Mom With Kids After Run
  • On May 2, 2014
    April from TN Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    My family and I are planning a trip to WDW during the free dining dates during September, but sadly we are not eligible for free dining because we are staying in an excluded room. Should I change our reservation to a room that is eligible?


    The free dining plan is good for guests staying in non-discounted rooms at specific resorts for a minimum stay of three nights and with the purchase of at least a 2-day ticket for each person on the reservation.

    If the room you have currently is a reduced-rate room and, therefore, that's the reason you aren't eligible for the free dining plan, it may not be cost-effective for you to change. If you do not plan on purchasing a ticket for everyone in the room, that may also take away some of the value. Additionally, if you were planning on eating primarily at counter-service locations with only one or two table-service and Character Meals, paying full rack rate to get the free dining plan, may not be comparing apples to apples for your vacation budgeting.

    However, if you are planning on going during free dining dates and you are wanting to stay on Disney property, purchase tickets for everyone, and take in a few Character Meals, I'd consider pricing out a different, free dining-eligible room to see if it would be worth the switch, keeping in mind that if you stay at a resort that makes you eligible for the Basic Dining Plan that includes one table-service meal per day, you will still pay gratuity.

    There's no hurt in talking to a Disney-certified travel agent or Disney to price the two out.

    Wishing y'all a magical vacation!
thumbnail image for Whitney

Meet the Panelist: Whitney, Mississippi

My family of 6 appreciates Disney's value! Although Ft. Wilderness is our second home, we've enjoyed the resorts for business, reunions and romantic getaways. For me, Disney also means dining: last count, I'd eaten at 55 restaurants around the World! Learn More About Whitney

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