A trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla., can be an expensive proposition for any family vacation. Travelers looking to shave some money off the price of the vacation are in luck because AllEars.net is reporting the free Disney Dining Plan is back for 2012. Travelers looking to take advantage of the free Dining Plan can save almost $600 at some Disney resorts and more than $800 by selecting different Disney resorts, according the Walt Disney website.
What are the restrictions for the free Disney Dining Plan?
According to the DisneyTouristBlog, the free Dining Plan is valid for guests arriving Aug. 25 to Sept. 12. But all reservations need to be booked by May 18. Guests choosing to stay in one of Disney's Value Resorts like All Star Music or Pop Century receive a Free Disney Quick Service Dining Plan, and guests selecting Disney Moderate or Deluxe Resorts will receive a free Disney Dining Plan. It should be noted the Disney website specifically mentions the newest Disney resort, Disney's Art of Animation, is not participating in the promotion.
What is the difference between the plans?
According to the Disney website, the Quick Service Dining Plan grants each person older than 3 years old in the park two quick service meals per day, one snack and one refillable mug per person from the resort that is chosen. The Disney Dining Plan offers one table service meal (which includes many character meals), one quick service meal, one snack and the refillable mug. While the refillable mugs are only valid at the particular Disney hotels the guests are staying, by themselves they represent a nice value for folks who need that early-morning coffee or have a few kids that love to load up beverages.
How much planning needs to go into taking advantage of the free Dining Plan?
The Quick Service Dining Plan requires little in the way of planning because travelers can redeem their meals at several restaurants throughout the entire Walt Disney World Resort. The regular Dining Plan takes a bit of planning for the table service meals, as reported by MousePlanet.com. As the article states, advance reservations are pretty much required for any sit-down service at any of the theme parks, which means travelers need to plan ahead as to which park they will be visiting on which day to avoid scheduling conflicts. Without reservations, table service meals are not guaranteed, so anyone planning on using that promotion should book as early as possible.
Jason Gallagher is a former travel professional with a decade of experience in the industry. He remains an avid traveler and hotel fan with exposure to technology and trends in properties across the United States.