Your Guide to Understanding the Free Disney Dining Plan 2019
I know you’re probably wondering if Disney World free dining is even a real thing. And no, I can’t blame you for having a little bit of skepticism.
I thought it would be great to give you a few tips in understanding how all of this free Disney Dining Plan stuff works.
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Before we get started on the best tips for this vacation perk, let’s understand how the Disney Dining Plan works.
How Does the Disney Dining Plan Work?
The Walt Disney Dining Plan provides you with a set number of credits to redeem for counter service, table service, signature dining, and snacks.
The prepaid meals and snacks are convenient on your stay especially when you dine at the Disney resort hotels, theme parks and select locations at Disney Springs.
The credits can be stored on your MagicBand and receipt is provided after each redemption.
This is similar to putting money on your gift card for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival as it shows how many credits remain after each transaction.
15 Tips for Disney Free Dining 2019
1 – Know What the Free Disney Dining Plan Is
The Free Disney Dining Plan is a special offer Walt Disney World does every year for a few dates in the fall and winter months.
This promotion is as a great vacation package discount and deal.
2 – Understand How You Can Get Disney World Free Dining
You get a FREE dining plan when you purchase a non-discounted 5-night/6-day vacation package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and a ticket with a Park Hopper Option or Park Hopper Plus Option.
3 – Know What Disney Free Dining Options are Available to You
The amount of meals and snacks you receive in each plan depends on the type of plan you choose. Each type of meal or snack can be redeemed using a credit from your meal plan.
It sounds like a lot, but meal plans can be very simple and a great money saver if you do things right.
4 – Know the Disney Dining Plans
Disney has three tiers for the Dining Plan:
- Quick Service
- Standard Service
- Deluxe Disney Dining Plan
Each of them comes with a different level of service at different rates.
Disney Quick Service Dining Plan Cost
Includes two quick-service meals, two snacks OR one complete combo meal, and one refillable drink mug. The cost is $52.49 for adults and $23.78 for children.
Regular Dining Plan Cost
Includes one table service meal, quick service meal, two snacks, and one refillable mug. The cost is $75.49 for adults with a rate of $27.98 for children.
Disney Deluxe Dining Plan Cost
Includes three meals any combination of table service and quick service, two snacks one refillable mug. The cost is $116.24 for adults with a rate of $43.49 for children.
5 – Know What’s Included in the FREE Disney Quick Service Dining Plan
A Disney Quick Service Dining Plan for the current deal includes two quick-service meals and two snacks.
This does not include the one complete combo meal option that was mentioned earlier.
What are Disney Dining Plan Snacks?
They are Disney food items found on most snack carts and quick service locations. It’s usually noted by the snack plan logo on the menu.
Hipster Power Tip: Walt Disney World has some of the best snacks for any theme park in the world. You’ll definitely want to take advantage and try as many as you can on your trip.
6 – Know What You Get with the Free Disney Dining Plan
The offer allows you to enjoy Disney Resort Guest benefits and amenities.
The benefits include:
- Early access to Disney FastPass+ planning
- Extra Magic Hours
- Complimentary Resort transportation
- Standard parking
- Resort entertainment
- Select dining options
7 – Remember the Disney Free Dining 2019 Dates
The Disney free dining promotion is valid for travel dates July 5, 2019 through September 30, 2019, if booked by February 10, 2019.
What is the booking window for the Free Disney Dining Plan?
The booking window was January 2019 through February 10, 2019.
What are the 2019 dates for the Free Disney Dining Plan?
The travel dates for the offer are July 5, 2019 through September 30, 2019.
8 – Stay Up-to-Date with New Offers
Since Stars Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is opening later this year, expect for new dining and vacation offers to come out from Walt Disney World.
What if you missed the Disney Free Dining Plan offer?
The previous dates are just the first wave and it’s rumored that Disney will be adding additional free dining dates for 2019 soon.
In the meantime, you can receive a FREE meal per person (ages 3 and up), per night at a select Walt Disney World Resort quick-service dining location when you purchase a non-discounted, Walt Disney World Travel Co. Package.
This package includes a room for 4-nights at a select Disney Moderate or Value Resort Hotel and a 5-day theme park ticket.
This offer is currently valid for arrivals most nights from May 28 through August 21, 2019 if booked by June 30, 2019.
9 – Take Advantage of the Chase Cardmembers Free Disney Dining Plan Offer
As a Chase Cardmember, you can enjoy a FREE dining plan when you purchase a non-discounted 4-night/5-day Walt Disney Travel Company package.
Your package will include a room for 4 nights at a select Walt Disney World Resort hotel and 5-day theme park tickets with Park Hopper® Option.
You will have to book your Disney stay by June 16, 2019 for arrival on most nights August 1st through the 21st of 2019.
Contact Laura at Destinations in Florida to see if your dates work for this deal!
10 – Know the Differences in the Disney Dining Plan Based on the Resort You Choose
When you stay at a select Disney Deluxe Resort or Disney Deluxe Villa Resort, you will get the Disney Dining Plan with lots of dining options.
If you stay at a select Disney Value Resort or Disney Moderate Resort, you will get the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan.
Eligible Disney Moderate Resort Hotels for Quick-Service Dining Plan
- Caribbean Beach Resort
- Coronado Springs Resort
- Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
Eligible Disney Value Resort Hotels for Quick-Service Dining Plan
- All-Star Music Resort
- Art of Animation Resort – Family Suites only
- All-Star Sports Resort
- Pop Century Resort
Eligible Disney Deluxe Resort Hotels – FREE Disney Dining Plan
- Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Contemporary Resort
- Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Yacht Club Resort
Eligible Disney Deluxe Villa Resort Hotels – FREE Disney Dining Plan
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
11 – Know the Exclusions for the Free Dining Plan
Although the Free Disney Dining Plan includes a lot of perks, you should know what restrictions are a part of the offer.
Disney Free Dining Excludes the following room types and Disney Resort hotels:
- 3-bedroom villas
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms
- Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – Bungalows
- Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Are there any restrictions for the Free Disney Dining Plan?
- Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion
- Everyone in the same room must be on the same package
- Most beer, wine and cocktails are included.
- Gratuities are not included.
The restrictions and room exclusions listed may vary based on the type of Disney World free dining offer you choose.
I recommend speaking with Laura at Destinations in Florida to make sure you’re taking full advantage of the offer and that you’re not missing out on any crucial deals.
12 – Know the Key Takeaways for the Free Disney Dining Plan
All of this information can be confusing and has caused great debates online questioning the need for the plan. I don’t want you to be confused about how it works.
You already have enough to worry about for your Disney trip.
The most important things to remember for the Free Disney Dining Plan:
- Booking or changing your reservation online is far quicker and easier.
- Free Disney Dining Plan promotion is based upon ARRIVAL date.
- Reservations made with Disney Vacation Club points are not eligible for the offer.
- Value and Moderate Resorts receive the Quick Service Dining Plan for the promotion. You can upgrade if the difference is paid. The upgrade from the Quick Service Disney Dining Plan to the Standard Disney Dining Plan is $22.99 per adult and $4.00 per child per night. The upgrade from the Standard Disney Dining Plan to the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan is $40.67 per adult and $14.24 per child per night.
- Remember you have to buy tickets with the offer even if you already have tickets/Annual Passes.
- Gratuities are not included.
- You must book a minimum stay of 4 nights/maximum stay of 14 nights
- Alcohol is now a part of the Disney Dining Plan
- The snack credit can be used for most food items under $5.49. Simple snacks include pastries, ice cream bars, water bottles and soda.
13 – Use Your Dining Credits for Special Events
I’ve learned that the Disney Dining Plan works best for events like the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. I say this because you can get a lot of the snacks without using as many credits.
This is my favorite way of having the Disney Dining Plan.
14 – Work with An Authorized Walt Disney World Vacation Planner
An official planner has the latest deals, tools, and resources directly from Disney. They’re extremely knowledgeable on all things Disney dining!
15 – Determine Where You Want to Eat
Before you embark on your dream vacation, you should map out the place where you want to eat. That way you can maximize your credits and learn how to use them in a way that best suits you on your vacation.
Planning the ultimate Walt Disney World vacation can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I’m all for you saving your money, but I love when you can save your time too.
The Disney World free dining promotion is cool if you’re able to make it work for your situation.
Is Free Disney Dining worth it?
Yes and no.
You will have to spend a decent amount of money on your vacation package depending on the resort level you get in order to take advantage of the offer.
However, if you’re a first-time visitor, then it may help alleviate the guess work of budgeting for food and what to eat.
If Free Dining isn’t for you, other offers are available including savings of up to 25% on most nights May 28 through August 28, 2019 on rooms at select Walt Disney World® resort hotels.
This offer allows you to enjoy the many Disney Resort Guest benefits and amenities – including:
- complimentary MagicBands
- extra time at the parks
- early FastPass+ planning privileges
- free Resort transportation
If you enjoyed this guide, then read more Disney Planning Tips!
- 2019 Disney Dining Plan Tips and Tricks
- Do You Need a Disney Travel Planner?
- Ultimate Walt Disney World Planning Guide
- Do’s and Don’ts for Drinking at Epcot
- Best Animal Kingdom Snacks
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!