How Does Free Dining Effect Your Planning?

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Kristen K.'s picture
Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 23803
How Does Free Dining Effect Your Planning?

Does Free Dining make a difference when you plan your Disney vacations? For years Disney has said that they will be eliminating it. How would it change your travel plans if/when it's no longer available?

Kat's picture
Joined: 05/05/2012
Posts: 395

I've never traveled with Free Dining or the dining plan, simply because I don't really eat a way that the Dining Plan would be beneficial--I rarely get soft drinks, desserts, etc.; the dishes I like are never the most expensive on the menu; sometimes I'll just eat an appetizer for dinner, etc. Because of this, it wouldn't hurt me any for these promotions to stop--I'd rather go for a different discount, like a room-only (that's the one I'm traveling on this time and it's saved me quite a bit, yay!).


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Joined: 10/29/2009
Posts: 1905

It does not effect our planning either. If we are staying DVC it is not offered and if we are not stayng DVC we would much rather have the room only discount.

Allie's picture
Joined: 06/26/2012
Posts: 5477

Doesn't affect me at all. We don't do the dining plan simply because it doesn't fit our eating style. DH and I will often split an appetizer and entree and feel totally satisfied. Plus we are not people that need a dessert with every meal. I'd rather have a room discount, personally.

finngirl's picture
Joined: 04/11/2012
Posts: 1072

Free dining has never been offered for us - last fall we missed it by 2 weeks. Considering the way we eat, I'd rather get a room discount. We don't like desserts much (except for the red velvet cupcake and fried wontons biggrin ), and breakfast is just a fruit cup and glass of milk. We end up sharing meals, and don't ever spend enough to consider buying the DDP.



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Joined: 09/12/2010
Posts: 4703

When we get it, we do take advantage of it. But if we don't we just modify our plans slightly. We're not big eaters, and most of the time we used the Dining Plan table service at lunch, just because I would plan the morning park and leave the afternoon and evening to whim.

We just do less table service without the plan. Which is not a big deal for either of us.

Courtney's picture
Joined: 12/02/2011
Posts: 239

We took full advatage of the free dining last year. We had orignally been planning DisneyLand, but the free dining convinced us to go to WDW instead. i dont think we would buy the dining plan.

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JoAnn C's picture
Joined: 05/20/2011
Posts: 6757

I consider it a nice bonus if I can get it. I'm not going to change my plans for it.


Spook's picture
Joined: 04/27/2012
Posts: 2786

JoAnn C wrote:
I consider it a nice bonus if I can get it. I'm not going to change my plans for it.

My thoughts exactly. We got a free one last trip and took full advantage of it but we wouldn't have bought it on our own. We have bought it in the past (the Quick Service one) just so we didn't have to carry as much cash.

Joined: 03/04/2013
Posts: 10

I agree...I do would rather have the room discount...

Aliceacc's picture
Joined: 02/16/2013
Posts: 75

It doesn't.

We go during the summer.

It's normally offered at the very end of August. Both my husband's school and mine have freshman orientation during that last week, so we're back to work. So it's simply not an option.


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crazycatperson's picture
Joined: 09/19/2011
Posts: 3718

If the free dining plan were offered during our trip and we were eligible for it, I suppose we'd sign up. But it would make no difference where planning a trip is concerned, and it will make no difference if Disney eliminates it.

Mase's picture
Joined: 03/02/2011
Posts: 5438

Not for us. It would be nice if DVC would offer something like that... but I wouldnt change plans around just for it.


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WDWfanatic's picture
Joined: 01/18/2013
Posts: 356

Kind of, but maybe not, but maybe. We are DVC, so it does not really affect us, but sometimes it does.

In January I had booked POP on that Stay Play Dine (is that what it is called?) offer and when the AP discount came out I was able to book CBR and pay for the dining plan for about $12 more, total.

We are huge fans of the DDP. On our WDW trips, we TOTALLY enjoy eating. It is part of our WDW magic. So, if there is something offered with free dining, I look into it to see if I can make it work where our trip would cost about the same (it is usually a tad bit more) as buying us all the DDP. I usually have my agent price it with the minimum number of days on single park per day tickets. I think it is usually 2 days that you have to purchase. Then I wait for the AP discount and price that out with the DDP at regular price.

So this is a long way to say that, yes, it may affect me, but probably not. We tend to try to travel during off peak times.



ocarina's picture
Joined: 12/19/2012
Posts: 180

We got free quick-service dining with our booking, but upgraded it to the standard dining plan for a fee - if we hadn't been given it with the package as "free" then I don't think we would have gotten it.


angels444's picture
Joined: 08/05/2012
Posts: 647

The last 3 times we have been to Disney it was on the DDP ,we even upgraded to the deluxe plan. We get a room discount just because we are military, but I look for free dining every time we book. I have even moved our vacation a few days either way in order to get free dining. The room discount is nice, but the free dining seems to be cheaper for us. I figure we have to eat anyways. Next time we are not going with deluxe, it is just too much food. I say that every time, but this time it really was too much.

Though I will not give up on my cupcake crawl. awesome

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