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2024 Disney World Free Dining Dates, Tips & Rumors

Free Dining in Disney World? Is it really possible? Yes it is, and this special promotion comes around annually for guests to take advantage of. But is Disney Free Dining worth it?

We’re going to break down the dates and pricing for Disney Free Dining in 2024 including newly released dates, rumors, plus all of our favorite Tips on How to Book Disney Free Dining so you can get this special offer!

2019 Disney World Free Dining

In this complete guide, we’re going to explain to you what Free Dining is and all the tips you need to know before coming to Walt Disney World.

(UPDATED): After being missing for 4 years, Disney has just released a New Disney Free Dining offer, only available to guests who book their Walt Disney World vacation with a Disney Visa credit card. This was great news as it gave more incentive to book their trip later this year.

This offer is available for arrivals most nights from:

  • July 1 to July 31, 2024
  • September 1 to September 7, 2024
  • December 9 to December 21, 2024

This offer gives either the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan or the Disney Dining Plan for members of the entire party with the purchase of a non-discounted 4-night, 4-day Walt Disney Travel Company package with Park Hopper Option.

Disney World Free Dining Offer

If you are reading this you are probably then wondering all the details of this offer, the value and if Disney will be running another Free Dining offer at some point in 2024 or beyond. We’ll cover what this news means and will will go over any FAQs you may have about this offer.

We will also cover if Free Dining is actually “Free” or if it is just a ploy to get you to book a new trip. Think of this as your Disney Free Dining Promo 101 Class. While we do get into some of the details, if you are looking for a deep dive into the Disney Dining Plan, then check out our guide here.

The Disney Free Dining Promo is available NOW, so if you are thinking of getting it, you should read through this article and book soon before all the available dates are sold out!  We also encourage you to read our Disney World Discounts Guide to see other current offers you may be able to use.

If you still need help, we highly recommend using Show You the World Travel as they can book your vacation with the promo.  They are free to use and they are experts about all the best promotions available for your dates.  We use them and highly recommend them to you!

We have a lot to say about the Disney Free Dining promotion, and of course, our goal is to save you money and we want to let you know whether it’s worth it or not.

To make sure you are informed about any discounts and offers when they come our, sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we bring you all the latest updates about the Disney Dining Plan and our best vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter

What is Disney World Free Dining?

Free Dining Disney World

Free and Walt Disney World usually don’t go hand-in-hand, however, there are a few exceptions. Most every year Walt Disney World runs its Free Dining special promotion, usually in the Late Summer – Early Fall period, essentially as an incentive to get people to come to Disney World during the “slow” periods of the year (though those are slowly disappearing.)  

So Disney includes their Disney Dining plan for free with the price of your hotel room package, that way you don’t have to pay for your meals and snacks, they are essentially…free.  Most guests looking to book a Walt Disney World vacation are more inclined to come if they are getting their meals for free.

Of course, if you tell people they can get their meals in Disney World for free, they are going to jump at the chance!! So when does Disney Free Dining take place?

2024 Disney World Closure Free Dining Offer

Disney World Free Dining

The Disney World Free Dining offer is available for Disney Visa Cardholders who book a Walt Disney World vacation package or room reservation to stay at a Disney Resort hotel on select dates from July 1 through December 21, 2024.

To take advantage of this Free Dining plan guests must book a non-discounted vacation package offer for a minimum of 4 nights that includes accommodations at a select Disney Resort hotel, park admission with the Park Hopper Option, and a Disney Dining Plan.

Other details include:

  • Offer available only to Disney Visa Cardmembers
  • This plan cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion
  • Length of stay must be at least 4 nights (up to 14 nights)
  • 4-day minimum duration for Disney Theme Park Tickets
  • Guests MUST purchase tickets that cover the length of stay
  • Park Hopper Option must be purchased
  • Children ages 3 to 9 must choose from the children’s menu, if available.
  • Every guest staying in the same room must be included on the plan.

The level of Disney Dining Plan available with this offer depends on which Walt Disney World Resort hotel you are staying at.

  • Guests staying in a Disney Value or Moderate level resort will get the Quick Service Dining Plan for free.
  • Guests staying in a Disney Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort will get the regular Disney Dining Plan for free.

Most of the other standard Disney World Free Dining rules apply to this offer as well.

Mickey Waffles Free Dining
  • One note for Annual Passholders – Usually it Free Dining doesn’t help annual passholders because you need to buy park tickets with the package.

Our first reaction is that this is a great offer for anyone thinking of booking your Disney World trip in 2024. It’s nice that Disney is making this plan available to you and a great incentive to commit to coming back soon.

Disney doesn’t make offers like this out of the kindness of its heart or because it is interested in saving you money. They do promotions like Free Dining because hotel bookings are light during certain times of the year and they are trying to give guests more incentives to visit.

Disney World Free Dining Plan

From our experience, Free Dining can be a big money saver, but there are a lot of factors that go into deciding if this is the best promotion for you and your family. Oftentimes, the regularly discounted resort rooms can save you more money, but every case is different and you need to run the numbers to see what gives you the most savings.

We do recommend contacting your Disney Travel agent ASAP to find out which offer is the best for your situation, and to help you book it. Disney Free Dining availability is limited to first-come-first-served, so if you don’t act quickly you might miss out.

You can learn more about Disney Free Dining throughout the rest of this article where we cover the basics and answer any common questions you might have about it. I encourage you to read through it.

2024 Disney World Free Dining Dates

Grand Floridian Resort Disney Free Dining

Does Disney still do Free Dining? Yes, absolutely. Free Dining is back in 2024, and Disney has just released the second round of dates for the event throughout the year, with the current dates including Summer, Fall and Winter 2024. Right now it’s happening in the months of July, September and December 2024.

Here are the 2024 Disney World Free Dining Dates:

  • July 1 – July 30, 2024
  • September 1 – September 7, 2024
  • December 9 through December 21, 2024

(Booking is on a first-come, first-served basis).

Disney Free Dining Desserts

This first group of dates was released early this year and was made available in January. It’s not out of the ordinary for Disney to release the Free Dining dates in January and these dates are usually booked immediately.

Traditionally though, Disney offers the free dining for dates in the Late Summer and Fall, and it’s somewhat surprising to see August wasn’t included in this list of dates. That doesn’t mean these will be the only ones though, and like 2019, we think it’s possible for there to be another wave of free dining at some point later on in 2024.

We can’t emphasize the urgency enough of booking these dates immediately! The supply of rooms for Free Dining is extremely limited, so if you want to get it, you must book it as soon as possible!

How to be Eligible

Free Dining Table Service Restaurants

Even though Free Dining in Disney World sounds amazing, unfortunately not all vacations are eligible to use this promotion. Here is a list of the requirements to use Free Dining in 2024:

  • Your trip must be booked with a Disney Visa Credit Card. If you don’t have one, you are out of luck this time.
  • Any Disney World Free Dining package must be a non-discounted, minimum 4-night/4-day vacation package in a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. You can’t use multiple promotions at the same time, one or the other.
  • All guests in the room must have a ticket with a Park Hopper Option.

It’s all about the Arrival Date:

Keep in mind your eligibility for the Disney World Free Dining package depends on your ARRIVAL date and not your checkout.  That means that if you arrive on July 30th and leave on August 5th, you are eligible for Free Dining your whole trip.

What’s included in the Disney World Free Dining Package?

Moonshine Flight at Homecomin in Disney Springs during Free Dining

Of course, each guest gets the Disney Dining Plan for free with this promotion, but which one depends on which Walt Disney World Resort Hotel you are staying in.  Each Resort Level offers a different Free Dining package.  

  • Guests staying in a Disney Value or Moderate level resort will get the Quick Service Dining Plan for free.
  • Guests staying in a Disney Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort will get the regular Disney Dining Plan for free.

In both cases to be eligible for Disney World Free Dining you also need to purchase a minimum 4-Day Park Hopper Ticket or the Park Hopper Plus option.

Disney World Dining Plan for Free in 2024

Desserts for Disney World Free Dining

This offer is for guests staying at a Disney World Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort during the previously mentioned dates.  With the normal Disney Dining Plan you get per day:

  • 1 Counter Service Meal (per guest, per night)
  • 1 Table Service Meal (per guest, per night)
  • 1 Snack (per guest, per night)
  • 1 Refillable Drink Mug (per guest, per stay)

The Free Dining offer includes the following hotels: 

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Bay Lake Tower
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Grand Floridian Villas
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Quick Service Dining Plan for Free in 2024

Disney Free Dining Quick Service

This offer is for guests staying at a Walt Disney World Value Resort or Moderate Resort during the previously mentioned dates.  With the Quick Service Dining Plan you get:

  • 2 Counter Service Meals (per guest, per night)
  • 1 Snack (per guest, per night)
  • 1 Refillable Drink Mug (per guest, per stay)

The Free Dining offer includes the following hotels: 

  • The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — French Quarter
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Are all Disney World Hotels Included?

Disney World hotel rooms Free Dining

Unfortunately, there are always exceptions and not all Walt Disney World Resort Hotels are always eligible for Free Dining. Make sure to look at the list of excluded Walt Disney World Resort Hotels as this year there are a few of them.

In 2024 this Offer EXCLUDES the following resorts/room types:

  • All 3-Bedroom Villas
  • Cabins at Copper Creek VillasDisney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Polynesian Village Resort and Villas
  • Club Level and Suites at Disney Moderate and Deluxe Resorts
  • Deluxe Studios – Club Level at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • 1-Bedroom Villas – Club Level at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • 2 Bedroom Lock-Off Villas – Club Level at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
  • The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort (Disney Vacation Club)

Can I Upgrade Offers?

Yes, you can. If you book a value or moderate resort package with the Free Dining offer, you can upgrade to the normal Disney Dining package for an additional fee. Check the latest prices with your Disney travel agent to see what the difference will be and if it’s worth it for you.

Why is Disney Running this Free Dining Offer?

Frontera Cocina Review Table on the Outside Terrace

It’s not uncommon for Disney to have special promotions and the Free Dining offer is a staple that guests can take advantage of every year. Why do we have ANOTHER Free Dining Offer in 2024?

The main reason is that hotel occupancy is lower than normal for the included dates, and they want to tempt guests as much as possible to book during that time. With an offer like this, it should give guests a nudge who are on the fence about booking a vacation. In fact, it’s usually offered in the part that we consider the best time of year to visit Disney World.

In 2019 Disney offered Free Dining 3 times in one year, and that’s even with Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opening up. Rooms should have been flying out of inventory, but Disney still felt the need to offer Free Dining to sell the rest of the rooms.

table service restaurant Free Dining

While it is surprising to see Free Dining offered right before Independence Day, for the most part, the limited room supply tells you that Walt Disney World hotel booking is pretty solid so far for 2024. The entirety of this offer only includes 51 real days, which means there are very few holes to fill in the calendar.

This is no surprise as Disney has opened quite a few new attractions in the last few years and there are still plenty of people who haven’t experienced them yet.

For example, TRON: Lightcycle Run is a huge hit at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure have both been big hits in EPCOT.

These attractions already are drawing huge crowds, which is the reason Disney has taken so long to bring back the Free Dining dates for 2024.

Even though there are only 51 dates available right now, it’s still a great offer because it’s the full Disney Free Dining package, and those dates are the arrival dates, which means that as long as your trip STARTS on one of those days, the offer counts through the rest of your vacation up to 14 days.

2024 Disney Free Dining Rumors and Dates:

Will there be MORE Free Disney Dining in 2024? What are the latest rumors for dates?

Bone Marrow Takumi Tei Restaurant

(UPDATED 4/12/24): As has been confirmed, there is a Free Dining promotion in 2024. There has been one in Disney World every year since the start in 2009 through 2020 (even though those dates were later canceled because of the parks closing), but for a while, we weren’t sure if it was coming back.

However, even though the Disney World theme parks have been packed ever since reopening, they have slowed down somewhat from the levels of 2021 and 2022. The pent-up demand for travel those two years has been unmatched, and there wasn’t any need to bring out the big promotions like Freed Dining if people were coming to the parks anyway.

Since things have slowed back down to normal levels, it makes sense for Disney to bring back Free Dining at this time to fill hotel rooms. In the past, even when there wasn’t a huge need, they always offered it, and we are 99% sure they will continue past this year as well.

The question is, will Disney offer more dates for 2024 on top of the ones we already have now? My instinct tells me that it is a real possibility we get one more round of promotions at some point.

This group of dates only covers Summer 2024 for the months of, July and September. The dates for September are early in the month, however, and traditionally Disney always includes dates throughout the rest of September, that being the slowest time of the year at Walt Disney World. August is also a very slow time to visit and it is mysteriously missing from the list of dates.

Disney Free Dining Drinks

What about October and November? October is always a busy time in Disney World and isn’t always included, so it’s hard to say what will happen in 2024. Usually, the second wave of Free Dining includes dates into October and November at least.

There are some slower points in November and December we could see them including, but it’s still to early to be 100% positive.

We think having a second or even third wave of regular Disney World Free Dining is possible in 2024, especially if vacation package bookings aren’t at the level Disney wants to see. There’s a chance they need to fill the remaining rooms of what’s left in the Summer and Fall, so be on the lookout for more deals coming soon.

Usually, by looking at a Crowd Calendar for Disney World, you can figure out when they might offer Free Dining by looking at when crowds are expected to be the lowest.

I don’t have any insider info on when the rest of the dates for Disney Free Dining in 2024 will be yet, but our best guess is that we will get a third wave of dates at some point in Summer 2024 for August and the rest of September, and maybe beyond.

When to Book Free Dining?

Tiffins Review Lunch for Disney World Free Dining

While “Free Dining” sounds great, it can be hard to figure out when it will be. Here is some info on when the Disney Free Dining offer usually happens both to book it and when the stay dates will happen.

When Does Disney Offer Free Dining?

If you want to book it, you need to know when Disney offers Free Dining so you can plan your vacation around that. There is no exact science to knowing when the promotion will be every year but keep in mind Disney usually offers Free Dining in the Fall season. Historically, planning your vacation for September or October will likely be when Free Dining occurs.

When does Free Dining usually become available to book? Disney usually releases the dates and makes booking available in April, though in 2020 the first round of booking started in January. In 2019 we had one round in January and the second round began in July.

Finding out exactly when the next round of Disney Free Dining offer is coming out is crucial to being able to book this package. If you sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter, we will let you know right away when the next offer comes out! You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!

Does Disney Ever Offer Free Dining In January?

Disney does not typically offer Free Dining in January for stay dates. Free Dining is most likely to happen in the Fall of any given year.

The last time stay dates for Free Dining were offered in January was in 2012 and it hasn’t happened since.

At times, however, Disney does release the booking dates in January as they keep releasing dates earlier and earlier every year. This happened in 2019 and 2020.

Historical Free Dining Dates

Goofy Chef Mickey's

Though it won’t necessarily help for 2024 and beyond, looking at the past Disney Free Dining Dates you can get a good idea of when the stay dates are and when the booking period begins. Let’s look at the most recent history of Disney Free Dining to see:

2020 Free Dining Dates:

Stay Dates:

  • June 27 – June 28, 2020
  • July 5 – July 7, 2020
  • August 29 – September 8, 2020

2019 Free Dining Dates:

Stay Dates:

  • July 5 – September 30 (Round 1)
  • September 1-18, 2019 (Rounds 2-3)
  • November 17-27, 2019 (Rounds 2-3)
  • December 8-23, 2019 (Rounds 2-3)

Booking Period: July 16 – September 29 (Rounds 2-3)

2018 Free Dining Dates:

Stay Dates:

  • August 20 – September 29
  • November 24 – 27
  • December 7 – 23

Booking Period: April 24 – July 7

2017 Free Dining Dates:

Stay Dates:

  • August 21 – September 30
  • November 14 – 20
  • November 25 – 27
  • December 8 – 23

Booking Period: April 24 – July 7

Rapunzel character at Bon Voyage breakfast in Trattoria al Forno on Boardwalk

2016 Free Dining Dates:

Stay Dates:

  • August 23 – October 1
  • November 15 – 21
  • November 26 – 28
  • December 10 – 21

Booking Period: April 25 – July 8

2015 Free Dining Dates:

Stay Dates:

  • August 28 – October 2
  • October 25 – October 31
  • November 8 – November 19
  • December 15 – December 21

Booking Period: April 27 – July 10

2014 Free Dining Dates:

Stay Dates:

  • August 31 – October 3
  • October 26 – November 1
  • November 9 – November 20
  • December 12 – December 23

Booking Period: May 7 – August 8

2013 Free Dining Dates:

Stay Dates:

  • September 2 – September 25
  • September 29 – October 2
  • October 18 – November 2
  • November 11 – November 23
  • December 12 – December 22

Booking Period:

May 9 – July 31;

2012 Free Dining Dates:

Stay Dates:

  • January 8 – March 31
  • August 25 – September 29
  • September 30 – December 13

Booking Period: August 3 – December 17, 2011; March 5 – May 18, 2012; July 12 – September 29, 2012

2011 Free Dining Dates:

Stay Dates:

  • January 1 – March 3
  • May 27 – June 2
  • August 28 – September 24
  • October 2 – December 17

Booking Period: May 2 – August 27, 2011 ; August 3 – October 29, 2011

How to Book Disney Free Dining and Tips

lamb shank at Jiko the Cooking Place

Now that you know when Disney Free Dining will be, half the battle is won. The other half, however, can be just as hard if not worse and that’s actually booking Free Dining.

There are a few things you have to do to make sure you can book this package. Here are some tips to keep in mind about the offer so you can get the Free Dining promotion when it becomes available.  

Book Ahead of Time

You can’t wait until they announce the promotion because most rooms will probably already be filled by that time. This is a little Free Dining hack for you, but crucial to getting the dates you want. Book your Walt Disney World vacation BEFORE the dates come out for the Free Dining promotion, and then modify the package after if need be.

You can always add on the Free Dining promotion to your normal vacation package after, so there’s no reason not to secure your spot. It will ensure you already have your dates locked in because if you wait until the morning of the offer, it will be next to impossible to get the dates you want.

You can always rebook your trip if you have difficulties modifying your package to add Free Dining to it. You don’t have to worry about losing your ADR’s either, you will still keep your dining reservations.

Book Immediately When Offered

Crab Cakes at Grand Floridian Cafe Free Dining

If you haven’t booked your dates already before the dates are announced each year, then I suggest to you to book your Free Dining Package ASAP if you want to have the best choice of dates available to you.

Room inventories are limited throughout Walt Disney World for Free Dining with some hotels or room types not even being offered during the promotion. It’s first-come, first-serve, so once the travel dates are gone, they’re gone.  Don’t wait or you will miss it! Yet another reason to use an authorized Disney Vacation Planner.

Arrival/Departure Dates and Split Stays:

This part is very important because mess up your arrival date by one and you could miss the Free Dining offer entirely. Your arrival at Disney World is the most important date and what really matters to use this discount.

Disney's Beach Club Resort Lobby

Remember, whether you are eligible or not for Free Dining depends on if you arrive at your resort on the same day that Free Dining is being offered. That means if the travel dates for the Free Dining promotion are August 20 – September 20, if you arrive anytime in that date range you will eligible for Free Dining for the entirety of your trip.

I want you to concentrate on that. This means that if you arrive even one day early on August 19, you will NOT be eligible and you will lose out on Free Dining for the entirety of your trip. You won’t get the discount on the other days either. On the other hand, if you arrive on September 19 and leave on October 1, you will still get Free Dining for your whole stay!

So make sure your arrival is in line with the promotion!

The only way around this is by doing what we call a “Split Stay.” This means splitting up your vacation into two reservations, one for the days before the Free Dining offer and another once it starts. You can do this by switching hotels, or making two separate reservations in the same hotel.

So for example again if Free Dining is running from August 20 – September 20 and your vacation is from August 18 – August 26, you can make the first reservation covering Aug 18 and 19, and then a second reservation from Aug 20 – 26. You won’t get Free Dining for the first two days, but the rest of your trip will be covered.

Just keep in mind your second reservation has to last the minimum length of stay to be eligible for the offer that year. So if it requires a 5-night stay, you can only start counting from the second reservation.

Should I Call or Go Online to Book Free Dining?

Free Dining Hotels Disney World

This is one of the easiest questions about Free Dining and the answer is you should go online. There are very few reasons that you should call to book Free Dining. If someone gives you this information just smile and nod and then go straight to your computer.

Phone calls to book Walt Disney World offers can take upwards of an hour or more and booking online is so much faster and easier. Even if there is a system crash due to high traffic that day (which is likely) it will STILL be faster than trying to call. Simply keep trying to get back online until the system comes back online.

In a worst-case scenario that your computer explodes or the internet stops working, then you can pick up the phone and try calling to book your package.

Make Your Advanced Dining Reservations Immediately:

The Boathouse for Free Dining
The BOATHOUSE Entrance

Even if Disney hasn’t released info about this year’s Free Dining offer, please make your Advance Dining Reservations immediately, 180 days before your arrival.  This is crucial!

You don’t want to wait until Disney has announced the Free Dining offer to make your reservations. During the Free Dining period the best restaurants always fill up quickly, so unless you want to be stuck eating at the Nine Dragons or Tony’s Town Square Restaurant every night you need to plan out your trip right away!

If you Already Booked a Vacation Package…

If you already have made a Walt Disney World Resort booking before this offer came out, don’t worry. You can log in to your My Disney Experience account and modify your reservation.  This is much faster than trying to call up the morning that the Free Dining offer comes out as you’ll spend half the day waiting on the phone!

If you have already booked a vacation package with an arrival date that qualifies for Free Dining, we recommend using the “modify reservation” link in your booking to apply the promotion to your package. This is the quickest and easiest way to apply for the promotion.

Can DVC Members Book Disney World Free Dining?

Disney World Free Dining Rooms

Yes DVC members can be eligible for Free Dining, but they can’t use DVC points to book their hotel room, they would have to pay the advertised market rate for a room with money. For that reason, DVC members usually decide the Free Dining offer isn’t worth it to them.

To answer some other common questions: yes, you must purchase tickets with the offer even if you already have them (or an Annual Pass). No, bookings made with Disney Vacation Club points are not eligible for the offer. No, you cannot “stack” this offer with a percentage-off room discount (at least not in the U.S.). For those wondering about other Walt Disney World discounts, check out our Current Walt Disney World Discount Offers post for what’s presently available

The coveted “free” dining promotion is very popular and only offered at select Disney resorts usually during the off-peak season. Disney Vacation Club members who use points for their resort stay are not eligible for the free dining promotion. In order to take advantage of this kind of promotion, you would have to pay cash or the advertised market rate for your resort accommodations.

Are Annual Pass Members Eligible for Disney Free Dining?

Yachtsman Steakhouse Full Review new york strip steak and potatoes gratin

Anyone can book the Disney Free Dining promotion but you have to remember that purchasing a park ticket with the minimum days required is necessary to receive the offer. That means even though an annual passholder has a park ticket, they would have to purchase another one which would be a waste of money.

For that reason why they can, annual passholders usually don’t opt for the Free Dining offer.

Annual Passholders are better off looking for hotel room discounts which usually are running around the same time as Free Dining. You can sometimes find discounted rooms with a savings of up to 30% which when you combine that with the dining discounts Annual Passholders already receive, it’s often more advantageous than Disney World Free Dining is anyway.

Can I Stack Walt Disney World Offers and Discounts?

No, absolutely not. You cannot combine the Disney World Free Dining offer with other discounts on your resort hotel room. For that reason, you should calculate which is the best offer for you and your family and go with that one.

If You Miss Out on Free Dining?

Disney Free Dining Cocktails

What happens if you follow everything I’ve written above and you still can’t get a reservation for Free Dining? Don’t despair…

  • Keep Checking – Just because there are no rooms available for the Free Dining offer the first time you check, doesn’t mean things won’t open up for you. Many Disney Travel Agents put rooms with this discount on hold for their clients for 72 hours. However, they go back into inventory if the client doesn’t actually keep it.

    This is a perfect opportunity for you to swoop in and take the newly released hotel room!

Don’t Forget about Bounceback Offers!

Bounceback offers are given for guests to book their next trip to Walt Disney World while they are still on property. What’s nice is that sometimes the promotion includes a Bounceback offer with special Free Dining dates outside of the public dates usually offered in the Fall.

This can be another great discount to take advantage of and a way to utilize Free Dining to save money.

READ MORE: Guide to Disney World Bounceback Offers

Is Disney Free Dining Worth It?

Frontera Cocina Review Pecan Pie Bar
Pecan Pie Bar

This like many Disney World budgeting questions is hard to answer and will vary greatly on you and your family and how you like to vacation. Let’s go over some of the positives and negatives which might make the Disney Free Dining offer worth it for you or not.

First, the rooms tend to be more expensive during Free Dining, which means you’re going to be paying more than you normally would. (You didn’t think Disney was just going to give you something for free did you??) This higher room cost off-sets the fact that your meals are free.  

Therefore you might be able to get a better room rate at another time of year, or there also might be a better room-only discount going on so you’ll want to check all your options. Don’t just assume that Free Dining is going to save you money, there might be a better offer.

Bread Service Disney Free Dining
  • You see the most savings with the Disney Free Dining offer staying at a Value Resort and the worst at a deluxe resort. This is because since you have to pay the full price for the room, the room often ends up being more expensive than Free Dining.
  • You get the best deal for Free Dining, the more people you have in your room. The savings will probably outweigh the costs of the room if you have 4-5 people there, rather than if you only have 2 people.
  • The type of room matters. Again since you’re paying the full price for your room, always go for a standard room and not one with a view if you are trying to save the most money possible.
  • Also keep in mind that the Disney Dining Plan does include the tax on the meal, but it doesn’t include the tip. Make sure to budget for this as it could mean hundreds of dollars depending on where you eat and the size of your group.

If you are a DVC member keep in mind that any bookings made using Disney Vacation Club points are not eligible for Free Dining either, so you have to weigh the additional cost of the hotel room against what you could save going the Vacation Club route.

Also, you must buy your Park Tickets from Disney and they must have the “Park Hopper” option.  That means you can’t use any third-party discounter where you might save money and you may not have otherwise bought them with the hopper option either, again costing more money.  

desserts in Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo

And since buying the tickets in the package is a must, this won’t be advantageous for Annual Passholders seeing they already have their tickets booked.  Annual Passholders are much better off waiting for a deal which discounts the hotel rooms only.

Then you have to also consider the eating habits of you and your family. Some families don’t save any money being on the Disney Dining Plan because they don’t end up using all the credits they paid for in advance. If you are a family that doesn’t eat a lot you might not even need the Free Dining plan and another offer might be a better bargain for you.

Disney Free Dining Pros and Cons

Disney Free Dining Restaurants


  • You get the Disney Dining Plan at no cost (this could save you a bunch)
  • It’s easy, all your meals will be covered during your whole stay


  • You can’t combine it with other discount offers
  • The offer runs out fast
  • You have to follow the minimum stay guidelines and purchase theme park tickets (not good for Annual Passholders)
  • Not all Walt Disney World Resort Hotels participate (Port Orleans French Quarter/Port Orleans Riverside, Fort Wilderness Campground, Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Little Mermaid Rooms at Art of Animation.

I know there is a lot to weigh and tons of math involved, but don’t just assume Free Dining is better for you just because the word “free” is in there. It may be worth it for you, but you need to check.

In the end, you can see that Disney never gives you anything for free, and each family needs to add the cost of the Free Dining offer against other discounts or ways of booking your Walt Disney World vacation to see which way is less expensive for you.

That wraps up our look at the Disney Free Dining offer. We hope that helps you to compare promotions and choose the one that will save your family the most money possible.

Ready to Start Planning Your Disney Vacation?

Mickey Mouse partners statue Magic Kingdom

If you feel overwhelmed planning a Disney vacation, use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner such as Show You the World Travel. They are experts on every Disney location and can tell you where to stay, what to do, how to save money, and give you personalized service for your most magical vacation ever!

If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World in the near future, here are some other popular articles where you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.

For Suggestions on where to use all those Disney World Free Dining credits, you can check out my Walt Disney World Dining Guide with extensive Reviews on many of the Disney World Restaurants!

Need help planning your Disney Vacation? Contact René from Show You the World Travel for all your trip planning needs. All of the agents there are certified Disney Travel Agents and are super helpful with all your planning needs. I highly recommend them and the best part about it is they are FREE to use!

Your Thoughts:

I want to know what you think about the new 2024 Disney World Free Dining Offer…

  • Have you ever used one of the Disney Free Dining Promotions before?
  • Do you think it’s a good promotion? How can they improve?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂