View Full Version : Anyone else not want to go during free dining??
05-06-2009, 04:45 PM
OK, maybe I'm a little crazy. It does save a ton of money. But when we went a few years ago in September with free dining it was crazy busy. Nothing compared to July, but compared with our honeymoon a few years earlier it was very busy. It was difficult to find places to eat (I made ADRs, but had to move around our plans because it was hard to make ADRs at the times we needed). We picked September because it was so much quieter and nicer in the parks. I find myself kind of hoping they don't offer it at the time we may be going next year. Even DH said "oh no" when I mentioned they might be offering free dining again. I feel like I can't enjoy Disney as much with all the crowds. I think I'd rather pay extra for food.:blush:
05-06-2009, 04:58 PM
Well for us the 4/3 was a much much better deal financially. We saved about $1,500 on the 4/3 where the free dining would only save us about 1/2 of that. So I'll say that I have no desire to go during free dining because I got a better deal. :)
05-06-2009, 05:26 PM
I went to WDW in Sept 05 on free dining and the crowds were very low. It became my favorite time of year to visit. However, over the years the free dining package has done exactly what it was created to do...bring in more visitors to the theme parks during the value seasons. I still like to go in September but I choose not to get the free dining and eat most of our meals in DVC or offsite.
05-06-2009, 06:03 PM
I'm going for 9 nights in August/September - and not using free dining. (DVC members can't anyway)
The park crowds are not a problem. But the restaurants will be packed. Dining plan or not, free or not, if you want to eat table service at anyplace that accepts the dining plan it will be necessary to make reservations as soon as you know where you want to eat.
05-06-2009, 09:18 PM
When we went in 07 on free dining in September (18-23) the parks were DEAD. We didn't wait longer than maybe 10 minutes for anything, including the headliners and this was without using a touring plan of any sort.
The restaurants were crowded (just like they are now even without free dining) but we still managed to get walk-up reservations to Sci-Fi, the Concourse Steakhouse, the Flying Fish Cafe and the San Angel Inn with not much more than a 30 minute wait.
If it wasn't for the fact that renting points was just too good a deal to pass up this year, I would have jumped on Free Dining again. It would have saved us about $750 for the trip, and for that amount of saving---I'd be thrilled even if there were crowds.
05-06-2009, 09:29 PM
We've done free dining the last three years and we LOVE that time. We've gone the first week of September each time and we've had hardly any waits for rides (10 minutes max, 20 on some of the bigger ones); the restaurants were more crowded, but we had no problem getting the ADR's we wanted (and this included popular places like LeCellier) and we were seated within 5 to 10 minutes of our time with the exception of two restaurants (and they ended up being two we would never go back to for the food and the service--Boatwright's and Whispering Canyon Cafe). So, I guess our answer is we can't wait to go back for free dining.
05-06-2009, 09:58 PM
We've always gone during May before, and thought those crowds were very manageable, but the Free Dining crowds were even better. In 2008, we went the first week of September (beginning Labor Day weekend) The only time we found any crowds was Labor Day weekend, and that seemed to be a lot of locals because the resorts seemed to be at least 1/2 empty. After Labor Day the crowd levels were more like 3 or 4 the rest of the week. Evening EMH seemed crowded, but during the days most rides, including headliners, were walk-ons until early afternoon. Now we did have ADRs all lined up, but never waited more than 10 minutes to be seated (we checked in about 10 minutes before our ADR every time, so basically we were being seated at our ADR time.) We loved it, and we're going back this September
05-07-2009, 01:43 AM
We LOVE free dining! Since the summer is the only time to go to WDW for us (Austrian school holidays) the free dining deal saves a TON, it is less crowded than compared to July or early August and with ADRs wait times at restaurants have never been a problem. Keeping my fingers crossed for another FD deal in 2010!
05-07-2009, 03:55 AM
I go to WDW every Sept, Dec, and May and sometimes throw in an extra trip in Oct or Jan. (Yes, I'm an AP holder and sometimes that AP goes wild booking trips:rotfl:). Anyway, we've been every Sept since free dining first started. Yes, each year is more crowded than the year before, but still nothing like my Dec or May trips. We've always been able to get the ADRs we've wanted. Restaurants are crowded, but park crowds are the lowest of the year.
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