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News! 2013 Disney World Free Dining Offer

UPDATE: Free Dining available for select dates in October, November, and December!

Great news! Free Dining will be offered for check-in dates 9/2 – 9/25 in September 2013!

Travel Dates

Free Dining is being offered to guests ARRIVING September 2 to September 25, 2013. A minimum stay of 3 nights is required and may not be booked for longer than 14 nights.

Disney Resorts

If you stay at a Value Resort, you’ll receive the Quick Service Dining plan for FREE. (Note that you can upgrade to the standard or deluxe dining plans by paying the difference in cost per night.)

If you reserve a Moderate, Deluxe, or Deluxe Villa Resort, you will receive the standard Dining plan for FREE. (You can upgrade to the deluxe dining plan by paying the difference in cost per night).

NOTE: Ft. Wilderness campsites, 3-bedroom villas, and Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation Resort are not included in this offer.

Tickets

In addition to booking a minimum stay of 3 nights at one of the above Disney resorts, you’ll also need to purchase AT LEAST a 2-day Magic Your Way Disney World ticket.

Is The Free Dining Offer Right For Your Family?


Since this offer generally can’t be combined with other discounts, it’s often difficult to determine whether or not your family will save more money with Disney World hotel room discount or with the free dining offer.

We break down and compare the costs and options for several Disney World discounts, including the free dining offer, in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book to help you save the most money possible.

Along with over 400 pages of great Disney World dining advice, photos, and details, this book is a great deal. Get yours here, and speaking of saving money — use code “2013″ to get $4 off today!

Tell us what you think about Free Dining and your thoughts on this specific offer in the comments below!

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167 Comments

  1. John Martin says:

    Will this also be available for DVC bookings and Annual Pass Holders?

  2. Sabrina says:

    We arrive Sep 20 but we are booked with DVC points at Bay Lake and alos purchased APs…so I guess we won’t be able to get that? we were planning on getting Tables in Wonderland anyways..

  3. AJ says:

    John Martin and Sabrina — The free dining offer is usually available only when booking a full price Magic Your Way package with a set days’ worth of tickets. This sometimes works out as a decent deal for DVC members and Annual Passholders, but you have to do the math to determine whether your room discounts with the AP and DVC bookings are better than the free dining savings.

  4. BJ says:

    What is the price difference between quick service and standard??

  5. Amanda says:

    Woohoo!! Any word on how long we have to book the package?

  6. Katie says:

    Any idea if they’re going to be releasing more dates? We booked a trip for October 2-6 and would love to get some free dining!!!!!

  7. AJ says:

    Amanda — I believe you can book through July 31st.

  8. AJ says:

    BJ — You’d pay around $19 per night per adult and around $3 per night per chilc to upgrade from quick service to standard.

  9. BJ says:

    Thanks AJ!

  10. Christina says:

    BooHoo, we will be arriving Oct 5. Last year we were able to take advantage of this offer because it was available til Oct 4th.

  11. Denise says:

    We booked a package to stay at the WDW Dolphin September 15 – 21. Will this free meal program be available to us?

  12. AJ says:

    Katie — They do occasionally release more dates, but I haven’t heard anything about it yet this year. They’re actually late getting out the details for free dining at all! Fingers crossed for you! We’ll let you know if we hear anything.

    Christina — I’m sorry to hear you won’t be able to get the deal :-(

    Denise — Unfortunately, the package must be booked as a Magic Your Way vacation package at an official Disney-owned resort.

  13. Janine Solley says:

    Yay… so excited. We are booked the 5th – 12th at All Star Music and I want to upgrade to a Moderate resort ASAP bc I think it would be cheaper to stay in a moderate and get that free meal plan then pay the difference since we are a family of 7 staying in 2 rooms.

  14. AJ says:

    Janine — Great news!

  15. Melissa says:

    I’m not that familiar with how this works so maybe you can help. If they open it to everyone (I don’t have a Disney Visa) and I’ve already booked a trip, from September 8 – 12, at a value resort, with the standard dining plan and park tickets for 4 of the days, but haven’t yet paid the full amount, will I get a discount when I go to pay my remainding balance? Or am I out of luck because I already booked it?

  16. Brandi says:

    We have booked a stay arriving August 31 and departing September 6. Will free dining still benefit me?

  17. Ellie Letourneau says:

    I have the same question as Melissa .
    We are booked from Sept 8 thru the 14
    ( with the food plan) at the Poly. What
    do I need to do to get the free dining?

  18. Janine Solley says:

    Melissa… I’m not that familiar either but from what I’ve been told the free dining would be applied to our already booked reservation. And I’m hoping that’s true.

  19. Rob says:

    Melissa, I’ve heard that you can call Disney and they will, in theory, allow you to take advantage of the meal plan even though you have already made your reservations.

    I’d be surprised to hear that that is true though. Let us know if you call them and they do let you take advantage of it. I may be in a similar circumstance next year.

  20. Jeff C says:

    So excited!!! I called this morning and got the free dining plan added for our Beach Club stay! Woo hoo!!!!

  21. Courtney says:

    If you already have a reservation at a resort, they can add the free dining when you call with your current res#. Keep in mind, if you received any kind of discount (AAA, PIN) 2 discounts cannot be applied, so you need to figure if free dining is the most economical for you if you have a good room deal, already. I am using a PIN rate currently, but free dining will still be cheaper for me!

  22. Nicole says:

    Anything for October yet? Staying at the Wilderness Lodge from Oct 15th to the 21st?

  23. Marjory says:

    Hi AJ,

    I’m so happy to see free dining will be opened to the general public as of May 9th! We’ll be staying at a moderate resort for 7 nights so the free dining is a very welcome offer!!

    Do you know the price upgrade from the (standard) dining plan to the deluxe dining plan? We will be with 2 adults and 1 child (age 8).

    Thank you for this information!!

    Bye

  24. AJ says:

    Melissa and Ellie — simply call Disney and have them re-book your package with the free dining plan discount. They should be able to attribute any amount you’ve already paid to the new package. You will lose any other discounts, so do the math to be sure free dining is the cheapest option for you. It sounds like you were paying full price with no discounts before, so you’ll likely be able to save quite a bit. Note that if you had the standard dining plan booked already, you’d have to pay the difference between the free quick service and the standard dining plan to keep your current dining plan if staying at a value.

  25. Lacey says:

    Wohoo!! We are booked for POFQ (first time at a moderate) and we have ADR’s for 1900 PF (alice is my daughters FAVORITE character), Mama Melrose Fantasmic! Package, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Coral Reef, and Crystal Palace (before park opening). We’ve been to WDW twice now, and we have been “THOSE PEOPLE” who come home saying OMG if I eat another cheeseburger or chicken finger, I’ll DIE! This of course was before I found your blog. I am so excited to finally try all the wonderful eats Disney has to offer. I think I’ve made good choices for TS credits, and I’m armed with great info from your blog to get great snack and CS credits as well!! And all for free too! Cant beat it! Thanks for the hard work you’ve put into this blog! My vacation will be better off for it!!! :)

  26. AJ says:

    Brandi — you may be able to book two separate packages — one up until Sept 2 and the other for the remaining dates. That way you can at least get free dining from the 2nd until you leave. Unfortunately, the free dining does not apply “backwards” to reservations that begin before the promotion takes effect.

  27. Essie says:

    Oh no, this has me thinking about a 2013 trip now.

  28. DisneyMom says:

    Not great news for us. As a family of 5 we were hoping for a free dining at the end of August, which is when we plan to be there. Historically, that has been when free dining is available. Perhaps it’s time to try an off site hotel :(

  29. Carol says:

    Of course it is a week before we arrive. :(. Please please please let me know if they offer this for the month of October. I am praying they do. :)

  30. Barb H says:

    As Pooh would say Oh Bother. I arrive Sept 29 and won’t be able to change my date. :(

  31. CanadiansLoveWDW says:

    i guess i am moving my trip from the 28th of august.. oh well.. good thing southwest lets you change your flights for free…

  32. Disney Dad says:

    This is not so great news for me and my 2 daughters. When we booked we were told that in the last couple years free dining started in the last 2 weeks of August. We are coming on August 21-28. We are on a budget and this really throws a wrench into our trip. I hope that they extended this offer. Good Luck to all in the same boat.

  33. Jim R says:

    That’s not so great news. Me and my 2 daughters are coming on August 14-21. The last couple years this offers started in mid-August. This really throws a wrench into our trip. First time to Disney for the kids. I really hope they extend this offer.

  34. Lynne lucas says:

    We have booked with WDW from the UK arriving on Sept 15th – wonder if we will be able to get the dining plan if it goes public on May 9th ?? Anyone any idea ?

  35. theresa says:

    My reservation is for 9/25 -10/1. Since I am ARRIVING on 9/25, would I be able to get the free dining for my entire trip?

  36. AJ says:

    Theresa — yes, absolutely. Call Disney to add the discount to your reservation.

  37. AJ says:

    Lynne — Call Disney to determine. You can likely attach the discount!

  38. Beth says:

    I’m kinda surprised that they’re ending it on a Wednesday. Don’t they usually have the last day as a Saturday or Sunday? Does anyone know if they will extend it till the 28th or 29th?

  39. Pat says:

    I agree with Disney Mom. My daughter and her family and my husband and I were also waiting for the free Disney dining in August which we took advantage of the past four years. We just rented a townhouse with 3 bedrooms and 3 baths for a lot less than our usual 2 rooms in Disney. We will now try other restaurants outside of Disney.

  40. Noerdax says:

    Exactly the offer I was waiting for! I’ll be booking my honeymoon when the offer is available to General Public on the 9th (hopefully). We will be arriving on Sept 25th and staying at least until the day after DFB Snack Attack Illuminations dessert Party which we will attend.

  41. Sherry says:

    Ummmm…. What if you are going to stay at a moderate hotel and have 4 day tickets under the military discount, can we get the free meal plan?

  42. CriesDuringWishes says:

    This may be a dumb question but I’ve always wondered…
    Is it free dining plan for one adult? Or for EVERYONE in your party?

  43. Bonnie says:

    I am a DVC member…Let me start by saying I love my membership….But I feel that when you buy a DVC membership, your getting punished. They never offer us discounts on free dining and the annual pass is not discounted that much. We pay a lot of money for the DVC membership, not only what it cost but also in annual dues. they sometimes give us perks, but they don’t make up for what we pay. If I didn’t love Disney so much, I would think about selling my membership. You would think that because we have invested so much money into their company that we would get treated a little better. I have sold other people memberships and all Disney had to do was sign them up, and yes they give me a bonus for the sell, but with as many members that they have, I think we should be treated like royalty.

  44. AJ says:

    Marjory — Looks like you can upgrade for around $45 per night per adult and $20 per night per child.

  45. AJ says:

    Essie – Go! :-) Then you can come to Snack Attack!

    Canadians — Great news!

    Beth — We’ll keep you updated if we hear about an extension.

    Noerdax — Can’t wait to see you!

    Sherry — You usually cannot combine other discounts with free dining. Contact Disney to confirm.

    CriesDuringWishes — The plan will be for everyone in the room with you. Each person must have at least a two-day ticket as well.

    Nicole — Nothing for October yet that I know of.

  46. Mike P says:

    Wow….Disney releases something for free and so many are complaining. Just because a company used to do something doesn’t give ANY reason to EXPECT it year after year. Exxon Used to sell gas for $2/gallon, McDonald’s used to sell a quarter pounder for a buck. Businesses are businesses, and Disney is no different. Things change, and the world doesn’t come to an end. But somehow, because they offered this several times over, people just expect it now. Wow. This is when the offer is this year, if you want it, it is still there on these dates, so come on those dates OR pay for dining like everyone else does the rest of the year. Disney let’s us change outside of 45 days for NO penalty, so there you go. Change if you want the free stuff,and be happy it’s back at all, because they really didn’t have to.

  47. Denise says:

    I am so disappointed about the dates for the free dining plan as well as the room promotion. As a family of 5 with young school age children, it is a costly trip to begin with. The free dining starts the last 3 days of our trip and to rebook just part of it will likely not be worth it. The room promotion also is a bummer as it doesn’t apply to a preferred room, which we’re already paying a premium to be closer to transportation and not near a pool where noise will make for tired grouchy kids. Not feeling the magic for this Disney trip!

  48. Linda says:

    So disappointed! My family of 5 planned on late August into September. We have been going this time for 6 years now. Looks like a change in plans for us if we cant get the free dining. No WDW this year :(

  49. JJ says:

    We are booked to arrive on 9/23 and we did pay the $200 deposit with our Disney Visa. Is this something that can be applied to our account? We are staying at a Moderate Resort.

  50. AJ says:

    JJ — Yes, you should be able to apply the discount. Contact Disney for details.

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