Despite indications to the contrary, Walt Disney World has extended one of its most popular discount offerings – Free Dining.
Originally scheduled to end in early fall, the Florida based theme park resort has extended the promotion into December (with many black-out dates). This is despite Disney management assuring stockholders earlier this year that theme park discounts would be a much rarer occurrence than it has been in the last few years.
Fighting a sluggish economy, Disney World has combated faltering ticket sales with discounts to keep their resorts and parks teeming with guests. Viewed as successful to most based on the theme park gate numbers, the discounts have taken their toll on the company’s bottom line. Thus, the reason for the announcement of less discounts to be had in the future.
But, upper management must have changed their minds, at least in the short term. It is hard to guess what will happen next year, but those opting a trip through many dates in December of this year have a shot at getting the Free Dining option.
Booking of the discount package must occur before August 14, 2010. Windows of availability are much tighter but reveal many options. Qualifying packages must start in one of the windows shown below (but can usually extend past these dates:
- August 15 – October 7, 2010
- October 22 – October 28, 2010
- November 12 – November 18, 2010
- November 27 – December 2, 2010
- December 10 – December 21, 2010
Of course, as with all discounts, there are special terms. For instance, packages are limited so even if a resort shows room availability, it does not guarantee that there are Free Dining Packages available at that same time.
Disney promotes a 5-night, 6-day package to qualify (which includes a room at one of the Disney Resort hotels, Free Dining and tickets for park entry), however other configurations may be had based on availability. Obviously, if you want to stay longer that is almost never a problem, but some have been successful booking shorter lengths of stay.
The special has two tiers – one for those who book in a value resort and one for those who book in a moderate or deluxe resort. Value resort packages get the Quick-Service Dining Plan added at no cost which includes 2 quick service meals and 2 snacks per night of stay in the package. Also included is one free refillable mug per person in the package.
Moderate plus packages get the Disney Dining Plan included free. This includes 1 table service meal, 1 quick service meal and 1 snack for each night of stay.
For more information, contact Disney or your travel agent!