Expired Hot Deals

[Walt Disney World] Disney World Free Dining Offer for Fall/Winter 2019

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Jan 10, 2004
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DoorCrasher wrote: Thanks for the precision. I think that staying at a Disney owned resort worth the extra $$. But why Dolohin resort is listed on Disney website? Probably hecause they have an agreement
The swan and dolphin is decent to stay at. The location is really good as you can walk to the boardwalk and then directly into Epcot without taking a bus. There is also boat service to get to Hollywood studios.
We found the food options not so great though.

Everytime Disney posts free dining,there are many opinions so it can get overwhelming. We've never used it, and when we calculate the difference in pricing vs what we think we'll spend on food (and getting a different rate) , it never seems to pay off.

But, if you're wanting to stay at full service vs quick service, it might be better. That being said, prices have gone up, and even kids meals are now approaching adult pricing. That with the US dollar, really hurts.

We've bought all our tickets when we they have the deals for Canadians, but if thats gone it's going to be an expensive trip.
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Nov 3, 2011
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STOUFFVILLE
DoorCrasher wrote: Thanks for putting me on the right track... So those hotels have the Disney shuttles orbthey run theirvown shuttles? There is a huge difference between Disney buses who runs all day long and hotel shuttles privately owned or runned buy a private transportation company who have restrictive operation hours
They have disney shuttles, you can use all of the available shuttles in disney. In fact, disney even lets you add your Dolphin/ Swan reservations on their website.
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TomRFD wrote: Everything is subjective but it's one of the only non-Disney owned properties I'd want to stay at (for a Disney World centred trip). The location is excellent and I just looked up some prices for next month and it's shockingly affordable. A Sunday-Saturday stay in a standard room was only $1,378CDN at Dolphin. For comparison the next cheapest Disney owned hotel in the Epcot Area Resort is BoardWalk Inn which costs $4,279CDN for the same 6-nights.
Boardwalk Inn is a luxury resort... I know, we can't compare Dolphin with a Disneynowned value resort like Movie resort, but we stayed at Movie resort, and Pop Cemtury resor. Rooms are small, bathroom sink outside the bathroom, but for Disney, when you use the room only for sleeping, value resorts are good ebough for us...
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U4IA wrote: The swan and dolphin is decent to stay at. The location is really good as you can walk to the boardwalk and then directly into Epcot without taking a bus. There is also boat service to get to Hollywood studios.
We found the food options not so great though.

Everytime Disney posts free dining,there are many opinions so it can get overwhelming. We've never used it, and when we calculate the difference in pricing vs what we think we'll spend on food (and getting a different rate) , it never seems to pay off.

But, if you're wanting to stay at full service vs quick service, it might be better. That being said, prices have gone up, and even kids meals are now approaching adult pricing. That with the US dollar, really hurts.

We've bought all our tickets when we they have the deals for Canadians, but if thats gone it's going to be an expensive trip.
Like I said, we been there like 10 yer exist) ars agom(20008 and 2011) we stayed at value resort, and paid the difference to upgrade the dining plan to one full service per day. Imknow they change their plan since then, but it always been a benefit for us staying at a Disney owned resort, with the free dining plan. Food is really expensive in the parks, and even expensivier for the full service restaurants, like up to $40/ person at that time, depending on what you ordered. Maybe more than this today!

First trip we done there, in 2008, cost less than $4K including upgraded dining plan, 10 park tickets with Park Hopper and other pleasures ( don't think this bundle still exist) other pleasure were Disney Quest and bith water parks, 14 days stay at their hotel, flight from Burlington, Vermont... From BTV to MCO $84 direct flight, from MCO to BTV @$104 with a stop at JFK. This trip was for 2 adults and 2kids under 10. Nobody believes me when I tell how much I paid for everything. I managed this trip the real RFD way! Booked park tickets through CAA who have greate rebates on park tickets. I even subscribed to CAA only for this
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DoorCrasher wrote: There is really a downvote for "not a good price"?? FREE is not a good price? :facepalm:
But it's not 'free'. To get that dining plan you have to pay the non discounted rate for the room. Disney's rooms are EXPENSIVE, VERY expensive, paying the non discounted price for them means you are paying for the dining plan, you just don't know how much.

The dining plan CAN be a good deal, but it really depends on your party. If everyone in your party is going to use every credit then you're good. If you've got young kids that never finish their plates? Might be a waste.
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Feb 3, 2010
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Charlottetown
Hamdeals wrote: Thanks OP, if I am planning to book December 23 to Dec 27, am I qualify for the deal?
First time so any tips are welcome. Thanks
jcon wrote: No, the deal ends on December 23rd and for good reason. Christmas is always busy, so there's no need to offer incentives.

If you are planning on going over Christmas, plan for the parks to be very, very busy. Staying onsite gets you 60 days advanced FastPass selection, as opposed to 30 days offsite.
So long as any one night of your stay is within the offer limits then your whole stay is covered by the deal - So yes a stay from Dec 23rd to 27th would qualify (availability might be limited though)

Manage your expectations (i.e dont expect to do everything)
Use any Extra Magic hours wisely (Early Morning extra hours for resort guests are great to get a lot done early in the morning, Evening ones also can be useful but much busier)
Use your Fastpasses wisely (Bookable 60days in advance for resort guests - Plan early and then use the Fastpass system as you go to add more throughout the day)
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DoorCrasher wrote: You have many advantages staying at a Disney hotel... Extra magical hours, free transportation from/to hotel as long as the parks are open, no need to pay for a parking at the parks or wait for hotel shuttle with restrictives operation hours...
Recently came back from Disney, and those benefits depend on your party.

If you've got kids that won't last a full day the extra magic hours become less attractive. The problem with extra magic hours is there are still a ton of people in the parks, and because of the extra magic hours you need a park hopper, because after that hour or two is done you don't want to remain in that park (parks that have extra magic that day are far busier then non magic hour days.

The free transportation from/to your hotel is nice, if you're two adults, not going or leaving the park at a busy time. Trying to hit rope drop, or leave right after the fireworks means probably waiting for a few buses before getting on. With kids? It's becomes harder. With a stoller? Nightmare. And forget about resort to resort, since they don't do that. If you are staying in one resort, but have character dining in another, there is no direct link, you have to ride a bus to say Disney Springs, and then another to the other resort.

On my last trip I probably took Uber half the time. Usually was around $7-$12/trip. Made things SO much quicker and easier. Trick for Magic Kingdom: ride your Uber to Contemporary resort and walk (5min) to Magic Kingdom, WAY faster then taking the monorail for the transportation hub.

I would never park at Disney, just take an Uber.

The Magical Express is truly nice, but note the whole bag thing only works when arriving, not for leaving. Also be aware that your bus might make multiple stops, and depending on hierarchy of resorts, you might be the last stop.
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Feb 3, 2010
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Charlottetown
repatch wrote: The dining plan CAN be a good deal, but it really depends on your party. If everyone in your party is going to use every credit then you're good. If you've got young kids that never finish their plates? Might be a waste.
We found that combining a good Canadian ticket discount (no hopper) with a room discount and paying meals out of pocket then we (2A 2C - 3 Disney Adults) saved compared to the free dining.

Of course there are lots of variables - length of stay, No of guests, Ages of guests, Resort, how you spend you day in park etc but we found it gave us much more flexibility in terms of time of stay (FD has blackouts), Resort (not all resorts included) & how we planned our days (not worrying about using credits/best use of credits etc)
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Nov 21, 2013
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simplyton wrote: We found that combining a good Canadian ticket discount (no hopper) with a room discount and paying meals out of pocket then we (2A 2C - 3 Disney Adults) saved compared to the free dining.

Of course there are lots of variables - length of stay, No of guests, Ages of guests, Resort, how you spend you day in park etc but we found it gave us much more flexibility in terms of time of stay (FD has blackouts), Resort (not all resorts included) & how we planned our days (not worrying about using credits/best use of credits etc)
There is so many ticket options, places to stay, promotions that it comes difficult to choose the best…. have to do the math correctly

Park Hopper is a must if you have a dining plan, dining plan without park hopper then you have to visit the park where you planned to eat, if it is a seated restaurant
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ahhchoo wrote: There will be some daily resort fee (i think 30usd per night) but you will still come out ahead. I was debating on the carribean beach, but the dolphin is 4 stars vs 3 stars assuming you don't mind not having themed rooms.
To my surprise, the quote actually INCLUDED the daily resort fee. It was $1,111 before the resort fee.

I stayed a week at Caribbean Beach last year for my first time and I am in no hurry to go back. I'd stay at any Value resort over going back to CB. Everything is so far apart, the buses there are terrible (like 4 or 5 stops within your resort?) and the food was blah (although it was just a temporary tent buffet while the resort was under massive construction). The rooms were nice although as far as the theming of the resort goes, we found it was the least "Disney" out of all the Disney resorts we've ever stayed at.
DoorCrasher wrote: Boardwalk Inn is a luxury resort... I know, we can't compare Dolphin with a Disneynowned value resort like Movie resort, but we stayed at Movie resort, and Pop Cemtury resor. Rooms are small, bathroom sink outside the bathroom, but for Disney, when you use the room only for sleeping, value resorts are good ebough for us...
Oh for sure you'll get a better room and resort amenities at BoardWalk Inn but I was just using it as a comparison based on location alone. If you're there mostly for the theme parks, it'd be a hard pill to swallow to pay 3x or more just to be at a Disney owned property. With the summer pricing at Dolphin, you're basically paying Value resort prices to get Deluxe resort location with Moderate resort amenities.
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Hi. Just wondering why Nov 27 to Dec is blacked out? is there something special going on that time? Thanks
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Ryu69 wrote: Hi. Just wondering why Nov 27 to Dec is blacked out? is there something special going on that time? Thanks
US Thanksgiving.
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repatch wrote: Recently came back from Disney, and those benefits depend on your party.

If you've got kids that won't last a full day the extra magic hours become less attractive. The problem with extra magic hours is there are still a ton of people in the parks, and because of the extra magic hours you need a park hopper, because after that hour or two is done you don't want to remain in that park (parks that have extra magic that day are far busier then non magic hour days.

The free transportation from/to your hotel is nice, if you're two adults, not going or leaving the park at a busy time. Trying to hit rope drop, or leave right after the fireworks means probably waiting for a few buses before getting on. With kids? It's becomes harder. With a stoller? Nightmare. And forget about resort to resort, since they don't do that. If you are staying in one resort, but have character dining in another, there is no direct link, you have to ride a bus to say Disney Springs, and then another to the other resort.

On my last trip I probably took Uber half the time. Usually was around $7-$12/trip. Made things SO much quicker and easier. Trick for Magic Kingdom: ride your Uber to Contemporary resort and walk (5min) to Magic Kingdom, WAY faster then taking the monorail for the transportation hub.

I would never park at Disney, just take an Uber.

The Magical Express is truly nice, but note the whole bag thing only works when arriving, not for leaving. Also be aware that your bus might make multiple stops, and depending on hierarchy of resorts, you might be the last stop.
We usually go to the opposite park on the park hopper day - As you said the crowds end up being overall higher because everyone goes to that park. Lots of rides arent even open during the early morning, so we found it silly. Maybe for something like Star wars or Avatar though, if you can be at rope drop. Depends on the park. Disneyland we've gone an hour early, waited to get in, not all that fun. Also tried going say an hour after opening, and walked right in. Depends on fastpass selections of course and what you're trying to do.

Magical express works both ways though - We used it a recently from Coronado. They of course want you there super early though (like 3 hours) so it sort of sucks.

Busing also depends on what resort. We stay at moderates, and not usually quite as busy. Maybe 1-2 busses at most. Also know what order the bus loads, sometimes walking across to another stop makes a difference.

Disney can be so stressfull the first few times, because it's alot of money and you need to have some idea what to do in order not to wait in lines. We've done very well at fastpass and knowing what rides empty at certain times (parades for example are a great time to hit certain attractions) , but even with planning things can just be off. Our last trip to Disneyland had ride breakdown after ride breakdown.We did get fastpasses for other rides, but so did everyone else. (Try get on Radiators springs after a many hour down time..ugh)

And Avatar needs to be booked asap (60 days if you can) for fastpass,.

As you also mentioned, there's lots of time saving tricks (Walking from Contempory for example), but there;s just soo many things to keep track of it gets mind numbing.

Honestly, it's almost impossible to do everything in one trip. We've gone for years now, and still find things we've run out of time for.

One strange tip, always go left :)
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repatch wrote: If you've got kids that won't last a full day the extra magic hours become less attractive. The problem with extra magic hours is there are still a ton of people in the parks, and because of the extra magic hours you need a park hopper, because after that hour or two is done you don't want to remain in that park (parks that have extra magic that day are far busier then non magic hour days.

The free transportation from/to your hotel is nice, if you're two adults, not going or leaving the park at a busy time. Trying to hit rope drop, or leave right after the fireworks means probably waiting for a few buses before getting on. With kids? It's becomes harder. With a stoller? Nightmare.
Every time we have gone we had our kids with us and did all the extra magic hours and then fastpasses for the bigger rides, then grab the bus back to the hotel for a nap and swimming, then back out to whichever park for the evening/dinner. Transpo, except at the end of the night when everyone is leaving, was always quick and easy. I don't think I'd ever try to make kids "enjoy" a full day in the parks.
repatch wrote: And forget about resort to resort, since they don't do that. If you are staying in one resort, but have character dining in another, there is no direct link, you have to ride a bus to say Disney Springs, and then another to the other resort.
One tip we picked up was to head out for the closest park, usually just a 5-7 minute bus ride, and then grab the bus from there to whichever resort you are dining in.
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We booked a trip to Disney for the last week of August during the last free dining promotion. We are going to drive down because the cost of flights is absurd. We are staying at Pop Century and since we have to pay to park at our resort we are planning on driving to the parks every day. This is our first time going to Disney and therefore we are rookies.

Is this a viable plan?

On another note, why the hell doesn't Disney have a toll-free number!!!? How arrogant!

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