5 Tips to make FREE Dining work well for your Family
FREE Dining is difficult to maneuver for the novice Disney World visitor.
- You can plan your dining choices before you book your Walt Disney World package. Disney doesn’t like that we do this, but you can. Once Free Dining is in full swing many popular dining spots will fill up before your travel planner can get off hold! So having at the very least a list of choices is extremely helpful.
- Prices for the pre-fixed rate restaurants fluctuate by meal time. Breakfast being the cheapest, lunch a few dollars more and dinner jumping as much as $10 over the lunch fare. If you are going during FREE Dining do as many meals as you can in the evening or dinner times. This gives you the biggest bang for your FREE buck. And likewise if you are paying out of pocket remember it is cheaper at breakfast and often times the characters are the same (but not always the case!).
- Flexibility is key to getting FREE Dining packages. Because Disney controls which dates are blacked out you need to be aware that you might have to change your dates if you insist on booking a Free Dining package. For instance, a big portion of October is blacked out, so being able to switch to September or the few days in November is key to getting that huge savings.
- This one is a huge secret so don’t share it with anyone! I could lose my ears for this!! You can book your vacation on the last date of the FREE Dining Promotion offer and you will still get Free Dining for your entire vacation! GASP!! I said it outloud! So if Disney’s dates are September 1 – October 3rd you can check in on October 3rd, stay the entire week after checking out on October 10th and have Free Dining for your vacation. Availability is the key as always!
- Remember that FREE is never really free. Disney doesn’t hike the room prices up like most unnamed other vacation destinations, but when you have a sit down restaurant meal you will have to pay the gratuity, it is automatically calculated and added for you! It is 18% at the moment and could rise without notice from Disney, so be sure to plan on that with your budget.