Normally, here are MouseMisers, we only cover general public Disney discounts, basically a discount that anyone can book. While some may have some restrictions on them, such as limited to Annual Passholders or Florida Residents only, for the most part, the discounts are available to everyone. We are breaking with tradition a bit today, and covering a new PIN code that Disney World has been sending out for Free Dining.
Late yesterday afternoon, the first wave of PIN codes were emailed out to potential guests, we hope to shed some light on what the PIN code is offering, how you may get one, and how to use it if you do get one.
What is a PIN code?
A PIN code is a discount sent directly to you from Disney, either by email or a post card. Rather than opening up a discount to everyone, they target individuals. We wrote a fairly lengthly post about Disney PIN codes here:
What about the new Fall Free Dining PIN Code?
Disney World has starting sending out PIN codes for Free Disney Dining for many Fall 2013. You must check in on one of the following dates:
- August 25 – October 2, 2013
- October 18 – 31, 2013
- November 11 – 23, 2013
- November 30 – December 4, 2013
- December 15 – 22, 2013
The discount is the same as the Free Disney Dining released for September yesterday, just with expanded dates. If you qualify, you will receive free Quick Service Dining at the value hotels, free Disney Dining at the moderate, deluxe and villa resorts.
How do I use the Free Dining PIN code?
As with any other Disney discount, just call your Travel Agent or Disney directly to check on prices and availability. I might suggest Mouseketrips, they are experts in PIN codes and Disney discounts.
There are a few restrictions on this Free Dining PIN code, similar to others in the past.
- You must personally receive a PIN code. You CAN NOT use someone else’s code. If your neighbor or Aunt gets a PIN code, you can’t use it. You also can’t buy on ebay nor can someone “give” you their PIN code.
- The person who receives the PIN code must be on your reservation. If your Aunt gets a PIN code, and is coming with you to Disney World, then you can use it.
- You must check in on one of the available dates. Only your check in date matters, none of your other dates matter. So, if you check in December 22 for 10 nights, you get free dining for your entire stay. If you check in December 14, you get nothing.
- You can book up to three rooms with each PIN code. Again, the person who receives the PIN code must be on one of the reservations.
- You must stay a minimum of three nights, maximum of 14 nights, and everyone in your party must purchase a minimum 2 day park pass.
- The Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation are not included, nor are the campsites and 3 bedroom villas. Other resorts may or may not be included for all dates, and everything is always subject to availability.
How do I get a PIN code?
This is one of those eternal mysteries, no one really knows the answer. Disney does not divulge how to get on their “list”. Many guests go to Disney twice a year for 20+ years and never get one, and others have never been, and get several a year. There are a few things you can do to increase your chance. Basically, you need to let Disney know you want to go to Disney World, and are working on going.
I would suggest you do at least these minimum steps:
- Head on over to disneyworld.com and log in with your Disney account. If you do not have one, create one today. Disney is moving all of their dining and other reservations to be associated with this account, you are going to have to have one in the future if you want to plan anything with your future Disney trips.
- Update your profile, make sure it is completely up to date, including correct name, †home address, email address, etc. There are quite a few tabs there, update as many as you can, including past WDW vacations and Disney Vacation Preferences. The more info the better.
- Request a “Free Vacation Planning DVD”. There should be a link on just about any page you go to.
- Head over to the “Plan Your Vacation” and plan out 4 or 5 different options for your family, slightly different dates, resorts, park passes, dining, etc. Save them all to your profile. Make sure the vacations you are planning are during the time you want a PIN code for.
- Consider booking a few dining reservations during your proposed travel dates. Make sure you cancel them in a few weeks if you decide you are not going.
- Come back a week or two later, and plan a few more vacations, around the same travel dates, maybe with different hotels and save as many as you can.
- Keep coming back every few weeks and plan a few more vacations and save them.
What if I don’t get a PIN code
Please note that PIN codes are usually send out in waves. So, they will target a large group, usually by email and send out a big chunk of codes, and then sit back and wait. After a few days (or more), they will determine how bookings are going, and then send out a second wave to additional guests, and so on until they are satisfied with bookings. So, if you didn’t get one today, don’t fret yet, this offer just started.
It is completely possible, and I have seen this a lot, Disney may have a PIN code for you, but for one reason or another, it didn’t make it to you. Maybe you moved, or changed your email address, or you have a really strict spam filter. Feel free, in a few days, to give Disney a call. Just ask them if they have a PIN code for you for the Fall Free Dining. They can look you up by name, address, email address, etc. Most of the time, they will not have something for you, and please don’t beg, the agents can’t add you to the list. If you are chosen, you are chosen. If not, just keep trying the tips above, you never know.
Please note, there may be a few different versions of the PIN code out there, some may be for less dates, or less of a discount. If you receive a different PIN code, can you please let me know? Thanks!
What does this mean for Fall Discounts?
While there has been precedence of Disney releasing a PIN code for a set of dates, and then releasing the same discount to the general public, it is very rare. Typically, they will release a really good discount via PIN code and book up the rooms/dates they want to book, and then will follow up later with a less attractive general public deal, which usually covers more dates, but isn’t as good of a discount. So, at this point, my expectation is that this PIN code will go on for a while, through a few waves and then will go away. We will then probably see October – December discounts at some point this Summer, most likely a room only discount, 20 – 30% off, but should cover most Fall dates, including those not included in the Free Dining PIN code offer. Please note, this is my own opinion based on 12+ years of dealing with Disney and discounts, and is not based on any insider knowledge. Think “educated guess”.
Hi, I did not receive a PIN code, but currently have a trip planned for December 4-11. What do you think the likelihood is that free dining will later be released for the same dates referenced above?
Jessica – Great question, I meant to address this in the post, and forgot. I will do so now, so the answer should show up above here in a few minutes. Short answer: not good.
Jennifer Martinez says
So you have to get a PIN code card to get the Free Dining?
Jennifer – There is a Free Dining discount out now for most September dates that is available to everyone.
For the other dates listed above, as of today, YES, you must receive a PIN code from Disney in order to qualify. As Jessica asked above, it is always possible that this discount may be released to everyone at some point in the future, I just think it is extremely unlikely.
Jennifer Martinez says
We are going October 4-11. Already booked. Was hoping for free dining.
Jennifer – You wouldn’t qualify for the free dining PIN, your travel dates are outside of the available dates. I would say at this point, you will probably have to settle for whatever discount Disney releases for October later this year.
Any speculation as to why the first two weeks of October were left off of the PINS? Do you think this is an indicator of free dining being offered or not for the general public during those dates? I know it’s all just guess work 😉
Lesli – October is a funny month. The Food and Wine festival has gotten crazy popular, especially with locals. You also have the start of the Not So Scary Halloween Party that brings in people. Historically, those weeks are a bit more crowded, and I guess that Disney feels they will have enough rooms booked without offering this discount. I am sure those weeks will be included in a discount though.
Better question, why is Sat checkin for Thanksgiving week included?
Mike – Ya, that one is kind of strange. They did this once before, 2011 I think. They released Free Dining to everyone, and then realized they messed up on a few dates, and changed them a few days after releasing the deal. It will be interesting to see if they alter the dates in future waves of the discount, or if they just think not many people come that early for Thanksgiving.
Hi! Thanks for the info on the Fall Pin Codes. Our trip falls in the time frame but we are only going for 4 nights/ 5 days. Can I still use the PIN? Thanks for all your info!
Beth – As long as your stay is anywhere between 3 and 14 nights, you should qualify. Disney attorney’s make them advertise a set vacation, like 5 nights/5 days, but that is irrelevant to what you can/must book.
The “don’t beg” part made me laugh. I’ve actually witnessed it work. We got a pin, but had two other family couples already attached with us. Our friend came over and called and explained how they go every year and it just isn’t fair… yada yada yada, and BAM… they put the code for Free Dining on her ressie. I never would have though it would work, but it did. Pins are set up to “grab” a 3 digit code for FD (or whatever discount). A CM that knows the 3 digit code can give it to whomever.
Oh how I hope we get one. Already have flights booked for end of August and we planned it thinking there would be free dinng then, as historically there was. Sure we got a room discount, but for a family of 5 we need 2 connecting rooms so the free dining would definitely be the bigger deal. I’ve tried calling to see if there is a PIN attached to my name, nothing yet. Fingers crossed. I will keep checking. Better yet, maybe they will release the deal to the public.
Karen – Most likely won’t be released to the public for August dates, your best bet is a PIN code. Good luck!
Hi I received an email in regards to pin codes but I have never received one. Do you think I might have a chance? Do you think they will offer free dining in December?
Tessa – Really don’t think we will see free dining released as a general public discount for October and beyond, that just doesn’t happen often once a PIN code is released. We will see some other sort of discount for Fall dates, just don’t think it will be free dining.
Do you think they would offer it to disney visa cardholder’s in December?
Tessa – No, at this point, I do not. Disney rarely releases a full blown PIN code offer like this, and then turns around releases it to the general public. I think at this point, it is likely we will see some other discount released for Fall dates, something along the lines of Kids stay and play free or something like that.
If the free dining is extended past September, expect the dates to be different than what has been offered with the PIN code. Understand I mean fewer dates included, not different dates all together.
I received an email in regards to the pin codes but I did not receive a pin code yet. Is it possible for me to receive one or is it just the luck of the draw?
Tessa – Yes, completely possible. Definitely not luck of the draw. If Disney thinks you are interested in going a certain time, they are much more likely to give you a discount as an incentive to pull the trigger than some random person on the street.
Follow the suggested steps above, that should get you on Disney’s radar.
Keith, tickets question. I want to buy tickets before the price increase which will probably happen shortly, but I have been holding off for small chance of free dining, which would require a package with tickets. Can I buy the tickets now through Undercover Tourist, and should free dining come through, I can always save these UT tickets for a trip the following year? Or is there some restriction against holding two sets of unused tickets at once?
Mike – Tickets do not expire ever, as long as you dont’ start using them. So, if you purchase tickets now, and end up getting a package later this year with tickets, you can hold onto your purchased ones for a later date.
We have done all the above steps many times but still never get pin codes. We tend to book our hotel a year out because many of the resorts we stay at (POFQ, WL), the standard rooms fill up quick. Do you think booking so early prevents us from getting PIN codes to apply? Is the Disney system “smart” enough to filter us out once we’ve already booked? Anyone out there get PIN codes after they booked their resort?
Mike – I know how you feel, I have been to WDW probably 25 – 30 times the last 10 years or so, I have yet to get a PIN code. The system is definitely not smart enough to know that you booked already, most people I hear from that get PIN codes have their rooms booked.
My one suggestion to you: Create a brand new Disney account with a different email address. Start over on the process but with a new account.
I know a new wave of PIN codes for Free Dining went out earlier this week, so they are still going out.
I have already booked a package within the November dates for the newly released FD PINs but have not received a PIN yet. I’ve also already paid all but $21 on my balance. What is the likelihood of me receiving a PIN? Thanks!
Melanie – We have been finding that if you have a reservation or not doesn’t really seem to effect who gets them. I have known quite a few people in both situations that have received them. Best of luck!
I received a PIN …yeah! I understand that if my nephew and his family go along with me, they can take advantage of my PIN and book a separate room at the same value resort. Questions: 1) Would my nephew and his family have to make reservations for the same number of days/nights as me to qualify under the rules of the PIN? (We plan to check-in on the same day.)
2) Are we allowed to pay & upgrade our Quick-Service dining plan to the Disney Dining Plan ?
Alan – Woot, congrats!
1. Each PIN code SHOULD be able to book up to three rooms. I have seen them with a limit of 1, but those are pretty rare, it is almost always three rooms. It is best if they check in with you, but they do not need to have the same number of nights. I would suggest you book both reservations, but one can be in your name, the other in his name, and you pay for each of yours.
2. Yes, if you are staying at a value resort, you can pay to upgrade to the Disney Dining or Deluxe Disney Dining plans by paying the difference in cost.
I received a pin code via mail today for free dining but our trip is 10/6-10/12, which are dates that aren’t included. We can’t change our dates. Do you think there will be fall discounts that I will be able to take advantage of for the dates of our trip? If so, when are they typically released? Staying at Beach Club. . . Thanks!!
Julie – Yes, we are fully expecting Fall discounts that will be made available to everyone. It is very likely we will not see them for a few months, probably not until July or August.
Don’t give up if you were not issued a pin # yet. I was looking to go to Disney in October but I needed the dining plan free. I read on this site about the Disney pin numbers and followed your suggestions. First I called Disney and asked if there was a pin number in my account. I was told that there was not. I had already been looking at September dates on there website since I saw that free dining was only for September. But following your suggestions I put in October dates for a vacation package, then I requested a free dvd for Disney vacation planning. By that night I decided that I would book the September dates and when or if free dining came out for October I would change my reservations. So I called Disney back to book September and when I told the reservations rep that I was going to book for September and change if dining was free in October ….lo and behold there was a pin number in my account for October. I was thrilled. I don’t know if it was just a coincidence or your suggestions but Thank you. And for those who didn’t get the pin numbers it doesn’t hurt to try some of these suggestions.
Sandy – Congrats! Yep, all my suggestions 😉
Please note we have seen a few more waves come out over the last week, so Disney is still sending out PIN codes for these dates.
Definitely worth doing as much as you can and worth calling to ask if there is anything for you. Glad it worked out, happy planning!
Do you think it is a possibility they excluded the 4th-10th of October due to being a popular fall break time for schools. My boyfriend teaches and that’s the only time we are able to go.
Kristi – Hmm, probably a combination of school breaks, start of Food and Wine Festival, etc. Disney has a pretty good handle on expected crowds, and the discounts like this usually reflect their expectations.
Do you know if Annual Passholders are excluded from the PIN pool?
Keith – Great name by the way! No, to my knowledge, they are not. Of course, to get the free dining, you have to purchase a package that includes your hotel and park passes, and you have to forego any other discounts. So, do the math even if you do get a PIN code to make sure it is a better deal for you.
I had never received a pin code until June 10th in the mail. I live in Oklahoma. We had already booked a trip last September for October 2013. We have been to WDW 7 times. Hopefully others will receive the pin codes they need 🙂
What number should I call to see if they have a PIN for me? We are already booked for these dates and someone else going the same week got a PIN and I didn’t! It doesn’t hurt to ask, but I don’t know which number to call?
JoAnne – Just call the normal Disney reservations number at 407-WDISNEY.
Rob Wilson says
We received the free dining plan PIN code in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Now we are planning a trip during the end of September time frame. As noted in the few restrictions on this Free Dining PIN code above: “You must stay a minimum of three nights, maximum of 14 nights, and everyone in your party must purchase a minimum 2 day park pass.” I have an Employee Discount Program that includes both “ADULT 3-Day Magic Your Way ® Ticket with Park Hopper ® Option that gives 2 extra days free” or “3-Day Magic Your Way ® with Park Hopper ® AND Water Park Fun & More Option and Get 1 Extra Day FREE!”
My questions are about the restriction of purchasing “a minimum 2 day park pass.” Must you purchase these tickets while booking the room with the PIN code? If you must purchase “a minimum 2 day park pass,” are the dining plan benifits linked to the park pass duration or the room duration? If it is linked to the room then can you use other tickets that have been previously purchased at a disounted rate?
Rob – Yes, the package must include a minimum 2 day park pass for everyone in your party in order to qualify for the free dining. The dining plan is not linked to your tickets in any way. Many people actually purchase the 2 day tickets and save them for some other time, they do not expire unless you start using them. The dining plan, whether free or whether you pay for it, is always tied to the number of nights you stay in the hotel.
hi there, great site…just wanted to let everyone know, we are going Oct 20-26. I booked back in January for Port New Orleans-Riverside. I had no clue disney was so “Strict” about these pin codes etc…I called in several times, asking about the pin codes, asking about FREE dining etc……..and FINALLY, I got the right person, after threatening to cancel my trip, because it dint seem fair that pin codes went out to random people, and more than likely landed in the garbage, YET, here I am with a family of 5 with a booked trip, eager to get free dining but they wouldnt let me use it…..Let me tell ya, they gave me free dining, didnt have to change my room or anything 🙂 They also told me the free dining would be opened to the public around the first part of August. For the fall 2013 dates….sooo, either call them back and be annoying, or just wait and be patient…….. 🙂 good luck all. I suggest you call them back and threaten to cancel your trip 🙂 They want your money!!!!!
Kim – A few notes:
1. They can’t just give you free dining willy nilly. If free dining is not available for your dates, they can’t just make something up and give it to you. Their system does not work that way. Most likely, you had a PIN code assigned to you that they then used to give you free dining. It is also possible that you found a cast member who made one up for you. Of course, they could be fired for this, but some are known to do it.
2. Cast members have no idea what discounts are going to be released or when. Most don’t even know discounts are released the morning they are released, and don’t find out about them until someone calls in asking about it. Disney is very mum on discounts, it is super rare for anything to leaked a day or two ahead of time, nothing is leaked a month in advance.
Hi!! Definitely want to plan a Disney vaca in late August, however if we do not receive the free dining coupon with a pin we are not going. Extremely disheartened because several of my friends got one & we did not. I am a Disney visa premier card holder, have been to Disney many times, so very upset we didn’t get one. I’ve called several times, ordered the free DVD & already got it, have ordered Disney photo pass pics & DVD every time we go. Don’t know what else I can do!! Help!!
Michele – Unfortunately, no one quite knows what is required to get on the list in order to get a PIN. Consider going to the Disney World website and logging in. Go to the My Disney Experience and book a few dining reservations during your “stay”. Maybe even put a trip on hold, and tie it to your profile.
Remember to cancel your dining reservations in a week or so, if you end up not going.
looks like we will not have a free dining PIN for our upcoming trip in AUgust. And yes I have tried everything. So now the question, is it worth it to just buy it? we are a family of 5 with 2 adults (2 teengers) and 1 child. So we would need to purchase 4 adult meal plans and 1 child. We are staying for 13 nights – it would cost us about $2000 for the QS plan and about $3100 for the regular dining plan. Is it worth it? yes we know how to utilize the plan to get the most for our money. The kids all like steak dinners so eating out for sit down would normally run us around 180$ a meal. BUt would we normally all order dessert, probably not. I know having the plan just makes it easier cause you don’t have to think about it, but you are still paying dearly for it. Is the QS worth it -from what i’m reading it is not. We have never just had the QS dining plan, always the regular plan, so the thought of eating as QS all the time is kinda yucky. I already have dining reservations for all 13 nights…just waiting to decide what to do. Thoughts, Opinions?
Karen – Personally, I always do the plan. I do the math before each trip, and in seems to work out better for us. If it is even close, I do it simply for the fact that I know that everything is pre-paid and budgeted, and I don’t have to think about spending all that money in the park.
I am not a fan of the QS plan. You can make it work, and save you some money, but then you are eating QS places for basically all of your meals.
I would sit down with all of your reservations, look at the menus and prices, and do the math. If you would normally share 2 desserts, figure that in. Make sure to do the counter service meals too, and the snacks. If you are close, then buy it, if not, then just pay out of pocket.
Did you know if there is a free dinning (not for the Disney visa cardholder) on February?
Lizy – Free Dining will not be made available to the public for February, 2014. The two discounts released today to Disney VISA cardholders is all we will see once they are made available to the public next week.
Please note, there was a free dining PIN code released for early 2014 today as well, but you must receive a PIN code directly from Disney in order to use it. It is not a discount made available to everyone.