No free dining again?

Rachel Underwood

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
In the latest podcast, Pete (I believe) made mention of no free dining again, unless a recession. I assume he means EVER and not just this season? Am I correct? If so, what are others thoughts on this...
 

igrsod

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 11, 2010
Now that I'm a DVC owner... it makes no difference to me, probably is better for me in terms of getting reservations. BUT.... I used to LOVE the Free Dining Promotion, so my heart goes out to those that love it too. I truly hope it's not forever.
 
  • Staren

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2017
    Yep. I expect free dining is done unless something extreme happens. Disney could have stopped free dining anytime if they really wanted to, but now they have all the openings to point to when they explain why it was dropped.
     

    samsteele

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2014
    The free dining promotion dropped in January for limited fall dates rather than the traditional late Spring release. News that the UK has now received free dining offer for 2020. The UK market is completely different than the North American one but still a positive sign that free dining hasn't died. Doubtful that free dining has completely dried up for 2020. However, like this year, any offers will be 'flash offers' and fall dates even more limited than past years. If you are really interested in free dining next year, you need to make a point to monitor the Boards esp in January and also a handful of other WDW news sites to grab the promotion when it first pops up.
     
  • disneyland_is_magic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 16, 2016
    I really believe you will get free dining (or other awesome room promos that are as good as free dining) back. You can look at what’s transpiring in Anaheim as GE opens, with fewer on-site rooms total then WDW Pop has and see things getting back to normal quickly. GE opens today and there is still on-site room availability all summer. The crowd reports have been ridiculously low for the special reservation period.

    A poster shared a picture from micechat’s Instagram this morning of people lining up for the big grand opening. It wasn’t anything like feared.

    I think maybe Disney tipped the scale and chased off casual fans with price increases? Or many people traveled ahead of the land and now plan to take other trips for now?
    I feel like everything is going to be just fine. DL app is a little sluggish with people from home watching, but not crashed, I mean, good grief if Disney IT is fine...
     
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    TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    I wouldn't be surprised if they bring it back - it is effective at getting people to come during times that used to be slow

    Just expect it at different times (as the "slow" periods seem to be changing) and continue to have more restrictions (which rooms are eligible, how long of a ticket you need, have to have park hoppers, etc.)

    I think Disney's plan is to keep jacking up prices, but then offer discounts and packages that make it look like you are getting a deal, even though you are still paying more than you used to
     

    SL6827

    Them, loving the lake. Me- not so much!
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2017
    Free Dining has been downgraded so much from what it used to be. I guess if you have four or five Disney "adults" in the room it still is a decent promo.
     

    rdaky

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    Meh. I don't really care. Years ago we stayed in a value with a free dining plan and it was a good deal. Now you have to add park hopper, stay in a deluxe if you actually want regular dining plan without having to pay to upgrade. And pay full price for the room.

    I do think that it's still a good selling point for Disney because people just read "FREE DINING" and they don't do the math or realize that it might not be that great of a deal. I save more money with a room discount and pay out of pocket for all of the meals we want. I just saw someone posting on a local Moms group about how much she loved the dining plan because she got to bring home a bunch of snacks at the end of her trip. Okay fine. If you want to essentially pay $5 for ONE rice Krispy treat on a stick or a tiny box of cookies and think that you're getting a good deal, okay... There will always be people who buy into this and Disney knows this. So I don't necessary think it's going away.
     
  • SorcererHeidi

    Sorcerer please cast forever love spell for me
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2007
    Meh. I don't really care. Years ago we stayed in a value with a free dining plan and it was a good deal. Now you have to add park hopper, stay in a deluxe if you actually want regular dining plan without having to pay to upgrade. And pay full price for the room.

    I do think that it's still a good selling point for Disney because people just read "FREE DINING" and they don't do the math or realize that it might not be that great of a deal. I save more money with a room discount and pay out of pocket for all of the meals we want. I just saw someone posting on a local Moms group about how much she loved the dining plan because she got to bring home a bunch of snacks at the end of her trip. Okay fine. If you want to essentially pay $5 for ONE rice Krispy treat on a stick or a tiny box of cookies and think that you're getting a good deal, okay... There will always be people who buy into this and Disney knows this. So I don't necessary think it's going away.
    Exactly what Pete (and others) always say - "DO the MATH, make sure "FREE dining" works for YOU and YOUR FAMILY, and how YOU vacation and eat!!!!.

    SO many people either just drink the Kool-Aid when they hear "FREE" (I have visions of mouth breathing zombies in my mind right now - LOL) or are essentially too lazy to crunch the numbers.

    Not saying it might not be right for some, but certainly not all. And I'd be willing to say probably not even a LOT of those that do "free". I'd bet an AP worth of money on that! ;)
     

    CampbellzSoup

    Son. Husband. Father.
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2014
    Pete’s wrong here.

    Free dining is a marketing tool that catches eyes and garners attention.

    Will it ever be a value like in the past? No.

    Will “free dining” still live on in advertisements s and marketing? Yes.

    The hoops and loops you’ll have to jump to will only be extended and pretty much even out to not getting a value once you get it though.
     

    Rachel Underwood

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2017
    I am one who definitely compares numbers. We always do hopper plus because we love the waterparks. We go to each one once and then even add 3rd day visit on some trips. We don't stay at Deluxe so the room only discount isn't great for a mod and we have 5 to a room. We also eat at least 1 character meal a day. We have also increased to deluxe and shared our credits with family who pay us the difference. For us, it's definitely a good deal.
     

    SorcererHeidi

    Sorcerer please cast forever love spell for me
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2007
    Pete’s wrong here.

    Free dining is a marketing tool that catches eyes and garners attention.

    Will it ever be a value like in the past? No.

    Will “free dining” still live on in advertisements s and marketing? Yes.

    The hoops and loops you’ll have to jump to will only be extended and pretty much even out to not getting a value once you get it though.
    OH - definitely agree - I think we're saying the same thing, only a bit differently. I'm saying yes - plenty of people DO think it's a deal, DO buy the clever marketing, etc. But is it really as much of a value - not only as in the past - but for THEM as they THINK it is? Sadly - probably not. VERY clever marketing, props to Disney on building a superior net that catches LOTS of fishes. My comment was "fishes - do your MATH, if you're ONLY buying it because you think yo're getting something for FREE, or a FANTASTIC deal!" This is the thinking of most of the people I have ever heard talking about getting free dining. And you know what? A lot of them are either newbies, or haven't been very many times, so don't know (want to know?) the difference.

    If people get the dining plan strictly for the convenience of paying for everything once, then it;s done, and time to vacay and relax - I TOTALLY get that, and do that myself. But in the case of "FREE:" dining, I tend to very much think that is NOT the primary motivator.
     
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    Rachel Underwood

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2017
    Definitely agree that it's not as great of a deal as the past though. The dining plan in general is probably not a great deal for most but people love that all inclusive feel.
     

    Farro

    It's a pasta! It's a grain! What?
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2016
    Definitely agree that it's not as great of a deal as the past though. The dining plan in general is probably not a great deal for most but people love that all inclusive feel.
    We got it for our upcoming May trip. Just us two adults, going during Flower/Garden.

    We can use snack credits at the flower/garden kiosks and now that you get an alcoholic beverage with both quick service and table service, seems a much better deal. Someone on another thread broke the price down:
    $22.50 for counter service (per person) - get an $11 lunch and a $12 margarita (or whatever floats your boat), easy.
    $45.40 for table service (per person) - very easy to pass that price point with an entree, dessert and wine.

    Again, not for everyone, but it's going to make our lunches much more enjoyable. And you are right, we do love having it all paid for. :p
     

    Forevermarypoppins

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2015
    YES, for those on an adult only vacation it was very cost effective. 4 Sitdown meals everyday is around $200>per day. When it was included in a Moderate resort stay it was the best bargain WDW ever gave out. But I knew even then, it simply wasn't going to be that way for ever. I enjoyed it for a few times and now I can say "back in the day...………"
     

    MadMadamMim1

    Marvelous & Mad
    Joined
    Sep 1, 2014
    IMO where the dining plan starts to really decline in its value is when you have small children. The deluxe plan seems like just way too much food for anybody IMO but I guess it works for some. I could see my husband and I making "our money back" on the basic plan, but when you factor in kids, no way. Your vast majority of small children do not have the stomach capacity nor the want or need to eat three full meals a day of appetizer entree and dessert plus snacks. Maybe some do and that would explain a lot of the vomit we all encounter around the parks...... :crazy2:
     
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    2hapykdz

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 30, 2015
    In the latest podcast, Pete (I believe) made mention of no free dining again, unless a recession. I assume he means EVER and not just this season? Am I correct? If so, what are others thoughts on this...
    There was Free Dining...it was just released in Jan instead of April/May. I booked it for Sept!
     

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