Disney started the New Year off with a big surprise when it announced the 2019 Free Dining offer for dates this Summer and early Fall!
Thinking about planning a Summer visit to Disney World before the crowds descend this fall for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge? We can help you figure out: Is the Disney World Free Dining offer a good deal?
The answer is … it depends. We have an entire chapter in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining dedicated to this very question and today we’ll look at some factors to consider when deciding if Free Dining is a good deal for YOU.
Remember: Free Dining Isn’t Really Free
First, and perhaps most importantly, let’s remember that Free Dining isn’t really “free.” With the Free Dining offer guests will be paying the rack rate for the resort of their choice, in addition to theme park tickets that include the Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus option.
You might find bigger savings with a room-only discount – including savings of up to 30% at select Deluxe Villas and Deluxe Hotels – and you can add the Dining Plan and park tickets on to these room-only offers.
According to our number crunching in the DFB Guide, free dining is very often a good deal — but it depends on how many people are in your family and how deep the discounts are for room-only bookings.
Always Do The Math
When deciding if you should book the Free Dining offer or a room-only discount, you’ll want to compare the Free Dining to the discounted hotel room offers – adding ticket prices and estimated food expenses to see if it’s the best option for your family.
Look at factors including how much your family eats at the parks (especially this year with the Free Dining being offered in the HOT summer months)! Is the Quick Service Dining Plan and a stay at at a Moderate or Value Resort the best fit? Or do you want to enjoy a table service meal or character meal every day with the standard Dining Plan, and a stay at a Deluxe Resort?
If you add up your out-of-pocket dining costs with a room-only discount and discover the Free Dining offer will save you money, and you’ll be able to make your Advance Dining Reservations for table service restaurants 180 days in advance, AND the Dining Plan of your choice won’t be restrictive for your dining needs, then it might make sense to book the Free Dining.
Check out our analysis of the Disney Dining Plan in this video!
Be Savvy When Using the Disney Dining Plan
Whether you’re getting the Disney Dining Plan as part of the Free Dining offer, or you’re going with the room-only discount and adding a Dining Plan at cost, you’ll want to use your dining credits wisely – especially all those snack credits!
Check out all of our tips on How to Maximize the Disney Dining Plan when you’re planning where to eat and which Dining Plan to choose. And be sure to watch our YouTube video on the Best Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits.
Read more about the 2019 Disney World Free Dining Offer here!
We break down ALL the numbers for you when it comes to Free Dining and the Disney Dining Plan in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2019! You can pre-order your copy now!
Are you booking the Free Dining Plan offer for this summer at Disney World? Let us know in the comments.