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Disney Free Dining 2012 for Disney VISA Cardholders

Travel Dates: August 25 – September 29, 2012

Update March 5, 2012: The 2012 Disney Free Dining discount is now available to anyone, a Disney VISA card is no longer required.

Walt Disney World has announced Disney Free Dining for Disney VISA cardholders only for the travel dates above.

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 past September 29, 2012, 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 $16.55 per adult per night of your stay, and $3 per child. To upgrade to the Disney Deluxe Dining plan, guests will pay $51 per adult and $12 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 $34 for adults and $9 for children three to nine per night of your stay.

Availability is extremely limited, and must be booked by May 18, 2012. It appears that all suites, campsites and 3 bedroom villas have been excluded from this offer, including family suites at All-Star Music and the new Art of Animation Resort. All other 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.

Please note this offer is currently only available to Disney VISA cardholders. A $200 deposit per room must be paid with your Disney VISA at the time of booking. This offer will be made available for all guests starting on March 5, 2012.

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

65 responses to “Disney Free Dining 2012 for Disney VISA Cardholders”

  1. Dana Avatar

    Well, there it is…

  2. Sonja Avatar

    We are checking in August 24th. Would this exclude us from this offer?

  3. Keith Avatar

    Sonja – Yes, you would be excluded, you must check in August 25 or later to qualify. Consider booking a one night room only stay for 8/24 and have your package start 8/25, that way, you would qualify.

  4. Kim Avatar

    That happened to us 2 yrs ago where we checked in the day before it started- we ended up having 2 reservations, one for the 1st night and one for the rest of the trip to include free dining- it was worth it, just keep in mind that you wont get your free meals until the 25th.

  5. Cathy Avatar

    I had Disney put my room on “Courtesy hold” two days ago, and knew this plan was coming, so I called this morning and used my Visa to pay my deposit. I got the Disney Dining plan free for myself, my husband and my 5yr old son, then upgraded to deluxe. We are arriving ON SEPT 29th, coincidentally! We will get the dining perk for the whole week!

    The really extra sweet deal we got was when I reserved initially (at the Coronado Springs), we added a second room for my parents, and a pin code popped up to take an additional $240.00 off EACH ROOM! So, all in all, we are saving about $500.00 per room on the trip! I am on cloud 9 right now… 🙂

  6. Keith Avatar

    Cathy – Congrats! Check your confirmations carefully, you can’t use two deals, so you either have free dining or the PIN discount. We have hear of a lot of people who have thought they got both, but when they got to Disney, they had no dining plan included. It is very possible the PIN code was a better deal than free dining, so they used that and you just paid for the free dining.

  7. Pam Avatar

    So does this need to be booked via travel agency (like mouseketrips) or is it available directly from Disney World?

    1. Keith Avatar

      Pam – All of the discounts we post are Disney discounts, and can be booked either through a travel agent or directly with Disney. We always strongly suggest booking with a travel agent though, it will not cost you any extra, and I have found they often save you significant time and sometimes even some money.

  8. Sonja Avatar

    Keith- Thanks, my husband called and had our entire reservation moved one day forward to arrive on Aug. 25th so we can take advantage of the free dining. Do you know what it would cost us to upgrade to the Deluxe Dining? We have a lot of Character Dining planned and I wonder if it would be worth it?!?! Have you ever done the Deluxe Dining?

  9. Keith Avatar

    Sonja – All of the upgrade costs are in the article above.

    I have done deluxe dining. My feeling is that if you have little kids, it is really, really hard to make it work, it is just too much food and too much time in restaurants. You really need to do at least 2 and most days 3 table service meals each day to make the plan work, and that is a lot unless it is just adults.

  10. Don Avatar

    Keith – Thanks for posting. We’re arriving on the 18th, and heading home on the 25th. What’s your best guess that the free dining offer will be extended to those dates as well?

    1. Keith Avatar

      Don – Which month? I would look at the 2011 extension, and see if your dates were included. If so, then it is about 50/50 it will be extended. If you are outside those dates, then you are probably looking at about a 5% chance of availability.

  11. Don Avatar

    Keith – August, 2012; we leave the day that this promotion starts. I thought of moving the reservation a week, but both kids are in high school, and will be back to school then.

    1. Keith Avatar

      Don – Ah, no, very, very doubtful additional dates will be added on the beginning, that just never happens. We should see an alternate deal for earlier August dates, but not free dining.

  12. Matt Avatar

    Keith – Do you know if you must have the Disney’s Premier Visa card or the Disney’s reward Visa card?

    We are looking to go during the week of September 16th and have been waiting for a free dining plan. Is it possible that the free dining might be extended outside of the card holders later or do you believe this is the only one we’ll see for September?

  13. Keith Avatar

    Matt – Either card works.

    The free dining will be released to the general public on March 5, should be identical dates and discount.

  14. Jamie Avatar

    Anyone know whether Fort Wilderness cabins are excluded from this offer? Thanks!

  15. Keith Avatar

    Jamie – Yes, the cabins are included, just the camp sites are excluded. Please note, everyone, that availability at all resorts is extremely limited for all dates.

  16. Carl Avatar

    Did the Free disney dining plan, last year, also require that you use a disney credit card? We are looking toward a december vacation this year in disney for our 35th anniversary. The Free dining plan would come in handy for our budget without any strings attached. We are retired and have credit cards but wouldnt qualify for new ones because we are retired. It really pushes our buttons that “black mail” is part of this process. Our daughter has a disney credit card and offered to use hers on our behalf but we dont know if that is acceptable? If you know we’d appreciate some advice. Thank you.

  17. Keith Avatar

    Carl – For most package deals, Disney has been releasing them to Disney VISA cardholders first for a few days, and then they are released to the general public. This deal will open up to everyone tomorrow morning.

    We have never seen a deal that is exclusively for cardholders, it is usually just for a few days. As an FYI, Disney doesn’t care who pays for the reservation, so if we do see something like this for your dates, you can book it and have your daughter pay the deposit for you, that would fill the requirements of the discount.

  18. sam Avatar

    Hi Keith,
    can u book the free dining online starting at midnight or do u have to wait until the 7am Monday morning. Thanks

    1. Keith Avatar

      Sam and Katrina – It will not be available until 7AM EST, that is when the reservations center opens up. If all goes well, it should be available online about that same time.

  19. Katrina Avatar

    What time will the deal be available to the public on Mon? My husband wants to stay up till midnight tonight to reserve.

  20. Katrina Avatar

    Sorry for the duplicate question! Sam’s didn’t show till I posted mine. lol

  21. Carl Avatar

    Keith, This is Carl again and thanks for your answer above. I was beginning to think Mickey didnt want us old timers !

    In addition I neglected to say we are already booked for December and we used a Visa card that WAS NOT Disney. Whats the scenario now if the deal comes back for the time frame we want? Can we use our daughters card for the balance to qualify? Thank you…again!

  22. Kristi Avatar

    Has anyone heard of any offers that include free dining for late November/early December 2012 travel dates? This current Disney Visa offer only goes thru late September, so i am very curious.

    Thank you in advance…

    1. Keith Avatar

      Carl – you can just provide the number to prove you have it, they will just keep the charges as is.

      Kristi – There are not any discounts available for past September. We will not see later discounts until sometime this summer.

  23. Sandy Avatar

    We are a family of 5 and are planning a vacation the end of Dec.2012 into Jan 4th 2013…we were wondering if there are any websites to look for very discounted dining plans or even free ones?

    1. Keith Avatar

      Sandy – We never, ever see any type of discount on stays over Christmas. Sometimes, if you check in on Christmas or before, we do see some minor deals, but they aren’t great. Check back here later in the year to see if we see anything.

      Regina – Just double checked with Disney, yes, most of the club level rooms are included in the free dining, however, availability is very limited at many of the resorts.

      Fran – I think Goodings still delivers, even though their WDW location closed. There are a few other local delivery companies too, just do a quick google search. I believe all of them deliver beer. Disney also sells beer at all their resort gift shop/convenience stores, including Pop Century.

  24. Regina Avatar

    Hey Keith-
    Thanks, as always, for the info! I do not see an exclusion of Club Level on anything I have read, but perhaps you have more insight: will Club Level rooms be included? We are already booked at this time, and actually changed from a suite to two rooms, and realy hoping this will apply to us! Hope you are well- all the best!

  25. fran Avatar

    Any info about companies that will deliver beer to Pop Century?

  26. Janice Avatar

    Hi Keith, I am wondering if I book a 4 night package with free dining for the end of August, and later see that we can stay eight days, will I be allowed to extend my reservation and get the free dining for all eight days as well. Thank you Janice

  27. Kristina Avatar

    I tried during the promotional dates listed and when I added the quick dining the price jumped up $500. How do you get it for free?

  28. Keith Avatar

    Been waiting to hear about the Dining offer, and for the first time we are unable to pull our daughter out of school to go (darn high school…- she needs to stop growing up) Can you tell me if in the past there have been any other types of discounts (room, perhaps) during the earlier parts of August? Looking at going 8/3/12 – 8/11/12.
    Thanks – Keith

  29. Keith Avatar

    Kristina – You can just price a normal vacation and add free dining, you are best off calling Disney directly and adding free dining or contacting a travel agent and having them help you.

    Keith – Typically, yes, we see other discounts for summer dates. We should see them at some point soon, maybe a month or two away.

  30. Kristina Avatar

    I did finally get in but I don’t think the deal is there for long. I was quoted one price a few hours ago and just checked again all of those rooms are already booked up, that hotel isn’t even an option anymore, and only the more expensive ones are left. Which, for that price, I can go any time instead of pulling kids out of school and stay at a cheaper disney hotel. Oh well. Maybe they’ll open up more later.

    1. Keith Avatar

      Kristina – Yes, rule #1, if available, hold it. Disney made very few rooms available, my guess is the value Nd moderates willbe gone soon.

  31. Morgan Avatar

    I went ahead and booked our vacation for sports resort 9/29-10/7 but am dying to get back in to pop.. Any suggestions?!

    1. Keith Avatar

      Morgan – Nope, they made very few rooms available at Pop Century. You can try checking back to see if anything opened up, but it is very unlikely for those dates.

  32. Rich Avatar

    Am i reading this right? If i check in the last day of the free dining promo 9/29 I get the entire rest of the trip with free meals?

    1. Keith Avatar

      Rich – yes, absolutely correct.

  33. Morgan Avatar

    Update- there was evidently a glitch in the system yesterday and pop came available last night.. After waiting on hold for 37 mins, I got switched to Pop! Thanks 🙂

  34. Keith Avatar

    Morgan – Yes, I saw the same thing, Pop Century started showing up late last night (technically early this morning) for many dates. Thanks for the update!

  35. Laura Avatar

    Do you think they’ll extend the free dining through the fall (as they did last year)? If so when do you think they would announce it? We are checking in 11/10.

  36. Keith Avatar

    Laura – Less than 50% chance it is extended. Last year, it was announced August 3, I would expect a similar or slightly earlier time frame this year.

  37. Cindy Avatar

    We are planning a family trip December 8- 15 for 12 people. Would you suggest making reservations with a travel agent now and if free dining comes available during that time would we get it?

  38. Keith Avatar

    Cindy – Yes, get your dates and resorts figured out now and get it booked now. If you have a decent travel agent, they will just apply any new discount for you so you don’t need to worry about it.

  39. Jenn Avatar

    Love your website and all the great tips. We have a vacation scheduled for the first 9 days of December, and we are crossing our fingers they announce free dining!

  40. Edie Avatar

    We usually try to go in November and have been lucky enough to get the free dining. Last year we went in December 16-23. I would not recommend it, it was really crowded. I think I will do what you suggested to others, book now and hope for free dining. Although, they may not offer it if their aren’t many vacancies. So I may be aiding in defeating my purpose. Anyway, fingers crossed. 🙂

  41. dwayne Avatar

    I’m looking to book a trip from Oct.15 – 22 2012.
    I was wondering if the free meal was added for this date. It looks like it ends Oct. 10



  42. Keith Avatar

    Dwayne – For 2012, the free dining only goes through September 29. At this point, we do not know if Disney will extend free dining to later dates.

  43. Araina Avatar

    Looking to book a moderate w. free dining late fall (the week b4 Thanksgiving would be perfect) or in late Feb or March. I know that they haven’t annouced yet, but historically have they usually offered it during these times? I would hate to pull the kids out of school in Sept, while they are just learning their routines, new classmates, etc. We drive (all the way from DE), so we are very flexible with dates. Stayed off resort over Easter and spent WAY too much on park food and character meals. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Keith Avatar

      Ariana – Disney has extended free dining to fall dates the last few years, but in 2011 (and 2010), it was only made available for a few days here and there.

      Disney World Free Dining 2011 and 2012

      Disney has offered free dining in the spring once, it was this year, but again, it was only for a week here or there. If you are hoping to get it over Thanksgiving or Spring Break, that is going to be very unlikely, it has typically only been offered for dates that need a boost in bookings (that does not describe Thanksgiving or Spring Break).

      For this Fall, we probably won’t see an extension (if we see it at all) until sometime this summer.

  44. David Anderson Avatar
    David Anderson

    Is there any chance you will offer the free meal plan in November before Thanksgiving? We plan to come to WDW around the middle of November, but we need some kind of a discount to be able to stay at a value resort, as I am retired and I am on a fixed income. Please let me know if you know of any discounts for November before Thanksgiving. Thank you

    1. Keith Avatar

      David – At this point, Disney has not yet released any discounts for November, and probably will not for a few more months. Last year, the November free dining was extended on August 3, I wouldn’t expect to see anything before July this year. We should see discounts for your dates, just not real confident at this point it will be free dining.

  45. Nicole Avatar

    Oh my….we are planning to heard down at the end of September and we havent booked yet! I must have been reading the wrong dates and now I think we might have missed out on FREE dining because we missed the booking date of May 18th! Is there anyway they might extend the booking????

    1. Keith Avatar

      Nicole – Yes, free dining expired last week. Unlikely it will be extended now that it has expired. We may see an alternate discount, or it is possible we may see September included again along with some later dates. Just guessing though, not really sure what we will see for Fall.

  46. Brad Avatar

    How can I get thr free dining plan for Octorber 2012.

    1. Keith Avatar

      Brad – There isn’t one yet that is available to the general public. Disney has been sending out PIN codes directly to guests, but you have to receive one directly from Disney, you can’t just get one, they “choose” you.

  47. Rachel Avatar

    We took a trip to WDW early December 2010 and took advantage of free dining. We are planning another trip this December and I’m waiting and hoping for another free dining offer soon. My question is, if I book now directly through Disney and a free dining offer comes up for the dates of our trip, will they honor it, or is it usually for new bookings only? Thanks!!

  48. Keith Avatar

    Rachel – Yes, mostly likely. All discounts can be applied to existing reservations, based on availability of course. If they exclude your resort from the discount, then you can’t apply it, you would have to move resorts.

    I strongly suggest you contact a decent Disney specialist travel agent. They will take care of applying any new deals for you, along with many other services, at no cost to you (I promise you will save money and time). We love Mouseketrips, they are fantastic to work with.

  49. Carl Avatar

    We are within our 180 day window to book our restaurant choices. Was able to book all but one. In 2007 we paired Le Cellier (LUNCH) with the Candlelight Concert. It cost us (1) Tbl Svc. Will that be the same in 2012? We heard rumors that it might be (2) Tbl Svc this year for either lunch or dinner?…..which would not be fair because the lunch menu is different and cheaper than the dinner menu which is more expensive. For the savvy consumer it would mean then booking dinner instead of lunch for the best value option. Dining cant answer ANY questions until tickets are released June 26. Knowing in advance would help us with our itinerary and save them time on the phones if we are prepared before we call to book. Whats up? Thx.

  50. Keith Avatar

    Carl – Le Cellier was included for 2011, but lunch only. However, it was 2 table service credits, the same cost as other World Showcase locations that were included. I would expect 2012 to be the same, though we won’t know for sure until Disney actually releases the package/tickets. Don’t expect dinner to be included, and lunch will definitely be 2 credits per person, the question is if they include Le Cellier at all.

  51. Susan Avatar

    Disney has opened up select dates for later in the fall 2012 for free dining. We are using points from our DVC friends for our room; however, we used our Disney VISA to book the dining plan. Do you know if we can get the free dining?

    1. Keith Avatar

      Susan – Nope. In order to get free dining, you have to book a package at a WDW hotel that includes your hotel, park passes and the dining plan, the hotel and park passes are full price. DVC members (nor their guests) can use points and qualify for any kind of Disney resort or package deal.

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