Expired Hot Deals

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Free Dining Offer for Select dates this fall

  • Last Updated:
  • May 21st, 2017 7:28 pm
Member
Jun 29, 2011
261 posts
81 upvotes
BBQ Haven
toolioiep wrote: 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).
Jr. Member
User avatar
Aug 24, 2011
143 posts
113 upvotes
Southwest Ontario
ssiu wrote: 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
729 posts
46 upvotes
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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User avatar
Apr 17, 2011
1837 posts
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Toronto
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.
XBL: Swauny Jones
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Jr. Member
Jan 28, 2011
119 posts
25 upvotes
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. :)
Jr. Member
Jul 3, 2003
148 posts
86 upvotes
OK, it is time machine time. Our family have been huge Disney fans for the last several years (15+). That being said it seems that over the years Disney is squeezing more and more out of you in the "free" dining plan and now its at the point where it is no longer worth it. We have used it on 5 different occasions (including last year) and here is a somewhat accurate summary of what our family has experienced.

Increase cost/reduction in value over time:
1) removed free appetizer with meal
2) removed tip included portion
3) forced you to moderate resort (instead of value resort)
4) forced you to also purchase Park hopper upgrade
5) forced you to upgrade to ABOVE moderate resort
6) took away dessert with quick service

Free Dining Plan Details
10+ Years ago (approx) - (with minimum stay at any resort + tickets) - AMAZING DEAL
Sitdown (appetizer, maincourse, dessert and drink and TIP included)
Quick Service (dessert, main and drink)
1 snack

8 Years ago - (with minimum stay at any resort + tickets) - VERY GOOD DEAL
Sitdown (maincourse, dessert and drink) - [removed appetizer and removed TIP - you tip now]
Quick Service (dessert, main and drink) - no change
1 snack - no change

3 Years ago - (min. stay at certain moderate resorts or higher + tickets) [removed value resort option moderate resort required] GOOD DEAL
Sitdown (maincourse, dessert and drink) - no change
Quick Service (dessert, main and drink) - no change
1 snack - no change

Last Year - (min. stay at certain moderate resorts or higher + tickets + Park Hopper) - [Park Hopper now required] SO SO DEAL
Sitdown (maincourse, dessert and drink)
Quick Service (dessert, main and drink) - no change
2 snacks - Interestingly Added snack

Now - (min stay at certain resort ABOVE moderate or higher + tickets + park hopper) - [Even higher end resort now required] POOR DEAL
Sitdown (maincourse, dessert and drink)
Quick Service (main and drink) - removed dessert
2 snacks - no change

Also keep in mind that Disney prices generally keep going up at least double the rate of inflation. One comparison is that we paid 1600.00 US (family of 4) 8 years ago and last year a similar package (with mandatory extra park hopper) was approx 3000.00. In all cases above the food was always plentiful and there is great convenience in knowing that you have all your meals included.

However from a price point it is far better to use the ticket and hotel discounts and just purchase whatever sit down/quick service meals you want.

Also keep in mind that the meals are excellent in some restaurants and terrible in others. Do your research - you will not regret it. Hope this helps.
Last edited by freddie on May 1st, 2017 12:52 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Deal Addict
Mar 16, 2008
3511 posts
3489 upvotes
freddie wrote: OK, it is time machine time. Our family have been huge Disney fans for the last several years (15+). That being said it seems that over the years Disney is squeezing more and more out of you in the "free" dining plan and now its at the point where it is no longer worth it. We have used it on 5 different occasions (including last year) and here is a somewhat accurate summary of what our family has experienced.

Free Dining Plan
10+ Years ago (approx) - (with minimum stay at any resort + tickets) - AMAZING DEAL
Sitdown (appetizer, maincourse, dessert and drink and TIP included)
Quick Service (dessert, main and drink)
1 snack

8 Years ago - (with minimum stay at any resort + tickets) - VERY GOOD DEAL
Sitdown (maincourse, dessert and drink) - [removed appetizer and removed TIP - you tip now]
Quick Service (dessert, main and drink) - no change
1 snack - no change

3 Years ago - (min. stay at certain moderate resorts or higher + tickets) [removed value resort option moderate resort required] GOOD DEAL
Sitdown (maincourse, dessert and drink) - no change
Quick Service (dessert, main and drink) - no change
1 snack - no change

Last Year - (min. stay at certain moderate resorts or higher + tickets + Park Hopper) - [Park Hopper now required] SO SO DEAL
Sitdown (maincourse, dessert and drink)
Quick Service (main and drink) - no change
2 snacks - Interestingly Added snack

Now - (min stay at certain resort ABOVE moderate or higher + tickets + park hopper) - [Even higher end resort now required] POOR DEAL
Sitdown (maincourse, dessert and drink)
Quick Service (main and drink) - removed dessert
2 snacks - no change

Also keep in mind that Disney prices generally keep going up at least double the rate of inflation. One comparison is that we paid 1600.00 US (family of 4) 8 years ago and last year a similar package (with mandatory extra park hopper) was approx 3000.00. In all cases above the food was always plentiful and there is great convenience in knowing that you have all your meals included.

However from a price point it is far better to use the ticket and hotel discounts and just purchase whatever sit down/quick service meals you want.

Also keep in mind that the meals are excellent in some restaurants and terrible in others. Do your research - you will not regret it. Hope this helps.
Thx for the tip
Jr. Member
Jan 28, 2011
119 posts
25 upvotes
Montreal, QC
freddie wrote: OK, it is time machine time. Our family have been huge Disney fans for the last several years (15+). That being said it seems that over the years Disney is squeezing more and more out of you in the "free" dining plan and now its at the point where it is no longer worth it. We have used it on 5 different occasions (including last year) and here is a somewhat accurate summary of what our family has experienced.

Increase cost/reduction in value over time:
1) removed free appetizer with meal
2) removed tip included portion
3) forced you to moderate resort (instead of value resort)
4) forced you to also purchase Park hopper upgrade
5) forced you to upgrade to ABOVE moderate resort
6) took away dessert with quick service

Free Dining Plan Details
10+ Years ago (approx) - (with minimum stay at any resort + tickets) - AMAZING DEAL
Sitdown (appetizer, maincourse, dessert and drink and TIP included)
Quick Service (dessert, main and drink)
1 snack

8 Years ago - (with minimum stay at any resort + tickets) - VERY GOOD DEAL
Sitdown (maincourse, dessert and drink) - [removed appetizer and removed TIP - you tip now]
Quick Service (dessert, main and drink) - no change
1 snack - no change

3 Years ago - (min. stay at certain moderate resorts or higher + tickets) [removed value resort option moderate resort required] GOOD DEAL
Sitdown (maincourse, dessert and drink) - no change
Quick Service (dessert, main and drink) - no change
1 snack - no change

Last Year - (min. stay at certain moderate resorts or higher + tickets + Park Hopper) - [Park Hopper now required] SO SO DEAL
Sitdown (maincourse, dessert and drink)
Quick Service (dessert, main and drink) - no change
2 snacks - Interestingly Added snack

Now - (min stay at certain resort ABOVE moderate or higher + tickets + park hopper) - [Even higher end resort now required] POOR DEAL
Sitdown (maincourse, dessert and drink)
Quick Service (main and drink) - removed dessert
2 snacks - no change

Also keep in mind that Disney prices generally keep going up at least double the rate of inflation. One comparison is that we paid 1600.00 US (family of 4) 8 years ago and last year a similar package (with mandatory extra park hopper) was approx 3000.00. In all cases above the food was always plentiful and there is great convenience in knowing that you have all your meals included.

However from a price point it is far better to use the ticket and hotel discounts and just purchase whatever sit down/quick service meals you want.

Also keep in mind that the meals are excellent in some restaurants and terrible in others. Do your research - you will not regret it. Hope this helps.
I've calculated that it was cheaper to just buy the room (20-30%), purchasing tickets with Canadian rebate WITHOUT park hopper (25%), and dedicated cash to eat+snacks.

For the same amount of days (6 for the comparison), there was 2000$USD difference for us (2 adults, 5 kids, 2 rooms). I can't believe that it could cost us 2000$USD for food for 6 days. ;)
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Nov 28, 2013
20521 posts
9971 upvotes
Oakville
Myrandor wrote: I can't believe that it could cost us 2000$USD for food for 6 days. ;)
Definitely not, for the quickservice meal plan. $2000/6 days = $333/day. If you're eating in the park:

Average adult quickservice meal price = $13 (roughly - ranges from 11-15 at most places)
Average kids' quickservice meal price = $7
Average snack price = $3

The meal plan you get for "free" in this promo gives you 2 quickservice meals each per day, plus two snacks. So, the *average* value of the meal plan, per day, would work out to $52 (2 adult quickservice meals x 2) + $70 (5 child quickservice meals x 2) + $42 (7 snacks x 2) = $164/day on average.
Jr. Member
Jan 28, 2011
119 posts
25 upvotes
Montreal, QC
wearysky wrote: Definitely not, for the quickservice meal plan. $2000/6 days = $333/day. If you're eating in the park:

Average adult quickservice meal price = $13 (roughly - ranges from 11-15 at most places)
Average kids' quickservice meal price = $7
Average snack price = $3

The meal plan you get for "free" in this promo gives you 2 quickservice meals each per day, plus two snacks. So, the *average* value of the meal plan, per day, would work out to $52 (2 adult quickservice meals x 2) + $70 (5 child quickservice meals x 2) + $42 (7 snacks x 2) = $164/day on average.
Exactly my calculation. I rounded up to 200$USD/day, which still 800$USD under the price with the free quickservice meal plan. Also, the "meals" in the quick plan are sometime too big (even for kids). Last time we went, we ended up with many kids deserts/snacks in our luggage. ;)
Member
Nov 18, 2013
307 posts
106 upvotes
Toronto
countysat wrote: 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%.
Last time we went, tips were included. We're going in July and man, this tipping thing sucks, especially with the exchange. I have a really hard time paying a 20% tip (which is actually closer to 30% CAD) for a totally inflated sit down meal. We are a family of 5 and some of our meals will end up being $400. So on top of that, I have to lay down $80 USD? For a meal that lasts an hour, that sounds like a very high wage for a server. Maybe I'm misunderstanding.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Nov 28, 2013
20521 posts
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Oakville
pinkmanwhite wrote: Last time we went, tips were included. We're going in July and man, this tipping thing sucks, especially with the exchange. I have a really hard time paying a 20% tip (which is actually closer to 30% CAD) for a totally inflated sit down meal. We are a family of 5 and some of our meals will end up being $400. So on top of that, I have to lay down $80 USD? For a meal that lasts an hour, that sounds like a very high wage for a server. Maybe I'm misunderstanding.
Note that in many (most?) places, servers don't keep the whole tip - they have to split it with the kitchen staff too.
Jr. Member
Sep 19, 2016
107 posts
34 upvotes
wearysky wrote: Note that in many (most?) places, servers don't keep the whole tip - they have to split it with the kitchen staff too.
Also, thats not how math works... the tip PERCENTAGE does not go up based on currency exchange...
Newbie
Dec 11, 2015
68 posts
40 upvotes
Note that your vacation dates only have to start within the eligible periods and free dining will apply for the duration of your stay. So, for example, you can go Dec 23 -Jan 3 and free dining will apply for the duration of your stay.
Member
Dec 7, 2007
380 posts
391 upvotes
TheRattler wrote: Note that your vacation dates only have to start within the eligible periods and free dining will apply for the duration of your stay. So, for example, you can go Dec 23 -Jan 3 and free dining will apply for the duration of your stay.
This.

We are booked during this period and given that it's peak time the odds of room discounts being available are slim - so the deal makes sense for us.

However as stated the math doesn't work out nearly as well for most other times.
Deal Addict
Sep 3, 2005
1632 posts
239 upvotes
I got the deluxe meal package a couple of years ago. It was too much and at the end of the trip we took home a lot of candy to make up for the vouchers we didn't use. I know this is a cheap skates website, but after that experience, i wouldn't go without a meal plan. It contributed tremendously to the experience knowing I didn't have to worry about food. I did my research about the restaurants and I had some great experiences with the cuisine. Kids didn't care but I looked forward to the meals. Every day I planned out a really nice sit down meal and it usually contributed to the experience. Some of the food was just tremendous and there would be no way I would venture of my path to try the food out.
There was a great breakfast where all of the princesses would parade the room and take pictures with the kids. I have boys and the princesses would pull them away to get a picture. I have this glorious collection of pictures of all the princesses with my twin 7 year old boys wearing these faces somewhere between, "I'm just appeasing the princess to be courteous", to "not again", to "Dad why are you making me do this". Actors in character the whole time. It was so awesome.

The food voucher makes it feel like a resort and not just a hotel that happens to be on the Disney premises. If I ever go back, definitely taking up the deluxe meal package again. We didn't use it all up but I really looked forward to eating at the two voucher restaurants.

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