2018 Disney World Free Dining Offer Now Available!

TODAY’S THE DAY! Walt Disney World’s Free Dining Offer is officially coming back and will be offered to guests for select dates in August, September, November, and December 2018 (NOTE: There are no October dates this year, but if your check-in date is in late September, you can obviously take your stay into October).

Disney World Free Dining 2018 Travel Dates

free-diningFree Dining is being offered to guests ARRIVING during the dates listed below.

August 20* – September 29, 2018
November 24 – November 27, 2018
December 7 – December 23, 2018

You must book by July 7th to get the offer.

*Canada Residents may book now for travel dates beginning August 2, 2018, and Disney Visa Cardholders may book now for travel dates beginning August 2, 2018.

(See below for participating resorts. Please note that the offer excludes several resorts this year, including campsites, 3-bedroom villas, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Little Mermaid Standard Rooms.)

Disney Resorts For Disney World Free Dining Offer

If you stay at a participting Value or Moderate 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.)

Participating Value Resorts include:

  • All-Star Music
  • All-Star Sports
  • Art of Animation Resort (Family Suites only)
  • Pop Century

Participating Moderate Resorts include:

  • The Cabins at Fort Wilderness (campsites excluded)
  • Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Coronado Springs Resort

If you reserve a participating 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.)

Participating Deluxe Resorts include:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Beach Club Resort
  • BoardWalk Inn
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Yacht Club Resort

Participating Deluxe Villas include:

  • Animal Kingdom Villas — Jambo House
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge — Kidani Village
  • Beach Club Villas
  • BoardWalk Villas
  • Old Key West Resort
  • Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

Minimum/Maximum Days for Disney World Free Dining Offer

You must book a minimum stay of 4 nights/maximum stay of 14 nights at a participating Disney-owned resort. You also need to purchase AT LEAST a 4-day Magic Your Way Disney World ticket with a Park Hopper AND/OR the Park Hopper Plus Option.

Will Free Dining Save YOU Money? We Break Down the Numbers For You…

2018 DFB Guide_Pot Roast_2D_01-001
Since Disney World’s Free Dining offer generally can’t be combined with other discounts, it’s often difficult to determine how to save the MOST 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 2018 e-Book to help you save the most money possible.

With over 650 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 “WDW2018” to get 25% off today! With a full, money-back guarantee, there’s nothing to lose!

Ready to Book Free Dining? We’ve Got a Limited Time Offer From Our Trusted Travel Agent Partners!

The agents at Small World Vacations are ready to help you save time, headaches and best of all, money. They compare available discounts to find the best deal for you. This is why they are the preferred travel agent of the Disney Food Blog.

Book a new 2018 Walt Disney World® vacation valued at $3600 or more and get one FREE Mickey Themed insulated cooler filled with yummy treats and surprises delivered to your onsite Walt Disney World resort room. (Items may vary.)

bluecooler

This offer is good for check-ins August 2 through December 31, 2018. Offer must be booked with Small World Vacations April 24 through May 1, 2018. Restrictions apply. Substitutions may be necessary. Personalization not available. 

Enter code DFBFD18 to qualify when you request a price quote from Small World Vacations*.

If you already booked your 2018 Walt Disney World vacation directly with Disney within the last 30 days and it’s valued at $3600 or more (without airfare and not yet paid in full) for an arrival between August 2 – December 31, 2018, it’s not too late to get the Mickey Themed Insulated Cooler with goodies! Transferred reservations qualify! Offer expires May 1, 2018. Restrictions apply. For details email Small World Vacations at guestrelations@ smallworldvacations.com and mention DFB code DFBFD18.

If you are ready to begin planning a trip, simply fill out Small World Vacations’ no obligation quote form! Small World Vacations is happy to share over 20 years of Disney expertise and firsthand experience with MyDisneyExperience, dining reservations and FastPass+ so you can sit back, relax and get ready to enjoy your vacation.

Click here to get a no-obligation quote from Small World Vacations! Don’t forget to enter code DFBFD18 to qualify when you request a price quote*.

* In-room gift courtesy of Small World Vacations. Comparable approximate value at Disney Florist is $59.95. While supplies last. One tote per qualifying new 2018 Walt Disney World vacation reservation valued at $3600 or more for check-in August 2 – December 31, 2018. No cash value and void if cancelled. Non-transferable. Substitutions may be necessary. Offer valid on bookings made April 24 – May 1, 2018 for travel dates August 2-December 31, 2018.

Click Here to Join the Disney Food Blog Newsletter for More Great Discount Updates!

2018 Disney World Free Dining Offer for Canada Residents

More big news today regarding the Free Dining Offer that has been released for guests traveling to Disney World!

free-dining

This batch of news is specific to Canadians who can book the 2018 Disney World Free Dining Offer now for arrival dates starting on August 2nd. (Arrival dates for U.S. Residents begin August 20th.) 

So, for Canadian guests, eligible arrival dates to book Free Dining are as follows:

  • August 2 – September 29, 2018
  • November 24 – November 27, 2018
  • December 7 – December 23, 2018

All other details as released this morning  remain the same for Canadians (including that the offer must be booked by July 7th).

Click Here to See the Disney World Free Dining Offer For USA Residents!

Will Free Dining Save YOU Money? We Break Down the Numbers For You…

2018 DFB Guide_Pot Roast_2D_01-001
Since Disney World’s Free Dining offer generally can’t be combined with other discounts, it’s often difficult to determine how to save the MOST 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 2018 e-Book to help you save the most money possible.

With over 650 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 “WDW2018” to get 25% off today! With a full, money-back guarantee, there’s nothing to lose!

2018 Disney World Free Dining Offer for Disney Visa Cardholders

EVEN MORE news today regarding the Free Dining Offer that has been released for guests traveling to Disney World in 2018!

free-dining

This batch of news is specific to Disney Visa Cardholders who can book the 2018 Disney World Free Dining Offer now for arrival dates starting on August 2nd. (Arrival dates for general public begin August 20th.) 

So, for Disney Visa Cardholders, eligible arrival dates to book Free Dining are as follows:

  • August 2 – August 19, 2018
  • August 20 – September 19, 2018 (Please note that the Cardmember date for September ends earlier than for the general public.)
  • November 24 – November 27, 2018
  • December 7 – December 23, 2018

A Disney Visa Cardmember must stay in the reserved room, and guests must use a valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption card to pay the deposit.

Except where noted above, other details as released this morning remain the same for Disney Visa Cardholders (including that the offer must be booked by July 7th).

Click Here to See the Disney World Free Dining Offer For the General Public!

Will Free Dining Save YOU Money? We Break Down the Numbers For You…

2018 DFB Guide_Pot Roast_2D_01-001
Since Disney World’s Free Dining offer generally can’t be combined with other discounts, it’s often difficult to determine how to save the MOST 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 2018 e-Book to help you save the most money possible.

With over 650 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 “WDW2018” to get 25% off today! With a full, money-back guarantee, there’s nothing to lose!

Ready to Book Free Dining? We’ve Got a Limited Time Offer From Our Trusted Travel Agent Partners!

The agents at Small World Vacations are ready to help you save time, headaches and best of all, money. They compare available discounts to find the best deal for you. This is why they are the preferred travel agent of the Disney Food Blog.

Book a new 2018 Walt Disney World® vacation valued at $3600 or more and get one FREE Mickey Themed insulated cooler filled with yummy treats and surprises delivered to your onsite Walt Disney World resort room. (Items may vary.)

bluecooler

This offer is good for check-ins August 2 through December 31, 2018. Offer must be booked with Small World Vacations April 24 through May 1, 2018. Restrictions apply. Substitutions may be necessary. Personalization not available. 

Enter code DFBFD18 to qualify when you request a price quote from Small World Vacations*.

If you already booked your 2018 Walt Disney World vacation directly with Disney within the last 30 days and it’s valued at $3600 or more (without airfare and not yet paid in full) for an arrival between August 2 – December 31, 2018, it’s not too late to get the Mickey Themed Insulated Cooler with goodies! Transferred reservations qualify! Offer expires May 1, 2018. Restrictions apply. For details email Small World Vacations at guestrelations@ smallworldvacations.com and mention DFB code DFBFD18.

If you are ready to begin planning a trip, simply fill out Small World Vacations’ no obligation quote form! Small World Vacations is happy to share over 20 years of Disney expertise and firsthand experience with MyDisneyExperience, dining reservations and FastPass+ so you can sit back, relax and get ready to enjoy your vacation.

Click here to get a no-obligation quote from Small World Vacations! Don’t forget to enter code DFBFD18 to qualify when you request a price quote*.

* In-room gift courtesy of Small World Vacations. Comparable approximate value at Disney Florist is $59.95. While supplies last. One tote per qualifying new 2018 Walt Disney World vacation reservation valued at $3600 or more for check-in August 2 – December 31, 2018. No cash value and void if cancelled. Non-transferable. Substitutions may be necessary. Offer valid on bookings made April 24 – May 1, 2018 for travel dates August 2-December 31, 2018.

What Happens When the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House is Taken Down?

We all love decking the halls for the holidays (okay, maybe not all of us… but many of us!). But taking all the decorations down? Admittedly, it’s nowhere near as fun. But none of us are alone. The decorations have to come down at Disney World, too. And every year, one of the first things to come down is the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House.

2017 Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

2017 Grand Floridian Gingerbread House

Yep, while many of the Christmas trees and wreaths stick around for a few days into the New Year, the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House’s last day of operation is January 1st. So what happens when the Gingerbread House is taken down?

[Read more…]

Close-Up! The 2015 Disney World Resort Gingerbread Displays

All over the World, it’s GINGERBREAD TIME!!! It’s a wonderful holiday tradition to feast your eyes on the larger-than-life Gingerbread Displays at several Deluxe Disney World Resorts before you feast your tummy on all the festive treats available during your visit!

Disney World Gingerbread House Tour

Disney World Gingerbread House Tour

We’re going to take you on a visit to the major Gingerbread hot spots in Disney World, and we’ll start our Gingerbread tour at the Epcot area resorts…

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

My  personal favorite is the Gingerbread Carousel found at the Beach Club. I always love to spot the new horses each year making their way on the Merry-Go-Round!

Beach Club Gingerbread Carousel

Beach Club Gingerbread Carousel

We’d love to introduce you to this year’s team of horses… here’s Julia! [Read more…]

Review: Dinner at the Grand Floridian Cafe in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Please join us for dinner at the Grand Floridian Cafe!

The Grand Floridian Cafe doesn’t garner the headlines of the Grand Floridian Resort’s signature restaurants — Narcoossee’s and Citricos — or the AAA 5 Diamond experience, Victoria and Albert’s. And, of course, there is always the unique-to-the-Grand-Floridian experience of Afternoon Tea in the Garden View Tea Room. And though 1900 Park Fare, like the Grand Floridian Cafe, is also a 1-Credit Table Service restaurant on the Disney Dining Plan, it’s better known for being a character meal and buffet option.

The Grand Floridian Cafe offers guests an opportunity to spend some time at Disney World’s flagship resort at a more modest price point than its counterpart table service restaurants. But since it tends to get a bit overshadowed by the other options (even though we think it’s a hidden gem), we’re back for a visit to take a look around and explore the current dinner offerings at the Grand Floridian Cafe.

Atmosphere

It’s quite a “grand” stroll through the entire lobby to find the Grand Floridian Cafe.

Grand Floridian Cafe sign at entrance

Grand Floridian Cafe sign at entrance

Head left at the back of the lobby, pass one of the merchandise shops, and its entrance is one of the last things you’ll see before your next step is outside. [Read more…]

Review: Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

It’s time for lunch at Gasparilla Island Grill in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort!

The Grand Floridian dining scene is primarily defined by unique dining experiences such as Victoria and Albert’s (Disney World’s AAA Five-Diamond Restaurant) and Afternoon Tea as well as two signature restaurants (Citricos and Narcoossee’s) and character meals at 1900 Park Fare. It’s also home to one of my very favorite Disney meals in all of history: the Grand Floridian Burger at the resort’s more casual Table Service restaurant, the Grand Floridian Cafe (the name doesn’t convey the highlight of the dish: it’s the lobster-topped burger you may have heard about).

Even among all that, the Grand Floridian still remains a place where you can grab a quick Counter Service bite 24 hours a day thanks to to Gasparilla Island Grill.

Gasparilla Island Grill sign

Gasparilla Island Grill sign

The last time we paid a visit it had recently been through a refurbishment, changing from Gasparilla Grill and Games to its current name. While not much has changed in the way of atmosphere since that visit, the menu differs somewhat from its immediate post-refurb offerings, so we’re back to grab a quick bite (or three!) at Gasparilla Island Grill!

Gasaprilla Island Grill entrance

Gasaprilla Island Grill entrance

Atmosphere

The general vibe at Gasparilla Island Grill is decidedly — and expectedly — Floridian! Creamy colors, pale greens, and lots of natural sunlight keep it airy, while the lush, darker greens and palms associated with the state of Florida are represented in the seating decor.

Gasparilla Island Grill indoor seating

Gasparilla Island Grill indoor seating

Gasparilla Island Grill indoor seating

Gasparilla Island Grill indoor seating

Second seating area

Second seating area

At the same time, the resort’s Victorian style is reflected in the light fixtures (check out those hidden Mickeys!), and by a small display of dish and glassware.

Lighting

Lighting

Lighting

Lighting

Dish display

Dish display

Dish display

Dish display

Though not known for tons of Disney detailing, the basic scene here is very pleasant in that it’s fresh, clean, and simple.

Perhaps the most unique feature to Gasparilla is the amount of high-backed booths lining the perimeter. They do allow for a certain feeling of privacy in what can be a bustling place, depending on the time of day.

Booth seating

Booth seating

Outdoor seating is also available; however, it wasn’t much in use on the day my friend and I visited, due to to some classic spring showers.

Outdoor seating in the rain

Outdoor seating on a rainy day

Once the rain lightened up, I stepped outside once more to [Read more…]

Review: The NEW Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Today we’re headed to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort to check out the newly renovated Gasparilla Island Grill!

This counter service spot, tucked in a corner off of the first floor lobby, offers counter service fare.

Open 24 hours a day, it’s a great amenity for guests who arrive early or late in the day for their Disney visit. It’s also a good option for revelers who are enjoying late or early Extra Magic Hours!

The big news regarding Gasparilla, however, is the recently completed refurbishment that has changed the spot up a bit.

Gasparilla Sign

Let’s head in to see what has changed about this counter service oasis amid the finery of one of Disney’s most expensive resorts.

Atmosphere

The Grand Floridian is undergoing lots of construction and refurbishment lately. In addition to the new Disney Vacation Club villas being built and the Beach Pool Bar undergoing updates, Gasparilla was closed from late summer 2012 until early this year, as the space (and the name!) was given an overhaul.

From the outside, however, it still looks very much the same as before. You enter the restaurant through doors from an outside terrace.

Terrace Leading to Gasparilla Island Grill

One complaint guests had about the previous incarnation of this spot was the “Grill and Games” combo. An assortment of arcade games shared space with the seating area. Though convenient for parents, it could get a little loud at times.

The arcade has now been relocated to an adjacent space where the Grand Floridian’s kids’ club used to be. With the arcade gone, the restaurant has been rechristened “Gasparilla Island Grill.” As with many spots around the Grand Floridian, this one takes its name from a Florida locale, Gasparilla Island, a gulf barrier island located on the state’s southwest coast.

Gasparilla Island Grill Entrance

Guests familiar with the old layout of Gasparilla will immediately notice the change to the restaurant’s look. The green and burgundy palette has been replaced with a simpler, more modern green and blue combination.

The seating has been greatly expanded as well, although the actual ordering area remains very similar.

View of the Restaurant Through the Seating Area

Ornate touches remain, however, and these chandeliers are a nice new (almost steampunky) touch. Check out the [Read more…]

News! 2013 Citricos Wine Dinners in Walt Disney World

Fun news for anyone heading to Disney World soon!

Citricos at the Grand Floridian Resort has announced monthly wine dinners for 2013.

At this time, the first four wine dinners have been confirmed. For a special evening, book one of these fabulous events!

Dates

Jan 23rd- Willamette Valley Vineyards
Feb 8th- Foxen Vineyard
April 11th- Santa Barbara/Lafond Winery
May 2nd- [Read more…]

New Menu: Grand Floridian’s Beach Pool Bar

Disney chefs worked behind the scenes on new menu items for the Grand Floridian Beach Pool Bar at the Grand Floridian, which recently re-opened! Courtesy of Chef Jack Butler, we have all the details!

Beach Pool Bar Under Construction

After new recipes are developed, they are tested to see which menu items are most popular with guests. Testing took place at Gasparilla Grill before it closed for refurbishment this month.

Gasparilla Entrance

The new menu at the Beach Pool Bar now replaces Gasparilla as the go-to counter-service location for Grand Floridian during renovations. As always during refurbs and menu updates, this is all subject to change.

Let’s check it out!

New Menu Items

Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad with Red Onion Vinaigrette ($7.19)
Chunks of watermelon, feta cheese crumbles, grape tomatoes, and shaved red onion on a base of arugula.

Grilled chicken Caesar salad ($8.39)
This is a holdover from Gasparilla. You can now sub out the chicken for grilled shrimp for an additional charge.

Crab Cake Sandwich ($9.99).
Served with a corn tartar sauce and cucumber salad. The cake itself is an un-breaded version of the Grand Floridian Cafe crab cake.

Crab Cakes at Grand Floridian Cafe

Citrus Chicken Salad Sandwich ($8.99)
Shredded chicken with a citrus tarragon [Read more…]