7 Things Walt Disney World Insiders Love About Free Dining

The free dining promotion is offered on certain vacation packages that offers guests free dining for their vacation. The type of dining plan is dependent on the type of resort that the guest is staying in, but the plan can be upgraded to any of the plans by simply paying the difference. The free dining promotion is extremely popular for many reasons. Here are 7 things that Walt Disney insiders love about the free dining promotion:

7. Can change existing reservations.

So you already have an existing reservation and vacation package booked? No problem! We love the flexibility in Disney vacation packages! Disney will always honor various deals and discounts and will upgrade your reservation based on the promotions that are available. You just have to call and request the changes to the reservation as they will not automatically apply them. So when the promotion becomes available you are able to call and have it updated to your reservation. Just know that many guests know this and the phone lines get crazy on free dining release days. There are also only a limited amount of the offers available, so you have to make sure to act fast to take advantage of it.

6. Cost savings.

If used correctly, this can definitely result in a cost savings for your vacation. The food costs are often the most overwhelming costs, especially if you don’t have a good idea going into the vacation of just how much the food will be. It adds up very quick, so having this paid for, and for free, can result in a huge savings. It is just important to note that most of the free dining promotions require that you have park hopper tickets and certain classes of room, if you weren’t already budgeting these into your package, it may not actually result in a cost savings, but does still result in you getting these higher level of features and the dining plan for free. It will just be important for you to weigh out all discount and package options before deciding on free dining to make sure that it makes the most sense for you and your family.

5. Take advantage of park hopper.

The free dining promotion requires that you have park hopper tickets as part of your package. If you haven’t used park hopper before or haven’t felt that it is a useful add-on (I personally don’t think I could operate as well without park hopper), then it is a good opportunity to try out having this freedom. It is nice to know that you can go to one park in the morning and then another in the afternoon, so that you aren’t locked in, in the event that for some reason you don’t want to stay the rest of the day at the same park. It is nice to have the flexibility and freedom during your vacation in the event that plans change, and they often do.

4. Trying new restaurants.

This is a great opportunity to try Disney dining and restaurants that you have never dined at before. Variety is the spice of life, and take advantage of the opportunity to experience new dining experiences and see the inside of some of the most perfectly themed and decorated restaurants that you will ever experience anywhere, not just while at Disney World.

3. “Slower” time of the year.

The free dining promotion is usually offered during the slowest points in the year for Walt Disney World to help drive attendance. The addition of the dining plan have helped to make these times busier than they once were, but you can still expect lighter crowds than at the peak times, so it is still a great time to vacation and take advantage of the promotion for your family. The times for these are usually in the fall after school is back in session and it isn’t the peak vacation time for most families since they would have to take their kids out of school, so you can expect to plan your vacation during this time if you want to take advantage of the promotion.

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2. Opportunity to try new menu items.

We tend to be less concerned about worrying if we will LOVE something or not if it is free. So use this opportunity to try something on the menu that you have never tried before instead of going for comfortable favorites. It’s “free” anyway, right? You may find the most amazing thing you have ever had in your life because you decided to try something new. Don’t hesitate to ask your server or other guests for feedback and recommendations so that you can ensure you try the staple items and the best items on the menu.

1. All-inclusive vacation feel.

This is probably my favorite aspect of taking advantage of free dining. I love the all-inclusive vacation feel and feeling like everything is already paid for and budgeted for. You feel like you just get to show up and enjoy your vacation without worrying about as many of the costs that add up. Food costs are definitely a larger cost of the vacation, so when you don’t have to worry about the prices on the menu, you get to sit back and enjoy your meal more. It is a great, relaxing feeling while on vacation.

About Christy Caby

I am a diehard Disney fanatic! I fell in love with all things Disney from an early age and that only increased once I first visited Walt Disney World! It led me to complete a yearlong Disney College Program working at merchandise locations within Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM Studios at that time) and I worked for Disney Parks & Resorts Technology in Project/Program Management. Now I get to write about Disney and help others plan their magical vacations! Disney holds a special place in the hearts of my entire family as my husband proposed there, we honeymooned there, took trips while pregnant with each of my boys and have visited with them many, many times from 8 weeks old through now. One of my favorite memories from each trip is always the look on my kids’ faces the first time they see the castle. I’d love to help you plan your magical vacation! Request a free quote at or look for me on Facebook at Have a magical day!