Just returned from Disney and we conclude that the "free" dining (and you know it's not really free) has caused the value season to be just as crowded as other times. Parks were packed, restaurants were packed - certainly not the experience we had 5 years ago between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don't think we will do the dining plan again - felt to locked in to our ADRs since it was impossible to do any spontaneous walk-in dining. Also really stunned by the number of kids there - surprised these parents feel that visiting Disney is a higher priority than attending school. No wonder we are so far behind other countries ... Disney as always was a wonderful experience but we were not expecting so many people and such long lines.