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Old 01-14-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
crzy4mk
"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."-Walt Disney
 
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Ever free dining in January? Like around marathon weekend?

I read somewhere that free dining has been offered in January? Can anyone verify if this is true, and if it would ever take place around marathon weekend? Next year it's the 2nd weekend in January and I plan on staying onsite if they offer free dining. Seems like this might not be a shrewd business move for Disney since that time is usually pretty busy anyway, but I guy can dream, right? Let me know...thanks!
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
arcticdisneylovers
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We've gone the last three Januarys and had free dining each time. Including tbis year Jan 29 - Feb 5 Last year we were there over Marathon weekend and we had free dining, but we'd never go that time in January again
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:55 PM   #3
maggie blossom
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We just got back and yes we had free dining. The free dining started Sunday, day of the full marathon. It needed a min 3day stay. So if you are there for the marathon weekend you need to stay Sunday plus two.
Hope this helps
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:12 PM   #4
crzy4mk
"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."-Walt Disney
 
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Thanks for the info! I would probably be checking in on Friday before and staying through Wednesday after so if they offered it again I should be good. Care to help some more?

In my numerous times I've been to WDW, I've never done free dining. Can anyone give me a brief tutuorial regarding where you have to stay and exactly what is included each day in free dining? Thanks again! This is why I'm a Dis'er....lots of great information shared!
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:52 PM   #5
PrincessTiffany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crzy4mk View Post
Thanks for the info! I would probably be checking in on Friday before and staying through Wednesday after so if they offered it again I should be good. Care to help some more?

In my numerous times I've been to WDW, I've never done free dining. Can anyone give me a brief tutuorial regarding where you have to stay and exactly what is included each day in free dining? Thanks again! This is why I'm a Dis'er....lots of great information shared!
This post has the historic dates and info for free dining:

Maybe this will help with all of the reoccurring questions and misunderstandings that keep popping up about the WDW Free Dining Promotion and Promotion Guidelines (Of course, this info will be based on Free Dining Guidelines for the past 7 years, Disney can change their policies at any time.):

FREE DINING FACTS AND INFORMATION

The Free Dining Promo/Discount was first introduced in the fall of 2005 and up until the fall of 2009, was, basically, just offered during the timeframe of mid August to the first of October (height of hurricane season) and included the Basic/Plus Dining for all levels of WDW resort. Starting in the fall of 2009, they offered a second Free Dining Promo/Discount that covered dates between October 1st and the third week of December and they also started including the Quick Service DDP for Value resorts and the Basic/Plus DDP for Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. With the popularity of the Free Dining Promo, last year, for the first time, WDW offered multiple Free Dining discounts during this year that included many value season/low crowd weeks.

To take advantage of a Free Dining (FD) discount you must be booked at a Disney-owned resort and purchase a Magic Your Way Package that includes room, tickets and dining with a 2 day base ticket purchase. The FD promos have a 3 day booking minimum and a 14 day booking maximum. You can not include Annual Passes or previously purchased tickets for Disney or any other outside ticketing agent.

The current FD promos have included the Quick Service Dining Plan for Value Resorts and the Basic/Plus Dining Plan for Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. You can not downgrade to the Quick Service Dining if you are staying at a Moderate or Deluxe Resort - there have been reports that, once in the parks, guests have been able to trade/convert Table Service (TS) credits for Counter Service (CS) credits, but this is not advertised on the WDW website and should not be considered WDW "policy." You can however pay the monetary difference and upgrade to the Basic/Plus DDP or the Deluxe DDP if you are staying at a Value Resort and can upgrade to the Deluxe Plan if you are staying at a Moderate or Deluxe Resort. The Deluxe Dining Plan has never been included in any free dining promos. Here is a breakdown of FD upgrade costs for 2012:

2012 Upgrade from the Quick Service DDP $34.99/$11.99 to Basic/Plus DDP $51.54/$15.02
$16.65 per adult 10+; $3.03 per child 3 - 9 (Upgrade cost per day)

2012 Upgrade from Quick Service DDP $34.99/$11.99 to Deluxe DDP $85.52/$23.79
$50.53 per adult 10+; $11.50 per child 3 - 9 (Upgrade cost per day)

2012 Upgrade from Basic/Plus DDP $51.54/$15.02 to Deluxe DDP $85.52/$23.79
$33.98 per adult 10+; $8.77 per child 3 - 9 (Upgrade cost per day)

Your check in date must fall within the dates of the FD promo to apply the discount to your reservation. If your check in dates do not fall within the FD dates, you can not apply the discount - even if every single night of your vacation falls within the promo, except for your check in date, you can not take advantage of the FD promo.

If any of your vacation dates fall within a FD promo dates you can receive the FD discount for your entire vacation stay, up to 14 nights, even if you are checking in on the last day of a FD promo, you can still recieve the discount for up to 14 nights.

If your vacation starts a couple of days before a FD promo, it's possible to do a Split Stay - meaning, you can do a room only reservation for 1 to 3 nights at the beginning of your vacation, pay for your food out-of-pocket for those days, and be allowed to pick up your PACKAGE TICKETS up to 3 days early at guest relations at any of the four parks or at Downtown Disney (For further info on picking up tickets early, please see Diser, CheshireFigment's, Ticket Sticky on the top the Themeparks Board.)

If you already have an existing reservation that falls within the dates of a FD promo, you can call and have the FD code added to modify that reservation. You can not add the FD code on line, you will need to call WDW Reservations, 407-W-Disney. You do NOT have to rebook, your reservation number does not change and there is not a fee - if you are within your 45 day window, they can charge you a $50.00 change fee, but, most FD promos come out before the 45 day window, so this shouldn't be an issue. If you have already paid your package in full, WDW will refund you the monetary difference - this can take up to 2 billing cycles or about 2 months. Each resort is only allotted so many FD rooms, so if you call and your resort is sold out of FD promo rooms, you can change your resort and do not have to cancel or pay a fee and your reservation number stays the same. If your existing reservation is a room only reservation, then you would have to cancel and rebook under a Magic Your Way Package to receive the FD discount. If you booked with a Travel Agent, then the TA must call and add this discount to your existing reservation. The TA owns your reservation and Disney will not change the discount/code for without going through your TA.

Typically, in the past, other than last's August FD announcement, Disney Visa holders ere given the FD Promo Code three (3) days before it opens to the general public. In the past, all you had to do to get the Disney Visa FD discount was put $200.00 down with your card, the balance did not have to be put on the Disney Visa. If you are already booked with a Disney Visa, you will simply have to put another $200.00 deposit down to apply the code. If you have paid the trip in full with a DV, they will still refund the monetary difference and you will not have to re-apply any money.

If you already have Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) changing or modifying a reservation does not effect or cancel your ADRs. You would have to go on-line or call WDW Dining to cancel ADRs, even if you completely cancel a vacation/reservation. Remember, anyone can make ADRs, even offsite guests and don't have to be linked to your reservation in any way. If you have already booked and paid for any restaurants and/or dinner shows, and then a FD promo/discount is released, you can contact Disney Dining once you modify your reservation to include the FD code and give them your reservation number, and they will credit you the amount you pre-paid. This type of refund also takes 2 billing cycles or about 2 months.

Hopefully this info will give everyone an overview of the current Free Dining Guidelines.

Edited to add historic Free Dining Dates and Promo Release Dates:

Free Dining Promos/Discounts Released Spring of the Year Offered
August 21 – October 4, 2005
August 13 – September 30, 2006
August 26 – September 22, 2007
August 30 – September 27, 2008
August 16 – October 3, 2009

July 27, 2009(First Time for quick service at values, free Disney Dining at moderate and deluxe resorts)
Free Dining released for travel from October 4 – December 17, 2009

May 3, 2010
Free Dining released for travel from August 15 – October 2, 2010.

July 6, 2010
Disney extended the Free Dining offer for travel through early fall 2011. Many dates were blacked out:

August 15 – October 7, 2010
October 22 – Octocber 28, 2010
November 12 – November 18, 2010
November 27 – December 2, 2010
December 10 – December 21, 2010

January 1 - 5, 2011
January 9 - 13, 2011
January 21 - February 3, 2011
February 11 - 17, 2011
February 25 - March 3, 2011
May 27 - June 2, 2011
August 19 - September 29, 2011

March 2011
Free Dining Discount released for August 28 - September 24, 2011

August 3, 2011
Free Dining Discounts released for dates through early Spring 2012
October 1 – October 6, 2011
October 22 – November 3, 2011
November 12 – November 17, 2011
November 26 – December 1, 2011
December 10 – December 15, 2011
January 8 – January 12, 2012
January 21 – February 2, 2012
February 11 – February 16, 2012
March 3 – March 8, 2012
March 24 – March 29, 2012
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