The excitement of booking a vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista is real. This is particularly true for this time of year when booking reservations can be made up to 18 months in advance.
In the past couple of weeks, the Walt Disney Travel Company has opened its booking window through to October 2, 2023, for Guests from around the globe. Using the Walt Disney World website, Guests can make Resort hotel and Disney Park ticket reservations for their next Disney vacation. Additionally, international Guests can book a package vacation, including flights.
But whilst it’s an exciting time, there are a few things that certainly don’t go unnoticed. This is especially true for Guests from the United Kingdom, who have noticed a significant reduction in benefits available to them when booking a Walt Disney World vacation. Here are the early booking benefits that are now missing from a Walt Disney World vacation reservation.
Disney Dining Plan for Free
It is noted that whilst Guests can make Walt Disney World vacations through 2023 now, the Disney Dining Plans are still unavailable. A statement released by the Walt Disney Company hinted that Dining Plans will return for Guests to take advantage of.
However, we are yet to hear a date as to when Guests can add a Dining Plan to their Disney vacation once more. We’re certainly missing the excitement of planning and securing reservations that eating with the Disney Dining Plan brings!
Prior to 2020, it was at this time of year that the Walt Disney Company offered U.K. Guests an incredible deal, involving the Disney Dining Plan. This was a popular offer available to Guests, as it allowed their vacation to become close to an all-inclusive trip. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love getting something for free?
The Disney Dining Plan Offer
Guests who made a reservation in a Deluxe Disney Resort, including a 14-Day Magic ticket, received the Disney Dining Plan for the entirety of their stay for free. In addition to a refillable Resort mug for the length of their stay, the Disney Dining Plan offered Guests the following for each night of their Disney hotel stay:
- 1 full-service meal
- 1 quick-service meal
- 1 alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink per meal
- 2 snacks
Guests choosing to stay in a Moderate Disney Resort, including a 14-Day Magic ticket, received the Quick-Service Dining Plan for free. For an additional cost, Guests could upgrade to the Disney Dining Plan, allowing them to enjoy the Full-Service Restaurants on offer in and around Disney property. As well as receiving a refillable Resort mug, the Quick-Service Dining Plan offered Guests the following for each night of their Disney hotel stay:
- 2 quick-service meals
- 1 alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink per meal
- 2 snacks
For those Guests making a reservation at a Value Disney Resort, breakfast was complimentary for every night of their stay. Similar to Guests staying in a Moderate Resort, upgrading to the Quick-Service Dining Plan or Disney Dining Plan was available for an additional cost, should they choose to do so.
For Guests to receive the free Disney Dining Plan with their Disney vacation, the purchase of a 14-Day Magic ticket was required. Generally, this ticket is offered to U.K. Guests at the price of a 7-Day ticket. The 14-Day Magic Ticket is a Park Hopper pass, allowing Guests to visit more than one Disney theme park per day.
It also includes entrance to the Disney water parks, complimentary rounds of mini-golf, and access to the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Similar to all other Disney Resort Guests, those with the 14-Day Magic ticket are required to purchase Disney Genie Plus, should they wish to use the service.
Free Disney Spending Money
The free dining offer available to International Guests typically ran from April through to July. Reservations made during the offer period came with another benefit, which further encouraged Guests to book their Walt Disney World Resort vacation.
Reservations made during the offer period also came with a free $200 Disney gift card. Upon receipt of their travel documents for their vacation, Guests received a voucher to present at the Information Desk located in World of Disney at Disney Springs. The voucher was exchanged for the gift card that Guests could use as they wished. A great little extra, this could be used towards Disney dining around the Disney Parks and Resort, and merchandise in any location around Walt Disney World. The Disney gift card could also be used to enjoy activities around Lake Buena Vista, such as Surrey Bike rides.
Benefits Still Available
Whilst these benefits are not available to Guests at the moment, there are still ‘exclusive magical extras’ available when booking directly with Walt Disney World. The first magical extra is 15% off online orders at the Disney Store. Guests can take advantage of this discount, regardless of the amount that they spend, as there is no minimum spend required.
Additionally, Guests receive something known as the ‘Little Big Book of Magic’. This is a guide by the Walt Disney Travel Company, which Guests receive ahead of their Walt Disney World vacation. It includes information about each of the Disney theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs.
The best bit of all though is that Guests are provided with over 20 discounts that they can use during their time in Lake Buena Vista. Savings can be made on dining, merchandise, and activities.
International Guests are eligible for early theme park entry, providing they have a Walt Disney Resort hotel reservation. This is the same for all Guests who stay at a Disney Resort hotel.
Free Memory Maker
A Walt Disney World Resort reservation made during the offer period also provided Guests with the Memory Maker for free. Whilst any Guest can have their photo taken by a Disney PhotoPass Cast Member in a Disney theme park, they are required to buy the photo in order to see it without watermarks.
Purchasing a 14-Day Magic ticket still includes the Memory Maker. This allows Guests access to all of their photos without watermarks, and can download them to their phone, during their entire Disney vacation. The Memory Maker also enables Guests to add frames and detailing to the photos taken. This certainly helps to add a little bit of extra magic to their Disney experience.
We’re very much hoping that the wait for the return of the Disney Dining Plan will be over soon.
We’d like to think that the return of the Dining Plan will bring about this incredible offer once more. It certainly brings ease and extra magic to a Walt Disney World vacation!