Free Dining worth it? + maximizing Extra Magic Hours – PREP086

Lots of people get excited about the possibility of Free Dining for their trips, but what if it's not the best deal? I've got info today on who usually saves more by using Free Dining and who doesn't.

I also have a quick tip about maximizing Extra Magic Hours (including which attractions are open at each park).

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

Become a WDW Prep To Go Patron

WDW Prep To Go Patrons pay a little to unlock even more content than what’s on the main podcast feed, such as a private FB Group and exclusive audio that’s released on a private podcast feed.
Become a Patron Now

Is Free Dining worth it?

With the regular/basic Disney Dining Plan costing $60/day for adults and $19/day for kids 3-9, sometimes the room-only discounts work out better than Free Dining (when/if it's available).

In addition, not everybody eats the same amount of food provided on the Disney Dining Plan so paying out-of-pocket and using a room-only discount might make more sense.

For people who do eat the amount of food provided with Disney Dining Plan credits, here's what promotion usually makes the most sense during times when Free Dining is offered:

  • Families/groups of 5 - Free Dining is usually the better deal no matter where you stay
  • Families/groups of 3 or 4 - Free Dining is usually the better deal unless staying at 1 of the more expensive Deluxe Resorts
  • Families/groups of 1 or 2 - Free Dining is usually the better deal at Value and Moderate Resorts, but the room-only discount will save more at Deluxe Resorts

If Free Dining is announced, be sure to listen to my podcast about preparing for Free Dining and check out my charts on maximizing Disney Dining Plan credits.

Recent news

  • Beginning on April 20, a new bus route from Magic Kingdom to Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue and Mickey's Backyard BBQ is being tested.
  • The Sounds Like Summer concert series (which runs from June 7 - July 25) lineup has been announced.

Quick tip of the day

Brittany called in with a tip that not all Extra Magic Hours are as valuable as others, as she found out when visiting Epcot during a morning Extra Magic Hour.

Here's what's open during AM and PM EMH. Pin it or save to your phone to have as a reference later.

Have a quick tip of your own? Call it in at

Subscribe to get new episodes

There are a few ways to get new episodes of WDW Prep To Go (if you're used to listening on the website, subscribe so you can take new episodes with you on your phone)

Ready to book a trip for 2019?

The handpicked team of agents at Perfect Story Travel can help you out. Fill out the info below to get started.


  1. Janiejaneo April 27, 2015 Reply
  2. Brianna Rhodes April 27, 2015 Reply
  3. Tracy April 21, 2015 Reply
  4. Adrian April 20, 2015 Reply
  5. TJM April 20, 2015 Reply
    • Shannon Albert April 20, 2015
    • TJM April 20, 2015

Leave a Reply