Free Dining at Walt Disney World–The Pros and Cons

The pros and cons of this offer are different for everyone, so I thought I’d take a minute to give you my specific “set of learnings” from my previous free dining experiences:

  1. Free dining means I get to use up all of my table service credits in three days by eating at California Grill every night
  2. Free dining means that Yachtsman Steakhouse stops serving Ribeye because it takes up too much space on the grill
  3. Free dining means I leave for the airport with about 20 bottles of water because I wasn’t able to use all of my snack credits (blame California Grill)
  4. Free dining means I get to discover that Casey’s Corner hot dogs and french fries are the best hot dogs and french fries in Disney World, and that’s that.
  5. Free dining means I should leave more tummy room to use snack credits on Dole Whips!
  6. Free dining means I have to book my advanced dining reservations even earlier than before!
  7. Free dining means that the ghost town that was September in Disney World has now turned into a literal free-for-all! Use fastpass!
  8. HAVE FUN!


  1. says

    LOL! This time we are booking 1 adult and 2 kids so we passed on free dining (gasp) to get the kids dine, play and stay free offer. Their park tickets offset the budget so much we have more $$ for food. YUM!
    Thanks, as always, for helping us plan.

  2. Alan says

    This is an old post but a very important one. We usually come down to WDW in Sept. due to our work schedules. We’ve gotten free dining for the last 5 years. I know most people pay for it. It obviously was a much better deal when you got an appetizer and had the tip payed by the program. But the fact is, for many people, the problems may outweigh (no pun) the benefits. It seems that our week or so on vacation has to be shaped around reservation times, making sure we are in the right park on the right day. We have lost much of our spontaneity that we had in the “old days”. Also, even without the appetizers this can be way to much food especially for older visitors. We tend to use up tickets on signature rest. and even breakfast buffets just to not have to always be eating. And, some of the restaurants we like are not on the DDP. I would rather get an appropriate room discount or the credit card deal of a few years ago. Just my opinion.

  3. says

    I have been going to Disney World since 2005 and have been using “Free Dining” with most of the trips and have to say it is a great deal for the both of us (my mom and I). We don’t really have a problem w/ Free Dining… which leaves more money to be used on souveniers. :)

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