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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
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Jan 31, 2004
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Stupid question but are the beverages included in the dining plans?
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Nov 28, 2013
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Mcklain wrote: Stupid question but are the beverages included in the dining plans?
Quick service meals come with a beverage, yes. And I believe all meal plans come with a refillable mug that you can use for unlimited free fountain drink refills at resort quickservice restaurants (came in handy when we were visiting my aunt and uncle over at Port Orleans for the afternoon, we were staying at Pop Century). Any other beverages have to be paid for.
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Mar 7, 2006
71 posts
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I was waiting to see how the free dining might work for us, we have gone 3 times over the past few years, and have never been within the dates for free dining. We booked for late August, and the room discount vs 'free' dining was ~$1300 CAD (3 of us, 14 days). In the past we have spent about 700 on food and souvenir crap in the parks over 7 days, so I booked with room and ticket discount instead of free dining.

Something you should take a look at if you are going to stay onsite with no vehicle is Garden Grocer, we order from their website and have snacks and beverages delivered to the room within an hour of our arrival:

https://www.gardengrocer.com/
Jr. Member
Mar 27, 2006
156 posts
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Sudbury
I used them for alcohol (beer) also, goes in a refillable mug just fine :)


stunticon wrote: I was waiting to see how the free dining might work for us, we have gone 3 times over the past few years, and have never been within the dates for free dining. We booked for late August, and the room discount vs 'free' dining was ~$1300 CAD (3 of us, 14 days). In the past we have spent about 700 on food and souvenir crap in the parks over 7 days, so I booked with room and ticket discount instead of free dining.

Something you should take a look at if you are going to stay onsite with no vehicle is Garden Grocer, we order from their website and have snacks and beverages delivered to the room within an hour of our arrival:

https://www.gardengrocer.com/
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Jan 9, 2007
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stunticon wrote: I was waiting to see how the free dining might work for us, we have gone 3 times over the past few years, and have never been within the dates for free dining. We booked for late August, and the room discount vs 'free' dining was ~$1300 CAD (3 of us, 14 days). In the past we have spent about 700 on food and souvenir crap in the parks over 7 days, so I booked with room and ticket discount instead of free dining.

Something you should take a look at if you are going to stay onsite with no vehicle is Garden Grocer, we order from their website and have snacks and beverages delivered to the room within an hour of our arrival:

https://www.gardengrocer.com/

Awesome - this may have made my decision for me :) They come right to your hotel room?
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Mar 7, 2006
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Yes, you tell them when you make the order where you are staying and the time window you want it delivered, and they get it there that day. You won't know what room you will be in, and you don't want to wait around for them, so last couple of times we dropped our bags off at our room, headed to the park, and the stuff was in the room when we got back.
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Mar 21, 2012
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Winnipeg
We just came back and had the regular dining plan. After a few days it got tiring having to go for tablemservice dinners every day. The kids hated wasting time away from the rides, and tbh Disney has improved with the food quality at the quick service restaurants, I'm not sure we would do the dining plan next time. And park hopper with kids is a bit of a waste, you will spend a lot of time running between parks to get use out of them.
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Nov 28, 2013
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kellykapps wrote: We just came back and had the regular dining plan. After a few days it got tiring having to go for tablemservice dinners every day. The kids hated wasting time away from the rides, and tbh Disney has improved with the food quality at the quick service restaurants, I'm not sure we would do the dining plan next time. And park hopper with kids is a bit of a waste, you will spend a lot of time running between parks to get use out of them.
I guess it depends on your kids. My 5 and 8 year olds loved the table service meals, since there were plenty of character dining experiences to be had at table service meals (plus Rainforest Cafe, etc). The Quick service meal variety got pretty tiresome by the end of our trip as well (10 days total, 6 days in park), and that was with only one quick service meal a day.
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Jan 31, 2004
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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?
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Nov 26, 2013
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Winnipeg
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?
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Apr 18, 2008
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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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Mcklain wrote: 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: 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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ReaperEXE wrote: 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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sfbwpg123 wrote: 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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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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Toukolou wrote: 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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