Disney’s Free Dining Discount

This week the annual promotion for Disney’s Free Dining Discount was announced.  The discount applies to vacations taken in the fall and require a 3 night stay with park tickets, and new this year, a park hopper pass.

You’ll often hear people say that this isn’t a discount at all and that you’re better off going with a room only discount.  And that can be very true.  If you’re staying at a Deluxe or a Moderate resort for a longer time, you will save more money by doing a room only discount.   However, that’s not always true!  I’m here to show you how our family saves with the Free Dining Discount!

First, we try to visit Walt Disney World Resort as often as we can, so we try to save as much money as we can!  That means we often stay at the Value resorts.  Value resorts room only discount is 15%.  The Free Dining Plan that’s offered would be Disney’s Quick-Service Dining.

I priced out a November vacation.  November 17th-20th.  So the minimum 3 night stay required.  The cost at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort for our family was $1,494.09.  That includes 4 day park tickets with park hoppers and includes the Disney’s Quick-Service Dining plan at no extra cost.

Next, I calculated what I’d save if I just did the room only discount of 15%.  My total came to $1,444.26.  That’s right.  I saved $50.  And that does NOT include the Disney’s Quick-Service Dining plan which means we’d be paying for our meals and snacks out of pocket.  With a family of three that qualify for free dining, that means we’d have to spend less than $2.70 a meal to save money!  That’s not going to happen!

Clearly the Free Dining promotion saves us a lot of money in this situation!  That means more Mickey shaped treats for everyone!!

Main Street Confectionary free treats

Now what about a Moderate resort?  I priced out the same scenario but staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.  The price with the free dining promotion (which at a Moderate resort includes the Disney Dining plan and sit down meals!) is $1,772.79.  With the room only discount of 20% for Moderate resorts, that vacation total was $1,650.61.  Saving us $122.  That’s still less than $6.75 a meal that we’d have to spend to save money!  And that also means no meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table!

Cinderella's Royal Table Magic Wands

So what does this all mean?  If you’re planning a shorter trip to Disney and you’re staying at a Value or a Moderate resort, the free dining promotion is for you!  Enjoy carefree meals with extra dessert and Mickey Ice Cream bars!

3 thoughts on “Disney’s Free Dining Discount

  1. So, how would this work out if a hypothetical family was camping at Fort Wilderness for, say a week…………………..

    • Good question! The Campgrounds are excluded from the free dining discount (and most other discounts that Disney offers), however the nightly rate for a campsite is about $30 a day less than the cheapest Value Resort so you’ll save money there!

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