Hi, is the Disney Dining plan being phased out for 2014 and if so are they going to replace it with an alternative?
Get a hot dog free? Maybe, maybe not – Photo by WDW Shutterbug
Dad’s Dining Do-Si-Do Answer
First, let me clarify. I think you are talking about Free Dining being phased out, not the Disney Dining Plan, so let’s talk about that.
The folks at Walt Disney World sure have come up with an awful lot of ways to help guests save money – or at least think they’re saving money – on their family vacations. Since the Disney Dining Plan has been thrown into the discount mix, it’s been a real do-si-do of dining promotions – Free Dining and Stay Play and Dine have been offered at different times, and Dad’s here to help you make sense of it all.
The short answer is that yes, Free Dining is being phased out. But, Disney has been saying that for years, and each time it’s come back (although with more limited dates). Disney has not come out to say that they will never offer Free Dining again, but Dad thinks that Stay Play and Dine is the promotion that will eventually replace Free Dining.
Since its introduction, Free Dining has been one of the most popular promotions ever run by Walt Disney World, so Stay Play and Dine seems like a good evolution to have guest still feel like they are getting a discount on dining, while Disney keeps just a little bit more of their money. Dad’s been saying Free Dining is dead for years – and now Stay Play and Dine is just the promotion to erase it from existence.
With Free Dining, you can get the Disney Dining Plan for free with the purchase of park tickets and hotel accommodations. With Stay Play and Dine, you have to book tickets, hotel, and the Disney Dining Plan and you get a discount off the entire package.
Dad’s not the only one that thinks Disney is phasing out Free Dining. If you look in issue 2 of WDW Magazine my buddy Joe Black talks about the plans for Free Dining in 2014. (He says much the same as Dad with a possibility of a September return.)
It’s no secret that Dad doesn’t like the Disney Dining Plan, unless it’s free, and even then it might not be the best discount available to your family depending on where you like to stay and what your eating habits are. Dad’s friends at Destinations to Travel can help you look at all your options and make the best decision for your family!
Dad’s Bottom Line
Ian, the dining promotions at Walt Disney World can be confusing. Free Dining is being phased out, and it looks like Stay Play and Dine will eventually replace it – but nothing official has been announced. Whether this transformation will happen in 2014 or over a number of years remains to be seen.
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