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How to Get Prepped for Disney’s Fall Discounts Including Free Dining


The internet has been absolutely ablaze these past few weeks with news that Disney World’s Autumns 2018 promotion (including FREE dining) may be on their way. Technically there is no way to officially know when Fall promotions will hit until Disney officially releases them.  However, there are ways that those who are hoping to nab these coveted discounts can begin to do a bit of prepping to make sure you’re straight in there come discount day.  Here are a few ways that you can get a jump start on booking any upcoming Disney promotions.

1. Get up to speed on the best dates.  Though there is absolutely no guarantee that Disney will do a FREE dining discount or that the dates will remain the same as years prior, it does pay to do a bit of research.  Historically, the offer does tend to fall around the same time of year each time it is offered.   Here’s a look at the discounts offered last year:

  • Fall Free Dining Promotion- Disney’s most-anticipated discount each year, the Free Dining offer was launched on April 24, 2017 for dates between August 21st and December 23rd, 2017.  There are typically quite a lot of terms and conditions attached to this offer.  For instance, last year there were several blackout dates (including the entire month of October) and in order to qualify visitors had to add on the more expensive Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus ticket options to their package.  Those who qualified that were staying at a Value or Moderate category got the Quick Service Dining Plan. Those who stayed at a Deluxe Resort qualified for the regular Disney Dining Plan. However, guests hoping to score a FREE dining promotion in 2018 should note that restrictions were very tight last year and the discount incredibly competitive. This is why doing a bit of planning in advance can be extremely helpful!
  • Fall Room Discount Offer-  On April 24, 2017, Disney released 2 promotions for the latter half 2017.  The first was a 15 – 30% room discount offer. The discount was good on vacations running from August 1st – October 1st, 2017 and was bookable until August 31st, 2017.  As with previous room discounts, the percentage of savings was greater the higher your resort category with Deluxe Resorts offering a larger discount than Values.


2. Research what resorts are usually included in the offer. When it comes to offers like FREE dining, where you stay can be pretty important.  With the dozens of resorts on Walt Disney World property, a large majority of resorts will be covered by the offer.  However, there are also a handful that are usually left out.  For instance, you have a better chance of getting the discount were you to stay at Pop Century than in a Little Mermaid Room at Art of Animation which is usually exempt.  To save you having to come up with a Plan B. Check out this article on best resorts to pick for a discount.

3. Start to plan out your package.  The more groundwork you can lay down when it comes to making a FREE Dining booking the better.  Disney discounts have become increasingly unpredictable and you may simply wake up one morning to find out that FREE Dining has hit and – BOOM! Pandemonium.  Prepare for this situation by doing your planning.  By having a clear idea of your dates, resort preferences, preferred park tickets and budgets, you can make sure that you’re able to make your booking on the day with a minimal amount of stress.

4. Always Be Prepare to Compare Discounts.  Most people get so wrapped up in the idea of FREE dining that you may miss out on greater savings by comparing the FREE dining discount against other offers that Disney may release on discount day.  Depending on your resort category, a room discount may provide you better overall savings even with the dining plan attached!  A good TA will compare any new discounts to make sure that the savings you are being offered is the highest.  However, if opt to book a package on your own, go into the process with an open mind.

5. Pay close attention to trusted Disney new sources.  If your 2018 Disney travel plans are largely dependent on the big Fall promotions then it pays to check your favorite Disney news sites daily for word about a possible release date.  It is rare for a promotion to catch Disney-insiders totally unawares.  With a bit of a scour of popular sites you’ll usually get a sense of when its time to get ready to make that booking.  What Disney site do I recommend the most? Our sister site over at Chip and Co of course!

6. Sign up to receive FREE dining updates.  We here at Disney Addicts have set up a special email list so that we can send you an update as soon as FREE Dining has hit.  If you’d like to be in the know just pop me an email at mroden@mickeytravels.com with FREE Dining as your subject.

With a little bit of preparation, nabbing a great Disney discount doesn’t have to be hard work.  If you’d like to get a jump-start, why not fill out our form below to receive your FREE quote?

Click here for your FREE no obligation quote!

Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to help you with everything from finding your perfect package to nabbing those hard-to-get dining and Fastpass reservations.  Best of all, my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025, via email at mroden@mickeytravels.com or follow along on Facebook

Image copyright Disney.


Melissa Roden
Follow Along

Melissa Roden

Agent Specializing in Disney Holidays at MickeyTravels
Melissa is a Disney-loving mom who can often be found at the parks with her six year old daughter.  When not euphorically eating a Dole Whip at Walt Disney World, Melissa enjoys helping others plan their magical vacations with MickeyTravels and sharing her Disney knowledge at Chip and Co. and Disney Addicts. Follow along on Facebook or Twitter.
Melissa Roden
Follow Along


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