If you haven’t already seen the commercials for free dining at Disney World, you soon will. This is a great offer to anyone thinking about taking a Disney vacation. In fact, I used to look forward to this time of the year and I would set my vacation specifically around the free dining offer. It’s a fabulous offer that used to span from early August to mid September. Now it hits the tail end of August through the end of September, so if you have kids in school, it may not work out like you want. Right now it is being offered August 25-September 29. You must book by May 18.
The Disney Dining Plan offers one table-service meal, one quick-service meal and one snack per person, per night of your package stay. There are over 100 select restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort that honor the Disney Dining Plan, including my favorite options, the character dining meals. Roughly you will spend $35 per day per person. Considering how expensive food is at WDW, it is a must get. Any time I am helping someone plan a trip, I really push the Disney Dining Plan. It’s worth the extra money… or if you go during the free dining days, make sure they add it to your package!
There are 5 different dining plans depending on how much food you and your family plan on eating. There is the original, the one I mentioned above, the Quick Service plan– which is a little cheaper and you will only be able to eat at the Quick Service Restaurants (a fancy name for fast food- which is still Disney quality and a ton of food), Deluxe Dining– offering all table service meals (your best bet for getting in all the character meals you want), and then the Premium and Platinum– these attach some recreational activities to your package and are a bit more pricey.
You do need to note that you must buy a Disney Vacation Package if you want to add the free dining. If you are not going to stay on property, you will not be able to get the offer. This is a perk of staying in one of the Disney Resorts. Also, you need to make your reservations to the table service restaurants as soon as you can. Many restaurants book months in advance. You can start booking up to 180 days out. You can wait until the last minute, but it will be slim pickin’s. Places like Cinderella’s Royal Table book quickly, so be prepared. If needed, call (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463 everyday to see if there have been any cancellations at the time you want.
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