Free Dining! Free Dining! Free Dining! – PREP004

The title of this post is a recap of the subject lines of most of the emails I receive.

I have some info on who should use Free Dining and tips on making the best use of it.

I also have a couple of other tips for people wanting to use Child Swap and a room request tip for people staying at Art of Animation.

Can you use Child Swap if your child is tall?

If your child is too short or too scared to ride a ride, most rides that have a height requirement will offer a Child Swap/Rider Switch option.

To read more about how that works, check out my article on child swap.

All about Free Dining

What it is
Free Dining is a promotion typically offered in the fall. It allows people to book a hotel and tickets and get the Disney Dining Plan for free.

Since 2009, Free Dining has been offered every fall (the dates have varied). Disney has also offered it twice at the beginning of the year (January - March) and once at the end of May for 1 week.

People who book a Value Resort will get the Quick Service Dining Plan for free during Free Dining (2 Quick Service credits per night of the trip). People at Moderate and Deluxe Resorts will get the Basic Dining Plan for free (1 Table Service and 1 Quick Service credit per night of the trip).

Who should use it
Most people will benefit from using the Free Dining promotion but people staying in Deluxe Resorts will save more money by using a room-only discount (a 30% off discount is often available).

Some things you should know if you want to use Free Dining:

  • People who arrive by the last day of the promotion can usually use it for their whole trip
  • You have to book all of your Advanced Dining Reservations way in advance if you're going during a Free Dining period
  • Book your package before Free Dining is announced. After it's announced, you'll need to call ASAP to have the promotion applied to your reservation. There are only a certain number of rooms available for the promotion. Just because you have an existing reservation doesn't mean you'll be able to use Free Dining. Call ASAP to get it.
  • The best deal during Free Dining is usually for people who book a Moderate Resort and get the Basic Dining Plan
  • If Free Dining begins in the middle of your trip, you won't be able to use it unless you book 2 separate reservations (1 before Free Dining and 1 during)

Quick tip

People staying at Art of Animation can request a room that's located on an upper level with a lake view. This allows people to have a great view and it means less noise since you'll be facing away from the swimming pools and away from the lower floors where it tends to be louder.

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