News! 2016 Disney World Free Dining Offer Now Available!

Okay, Disney World Vacationers… IT’S HERE. Today brings the much-awaited news that Walt Disney World’s Free Dining Offer will be offered to guests for select dates in late August, September, October, November, and December 2016!

free-dining

Disney World Free Dining 2016 Travel Dates

Free Dining is being offered to guests ARRIVING during the dates listed below. A minimum stay of 3 nights is required and your package may not be booked for longer than 14 nights.

August 23* – October 1, 2016
November 15  November 21, 2016
November 26 – November 28, 2016
December 10 – December 21, 2016

You must book by July 8th to get the offer.

*Canadian travelers and Disney Visa Cardholders can book dates from August 14 — see details here

(Please note that the offer excludes: Campsites, Bungalows at Polynesian Village, Grand Floridian Villas, Bay Lake Tower, 3-bedroom Villas, Port Orleans French Quarter, and Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation. Port Orleans Riverside is only available through October 1st. )

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).

Minimum/Maximum Days

You must book a minimum stay of 3 nights/ maximum stay of 14 nights at a Disney-owned resort. You may also need to purchase AT LEAST a 2-day Magic Your Way Disney World ticket with a Park Hopper AND/OR the Water Park Fun & More Option. Use this link to book!

Note — while Disney often uses the rhetoric “5-night, 6-day” in its promotional materials, that’s only sales language. You do NOT have to book 5 nights to have access to free dining!

Will Free Dining Save You Money?

2016 book cover dfb guide

Since Disney World’s Free Dining 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 a 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 fully updated DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2016 e-Book to help you save the most money possible.

Along with over 530 pages of great Disney World dining advice, full color photos, and details, this book is a great deal.

Get your DFB Guide to WDW Dining here, and speaking of saving money — use code “20sale” to get 20% off today! With a full, money-back guarantee, there’s nothing to lose!

Are you excited for Free Dining? Please let us know with a comment!

News: 2017 Disney World Free Dining Offer for UK Residents; And Disney Dining Plan Changes for 2017

We have some VERY good news for our friends across the pond! The 2017 Walt Disney World Free Dining Offer is now available for United Kingdom Residents! When you book a selected Walt Disney World holiday, you’ll receive free dining for your family!!

We also have some interesting potential changes to the 2017 Disney Dining Plan — read on to find out!

Free Dining Details Graphic

Disney World Free Dining Deal For UK Residents in 2017

[Read more…]

Celebrate Mother’s Day at Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

Doesn’t Mom deserve a little spoiling this Mother’s Day? Maybe it’s time for a Disney Day!

Nestle Mickey Ice Cream Bar

You, Mom, and Disney. What Could Be Better?

Personally, I think she’d be happy to spend a little time with YOU — and throwing in a Mickey Ice Cream Bar wouldn’t hurt. ;-) But if you’re looking for something just a little more special, check out these options! [Read more…]

#OnTheList: Mickey Waffles

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This post is part of the DFB #OnTheList series, where we feature eats you’ve GOT to have while you’re at Disney! Let us know what’s on YOUR Disney Food Bucket List @DisneyFoodBlog #OnTheList!

 

So, what’s #OnTheList this week? Why, it’s a breakfast item that is worth waking up early for every single time

#OnTheList: Mickey Waffles!

… because nothing says “Good morning!” quite like a plate full of MICKEY WAFFLES!!

[Read more…]

Guest Review: Breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel

Today, we head to the west coast for a guest review of Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel. Let’s take a tour — courtesy of guest author, Liz Jostes.

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For our family’s first trip to Disneyland, I booked breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen. Since we were staying at the Disneyland Hotel and our flight home wasn’t until the afternoon, it was a perfect and convenient stop on our final morning on property.

Goofy’s Kitchen is located next to the pool area in the Disneyland Hotel, and a short, easy walk from the Downtown Disney District (for those not staying at the Disneyland Hotel).

Atmosphere

As you walk through the doors of Goofy’s Kitchen, you enter into a lobby and wait for your turn to check-in and pay for your meal (gratuity is automatically included). Then you are welcome to meet Goofy while waiting for your table. [Read more…]

Best Disney World Cinnamon Rolls

Nothing hits the spot quite like that decadent treat, a Disney Cinnamon Roll. Whether you’re enjoying one of these mammoth pastries for breakfast with your coffee, or as an afternoon snack, it’s been one of my favorites forever!

It’s unfortunate that some of the very best ones, like the Main Street Bakery Cinnamon Roll and the Sticky Bun at Kouzzina, are no longer available.

Best Disney World Cinnamon Rolls

But there are still so many delicious options available out there! Let’s take a look at a few of my favorites, and then you can share with me which ones you like the best. [Read more…]

Best Kept Disney Dining Secrets: Saving Money in Disney World

We are back with some of our very best kept Disney Dining Secrets. And we want to share them with you!

2016 book cover dfb guide

Planning where you’ll be spending your food budget in Disney World is a BIG deal. There are so many choices to make! Maybe you’re worried about getting the advance dining reservations you’d like the most. And what about your favorite brands and foods? Will they have them?

These are all great questions, and we address them all in our DFB Guide to WDW Dining e-Book! But today, we’re exploring one of the biggest concerns: Is it possible to save a buck or two when you’re at Disney?

Secrets to Saving Money in Disney World

Today, we’ll share some of our favorite ways to save money during your visit to Walt Disney World. And if you like what you see here, be sure to check out even more secrets in the brand new DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, 2016 Edition, where we gather over 530 pages of tips, recommendations, and secrets to make your Disney trip the best ever!

Here we go!

Ditch Unwanted Sides

I love this tip, and it can save you some serious cash (and calories!). You may think the price printed on the menu board or in the menu is non-negotiable. But we’ve got a secret to share!

Did you know that you can often forego unwanted sides? For instance, say you order a sandwich that comes with fries, but you don’t really want them. Ask if you can order your sandwich as an entree only and save!

Cheeseburger at Backlot Express!

Cheeseburger at Backlot Express!

And if you’re a light eater, or someone who doesn’t really care about (or literally can’t EAT) that side of salad/chips/fries/coleslaw/pasta salad, then you’ll never miss it.

[Read more…]

Guest Review: Star Wars Symphony in the Stars Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Force is strong at Symphony in the Stars, a Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party! Beth Wesesky, guest author, takes us to this hard ticket event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. No faster-than-light travel necessary. ;)

A short time ago…in a state far, far away…
Nerd, geek, dweeb, scruffy-looking Nerfherder… any way you describe it, my family and I are proud Star Wars fanatics! So, on our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, we just KNEW that we had to get our “fix”! That “fix” included booking reservations for the “Symphony in the Stars, A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party” held in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on select nights through April 30th, 2016.

Symphony in the Stars

Symphony in the Stars

The day the reservation window opened, I made the jump to hyperspace and booked our party! Admission price is $69.00 for adults and $39.00 for children ages 3-9 and Hollywood Studios admission is required. Disney Dining Plan entitlements may not be used and prepayment with a credit card is required.

The party is described on the Walt Disney World website as: The Dessert Party You’re Looking For! Enjoy an out-of-this-world selection of desserts and specialty drinks—including alcoholic beverage options. Nibble on Darth Vader cupcakes as you take in an up-close view of the enthralling Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks Show.

A Galactic Evening

A Galactic Evening

Atmosphere

We arrived in Disney’s Hollywood Studios around 6PM on January 24th, and headed for the Dessert Party check-in, which is located beside Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner. We were checked in by a lovely Cast Member who instructed us to return closer to 7PM. We were given a wrist band to present at the entrance when we returned.

Around 6:45PM, we headed back to an already very long line of party-goers waiting to be admitted to the viewing area. The viewing area was set up on the left side of Center Stage, in the hub of the park. The tables were standing tables, draped with black and red (nice Dark Side touch) tablecloths that just touched the ground. Keep in mind, there is no seating available, but the area is spacious and comfortable. Besides, once the fireworks begin, you’ll be on your feet in awe! The evening of our party, the temperature was about 38 degrees (brrrrr…), so Disney had several heat sources set up in the area to keep guests from shivering through the show!

Standing Tables

Standing Tables

Dessert Party Tables

Dessert Party Tables

Before the event got started, park-goers were entertained by an awesome light show and DJ who was playing modern dance tune mixes, which everyone enjoyed! As soon as we got into the viewing area, we headed for a table near the front to get a clear view of the fireworks. There were some trees blocking a bit of the view for other tables, but I’m sure this wasn’t a deal breaker.

Eats

We made the table our own, and went off to scope out the offerings! WOW…I’ve got to say, we were very impressed with not only the taste of the desserts and savory bites, but also with the presentation and layout as well! There were two food buffet stations, one on either side of the viewing area. Each station had the same selections, and it made navigating the area very stress-free. No bumping into other people reaching over you for food!

The sweet dessert options that were beautifully displayed on the stations included: Blue Milk Panna Cotta with Crispy Pearls (our 15-year old son’s favorite), “Darth Maul” The Pastry Menace Eclairs, [Read more…]

News: Disney Dining Plan Price Increase

Are you in the midst of planning your next Walt Disney World vacation? Then you’ll want to know that Disney has increased the price of the Disney Dining Plans for the Quick Service, Standard, and Deluxe Dining Plans as of March 9, 2016.

Disney Dining Plan

Disney Dining Plan Prices as of March 9, 2016

Quick-Service Dining Plan
$44.13 per night ages 10 and up
$19.04 per night ages 3 to 9
(Increase from earlier 2016 pricing of $42.84 and $17.47)

Standard Dining Plan
$63.70 per night ages 10 and up
$22.85 per night ages 3 to 9
(Increase from earlier 2016 pricing of $61.84 and $20.96)

Deluxe Dining Plan
$115.08 per night ages 10 and up
$35.49 per night ages 3 to 9
(Increase from earlier 2016 pricing of $111.57 and $32.56)

This pricing was obtained through booking online reservations on DisneyWorld.com.

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Wondering Whether the Disney Dining Plan Will SAVE You Money?

We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips — including a full chapter and price break-down and comparison on whether the Disney Dining Plan will save YOU money — in our big, bold 2016 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining!

With more than 530 pagesThe DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 30+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs, how to save dough on your Disney dining, and more!

With sample dining itineraries, plus multiple bonus features and reusable worksheets, you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining E-book — and use code HAPPYPLACE for an extra $4 discount for a limited time!

What are your thoughts on the latest pricing information for the Disney Dining Plan? Please chime in with a comment. 

Guest Review: Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Are you ready for some Club Villain Thrills?! DFB welcomes guest author AM Appleby with a review of Club Villain at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Let’s take a look at this Walt Disney World event that has now been extended with dates into March 2016!

What is our fascination with villains? Do they perceive themselves as villainous or simply misunderstood? Whatever your reasons, the four villainous characters at this Club Villain in Disney’s Hollywood Studios are well worth your time!

Club Villain Marquis

Club Villain Marquis

Club Villain

Club Villain

As soon as they became available last fall, I purchased tickets to the newest Disney villain bash, Club Villain. My seven-year-old daughter and I enjoyed the last villains party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Villains Unleashed, in August 2014, but Club Villain was a complete departure (it is still a hard ticket event at $129 per person, tax and gratuity included).

The wait time to meet Maleficent at Villains Unleashed was four hours at the start of the party. Needless to say, we didn’t wait for her that evening. I honestly knew nothing about Club Villain when I purchased, I was just excited for another villains event!

Atmosphere

Club Villain takes place in Sunset Showcase, located just behind Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. The venue was indoors, which was lovely on the rainy evening we attended, and included a full buffet dinner and two bars serving wine, beer, and a signature cocktail specially created for each villain. Host Dr. Facilier, and his club manager Kanzo, kept everyone entertained. Music throughout the evening was provided by DJ Thibodeaux, creating a loud and festive Mardi Gras atmosphere. The food was inspired by traditional New Orleans cuisine, and I will tell you now — it was delicious!

Stage

Stage

DJ Thibodeaux Booth

DJ Thibodeaux Booth

Dr. Facilier

Dr. Facilier

The check-in podium was located in the front of the building. We arrived 20 minutes prior to our 7:45PM reservation time (there was one seating time the evening we attended), and we were given our invitation, which included our table number and scheduled times to meet the characters: Cruella de Vil, The Evil Queen, Maleficent, and the Queen of Hearts.

Invitation with Table Number and Meet the Villains times

Invitation with Table Number and Meet the Villains times

All of the guests were welcomed into the building promptly at 7:30PM, where the DJ was already spinning tunes. The food was [Read more…]