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2024 Free Eating at Disney World FAQ


We’ve obtained a number of questions concerning the 2024 Free Eating deal that Walt Disney World launched for choose dates in Summer season and Fall 2024. This FAQ solutions these frequent inquiries about eligibility, worth for cash, whether or not it’s really free meals, the way it compares to different room-only and eating reductions, and far more.

It’s comprehensible that there’s confusion, as nothing concerning the Disney Eating Plan is easy. The complexity is a characteristic, not a bug. The excellent news is that we first used ourselves Free Eating again in 2007 and have taken benefit of the promo nearly yearly that it’s been supplied since. Ditto the Disney Eating Plan, which we final utilized in March 2020–the second to final week that it was obtainable!

Whereas rather a lot has modified over the a long time (our 2007-2012 experiences are of no worth…besides road cred, I suppose), there really is just not a lot totally different about 2024 Free Eating vs. 2019 Free Eating. Primarily based upon all of that, we now have solutions to regularly requested reader questions–and different ones we anticipate being frequent based mostly on previous inquiries. This can be a lengthy one, so let’s dig proper into the FAQ…

What if I’m not a Disney+ subscriber?

Subscribe to it.

The most affordable tier of Disney+ prices ~$8 per 30 days. Should you’ve already accomplished the maths (see beneath) and decide that Free Eating is the precise particular provide for you, subscribe to the Disney+ streaming service. It’s a extremely low barrier to entry, and there’s no assure {that a} subsequent wave of 2024 Free Eating will likely be launched to most people.

How lengthy do you must maintain the subscription? 

That’s the place issues get difficult. In accordance with the phrases and circumstances of the low cost, “proof of Disney+ subscription required” for eligibility.

Does that imply simply when reserving? All through the time from once you e book till you checkout? For less than the months of reserving and check-in? Nobody goes to have the ability to provide you with a definitive reply to that. Should you ask a Solid Member, they’re most likely going to err on the aspect of “for the period.”

Anecdotally, I can inform you that we all know a “buddy” who cancelled their Disney+ subscription shortly after reserving below a previous WDW promo and supposed upon resubscribing earlier than check-in…however forgot to take action. It didn’t matter. There was no verification of Disney+ subscription upon arrival. Once more, that is anecdotal–no matter you do right here is at your individual threat.

What if the resort or room I would like is offered out? 

Hold making an attempt.

Certainly one of our greatest items of recommendation in terms of reserving Free Eating is to lock-in a reservation early even in the event you’re uncertain of plans as a result of availability goes usually quick. We had been doubly involved of that with 2024 Free Eating as a result of pent-up demand for the promotion. (Primarily based on early spot-checking, it really seems our considerations had been unfounded.)

One other piece of recommendation is to test again ~48 hours later in the event you couldn’t get what you needed as a result of that’s when courtesy holds expire. Within the chaos and crunch of getting issues booked, journey brokers and others typically make reservations that fall by way of. Two to 3 days after the particular provide goes dwell, that room stock re-enters the system.

On the subject of promotions or actually something Disney reserves that’s refundable or not pre-paid in full, extra availability all the time opens up later as a result of folks hoard reservations or make aspirational bookings. This is quite common with Free Eating, however this similar recommendation will be utilized to only about any particular affords or aggressive reservations.

What’s the chance of extra reductions between now and July 2024?

We attempt to by no means say by no means, so…extremely unlikely. 

Walt Disney World has now launched a full slate of particular affords between now and July 7, 2024. There’s all kinds of reductions, with nothing that will usually be obtainable “lacking” from the slate.

A sudden recession or cataclysmic financial prevalence that leads to Walt Disney World needing to behave aggressively ASAP to shore up enterprise is about the one state of affairs we might see a wave of Free Eating for dates earlier than July 2024. Let’s hope that doesn’t occur, as such a state of affairs would clearly have unfavorable actual world implications far past Free Eating.

What’s the chance of extra reductions between September and December 2024?

We attempt to by no means say something is 100% sure, so…it’s a close to certainty.

Room-only reductions are all however a assure, and if we had been betting folks, we’d put appreciable cash on one other distinctive dining-related low cost for the vacation season. Personally, I believe a second wave of 2024 Free Eating is extra doubtless than not. I lay out my reasoning and sure dates within the ‘Forecast & Rumors’ part (close to the highest) of our Information to 2024 Free Eating at Walt Disney World.

Is Free Eating really free?

After all not. Keep in mind the previous adage: there is no such thing as a such factor as a free lunch. 

Right here, that’s true each actually and figuratively. With a purpose to qualify for Free Eating, you might be required to e book a trip bundle with sure parameters–full priced Park Hopper tickets and a resort resort. This implies, extra doubtless than not, you may be forfeiting an alternate room-only low cost to qualify for this.

Some Walt Disney World followers assume that their discovery of this not-so-secret element is good detective work, like they’ve unraveled an important thriller. That since Free Eating isn’t really free, the precise reverse have to be true: it’s a foul deal. 

Is Free Eating a foul deal?

I’ll throw a good higher adage at ya for this one: solely a Sith offers in absolutes.

Probably the most irritating issues for me across the Free Eating discourse was that it lacks nuance. Some Walt Disney World followers declare it’s the very best deal ever and others deride Free Eating as being an entire rip-off or for suckers. Each are mistaken. On the very least, they need to’ve appended “for my household” to the top of their very-subjective assessments.

For the final 13 years, I’ve analyzed each single Walt Disney World low cost that has been launched. What I’ve found throughout that point is that each deal will be “good” or “dangerous.” All of them.

Even ones that I’ve criticized as being subpar by historic requirements have been nice for some planners who in any other case would’ve paid rack charges for his or her trip. Conversely, some objectively distinctive promos don’t make subjective sense for some folks as a result of they don’t need or want what’s included.

That is very true with particular affords which can be extra circumstantial–various based mostly on occasion measurement, visitor ages, resort/room class, journey dates, appetites, and so forth. On the spectrum, room-only reductions are probably the most easy; Free Eating is the least. That’s exactly why it’s so polarizing–as a result of too many individuals extrapolate an excessive amount of based mostly on their very own circumstances and fail to contemplate the (pretty apparent) indisputable fact that not everyone seems to be them.

In brief, you completely have to do the maths on Free Eating based mostly by yourself occasion and preferences, versus the room-only low cost that can also be obtainable for a similar journey dates. Free Eating may very well be an terrible or superior deal; all of it relies upon upon your circumstances, body of reference, and obtainable alternate options.

I hate math, are you able to do it for me? 

I additionally hate math, so I can empathize. However due to that, I’m not doing it for you. If I did the maths for everybody, I’d be doing math all day, slowly and poorly. What I’ll do is make some sweeping generalizations that will or might not be useful. Free Eating is prone to work greatest for the next visitor demographics:

  • Nearly all households staying at Worth Resorts
  • Most households in normal rooms at Average Resorts
  • Events of three or extra Disney Adults at Deluxe Resorts

Free Eating is prone to work worst for the next:

  • Events of three or fewer that embody youngsters at Deluxe Resorts
  • {Couples} or solo vacationers at Average Resorts
  • Smaller events in Household Suites at Worth Resorts

From that, it’s best to have an honest sense of who advantages most and least from Free Eating. Principally, you wish to have a look at occasion measurement (the bigger, the higher!), visitor ages (the older, the higher!), and room value (the decrease, the higher!). That’s just about it…but it surely sounds easier than it really is.

My generalizations aren’t any substitute for precise math. I can virtually assure there will likely be “properly, really…” feedback from these in the very best/worst demographics above with firsthand experiences that contradict the categorizations. They usually’re proper! That’s the factor about sweeping generalizations–they’re usually mistaken.

Is Free Eating higher than the opposite eating reductions at the moment obtainable? 

Should you’ve learn the above solutions, you already know the place that is going: it relies upon. 

For reference, the present food-related particular affords are the “Free” Disney Eating Card Deal for 2024 and the 50% Off Tickets & Eating Plans Low cost for Children in Spring & Summer season 2024. These are for various date ranges than Free Eating, so that you’re most likely not going to be selecting among the many three in case your journey dates are already locked-in.

However let’s simply say you’re versatile on dates and keen to comparability store all three. It nonetheless relies upon! The eating card deal is far more easy, and might work higher for smaller events. Personally, it’s not my favourite–however some folks adore it.

I believe the actual sleeper right here is the 50% off for teenagers, which has been a bit neglected. In all probability as a result of 50% off is 50% lower than free (technically true). The underrated a part of that, although, is that it additionally applies to tickets. So in case your occasion is kid-heavy, you could possibly win on that. You’ve actually gotta do the maths in your family, although.

Are there some other choices for comparability procuring? 

Should you’re overwhelmed or need another person to do the homework for you, use a journey agent. Any journey agent! We advocate requesting a FREE no obligation quote from Be Our Visitor Holidays, an Licensed Disney Trip Planner and having them e book for you.

They’ll help you with the planning course of, assist you to select probably the most economical dates, greatest add-ons, and many others. Notably, additionally they monitor reservations and might retroactively apply new reductions if a higher deal is launched to avoid wasting you extra money. (An enormous factor proper now, since higher offers maintain popping out and supplanting the previous ones!)

Equally as essential, they’ll assist you to with low cost comparability procuring. There are a ton of various reductions at the moment obtainable for Walt Disney World in 2024, and that quantity is just going to develop! So what you see now isn’t essentially every little thing that’ll be obtainable in your journey dates.

Walt Disney World makes these particular affords complicated on objective in order that comparability procuring is tougher. That is accomplished in a bunch of little methods, which I assume is for advertising and marketing functions or to attraction to totally different shopper psychologies. I actually don’t know. Regardless, we extremely advocate utilizing a journey agent–even when it’s not Be Our Visitor Holidays. (Simply don’t use a Massive Field or MLM–see Why You Ought to Use A Disney Journey Agent for extra.)

Why do some WDW followers love Free Eating a lot?

If we’re being trustworthy, I believe a giant a part of it’s advertising and marketing. They are saying that no phrase is as lovely sounding as cellar door. Nicely, I assume these people by no means heard the phrases free meals. Severely, it’s so simple as that. “Free” is highly effective advertising and marketing.

There’s additionally the truth that Free Eating has a longstanding fame, a lot of which was solid over a decade in the past when the particular provide supplied superior financial savings. A few of us keep in mind the times of cramming 4 associates into Caribbean Seashore for $100 per night time, shopping for single day tickets (and upgrading these to APs), and everybody getting the complete Disney Eating Plan–which included appetizers and ideas! It was virtually like Walt Disney World was paying us to go to.

These days are lengthy gone, however even now, what so many Walt Disney World followers love concerning the Eating Plan and Free Eating is the joys of the chase and problem of hacking it. They (we) are the in-group who is aware of tips on how to leverage the DDP to full benefit and might really come out forward. We’ve voluminous assets about ‘greatest makes use of’ of Disney Eating Plan credit, and it’s nonetheless potential to get extra bang in your buck with the DDP than its face worth.

The minority of Disney Eating Plan energy customers are outweighed by those that got here out behind–not utilizing all of their credit, not consuming steak for each meal, or in any other case the DDP for low-value redemptions. Consider the Disney Eating Plan virtually like bank cards–some folks leverage them to their benefit and get great advantages at low or no value. However that’s sponsored by the overwhelming majority of people that pay way more in curiosity than they get in rewards. Visa is just not dropping cash, on the entire. Identical concept with Disney, totally different circumstances.

Higher but, consider the Disney Eating Plan like FastPass or Lightning Lanes. For each single line-skipping system Walt Disney World has supplied ever, there was a base of energy customers who figures out tips on how to get far more mileage out of it than the typical visitor. (On account of complexity, a lot of Walt Disney World is gameable–there are all the time winners and losers.)

Is it potential to eat cheaper than ‘Free’ Eating? 

Sure. Because it’s not likely free and lots of people come out behind on the Disney Eating Plan, it ought to comply with that there are extra environment friendly methods to eat at Walt Disney World than Free Eating…for some events.

For years, there was fierce debate about whether or not the Disney Eating Plan affords benefits in budgeting and comfort. For our half, we now have strongly argued towards this, contending that nothing is extra handy than merely paying as you go; in the event you don’t wish to fear about budgeting, buy (discounted!) Disney Reward Playing cards earlier than the journey.

Why is my previously-booked trip bundle costlier with Free Eating?

Nicely for one factor, you would possibly’ve switched from a room-only low cost to a full-priced room. We received’t rehash the entire above commentary about Free Eating not really being free.

Past that, all particular affords require paying present costs for the bundle parts and it’s potential that, in the event you booked up to now, your reservations had been made earlier than one thing elevated in worth. That’s a basic rule, however I don’t assume it really applies right here as ticket costs (normally the most important offender) haven’t elevated since December 2022. (With that stated, they most likely will in February 2024, so lock-in no matter you need earlier than then and don’t modify after!)

One other wrinkle to that is that some followers declare that Walt Disney World raises room charges proper earlier than releasing reductions. I’ve by no means seen any firsthand proof of this; rack charges are set months prematurely they usually shouldn’t change. I’m not denying it occurs, however I personally assume the way more frequent state of affairs is the above (ticket will increase) or a mismatch of room classes. It’s not unusual for normal rooms to e book up quick with Free Eating, forcing folks to improve to totally different premium-priced view or location classes that possibly they didn’t need within the first place.

The place can the Disney Eating Plan be used? 

The Disney Eating Plan can be utilized to buy meals, snacks, treats and drinks at “choose taking part eating places” in accordance with Walt Disney World. See the Full Checklist of Eating places on 2024 Disney Eating Plans, which covers the ~230 spots that settle for some type of the DDP.

The one downside with that’s it doesn’t specify which is snack, quick-service, desk service–and what’s 1 versus 2 desk service credit. You’ll must go restaurant-by-restaurant to determine that out. Additionally, our Information to the 2024 Disney Eating Plan covers the fundamentals, what every meal kind on the DDP consists of, varied quirks, and far more. Nothing with the DDP is “easy,” however that may assist provide you with a greater understanding of the way it works–and the way to not use it.

As a basic matter, all Disney-owned venues which can be centered on meals and most third events settle for the Disney Eating Plan in some capability. Each EPCOT competition sales space, counter service restaurant, desk service restaurant, and many others. The largest exception to that is eating places with prix fixe menus.

The place are the very best locations to make use of the Disney Eating Plan? 

Fairly easy: any eating places that provide the worst worth when paying out of pocket…however that aren’t Signature Eating places. Making a few generalizations, counter service eating places that serve ribs or different fancy entrees, character lunches & dinners (and typically breakfast), and EPCOT competition kiosks are all normally good makes use of of credit. Extra particularly, take a look at these lists:

Why can’t Disney Trip Membership Members get Free Eating? 

They’ll! As long as DVC Members qualify with the parameters of the promotion, they’re eligible to e book this particular provide. Identical goes for Annual Passholders, Florida residents, members of D23, Hell’s Angels, and so forth–anybody is eligible.

Nonetheless, it looks as if these questioning this are literally asking: Why can’t I get free meals with no strings connected? The reply to that’s, as intimated above, that nobody will get Free Eating with no strings connected. Once more, no such factor as a free lunch. Free Eating requires the acquisition of full priced tickets and lodging.

Disney Trip Membership members already save 40% or extra (in some instances, 70% or extra, relying upon once they joined and the way they bought their membership curiosity) on lodging. With out query, DVC Members are getting a greater deal than Free Eating. For no matter cause, DVC house owners appear to assume they’re entitled to double-dip on reductions regardless of having locked-in theirs up-front.

As DVC Members ourselves, we’re sympathetic to a number of complaints about this system–particularly in the previous few years. Availability, Member Companies, call-center wait occasions, and many others. are all official gripes. This isn’t.

What about visitors from the UK or Europe? 

Okay, so I’d stand corrected with the road that “anybody is eligible.”

Though I’ve by no means seen Walt Disney World straight handle this, there have been common and repeated studies from visitors in the UK and Europe that they’re unable to e book this (or previous) Disney+ subscriber reductions. Disney doesn’t point out something within the phrases & circumstances about this.

I’ve a U.S. Disney+ subscription, so I can’t replicate both this downside or potential options. What I do know is that previously, planners from the UK/EU have been capable of e book through the use of a VPN and accessing the U.S. DisneyWorld.com web site. From what I perceive, that normally works. (Please go away a remark in case you have firsthand expertise, success or failure, making an attempt this.)

As for the why of this, it’s most likely not as a result of Walt Disney World hates worldwide visitors. Though it would appear that means, Walt Disney World really loves visitors from exterior america. They’re extra of a captive viewers, have increased per visitor spending metrics, and sometimes do longer stays. That is why we routinely check with British visitors as Walt Disney World’s “whales” (non-derogatory). There are sometimes boring authorized explanations for why Disney “blocks” these kinds of bookings.

That is all complicated?

Probably not a query, however I’ll roll with it since one of these sentiment–punctuated by a query mark–is kind of frequent.

I don’t care what any longtime Walt Disney World followers declare, the Disney Eating Plan is complicated. It simply isn’t to them as a result of they’ve realized the ins and outs over the course of years. As a basic matter, in case you are confused or overwhelmed by Free Eating, it most likely isn’t for you.

It’s solely potential you’ll spend a ton of time doing analysis between now and your journey, and find yourself wishing you’d accomplished Free Eating. Extra doubtless, although, is that you simply’d be higher suited with a extra easy room-only low cost. The convoluted nature of the Disney Eating Plan is a characteristic, not a bug. (See above comparability to bank cards.)

Free Eating has higher “breakage” than different reductions as a result of the overwhelming majority of visitors is not going to use it to full benefit. Not all visitors drink alcohol, eat steak, love snacking, and many others. For many, the assorted Disney Eating Plans provide means an excessive amount of meals. Only a few folks eat in ways in which maximize the DDP’s worth. Against this, a room-only low cost takes the complete amount of cash off up entrance–it’s extra of a identified amount. So in the event you’ve accomplished the maths and it looks as if an in depth name on paper however you’re kinda confused by Free Eating/Disney Eating Plan, I’d advocate taking the positive factor and reserving the room-only low cost. To every their very own, although.

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Study motels on our Walt Disney World Motels Opinions web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Opinions. To economize on tickets or decide which kind to purchase, learn our Ideas for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets put up. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys put up takes a singular have a look at intelligent gadgets to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Trip Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, the very best place to begin is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for every little thing you might want to know!

YOUR THOUGHTS

Have any questions concerning the Free Eating particular provide for Disney+ subscribers in Summer season & Fall 2024 that this FAQ didn’t reply? Different ideas or factors to deal with? Will your loved ones be reserving or sitting out this Walt Disney World low cost? How does this evaluate to room-only or different reductions for you–is it higher or worse? Do you agree or disagree with our perspective on this? Listening to your suggestions–even once you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!