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flounder1959

Is Free Dining Done?

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I read an interesting article the other day about whether or not Disney will offer free dining this year.  Do you think that with the opening of Pandora and starting Food & Wine early Disney has enough to draw the crowds without it?  Interesting thought.....what do you think?

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I have no idea what Disney will do with free dining. I think it's pretty much up to the bean counters. Part of me hopes it's eliminated because I believe it has lowered the bar at many of the restaurants.

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I agree with Wi, the dining plan has really dumbed down the menus.  The dining plan has also made getting ADR's for certain restaurants next to impossible.   I read that people have booked rooms like crazy in hopes there is free dining, the only thing these people are not realizing is that Disney will see hotels booked, no need for free dining.

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I agree. I think the free dining has really shortened up the menus. We used to really look forward to the Coral reef, but since free dining took hold and there are only like 5 items, we stopped going. Quality went down quite a bit as well. 

So, do I think there will be free dining? I certainly hope that promo is over. I have seen some discussions planning for it though. Guess we will find out in a week or two

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I was looking at the dining package for our November trip just to see what the projected cost would be.  We have never used it before even when it was offered for free, we took the room discount instead.  I found a cost calculator of sorts online and you plug in all the places you want to eat for your meal and quick service.  How many mugs you want (everyone in the party gets one on the dining plan) they also ask if you want apps and desserts.  After I plugged it all in and then added up the cost of the dining plan we were in the red but at least $150.  That's kinda what I thought.  We have friends that used to do the dining plan free or not all the time because they were big eaters and a family of 6 so they did not have to worry about paying when they ate.  Of course that was back when it was a good value and you could get the ADRs you wanted.  Now they don't even bother because they've taken away so many perks of the Dining plan.  I also know someone who still uses it just because they don't have to worry about paying for each meal even though they know it's not a good value. :blink: 

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Boy I hope so!

We have never used free dining, ever. We did pay for the dining plan once, the deluxe one. We had so many snack credits left over we must of brought back at least eight school breads from Norway and bunch of other things. Wasn't worth it to me. This of course was back before they changed the plan.

And I would agree, the dining plan has made the menus well ... less appetizing. There use to be some really good things at certain places, but now not so much. We find ourselves sticking to the same places to eat every time we go now, since we know what is good and what is not. 

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Looks like Chip and Co took down their April fools joke of free dining and the new restrictions to go with it. Seems there are more people just reading headlines then they thought

http://www.chipandco.com/2017-disney-world-free-dining-just-announced-263661/

"...Thank you everyone for being such good sports about our Free Dining April Fools Joke. We are always so serious throughout the year and this is our day to have a little fun.

For those who called Disney or their Travel Agents we are sorry it took time out of your day but I am sure Disney will be releasing it soon...

We hope you have a magical day! ..."

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I was only able to take advantage of free dining once. That time I would say the restaurants were a lot more crowded. I am usually able to take advantage of a room discount. 

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We have had the free dining a couple of times and really enjoyed it.  We got to try Le Cellier before it changed to a two credit restaurant which was nice because it is out of our price range for OOP. We don't eat at table service as much when we don't have it.  I agree though, it is a lot of food, more than we would eat when not on the plan.

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