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Old 05-02-2013, 09:02 AM   #1
nrp1019
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Free dining dates rumour...so stressed

I have been obsessed with searching the internet for free dining dates. I'm so stressed. I found the rumoured dates to be Sept. 2 - Sept. 25...Is there any little chance this could include mid August or is this set in stone..Our travel dates are Aug. 18th to Aug. 24th...We are a family of 5 so saving money is so important. The last trip for us was Aug. 2006 with only 2 kids so this will be our 5yr olds 1st trip there. This trip is so important to my husband and I because our kids have no idea about it. We aren't telling them until the day we leave. If we can't score free dining does anyone know if a resort room discount will be offered for our dates. We are staying at the Port Orleans Riverside. Any info for us saving money would be so appreciated. I have been so stressed saving for this vacation to make sure everything is perfect...I can't wait til we leave!!!
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:33 PM   #2
skier_pete
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OK - nothing I say is a sure thing, so understand I am only basing it on what has gone before.

The free dining dates flucuate frequently. Usually they go back into late August, but they don't always go back that far. (A quick search says last year the start date was August 25th, the year before was August 28th, and 2010 was August 15th.) Based on those dates the last two years, and your dates, I think it unlikely that they will stretch it back to August 18th.

However, even on years when the free dining doesn't extend all the way back, there is generally an additional General Public room discount. This usually extends back to the last date of whatever the previous discount was.

So, for this year the current discount ends August 14th. I would expect that a resort discount will come out eventually that will start on August 15th or 16th. This will likely be announced a few weeks after free dining is announced. You are probably looking at a 20% discount on Port Orleans Riverside. You probably will miss out on free dining, as I would expect it to start August 24th this year.
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
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July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:23 AM   #3
heidihoho50
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Do you know how far they extended last year?? I am going Nov 18 and was hoping to still get free dining!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
OK - nothing I say is a sure thing, so understand I am only basing it on what has gone before.

The free dining dates flucuate frequently. Usually they go back into late August, but they don't always go back that far. (A quick search says last year the start date was August 25th, the year before was August 28th, and 2010 was August 15th.) Based on those dates the last two years, and your dates, I think it unlikely that they will stretch it back to August 18th.

However, even on years when the free dining doesn't extend all the way back, there is generally an additional General Public room discount. This usually extends back to the last date of whatever the previous discount was.

So, for this year the current discount ends August 14th. I would expect that a resort discount will come out eventually that will start on August 15th or 16th. This will likely be announced a few weeks after free dining is announced. You are probably looking at a 20% discount on Port Orleans Riverside. You probably will miss out on free dining, as I would expect it to start August 24th this year.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by heidihoho50 View Post
Do you know how far they extended last year?? I am going Nov 18 and was hoping to still get free dining!!
The October - December free dining dates are not released annually until July, sometimes August.
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by heidihoho50 View Post
Do you know how far they extended last year?? I am going Nov 18 and was hoping to still get free dining!!
The last few years, there were dates available in Oct, Nov, and Dec for FD. Based on the last two years, if you are arriving Nov 18th, that would fall within the dates covered. However, there is no sure thing when it comes to Disney discounts. They have even adjusted/changed the dates within a promotion.

As another posted stated, they usually release the Oct-Dec free dining during July, but it has occurred as late as the middle of August in the past. You really won't know what it is until it happens.
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October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
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November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:55 PM   #6
mm1971
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrp1019 View Post
I have been obsessed with searching the internet for free dining dates. I'm so stressed. I found the rumoured dates to be Sept. 2 - Sept. 25...Is there any little chance this could include mid August or is this set in stone..Our travel dates are Aug. 18th to Aug. 24th...We are a family of 5 so saving money is so important. The last trip for us was Aug. 2006 with only 2 kids so this will be our 5yr olds 1st trip there. This trip is so important to my husband and I because our kids have no idea about it. We aren't telling them until the day we leave. If we can't score free dining does anyone know if a resort room discount will be offered for our dates. We are staying at the Port Orleans Riverside. Any info for us saving money would be so appreciated. I have been so stressed saving for this vacation to make sure everything is perfect...I can't wait til we leave!!!
I'm with you. Along with thousands of others. The latest rumor is that bookings are pretty solid. I think once FD is announced and 60% of people change their reservations, something will be offered. Most likely mid May. On the rumor page it said to expect the FD dates to be announced on May 9th. That means another week or two for any other offers. Good luck. We are traveling on 8/21 discount or no. Family trip before school starts.
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mm1971 View Post
I'm with you. Along with thousands of others. The latest rumor is that bookings are pretty solid.
I've been following Free Dining rumors and reality since 2007, the first time we used free dining, and I am also in the boat hoping for free dining for our November trip.

After paying attention to this for 7 years now, the only thing I can tell you with a high degree of certainty is that whatever rumors are out there, they are almost certainly wrong. The rumor mill hasn't gotten the dates right once in 7 years, at least not more than a day or so before the "official" announcement.

Danny25 is one of the more reliable sources, and he has "confirmed" a lot of the current dates (9/2 - 9/25) and the starting date (May 9th), and not to say he's wrong, but even he is not always 100% on target.
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:30 PM   #8
Spacedog1975
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I'm hoping that late October happens this year.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:24 AM   #9
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I'm hoping that late October happens this year.
Me too!
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:46 AM   #10
Spacedog1975
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I'm pretty certain that everyone that enjoys the free dining promotion is HOPING for it as opposed to DEMANDING it.

It is clearly a very effective promotion.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:53 AM   #11
mjstaceyuofm
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To the OP - don't be stressed. Not to be a shill for the folks that run this site (but I will be), the discounts and analysis of which is best are the reason you should use a travel agent like DUT. They stress it all the time on their podcast, that their folks can do the booking/re-booking to take advantage of things like "free" dining. It used to be good deal, but the way they've structured it, sometimes you're better off with a room discount, or a package plan. It's a lot of work to do the analysis. I'm also of the opinion that this is a "perk" that Disney is ultimately looking at letting go by the wayside in the near future. I'm surprised it's even on the table for this year. Attendance has been up.

Also, there's no such thing as a "perfect" trip. If you hoist all these expectations onto your trip, you're just setting yourself up for disappointment. It's been 7 years since you've been - a lot has changed in that time. And a lot has changed in the last year or so alone. Touring the parks with kids (if you've never done it before) is an artform in and of itself. Prepare, plan, enjoy, but don't let the vision of an idyllic WDW vacation skew your good time. Standing in line in 100-degree heat (that's what it can feel like at times) for 30 minutes to get on the safari ride can be far from perfect. All worth it, but just not as utopian as the commercials would like you to believe.

Sorry for being a downer, just trying to help.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:16 PM   #12
salemnews
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post

I've been following Free Dining rumors and reality since 2007, the first time we used free dining, and I am also in the boat hoping for free dining for our November trip.

After paying attention to this for 7 years now, the only thing I can tell you with a high degree of certainty is that whatever rumors are out there, they are almost certainly wrong. The rumor mill hasn't gotten the dates right once in 7 years, at least not more than a day or so before the "official" announcement.

Danny25 is one of the more reliable sources, and he has "confirmed" a lot of the current dates (9/2 - 9/25) and the starting date (May 9th), and not to say he's wrong, but even he is not always 100% on target.
I'm heading down Nov 5-11. Do you have any idea about free dining? I'm staring to book next week! Any news can help
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:52 PM   #13
skier_pete
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I'm heading down Nov 5-11. Do you have any idea about free dining? I'm staring to book next week! Any news can help
I have no insider knowledge - but based on previous years, I wouldn't expect that week will have free dining. It is Jersey week and they have never done free dining during Jersey week.

black562 is probably right about the September free dining. There could still be more dates in the fall, but this would likely not be determined just yet.
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:09 PM   #14
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no offense, because i think discounts are great and all...but i'd really love for disney to change their discounts...make them a little more random. I think too many people "expect" all these great discounts and upgrades...and then instead of being happy when they happen, get upset when they don't. We always plan full price for a trip, and then a discount becomes an added bonus.

I'm really not trying to be mean, or for anyone to be offended. I just think that sometimes we forget Disney is a business, and people who constantly "expect" disney to do all these magical things...makes it tougher for disney to do just that.

Our best trips have been special little extras...simple things...like a wave or comment from a parade character, playing hide-n-seek during a meet and greet, etc. The trouble is, it isn't magical or special when someone pushes in front of you, or complains about waiting 10 minutes in a line. OR abuses the current systems, etc.

Sorry. Rant over.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
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Occasionally there are some offers for free days, or kids stay and play free, or free dining. This is all marketing hype!

Disney World has three main profit and expense centers: the Parks, Food & Beverage, and Resorts (including transportation). Each of these has to make a profit. (Actually there are more, such as merchandise and sports, for example, but they don't really count for this discussion.)

The Parks, including the theme parks, water parks, Disney Quest, get their money from ticket sales. It does not matter if these tickets are sold at the gates, by phone or online, by the Resorts, or by wholesalers such as AAA, The Disney Store, or authorized resellers.

Food and Beverage is all dining locations property-wide, including from Victoria and Albert's down to the iced cream or other snack carts. All money taken in by the Dining Plan (any level) goes to F&M and then down to the individual locations depending on use by Plan Guests.

The Resorts have the most flexibility as far as prices are concerned. If they are offering free tickets, they still have to pay Park Operations for the tickets they sell. If they are offering free dining they still have to pay F&B for the dining plans. The only way they can do this is by adjusting the price of the rooms. And they do not stack discounts. So if you are getting "free dining", you are actually getting a discounted price on the room but paying for the dining.

This is why a person making a discounted reservation at an AP rate cannot get free dining,l the Resort still has to make money.
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