Walt Disney World Free Dining Offer Returns for 2017 with Major Changes for Moderate Resort Stays

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The annual Walt Disney World Resort “free dining package” offering will return in 2017, but not quite as it existed in 2016.

The special package has been quite popular since it was introduced several years ago, but continues to become less and less of a value compared to many special room-only rates guests can find for Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

In 2017, guests booking a Moderate resort stay will now only be receiving free Quick Service Dining, rather than the Disney Dining Plan which includes table service meals. The table service plan will only be “free” to those booking a Deluxe resort.

In order to get the deal, guests must book a minimum 3-night-stay with 2 days of Park Hopper or Park Hopper+ tickets. Booking for the package will not open until tomorrow, Monday, April 24th, 2017. Available travel dates will be between August 21st (beginning August 13th for Disney Visa Cardholders and Canadian guests) and September 30th, 2017, as well as select dates between November 14th through December 23rd.

To book a stay with Free Dining, contact our friends at Magical Travel at 1-866-207-8387 or MagicalTravel.com and tell them you are a reader of WDWNT.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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Brian Guy
Guest
Brian Guy

AP holders shut out again. At least the room-only summer discounts aren’t awful.

Holly
Guest
Holly

Well, this is rumor at this point since it hasn’t been released, HOWEVER, historically passholders have in the past ALWAYS had the option of adding the minimum ticket to their package, NOT using it, and when it comes time to renew their pass, use that ticket TOWARDS the cost of the pass,,,,,,,,,so they are not “left out”

Wren Ry
Guest
Wren Ry

I never thought about that, do you activate the ticket first?

Robbin
Guest
Robbin

I’m guessing no! If you activate it it will expire in 14 days

Ellie
Guest
Ellie

I thought I had heard that APs become active upon purchase now. Maybe that’s just renewals????

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

AP holders should buy the required multi-day ticket. Then when it comes time to renew, they should use that ticket to enter the park, and then at that point use it to upgrade to a new AP. By using it once, the ticket is “bridged” to the current ticket pricing, instead of what you paid for it. For example, 5-day ticket costs $370 today and you purchase it. Then 6 months from now Disney prices are raised to where that same 5-day ticket costs $389. If 1 year from now you want to renew your AP and use this 5-day… Read more »

Christine
Guest
Christine

I am also curious about this as I am an AP. The cost of the two days +PH add on will be deducted from my Annual Pass Renewal? How when I go to the Parks does my Magic Band know whether or not I am using my AP days for that visit or the using the park tickets? My renewal for AP is in March and I can’t renew in December.

Bobbi Schmidt
Guest
Bobbi Schmidt

I have to renew my AP in October. I added Parkhopper Tickets to my package and used my Chase Visa. That way I can use the tickets to pay for part of my AP over 6 months while paying for my package! You need to go to Guest Relations or your Concierge Desk at the Disney Resort to have them use your AP first, as it is loaded on your Magic Band to be used behind any tickets purchased.

Terry Ann Alexander
Guest
Terry Ann Alexander

Call 407 939 7765- Internet help. They “Prioritize”
the tickets so the correct one gets used first.”

Audrey Wolfe
Guest
Audrey Wolfe

I get a tongue lashing when I attempt to use the 2-day toward my annual pass. Disney Cast Member has documented my file saying that my 2016 renewal will be the last they will do that. I don’t see why. It hasn’t been used, I’m not asking for a refund, so just apply it to the renewal. Geezee how difficult can it be.

I hope you have better luck than I did.

Sara
Guest
Sara

Have you heard anything about resort only discounts being offered?

Will
Guest
Will

At what time does this become available on the Disney site?

Mary
Guest
Mary

Nothing for the Values? Or did I miss something?

Keshia Thornton
Guest
Keshia Thornton

So does this mean that the actual cost will increase on the backend to include this “free dining” offer?? And again, no special deal for AP. As an AP, I should t have to but a ticket just to get a deal. There should be special provisions for AP’s, even additional ines who have been loyal 10+ year AP. JS

Kenny B
Guest
Kenny B

We looked at the free dining versus annual pass discount and our annual pass discount was a better deal than the free dining, but then again this was a couple of years ago.

Irishmom68
Guest
Irishmom68

This is no bargain, you have to purchase the pricier Park Hoppers, and usually no deal on the room, so in fact you are paying more to get food included. People are so dumb.

Megan
Guest
Megan

Sorry, but I’m not “dumb” and for our family it’s a huge bargain. Free dining saves our family of 5 over $2300 for a week-long stay. We would never save that amount with a room discount and would have the added cost for meals.
I realize that free dining does not benefit everyone, but it really is a great deal for some.

Pat
Guest
Pat

If you’ve got a big family, it can be a great deal. In 2015, we did Christmas week stay in an Art of Animation suite for our family of six adults. Free dining for six and no extra adult fees in a suite. we always get hoopers, so no issue there. We did upgrade to the regular dining plan, but our cost was about $1,050 each for six nights Christmas week with hoppers and dining.

A
Guest
A

How did you qualify for Christmas week if the promotion ends Dec. 23? We go every Christmas but haven’t been able to take advantage because the promotion ends a day or so before we arrive.

Imani
Guest
Imani

Precisely!

Terry
Guest
Terry

Megan – You certainly are a wise shopper. Only a non-educated about the all the aspects of your trip person would think free dining is dumb. how can saving any amount of money be dumb?

Amy Ullman
Guest
Amy Ullman

I agree, the free dining helps our family of 6 out.

Audrey Wolfe
Guest
Audrey Wolfe

Megan, I agree. When my family of 9 goes and we stay for 10 days, it saves us thousands and we wouldn’t get that with a room discount. When my husband and I go, I don’t buy the dining plan and we pay as we go with the AP discount.

Joella
Guest
Joella

My family also. Great deal for us!

Kathie
Guest
Kathie

It’s not dumb. It’s during value season so the rooms are generally less expensive to start it’s. If you have a family of four, not having to pay for the dining plan for each person usually works out to be cheaper than a room discount. However, the tables could turn a little this year if you have to stay deluxe to get it.

NJmom64
Guest
NJmom64

Irishmom- We buy hoppers anyway. Surely not for all but free dining for our family of 5 adults in a deluxe IS the best discount. (one TS meal, one CS meal, + snack credits which we use as breakfast. Avg savings- $30 + $20 + $10 =$60/day x 5 persons = $300/day out of pocket for food if no free dining) WHICH room only discount saves you $300/night off the rack rate of a single deluxe room? Do the math please before calling others “dumb”…. or else you end up looking like the one who is not-so-smart.

Kari
Guest
Kari

DVC members out too

RebeccaMcK
Guest
RebeccaMcK

DVC members never get Free Dining because they’re already saving on hotel stays by using their points. That is, if they’re staying in DVC resorts. I sometimes do a quick trip and stay at a value resort and just pay to upgrade the free dining package to the tier that includes TS meals. Usually it’s a time when I’m out of DVC points or they’re already booked for another time.

Claire
Guest
Claire

I thought moderates only get ‘free QS dining’ and you have to upgrade to DDP anyway?

Cara Varela
Guest
Cara Varela

No, we’ve done free dining the past 7 years or so and have always gotten the regular dining plan free when staying at CSR or CBR.

Amber
Guest
Amber

They are changing that this year. You now get the qsdp with values and mods. Ddp with deluxe.

Jen
Guest
Jen

If you stay at moderate, can you upgrade for a smaller fee to the table service plan?

Pat
Guest
Pat

Yes

Jen
Guest
Jen

Do you know what the fees are for the upgrade?

Kathie
Guest
Kathie

The fee to upgrade is the difference between the two plans.

Wisney Dorld Guest Relations
Guest
Wisney Dorld Guest Relations

One milliony billiony gazilliondidy and 99 cents

Disney Fan
Guest
Disney Fan

Jen its $20 a day per adult and 3.49 per day child. 2 years ago moderate had free table and not forced to buy park hoppers. Free dining is really on par with some of discounts now since the added cost

Angela
Guest
Angela

Disney wants you to pay more and more but you get less and less. This will probably be our last time going.

Terry
Guest
Terry

Good. Fewer people in the parks for my family to deal with.
Everything is going up.
Disney is allowed to and needs to make a profit.
They never opened a park with the intention of losing money.

Terry
Guest
Terry

Write it down. I make concessions in other place in my life to do things like Disney.
If you can’t afford it, down be a hater for those of us who can.
Just don’t go. Don’t follow these boards.
Either way, go away.

Amy Ullman
Guest
Amy Ullman

Point said, good job. I am still going

Dude
Guest
Dude

Cool story bro

Disney Pete
Guest
Disney Pete

Oh, count at me throwing a big party when Disney outprices you and I can still go

Terry's BFF
Guest
Terry's BFF

That is so rude and uncalled for. Terry has lots of friends… wait sorry I misspoke. Cats, Terry has lots of cats

Kim
Guest
Kim

My family of Four visited in 2015 in September. We initially were looking for a Moderate Resort but there wasn’t anything available that we wanted, so we settled on a Value Resort and upgraded our meal plan to include table service. We have been waiting for the Free Dining offer for this September/2017. So if this is true we know will have to upgrade to a Deluxe Resort Free Meal Plan in order to get Table Service. Many people plan their vacations to Disney during the off season to get the savings from the Free Dining Plan. I figure Disney… Read more »

Disney Fan
Guest
Disney Fan

I agree Angela. 2 years ago the free dining was a great deal now it will cost a family of 3 $425-500 more dollars than a couple of years ago. Thats a big jump

Vikki
Guest
Vikki

As I’ve always said, “Free dining is not free.”

Terry
Guest
Terry

It is free if you intended to buy or already booked more than the minimum nights stay and park hoppers. We love free dining.

Free Dining
Guest
Free Dining

Well I hate you Terry, you’re rude to the wait staff and then you don’t leave a tip. Go get a piece of the all day dining at Seaworld, she’s desperate for anyone.

Sofia K
Guest
Sofia K

I wish they would give free dining around early summer. June July. They are giving free dining when crowds are lower and kids go back to school. No fair. It’s never around the time my family can go. I’ve never received the free dining ☹️I know they need more people to come at those times. But still no fair

Hmm
Guest
Hmm

Literally the only reason it exists is for that slow time after summer.

Sofia K
Guest
Sofia K

I get it. I know they do it around slow time to generate more crowds. Wish they could throw a bone out every once in awhile. Even maybe not free. But a discounted dining plan. I mean right now we are going in July and have not purchased a dining plan. Nor do we ever purchase a dining plan because we spend less on food than the price of a dining plan. But… for a discounted price. We would actually consider it as I’m sure many others would too. And Disney would still be ahead. Because instead of me not… Read more »

The Voice of Reason
Guest
The Voice of Reason

No offense Sofia, but your comment is basically what’s wrong with society. “Come on Disney, give me something! Other people are getting something at a completely different time and based on a completely different business model, but it’s not fair and I want it too!” Just because you pay for tickets and room doesn’t entitle you to free food. You’re choosing to come at the busiest time of the year and then acting offended or cheated that Disney isn’t “giving” you stuff. In all seriousness, why would Disney, or any business, offer up financial incentives when there is absolutely no… Read more »

dani
Guest
dani

I am going in June, staying at POP and got the QS summer meal deal. It was a nice surprise. I fully expected room discounts to be a better deal when they came out, but the room discounts were minimal. We will miss the DDP this trip a little, but it is a little more relaxing not to have to feel like we have to have a table service meal for each day of our 12 days.

Good luck to those trying to book it!!

Clay
Guest
Clay

What time can we start booking tomorrow?

Wisney Dorld Guest Relations
Guest
Wisney Dorld Guest Relations

Midnight:30

Jen
Guest
Jen

Shout out to the jerk calling people dumb. I can add and subtract just fine and free dining saves us over $1500 even after the cost for the hopper, which we will now utilize. Have a magical day.

Terry
Guest
Terry

Exactly. Love the Disney haters.
Stay away from Disney.
More room and shorter lines for those who go.

Disney Fan
Guest
Disney Fan

How many people in your party for $1500 worth of savings? Which hotel are you staying at?

rosemary
Guest
rosemary

Any ideas what resorts will be excluded in the deal? I know in recent years certain resorts have been excluded, and I would love to get an idea of what my options are as far as Value resorts go. Thanks :)

Annie Keane
Guest
Annie Keane

I just feel as though Disney is costing us more and more. We usually stay at the moderate resorts and used the free dining plans many times. We like the sit down option for dining and often use the double meals for the signature dining options. If it now only comes with quick serve, it isn’t worth it.

Craig Jones
Guest
Craig Jones

Bye Felicia

Karen
Guest
Karen

What time do phone lines open? Can I call before then to get in sequence?

Carthy15
Guest
Carthy15

We already reserved CBR in December during the free dining proposed dates. Does anyone know how many days I have to buy tickets for? We are staying for 6 days/5 nights, but won’t be flying in until 5 pm that first day. I am aware that they have to be park hopper, but just not sure if I have to get a ticket for that first day when we may not make it to the parks.

RebeccaMcK
Guest
RebeccaMcK

You just need a Park Hopper ticket for each person in the group for a minimum of 3 days, and if the free dining dates fall on any of your days you get it for the whole trip (free dining depends on the # of nights spent at hotel, not in the parks). You don’t need a park entry ticket for each day of the trip, but you do for at least 3 days to qualify for the deal). We tend to not go into a park on our arrival day either. And the unused meals or snacks from the… Read more »

RebeccaMcK
Guest
RebeccaMcK

Also, I realize DisneyQuest will be closed already when the Free Dining happens (it closes in July, for good) – was just using it as an example because it’s part of the Park Hopper Plus options right now.

EJ
Guest
EJ

Your Park Hopper Plus info is COMPLETELY UNTRUE. Those water park/ mini golf/ Disney Quest passes DO NOT have to be used on the same day as the theme parks. YOU CAN buy 4 day park hopper plus tickets and spend 4 days hopping at the theme parks, a 5th day at Blizzard Beach, 6th day at Typhoon Lagoon, 7th day at Disney Quest, and do a round of mini golf on day 8 for example. The “plus” add ons go by number of visits and can be used on any day you choose within 14 days of first ticket… Read more »

RebeccaMcK
Guest
RebeccaMcK

Okay, thank you. Did not know. Just figured number of days on the ticket was number of days, period.

RebeccaMcK
Guest
RebeccaMcK

I already replied, but here’s a P.S.: I know I asked at the front desk of the Grand Floridian when we checked in last December about the add-on when it was “Water Parks & More” and they told me what I described already, that we had to go into DQ or the water park on a day included in the # of days on our tickets. Maybe it has changed NOW with the new Park Hopper Plus rules, but DISNEY told us what I described before. So it wasn’t COMPLETELY UNTRUE as you said. It was a DVC check-in person… Read more »

EJ
Guest
EJ

The way the water park add on works has not changed. Back when it was the Water Park Fun and More option, you could go on separate days than the theme parks. I did this in 2009. I had 5 day water park fun and more tickets and spent 5 days in the theme parks, went to the water parks on 4 separate days and disney quest on another separate day. I actually called Disney myself in February of this year to confirm that this was still the policy after two travel agents told me I had to go on… Read more »

Chrissy moye
Guest
Chrissy moye

I heard Disney quest just closed.

RebeccaMcK
Guest
RebeccaMcK

It’s closing July 3rd.

Audrey Wolfe
Guest
Audrey Wolfe

Two days

Jen
Guest
Jen

Man, I can’t unfollow this thread fast enough. What a bunch of Negative Nancy’s. I have no idea why anyone would begrudge another a Disney vacation because they are too poor to afford it without discounts. Im not a fan of entitlement at any pay grade. We are all lucky to be able to give our kids these experiences as some never can. Being hateful, rude, and judgmental is not a good look for any of you. Sending love and pixie dust to everyone just trying to plan a beautiful memory for their families. And I’m not even touching the… Read more »

Mary Lynn minnich
Guest
Mary Lynn minnich

you are very rude