2023-2024 Free Eating at Disney World

Free Disney Eating Plan is a particular supply that’s an excellent Walt Disney World trip package deal low cost. This covers promo information, suggestions for reserving, historic dates, predictions & rumors for 2024 Free Eating, and solutions to steadily requested questions together with whether or not Free Eating is “value it.” (Up to date Might 16, 2023.)

Let’s begin with the unhealthy information, which is that the Disney Eating Plan shouldn’t be obtainable for reserving with 2023 Walt Disney World trip packages. Meaning there isn’t any Free Eating–at the least within the conventional sense of the time period–this yr. The excellent news is that we lastly have official affirmation that Walt Disney World is bringing again the Disney Eating Plan in 2024!

As we’ll talk about in our predictions & rumors part beneath, loads is altering and quick at Walt Disney World when it comes to pent-up demand, discounting, and promotions. Free Eating has not but been introduced for 2024, however the once-annual promotion was a enormous driver of resort bookings. If you need learn extra hypothesis about its return, proceed studying. In case you’re simply searching for confirmed or official information and wish to be notified instantly when Free Eating is introduced, enroll right here for our FREE Walt Disney World publication.

The excellent news is that normalcy is returning to Walt Disney World. Most eating places and resorts have now reopened, with solely a handful of resorts and eating choices nonetheless shuttered. People who have but to return possible will throughout the subsequent few months, and we count on eating capability to largely be restored by late 2023.

The even higher information is that this restored normalcy contains the exhaustion of pent-up demand, and there are indicators of softness on the horizon for Walt Disney World. We’ve talked about repeatedly that Walt Disney World already has launched over a dozen totally different reductions for 2023, which is greater than have been obtainable for the whole thing of final yr.

Extra not too long ago, CFO Christine McCarthy warned of a slowdown at Walt Disney World within the coming quarters. This bolstered what we already knew (and confirmed that there are considerations inside Disney about delicate future bookings), because the slowdown has already began. We’ve been discussing the upper than regular post-spring break attendance drops in Sharp Shoulder Season Slowdown at Walt Disney World and Low Pre-Summer time Crowds at Walt Disney World.

That is all related to the return of Free Eating in 2024 as a result of the deal shouldn’t be supplied out of company benevolence, however as an aggressive transfer to assist enhance resort occupancy numbers. An enormous a part of the rationale why Walt Disney World didn’t convey again the DDP (and by extension, Free Eating) within the final couple of years was as a result of it wasn’t obligatory. Pent-up demand was fueling report visitor spending, and numbers have been extremely sturdy even with out incentives.

That has modified in a rush over the past couple of months, and now Walt Disney World is pulling a number of “levers” to attempt to incentivize demand each within the near-term this summer season and for 2024 trip packages. One lever they’ve already pulled is new Annual Cross gross sales resuming. One other is the aforementioned enhance in resort reductions. Most not too long ago, a summer season ticket deal has been launched for Floridians, one other is coming quickly with out reservations for most people, and Annual Passholder appreciation days additionally begin quickly.

On that word, listed below are some predictions concerning the return of Free Eating at Walt Disney World…

2023-2024 Free Eating Forecast & Rumors

Let’s begin with 2023 Free Eating. As indicated above, the promotion received’t be introduced again within the conventional sense till the Disney Eating Plan returns, which isn’t taking place till January 2024. It thus stands to purpose that there’ll not be Free Eating this yr–it will take a small miracle or one thing going terribly improper, relying upon your perspective, for Walt Disney World to convey again Free Eating in 2023 at this level!

With that in thoughts, Walt Disney World has already launched the “Free” Disney Eating Card Deal, with journey dates from the late summer season via September 2023. Sadly, that particular supply is now not obtainable–reserving concluded on March 27. That really ended atypically early, and there was no good rationalization for why the Free Eating Card Promo was reduce brief. There was loads of resort and room availability, so it wasn’t that.

All of this beforehand led us to invest that Walt Disney World would prolong or re-release the Eating Card Promo. Precisely that occurred 4 years in the past when there have been three “waves” of Free Eating. It’s attainable Walt Disney World ended reserving early to create a false sense of shortage and encourage individuals to e-book promptly, and can launch extra or totally different dates for the Eating Card Promo within the coming months.

It’s additionally attainable that Walt Disney World will keep on with room-only reductions for the rest of 2023. For the reason that Eating Card Deal ended, there have been a couple of resort room reductions launched for overlapping journey dates in late summer season and early fall. One chance right here is that Walt Disney World didn’t wish to pressure restaurant capability, and that is definitely why the Free Eating Card Deal was dropped early–that it has nothing to do with synthetic shortage or creating a way of urgency.

Regardless, that low cost is not the “actual” Free Eating. For a lot of Walt Disney World trip planners, it was/is a greater supply than share financial savings on a room, however it was inferior to the total Free Eating in each sense. So a step in the precise course, however not nonetheless extra like “Weight-reduction plan” Free Eating than the unique system.

Wanting ahead to 2024 Free Eating, we might really see it going both means. Assuming, for the sake of dialogue, that Free Eating does come again subsequent yr, it most likely won’t observe the traditional first week of January launch sample established within the final a number of years of its existence.

For one factor, despite the fact that the Disney Eating Plan will probably be bookable beginning in Summer time 2023, nobody will really be utilizing it till January 2024 journey dates. So on the one hand, Walt Disney World will have the ability to glean loads from forward-looking bookings over the following a number of months. They’ll know utilization charges and ADR availability, amongst different issues.

Alternatively, reserving knowledge shouldn’t be the identical as precise implementation and visitor utilization. It’s arduous to think about Walt Disney World rolling out the Disney Eating Plan for visitor utilization and launching Free Eating for future dates throughout the identical stretch of early 2024. It’s extra possible that the DDP will solely return in paid kind for at the least a couple of months, giving Walt Disney World time to check and modify this system and handle restaurant capability. Going from nothing to Free Eating is like having your first time driving being within the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Accordingly, there’s more likely to be a lag between the Disney Eating Plan really returning and Free Eating being supplied once more. If we needed to guess, there will probably be a spot of at the least a couple of months. That might put the discharge of Free Eating round March 2024 on the earliest provided that the Disney Eating Plan is coming again within the second week of January.

Even then, Walt Disney World will wish to supply the least favorable particular affords attainable to satisfy occupancy targets. Once more, the corporate affords reductions not out of generosity, however out of necessity. If occupancy projections are sturdy or Walt Disney World thinks it may possibly “get away with” releasing a much less enticing low cost, they’ll.

Accordingly, it’s attainable that Walt Disney World will convey again the aforementioned Free Eating Card Deal in 2024 or supply “Free Eating Lite” or “Half-Free Eating” as we’ve come to name Walt Disney World’s different advertising gimmicks that commerce on the title recognition of the Free Eating supply. Formally, these particular affords go by numerous names, however the commonest are “children eat free” or “keep, play, dine & save.”

Nonetheless, as mentioned above, Walt Disney World is already seeing a major slowdown for Summer time 2024. That is taking place towards a backdrop of pent-up demand persevering with to exhaust itself (first with home vacationers, subsequent with worldwide guests), family financial savings lowering and debt masses growing, inflation stinging extra, and a possible financial slowdown.

As this occurs, customers will return to being extra cost-conscious and worth delicate, and never as free-spending as they have been through the interval of “revenge journey.” Now not making up for misplaced time or financially in a position to afford breaking the financial institution splurging on journey, Walt Disney World will proceed returning to its 2019 “regular” to at the least a point.

Given all of that, it appears more and more possible that Walt Disney World will proceed to see even weaker forward-looking demand within the months to return. That’s very true if the “levers” being pulled don’t do sufficient to buoy bookings.

In such a situation, Walt Disney World could also be compelled to get aggressive and launch Free Eating in early 2024 for journey dates later within the yr to spice up bookings. For the explanations recognized above, this could not be seen as superb internally, and we aren’t suggesting that is what’s going to occur.

On the contrary, we predict it’s extra possible {that a} watered-down model of Free Eating will probably be supplied early within the yr, with the Free Eating ‘basic system’ popping out later within the spring or summer season. It simply appears extremely unlikely that Walt Disney World would go from “zero to Free Eating.” It’ll be extra incremental, with Disney making an attempt to supply the least enticing offers as attainable to full rooms. For just like the third or fourth time, Walt Disney World doesn’t supply offers out of generosity.

Nonetheless, the surroundings has already modified quick in the previous few months. Though there have been indicators earlier this yr that summer season bookings could be weak, attendance was sturdy for spring break–after which it was like flipping a change firstly of Might 2023. Already this month, Walt Disney World has performed a ton to attempt to shore up demand…and there’s not but any indication whether or not all of that can work. Perhaps it would, perhaps it received’t.

In brief, it’s means too early to supply any kind of credible predictions for 2024 Free Eating dates. There are such a lot of transferring elements and variables at play. There are just too many questions on demand and the broader economic system, in addition to to what extent the 5 main adjustments that Walt Disney World has already introduced for 2024 trip packages will transfer the needle.

With that stated, there are a few dates you may wish to pencil in in your calendar. The primary is January 2, 2024 and the second is April 16, 2024. Primarily based on historic knowledge, these two very particular dates are when Walt Disney World’s first spherical of offers are principally more likely to be launched. To the extent that it’s attainable to foretell when Free Eating (or different reductions) will probably be launched subsequent yr this far out, these are the probably dates.

Previous precedent is a robust indicator of Walt Disney World particular supply releases, making these dates the probably for the discharge of Free Eating in 2024. Of the 2 dates, we view April as much more possible, which might even be in step with the discharge sample of Free Eating up till 2018.

Irrespective of when launched, we’re possible journey dates in Late 2024. Seemingly August via December 2024, with regular blockout dates and exclusions (see beneath) if launched in April. If launched in January, it’s additionally attainable that there are June and July 2024 journey dates included.

All of this relies upon what bookings and occupancy are like for later in 2024–and that’s unknown and unknowable proper now. There’s an opportunity that Walt Disney World might want to act quick in January 2024 to extend bookings, however there’s completely no current precedent to counsel that’ll occur. They’ve been very gradual to react and never in the least proactive in the previous few years.

Once more, we wish to emphasize that that is not a rumor–it’s merely us analyzing resort bookings and previous precedent on reductions, and making an informed guess. Walt Disney World might go one other course completely, as the corporate has acknowledged repeatedly that they wish to cut back discounting.

Nonetheless, Disney additionally likes the present excessive stage of per visitor spending numbers, and no different particular supply helps obtain these excessive per caps like Free Eating. Regardless of “free” being within the title, it’s an advantageous promo from Disney’s perspective as a result of it locks friends into full-price resorts and tickets. It additionally retains friends on-site for probably the most half, since they’ve “free” meals at Walt Disney World. No different low cost accomplishes all of those vital targets for the corporate.

Both means, will probably be intently monitoring the 2024 Free Eating scenario, protecting our ears open for extra information a couple of return of Free Eating. Ought to one thing–something–be launched or rumored, we’ll ship you an alert should you join our FREE Walt Disney World publication.

We’ve persistently notified e mail subscribers when Free Eating and different offers on the day they go reside at ~6 or 7 a.m., which is a 2+ hour head begin on Disney’s official announcement at 9 am. That makes a enormous distinction when reserving Free Eating–you received’t have to attend on maintain for hours on the telephone.

Free Eating FAQ

Free Eating is Walt Disney World’s most intricate promotion, and could be a enormous headache to e-book. Between restricted availability and navigating a seas of guidelines and restrictions, it’s straightforward to make errors. This part of the put up covers the principles, phrases and circumstances, and insurance policies that typically govern the Free Eating promotion.

We at all times advocate that Walt Disney World first-timers (or regulars who simply don’t wish to cope with the trouble) request a FREE quote from Be Our Visitor Holidays, an Approved Disney Journey Planner. No legit journey brokers cost for reserving Walt Disney World holidays (and also you don’t pay a premium for them–Disney pays them fee), in order that’s actually the best strategy to go.

With this particular supply, Walt Disney World friends reserving trip packages with non-discounted resort resorts and park tickets obtain the Disney Eating Plan for every member of their occasion for no further cost. For apparent causes (who doesn’t love free meals?!), the promotion is extremely fashionable and a few resorts that supply free eating are inclined to promote out rapidly.

Company reserving the Free Disney Eating Plan promotion for Worth or Average Resorts will obtain the Fast Service Disney Eating Plan, with friends staying at Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resorts receiving the usual Disney Eating Plan. Upgrading is feasible to the usual Disney Eating Plan or Deluxe Disney Eating Plan by paying the distinction in value.

There are some room exclusions for the Free Eating promo: 3-bedroom villas, campsites, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Wilderness Lodge, Bungalows at Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, and Little Mermaid Rooms at Disney’s Artwork of Animation Resort.

These resorts and room tiers are all not eligible for Free Eating. Moreover, room stock is proscribed throughout all resorts. In observe, which means that whenever you go to e-book, a specific class (normal view, backyard view, and many others.) might not be obtainable to your journey dates–or your journey dates might not be obtainable at a selected resort in any respect.

To benefit from Free Eating, there’s additionally the requirement that friends buy tickets that embody both a minimal 4-day Park Hopper or the Park Hopper Plus possibility. Moreover, a 4-night minimal keep is required with a most keep of fourteen nights.

This implies you may’t buy discounted Walt Disney World tickets from a licensed reseller, which we usually extremely advocate in our Walt Disney World journey planning recommendation. That is one thing to remember when doing the mathematics to find out if “Free Eating” is an efficient worth for you.

On the subject of Free Eating, doing the mathematics is extremely vital. Different reductions (equivalent to a room-only low cost) could be higher for your loved ones. Bear in mind, there isn’t any such factor as a free lunch; you’ve got forfeit an alternate low cost to qualify for Free Eating. We break down a number of the math in our “Is Free Eating Price It?” put up.

You probably have already booked a trip package deal with an arrival date that qualifies for Free Eating, we advocate utilizing the “modify reservation” hyperlink in your reserving to use the promotion to your package deal. That is the quickest and best strategy to apply the promotion.

You may see different recommendation that recommends calling to e-book Free Eating. That is outdated. In case you name Walt Disney World’s reservation line, you’ll possible wait on maintain for an hour (or hours) till you’re in a position to converse to an agent. Reserving or modifying your reservation on-line is far faster and simpler.

Even when the web system crashes (which has occurred) or strikes slowly as a consequence of all of the site visitors, it’s simpler to only maintain making an attempt on-line. Sadly, reserving on-line isn’t at all times attainable and technical errors do occur…so that you might need to name and wait on maintain.

If you’re questioning which resort to e-book for the Free Eating promotion, take a look at our new Greatest Walt Disney World Accommodations for Free Eating put up. It offers our most popular possibility for every resort tier. Oh, and don’t neglect to make some ADRs for the perfect and hottest Walt Disney World eating places.

With this Free Eating supply, Worth and Average Resort friends obtain the Fast Service Disney Eating Plan through the promotion. Company at Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts obtain the usual Disney Eating Plan. Upgrading to larger tiers is feasible for an extra cost.

We extremely advocate making Advance Eating Reservations as quickly as attainable. Sure, even earlier than Free Eating is obtainable, should you can. Everybody gobbles up the great ADRs rapidly for Free Eating dates, so should you don’t e-book early, you can be caught consuming counter service or unpopular eating places in the course of your journey.

To reply another widespread questions: sure, you will need to buy tickets with the supply even when you have already got them (or an Annual Cross). No, bookings made with Disney Trip Membership factors should not eligible for the supply. No, you can not “stack” this supply with a percentage-off room low cost (at the least not within the U.S.). For these questioning about different Walt Disney World reductions, take a look at our Present Walt Disney World Low cost Affords put up for what’s presently obtainable.

For particulars about which tier of the Disney Eating Plan contains or for suggestions about which eating places to e-book to maximise your use of the Disney Eating Plan, please see our complete Disney Eating Plan Overview Web page.

Be aware that the Free Disney Eating Plan promotion is at all times primarily based upon arrival dates. For instance, if Free Eating runs June 27 to June 28 and also you arrive on June 28 and keep till July 5, you are eligible for Free Eating–despite the fact that it’s blocked out for July 5 arrivals. (You didn’t arrive on July 5 in that situation–you arrived in June.)

Nonetheless, if it’s supplied those self same dates and also you arrive on June 26 and keep for a similar dates, you should not eligible for Free Eating, despite the fact that extra of your keep falls throughout an “eligible” interval than the primary instance’s. The work-around for that is doing a break up keep, with the ineligible arrival nights a part of one trip and a second trip beginning on the first legitimate “arrival” date and persevering with thereafter. Once more, arrival dates are what issues with Free Eating.

Company staying at a Walt Disney World Worth and Average Resorts obtain the Fast Service Eating Plan through the Free Eating promotion, however are in a position to improve to the (normal) Disney Eating Plan or the Deluxe Disney Eating Plan in the event that they pay the distinction. Company staying at Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resorts obtain the usual Disney Eating Plan and will improve to the Deluxe Disney Eating Plan by paying the distinction, too.

The improve value to go from the Fast Service Disney Eating Plan to the usual Disney Eating Plan for Free Eating is $23.01 per grownup and $4.51 per baby per evening. The improve value from the usual Disney Eating Plan to the Deluxe Disney Eating Plan is $40.99 per grownup and $16.99 per baby per evening. To improve from the Fast Service Disney Eating Plan to the Deluxe one, add the 2 improve prices collectively.

Within the part beneath, we’ve got historic Free Eating dates for the previous few years. The remainder of what follows is historic details about the Free Disney Eating Plan promotion…

Historic Info

The next shouldn’t be pertinent to present bookings, however we’ve got discovered that readers discover it helpful to have particulars about previous Free Eating promos when planning for the longer term and what to anticipate. Be aware that the dates are fairly constant from yr to yr, with slight shifts for holidays, weekends, and particular occasions, or different issues which may be excluded from the Free Disney Eating Plan promotion.

Final yr, there was no early reserving window for Disney Visa cardholders, however there was an expanded date vary (see beneath). The 2 years earlier than, Disney Visa cardholders did have an early reserving window. Precise dates are listed beneath. Most years, most people is ready to e-book Free Eating packages 5 days after Disney Visa cardholders can e-book.

In years previous, Free Eating has been introduced in late April, with reserving opening first for Disney Visa bank card holders and most people a couple of days later. The final couple of years, there was no early window for Disney Visa cardholders.

Listed here are the Walt Disney World Free Eating dates that have been obtainable from 2013-2020 for historic reference…

2020 Free Eating Dates (Cancelled):

  • June 27 via June 28
  • July 5 via July 7
  • August 29 via September 8

2019 Free Eating Dates:

  • July 5 – September 30*
  • September 1 via September 18**
  • November 17 via November 27**
  • December 8 via December 23**

*First and second wave of Free Eating
**Third wave of Free Eating

2018 Free Eating Dates:

  • August 20* — September 29
  • November 24 — 27
  • December 7 — 23

*Disney Visa Cardholders might e-book for arrival dates starting August 2.

2017 Free Eating Dates:

  • August 21* – September 30
  • November 14 – 20
  • November 25 – 27
  • December 8 – 23

*Disney Visa Cardholders might e-book for arrival dates starting August 13.

2016 Free Eating Dates:

  • August 23* via October 1
  • November 15 via 21
  • November 26 via 28
  • December 10 via 21

*Disney Visa Cardholders might e-book for arrival dates starting August 14.

2015 Free Eating Dates:

  • August 28 via October 2
  • October 25 via October 31
  • November 8 via November 19
  • December 15 via December 21

2014 Free Eating Dates:

  • August 31 – October 3
  • October 26 – November 1
  • November 9 – November 20
  • December 12 – December 23

2013 Free Eating Dates

  • September 2 to September 25
  • September 29 to October 2
  • October 18 to November 2
  • November 11 to November 23
  • December 12 to December 22

Different Free Eating Posts & Assets

In case you plan on getting the Disney Eating Plan take a look at these different Walt Disney World posts:

Need extra eating suggestions? Take a look at our 101 Scrumptious Walt Disney World Eating Ideas. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Critiques. Planning different elements of a Walt Disney World journey? Find out about resorts on our Walt Disney World Accommodations Critiques web page. To save cash 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 novel take 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 perfect place to start out is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for all the things it is advisable know!

Your Ideas

Do you assume Free Eating will probably be launched in January or April 2024, or will it take longer earlier than Walt Disney World “wants” to get that aggressive with offers? Are you a fan of the “free” eating promotion? Have any suggestions without cost eating rookies? In case you’ve booked Free Eating, what did you consider your expertise with the deal? In case you have been unable to get it, the place/when have been you unsuccessful? Tell us what you consider the promotion and whether or not you’re planning on benefiting from it within the feedback!

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