Free Dining 2017 - The Rumor

Free Dining 2017 - The Rumor

by Dad
(The Office)

 

***UPDATE!!!!***FREE DINING IS HERE!!!! Free Dining was announced this morning, right on schedule.

***EDITED: Because Dad can't read a chart. Lol. (Yes, there was Free Dining in November and December 2016.)

It's finally happened. The first real Free Dining 2017 rumor is out. This one is big.

A brownie with Ice Cream would be good during Free Dining 2017

Mmmm, wouldn't that be a nice Free Dining treat? - Photo by Cliff Wang


My buddy Joe (Whispers Guide to Orlando) found this and published it last night on his Facebook page. Here's what it says -
Looks like free dining could be dropping on April 24. Minimum of 4 nights, maximum of 14, with park hopper and park hopper plus add on. Check in dates: 8/13-9/30, 11/14-11/20, 11/25-11/27, 12/3-12/23. It also appears that values AND moderates may get quick service, with regular dining only for deluxe resorts (I hope that is wrong).

I told you this is big.

Now before you get all excited, let me throw in all the normal disclaimers. This is a rumor. It's from a site that has been reasonably accurate in the past, but has not be exactly right on small details (hotels, dates, etc.).

I do think that the information is reasonable and in line with what has happened in the last couple of years. I'm not keen on the dates in November and December, but it might happen. Free Dining wasn't offered in November or December last year. ***Oops, Dad misread his notes. Yes, there was Free Dining in November and December last year. Sorry.

Oh, and NOOOOooo, DON'T, DO NOT change any plans based on the dates or information in the rumor. IT'S A RUMOR!!!!! But it is a good one that is reasonable based on what has happened through the last few years.

The Moderate part is a little disturbing. If you're staying in a Moderate Resort, you might want to check out the room discount deal that will probably come out at the same time. It might save you more money.

So, what to do now? We wait. But while you're waiting, if you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World this fall or any time this year, give my partners at Destinations to Travel a shout. Let them help you with your trip. Its always a good idea to have a friend in the travel business and Destinations to Travel is the best Disney Travel Agent friend I know.

Dad's Destinations to Travel page



 

one day free in the parks

Dad's Bottom Line

Yes, it looks like I was wrong again about Free Dining being dead. I'm good with that. I hope we all get Free Dining for all fall trips. We'll see.

 

 

Comments for Free Dining 2017 - The Rumor

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Aug 25, 2017
Free dining
by: Lois

Do they ever offer free dining in February?
What is weather like at this time?
Thanks

Dad Answers

Lois, no Free Dining is only in the fall. The weather is really nice in February. Average highs 74°, average lows 52°.

Jul 06, 2017
I have the solution for kick the middle class comment
by: Anonymous

It is expensive to take your family to DisneyWorld. I was able to take my family for free including airfare, hotel and theme park tickets. I only pay for food. Even then I go to Publix and get snacks, drinks, coldcuts, fruit, rolls, bagels and whatever cold items I can fit in a minifrig. We eat at restaurants as a special treat when we want.

Apr 25, 2017
ALL GONE
by: Anonymous

When I logged on at 9:30AM CST, there were no Free Dining Rooms available. Does that sound right? Do they go that quickly? I have 5 in a party, (4 kids actually, but one is 2), so I was wondering if that odd number was causing a problem.

Dad Answers



Yep. That's pretty much everyone's experience. Last year people were hearing everything was booked 10 minutes after it was announced.

It has nothing to do with your party.

I will say that Disney holds back some inventory and releases it during the day and over the next couple of days.

Also, not everyone pays their deposits so keep trying. You might see Free Dining available today and especially tomorrow (after the 72 hour holds expire).

Apr 25, 2017
Moderate Resort's Dining
by: Anonymous

Bummed about the moderate resorts only offering free quick service dining ... especially considering 2/4 of them are under a considerable about of renovation/construction.

Apr 25, 2017
kick The middle Class Again
by: Anonymous

We have been going to Disney every year for the past five years. Now we are not rich people and save for the year so we can take our kids on one great vacation. We have always got the free dinning plan, you know the one with one sit down so I can take my kids to a restaurant that we could not afford if we had to pay out of pocket. That plan I guess is now only going to be offered to people who stay in deluxe Disney hotels. The hotels that are so expensive it would take two or three years to pay for. I used to tell people Disney is affordable to everyone but I'm seeing soon only the rich will be able too go. Thanks Disney for cutting out the middle guy.

Apr 24, 2017
Combining offer
by: Liz

Hi. I have a room discount and Canadian ticket discount. If I book the free dining, it is not free. It adds $1500 to my trip. Is that because I lose the room and Canadian ticket discount?

Dad Answers

That's exactly right Liz. You can't combine discounts so any previous discount you might have had won't combine with Free Dining.

Also depending on when you booked you might have had a lower price. I know of a couple of instances last year where adding Free Dining was actually more than the non-discounted reservation from earlier in the year.

Apr 24, 2017
Room Only Discount
by: Anonymous

Unfortunately the Dining Promotion does not work with our dates and neither does the Room Only discount that is out right now (through Oct. 7). Do you have any idea whether Disney might offer a room only promotion that would include very early November dates?

Dad Answers

I do expect a room discount to come out, probably around August for the rest of the year. That's what happened last year.

Apr 23, 2017
Number to call?
by: Anonymous

If free dining is released tomorrow (4/24) as rumored, what number do I need to call to try to get this?

Dad's Answer



407-939-1936

Good Luck.

Apr 23, 2017
Dining plan question
by: JenaR

I currently have my Disney vacation booked for the end of September with a dining plan added on. If I cancel the dining plan now can I just add it online when the free dining promotion is offered or do I still need to call to add it to my reservations? I'd rather not spend hours on the phone if I can avoid it. Thanks!

Dad's Answer

That should work, but you'll have to try it. Disney's computers don't always work.

Apr 23, 2017
Change?
by: Daniel

Hello Dad! Is it possible to change the dates of the free dining (and room) reservation after it is made?
For example, if I reserve from December 12th to December 19th could I modify it latter on from the 12th to the 17th?
THANK YOU! IT IS APPRECIATED!

Dad's Answer

Daniel, yes you can change dates at any time. If you take away dates it shouldn't affect your Free Dining status. If you try to add dates or change dates it will.

Apr 23, 2017
Resorts
by: Naomi

Any rumors on what resorts will be excluded from the free dining offer?

Dad's Answer

No, no rumors, but it will probably follow the normal pattern. Port Orleans French Quarter for the whole time, Riverside for November and December. Art of Animation - Little Mermaid, all the 3 bedroom villas.

Those are pretty much a guarantee. There are always some others. We'll just have to wait and see what comes out in the morning.

Apr 22, 2017
free dining upgrade cost?
by: Anonymous

Was wondering if the cost to upgrade from quick service to Regular dining will increase? Especially with the possibility that the moderates will only get quick service. It would not make much sense in the case of the moderates to pay more to stay there and still have to pay to upgrade.I don't know what disney is thinking!

Dad's Answer

No, I don't see any price increase for the dining plan soon. They just had one a couple of months ago. To upgrade you'll just have to pay the difference between the two plans.

Apr 22, 2017
UK travelers
by: Anonymous

How do you think free dd will work with UK travellers ie. We want a 2 week holiday Sept 25th 17. And would like the middle dining plan but stay in the All Stars do you think this may not be free as it's a value resort? Thanks juls

Dad's Answer

You can always upgrade to a higher level plan. You just pay the difference between the quick service plan and the plan you want.

Apr 22, 2017
Room discount dates
by: Anonymous

Any good information on what the room discount dates will be?

Dad Answers

See the answer below.

Apr 22, 2017
Room discount dates
by: Anonymous

Any good information on what the room discount dates will be?

Dad's Answer

Not a clue. I'd look at the late summer discount that came out last month. It should be very similar.

Apr 22, 2017
Free dining or room only discount
by: Jen

Do you know when they will leak the discounts? Was hoping to try to figure out which way is going to be cheaper for us. Currently booked at Coronado springs. However the rumor is quick service dining. We would like to upgrade to the deluxe dining plan in hopes that the room only discount will give us a better deal? Any ideas what the room discount will be for Coronado Springs?

Dad's Answer

Usually the room discount doesn't get leaked. My guess is that you'll probably see 15% discount on moderate resorts.

Apr 22, 2017
UK availability?
by: Uk0290

Hello,
Does this offer normally extend to people holidaying from the uk?
Thanks

Dad's Answer

Free Dining is typically offered to UK visitors late in the year for the next year.

Apr 22, 2017
Minimum ticket purchase for Free Dining?
by: JenniferB

I see that there is a minimum stay (4 days) for free dining. But, do you know how many days of tickets we would be required to purchase? (I'm comparing prices.)

Dad Answers

Jennifer,

No, we won't know until the details are released, but my guess would be 3 days if the 4 night minimum is required. Last year it was 3 nights and 2 day tickets.

Apr 21, 2017
Modify Reservation
by: Anonymous

If I just want to modify my reservation to add the free dining promo to it do you know what time I can do this online?

Dad Answers

Usually it's 7am Eastern.

Apr 21, 2017
Passholders
by: Anonymous

Any idea if Disney will allow annual passholders to get the free dining plan? We used to be able to get it but they seem to be taking more and more AWAY from annual passholders

Dad's Answer

Annual Passholders can get the Free Dining but they will have to buy the minimum tickets that are required for the discount. That's the way it's always been. Tickets are a requirement of the discount, but there is nothing that keeps Annual Passholders from buying tickets and getting the discount.

Of course, it usually makes more sense for a Passholder to go with the room discount since they already have tickets. The room discount would probably be the bigger savings, but there might be a situation where it makes sense to buy the tickets and get Free Dining.

Apr 21, 2017
Blackout dates
by: Anonymous

I noticed your comment about true Blackout dates, however last year free dining was offered Nov 26-28. We checked in Nov 26 and stayed through Dec 5 and received free dining for the entire 9 nights.

Apr 20, 2017
Free Dining
by: Anonymous

Is there a time of day Disney usually releases free dining? Heading there is fall and want to be prepared Monday if that is the day it's released! Thanks so much!

Dad Answers

Be ready Monday, April 24th at 7am Eastern.

Apr 20, 2017
Park Hopper and Park Hopper +?
by: JennyE

To get the free dining, do you have to purchase both the Park Hopper and Park Hopper +?

Dad Answers

JennyE, we don't know yet. I'm now convinced that Free Dining will be announced on Monday, but any details are yet to come. Disney has changed details the last minute so until we get the specifics from Disney (on Monday) we won't know for sure.

Apr 19, 2017
free dining with ADR'S already booked
by: Anonymous

If I have already booked a package (hotel, tickets, and park hopper) and I have made all of our ADR'S will I be able to modify it online and add free dining or will I have to call in to have this done? I don't want to lose my ADR's and I don't have the dining package added to my reservation. Thanks so much for your advice!

Dad's Answer

You should be able to modify it online.

Apr 19, 2017
Free dining at CBR
by: Anonymous

We are booked for august at Caribbean Beach.We booked it in February.we were also sent an email stating that we would be receiving the gift card due to the construction. Do you think they would not honor that if we added free dining? I don't think it would be wise because most people would cancel and stay at a value or just switch to another moderate. Wouldn't seem right that other moderates would receive free dining and not have to deal with the inconvenience that guests at CBR will experience.That's what the gift card was for to compensate for the mess and inconvenience!

Dad's Answer

There are probably 2 options. One is to honor them and give Free Dining. The other would be to say you only get to keep the gift cards if you don't modify your reservation.

My guess is they'll honor the gift cards as long as you keep the same reservation. But if you cancel and rebook, you'll lose the gift cards.

They did quit giving out the gift cards to new reservations right before the summer promotion came out, but I didn't hear anything about cards being withdrawn if you changed your reservation.

Apr 19, 2017
Will we get promotion our entire tirp
by: Anonymous

We are planning out trip for 9/28-10/4. If free dining is blacked out the month of October, will we still get the free dining our entire trip if we check in during the promotion dates or will we just get it a portion of our trip? This is IF the dates are what they are rumored to be. Thanks!

Dad's Answer

Last year Disney made the blackout dates true blackout dates. The old the promotion is based on when you check in policy doesn't apply any more.

Apr 19, 2017
Modify Existing Reservation
by: Anonymous

We have reservations for December. If Free Dining is released for my dates can I not modify my reservation online? There is an option under my reservation number that offers a change to reservation or cancel a reservation. Thank you!

Dad's Answer

Yes, you should be able to modify your reservation and get the promotion applied.

Apr 19, 2017
Please Tell Me
by: Concerned Now

We've booked out trip for September already with the dining plan included. We have just about paid the allocated cost of the trip, lacking about $200. No promotion has been released for the fall yet, however we hope to get Free Dining or savings on our resort-- which ever is the biggest savings. Once the promotion is released, how will we get our refund of the difference if its more than the balance we owe now? I hope this makes sense.

Dad's Answer

Disney will refund any overpayment. They do it all the time.

Apr 18, 2017
Caribbean Beach
by: Anonymous

Do you think CB will be excluded from free dining since they are giving 75.00 per night extra due to refurbishments? I would then probably change my hotell. Also I think not offering the 1quick 1 table 2 snacks per day will be a big disappointment.

Dad's Answer

That's a really good question which I could just speculate on, but I don't know. My guess is it will not be excluded, but if you take Free Dining you give up the $75 gift card. That's just a guess.

Apr 18, 2017
What excluded hotels?
by: Anonymous

What hotels might be excluded?

Dad's Answer

Probably the Port Orleans French Quarter for the whole time, Riverside for some of the time. The Art of Animation Little Mermaid rooms are always excluded along with all the 3-bedroom villas. The Bungalows at the Polynesian, and the new waters edge villas at The Wilderness Lodge.

With the construction at Coronado Springs and Caribbean Beach Resort it's kind of a tossup if they will be excluded.

There will probably be a few more but we'll just have to wait and see.

Apr 18, 2017
Free Dining Requirements
by: Anonymous

How sure is the rumor that it's a 4 night minimum? I am planning on a 3 night for a quick trip and just wondering!

Thanks.

Dad Answers

While it's just a rumor, the 4-night minimum would make sense. That's what it's been for several years.

Apr 17, 2017
Cost of Upgrading Your Free Dining Plan?
by: Anonymous

We have reservations for mid-September for Coronado Springs which is a moderate level resort and in the past has come with the 1 QS and 1 TS meal per person per day plus snacks. If this rumor is true and now they are going to give us 2 QS meals and snacks, what would it cost to upgrade to the plan with 1 QS and 1 TS plus snacks?

Dad's Answer

You pay the difference between the Quick Service and the regular plan. About $21 for adult and $4 per child.

Apr 17, 2017
Room Only Discount
by: Michelle

If the Free Dining Fall 2017 promotion excludes our dates of travel, does the Room Only discount have the same black out dates? For example, if we are traveling November 1, 2017, and that date is excluded from the Free Dining promo, is there a chance we might qualify for the Room Only discount?

Dad's Answer

Yes, there is a good chance that you will be able to get a room discount. There weren't any "black out" dates published on the fall room discounts last year. Availability might be an issue though.

Apr 17, 2017
Link
by: Anonymous

If you do a Google (or other) search for Disney Free Dining 2016, look on the Disney link. It's not active, BUT it has the dates for 2017 with the exception of the possible CC added dates.

Apr 17, 2017
To book or wait?
by: Anonymous

I just want a second opinion- my TA suggested I WAIT to book when/IF the free dining comes out rather than booking something now and having it changed. I get the logic of everyone booking now- then Disney won't see the need to fill those rooms and less FD will be offered- but also worried I won't get what I want. I just don't know what to do!

Dad Answers

This is one of those 6 of one half a dozen of the other things. It's pretty much the same process at this point. If you book now, you will have to get in touch with Disney to change your booking (your travel agent will) next week. If you wait and book you will have to get in touch with Disney for the booking.

The chances of getting Free Dining won't change.

As to less FD will be offered, that's a myth that's been going around for years. Disney already knows the inventory they are going to give to Free Dining and a few more reservations isn't going to change anything.

Apr 17, 2017
question about dates
by: Anonymous

Question if we planning on arriving Nov.12th and the free dinning comes out for dates between say nov.14th -24th would we qualify because the 14th falls in our trip or we would we have to check in on the 14th.

Dad Answers,

Promotions are based on check in date. So you would either have to check in on the 14th or get a new reservation starting on the 14th.

Apr 17, 2017
How room discount can be better than free dining
by: Anonymous

If you are 1 adult and 1 child and 1 baby in a high-end room, the room discount will probably work out better financially.The higher your room cost and the lower your number of people per room, the more likely room discount will make the most financial sense.

e.g. Room cost $450 a night. 1 adult 2 kids.
Dining Plan value = $95 per night (rounded figures).


25% discount on a $450 room is $112 saving.

Then factor in the extra cost of adding Park Hopper to your park tickets (requirement of free dining) if you weren't previously going to, and it's easy to see how a room discount would be the better value.You also have to consider that without the dining plan, you may do less table Service meals which equates to less out of pocket expense in gratuities.

Compare that to the price you could get from a TA for room and tickets, and you would probably save even more.

Then there's people with Annual Passes who wouldn't be buying 4 day park hopper tickets anyway.

Lots of reasons the free dining may not be viable for many.


But my scenario - 3 Disney adults in a room of value $240, even the QS plan (3 x $49 = $147)
is worth more than a 25% room discount (not usually offered for moderate rooms anyway, more like 15%) which is only $60. Even having to add in Park Hopper (which we were going to anyway) this still works out better for us than a room only discount. Plus we plan on lots of Table Service experiences, so we can justify the cost of upgrading from QS to TS dining plan (especially with the bonus $75 gift cards to cover other costs we would be paying like gratuities and souvenirs).

Apr 16, 2017
Free dining compared to room discounts
by: Anonymous

How would the room discounts possibly be more than the free dining. Help me on this one. In the past we've only had the dining plan free. I have nothing to compare it to at this point
Thanks

Apr 16, 2017
Free dining question
by: Anonymous

If we apply free dining to our existing reservation do we lose our existing dining reservations?

Dad Answers

Not at all. As long as your reservation number doesn't change, your existing ADR's will be fine.

Apr 15, 2017
Not yet?
by: Anonymous

I just called Disney today - they said no free dining has been released yet :( Were very new at this (first Disney vacation last year - and loved it!) - Should we book our plans without the dining plan and wait for it, or wait for the plan to come out? We travel in the fall.

Dad Answers

Disney is correct. Nothing has been released yet and for all we know Free Dining won't be part of the fall discounts. We think it will, but there's nothing for sure until Disney announces it.

I would go ahead and book your trip with the Dining Plan. It doesn't matter. It can be taken off later if Free Dining isn't released.

Also, being new, I HIGHLY recommend you get in touch with our partners at Destinations to Travel. They will help you with your whole trip.

Apr 15, 2017
Combine with CBR Gift Card
by: Anonymous

Any rumors if you can combine with the CBR gift card offer? We are booked with a nov 26 checkin. Wondering if they will allow us to combine free dining with the gift card offer.

Dad Answers

I can't say for sure, but my guess is, because Disney cut off the CBR gift card right before the last discount came out the answer will be no.

Apr 15, 2017
Hopper +?
by: Melissa

Does this mean we need to upgrade from park hoppers to park hopper +?

Dad's Answer

I wouldn't do anything yet. When the details come out, figure out what you have to do and give Disney a call.

Apr 15, 2017
Fall discounts
by: Anonymous

Do you have any idea what the regular fall discounts will be and when they will be released? Free dining is not during the time I will be going to WDW.

Dad's Answer

Usually the room discount is released at the same time.

Apr 15, 2017
Free dining
by: Anonymous

Free dining was offered in November and December last year, my wife and I were there November 26 to December 3 2016

Apr 14, 2017
What time on the 24th?
by: Amie

Hi, I am patiently waiting for free dining. If the Rumor is true, when do they typically release or announce it? 7 am on the 24th -- for example? or should i be ready when it turns midnight?
Also, do i need to call and add the dining to my existing reservation or can I do it online? Thanks!

Dad's Answer

You will have to call Disney to get Free Dining applied to your reservation when/if it happens. You can add the DDP then. To get it online you'd have to cancel and rebook.

Apr 14, 2017
GREAT!
by: Daniel

Thank you Dad for the advance notice. We took the free dining plan last December and it was really worth it. First of all we found that it was worth it price wise compared to what we would have spent on food without it. And we could also splurge by choosing more expensive food items than we would have normally taken. It is also very convenient.

Apr 14, 2017
You should check your facts before posting
by: Anonymous

Free dining was available in 2016 in Nov and December.
August 23* – October 1, 2016
November 15 – November 21, 2016
November 26 – November 28, 2016
December 10 – December 21, 2016

Dad's Answer

I checked it 3 times but misread it every time. Lol. Sorry. I've changed the post.

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