How Much Can You Really Save? FREE Dining Plan at Walt Disney World 2017

Every year, Disney World releases a variety of Special Offers for reservations made through their website or phone. One of the best offers by far is the annual Free Disney Dining Plan, especially for families who plan to visit the table service or character dining restaurants when they head to Disney World. Free Disney Dining Plan is a promotion Walt Disney World offers every year for select dates in the fall and winter. It is now available for select dates between August and December 2017 – as long as you book before July 7, 2017!

Image Source

 

WHAT IS A DINING PLAN

One of the most expensive things you’ll likely spend on when you visit WDW is the food. Each character buffet lunch/dinner will run you about $45-$60 (before gratuity) per adult and a quick/counter service meal will run you between $15-$25 depending on what you order for drink/dessert.

For guests who stay on property and book through Disney, the Dining Plan is an option you can add to your reservation. The condition is that ALL members of your party MUST purchase a Dining Plan.* Here is a highlight of the 2017 Dining Plan prices you’d be paying WITHOUT the Free Disney Dining Plan promotion.

* PRO TIP: If you have a family member who is only coming for 1-2 nights, you can add them as a “day guest” to avoid booking and paying for a Dining Plan for the entire trip. 

 

DISNEY DINING PLAN 2017 (NON-PROMO RATES)

PER ADULT, PER NIGHT (ages 10+) PER CHILD, PER NIGHT
(3-9yo)

Quick Service Dining Plan

2 quick-service meals
2 snacks
1 refillable mug

$48.19 $20.88

Regular Dining Plan

1 table-service meal
1 quick-service meal
2 snacks
1 refillable mug

$69.35 $24.95

Deluxe Dining Plan

3 table service meals (can be applied to quick service, but you’d be losing money)
2 snacks
1 refillable mug

$106.68 $38.75

 

WHEN IS THE FREE DISNEY DINING PLAN PROMO VALID

August 21* – September 30, 2017
November 14 – 20, 2017
November 25 – 27, 2017
December 8 – 23, 2017

*Disney Visa Cardholders can book the Free Disney Dining Plan promotion for arrival dates beginning August 13, 2017.

This promotion is valid for booking through July 7, 2017.

 

WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS

Guests booking the Free Disney Dining Plan promotion for Value or Moderate Resorts will receive the Quick Service Disney Dining Plan (a $48.19/$20.88 value per night), with guests staying at Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resorts receiving the Regular Disney Dining Plan (a $69.35/$24.95 value per night). You can, however, choose to book a Value resort and pay the difference to upgrade from the FREE Quick Service Dining Plan to the Regular Dining Plan which upgrades 1 quick service meal per day to a table service/buffet/character dining meal.

Minimum Stay: 3-night/4-day “for domestic markets” according to phone reservation CM, 5-night/6-day according to website*
Minimum Ticket: 2-day Park Hopper per guest ages 3+

* I was able to search and apply the offer to search for a 3 night stay in September.

Get a FREE dining plan when you purchase a minimum of 3-night/4-day Magic Your Way room and a minimum of 2-day Park Hopper tickets per person. I spoke to a Cast Member about not needing a ticket due to being an annual passholder, and they told me that EVERY guest staying at the hotel would need a minimum of a 2-day Park Hopper ticket regardless but that if I purchased one, I could apply the amount spent on it towards the cost of my annual pass when I renew my Premier pass through Disney World OR exchange it for another ticket that would be used on a future visit. Mitchell, a CM from the Ticket Services/Ticket Research department of WDW, told me it would be no problem to exchange & upgrade the 2-day Park Hopper for myself with a 10-day Park Hopper for my daughter to use on a future trip.

 

RECOMMENDED TIME TO GO

With the chosen dates of the special offer, Disney allows you to apply your snack credits to the many delicious offerings at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival (Aug 31-Nov 13), one of my favorite times to go to Disney World. It also happens to be one of the least crowded times of the year to go – September. BUT, how do you pass on Christmas at Disney World? (Seriously, it’s MAGIC.) Christmas decorations go up in early November, so you’d have plenty of time to take advantage of this offer while enjoying the magic of the holidays at Disney World. Keep in mind that some of these dates also mean more expensive resort rates.

 

HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR ACTUAL SAVINGS

When booking special offers like these through Disney World online or by phone, they typically don’t break down the cost of the trip for you.

I did a brief search to see a comparison of what my package total would be for a 7 night trip:

Date: September 17 – 24, 2017
Resort: Value, All-Star Sports
Room Type: Standard Room
Tickets: 6-day Park Hoppers for 1 adult & 1 child
Dining Plan: Regular Dining Plan*

*The Regular Dining Plan is a small upgrade from the free/included Quick Service Dining Plan for Value resorts.

Free Disney
Dining Plan
Separate Bookings (w/Dining Plan) Separate Bookings (No Dining Plan) Price Difference
(w/Dining Plan)
Standard Room  Included $985.19 $985.19  –
6-Day PH Tickets  Included $971.94 $971.94  –
Regular Disney Dining Plan  Included $660.16  –
TOTAL $2132.98 $2617.29 $1,957.13 $484.31

You may actually save more when you’re applying this promotion to something other than the Value resort.

To calculate whether or not the Free Disney Dining Plan promotion is really worth it for your family, feel free to use the following guide:

 

FREE DISNEY DINING PLAN 2017 VALUES
PER PERSON/PER NIGHT

RESORT TYPE 3N/4D 4N/5D 5N/6D 6N/7D 7N/8D 8N/9D 9N/10D
Quick Service Dining Plan $144.57/10+
$62.64/3-9
$192.76/10+
$83.52/3-9
$240.95/10+
$104.40/3-9
$289.14/10+
$125.28/3-9
$337.33/10+
$146.16/3-9
$385.52/10+
$167.04/3-9
$433.71/10+
$187.92/3-9
Regular Dining Plan $208.05/10+
$74.85/3-9
$277.40/10+
$99.80/3-9
$346.75/10+
$124.75/3-9
$416.10/10+
$149.70/3-9
$485.45/10+
$174.65/3-9
$554.80/10+
$199.60/3-9
$624.15/10+
$224.55/3-9

FREE DISNEY DINING PLAN 2017 VALUES
PER 2 ADULTS

RESORT
TYPE
3N/4D 4N/5D 5N/6D 6N/7D 7N/8D 8N/9D 9N/10D
Quick Service Dining Plan $289.14 $385.52 $481.90 $578.28 $674.66 $771.04 $867.42
Regular Dining Plan $416.10 $554.80 $693.50 $832.20 $970.90 $1,109.60 $1,248.30

FREE DISNEY DINING PLAN 2017 VALUES
PER 2 ADULTS + 1 CHILD AGE 3-9

RESORT TYPE 3N/4D 4N/5D 5N/6D 6N/7D 7N/8D 8N/9D 9N/10D
Quick Service Dining Plan $351.78 $469.04 $586.30 $703.56 $820.82 $938.08 $1,055.34
Regular Dining Plan $490.95 $654.60 $818.25 $981.90 $1,145.55 $1,309.20 $1,472.85

FREE DISNEY DINING PLAN 2017 VALUES
PER 1 ADULT + 1 CHILD AGE 3-9

RESORT TYPE 3N/4D 4N/5D 5N/6D 6N/7D 7N/8D 8N/9D 9N/10D
Quick Service Dining Plan $207.21 $276.28 $345.35 $414.42 $483.49 $552.56 $621.63

Regular Dining Plan

$282.90 $377.20 $471.50 $565.80 $660.10 $754.40 $848.70

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *