It’s that time of year again – when we’re all eagerly awaiting the announcement of the 2018 Free Disney Dining Plan! The Free Dining offer is super popular – for good reason – and we’ve been talking about WHEN the Free Dining dates might be announced for a while now!
The Disney World Free Dining offer includes a free Disney Dining Plan with the purchase of a Walt Disney World Resort hotel and ticket package. The “free” part of the name pulls you in, but just remember that you’ll be paying full price for your resort hotel room and a minimum number of ticket days when you book free dining.
We are expecting the Free Dining dates to be announced VERY soon, and today we have five tips for how to score the Free Dining offer!
In recent years, Free Dining was announced for less crowded (non-peak) times during the year – late summer, early fall, and early winter (before the holiday season). But there’s really no such thing as a non-peak season anymore, so we’re expecting the options for this year will include more summer dates.
If you’re hoping to get the Free Dining offer as soon as it is announced, we recommend doing these five things!
1. Watch the DisneyWorld.com Special Offers Page
The Special Offers page is where you’ll find all the current room discounts and other special offers for Disney World – including Free Dining when it is announced! As soon as the Free Dining offer is announced it’ll be listed on the Special Offers page with details on the travel dates, restrictions, and much more.
Be sure to read the fine print for length of stay requirements, what hotels are excluded from the Free Dining offer, and what dining plans are available based on which hotel you choose. Last year, guests staying at Deluxe resorts were offered the free Standard Disney Dining Plan, while guests at Moderate and Value resorts were offered the Quick-Service Disney Dining Plan for free.
2. Join the DFB Newsletter and DFB Social Media Channels for Breaking News
Here at DFB we are always watching for details on when Free Dining is coming and we’ll post information AS SOON AS we hear about it! If you want to stay on top of the Free Dining Plan info and release dates, sign up for our newsletter! We’ll let you know as soon as booking is available for Free Dining. And be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for updates, too!
3. Look at Past Free Dining Offers
You’ll want to check out past Free Dining offers to see which hotels were included in the offers and which were excluded. In 2017, campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows were all excluded from the Free Dining offer.
Those hotels may be excluded again this year and other hotels may be added to the list — keep this in mind when you’re thinking about which hotel you want choose!
4. Book NOW with a Travel Agent so they can update your reservation FOR YOU when Free Dining is released.
Book your trip NOW with a travel agent. If you already have your trip booked when Free Dining comes out, your travel agent may be able to add free dining to your package (if applicable) without you having to lift a finger!! Our favorite people over at Small World Vacations are ready to help you save time, headaches, and best of all, money, when you book. They’re the recommended agency for me, personally, and for Disney Food Blog.
There is always a VERRRRY limited number of rooms available during Free Dining — and if recent years are any indication, they’ll go very quickly! A travel agent can both discount hunt for you to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck, and be on the phone at 6AM to add Free Dining to your package when/if it comes out.
Remember, too, that on Free Dining morning, hold wait times when calling the Walt Disney World Booking number can be hours. Why wait yourself when your travel agent can be doing that for you??
Booking your Disney World vacation with a travel agent will save you time, money, and make your vacation planning stress free – which is always a bonus!
So book that trip now, then sit back and relax! Click here for a no obligation price quote today from Small World Vacations, and let them know DFB sent you 🙂
5. Look for Disney Visa Cardholder Access
In the past, Disney Visa Carholders have been first to get access to Free Dining before it is announced to the general public. If you’re a Disney Visa Cardholder keep an eye on your inbox for that Free Dining email. This doesn’t happen every year, but it has happened enough that it’s still worth checking!
For more tips on how to get Free Dining check out our How to Get the Free Disney Dining Package Video
The Free Disney Dining Plan can be a good deal, but we always recommend crunching the numbers, especially when “free” dining is involved. Check out our DFB Guide to Walt Disney Dining for a full chapter on whether it makes sense for your family.
Are you planning on booking free dining this year? Let us know in the comments.