This was originally meant to be a quick post on our facebook page, but there is too much information fit, so I decided to expand it a bit and post it here.
We have been getting a ton of questions about the free dining discount at Walt Disney World for 2010. To be blunt, no one knows at this point. In fact, I’m not even sure if Disney knows right now. If I had to venture a guess, I would say there is a 90% chance we will see free dining for 2010. I’m not sure what form it will take, but would gess it will be similar to the late 2009 free dining discount (free quick service at values, free Disney dining at moderate and deluxe resorts). Things are lining up pretty well for a 2010 free dining discount, bookings are still a little soft for the year, discounts have been available for every day so far in 2010 (including normally discount-challenged months in the summer), and we have seen the free dining discount every year since Disney released the dining plan. In short, it would be a surprise not to see free dining released again for 2010, but at this point there are no guarantees.
We usually do not know exactly what the discounts will be until they are released, or sometimes a day or two ahead of time if we are lucky. If we see free dining again in 2010, we probably won’t know what form it will take or the dates that will be covered until the actual discount is released.
So, when will we know?
The booking window for current WDW discounts expires on March 27, 2010, and those discounts are good for travel through August 14, 2010. We anticipate the next round of discounts to be released following the closure of that booking window.
Please note the following dates for discounts that were released in 2009:
- March 30, 2009 – Free Dining released for travel from August 16 – October 3, 2009
- July 27, 2009 – Free Dining (quick service at values, free Disney Dining at moderate and deluxe resorts) extended for travel from October 4 – December 17, 2009
- August 16, 2009 – Bounceback offer for WDW guests for Free Dining for 2010 travel dates (travel from August 15 – September 30, 2010)
I would expect similar timing for the release of any 2010 discounts as well as the initial travel dates. Initial travel dates should be August 15 – September 30, 2010. If it’s released, expect to see free dining made available for August/September first, and then possibly be extended to cover more dates later in the summer and fall.
Update – April 27, 2010 – We are nearly a month past the expected release of Fall discounts for WDW, as Disney World continues to heavily discount summer travel. Rumor has been spreading we may see discounts for August 15 – October 2, 2010 released as early as Thursday, April 29 for Disney VISA cardholders, and on Monday, May 3 for the general public. The prevailing feeling is that we will see free quick service dining for value and moderate resorts, and free Disney Dining for deluxe and villa resorts. I hope to have further information soon.
Update April 29, 2010 – Disney is currently offering the Disney Dining plan free for Disney VISA cardholders. Soon to be released for the general public. Travel dates of August 15 – October 2, 2010.
Update May 3, 2010 – Disney is currently offering the Disney Dining plan free for everyone. Travel dates of August 15 – October 2, 2010.