by Daniel Hind
(Northwich, Cheshire, UK)
We’re planning to go to WDW in October 2021 and I just wanted to check when we can make our reservation
Also, as we live in the UK we were looking to benefit from the free Dining package. If we book before the offer is available will the offer automatically apply once it’s released?
You get a Head Start
In the US and Canada, Disney’s reservation system allows for room only reservations to be made 499 days in advance of arrival. You won’t be able to book that online, but that’s the earliest you can book. If you work booking for October 1st, that would be May 20, 2020 (a very nice round number).
Disney starts booking packages for the next year in mid-June. For example, 2020 packages will be available on June 18, 2019. That’s in the US.
I’m not as familiar with international bookings, but from what I read, packages are usually released sometime in April the year before. So you get a head start.
About that Free Dining Thing
I’m not going to say Free Dining is dead. I’ve done that a few times in the past and have yet to be correct. That being said, I can say without any fear of being wrong, and you can quote me on this, “Free Dining will NOT be offered to anyone in October 2021”.
October 1, 2021 is the 50th anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World. It’s going to be one of the biggest celebrations that has ever happened at Disney World. All of the new construction currently happening is aimed at the 50th celebration.
October is already one of the busiest months of the year. It’s very rare these days to see any discount in October, much less Free Dining. Sometimes discounts will sneak into the first couple of days of the month, but it won’t in 2021.
October 1st, 2021 might be as busy as Christmas Day. I know I’ll be there just for the celebration.
Free Dining is not going to happen in October 2021, I don’t care where you live.
Disney NEVER automatically applies discounts. Once you book a package, it’s up to you to call and ask for the discount.
This is one of the big reasons we recommend our travel partner, Destinations to Travel. They monitor every reservation to see if a discount can be applied and work hard to get it for you.
This year when Free Dining was offered in the US, they were able to secure it for ALL of their eligible clients. That’s incredible.
I always recommend the use of a good Disney Travel Agent, and Destinations to Travel is a GREAT Disney Travel Agency. You might want to give them a shout.
Dad’s Bottom Line
Dan, the bottom line is, you should be able to book your trip in April, but you won’t get Free Dining. Sorry.
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