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Disney Free Dining 2021-2022

disney free dining

As you can imagine, there are many options to add to your Disney vacation as you start planning. The Disney Dining Plan is one of them. And it’s actually the most popular one. But what is Disney free dining?

 In case you haven’t heard of the Disney Dining plan yet, it allows you to prepay for their sit-down meals, quick service meals, and snacks.

It’s convenient because it relieves financial stress and the need to plan.

To begin, the bad news is that back in 2020, Walt Disney World suspended the Disney Dining Plan and in by default any free dining packages. We also have no idea when they plan to bring it back. With increased restaurant capacity, the dining plan will be relaunched.

But before the pandemic, and hopefully soon again in the future, there was not only the option to pay for the add-on dining plan but there were Disney free dining packages occasionally offered.

 This page contains tips and information on this package. We will review when we think it’s coming back, how to maximize your ability to book it, frequently asked Disney dining questions, and more!

The good news is, that life seems to be going back to normal. Back in January of 2021, the Park Hopper options came back. Masks are no longer required outdoors which is both surprising and exciting! YAY

disney free dining

The Basics of Disney Free Dining

Since 2005, Disney has been offering this discount. When we say free dining, what we mean is if you book a room and tickets, you will get the Disney Dining Plan, FREE!

Now, that’s a super simplified perspective of this discount. Let me tell you why.

Disney has three dining plan levels, which you can read about in my dining plan post. If you book a value resort, you usually get a quick service dining plan. But if you book a deluxe resort you get the standard dining plan.

In addition, you have to start your stay between the dates provided, make sure to meet the minimum amount of nights, and are most likely going to pay the full rack rate for both your room and tickets.

In 2019, free dining was released on two occasions, once in January of 2019 and again in July of 2019. But in 2020, the pandemic changed any package releases for us all.

In both 2017 and 2018, free dining was released in April. Disney releases these packages to bulk up attendance during times of usually low attendance.

Getting notified about these discounts usually starts through email. And occasionally they offer it first to Disney Visa cardholders and then to everyone else.

If you have already booked your Disney vacation but still want the Disney free dining, no worries. You can definitely add it on. And some will receive a special pin code through email.

To receive the offer, you must opt in to receive special offers and discounts through Disney’s website.

Types of Dining Plans (what you per day)

Quick Service Dining Plan

  • 2 quick service meals
  • 1 non-alcoholic/alcoholic drink per meal
  • 2 snack credits

Disney Dining Plan

  • 1 Table service meal credit
  • 1 quick service meal
  • 1 non-alcoholic/alcoholic drink per meal
  • 2 snack credits

Deluxe Dining Plan

  • 3 table service or quick service meal credits (you decide)
  • 1 non-alcoholic/alcoholic drink per meal
  • 2 snack credits.

Dining Plan Plus

  • 2 table service or quick service meal credits (you decide)
  • 1 non-alcoholic/alcoholic drink per meal
  • 2 snack credits

Free Disney Dining?

Before our current situation, Disney used to release a free dining package yearly. And it’s the most popular package Disney releases by far.

As you can imagine, free dining can be a huge savings for a lot of families making their way to Disney.

But…because it’s so popular, it’s also the hardest package to book. Everyone wants it!

The thought is that once the Dining plan is relaunched by Disney, it will only be the paid version for some time. Why? It can be assumed that restaurant capacity might just be back to normal or not quite at normal yet. Until Disney does some testing, capacity adjusting, etc, it will then start adjusting to eventual have a large number of people using the Dining Plan.

Booking Free Dining at Walt Disney World

If this is your first Walt Disney World vacation, I highly suggest using a Disney Travel Agent. No legit travel agent charges for booking Walt Disney World vacations, Disney pays us to help you. I plan vacations with Your Story Travel Co so if you fill out a quote request we can help you out!

As I mentioned, guests booking at a value or moderate resort using the Disney free dining promotion will often get the Quick Service Dining Plan for free. Deluxe or Deluxe Villa guests will get the Standard Dining Plan for free. You are able to upgrade the dining plan you are given with an additional cost.

The first thing you want to do is figure out if this discount is the best fit for your trip. Seriously! In the “is it worth it” section below, I tell you exactly how to do that.

With all things Disney vacation, you can book online or through the phone. When free Disney dining is released, often the website gets super slow and phone wait times skyrocket. I suggest continuing to try booking online and leaving the phone option as a last resort.

Disney limits the number of rooms available for this package, not only by resort but also by room type (standard, pool view, preferred, 5th sleeper, etc). When you’re on the Disney website, be flexible.

I will mention it again because it’s very important. Be Flexible

As you’re searching, look at multiple room types and resorts to find available rooms that can be booked with this package.

disney free dining

Will There Be Free Disney Dining Plan Offers in 2022

We are all questioning it, right? Will there be free dining packages offered in 2022?

First and foremost, the Disney Dining Plan needs to come back as an added, paid option for your Disney vacation.

With more Americans being vaccinated and new COVID cases decreasing, more and more of the Disney experience is going back to normal which includes additional restaurants opening up.

Then Disney can decide to increase capacity at their restaurants which will allow the reinstatement of the Disney dining plan and eventually Disney free dining!

Disney lost 2.6 Billion because of the pandemic, and the Disney free dining plan is one of the top drivers of hotel bookings for them. So they, more than you, probably want to rerelease this package. But with the current environment, it’s very difficult to predict.

We are in a different place now with vaccinations and a decrease in cases. No masks are needed outdoors at Disney which brings us so much closer to regularity.

My predictions is that we will see the paid version of the Disney Dining Plan come back sometime late 2021 and the free dining plan promotion being launched in 2022. As I mentioned before, it’s a win for Disney to rerelease every part of this.

Is the free Disney dining plan worth it?

The answer is maybe.

Most people can’t imagine how something free, especially free dining, could not be worth it.

When you’re choosing free dining, you’re choosing it over other discounts that are available to you.

The data shows that a family of 3+ people will make the free dining plan worth it. But the honest truth is that you, or your Disney travel agent, should do the math.

Let’s look at an example

Two adults in standard room at All Star Movie. With the Free Dining promotion, the total cost is $1,964.05. The same promotion, with the room-only discount, but without the Disney Dining Plan is $1,546.24. 

The difference between those two costs are about $417, which you would spend on food over the course of 6 nights for 2 adults. That’s about $34/night per person.

Like I mentioned before, the quick service dining plan (which is the one offered when you book a value resort like AllStar Movie), includes 2 quick service meals, a nonalcoholic drink, and 2 snack credits. All in all, that is worth more than $34.

As you book your vacation, these are the numbers you should be looking at to determine what saves you the most.

Free Dining is a win- win situation for sure. Not only do people love it because t was the ability to save so much on your vacation but Disney loves offering it too. While you save, Disney gets guests with guaranteed hotel and ticket purchases that will likely stay on site.

Disney World 50th Anniversary Package

Though Disney’s 50th Anniversary begins October of 2021, the Disney World 50th Anniversary package is for stays in 2022.

You can start booking already, as bookings started 5/20/2021. Talk to your travel agent, if you already have something booked.

The package is valid for select arrivals 1/1 to 12/31/2022. But you need to stay at a Disney resort for at least 5 nights.

The package also includes:

  • Up to $950 Disney Dining Credit
  • 14-Day park tickets for the price of a 7-Day ticket
  • $200 Disney spending money
  • Free Memory Maker, (worth $199)
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