How to get FREE Dining in 2018

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By far, the most popular discount Disney offers is the Free Dining discount.  It’s the #1 discount everyone wants, waits for, plans around, and asks me about.

I have a lot of the same questions pop up as we wait for free dining, usually with the same theme: “What’s our best shot of getting free dining?”

While there’s never a guarantee that free dining will be released, if it is, here’s the top 5 things YOU can do to better your chances of getting your food for free when you vacation in Disney World in 2018:

TOP 5 things YOU do to get FREE DINING 2018:

  1.  Know when to go & where to stay

Paying attention to the historical free dining information of years really helps you decide when to go and where to stay to give you the best shot of getting a free dining discount for your 2018 Disney vacation.

Normally, it’s announced in late April/earlyMay.  In 2017, Free Dining was released on April 24, 2017.

Here are the Walt Disney World Free Dining dates that were available for booking in 2017, which should give you some insight into what will be offered in 2018:

• August 21* – September 30, 2017
• November 14 – 20, 2017
• November 25 – 27, 2017
• December 8 – 23, 2017

*Disney Visa Cardholders can book the Free Disney Dining Plan promotion for arrival dates beginning August 13, 2017.

Here were the room exclusions for 2017 (and I would expect to see the same for 2018): all suites, campsites and 3 bedroom villas have been excluded from this offer, as are the Little Mermaid rooms at the new Art of Animation Resort, Port Orleans French Quarter, All-Star Movies, Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort and the new Villas and Bungalos at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. All other Disney resorts, including value resorts are included in the offer.  Also, Port Orleans Riverside was available, but only for arrivals August 21 through September 20, 2017.

Trying to plan your trip with a check in date that coincides with the previous year’s free dining discount dates & staying in a resort that wasn’t excluded last year helps a lot!

  2. Book your vacation NOW.

There is no reason to wait for free dining to be released before you book your trip.  If you know you want to go, and you’ve decided on dates that have a good chance of being included in free dining, then book your trip!

Disney World vacations only require a $200 deposit to book and that deposit is 100% refundable up until 30 days before your departure date.  Since we expect free dining to be released at the end of April and we’ll know all the details of Fall 2018 then, there is NO risk to you to book now.

Having your trip booked in advance is SO helpful for something else I highly recommend: making Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) as soon as possible (ADRs can be booked 180 days in advance of your check in date). Yes, even before Free Dining goes live. Everyone reserves the good ADRs quickly for potential Free Dining dates, so if you don’t book early, you can be stuck eating counter service or unpopular restaurants for the duration of your trip if you don’t plan ahead.

  3.  Be flexible, as much as you can

Historically, Free Dining has been a fall/early winter promotion and based on past promotions, you can plan your visit to give you a good chance of being included in 2018’s free dining discount.  But predictions are obviously just that, and all of this is subject to change based on occupancy trends and projections.  Being flexible with your travel dates and where you stay helps increase your chances of a great free dining discount!

   4.  If you have a Disney VISA card, use it for your $200 deposit

It’s not necessary to have a Disney Visa card to get free dining.  But if you do already have a Disney Visa card, I recommend using it for the deposit just in case being a Disney Visa cardholder helps your chances of securing free dining.

Last year, there was no early booking window for Disney Visa cardholders, but there was an expanded date range. The three years before, Disney Visa cardholders did have an early booking window.  Most years, the general public is able to book Free Dining packages 5 days after Disney Visa cardholders can book.

In years past, Free Dining has been announced in late April, with booking opening first for Disney Visa credit card holders and the general public a few days later. Last year, there was no early window for Disney Visa cardholders. However, Disney Visa cardholders were able to book free dining starting August 13 vs. the general public start date of August 21st.

   5. Book your vacation with me or Email me to be notified about free dining 🙂

If you need personalized help with planning any aspect of your vacation, or want someone to book the Free Dining promotion for you and provide other assistance along the way–I recommend contacting me, a no-fee vacation planner working for an Authorized Disney Vacation Agency, Fairytale Journeys, to get a quote and to help you plan.  I’ve been planning people’s dream vacations for almost 6 years now and LOVE it!

I am not just saying this to get your booking, but having your trip pre-booked with a good travel agent (such as myself), helps get the discount for your preferred dates/resort. 🙂

I receive my commission from Disney, so I will never charge you extra for booking your trip and helping you get the most our of your vacation, discounts, planning, etc..

Last year I worked tirelessly for all my clients to get the discount applied to their vacations.  In order to grab the free dining discount, I checked very very early in the morning (3am!) & had emailed all my pre-booked clients before I moved to new bookings & quote requests.  The longer it takes to book/apply the discount, the less availability there is.  Being pre-booked made the process go much faster!

Have questions?  Email me with any & all questions, I am SO happy to help🙂

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Thinking about a trip to Disney World?  I’d love to help!  As a travel specialist working for an authorized Disney travel agency, my services are completely free to you!  Disney pays my commission directly, which means that you can take advantage of my planning and advice absolutely free of charge!  If you have questions or want to chat more about this, you can email me anytime!

Email:  fairytalejourneysbysara@gmail.com

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Disney World Free Dining 2017 is HERE!!!

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• August 21* – September 30, 2017
• November 14 – 20, 2017
• November 25 – 27, 2017
• December 8 – 23, 2017

*Disney Visa Cardholders can book the Free Disney Dining Plan promotion for arrival dates beginning August 13, 2017.

Walt Disney World has announced its annual Disney Free Dining Discount!!!! 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 one of the black out periods and 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 Walt Disney World Value or Moderate 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 $19.86 per adult per night of your stay, and $3.41 per child.
  • Guests staying at a Disney World Deluxe or Deluxe Disney Villa resort will receive the Disney Dining Plan included for free. Disney World guests at 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.
  • You must also include either the Hopper or Park Hopper Plus option on your park passes to qualify as well.

Availability is extremely limited, and must be booked by July 7, 2017.

*For Disney VISA Cardholders, the 2017 Disney Free Dining travel dates will start August 13, 2017, all other dates are the same. It also appears availability, especially at deluxe resorts, is much better with the Disney VISA discount. 

It appears that all suites, campsites and 3 bedroom villas have been excluded from this offer, as are the Little Mermaid rooms at the new Art of Animation Resort, Port Orleans French Quarter, All-Star Movies, Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort and the new Villas and Bungalos at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. All other Disney resorts, including value resorts are included in the offer.

Port Orleans Riverside is available, but only for arrivals August 21 through September 20, 2017.

Three night minimum stay required, and a maximum stay of 14 nights is allowed per reservation. You must also purchase a minimum 2 day park pass that includes the Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus per person per reservation to qualify.

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Thinking about a trip to Disney World?  I’d love to help!  As a travel specialist working for an authorized Disney travel agency, my services are completely free to you!  Disney pays my commission directly, which means that you can take advantage of my planning and advice absolutely free of charge!  If you have questions or want to chat more about this, you can email me anytime!

Email:  fairytalejourneysbysara@gmail.com

2016 Disney World Free Dining is Here!!

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Travel Dates: August 23 – October 1, November 15 – 21, November 26 – 28 and December 10 – 21, 2016

Finally – Walt Disney World has announced its annual Disney Free Dining Discount!

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 one of the black out periods and 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 Walt 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 $19.86 per adult per night of your stay, and $3.41 per child.
  • Guests staying at a Disney World Moderate, Deluxe or Deluxe 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.
  • You must also include either the Hopper or Water Park Fun and More option on your park passes to qualify as well.

Availability is extremely limited, and must be booked by July 8, 2016.

It appears that all suites, campsites and 3 bedroom villas have been excluded from this offer, as are the Little Mermaid rooms at the new Art of Animation Resort, Port Orleans French Quarter, All-Star Movies, Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort and the new Villas and Bungalos at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. All other Disney resorts, including value resorts are included in the offer.

Port Orleans Riverside is available, but only for arrivals August 23 through October 1, 2016.

Three night minimum stay required, and a maximum stay of 14 nights is allowed per reservation. You must also purchase a minimum 2 day park pass that includes either the Hopping or Water Park Fun & More option per person per reservation to qualify.

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Thinking about a trip to Disney World?  I’d love to help!  As a travel specialist working for an authorized Disney travel agency, my services are completely free to you!  Disney pays my commission directly, which means that you can take advantage of my planning and advice absolutely free of charge!  If you have questions or want to chat more about this, you can Email me anytime!

Disney World Free Dining 2016 Rumors

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As we get closer and closer to the end of April/beginning of May, the free dining rumors are FLYING!!

My thoughts are:

1.  I expect to see something soon (assuming Disney releases free dining).  My own personal guess for a release date?  Monday, April 25th   But it could be anytime now really!
There is no word yet on whether Disney will release Free Dining to Disney VISA cardholder first, but if they do, I expect that to happen April 21st.
2.  I have seen these travel dates floating around in the Disney rumor mills as the 2016 dates that will be included:
Aug 23-Oct 1  (I’ve also heard Aug 14 – Oct 1)
Nov 15-Nov 21
Nov 26-Nov 28
Dec 10-Dec 21
Keep in mind there is no way to know if these are the correct dates, but if those dates turn out to be correct, you would just need to check in on one of them to get the discount for your whole trip.

If offered, it will mostly likely require a three night minimum stay, and a minimum of two ticket days (with either a park hopper or water park option).

Value resorts should offer the Quick Service plan for free and Moderates and Deluxes the Regular Dining Plan

Rumored excluded resorts include Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation, All Star Movies, Port Orleans French Quarter, Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian Bungalows and Grand Floridian Villas.   (I would add Port Orleans Riverside to that list if I had to guess.)

And I cannot stress enough these are just rumors and not verified AT ALL.
Also, the availability is expected to be EXTREMELY limited this year.  Even those who get in first for this discount won’t all be able to secure free dining.

I have a list of people wanting to know as soon as I do when free dining will be offered for 2016.

Do you want to be in the know, too?   Email me & I’ll add you to that list!

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Thinking about a trip to Disney World?  I’d love to help!  As a travel specialist working for an authorized Disney travel agency, my services are completely free to you!  Disney pays my commission directly, which means that you can take advantage of my planning and advice absolutely free of charge!  If you have questions or want to chat more about this, you can email me anytime!

Email:  fairytalejourneysbysara@gmail.com

 

FREE DINING 2015 DISCOUNT!!!

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Released today to EVERYONE!!!

Travel Dates: August 28 – October 2, October 25 – 31, November 8-19, December 15 – 21, 2015

Walt Disney World has announced it’s annual Disney Free Dining! 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 one of the black out periods and 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 Walt 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 $19.86 per adult per night of your stay, and $3.41 per child.
  • Guests staying at a Disney World Moderate, Deluxe or Deluxe 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.
  • You must also include either the Hopper or Water Park Fun and More option on your park passes to qualify as well.

Availability is extremely limited, and must be booked by July 10, 2015.

It appears that all suites, campsites and 3 bedroom villas have been excluded from this offer, as are the Little Mermaid rooms at the new Art of Animation Resort, Port Orleans French Quarter, All-Star Movies, Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort and the new Villas and Bungalos at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Port Orleans Riverside is available, but only for arrivals August 28 through October 2, 2015. 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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thinking about a trip to Disney World?  I’d love to help!  As a travel specialist working for an authorized Disney travel agency, my services are completely free to you!  Disney pays my commission directly, which means that you can take advantage of my planning and advice absolutely free of charge!  If you have questions or want to chat more about this, you can email me anytime!

Email:  fairytalejourneysbysara@gmail.com

More details for Disney World Free Dining RUMOR

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Again, this is JUST a RUMOR right now….

As we talked about earlier, Free Dining might be announced for Disney Visa Card holders on April 27. Everyone else might be able to book on May 1.

Here are the dates rumored to be included:

  • Aug 15-Oct 2
  • Oct 25-31
  • Nov 8-19
  • Dec 15-21

Again, these are just proposed dates. I would be surprised if it started that early in August.

As to hotels that are excluded, the rumor is:

  • All Star Movies
  • Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation
  • Port Orleans French Quarter
  • Port Orleans Riverside starting October 25

I would add to that list all 3 bedroom Villas, The Villas at both the Polynesian Village Resort and the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, and the campgrounds at Ft. Wilderness Campground.

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Thinking about a trip to Disney World?  I’d love to help!  As a travel specialist working for an authorized Disney travel agency, my services are completely free to you!  Disney pays my commission directly, which means that you can take advantage of my planning and advice absolutely free of charge!  If you have questions or want to chat more about this, you can email me anytime!

Email:  fairytalejourneysbysara@gmail.com

2014 Disney World Free Dining Offer

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Travel Dates: August 31 – October 3, October 26 – November 1, November 9 – 20 and December 12 – 23, 2014

Walt Disney World has announced it’s annual Disney Free Dining! 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 one of the black out periods and 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 Walt Disney World value resort will receive the Quick Service Dining Planfor 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 $19.86 per adult per night of your stay, and $3.41 per child.
  • Guests staying at a Disney World ModerateDeluxe or Deluxe 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.

Availability is extremely limited, and must be booked by August 8, 2014.

It appears that all suites, campsites and 3 bedroom villas have been excluded from this offer, as are the Little Mermaid rooms at the new Art of Animation Resort, Port Orleans French Quarter, Port Orleans Riverside, All-Star Movies and the new Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort.

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, Walt Disney World has also announced a room only discount for August 16 – October 3 travel dates only. For most people, the free dining will be a better deal, as you cannot combine the two deals.  I’m happy to check both offers for you to be sure, though!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thinking about a trip to Disney World?  I’d love to help!  As a travel specialist working for an authorized Disney travel agency, my services are completely free to you!  Disney pays my commission directly, which means that you can take advantage of my planning and advice absolutely free of charge!  If you have questions or want to chat more about this, you can email me anytime!

Email:  sarad@fairytalejourneys.com