Vacation Planning Tips & Tricks Discuss When does the free meal plan usually come out? in the Vacation Planning forums; My wife and I are planning a 9 or 10 day last hurrah at Disney for sometime in late September early October of 2009. When do they typically announce the ...
When does the free meal plan usually come out?
My wife and I are planning a 9 or 10 day last hurrah at Disney for sometime in late September early October of 2009. When do they typically announce the free meal plan? Also what all does it include and when do they usually discount the rooms? We are planning on doing this because we think we will have kids in 2010 or early 2011. Thanks again. Andy
I believe its usually announced either at the end of July or start of August. You get (I think) the Basic Dining Plan which is 1 Counter Service Meal, 1 Snack, and 1 Table Service Meal per person per day of your trip. I know plenty of people will debate me, but I used it(not free though) on my last trip in 2005 and I think it's a great idea. But that's just me
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Not sure about what the plan includes. It is very hard to predict when (or if) Disney will offer the free dining or discounted rooms. For example, normally the discounts will appear around May/June for late summer, and late July/September for early fall. Like I said, it is really unknown if Disney will offer ANY deals like this, because the deals are due to the crowd predictions for that particular time. Hope this helps!
Originally Posted by Optimus Stitch
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This deal has happened for the past three years (at least). It is definitely worth it, we saved at least $600 on food this year. Plus if you make ADRs (advanced dining reservations) you get to eat at wicked nice places that you wouldn't normally eat at for basically free, you pay the tips. For example, my family and I, 4 of us, ate at the California Grill (the best place to eat on property!) and it would have cost $350. (We gave the girl a pretty good tip).
And yes, it does include a snack, a quick service meal -- basically fast food, a drink and a dessert -- and a table service meal, per person, per day. But be careful with some tabl service meals: some of the nicer places like California Grill or Cinderella's Table cost 2 table service meals in one shot.
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Search for "Free Dining" at this MouseSavers page: MouseSavers.com - Historical Information on Walt Disney World Resort Discounts and you'll see both the dates the deal became available and what dates they were for. You can also see historical trends for room discounts.
Originally Posted by Optimus Stitch
Note that there is, of course, no guarantee that Free Dining will be offered next year, or any subsequent year. There is also no guarantee that *if* they offer Free Dining, they will offer the Basic Disney Dining Plan. They may instead offer the new Quick-Service Meal Plan.
In 2008, at least, the Free Dining Package included:
You also had the option of paying the difference in price between Basic and Deluxe Dining Plans, to upgrade your Dining to the Deluxe Plan.
- Your room reservation
- Theme park tickets for every member of your reservation (must purchase at least 1 day / 1 park, every person must purchase the same, but you can upgrade individuals' tickets later)
- Disney's Magical Express to/from the airport
- Transportation between parks and hotels.
- Some vouchers for mini-golf, Planet Hollywood Merchandise, Sea Racer time, etc. (None of them just "free" - all "buy X, get Y free")
- Luggage Tags
- Basic Disney Dining Plan:
- One table service meal per person per night of your reservation
- Entree, desert, beverage (or full buffet, depending on restaurant)
- NO Appetizer included
- Gratuity not included
- Some signature restaurants require 2 table service credits
- One counter service meal per person per night of your reservation
- Entre, dessert, beverage (or combo meal + beverage)
- One snack per person per night of your reservation
- MOST food items that cost $4 or less qualify
Hope that helps,
You guys are awesome!!! This helps a lot. I will just cross my fingers and hope for 2009.
mritty....What is that "bounceback" discount near the bottom of the link that you gave me?
We just returned last week from the World, where we went during the Free Dining Promo. My estimation, this is the best discount that WDW can offer. I figured that we saved over $1,000, because we didn't have to pay for any of our food! And we ate at some really great restaurants. If we didn't have the free dining, we would never be going to eat at these restaurants. It beats any room discounts.
The "bounceback" offer is if you go to WDW during the free dining promo (for example, this year), and in your room is a brochure saying that if you book your vacation for next year before checking out, you can have free dining again during your vacation next year.
I'm waiting on my photopass CD for my last trip before giving my post trip report. But, you can read about my planning for this trip and the free dining in my post. The link is in my signature below.
I was actually somewhat surprised to NOT see a Bounceback offer in my hotel room in September. When I did Free Dining in 2007, we did get an offer in our room, but didn't take advantage of it because we didn't know if we'd be able to come during that time in 2008. I ended up booking Free Dining again for 2008 anyway, but this time, no Bounceback offer.... <shrug>
The bounceback offers vary, can appear at any time of the year, and may not be offered in every resort. That said, if there isn't a flier on the table in your room when you arrive and you are interested in an offer, I would definitely recommend asking at the front desk about it: it is possible that housekeeping just forgot to leave the flier, or they were out of them the day they prepared your room, etc.
There was a bounceback offer earlier in the year was a discount on your room for returning Oct-December '08. In September the offer was free dining for trips in August - Oct. '09
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I already booked my trip (did this on 2/1/09) for Oct 31-Nov 6 2009. I got 7 nights at the Pop Century and & day Park Hopper passes. Do you know if they come out with the free meal plan for those dates, will I be able to take advantage of that?
I don't think the free DDP goes that late into the year HoneyLeigh. I do think that as long you book the last day of free DDP you can get it through your entire trip. So let's say the offer ends on October 4 and you are going to be there from October 4 through October 12 then you would get free DDP during that time. Anyone who knows different feel free to chime in.
I believe the free DDP is usually open in April to Disney Visa holders first and then the offer opens to the general public.
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You are correct ohiodisneydad. Good example is my last trip to WDW. The Free DDP offer ended on Sept. 20, however, we arrived on Sept. 17th and left on Sept. 28th. We still had the Free DDP through our stay.
There was a website that lists all the prior year free DDP offer dates, however, I am unable to track it down again. I'm sorry HoneyLeighLSU, I'm thinking that your trip will be after the dates of the promotion. But, I could be wrong due to the current economy and all.
Well, I guess what I'm really asking is IF they do come out with some special promotion between now and my trip, that happens to fall during the time I'm there, will I be able to to take part of it? Or will I not be able to since I already made my reservations?
This is a good excuse for me to recommend using a travel agent. They have a general idea as to when certain discounts come out, and some will even do their best to get you that discount if one comes out when you are planning on visiting. Best of all, their services are free. No cost to you.
You can use Lou's recommended travel agent, Mouse Fan Travel. I have a different travel agent that I found before I found this site. If you would like their name, please feel free to send a private message to me and I will be happy to get their information to you.