Walt Disney World has announced 2014 free dining dates! Free Dining is now being offered to Disney Visa credit card holders and became available for booking beginning on May 2, 2014 for arrival dates beginning at the end of August through late December, with blockout dates. Exact dates are listed below. It is rumored that the general public will be able to book Free Dining packages on May 7, 2014. Based on what we’re now hearing, all of the “Free Dining” dates for the remainder of 2014 were made available all at once and are what’s listed below, rather than a staggered “Early Fall” and “Late Fall/Winter” release of dates as has happened in the past. With this Free Dining offer, Value Resort guests receive the Quick Service Disney Dining Plan during the promotion, and guests at Moderate and Deluxe Resorts receive the standard Disney Dining Plan. Upgrading to higher tiers is possible for an additional charge (see details below).
2014 Free Dining Dates:
If you will be traveling during these dates, we highly recommend making Advance Dining Reservations now, even if you’re not eligible to book free dining yet, or even if you don’t plan on booking it. Everyone gobbles up the good ADRs quickly for Free Dining dates, so if you don’t book early, you will be stuck eating counter service or unpopular restaurants for the duration of your trip. We also recommend booking as soon as possible, as some popular/low capacity resorts book up fast. Also, be prepared to spend a couple hours on hold when you call in the morning that Free Dining becomes available to the general public–these long waits are fairly typical (booking online is a better option–assuming the online promo goes live at 7 am on May 7). You might want to have a no-fee, Authorized Disney Vacation Planner book your Free Dining package for you.
Here are the room exclusions: All-Star Movies, Port Orleans Resort Riverside, Port Orleans Resort French Quarter, Fort Wilderness campsites, Grand Villas at all resorts (3-bedroom Disney Vacation Club rooms), Art of Animation Little Mermaid Rooms, and the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, are all not eligible for Free Dining.
If you are wondering which hotel to book for the Free Dining promotion, check out our new Best Walt Disney World Hotels for Free Dining post. It gives our preferred option for each resort tier!
Note that the Free Disney Dining Plan promotion is always based upon arrival dates. For example, if Free Dining runs August 31 to October 3, and you arrive on October 2 and stay until October 16, you are eligible for Free Dining. However, if it’s offered October 26 to November 1 and you arrive on October 25 and stay until October 30, you are not eligible for Free Dining, even though more of your stay falls during an “eligible” period than the first example’s. The work around for this is doing a “split stay,” with the ineligible arrival nights part of one vacation and a second vacation starting at the first valid “arrival” date and continuing thereafter. In the second example, that would mean a one night “vacation” on October 25, followed by another vacation with an arrival date of October 26 continuing until October 30.
For 2014, the upgrade cost to go from the Quick Service Disney Dining Plan to the standard Disney Dining Plan is $18.65 per adult and $3.20 per child per night. The Deluxe Disney Dining Plan upgrade cost from the Quick Service Disney Dining Plan is $67.54 per adult and $13.83 per child per night. Guests at Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa resorts could upgrade to the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan for $48.89 per adult and $10.63 per child per night.
Trying to figure out where to make your Advance Dining Reservations? Check out our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. Lots of photos and feedback on the restaurants!
Typically, a three night minimum stay is required with a maximum stay of fourteen nights. The only other requirement is that you must purchase a 2 day basic Magic Your Way park ticket per person on the reservation. This means you can’t purchase discounted Walt Disney World tickets from an authorized reseller, which is something to keep in mind when doing the math to determine if “Free Dining” is a good value for you. Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Value Resort receive the Quick Service Dining Plan during the Free Dining promotion, but are able to upgrade to the (standard) Disney Dining Plan or the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan if they pay the difference. Guests staying at Moderate or Deluxe Resorts may upgrade from the standard Disney Dining Plan to the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan by paying the difference, too.
With the Free Dining promotion, availability is limited. If Free Dining becomes available, you should book IMMEDIATELY if you think you might take advantage of the deal (cancel later if you must). At the very least, book your dining reservations right away.
For details about which tier of the Disney Dining Plan includes or for recommendations about which restaurants to book to maximize your use of the Disney Dining Plan, please see our comprehensive Disney Dining Plan Overview Page!
For the sake of historical comparison, here are the previous Fall/Winter 2013 Free Disney Dining Plan promotion dates. These are the exact arrival date ranges during which the Free Dining offer was available last year:
If you plan on getting the Disney Dining Plan check out these other Walt Disney World posts:
For Walt Disney World trip planning tips and comprehensive advice, make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide.
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Are you a fan of the “free” dining promotion? Have any tips for free dining rookies? Let us know what you think of the promotion and whether you’re planning on taking advantage of it in the comments!