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MrsMud
02-06-2006, 11:06 AM
What is the general consensus here? Will free dining be offered again this year for Sept.?
I am in the very early stages of planning our next WDW trip, and debating between Sept (after Labor Day) and early Dec. We prefer Dec. for the weather (we'd rather bundle up than sweat), decorations and of course Osborn Lights. I'd also love to see the Candlelight Processional for the first time.
Both are Value season, so cost would probably be about the same. However, if WDW were to offer the free dining again, we would go in Sept, as I just can't pass up a bargain when planning our vacation. So what does everyone think?
Also, when did the free dining offer come out last year? I think I read it was April? I could wait until then I guess to make my decision and still get good ADRs for Sept if we go that way.
Thanks for any input!

TinkerbellMama
02-06-2006, 11:09 AM
I was literally signing on to post the same question! :rotfl2:

michelewdw
02-06-2006, 11:17 AM
Free dining was offered at the end of August through the first week of October in 2005.

Michele

Tinkerbell_Girl
02-06-2006, 11:22 AM
I am planning to go in Oct. and was wondering the same question. I really hope they do offer the free dining plan again!

bicker
02-06-2006, 11:30 AM
I'll be very surprised if they do. The dining plan is so popular I think folks are more than willing to pay for it, even during hurricane season. I suppose we may see it come back, but only in concert with really poor or non-existent discounts on the hotel rooms themselves.

Servants of Evan
02-06-2006, 12:31 PM
{rubbing my crystal ball} Hmmmm, let me see... Look closely into the ball.... I don't think you'll find what you are seeking. That'll be $37, please.

BeckWhy
02-06-2006, 12:35 PM
I do not think they will offer it again. I think one of the reasons they offered it last year was to introduce their new dining plan to the public. If they do offer it again, I'll be surprised (I will also book my trip then too). But regardless, the discount codes won't be released until like May or June or something anyways, so I wouldn't even stress about it until then. And if you are planning on going in September, then I would just wait until the codes are released for that time period and bok then.

Letsbgoofy
02-06-2006, 01:37 PM
I think they offered the free dining for 2 reasons: 2004 was such a bad hurricane season and they wanted people to book late August through October, and to get people hooked on the dining plan. It worked, because we will purchase the dp this August when we go.

I would be very surprised (and happy) to see the dp for free this year. I hope if they offer room discounts for that time, they will be for packages as well.

Ginamarie
02-06-2006, 01:45 PM
I seriously doubt you'll be seeing the free dining plan again! Last year, Disney offered it for free to introduce it to the public as well as for the restaurant staffs to get accustomed to how the dining plan was going to work without upsetting the paying public if mistakes were made.

At this point, the dining plan has proved to be so popular that there's no reason for Disney to offer it for free again. Of course, if they DID offer it.. I might have to consider making a trip during Sept. myself! (I won't be holding my breadth!)

plove53
02-06-2006, 02:16 PM
what is free dining? and how do I get in on it ... I'm going the end of 8/06

:wizard: phil

agotta
02-06-2006, 02:21 PM
As stated above, Disney usually has some "great" offer for late summer/early fall. They never run the same promotion twice, so I wouldn't hold your breath. They will however, most likely run a different promotion so keep your eyes peeled!

thelionqueen
02-06-2006, 02:29 PM
Well, I've read that there may be a twist on the free dining this year, if it's offered. Again, these are all speculations, so just keep that in mind.

Ive heard...

1) BOGO free dining (buy 1 adult get one free, etc)
2) One free day for every day purchased (buy 5 days get 10)

I personally think it may come back. Does anyone remember the 2005 Hurricane season??? Yes, that's what I thought. The WORST hurricane season in recorded history with the most named hurricanes in history.

Disney stepped it up in 2005 to compensate for the terrible 2004 season. But 2005 made 2004 look like a spring day in Colorado!

They will come up with something to entice us all to come during Sept. & Oct, and I am still optimistic about free dining. I'm a dreamer, what can I say.

BTW, the Deals for August-Oct. came out in May last year, I would anticipate a similar date for this year.

3princesses4us
02-06-2006, 04:22 PM
Thanks for your optimism lionqueen. I like the way you think... :thumbsup2
Well thought out points though. Hope Disney considers it.

Allison
02-06-2006, 04:29 PM
I would also be surprised to see it again.

nbodyhome
02-06-2006, 05:43 PM
I don't expect it - and I don't think hurricane season has any reason with why. The hotels really book out in October and November - hurricane season as well, because of the Food and Wine Festival. I am guessing that September (and late August) have been less busy because guests want to come for the F&W (not that September was a busy month every anyway, it is always one of the slowest).

If they did offer anything like that - I'd say September again, because it is so very slow. But I'd still be surprised, it was a VERY generous offer and people are more than willing to pay for it now.

Denise

disneytraveler
02-06-2006, 05:50 PM
{rubbing my crystal ball} Hmmmm, let me see... Look closely into the ball.... I don't think you'll find what you are seeking. That'll be $37, please.


Lol Another Dis member was asking me the same question. As for me i booked
the Platinum plan so it does not matter to me. But for those who enjoyed it
last year it was great uisng. :wizard: :banana: :rotfl2:

byoung
02-06-2006, 06:32 PM
I do not think they will offer it again.

MrsMud
02-07-2006, 07:41 AM
Yeah, I think it's a long shot too, but we can always hope. As I said, we really prefer early Dec., so I won't be disappointed if they don't offer it, we'll just have to cut back in other ways!
Thanks for all the replies!

thelionqueen
02-16-2007, 10:58 AM
Dont ask me how I found this, but I did. Many people were wondering the same things last year, that we are pondering this year. Here's hoping hindsight from last year, will repeat itself this year..FINGERS CROSSED:banana:

jobie61
02-16-2007, 11:21 AM
Without the Free Dining offer, the parks will be empty during august through september. Disney will need to offer the free dining plan in order to boost attendance in the parks. The free dining plan is often the only enticement to get USA residents to go to the park during that time period.

I hope.

thelionqueen
02-16-2007, 11:30 AM
Dont ask me how I found this, but I did. Many people were wondering the same things last year, that we are pondering this year. Here's hoping hindsight from last year, will repeat itself this year..FINGERS CROSSED:banana:

LBKMAMA
02-16-2007, 12:20 PM
they might offer something again which is the equivalent of free dining. It starts in Sept 6th and run thru Oct. 28th I believe....I'm hoping when the hours are posted for Sept. in a a couple of weeks there will be some more info and possibly some specials tied in with it. Who knows....:confused3

WI_DisneyFan
02-16-2007, 03:11 PM
Anybody remember when this was announced the past two years? I'll pay for it if it isn't free, but I would rather hold off on adding it to my package until I hear one way or the other. I just don't want to go through the hassle of paying for my trip with the dining plan and then having to have that amount credited back to me.

n2mm
02-16-2007, 03:28 PM
Last year I would have guess no, but was wrong and it was offered for 2006, so I feel pretty good that it will be offered again this fall.

Cinderumbrella
02-16-2007, 03:34 PM
Anybody remember when this was announced the past two years? I'll pay for it if it isn't free, but I would rather hold off on adding it to my package until I hear one way or the other. I just don't want to go through the hassle of paying for my trip with the dining plan and then having to have that amount credited back to me.

Last year it was announced the last few days of March to Disney Visa holders and went to the general public on April 1.

TDC Nala
02-16-2007, 04:40 PM
Nobody knows for sure if it will be offered this year.

The parks won't be empty. It's already been offered to the Bounce Back customers and to overseas visitors. And a lot of folks have been getting very good room discounts.

Along with the practically nonexistent hurricane season of 2006, things might pick back up this year.

all4disney98
02-16-2007, 04:52 PM
Does anyone know how it was announced last year - to both the Disney VISA cardholders and the general public.

I am a VISA holder and don't recall receiving anything about it in advance. I ended up hearing about it on the DISboards, I think on April 1st.

Disney's Fab 4
02-18-2007, 10:49 AM
We are Disney Visa holders and hope they do notify us before they offer it (if they offer it!) Giving me 3 days to set everything in stone would be perfect... But last year we were NOT notified ahead of time!!!:confused3

bicker
02-18-2007, 11:00 AM
Without the Free Dining offer, the parks will be empty during august through september. Disney will need to offer the free dining plan in order to boost attendance in the parks. The free dining plan is often the only enticement to get USA residents to go to the park during that time period.Well, they're offering numerous 40% discounts on room rates, this year -- something which they didn't do last year, and something that was very-much their normal strategy in many recent years. Between the free dining offers which have already been offered for 2007, and the discounts, that could be enough.

castleri
02-18-2007, 11:37 AM
Well, they're offering numerous 40% discounts on room rates, this year -- something which they didn't do last year, and something that was very-much their normal strategy in many recent years. Between the free dining offers which have already been offered for 2007, and the discounts, that could be enough.

I think you may be correct with your assumption. The other thing is that with the response to the program last year it seemed as if they overbooked the free dinng and then had to scramble to add alternatives to using TS credits and even added extra meals at some places. I would hope they learned from that to keep the numbers realistic. That may be the reason for the big discounts this year although I don't know if they are targeted to the same months the free dining has been offered in order to fill the rooms.