Disney World Free Dining 2014 Dates

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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:

  • August 31, 2014 – October 3, 2014
  • October 26, 2014 – November 1, 2014
  • November 9, 2014 – November 20, 2014
  • December 12, 2014 – December 23, 2014

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:

  • September 2 to September 25, 2013
  • September 29 to October 2, 2013
  • October 18 to November 2, 2013
  • November 11 to November 23, 2013
  • December 12 to December 22, 2013

free disney dining plan september 2014

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.

For updates on Walt Disney World, the latest news, discount information (including official free dining release dates), and tips, sign up for our free monthly newsletter!

Your Thoughts…

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!

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185 Responses to “Disney World Free Dining 2014 Dates”

  1. Trisha says:

    Added it to our reservation at 10am this morning. At that time, we got the very last available waterview room at Port Orleans Riverside with this promotion.
    We found out it’s not available for standard rooms or the Riverview rooms.
    Good advice to book fast!!

    • Carol says:

      This is our first time getting the Free DDP! With 4 adults in one moderate room, we figure we’re saving almost $500 over a 7-night stay.

      We were able to book a reservation at 9am PST for Port Orleans Riverside, and we received the Free DDP promotion with a standard room.

      So it’s possible that they sold out the standards and riverviews by the time you called, Trisha.

      You’re right — gotta book fast!!

      • Tom Bricker says:

        I’m not too surprised by the rooms going that quickly. I’ve heard the same thing about other hotels.

        This is why it pays to book something BEFORE “Free Dining” is announced and then having the discount applied once one becomes available. A travel agent can really come in handy when it comes to this.

        If you have any additional questions or need help with the logistics of doing this, feel free to email my wife: sarah@disneytouristblog.com

      • Kikistrips says:

        Can 4 adults stay in 1 moderate room and get 4 adult meal passes? Hope so for your sake!

      • Kiki's Trips says:

        Name error NOT strips! Lol kiki’s Trips

      • Tom,

        Not sure you are right about booking a reservation before announcement. Most of what I’ve read says that Disney puts so many rooms in the Free Dining bucket and if you call, you get Free Dining if there is a room available. Having a room already doesn’t mean you have one available in that bucket, although it does mean you have a room guaranteed if you are concerned about availability regardless of Free Dining.

        Many feel that pre-booking just encourages Disney that bookings are good, thus they don’t need to release Free Dining (or at least not many rooms).

        Just my two cents.


      • Tom Bricker says:

        Hi Bruce,

        I’ve heard conflicting reports on this. Disney advertises only so many rooms being available, and suggests that they are ‘set aside’ for this promotion. However, I’ve never heard of anyone having an issue “converting” their regular reservation to a Free Dining one. (This doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, I just haven’t heard about it.) I know a lot of travel agents recommend booking and then adjusting, too.

        I guess my perspective on it is that it’s “better safe than sorry.” With the tens of thousands of bookings Disney receives, I’m betting that a few pre-bookings don’t really alter their projections regarding whether bookings are good or bad. At least I hope not! :)

      • I understand… probably only Disney knows for sure regarding pre-books. Just figured I would point out the “other view” I had seen.

        As far as not getting the “upgrade” to Free Dining, most people I’ve seen that had problems had made a booking at a hotel that had Free Dining in years past, but then wasn’t covered this year. Not sure about folks that had a booking in a covered hotel unable to get what they wanted, but betting on which resorts are included and which excluded can be dicey, it seems.

      • Jenny M says:

        I just got through this morning to change an existing suite reservation at Art of Animation to include the free dining and it was sold out, so it is possible to not get the deal with an existing reservation, unfortunately. Super bummed as it would be nice to save that money.

  2. Edwin J Hildebrand says:

    Good Morning !

    Hoping to send some of my family down around Aug. 16 2012 and want to know if the free dining plan will be available.

    Thank You

  3. Bonnie says:

    Does Disney ever extend the free dining plan? We’re going the beginning of August, and leaving before the 25th. Would be nice to be able to take advantage!

  4. ALISON R says:


    • Pam says:

      Alison – we are going for 10 days around the same time, same hotel and am waiting to hear those magic your way words – FREE DINING!!!!!!!!!!! We need to pray it happens, lol. Keep me posted too!!!!!!!

      • Wynnster says:

        I have it on good authority that there will be free dining offered soon for that time period.

      • Jeannine says:

        We are also staying at Port Orleans Riverside around the 7th and are keeping a close lookout for the free dining! We went there the week of Dec 2 last year and the free dining plan was a HUGE savings for my family! Please Bring it for our dates this year Disney!!!! PLEASE!

    • Barbara says:

      How about the 1st, 2nd week of December. We are planning a trip at that time and would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear those free dining words at that time too. What does you “good authority” say about that time, lol.

  5. Tarin says:

    Husband got a PIN code for FRE DINING until Dec 13th on selected dates – this is ususally the head’s up that it will be offered to the general public soon :-)

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Yep, it is. Thanks for the heads up!

      • Andrea says:

        Can I still get the free dining even tho it’s expired? Do I call Disney directly? Planning a trip for the end of September.

    • Rebekah says:

      We are booked for 1st week in October – hope it is extended! Keep us updated!

    • Cheryl says:

      Can you tell us the dates the plan was offered for with the pin. We arrived Nov 9th last year and did not get the free dining plan because the block out dates ended the 10th.

    • Don says:

      Can I be so bold as to ask what the PIN is? We are actually going to be there too…..

  6. EMILY says:

    I think that my boyfriend and I will be going to WDW at the end of August, but I am booking the air and hotel through Travelocity because it is a huge savings. Does anyone know if I would be able to still purchase the DDP separately since travelocity does not offer it? (We are staying at the park for 5 nights.)

  7. Amelia says:

    Can I get the free dining if I have a florida resident pass?

    • Annie says:

      Hi Amelia, I don’t speak for Tom, but it is my understanding that Free Dining is only available with a Magic Your Way Package, so you wouldn’t be able to use any other discounts if you wanted Free Dining. You would have to take some time to see if Free Dining would save you more money than your Florida Resident Pass. For me, researching a trip is a lot of fun so this shouldn’t feel like work! There are some great posts on this blog about the dining plan that can get you started.

      But like LeVar Burton always said on Reading Rainbow, “You don’t have to take MY word for it…!” Good luck!

  8. Daffystardust says:

    This will be my first attempt at using the Disney Dining Plan (going in late October). I have always done the math and found that it didn’t make sense for me. This time I am going with a group that is very excited about the free dining offer, and the overall numbers for the trip do seem to work out well. It will be interesting to see if I enjoy using the credits and if I find the limitations of the dining plan annoying or not.
    Wish me luck!

    • Kevin says:

      for us, it’s a good deal when it’s “free”, although it makes us eat more than we otherwise would. But it is nice to use up your snack credits without gulping quite so much at paying $4-5 for a snack.

    • Annie says:

      Hey there, I recognize your name from somewhere… LeBeau’s Blog? Right?

      Anyway, yeah, it seems the more people in your party the more the Dining Plan can pay off. I also had it years ago before it changed and loved it… But anymore it’s just not a good value for me. It is so nice to not see your money disappearing all day when you eat. I think it’s a mental thing for lots of people. You don’t really “see” a room discount, but you do “see” the dining plan so it FEELS like you’re saving even if you really aren’t.

  9. John says:

    Worth it for traveler going solo? I’ve had reservations with a AAA discount at POFQ for 9/29-10/5 since April. If worth it, is it too late to switch?

    • Annie says:

      I’m no expert and I don’t want to overstep here, but I would say probably not. It would be worth it to take some time while you’re watching TV or whatever to investigate… It all depends on how much you eat and what you eat. You can look at menus and compare with the value of the dining plan–would you save any money? Would you save more than your current discount? I’d say unless you like expensive foods and eat dessert with every meal, you’re probably better off with your AAA discount.

      Again, I could be completely off. Take a look on this site–Tom has done some great blogs about the dining plan. Sometimes it’s a good value, sometimes it isn’t. Typically with a single traveler, the value of the dining plan does not exceed other available discounts, IME.

      Have a great trip!

  10. Rubin says:




    • Rubin says:


    • Tom Bricker says:

      My guess is that they’re getting caught by the spam filter because you’re typing in all caps.

      Whether you’ll be able to do that depends upon how many rooms you’ll have. That many people in one room exceeds Disney’s allowance. In any case, you will absolutely need to call and get this straightened out with Disney before the trip.

  11. mitch says:

    I have a feeling that whatever room discounts are offered will be a greater savings for a 5 day trip for the two of us than “free dining.” Plus, it’s difficult to resist signature dining locations which are a terrible value on the dining plan. The refurbished california grill, jiko, and yachtsmen steakhouse are on our short list for our next trip.

    I only wish there was a place (other than $$$$$ victoria and albert’s) as amazing as Dinseyland’s Napa Rose at WDW. The food at that place is on another level of awesome.

  12. Samantha says:

    Hi I was just wondering if it was possible to upgrade from the free quick service plan to the dining plan at check in or does it have to be done before?

  13. Sarah says:

    I see it states minimum three days to be eligible. We were planning on stayin at the resort three nights but only getting a 2-day pass. Would this mean we aren’t eligible? Thanks! First time found WDW as an adult and parent!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      In the past, you’ve only had to purchase 1-day tickets for each person regardless of the duration of your trip (with the minimum hotel stay being 3 nights). So you should be fine.

  14. Chad says:

    Any reason why free dining was not offered for the week of Oct. 14th??

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I don’t know of any events going on that week, but it’s only offered when Disney “needs” to offer it to give hotel bookings a spike. So the general reason would be that bookings were deemed sufficient for that particular week.

      • Brandie says:

        We have an existing reservation at Coronado fro Oct. 19- with the dining plan. We’ve made our restaurant reservations as well. My hope was that free dining would be announced and I would be able to modify my reservation when that happened.

        I reserved based on last year’s dates. What are the odds that they will add dates later, if you know?

      • Tom Bricker says:

        I think it’s unlikely additional dates will be added.

  15. Deb says:

    I have had my reservation since beginning of year before anything was mentioned about free dinning, I missed the first round by a couple days. Check-in is for Saturday Sept.28th, now I missed it by one freakin day. 10 of us are going and that would have been a huge savings for my family. So I asked if I couldnt drop Sat and arrive on Sunday, well then they said my room rate would go up, (I suppose to cover the so called free dinning) and my agent said I just needed to stay on my original reservation and pay full price… I think this is all so underhanded for Disney to offer this and make ppl believe they are getting something when they are actually paying for it thru the room rate…needless to say this will be our last family trip to Disney, we will go elsewhere to spend my $$$$$ next year.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      This doesn’t sound right. Is your original room rate actually full price, or did you receive a percentage-off discount? If you received a percentage-off “room only” discount, you lose that if you book free dining. You can’t double-dip on discounts. If you’re truly paying full price for the room, you might want to check with a different travel agent.

      • Deb says:

        No room discount, I was paying full price for all 3 rooms, Sat and Sun was more and Monday-Friday was reg. price. That is what didnt make since, I guess because of the air fare was for Saturday…but Disney cut it off 25th and started back up on 29th. I went in to travel agent and canceled dining plan, we are one meal away from the free dining, I am not paying if they are giving it free to everyone else all week, so I will order from grocery store and delivery service…not cheap, just pissed.

      • Deb says:

        Its not the room rate, agent said it was the hopper pass that would have increased so much that it would have changed any savings I would have gotten from the “free” dining, is that true or am I being scammed by the travel agent? They said Disney pays them.

  16. Amy says:

    I have a question that goes along with Deb’s comment. If I booked my trip before they announced the free dining dates, but then realized after they announced that the dates coincide with my trip, would they let me rebook with the higher room rate and free dining?

    • Susan says:

      I also booked before free dining was announced. When I called to see if I could get it, I had to switch hotels but I did so gladly because the savings were big!

      • Tom Bricker says:

        Sometimes you don’t even have to switch! Just depends upon availability with the discount.

      • Deb says:

        How is it chearper? Disney told my agent, I was sitting in the room when she called, it would cost me to move to another resort. I check in on 28th @4pm, but they wouldnt let me start the dining because it starts on 29th.

  17. Jammie says:

    Have they offered the Free Dinning Plan in January in past years. We may take the December offer but January would better suit us.

  18. Jillian says:

    The free dining is absolutely worth it. One year we payed for the dining and we saved every single recipet of ours and it was still a huge savings

  19. Rachel says:

    Are you saying that there could still be free dining during the 1st week of December even though the current offer excludes it? Or, should I expect not to get it at this point?

  20. Christie says:

    On your page here you have that the free Disney dining plan is in October and November. When we call Disney they say that they don’t know if there will be a free dining plan or not in those months (2013). How do we know if there will be a free dining plan or not? We are trying to figure out what days to book our vacation, and don’t want to find out too late that the free dining is one week off from when we book.

  21. Brett Matthews says:

    Hey Tom

    Quick question for you regarding this. We’re staying in WDW using DVC points. Maybe I missed it, but are you able to qualify for the free dining this way, or do you have to be paying out of pocket for your resort hotel? We’ll meet all of the other requirements, but this is up in the air.

    Thanks for any insight.


  22. Dadof5Ms says:

    For the upgrade pricing for going from QSD to the SDP, what is the age cut-off between adults verses kids? Would our 14-years olds still only be the $2.84 per day?

    • Cajmom says:

      At Disney, an adult is 10 years and older so your 14 year old would be considered an adult and you will have to pay the adult upgrade.

  23. Jen says:

    Booked a vaca for arrival on nov. 24, 2014…. Hoping to know if this will be offered and can call right away and get this credit for the dining plan…would be Mickey Mousome!

  24. Jen Kruger says:

    We are heading to Disneyworld on June 21st to July 1st. Are there discounts offered during this time? I am already booked and was told to check back often to see of there was anything that would lower my cost. Thanks!

  25. Brian Bullard says:

    I would love to do this. Were considering going for the week of Christmas.

    I hope they offer the deal soon so I can book

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Since Christmas week is peak season, there is about 0% chance this will be offered then. Free Dining is used to entice people to visit when they otherwise wouldn’t. There’s no need to discount during a popular time of the year.

  26. Michele says:

    If I book my room and park plans with dining package now so I can make my ADR’s will I be able to call Disney back and get the FREE Dining if it is announced during my travel plans? OR would I automatically be given it?
    I am going with quick service and will be making all reservations on my own expense so the ADR’s themselves not be affected.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Only a set number of rooms in each hotel are available for the free dining promotion, but assuming you call RIGHT AWAY when the promotion is announced, you should be able to get it applied to your reservation. If you wait a couple of weeks, the free dining rooms at your hotel might be gone, and then you’d either be stuck with what you have, or have to switch hotels.

      If you need more info or suggestions, email sarah@disneytouristblog.com.

  27. Danielle says:

    Can you upgrade your free DDP to deluxe if you are staying at a moderate or deluxe resort? If so what is the typical cost to upgrade?


  28. Lisa says:

    We have had the free dining before and love it. We are planning a trip for October in 2014 and are trying to decide which week to go. We want to get the free dining.
    Can you tell me which week would be the best to go to be eligible for free dining? We are considering 10-12 to 10-18 or
    10-19 to 10-25 (2014)


  29. Nikki says:

    I have already booked our trip for 10/17-10/22 for AoA. Now that I know discounts are usually not available for there we are going to switch hotels in advanced. Thinking of Port Orleans Riverside in a royal guest room or beach club. Do you think free dining will be offered and what resort is the better option?


    • Tom Bricker says:

      I think there’s a strong chance free dining will be offered for those dates (and maybe even at Art of Animation now that the ‘new hotel smell’ has worn off a bit, but you’d be rolling the dice). Personally, I’d do Beach Club. I prefer it and its proximity to Food & Wine Festival that time of year is huge.

      • Jessica says:

        I have already booked my stay for 12/21-12/26 We are staying in Port Orleans Riverside, in a royal room. The agent encouraged me to book the dining plan just in case the free dining plan is offered I could have it added to my reservation, and because I already had it booked I could have it reserved if sell out were to happen. Do you think these dates would be included? We were able to snatch it up for these exact dates last year as well so hoping it returns.

    • Becky says:

      We have stayed at AOA during free dine and received free dine right after they opened.

  30. Drew says:

    Tom – sincerely appreciate all the work you do here, and you are always great at replying and answering questions. So in advance, thank you!

    My Q: Planning to book now for a just-after-thanksgiving vacation, and am planning on the free dining plan. In this article, you showed that they didn’t have the plan for arrival dates from 11-24 through 12-11? When I look at other sites, like this Mousesavers article linked below, it doesn’t give these “blackout” dates like you gave in your article. Is that just because they didn’t get the detail in there like you, or maybe am I reading your post wrong?

    Basically, I want to go to Disney on the Friday after thanksgiving 2014, and stay for 5-6 days. Historically, have they blacked out these days? From everything I can tell from other sites I’ll be good, but hoping it’s not just because they aren’t giving all the blackout details! Thanks!


    • Tom Bricker says:

      The dates often change from the first time free dining is offered until it expands to its “final” size (presumably as they add more dates that were on ‘the fence’ as to whether they needed it), so that might explain some differences. In this case, Mousesavers just isn’t listing the blockouts in its set of dates.

      The week you’re looking at isn’t normally too busy, so it wouldn’t surprise me if free dining is offered then, but that’s just a guess at this point. I’d hold off on booking if you can.

  31. Amanda says:

    We are also looking at coming the week after thanksgiving. What are the chances free dining will be offered. Do you think they will include the art of animation?

  32. Jason says:

    Hey I am looking to book my trip in late October if they do have the free dining when would it be advertised thank you

  33. Dave says:

    My wife and I and my son’s family of 4 have reservations at the Little Mermaid resort in November of 2014. If the free meal plan comes out later this year, will we be able to get it? Some where I heard we can’t. Is this true?

    • Tom Bricker says:

      If Art of Animation’s Little Mermaid rooms aren’t blocked out, yes, you will. However, in the past, the free dining promo has not been offered at that resort.

    • Hilary says:

      We were booked at AoA Little Mermaid rooms for Sept. 2013. The day free dinning was announced I called and tried to add that to our reservation but rooms in the Little Mermaid were not offered as part of the promotion. We had to either switch resorts or stay in one of the suites. We ended up at Port Orleans Riverside and loved it. In fact, we purchased the bounce back deal for free dinning in 2014 and will be staying at the same resort. We also added one night at the Beach Club so we could experience Stormalong Bay.

  34. Kas says:

    We are planning on visiting Oct. 25th through Nov. 2nd and we’re thinking of staying at Coronado Springs. Do you think the dining plan will be offered for a stay over Halloween?

  35. Angela says:

    I am looking to book a trip for mid-late October in 2015 and hopefully get the free dining. Is booking early and then changing the reservation to free dining after the announcement allowed and would this be the best bet? When does free dining for mid-late October usually get announced?


  36. Dave says:

    Any idea when the free meal plan dates for the fall or November 2014 are? This will help with planning. Thank you for any info.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I would expect these dates to officially be released sometime in May 2014 or June 2014. We’ll keep you posted! :)

  37. Molly says:

    My family and I are wanting to go nov 15-23 for my 40th
    Birthday!! Do you think there is a chance we will get the free dining?
    We usually stay at all star movies

  38. Kara says:

    Hi Tom,
    We have our vacation booked for 12/12 -12/22/2014 at Coronado Springs. I’m optomistic free dining will be offered again this year.
    My question is… Is it worth the upgrade charge to get the deluxe dining plan, instead of the regular dining plan, if we have a few 2 table service meals planned, or is it better to just pay out of pocket?
    Thank you!!!

  39. Karen says:


    As others have said, thank you for all the information you provide. We too are hoping the free dinning plan will be available this fall. Can we make restaurant reservations without having a room booked or having a dinning plan? Then apply the dinning plan later?



  40. Mark says:

    We once again going in Dec (2nd week) as this has usually been when Disney has offered the free dining plan. We’ve stayed at Value Resorts till this year and always upgraded the Quick Serve to the Disney Dining Plan. This year were booked at the Port Orleans Riverside as the difference between Value with the upgrade is about $100 less than staying at a Moderate Resort with it included. So far we’ve been 5 times between the week after Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas. Disney at that time of year is magical (and the heat/humidity isn’t overwhelming). Love the reply’s here and will be keeping an eye on the release dates for the free Dining Plan.
    BTW 1st week in Dec is the National Cheer Compitition and its crazy in the park, by the 2nd week its much less of a wait for the attractions.
    Thanks Tom for posting this thread.


  41. Bill McGuire says:

    I have Pop Century booked for Sept 12 to the 20th, in the hopes that free dining becomes available for that time period.
    But my question is, does it make sense to book a moderate resort with free dining? I’m trying to see what is most cost effective.


    • Tom Bricker says:

      I’d strongly consider looking at the Moderate Resorts, too. If past precedent is any indication (and it should be), the Values only receive the Quick Service Disney Dining Plan, while Moderates and Deluxes receive the regular plan. If there are enough people in your party (my speculation would be 3-4 would be the breakeven/come out ahead point, but I haven’t done the math), paying extra for the Moderate might actually SAVE you money because you get the better dining plan.

      • Bill McGuire says:

        Really? I’d like to keep the costs down, could you recommend a moderate that wouldn’t be too expensive, yet still fun for young kids?

        Thanks for you help!

      • Susan says:

        In the past we have stayed with our family of five and gotten free dining in September. We stayed in the Alligator Bayou at Port Orleans meaning five of us could be in one room. The one quick, one sit down meal and one snack per day was tons of food. We enjoyed it so much. It made for a big chunk of savings in our vacation budget.

    • Hilary says:

      We had originally booked AoA last year with the dinning plan (full price), when the free dinning plan promotion came out we switched to Port Orleans Riverside with the free dinning plan and still saved $300 off the full price booking with AoA.

  42. Kerri says:

    Hi, Awesome sight here Tom! I am considering a trip for our family of 5, kids ages at time of travel 3 8 11. Plus their aunt comes with us. We went last in 2009 (only 2 kids) and did 2 adjoining value resort rooms and qualified for the free dining. It was perfect. We would like to be there the week of 11/1-11/7. Do you think free dining will be available then? And should we book moderate or value? We would love to stay at the Art of Animation. Thanks!

  43. Lynn says:

    Do you think free dining will be offered for August 22-31st?

  44. Courtney says:

    Such an informative site!! Thank you!!! We want to travel to Disney for Thanksgiving (Monday through Sunday) this year and stay at a moderate resort…will the free dining be available during that week? And when do you think it will be coming out so we can book it? Or can we book the trip now and add the free dining after? We go to disney every year and surprisingly have never taken advantage of free dining….I have two small children so this would be fantastic for us.,,thanks in advance

  45. Peter says:

    I hope free dining is available Sept 20th through 27th. Please let me know. Thanks

  46. Carmen says:

    Is there a strong possibility that you could lose the room you’ve already booked when you call to apply the free dining offer to your existing reservation? Do they have to release your room reservation to apply the discount?

  47. Gareth says:

    Thanks for the heads up Tom, looking forward to the free dining arriving in the UK, as I remember last years being a stonking offer, as it covered virtually all year, bar 2 weeks in mid April, so long as you booked by a certain date. And depending on the travel agent they chucked in $200 spending money, if you stayed at a deluxe resort. So hopping this arrives soon, so I can get a better idea of the total costs, for my 2016 trip.

  48. kim peacock says:

    I love free dining but I go last 2 weeks of August…hit or miss. I have given up room discounts so I am eligible. You can have your agent apply discounts or call Disney if booked directly and tell them!! You can get it applied not a problem. Sarah I rented points for 2 days to try a dvc too. very exited!!

  49. Rebecca says:

    Hi Tom,

    Do you still think that room discounts will be offered around the same time as the free dining plan? I’m looking to book 10/13-10/22 this year at the Beach Club Resort and am getting a bit antsy about booking our stay. I’m leaning more towards the room discount than the free dining plan as per your advice from a previous blog post. I noticed on the Disney World website that Standard rooms for the Beach Club are not available for our dates(only Garden and Lagoon/Pool views are) and I’m just wondering why that is…


  50. Samantha says:

    Free dining started earlier than September 29, 2013. My friend and I checked in on September 12, 2013 at the Pop Century and received free dining.

  51. Eryn says:

    Love your website! We have a trip booked for October 18th-25th. There are 9 of us and we have 2 Finding Nemo Suites at Art of Animation. Is this entire resort usually excluded from the free dining?

  52. Crysta says:

    We booked for Sept and the moderate resort was 20 bucks more than the value…for the whole week?!. It should also qualify us for the meal plan if its released for free dining..def check into moderate!!

  53. Ryan says:

    Probably already covered this but here goes. We have a reservation in October for AOA. If free dining comes out and I can only get quick service, can I pay the difference and upgrade to regular dining plan? Would it be worth it?

  54. Trey says:


    What’s been the experience with attendance levels during these free dining dates? We’re planning a trip during the last week of September specifically to go off season and avoid the lines. Does this program affect park attendance levels significantly? (enough to affect the rankings from UndercoverTourist.com, for example)


    • Tom Bricker says:

      Attendance at the restaurants is dramatically higher (so definitely make ADRs) but crowds are still relatively light outside of Food & Wine Festival. Free Dining occurs every year at approximately the same time, so any halfway decent crowd calendar already factors it into their recommendations

      Have fun!

  55. Kay says:

    This seems like too good of a deal…tell me if I’m understanding this correctly. If I were to purchase the dining plan (on it’s own) for 2 adults and 2 kids it would be $42*2 + $16*2 = $116/day. I’m looking at booking a room at the art of animation in November, where the disney site says that the “non-discounted room rate” is $148/nt. So with the free dining promo, is it essentially like getting the room for $32 (148-116)? Or am I overlooking something?

  56. Kay says:

    Okay, so I just read that the Art Of Animation is excluded from the Free Dining deal. So change my example above to Pop, where the non-discounted room rate is $139. So with the dining plan, would the room essentially be $23?

    • Manda says:

      Yes and No. The free dining offer more than likely means you will pay full price for your room and get the dining plan free. Unless I am misunderstanding, it seems like your scenario was taking the full price of the room and subtracting the cost of the dining plan. Using your numbers, instead of paying $148 (room) + $116 (dining) = $264/day…with the free dining plan you will pay $148 (room) + $0 (dining) = $148/day. You are still paying the full $148 room price, but since you are not spending $116/day on food, I guess you could rationalize that your room cost is $32 and your ‘built-in’ food cost is $116.

  57. James says:

    why was 9/26-28 blacked out last year? just curious…Im booked for 9/28 -10/4 this year that would super s*ck if they released it and I wasnt eligible but Ive never gotten it yet so im not expecting to. I just booked when i could get a flight and that was when . Its all too complicated

  58. abarrett1 says:

    From the sounds of it most of October is excluded from FD sounds like a total of 9 days is all that is being offered. Which excludes my trip from the 18-25. Hopefully it is not the correct dates and there is more October dates.

  59. Lea says:

    Well this is a bit dissapointing as we are booked for our trip arriving Oct 20th and had hoped to take advantage of Free Dining.

  60. Aaron says:

    I have the one table service one quick service plan and am thinking of upgrading to the deluxe plan but only saw a price for the quick service to deluxe plan upgrade.
    Does anyone know if there is usually a discount for the one table one quick service plan to the deluxe plan, and if so how much it usually is?

  61. Adrienne says:

    Hi Tom. I have really enjoyed reading your blogs while planning my family’s first trip to Disney World on Oct.18-24th 2014. I was really hoping for ‘Free Dining’ during our stay. Do you have any guess as to why it may not be offered for this week when it was offered for this week last year. Flights from Toronto, ON are $2000 + for a family of four, so extra savings are a must!!

  62. Rochelle says:

    Hi as Disney visa cardholder will I just receive as email with the details? Its May 1st and no email was sent. Do you have any more info on this? Thanks!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Supposedly the date was bumped from May 1 to May 2 for the announcement. We shall see what happens.

  63. Melissa says:

    Is there a way to retroactively get the Free Dining? We booked our hotel (Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge) through DVC member points, and are hoping to be able to take advantage of the Free Dining Program if it is offered the week we will be there (October 14-18). Any advice on how to still take advantage of the free dining is apreciated!

    • gfl ne says:

      If free dining becomes available for your dates just call Disney and ask them to apply the plan to your reservation. As long as your resort is included in the promo it won’t be a problem. Enjoy.

      • Melissa says:

        Thanks! Is that true even if you use DVC points to book the room?
        (Also, it looks like the dates we’re going aren’t part of the free dining promotiom. :/)

      • gfl ne says:

        Sorry, not familiar with the points. Not much you can due since your dates are blocked out for F.D.

  64. jen says:

    yep..nothing yet! really was hoping to hear soon for free dining & dates. we too are going 10-13/10-18 & worried mid oct we may be outta luck!

  65. Robin S says:

    Now the rumor is it’ll be open to everyone on the 7th– & possible excluding PO resorts!

  66. Ash says:

    what about for annual passholders? will we still be eligible for the dining plan?

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Yes, but AP holders still have to purchase the 2-day tickets.

      We’re APs too, and the room-only discounts are almost always a better deal for us when we do the math. Remember, this isn’t Disney just giving away the Dining Plan out of the kindness of its heart. It’s a clever marketing promotion, where guests purchase tickets and a hotel room at full price and get the Dining Plan for “free.” Disney wouldn’t just give away the Dining Plan for free to people who weren’t paying full price for a hotel and tickets.

  67. barbara says:

    Is the free dining plan open to everyone or are people randomly selected for the free dining pin once it comes available?

  68. Martha says:

    my friend and i are going oct 6 through the 10. RIGHT in the middle of when they DON’T OFFER IT!!! of course *sigh* :P

  69. Kim says:

    Tom, has there ever been an instance where a hotel that was excluded from a promo, in this case PO, was eventually put back in? We’ve booked PO – FQ for the fall and hate to have to switch…

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I’m not sure of that, but French Quarter is very small, and it’s often excluded from promotions. I’d switch if I were you.

      • kim says:

        Thanks! Based on exclusions which of the moderate resorts would you recommend?

      • Tom Bricker says:

        Not to leave you hanging, but check back tomorrow morning for a full post on our recommended Free Dining hotels! :)

  70. Partyof5 says:

    I am interested in the question about PO being added in. As a family of 5 we would be left out of this promotion, unless we booked 2 rooms! There are few Disney resorts where a family of five can book, and PO riverside is the most ecconomical, but being excluded from the free dining hurts! Any suggestions?

  71. Jessica says:

    I am traveling October 3-11. If I arrive and check in on the 3rd will I be able to get the free dining?

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Yes, you will! :)

      • Anne says:

        Tom, can you help? I am quite frustrated because my husband called Disney last night and was told that we would NOT be eligible for free dining with an arrival date of November 1, 2014. Everything I have read contradicts this. My understanding is that as long as we ARRIVE on a date that is included in the promotion, we were eligible for the duration of our stay. We would arrive November 1 and leave November 6. I’m really crossing my fingers that the Disney agent simply gave him erroneous information.

  72. Jackie says:

    If I wait to book my reservation online on May 7th when free dining is available, can the free dining plan be booked online also? Would like to avoid the phone call and long hold if possible.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Yes, you can book online. The *potential* problem with booking online is that the promotion doesn’t always go up right at 7 am online, which is when the phone lines open. So, if you don’t mind waiting until 9 am or possibly later, booking online should be much faster.

      • Tiffany says:

        Is there a legitimate chance they will sell out by the time online reservations become available?

  73. Nancy says:

    We really want to see Disney at Christmas time. We are booked December 2 – 10, but would really like to take advantage of the free Dining. I am worried that if I change our vacation dates to December 12 – 19, the parks will be packed and we will spend most of our time in line. What are your thoughts?

    • gfl ne says:

      Low crowds, great weather, and holiday programs, the week of Dec. 12 ranks as one of the top 5 best weeks of the year to go. The only drawback is the room prices will be higher due to the holiday season. The free dining will help offset that especially if you book the more expensive meals.

  74. Rob says:

    Hey Tom,

    Been reading your blog intently for the last month – quite addicted.

    There’s a conference at Swan I might go to – does free dining apply to Swalphin?

    Is there a post on your blog referencing disney based conferences?

  75. Amanda says:

    How early can you call and add free dining to your reservation the morning that the free dining is released to the public, May 7th? We are booked for 11/15 to 11/22 at Coronado and I’m hoping we’ll be able to add the free dining!

  76. Mark says:

    I have heard a lot of different answers regarding Amanda’s comment. If someone has an existing reservation for a standard room at CSR during the free dining, when free dining comes available, can they add to that existing reservation or does it get canceled and they are in the pool with everyone else? I have heard answers both ways.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Technically, I think the existing reservation is cancelled, then a new one is immediately booked.

      • Rod K says:

        Actually Tom, I just did this yesterday and the reservation was changed, not cancelled and remade. My reservation number stayed the same and my already made ADR’s stayed valid. That was despite changing dates and resorts. In answer to Amanda’s question, phone lines open at 7AM Eastern time. I was lucky enough to be a Disney Rewards Visa Card Member (I only got the card to take advantage of prebooking free dining) and was able to book free dining over the weekend.

      • Tom Bricker says:

        Thanks for the correction, I didn’t realize the confirmation number stayed the same. You’re definitely right, then! Even more reason to book in advance and then modify. Thanks for the heads up!

  77. Rachel says:

    Booked our honeymoon at Coronado springs 9/30-10/07… already paid in full, meal plan included. If I call, can I still be refunded the free dining discount? Also, I got a pin code for the free dining from a friend who has a Disney Visa…. can I call today and use that or are they exclusively for the Visa card holders…?

    • katie says:

      From what i read else where the pin is attached to your friends name. So you yourself cant use it unless your friend is going with you and is booking it under her name

  78. Rod K says:

    Booked free dining with my Disney Rewards Visa yesterday. Thank you very much for the email that you sent notifying me that it was available. (Major FAIL on Visa’s part because they never informed me of my card perk at all.) I had already been booked into AoA standard room for 7 nights starting October 25th. My arrival date of Oct 25th was not available for free dining anywhere so I changed my plan to be Oct 26th for 6 days. Then booked a room only reservation separate from my free dining Magic Your Way vacation for just for the night of Oct 25th. I still have the magic express picking me up from the airport on the 25th and returning me on Nov 1st. The CM at the reservation line even made notes on both reservations to please let me keep the same room for the 2 reservations.
    The whole thing is costing me $500 more, but for “free dining” and a nicer room I’ll take it. Added to that line of thinking, we had already booked 4 character meals that we were going to pay for out of pocket. It probably would have been close to $500 for that anyway. So monetarily, it all evens out. I now have 6 table service meals and 6 quick service. So I promptly booked all 6 table service at character meals and now the kids get 6 character meals (dinners) and we get free quick service lunches. The only thing I will have to still pay for are breakfasts.
    Anyway, seems like a good deal if you are willing to put up with the idiosyncrasies of the black-out dates and were planning on big meals anyway.

  79. Kristin says:

    Hi Tom,

    I just want to say that I love your site, I have been reading it for some time now and have found it extremely helpful in my planning (and my photography!)
    I am travelling to Disney World Oct 2-8 for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler with my husband and I see that we fall in the free dining dates. However, since we purchased discounted tickets through runDisney does this mean we wouldn’t qualify for the free dining plan?
    Currently we are booked into POR (which is excluded anyways :() If the room-only discounts come out do they usually have the same resort exlusions? I’m just wondering if I would be better off applying my AAA discount to the room.
    Thank you!

    • Justin says:

      I’m sure you already found out that the Room Only discounts are applicable to the Port Orleans Resorts, so I hope that has at least saved you some money.

      If you haven’t yet, you will definitely wanna call and get your reservation changed to reflect the savings.

  80. Jesse says:

    We are DVC members and annual passholders and will be down during one of the periods mentioned above. We already purchased a dining plan for our trip. Do you know if it’s possible to cancel (and refund) the existing dining plan, and then rebook the free dining? Also, do the DVC rooms count as part of it? This is new to us.

  81. gfl ne says:

    Free dining announced BUT only included if you purchase a 6 night / 7 day non discounted Magic Your Way Package. This according to Disney website. In the past it usually required a 3 night stay with 2 day park tickets. Adding extra days was a lousy move by Disney.

    • gfl ne says:

      Spoke with Disney rep. 3 night stay / 2 day park ticket is required. She didn’t know why you it was written the way it was. Trip booked for nov.

  82. Jay says:

    Free dining plan, as described in this article was online for the public this morning around 8am EST. Now (10am EST) it is no longer.

    Appears it has come and gone very quickly which sucks as we were planning on looking into it as possible trip with two other families in December.

  83. Georgia says:

    My trip is booked for 10/18-10/25. This seems to be the black out dates for free dining and discounted rooms. Do you think any additional free dining or discounted room dates will be added?

  84. Lisa Stein says:

    My trip is booked for 10/19-10/26. If one of the days is included for free dining is the rest of my trip eligible as well?

    • gfl ne says:

      It’s based on your arrival date. You must arrive during the eligible dates. Since you are arriving on 10/19 you will not be eligible for the free dining.

  85. Melody says:

    Can the free dining promo be added to a room/park pass deal booked on expedia, travelocity etc?

    • Melody says:

      Also, do you expect them to add the Art of Animation to the free dining or any additional dates? Or, do you expect a room only discount to come up for Art of Animation for any time Oct – Nov?

  86. Angela says:

    Hi! I’ve tried contacting Sarah regarding my question and it’s been months without a reply. I’m hoping someone has been in the same boat and can answer my question. I want to book a trip for sometime next October and hoping to fall within the free dining promotion then. My question is, if my arrival date does not match with the promotion would I be able to change my arrival and departure dates to take advantage of the promotion and not lose my hotel booking?

    • Tom Bricker says:

      No, you’re going to be constrained to what’s available at that time. In my opinion, booking a year and a half in advance in the hopes of free dining dates–that might have to be changed and will definitely have to have the reservation modified serves no purpose. I’d wait until the 2015 Free Dining dates are rumored (so, around May 2015) and book a room then.

  87. Sherry says:

    Do they ever offer free dining in January?

  88. Justin says:

    For anyone who was hoping to stay at Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter, there is still hope.

    I planned to book my trip from September 4th to the 9th at Port Orleans Riverside once Free Dining was available to the general public. After doing my research, I found that Free Dining would not be offered at either Port Orleans Resorts with the promotion, so I booked my trip to stay at Coronado Springs instead. We don’t have the luxury of paying for a Deluxe resort, but I’m bringing a 1st time Disney skeptic with me and I wanted to avoid the Value Resorts because, as we’re both adults/out of college, of the cartoony nature of the resorts and the attraction of a lot of kids. We decided that a Moderate Resort would be best fit for us.

    I came home from work today and found that I received a mailer from Disney World regarding a special offer inside. I opened it up and it was a PIN CODE for Free Dining with a 5 night/6 day stay at Select Resorts. The purpose of the mailer was that it said to celebrate my birthday with Free Dining (when we’re going in September, it’s for my birthday). I thought it was a bit odd that they sent me this PIN when I already had booked what it appeared that they were offering.

    After reading the letter, in the bottom most right hand corner, there was suggestion that said something along the lines of “We think that Port Orleans- French Quarter is the perfect fit for you!” I thought this was extremely odd to say because why would Disney send me a PIN for Free Dining and then suggest that I stay at a Resort that doesn’t offer it?

    Curiosity got the best of me and I called the Walt Disney World Reservation Hotline. I spoke to a wonderful woman there by the name of Sunny and stated my reason for calling, when she proceeded to tell me that my PIN actually allowed me to both get a free DP AND stay at either of the Port Orleans Resorts! I was so excited! So we changed our reservation from a Standard room at Coronado Springs to a Standard room at Port Orleans Riverside (with a request to stay in the Magnolia Bend Manors) and ended up saving about $30. Not a huge savings, but that’s at least almost the cost of 1 meal at your standard table service restaurant!

    So I highly recommend that if you are intending on going to Disney for Free Dining and want to stay at one of the Port Orleans resorts, have one of your family members (or someone in your travel party who is going to include you with the reservation), create an account and say their birthday is on one of your desired travel dates. You may be lucky enough to get the PIN that I did!

    Also, for those of you who are thinking that if I wanted a non-kid friendly resort, I probably should have kept my Coronado Springs reservation, I totally understand and agree. My personal preference was to stay at POR because I feel I would enjoy the atmosphere more than Coronado Springs and feel like POR will be great scenery for walking around.

    ALSO also, LOVE this blog! Thanks for all your help!

  89. Jessica says:

    My best friend and I are going to disney for the first time and we’re going in September when free dining is being offered, we were planning to take the room discount because most of what we were seeing was that the dining plan was for big eaters and lots of sit down meals. We’re planning to spend as much time going and doing and were already thinking we’d do almost entirely counter service or quick service restaurants and snacks throughout our day so now that I’m reading more about the quick service dining plan that would be the one offered since we’re staying at a value resort I’m wondering if that may actually end up saving us more than the room discount. Especially since we don’t eat a whole lot and were already planning to eat breakfast in our hotel room and often share meals. Thoughts?? Thanks!

  90. Dan says:

    Looking to find out if free dining will be available week of Oct 12th.. First time ever at disney and may never ba able to go back. Free dining sounds great. Currently bummed that it is not offered this wee but is being offered on nearby weeks

  91. Chris says:

    Just got my “Special Disney dining off for you!” pin code email.

    It includes the last week of August and third week of October in addition to the other dates offered in the 2014 Free Dining offer.

    • Jeff says:

      Did you do anything for the “Special Disney dining off for you!” pin code email? I need for the last week in August!!

      Thanks for any help you can provide.

    • Dan says:

      I am also interested in what you needed to do to get the pin for the 3rd week of october. My vacation is booked, along with ADR’s and I was extremely bummed when I found that that week was blacked out.

    • Jeff says:

      Is there any chance the free dining could be expanded after Aug 8 when the current offer expires to include other weeks with availability?

  92. Cristina says:

    Is Disney dining ever offered during the spring?? We are planning a trip at the end of April 2015

    • Tom Bricker says:

      The Disney Dining Plan is offered year-round for purchase, but the “Free Dining” promotion is only offered at select times.

  93. John says:

    We already booked our trip and it happens to be both a hotel that is excluded and a date (October 13-21) that is excluded. What gives? Any chance they will offer anything for our dates? Should I just cancel and re-book?

  94. Lauren says:

    Hey Tom,
    When I checked the Disney website it shows that the November 9, 2014 – November 20, 2014 free dining is only for the Deluxe hotels and villas. The moderate and value resorts, unless there is a typo, is only available on November 20th.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Odd. I think that’s a typo, but I’m not entirely sure. It’s really bizarre that it would only be for one day. The copy didn’t used to read like that. I’d recommend calling and asking, or talking to your travel agent.

  95. Daniela says:


    We are booked at the POR from Nov 2nd to Nov 7th….yes, Jersey week and blackout dates for free dining. Does anyone know around when Disney releases hotel discounts for November & is there still hope for me? Our flights are booked:(

    Thank you!

  96. Diane Craft says:

    We are going to WDW in Feb. 16-21. Any signs of free dining?

  97. Erin says:

    We are looking to go to WDW Jan. 9-15 -, 2015 we have not booked a place yet. What are the chances we will get a free dining plan for that week. If so what places she would look at?

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  1. 101 Delicious Disney World Dining Tips - Disney Tourist Blog - […] you are visiting during the Free Disney Dining Plan promotion, we recommend booking a room at Port Orleans Riverside …

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