half now to get the free dining, and add the other half later that would be perfect.

    • Keith says

      Sarah – Typically on package deals like free dining, you are able to add nights later on and get the discount for the entire time, however, it is based on availability of course. Now, you are always taking a chance doing it this way, so don’t be surprised if are not able to do it.

  105. Kristine says

    So my husband & I had everything selected & I planned to leave my deposit this morning. As I went on the website….it said “sorry this offer is no longer available”. Today is the 17th….it says you have to book by the 17th? So bummed :( I think I need to call them. I will be so disappointed if I missed this deal!

  106. Heather says

    I booked my last trip for September 15, our payment was due August 1. Problem was I lost 2 major clients in June and picked up two more in late August. This left us with about $3000 less in our budget for the month of July.

    I called Disney and asked for a 3 week extension on the portion of the remaining balance and they were quickly and kindly able to accommodate our situation.

    You have nothing to lose by asking.

  107. Toni says

    We booked our vacation for the second week of May. I have been looking and it seems like they are only offering free dining through the end of March of 2012. If any free dining or other offers are available for May, when would they annouce them?

    • Keith says

      Toni – This free dining deal has expired. Right now, the only discount available for May is the Spring Savings offer. It is likely we will see a package deal released soon too, but not free dining.

  108. Krystle Nickels says

    Hey y’all! I’m a little bummed to find out I missed out on this, that’s ok though. We are planning to go the end of February for my son’s 4th birthday. Also, our 3 year old daughter will be coming as well. We plan to do two character dinings (not picky on breakfast/lunch/dinner). We were looking into getting a Disney Dining Plan. Is it worth it with my children being so young? I know you have to pay for meals starting at age 3 but my daughter will be turning 3 next month and she can’t eat a ton of food, lol. Just need advice. Thank y’all so much.

  109. Keith says

    Krystle – I love the dining plans. While not the savings they once were, I love that everything is prepaid and budgeted in advance, no worrying about money while you are in the parks. The cost for kids is about nothing, around $10 per night. You can feed them for that in the parks.

    Figure out al your meals, do the math, and decide if it is worth it for you.

  110. brian e says

    Hi Keith!
    Was this a first for Disney to offer free dining the week after Thanksgiving? We are planning on going next year during this time period. If we book now, and it becomes available, will they give it to us later?

    Also, if they are offering for for Saturday through the following Friday (like this year it was Nov. 26- Dec. 1) but we arrive a day early and leave a day early, would they still give the free dining?

    Thanks in advance!!!

  111. Keith says

    Brian – No, we have seen free dining extended to Fall dates the last few years. In 2011, the dates available were pretty minimal, wouldn’t surprise me if it were not extended in 2012, really hard to say until we get a bit closer.

    If it comes available for your dates, you can always apply a new discount to your reservation, based on availability. Usually isn’t a problem. Consider working with a Disney travel specialist, they will just handle all the new deals for you.

    No, you must check in on an available date, that is the only thing that matters. Check out or any nights of your stay can be outside the available period, but you must check in on an available day, and it is all or nothing.

  112. brian e says

    Thanks, Keith!

    I guess we’ll switch up the dates then. We wanted to take the Auto Train on Thanksgiving and check in Friday. But, we’ll wait a day and take in Friday and check in Saturday (as that appears to be the day the deals begin).

    Thanks, and you guys are great!

  113. Keith says

    Brian – Never assume discounts or dates will be the same from year to year, that is rarely the case. Don’t book anything non-refundable until have the discount you are ok with booked. Good luck!

  114. brian e says

    Not assuming, but our choices are
    1) The week of Thanksgiving
    2) The week after Thanksgiving
    3) Christmas week.

    I think 1 and three are packed, and obviously won’t have the deal.

    So, number two is our best shot, and we’ll be going with or without the free dining.

    Thank you!

  115. Elizabeth says

    Hi Keith,

    You seem like such a pro at this!! I have not been to Disney since I was in middle or high school (13 or so years ago). I am a single mom and trying to plan our first real vacation (what better place than Disney!!). My children will be 6 and 3 (turning 4) during our trip. It is a birthday present to them both (my oldest will be 7 2 days after we get home).

    I have heard that the best “deals” are the dining plans, but now I’m being told to wait for a FREE DINING deal. So- do I book the dining now, wait to see if it becomes free, or what? I am so new to this and stressed/worried it wont be simply perfect for my children.

    Any help is GREATLY appreciated!! Thanks, Elizabeth

  116. Keith says

    Elizabeth – It is likely we will not see free dining again until Fall (late August – September) if at all. It sounds like you have set dates already. Get your reservation booked now with the best deal available, any future deal that comes along should be able to be applied to your reservation.

    I would strongly suggest you contact a Disney specialist travel agent, they will hold your hand through the process and make sure you get the best vacation possible for the least amount of money.

  117. Logan says

    Keith,
    I am looking to book a Disney Vacation for Aug. 30th-September 9th? Historically, it looks like the free dining is just pretty much standard that time of the year. I was wondering, do you know the costs of upgrading from a Quick Serve DDP (I am booking POP) to a Deluxe Dining Plan.

  118. Keith says

    Logan – Yes, we have seen it for late August dates for quite a few years now. We expect it again for 2012, but nothing is guaranteed.

    The upgrade from quick service to deluxe is about $51 per adult and $12 per child per night of your stay. You must upgrade all nights. Adults are anyone 10 and older.

  119. ColbyV says

    Keith,
    We are planning a trip for October 2012…historically do they offer free dining then? We are shooting for the begining of October…
    Thanks!

  120. Keith says

    Colby – Historically? Somewhat. It has been offered some years in October, not in others. You can see above the limited dates it was offered in October for 2011:

    October 1 – October 6, 2011
    October 22 – November 3, 2011

    If you checked in on one of the available dates, you qualify for free dining, but most of October was excluded. If we see it again for October 2012, I would expect similarly limited dates.

  121. jinny says

    the list of table service restaurants especially at epcot seems much smaller for 2012 compared to 2011 for the dining plan.I heard that restaurants are added as contracts are renewed in the new year. when is it likely that the full list of restaurants available on the dining plan will be announced. Is it likely that the list of restaurants available in 2011 will be the same for 2012?

    • Keith says

      Kimmi – This deal expired a few weeks ago, we have not seen anything since, and probably won’t for a few more months (for August/September travel dates). At this point, no free dining is available.

  122. Felicia says

    I want to book my vacation package for end of August 2012 and I’ve tried to email Disney with no response. Should I add the dining to my package or leave it out until they announce the free dining and can I still get it after I already bought my package

  123. Keith says

    Felicia – Does does not reply to emails. Contact a Disney Specialist (I suggest Mouseketrips, they rock!). They can help you get your vacation booked.

    I suggest to add it now, it ends up the same either way if free dining comes out. However, there are a few restaurants (Cinderella’s) that require payment in full if you are not on the dining plan, so if it is on your reservation now, you just do the credit card guarantee, if you don’t have it, you have to pay for it in full even if you are going to use the dining plan to pay for it. It is a pain, just add it now, you can always make changes later on.

  124. Keith says

    Jane – June? Really, really doubtful. Summer discounts are rare. Grab the room only discount that is out now, I really don’t think we will see anything better for those dates. If something better comes along, you can always switch it.

  125. Keith says

    Carol – Free dining was available for your dates, but that offer expired more than a month ago (December 17), and is no longer available. Sorry!

  126. Mary Beth says

    Keith – Do you know if they will offer the kids stay and play free this year? And if so around when do they usually start/offer it?
    Thanks!
    MB

  127. Keith says

    Mary Beth – We are still expecting some sort of package deal for April – June to be released at some point, could be kids free, we just don’t know. We hope to see it soon.

  128. Jane says

    If you have a vacation already booked (May) and a deal comes out will it still apply? Some people were talking today about receiving a pin code for free dining 3/4–3/31 & 4/15–6/30/12. No such luck for me. What’s the deal with pin codes?

  129. Keith says

    Jane – If there is availability then you can apply any new discount to your reservation. You will lose any existing discount, so make sure the new one is better before you make the change. Disney will not change it for you, you must call them and ask them to apply it for you, or have your travel agent take care of it for you.

    PIN codes are Disney’s way of releasing a discount to a targeted group of people rather than opening it up to everyone. You must receive a PIN code in your name from Disney, you can’t use someone else’s code. No one quite knows how their system works, sometimes they target certain geographic areas, others target certain people Disney things are planning a trip but need a bit of help to make it happen. Head to the WDW website, request a planning DVD, make sure you have a Disney login and then price out some trips for May.

    I go to WDW several times a year, probably spend a good month each year there, I have never received a PIN code, ever. Others who rarely go get 4 – 5 per year, it is just a strange system.

  130. Toni says

    What if I received the pin code with m maiden name since at the time I signed up for Disney I never changed it to my married name. Can I still use it?

  131. Barb says

    Hi Keith, quick question:

    We did get the pin code yesterday. It wasn’t for our dates, but it got me thinking about ours, so I went ahead and did some quick research and found that no suites are available (we have 4 adults and 2 kids on our trip) for this code. Not even Music!. The cabins were available, but one member is in a wheelchair and we don’t think that would be a good experience.

    So, my question (for future planning purpose), is it we got a free dining pin for our dates, could we book 2 rooms and have the free dining for both rooms? I priced out PORS and without dining our combined price would only be nominally (400) more having 2 rooms there than the new A OF A would be. 2 adults in one room, 2 adults and 2 children in the other

    Thanks!

  132. Keith says

    Barb – Typically, PIN codes can be used to book up to 3 rooms with one code. The person who receives the code must be on one of the reservations, and typically need to be at check in for all rooms. This policy changes from time to time, but it has been this way for a few years now, you just have to ask when you go to book.

  133. Barb says

    Perfect… Two rooms at Port Orleans sounds better than one A of A suite! Now, just have to hope we get lucky again for November!!!

    thank you Keith!!!

  134. Andrea says

    Hi Keith! LOVE your site! My family and I just decided to plan a trip to Disney for this coming December (first or second week). I was interested in the free dining but I’m not sure if we are too late. :( Thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!

  135. Keith says

    Andrea – We have not seen any discounts at all for December, and probably will not for quite some time, probably this Fall.

    • Keith says

      Andrea – Get a hold of a decent Disney specialist travel agent (we love Mouseketrips!). They will help you figure everything out, and take care of any new discounts for you. No extra cost for you, but it will make your trip much easier to plan.

  136. cynthia says

    If i book a trip now for the end of august and the free dining offer comes out later in the year am i still able to get it for free.?

    • Keith says

      Cynthia – Yes, Disney World allows you to apply new discounts to an existing reservation without penalty. You or your travel agent will need to make the change, it is not done automatically, and it is dependent upon availability, but it usually isn’t a problem.

  137. Matt says

    Hi Keith. Myself, my wife, and two sons (aged 8yrs and 5yrs) booked a reservation (online) back on Sept 24 for six nights beginning March 7 (departing on the 16th) at Pop Century. We were given the free quick-service dining, as expected. We recently had a small windfall so thought we’d upgrade to the Dining Plus. When we called this past weekend, they quoted us $240 or so for the upgrade (roughly $10 per person per night, regardless of age). This was after over an hour on the phone! Any idea why they aren’t letting us go with $11/adult/night?

  138. Keith says

    Matt – The price difference between the quick service and Disney Dining is roughly $17 per adult and $3 per child per night for 2012. So, your upgrade price sounds about right.

    Since much of the free dining discount was for 2011, the upgrade costs listed were based on 2011 dining plan costs. You can see the 2012 dining plan costs and info here:

    2012 Disney World Dining Plans

  139. Laurie says

    Hi Keith – Thanks for all the informative replies! I am wondering about free dining for June 2012. I just called Disney to see if there were any pin codes connected to my name/email/address and there were not. :( boo! However I have heard that a free dining pin code that goes through June has recently been emailed/snail mailed to some people. Do you think there any chance the marketing dept will send out more of those? Also the CM said that June dates for free dining were available last year if they were booked by Dec 2011, but from everything I’ve read, there weren’t any free dining dates until this recent PIN code. Is that right? Any thoughts on free dining for early June for Disney VISA or general public?

  140. Keith says

    Laurie – There was free dining available for June, 2011, if you booked by December 2010, it was the first time they had made free dining available for any Spring or summer dates. Free dining was available this spring, but only through the end of March, we have not see anything for Summer dates, and other than the PIN code, probably will not.

    Disney usually spreads the mailing/emailing out over a few weeks time, they go through different levels of groups depending on how booking goes. That is one reason why they do PIN codes, to control the number of people who have the deal. Unfortunate, but I think we will see more and more of this as time goes on.

  141. Jessica says

    Hi!! Just wondering if you have any idea when they would release info for the dining plan for this upcoming September? I know they usually do have offers for that month and we plan on going then to take advantage of the smaller crowds and the (hopefully) dining plan! Thanks!!

    • Keith says

      Jessica – That deal has been announced the last week of March or first week of April since the beginning, I would expect the same thing this year.

  142. Kaylynn says

    Hi Keith…I am going to WDW….me and my daughters 1st trip……in December…9th thru the 20th….wondering what you think my chances of free dining are. ALso, if I DID happen to get free dining what would happen to the free dining if I changed mid trip from a 10 day park hopper to a season pass as I am pretty sure we would be coming back that following febuary and october.

  143. Keith says

    Kaylynn – Free dining is not always the best deal, so don’t set your heart on it. That is a great week to go, very low crowds, wonderful Christmas/Holiday atmosphere. We will see discounts, we just don’t know at this point what they will be, though we probably will not see them for some time, early Fall. I would say the chance of seeing free dining extended to December is less than 50%.

    Once you have checked in, you can do anything with your ticket, it doesn’t effect your package. I have done free dining before where I never used it and brought it back the next year to put towards my annual renewal, not a problem at all.

  144. Ann Roberts says

    We are planning on going in early may before schools are out. I read some comments about people getting pin codes for free dining. Is this possible or will there be a package deal. we did book a room with the current promo for rooms but are spending more than we want to as there were no preferred rooms at pop century and movies is not on the discount. any advice?

    • Keith says

      Ann – We are fully expecting another deal for dates before Summer, and have been for some time now. We do not know if there will be one or not, we just feel it is very likely there will, as there hasn’t been one yet. All we can do is wait and see.

  145. Jennifer says

    Keith,
    My family and I are going to WDW Aug 12-19, 2012. This will be our first trip there with our 5 kids. We aren’t going to tell them where we are going…we are just going to put them on the airplane and let them figure it out as we go. It should be fun!!
    In the past, has the week we’ve chosen been a time when they have offered any dining package discounts. Like I said before, I have five kids so any discounts I can get are gonna be helpful. I’ve enjoyed looking around your website. Thanks in advance for any advice you may have!

    • Keith says

      Jennifer – Package discount availability depends on the day you check in, so any deal will have to be made available August 12 or earlier. In the past, the free dining has usually started around August 15 or later. I would say it is pretty unlikely you would qualify for any August/September deal, though we really need to wait until released to see which dates Disney makes available for free dining, if any.

  146. Lisa says

    Hi keith,
    I am planning on going to Disney late Aug with my daughter. My friend tells me that the last five years in a row she has gone late Aug and has gotten free dining. Do you think that they will offer it again this year? And when do they usually release the dates?

  147. Keith says

    Lisa – Yes, I think it is very likely we will see free dining again for late August and September, though nothing is a given, we will have to wait and see what deals they released. Typically, we see August/September deals released the first week of April (well, within a week or two of that).

  148. Sally says

    Hi Keith,
    Can you tell me if the free dining plan will be offered for the entire month of October of 2012?? My family plans on coming down in October but we were not sure of what days to come down. I would love to save the $$ if I just knew which week they were going to have the free dining.
    Thanks!!

    • Keith says

      Sally – Absolutely no idea. We have to see it for August/September first, which won’t probably won’t be released for a few more month. Then, we will have to see if it is extended to October and beyond, which probably won’t happen until late Summer. If extended, it is very unlikely we will see it for all dates in October, it will be very limited like it was for 2011, just a few days here and there. I would say chance are high we will see it for September, and probably 50/50 if we will see it extended at all.

  149. brandy says

    I am so excited!! I had my husband sign up for a disney account last week and he got a pin code today!! They were not sure what the code was for but it ended up knocking over 300.00 off the amount and made it possible for us to book!!! we are going!!

  150. fran says

    Have seen on 2 different ads Kids are free (Southwest and Liberty Travel) any idea if Disney will be doing the same for the same time period. April14-June 14.

  151. Keith says

    Fran – the Southwest vacations Kids Free is for Disneyland only, and you must book flights and everything to get a child free. The Liberty Travel one is Kids Stay Free, but they always stay free, so kind of misleading.

  152. Brian says

    For people who receive a PIN code, is it sent to you by e-mail…or do you need to “tentatively” book a trip to see if you get one?

    • Keith says

      Brian – They are typically emailed or mailed directly to you. Often, things get lost, so you can always call Disney to see if they have a PIN code attached to your name. If they do, they will give it to you, if not, not much you can do but wait and see if you get one later on.

      I would suggest you fill out everything available.

      • Felicia Ingram says

        I don’t really understand this pin code thing? I thought that Disney would announce free dining and you could just call and get it. I already have something booked for August 2012, does that mean I would get a pin or do I call?

    • brandy says

      i got my pin code from having a past trip i believe. Then i had my husband also sign up for a disney account and about a week later he had a code in the mail

  153. Keith says

    Felicia – We probably won’t see August/September deals for another month. Disney releases PIN code discounts when they don’t want to release a discount to everyone. All of these people are talking about PIN codes for the May/June timeframe, we have yet to see anything at all for August/September. Any discount for your timeframe will be a general public deal, it will be released to everyone.

  154. Vicki E says

    We are going to book Election week – Nov 2- 10, 2012. I really want the free dining! I see you said we expect offers soon for Aug/ Sep. Does that mean offers for Oct/ Nov will be coming out over the summer? It seems that many people are taking advantage of the free dining. Hoping they will offer for my dates as well!

    • Keith says

      Freddie – There are not any free dining deals available for anytime, and there are not currently any deals of any kind available for July. There will not be free dining for July in 2012. It is one of the most popular months, we rarely see any deals at all for July.

  155. Jenn says

    Hi Keith, I’m planning a trip down to Disney in late August (26-30/31 timeframe). Any chance for an end of summer free dining plan or room discount or something? I know that in the past they have had free disney dining that spanned from mid-late August through mid-September, presumably because there’s a lag of park-goers due to schools beginning and wanting to generate crowds by luring them in… So, any chance for a repeat in 2012, or should I not hold my breath? I’m a little nervous considering they extended free dining so late into early 2012.

    • Keith says

      Jenn – Historically, the August/September deals are released in early April, so there is plenty of time before you need to start worrying. I fully expect some decent deals for that timeframe.

  156. fran says

    Tirp in late April–What do you think are the chances for a better discount than 20% off the room rate and if so when? Final payment due this week.

    • Keith says

      Fran – Still possible. We haven’t seen any package deals yet for April or May, which is surprising. Whether you are paid in full or not doesn’t matter. If you have paid, Disney will refund any savings back to your card.

  157. heidi says

    I want to stay in June. When will I see deals for June? I want to book now but I am afraid they will come out with a deal after I book m vacation.

    • Keith says

      Heidi – The Spring Savings is out now for part of June, but it expires in the next day or two, so act quickly. If Disney decides they want to release another June deal, we should see it soon. You can always apply any new deal to your existing reservation. If the Spring Savings helps you save some money, get it booked now and hope something better comes along.

  158. Shawna says

    We are looking to book for late September or early October 2012 (prefer early October) is it likely Disney will have free dining then or some other AWESOME deal?

  159. Keith says

    Shawna – September, yes, very likely we will see some awesome deal. October, not so much. In 2011, October deals were not very good, I would expect something similar for this year.

  160. Elizabeth says

    Keith, we have booked a trip for May 20-25th. Everything is booked and paid for, including the character meals we have arranged for. Is there a FD plan for this time? If so, or if one becomes available, can we apply it to our reservations and be reimbursed for the plan we have already?
    Thanks!

    • Keith says

      Elizabeth – The only deal currently available for May is the Spring Savings offer, which was just extended. If a better deal comes out (very unlikely at this point), you can apply it to your reservation if there is availability, and Disney will refund you the difference.

  161. Chris says

    Hi Keith,
    I am a little upset but just wanted to share with the crowd, that when I called to upgrade from free dining to the Plus Dining, they checked and they didn’t have anything available for the Plus or Deluxe. I am guessing that you must do this well in advance or risk not being able to do it.

    Thanks

  162. Danielle says

    Hi Kieth,
    I’m traveling April 23/12- and In Jan. I took advantage of that “Room only” deal – (I missed the better offers avail before 11/11).. This wasn’t as “amazing” as some deals I’ve grabbed in the past, but I’m guessing those days are gone) :(
    Anyway, I had held off adding dining because I kept hoping they’d offer FD again by now- but I finally gave up & paid for it yesterday… However I was told something I never knew,- if Disney releases “20″ FD plans (or HOTEL DEALS etc.) and 20 ppl buy em, but then 8ppl later cancel,- THEY DO NOT RE-ENTER those 8 cancelled Offers back into their system as available for someone else! ???
    Do you recall any time where FD was offered mid or late March for LATE April travel dates? And Do you really think chances are slim to none at this point? :(

    • Keith says

      Danielle – I believe there was limited free dining for parts of May and June in 2011, but that is the only time I remember it being offered anywhere near that time of year. I really doubt at this point that we will see package deals for this time frame, but you never know, Disney has been very, very strange as of late. If we don’t see a deal very, very soon, we are done with deals for May.

  163. brian says

    CONFIRMED: Free Dining for Disney VIsa Cardholders for Dates Aug. 25-Sept 29th! Now, let’s see if part two of the rumor is accurate… which is open to all March 5th. Disney Still loves us!! Wish those were our dates, but hopefully November will also throw FD our way!!!

  164. Keith says

    Brian – Hardly. I saw the notification as I was finishing up the post about the free dining. It is up there.

    The March 5th general release date is not a rumor, it has been confirmed.

      • Jessica says

        I’m confused..besides the Visa Cardholders..only the public..on March 5th the public will be able to book their trip from August 25th – Sept 29th and get the free dining plan?

        • Keith says

          Jessica – Between now and March 5, only Disney VISA cardholders can book the new free Disney dining, you have to pay your deposit with your Disney VISA. Starting on March 5, that requirement is removed and anyone can book the deal.

    • Keith says

      Cynthia – Nope. With the new 2012 Free Disney Dining promotion released today, and with all package discounts, you must check in on an available date. This deal runs August 25 – September 29, so you must check in between those dates. Only your check in date matters.

      You can’t get package deals for only part of your stay, it is either all or nothing. Checking in August 23 excludes you completely from the discount.

    • Keith says

      Cynthia – When purchase or getting the dining plans for free, it is all or nothing, you cannot buy it for part of your stay. So, with free dining, you either get free dining or you don’t. Checking in August 29th qualifies you for free dining, so if there is availability, you will get it for your entire stay.

      • Felicia Ingram says

        I already booked for Aug. 25th to the 31st. On March 5th, will they send me a code for free dining or do I call them on March 5th?

        • Keith says

          Felicia – If you booked directly with Disney, they will not do anything. You must call Disney and try to apply the deal to your reservation. If you used a travel agent, they should do that for you, though you will want to double check with them.

  165. J.D. says

    We are going to Disney in Sept. or Dec. 2012. We can get the free meal plan for Sept. but I am worried about hurricanes. Do you think they will offer the free meal plans for the first week of December? Have they traditionally offered free meals in December? Thank You

    • Keith says

      JD – WDW has only ever been hit by 3 hurricanes, it really isn’t a big deal. It is far enough inland that usually they go elsewhere, or it is just a lot of rain by the time they get there.

      Disney has offered free dining in the past during early December, but I would say your chances of seeing it this year are less than 50%, and then, your dates will have to match up, as they usually only release a few days here and there for later Fall dates.

  166. Meredith says

    We were very disappointed by the free dining dates released yesterday (starting on August 25th). They seem awfully late compared to previous years. We are staying at the Beach Club from August 22nd to August 27th (we can’t change the dates), and we were kind of counting on some sort of discount. In your opinion, what are the chances that we will see some sort of offer for those dates? I know it probably won’t be free dining, but do you think we will see something?

    • Keith says

      Meredith – The 2011 offer started August 28, so it really wasn’t too big of a surprise that the 2012 offer started a few days earlier. I fully expect some sort of discount for the earlier August dates, though we may not see it for a while.

      • Meredith says

        Hi Keith.
        I’m pretty sure that free dining was offered for arrival dates of August 19, 2011 through September 29th, 2011. This offer came out almost a year prior to the stay dates. It was offered on 8/16/10 and expired on 12/20/10 for those stay dates I previously mentioned. Then, another offer came out (with the start date of August 28th) on April 28th, 2011. I guess I was just hoping that Disney would again offer FD for that third week of August.

        Thanks for responding to me! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that we’ll see a further discount, even if it’s not for awhile!

      • Alison D says

        Actually in 2011 it staryed 8/19 as that was the date we checked in ..the first day of Free Dining from the offer that came out in the fall of 2010 and had to be booked by Dec 20th..

  167. Keith says

    Yes, well, I don’t really include that first free dining, as it was such an anomaly, being released so early. When the free dining was announced in the Spring, the dates were very similar to 2012 dates. However, you are correct, it technically did start earlier in 2011, but had to be booked nearly a year in advance, and most people completely missed that offer as it was so early.

  168. Elissa says

    to quote another blogger:
    Meredith March 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm
    We were very disappointed by the free dining dates released yesterday (starting on August 25th). They seem awfully late compared to previous years. We are staying at the Beach Club from August 22nd to August 27th (we can’t change the dates), and we were kind of counting on some sort of discount. In your opinion, what are the chances that we will see some sort of offer for those dates? I know it probably won’t be free dining, but do you think we will see something?

    Where are can I find these dates? I booked our vacation for Oct 1-8 2012 and I am really hoping to get free dining, If the free dining plan dates where already released, I would like to know what they are. Thanks a bunch!!!

  169. Elissa says

    Keith, thanks for the info!
    I see this is only for disney visa cardholders, is that generally how these free deals work, or will they come out with something else for non card members? Or maybe eventually extend this offer to non card members? Also, do you think that it could be likely that these initial dates would be extended into october? Thanks!

  170. Michele says

    Hi – we are going to WDW 7/24-7/31. I was wondering if free dining has ever been given in this time frame. :) Thanks!!

    • Keith says

      Michele – Not that I can ever remember. For years, it was late August and September only. The then started offering a few days in the Fall. For 2011 and 2012, they also offered limited Spring dates too, but we have never seen anything in July. It is possible we may see a different deal, but not free dining.

      • Michele says

        Thanks Keith! What other types of deals does Disney typically give? Is it a % off of rooms or tickets? Just curious as to what might come out for our dates. Thanks!

  171. Keith says

    Michele – If we see July discount this year, it will likely be a room % savings. Since Disney has already released a package deal (free dining) for later in the year, it is unusual for them to release a second for earlier dates. They like to have one big promotion going that they can advertise, not two or three.

  172. Marc moschetta says

    I recently booked a trip to Disney world from 10-4 / 10-14. I didn’t realize this was during Columbus day weekend. Is it really busy during that weekend and the following week! Some say yes and some say not to bad. Also do you think they will extend the free dining into the first week of October . I can move my dates do you think I should, don’t want it to be busy

  173. Keith says

    Marc – October is funny, just about every weekend is very crowded, the weekdays are pretty quiet. Columbus day really only effects that Monday. Disney gets a lot of locals who come in on weekends for the Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, so the crowds really pick up.

    I think it is 50/50 if they extend. If they do, it will be similar to 2011, just some dates here and there. For 2011, October 1 – 6 was included, so if they do extend, you should be ok.

  174. Stacey says

    When (if) do they usually announce extended free dining days? We have our heart set on an October vacation for the Halloween party – we did this and got free dining in 2010 and just loved it! But I hate to wait too long…any idea? Thanks!

    • Keith says

      Stacey – For 2011, the free dining was extended on August 3, I would expect a similar or slightly earlier timeline for 2012. At this point, I think it is less than likely it will be extended to further Fall dates, but we will have to wait and see.

  175. Jayden says

    I am also hoping they extend the free dining plan at least 2 more week as we are hoping to book for our Canadian thanksgiving. Last year we went the last weekend in September and had a great time. Do you know when or how early they announced the dining extension last year? Thanks and have a magical day :)

  176. Kristie says

    Good morning Keith, let me start by saying you rock:-) Have you ever seen the free dining offered end of Feb/start of March? We are looking at 2013 but of course no dates are posted yet. Also I think I read that if you book a suite, example, we are looking at the Cars suite at the new Art of Animation, that the free dining would be included in a suite purchase? Any help is appreciated.

    Thank you, Kristie

  177. Jayden says

    Hey Keith, sorry to keep bugging you, but i am curious if you know if and when they will open up the family family suites up with free dining at the all star music resorts. Currently the only family suites that are coming up with free dining are the new animation studio. We were able to book it last year with free dining and hope it comes available again. Thanks in advance and great blog, very informative and knowledgeable.

  178. Jennifer says

    Hello! This board is so helpful for a first-time Disney visitor! Thank you!
    My question is about free dining. Last year it looks like it was offered in Nov. We are planning a trip Nov 11-Nov 18, 2012. What do you think the chances are of us getting free dining? Would Disney follow last year’s schedule? I’m holding out getting our plane tix until I know if I have to move some dates around or what.
    Thank you!

  179. Keith says

    Jayden – At this point, it does not look like they will be included at all. This discount expires in a few weeks. My guess is that they were excluded originally with the Art of Animation studios, and when those were added in, someone forgot to add in Music too.

    Jennifer – Probably less than 50/50 it will be extended to further dates. If it is extended, it should be similar to last year, a few days here and there. I doubt they will follow the same schedule, but it should be similar. The week you are going is really slow, and there should be some sort of discount made available for that time for sure.

  180. edith says

    We have planned a trip for nov 18-nov 24 2012 8 -10 people grand gathing group.Will D/W offer free dinning plan at that time?

  181. Keith says

    Edith – Absolutely no idea. Probably not, but we really wont’ know until Fall discounts are released sometime this summer.

  182. Allie says

    Here’s a what if question: If they offer free dinning from Oct 22 to something and I have a MYW from October 15 -25. Could I get free dining for my entire trip?

    • Keith says

      Allie – On package discounts, the only thing that matters is the day you check in. If you check in on an available date, you get the discount for your entire stay.

  183. Allie says

    Thanks Keith, The reson I asked is that I looked at past years and I don’t see anything that included my check in date so I am thinkink what you are saying is if the free dining isn’t offered on ly check in date I can get it.

  184. Keith says

    Allie – Correct. So, let’s say it is offered from October 24 – 30 (just dates used as an example, I know absolutely nothing). If you checking in October 23 or before, you do not qualify at all, but if you check in anytime between October 24 – 30, you get the discount for your entire stay.

  185. edith says

    arriving wdw sun nov 18,2012 -nov 24,2012 heard that was one of the busies weeks in disney history, is this true? Do they offer any room or food discounts for large groups 8-10 people staying at pop century

  186. Keith says

    Edith – Definitely busy. Not as busy as Christmas week or Spring Break, but it will be busier than Summer.

    It is very rare to see any discounts of any sort of Thanksgiving. Disney does offer group discounts on resorts, but you must book 10 or more rooms to qualify.

  187. Amanda says

    Hi Keith,
    I’m trying to get a jump start on planning our trip and I was wanting to make sure I knew the best days to book our package and the best order to do it in. How soon, prior to our arrival date, am I able to book a full Vacation Package through the WDW website? I am wanting to also purchase a Deluxe Dining Plan and make our reservations using the 180 + 10 that WDW offers, however I have some questions in reference to the Free Dining Plan that WDW sometimes offers in the fall. If I purchase the DDP and go ahead and make my reservations, then the Free Dining is offered, can I get that discount? If so, will I lose all of my previous reservations, resulting in me having to re-reserve with the FD and hope that they still have available reservations?
    Thanks!

  188. Keith says

    Amanda – You can book for any dates in 2012 right now, but if you want to book in 2013, you will need to wait until those rates and packages are released, which should be sometime in the next few weeks.

    You should be able to apply any future discount, including free dining, though they are based on availability, so if Disney doesn’t include your resort in the discount, then it won’t be available to you. Applying a discount doesn’t change anything but the price and package inclusions it doesn’t effect your dining or other reservations.

    I strongly suggest you contact a Disney specialist travel agent. They will help you through all this, apply discounts, help with dining etc., and they don’t charge you anything. Consider Mouseketrips, they are great.

  189. Laura says

    We are wanting to go to WDW 1-1-13 through 1-7-13. Do you think there will be any special offers for that week? We really want to stay at port orleans riverside but right now with lodging, tickets and dining plan it is really expensive.

  190. Keith says

    Laura – Possibly, however, the last few years, Disney has been excluding the first few days of January from discounts. For example, this year, the discounts started January 2. I really have no idea what they will do for 2013, but it is likely the first day or two will be excluded (and your check in date is all that matters).

  191. edith says

    will fd plan be offered nov 18-nov 24 2012? I seen on wdw fd offerred released for dates oct 23-nov 5 non13-nov19 nov 27-dec5 is this true and if we arrive on nov18 will we get the fd plan

  192. Claire says

    Any idea when they will release 2013 Special Offers? We’re planning a trip end of Feb 2013 and hoping we’ll fall into the free dining plan.

    P.S Great website!

    • Keith says

      Claire – we are expecting them soon, probably in the next few weeks. Keep checking back, we will post the info as soon as we have it.

  193. Kris says

    We are going to Disney Jan. 11-16 and hoping to get the free dining plan. They haven’t posted any dates for 2013 yet. Any idea when they might? I recently found out that the Disney Marathon is that weekend. Do you think that will effect our chances of getting free dining that weekend or isn’t it a big draw for the hotels?

  194. Keith says

    Kris – We are expecting 2013 deals soon, however, no idea what they wil be. For 2012, as you can see above, there were some dates in mid-January that were blacked out:

    January 8 – January 12, 2012
    January 21 – February 2, 2012

    Guess we will have to see what Disney does for 2013, should find out soon.

  195. edith hallmark says

    Keith on Sept 3,2012 I wrote and ask you if W/D free dinning was offerred on the week of Nov 18,2012 -Nov 24 2012 . Your answer was yes that it was offered on Nov 13,2012-Nov 19,2012 so if we checked in on Nov 18 we should get it. Is this still true? Disney says no

  196. Keith says

    Edith – You don’t just get free dining for showing up. Your reservation must be booked with the free dining, or any other discount. If your reservation was booked with the free dining then you will get it, if not, then you will not.

  197. Annette Kaczmarek says

    Hi Keith,

    If Disney offers the free dining next year at the end of Novemeber like they usually do, how many days do I have to buy park tickets for if I’m staying 7 days. I would want the food plan for the whole time I’m there but really only want a few days of park tickets.

  198. Keith says

    Annette – The length of the park passes is not relevant to the dining plan. The dining plans, whether free or paid, are always for the length of your stay, so you can get any length of ticket you want. Usually free dining usually requires a minimum ticket purchase to qualify, usually 2 days.

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