Free Dining has once again returned to Walt Disney World, though it is fairly limited this year. Packages must also be booked earlier this year as guests only have until January 16th, 2020 to book the Free Dining offer.
Last year Walt Disney World changed things up a bit and released their most popular offer, Free Dining, on January 2. This came as a surprise for a lot of guests since Free Dining had historically been released in the Spring.
It looks like Disney decided that, since an earlier release worked well last year, they would do the same this year. Thus, on January 2, 2020, a Free Dining offer was released.
The big surprise this year is the fact that there are an extremely limited number of dates the offer is available.
The booking window is also much shorter this year, as all Free Dining packages must be booked by January 16, 2020.
The Free Dining Offer has limited room availability and is for trips with the arrival dates of June 27 and 28, July 5-7 and August 29 – September 8, 2020. Guests can enjoy a free dining plan when they purchase a non-discounted 5-night/6-day vacation package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and a ticket with Park Hopper option.
Similar to previous years, guests who book a package at select Disney Deluxe Resorts or Deluxe Villas will receive a free Disney Dining Plan (the regular dining package).
Guests who book a package at Disney Moderate and Value Resorts will receive a free Quick Service Dining Plan. As with previous years, guests can upgrade from the Quick Service to the regular Disney Dining Plan by paying the difference between the two plans.
It’s also important to note that with Free Dining, you cannot combine the offer with any other discount or promotion. The offer also excludes the following room categories: 3-bedroom villas, campsites, Cabins at Copper Creek and Wilderness Lodge, Bungalows at the Polynesian and Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation.
Over the last few years we’ve seen fewer and fewer dates offering Free Dining. Last year, in particular, we saw no October dates whatsoever. This year, however, we had to do a double take when we read that Free Dining is only being offered for two arrival dates in June, three arrival dates in July and then 11 arrival dates August 29th through September 8th.
It is possible that Disney may be waiting to release more Free Dining dates until later in the year. They did release additional dates last year. It’s likely that Disney is going to wait to see which weeks in the summer and fall have low occupancy as Free Dining is an incentive for people to book.
We always like to remind everyone that Free Dining isn’t always the best deal out there. Especially for Canadians, sometimes a room offer, combined with Canadian Resident Tickets or even a room offer with base tickets can save you more money than Free Dining. Take the time to do the math before jumping on Free Dining.