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[Walt Disney World] Walt Disney World Free Dining Offer for Select dates this fall

  • Last Updated:
  • May 21st, 2017 7:28 pm
Sr. Member
Apr 18, 2008
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Toronto
My family (2 adults, 2 kids -- 1 considered as Disney adult) did value resort + free quick-service dining a few years ago. I very much enjoyed the convenience/freedom of quick-service dining -- no pre-planning needed; whichever park we are at, whatever time we feel hungry, find a nearby fastfood place and grab "free" food.

Table service feels too limiting to me, if I have to make reservation months in advance and make sure I'm in that park at that time/place. Kinda regret that we didn't try it once or twice (after reading about the good things people say), but I don't think I'd want to pay to upgrade from quick service to table service dining plan (US$80+ extra per night for 4 "adults"). Would be nice if they allow redeeming 2 quick-service credits for 1 (regular) table service meal.

On the flip side, I suppose the alternate option "discount hotel + discount ticket + pack your own food from grocery store" could be cheaper, but less convenient / more work / "feel less like on a holiday" to me.
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Jun 8, 2008
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When we went (years ago) we were on a similar free dining plan but upgraded to table service for one meal a day. It was well worth it, we loved them although we booked WAY ahead of time.
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Sep 1, 2011
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Toronto
We went this October, with a 5 year old. We had the 1 quick service/1 Table service meal plan. With the exception of our first day, we booked the table service for lunches exclusively. It was nice to take a break and sit in AC for a while in the middle of the day -- it left a lot of time in the afternoon and evening and got us out of the midday sun. And at the end of the day we were so frazzled that quick service was just fine as most of us were barely hungry (and the 5 y/o tends to eat the least at dinner, vs. breakfast and lunch).
Last edited by thearcade on Apr 24th, 2017 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nov 28, 2013
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Mcklain wrote:
Apr 24th, 2017 5:11 pm
How much time can we expect to waste at a sit down table service (from the moment you are seated) VS quick service?

Also do you need to give out tip for the sit down table service?
Timing varies depending on the restaurant. Character dining meals all took about an hour max, sit-down to leaving (they try to rotate those tables out pretty quick, to get as many people in as they can). Rainforest Cafe took longer, as it's more of your typical "family style restaurant" experience. Quick service took anywhere from 5-10 minutes (no line) to 15-25 minutes (big lines, around common eating times) to get food, plus however long it takes you to eat. For us, with a slow-eating 5 year old, it wasn't all that much quicker at quick service than it was at table service.

And no, you don't *have* to tip, but for most table service meals (except Hoop Dee Doo and Cinderella's Royal Table), tips are not included. So it comes down to whether or not you would feel bad about not tipping a server at a restaurant in general.
ReaperEXE wrote:
Apr 24th, 2017 6:24 pm
Out of curiosity, how much do you guys tip when you get the meal plan?

The last time we went our travel adviser told us not to, and the bill under the deluxe plan for the two of us would hover around $160 - $200+ depending on where we went. We felt like 15% was too much given how expensive the trip was, and ended up tipping $10/15 every (sit-down) meal. Is that too low? Should we have tipped more, or even not at all?
$10-15 is probably a *bit* low, but not horrendously so. I wouldn't punish servers based on the cost of your overall trip, but 15% on the hyper-inflated cost of Disney's meals *is* a bit high. We just defaulted to 15% because we're lazy, but we almost certainly overpaid.
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Koodo
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Aug 24, 2011
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ReaperEXE wrote:
Apr 24th, 2017 6:24 pm
Out of curiosity, how much do you guys tip when you get the meal plan?
The last time we went our travel adviser told us not to, and the bill under the deluxe plan for the two of us would hover around $160 - $200+ depending on where we went. We felt like 15% was too much given how expensive the trip was, and ended up tipping $10/15 every (sit-down) meal. Is that too low? Should we have tipped more, or even not at all?
Your Travel Adviser must not be up to date on Disney standards.
Servers in Florida rely on tips as the majority of their income as their base pay is less than minimum wage. If you read any of the Disney forums, you'll learn that a 20% tip is the minimum expected. If you have a party of 6 or more an 18% tip is automatically added to the bill. My daughter worked as a server at Le Cellier for a year on the Cultural Representative program. Being a "signature" restaurant she said it was rare to receive anything under 15%.
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Nov 21, 2013
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Now I recall what we've done at our 2 trips... We booked at a value resort, upgraded to the "1 quick service meal, 1 table service meal and 1 snack" plan ( whatever they call it nowadays) and, because of their huge plates we shared 2 quick service meals for 4 at the hotel food fair for breakfast, shared 2 quick service meals fo 4 at a kiosk for lunch in the parks, a snack each in the afternoon, and the table service meal for dinner. Never felt hungry during the whole trip and saved a lot of $$$. Table service meals are very good food.

About tipping, don't forget that tip is not included, even if you do not pay for the food. Server's salary is widely based on those tips... I know that it's an expensive trip, but like another said the server does not have to suffer because of this... But this is so personnal...
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Apr 24, 2017
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Looks to me like the value plan doesn't include desserts this year. Am I missing it or would you guys agree?
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Apr 18, 2008
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Toronto
sfbwpg123 wrote:
Apr 25th, 2017 2:06 pm
Looks to me like the value plan doesn't include desserts this year. Am I missing it or would you guys agree?
Seems you're right. http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/disney-dining-plan-faq/ "NOTE: 2017 Disney Dining Plans do not include dessert with quick service meals."

So not just the value plan -- even for regular dining plan, the quick service credit meal does not include dessert.
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Dec 4, 2009
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Something doesn't square here. People are going to Disney, staying AT a Disney resort, and then resorting to eating on a budget ($100/family of 4/day)?!?! Food isn't the place we usually look to save a few bucks. That's part of the experience of teavelling. Just sayin...
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Lucky
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Toukolou wrote:
Apr 25th, 2017 4:32 pm
Something doesn't square here. People are going to Disney, staying AT a Disney resort, and then resorting to eating on a budget ($100/family of 4/day)?!?! Food isn't the place we usually look to save a few bucks. That's part of the experience of teavelling. Just sayin...
On a Disney vacation, it's one of the few places that you *can* save a few bucks, at least if you want the convenience of staying at a Disney hotel (buses to/from the hotel, no need for rental car/parking hassles, etc).
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Koodo
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Jun 29, 2011
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toolioiep wrote:
Apr 24th, 2017 10:52 am
Just booked over Christmas - the heads up is much appreciated OP.

I know its a gong show there over the holidays but its a bucket list thing.
IMO, while Christmas may be busier, the atmosphere is so much better. And the hours are longer to compensate.

In our case, we went to WDW twice when our son was young (at 5 and then at 9). The first time we went right after the new year because it was cheaper, then the second time we went just before Christmas (leaving WDW on Dec 24). We enjoyed the second trip so much more as the park was much livelier with all the Christmas decorations and special activities (and possibly less crowd as it borders the true high season).
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ssiu wrote:
Apr 25th, 2017 3:43 pm
Seems you're right. http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/disney-dining-plan-faq/ "NOTE: 2017 Disney Dining Plans do not include dessert with quick service meals."
So not just the value plan -- even for regular dining plan, the quick service credit meal does not include dessert.
True... they eliminated the dessert for quick service meals on all Dining plans, but added an extra snack per person per day to make up for it. I'd rather have the extra snack, much more variety to choose from.
Sr. Member
Jan 8, 2007
722 posts
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We will be at WDW Dec 7-17, 2 adults, 1 7 year old, 1 2 year old. We could do free dining Dec 8-17. Before a lot of categories sold out for this deal I did the math a few different ways and this deal just does not work for us. Losing the 25% cdn discount on park tix and the equivalent room discounts for renting DVC villas kills it. If we stayed at a value it could save us some dollars but if I had to eat qs meals the whole time and have all 4 of us in a small hotel style room for 9 days I'd lose my mind. And all the value category rooms are gone now anyways so c'est la vie.

Looks like we will be staying in a nice rented trailer at Fort Wilderness then Animal Kingdom Lodge 1 br.
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Apr 17, 2011
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A word of advise about tipping. MAKE sure you double check the bill when tipping. I had two different waiters at two different restaurants try and pull one over on me and include a pretty hefty tip on the bill ( one was 32% the other 25%) when leaving. Luckily I caught it before finalizing the bill. Complained and got two additional full dining service vouchers to include with my stay because of the mess up. Avoid Chef Mickey's Diner as well. Most of the staff there are real crappy and don't put much effort in their job and expect a big tip at the end. Easily the worst place to eat anywhere on Disney resorts.
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Jan 28, 2011
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Montreal, QC
I just reserved for the end of September but for the first time, not using this special. We are a party of 7, for 9 days.
- We rent a house in Kissimmee (more than half the price because we would need 2 valued rooms at Disney's)
- Purchase tickets with park hopper + waterpark (25% off for Canadian)
- Book a plane in Albany to Orlando
- Rent a minivan at the Airport

Including parking, if using 300$USD/day for food (way enough for 2 meals + snacks like the free dining), it will still cost us less than the special with free dining by nearly a thousand dollar. Also, having a car with park hopper and waterpark will give us FULL possibilities... (Waterpark till afternoon, night at Magic Kingdom, etc)

Just my hints if you want to save money. :)
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