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Disney World Free Dining Package for Fall 2012

Editor’s Note: The Free Dining promotion has been extended until December 20, 2012. Source: MouseSavers

Disney World’s Free Dining Promotion is back for Fall 2012! The promotion is available for the following dates and is currently for Disney Visa Cardholders ONLY. The package is expected to be available to the general public on Thursday, July 12th.

Disney World Free Dining Fall 2012 Dates

Book the free dining package if checking in on the following dates. Guests must book by September 29, 2012, and availability is limited. Book by calling 407-W-Disney.

9/30/12–10/4/12
10/19/12–11/1/12
11/9/12–11/15/12
11/23/12–11/29/12
12/10/12–12/13/12

A 3-night minimum stay is required (14 nights is the maximum stay). A minimum 2-day park ticket must be purchased for each guest in the room, and a $200 deposit must be paid with your Disney Visa Card at the time of booking.

The Free Dining promotion offers guests booking a vacation package the opportunity to add a Disney Dining Plan on to their vacation package for free as long as they’re booking their room and tickets at standard rack rates. Does not apply to reservations made through the Disney Vacation Club. Excludes standard rooms at Art of Animation.

Note: Existing reservations can be modified to the Free Dining package by calling 407-W-DISNEY. It can not be done online. In addition, modifications to a package will result in WDW charging your reservation for the new (and higher) ticket prices that went into effect on June 3.

As per usual, Value resort guests would receive the Quick Service dining plan for free. Deluxe, Villa, and Moderate resort guests would receive the Standard dining plan for free.

Dining Plan upgrades would be available for a fee.

To be notified of more great Disney food news/updates like this free dining promotion, be sure to sign up for our Disney Food Blog Newsletter here!

Wondering if Free Dining is a good deal for you? We have a detailed analysis in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book, available here.

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73 Comments

  1. Kelly says:

    C’mon room only discount! *fingers crossed*

  2. AJ says:

    Kelly — I’m so with you! I’ve got a bounceback booked right now, but to stay the extra days I’d need a room only!

  3. JoAnn says:

    I’m heading to WDW on 11/08 but my first night is a room-only reservation so my package starts on 11/09. I’ll be heading to see my travel agent on Friday afternoon if it is announced on Thursday!!!!

  4. Corrie says:

    So excited!!! We were waiting for this offer to start to book our annual holiday trip!

  5. Kaylyn says:

    Do you know what the procedure is if you have already booked a trip but wish to take advantage of this deal? The only thing I have ever used is a PIN number so I’m not really sure how this works…

  6. Jen says:

    I’m a bit confused about ‘rack rates’. I’ve already booked a package – Boardwalk Inn, 7 day park passes, and Deluxe Dining Plan for 10/22-10/29 – will they let me call and ask to have the promo applied to it once it’s available on Thursday? Thanks in advance!

  7. Erica says:

    Why are the Little Mermaid Rooms at the Art of Animation Resort excluded from the “free dining” offer? Do you think they will be added like thet were the last time? We have the LM standard room booked for our trip 9/30 and was really hoping for the free dining offer.

  8. Joseph says:

    Does anyone know if this could be combined with an existing Vacation Club booking? I currently have a vacation planned from Oct 1 – Oct 7 at Animal Kingdom Lodge booked through DVC.

  9. Brian says:

    After 40 minutes of being on hold, I was told that it doesn’t apply to the standard rooms at Art of Animation, just the family suites…

  10. Sarah cameron says:

    If we are checking in on the 4 of october, can we still get it? Please I hoe so. We have been waiting for this!

  11. Jill D says:

    What do you think the chances of free dining in January again????

  12. Melanie says:

    Just updated my booking to include the free dining incase they don’t come out with. A room discount. Here’s the kicker…you get dinged for the new ticket prices. That’s right, free dining just cost me $49.

  13. Galloping Gourmand says:

    Kelly – I agree. I’d be eating mostly at the Food and Wine stands so free dining does nothing for me.

    I wonder if they have free dining during the festival to push some demand into the World Showcase restaurants. It would make sense that with all the food booth around that demand would drop at sit down and counter service least a little bit.

  14. Cajungirl says:

    Why are there weeks skipped? Of course, I’m going Oct 12 :/

  15. Kathryn says:

    Kaylyn, Careful, If your booked vaca was booked before ticket prices went up, you’ll have to pay the diff. You should be able to just contact guest services to change your reservation. Jen, you can call guest services to change your reservation to include free dining but it may cost you. Joseph, Free dining is NOT available to DVC members. And GG, I think you can use some snack credits on the dining plan for the food and wine fest. It sounds to me like they are starting to add more restrictions to the free dining.

  16. Judy Pierson says:

    I’m wanting to book on July 11th for end of May 2013, any news about free dining for this time frame? I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

  17. Mike says:

    Seems strange that the only week in December that isn’t free dining is the first week, which is usually a slow time. Wondering if they are planning on opening something new that week, like Be Our Guest or another part of Fantasyland …..

  18. Kathryn says:

    Oh and I almost forgot. No one will call you to offer you the discount. If you’ve already booked, you have to call and ask about upgrading with the discount. But if you booked through a travel agent, they should call you about the free dining but I wouldn’t wait for them to call me.

  19. Stephanie says:

    I already booked our room (no package–planning to add FL res tix later) for part of one of the free dining periods. Can you add free dining after booking if you add regular tickets on as well? And then how does that work? Is it that you have to check in on one of the dates to get free dining or does the free dining only apply to those few days during your stay?

  20. lynne says:

    I booked a 7-night stay in a standard Little Mermaid room at Art of Animation pretty soon after Free Dining was announced for Disney Visa Cardholders and it is included. I think there was some confusion initially, but those rooms do have Free Dining.

  21. lynne says:

    Also, we’re checking in on December 13th. I wonder if some of the earlier dates aren’t available because they can’t guarantee that the rooms will be ready by then.

  22. Katherine says:

    I literally just booked my whole vacation, including dining. I wonder if I can call back and have them redo it with free dining? Hrm… I don’t think I’d lose any money doing so.

  23. Stephanie says:

    Just got off the phone with Disney World and DVC. I have a Disney Visa card and am a member of the vacation club, but still can not get the free dining because it’s a ROOM/ ticket/ dining package :(

  24. Dana says:

    Oh, wow! I’m so glad I scheduled our vacation differently this year! We usually go the last week of the food and wine festival, but I see that the free dining isn’t offered that week this year. I’m so glad that I booked it for a couple of weeks earlier! Otherwise, the dates look pretty consistent with what they’ve done the last couple of years. I hope it’s the same for next year – I’m already planning ahead! :)

  25. Katherine says:

    BTW, AJ, I <3 you.. You may have just saved me 700 bucks!

  26. Kristina says:

    Kathryn, I booked with a travel agent a long time ago and if free dining is offered, I expect her to get it for me. It’s one of the reasons I use a TA but I can’t help it, I am nervous. If I can’t get it I’m gonna go OOP. Which will be the first time since my very first visit :)!

    AJ I love this blog and the podcast too! I just wish the podcast was a daily thing lol!

  27. Erica says:

    I just read a post above regarding the Little Mermaid Stand rooms at Art of Animation. Did you get the free dining? I read that those rooms were excluded from the “free dining” offer. We booked our trip in May and we leave 9/30. Who did you talk to where they said the Little Mermaid rooms were included in the free dining? Need help please. Thanks…

  28. lynne says:

    I booked my room online and got free dining.

  29. Corrie says:

    To everyone wonder about already booked vacations, just call Disney and have them change the package, we book this offer every year and I already have reservations and ask about the change when I booked my package, they said it would be no problem and no charge to change the reservation (as long as you are 45 day out I think, our resie is for end of Nov.). If you call Disney they should be able to take care of everything for you once this opens to the public or now if you have your Disney Visa.

  30. Kim says:

    JoAnn – fingers crossed!

    Corrie- great news!

    Kaylyn – to modify any existing reservation you’ll need to call Disney and ask if they can apply the new offer to your ressie. Get a new price quote before modifying just to make sure the deal is what you want!

    Jen – yes, you can call and have your existing reservation modified to any deals that are offered as long as there is availability at your resort and it applies to your vacation dates. I do it all the time on my own reservations! Oh, and rack rates are the price of a hotel room before any discounts applied. With free dining, you’ll get the Disney Dining Plan at no additional cost but you’ll pay rack rate for the room portion of your package.

  31. Kim says:

    Hi Erica – It could be that the rooms are already at capacity at AoA in the Little Mermaid section or they might want to get closer to the free dining dates to insure that opening will happen on time.

    Joseph – If your reservation is using Disney Vacation Club points, then Free Dining can not be applied. If your ressie was booked with Disney (not DVC) and you are paying out-of-pocket for the room, then you can convert your reservation to a package (including tickets) and apply Free Dining, if your resort has availability.

    Brian – A huge bummer. Let’s hope they open up AoA standard rooms to this offer!

  32. Kim says:

    Sarah – Absolutely! Free Dining will apply to your entire stay as long as you check in within the included dates.

    Jill – free dining has been offered in January for two years now ( I think) and since it’s the low season, chances are good. We’ll cross our fingers!

    Melanie – Ugh. That just isn’t fair.

  33. Kim says:

    Cajungirl – busier weeks are often excluded, especially those that are around a holiday such as Columbus Day in October. :-(

  34. Kim says:

    Galloping Gourmand – actually September/October are historically less crowded months and Free Dining helps keep up the attendance! It used to be such a quiet time of year. ;-) Snack credits may be used at the Festival! Check out our Top Tips for the Festival at:
    http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2011/09/01/9-top-tips-for-the-epcot-food-and-wine-festival-booths/

  35. Kim says:

    Kathryn – thanks for the great info! :-)

  36. Kim says:

    Judy-
    Historically free dining has not been released for the month of May with the exception of the last few days. The offer released this week is only for 2012 dates.

    Mike – I hope you’re right!

    Stephanie – you need to book a package in order to utilize Free Dining. As long as you check in within the dates, your vacation can extend beyond and still be included in the Free Dining offer.

  37. Kim says:

    Lynne – very interesting. It may be that the earlier dates are already reserved to capacity or being cautious about the opening date of the Little Mermaid rooms. Thanks for sharing your experience. :-)

    Free Dining can be booked online, however if you already have an existing reservation then you’ll need to make a phone call.

  38. Kim says:

    Katherine- Absolutely call and ask if your hotel and vacation dates are available for the new offer!!

  39. Kim says:

    Dana – Great planning!! ;-)

    Katherine – The DFB team appreciates your LUV. ;-)

    Kristina – We are so thrilled to hear your feedback about the podcast as it’s a new endeavor for AJ. I love to listen while I’m editing the DFB. I just can’t get enough of Disney (and snacks!). :-)

  40. Kaylyn says:

    I know you say this offer is likely to be offered to the public on Thursday. I am going to talk to my travel agent to have her take care of it for me, but in case I need to know (I’m super controlling of our plans, lol), will I need to wait until the deal is announced through Disney or should I just call bright and early Thursday and ask about it when I get through?

  41. Greg says:

    I just called and modified our existing reservation to include “free” dining and it saved us $445 for our party of two to have the exact same package.

  42. Brandi says:

    I just booked a week in September (because of the free dining plan), but really wanted to go in October. Will you only get the dining plan on the days that are specified or if you check in during that week you will get the dining plan for your entire stay. I am wondering if I should call and change my vacation (come Thursday that is) to the week that I actually wanted.

  43. Kim says:

    Lynne – you’ve been so helpful! Where did you book the online offer for Art of Animation that includes free dining? If you could provide the steps for our readers, that would be great.

    Hoping that you can give some guidance to DFB readers. :-)

    On Thursday, once available to the general public, the deal should be able to be booked via disneyworld.com under Special Offers. Give AoA standard rooms a try. Maybe Lynne got some extra pixie dust!! :-)

  44. Kim says:

    Kaylyn – I would call your travel agent today or tomorrow so that she can book it right away for you. TAs usually are given a heads up before these deals are released. She could then be on the phone first thing on Thursday. And if you prefer to book yourself, no need to wait for the announcement – just call and ask if Free Dining is available for your vacation dates and hotel choice as soon as reservations open. 7am to 10pm EST. This might give you a head start!

    Greg – Hooray on the savings!

  45. Katie says:

    Kim – you are very helpful. I hope you can help me.

    I already booked our vacation package trough the Walt Disney World website and we are going on one of the qualified dates for the free dining package. Can I now (when its open to the public) call Disney and ask to have this package added at no extra cost? I don’t want to change my dates or hotel or anything, I just want to add this free dining package if thats possible.

  46. Kim says:

    Brandi -
    You only need to check in on the dates specified but your dates can extend longer and you’ll still get the free DDP for the entire time. Of course, this is subject to availability for your dates and resort choice. Call and see!! Good luck!

  47. Kim LaPaglia says:

    Katie, Yes! If you are 45 days or more from your check in date, there will be no change fees involved. If the offer opens to the public as rumored, simply call 407-W-DISNEY with your current reservation number. No modifications can be made online. Just ask if your reservation qualifies for the new Free Dining offer and if so, what the new cost would be. If it’s less, have them modify your reservation!

    I modify my WDW reservations all of the time when new offers are released. Some work out better than my current ressie, others don’t. Good luck and let us know here at the DFB how it works out for you. :-)

  48. lynne says:

    I used a link I got in the mail to make my reservation with my Disney Visa. I know quite a few other folks have been able to make those reservations, too.

    http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/just-got-free-dining-at-aoa.835321/

    I hope that helps. My partner and I had our hearts set on the Little Mermaid rooms, but couldn’t afford a trip without free dining, so we were so, so happy when it was added to the promotion.

  49. Katie says:

    Thank you Kim and Lynne for your help. I called Disney last night and they said I am eligible and as long as the type of hotel room possibly associated with the package is not sold out by the time I call, I can get it. Very exciting! I am not a Visa card holder so I’ll be waiting until Thursday to book it.

  50. Kim LaPaglia says:

    Thanks, Lynne! And wishing you a great vacation!

    Katie- Awesome! :-)

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