Wednesday, July 14, 2010

FREE Dining!!!

Okay, this is absolutely the BEST program that Disney has to offer and although it keeps changing every couple of years, it's still the best deal around.  Disney has extended their FREE Dining promotion through selected dates in December.  

For those of you who are not familiar with the Disney dining program, let me give you a little bit of a history.  Back in 1998 when we first went on our family trip, we booked our package deal with our hotel (All-Star Music), our passes (Park Hopper Plus) and then were given the option to add food.  Now back then, you paid in to the plan with a certain dollar amount per person, per day.  I think it was $34 per adult and maybe $15 per child.  No matter what, we paid in to it and then could spend it no matter how we wanted; if we wanted to eat at fast food style places for all of our meal, we could.  If we wanted to starve all day and then eat at the most expensive restaurants for dinner, we could.  The only down side was that if you did NOT use all of your money, you lost it.  

So we went, we spent, we ate like royalty!  Literally, we ate at the castle!  We had budgeted it down to the last penny and on our last night we went for a late dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios (then, MGM).  We sat outside, the park was near closing so it was quiet, we ordered and then...they forgot about us!  Seriously, for 45 minutes we were invisible!  So when our server FINALLY remembered us, they comped the meal!  Sure it was a sweet deal but now I was left with $75 in my food account that I was going to lose because we were leaving after dinner to go home!  Thinking fast, we went back to All-Star Music, went to the food court and LOADED our cooler up with food and drinks for the ride home and some snacks for a later date.  Sweet!

But I digress, so back then you paid in to the plan, then Disney changed it and you got dining credits and every year at some point, Disney offers free dining to it's resort guests.  You would get one counter service meal, one table service meal and one snack per person in your group, per NIGHT.  That is a tricky little catch but if you think about it, you are there say five days but only four NIGHTS!  So you end up short a day.  

Now, the food plan has changed again and depending on the TYPE of resort you stay at (Value, Moderate, Deluxe) will depend on what kind of food plan you are eligible for.  So Value resort guests get the quick-service plan which includes 2 counter service meals and 2 snacks per person in your party per NIGHT.  If you are staying at a moderate or deluxe resort you get the other package of one counter, one table, one snack per night.

Either way, the dining is FREE when  you book right now for most dates for the rest of 2010.  You can save close to $600 on a family of four with a deal like that!  Don't miss it!

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