Free Disney Dining Plan Deal: Will It Be Offered for 2011?
|by Jennifer Marx, PassPorter Guidebooks Author|
Last modified 02-20-2011
PassPorter.com > Articles > Walt Disney World > Dining
The big question we hear this time of the year is, "Will Disney have a free Disney Dining Plan promotion?"
The simple answer is that right now, we do not know.
But fear not -- there is a longer answer to the "will there be a free dining plan this year?" question! First, rest assured that if and when Disney does offer a free dining promotion, they tell the world about it! Free Disney Dining is not going to be a secret. Travel agents are often the first to know, and it quickly spreads across the Internet and by word of mouth. If you're listening and watching, you'll know. Here are the ways to keep your Mickey ears to the ground:
Check Disney's Special Offers page at http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/ (and while you're there, register on their site for e-mail announcements and snail mail, which may include a special PIN code for deals).
Check PassPorter's Feasting & Snacking forum at http://www.passporterboards.com/forums/feasting-snacking-eateries-walt-disney-world/ (and sign up for our newsletter)
Check MouseSavers.com at http://www.mousesavers.com/disneyresorts.html#codes (and sign up for their newsletter)
The most recent free Disney Dining Plan offer was for 2011 dates, but had to be booked by December 20, 2010.
Historically speaking, the free Disney Dining Plan was first offered in summer 2005 as a means of drawing in guests during the typically low-crowd season of mid-August through September. Free Disney Dining was first offered as part of a package (requiring at least a 3-night stay) and included the "regular" Disney Dining Plan -- with 1 table service (TS), 1 counter service (CS) and 1 snack per person per night of the reservation.
Best Snack on the Disney Dining Plan!
This has gotta be the best snack available on the Disney Dining Plan! It's from the Main Street Bakery and has two huge scoops of ice cream between two giant cookies! - photo by stv4dzne
The notice of this promotion has often been released first to Disney Visa Cardholders a few days prior to it being released to the general public -- typically, the announcement has come in the spring and had to be booked by early summer. Additionally, it was offered to UK travelers and became an indicator if it would be offered to everyone.
Then came the global economic downturn and Disney began offering all sorts of promotions to increase bookings -- Free Dining being one of their offerings. Disney began offering the promotion according to different levels of resorts. If you stayed in a Disney value resort, you got the Quick Service Dining Plan (QSDP) for free -- with 2 QS meals and 2 snacks per person, per night of the reservation. Guests could pay to "upgrade" from the QSDP to the regular DDP or the Deluxe DDP -- all they had to do was pay the difference in price between the QSDP and the plan they wanted.
However, note that these free Disney Dining promotions seem to be slowing and Disney has said they will be reducing them significantly this year.