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Is Free Disney Dining Worth It? Comparison Examples

Every year we hear people going crazy over Disney’s free dining promotion, because well, you eat for free on your Disney vacation right? Or do you?  Free dining is an amazing promotion for some, but honestly it is not the best deal for everyone, so you need to make sure you are looking at all your options before deciding on what works best for you.

Free Dining Requirements

  • You have to book at a specific resort and ensure your dates fall in the range offered (view full 2018 Free Dining details here)
  • Minimum Stay of 4-nights
  • 4-day Parkhopper per person Required
  • With Free Dining you must have a NON-discounted room

That is the basics of the promotion, seems pretty awesome right?  Let’s break it down for a family of 3 and a family of 5.

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Examples:

Note: these are examples only, and each family will have differences based on ages of children and numbers of guests traveling, and dates traveling.

Family of 3 (2 Adults and a 6 Year old)

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Staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge for 5 Nights in a Savannah View Room with a 4-day parkhopper, regular Disney Dining for the whole family.

  • Receive Disney Dining Plan for free: Total Cost $4286.28
  • Choose the Enchanted Room Escape offer, pay for regular dining instead of Free Dining: Total Cost $4217.87

So for this family, they would save money by choosing the room discount vs going with free dining.

Family of 4 (2 Adults, and 2 kids who are 14 and 12)

Staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge for 5 Nights in a Savannah View Room with a 4-day parkhopper, regular Disney Dining for the whole family.

  • Receive Disney Dining Plan for free: Total Cost $4793.56
  • Choose the Enchanted Room Escape offer, pay for regular dining instead of Free Dining: Total Cost $5590.91

This family saves a boat-load on free dining.  Why the difference?  Well if you choose the room discount that essentially stays the same no matter how many family members you have.  The bigger the family, the more the savings, because the more you are saving on food.

Considerations

  • Family Size – larger families with older children will save more money with free dining typically.  Families with younger children, or children under 3 typically save more with the room discount
  • Resort – Many resorts are not included in the free dining plan
  • Quick Service vs Regular Dining – if you are staying value, you get quick service dining free vs the regular dining plan.  This does NOT include any table service meals.  So consider how your family would like to dine while visiting Disney
The bottom line is just be sure to price it out, check out all the available promotions and dates and resorts.  This is not one of those one size fits all promotions, so be sure to look at multiple dates and resorts to see which promotion fits your family the best.

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At The Pixie Dust Life we believe wholesome traditional Disney values. We want to offer a safe place to keep you informed of everything Disney for all ages. From Shopping news to Travel news, we have you covered. Our mission is to bring the Pixie Dust home to you, wherever you are!


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