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Walt Disney World free dining offer released for dates through 2012

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A new free dining offer has been released for Walt Disney World for dates through 2012 with bookings available starting today at 7 a.m. EDT. From now through October 29, guests can book free dining packages for select arrival dates from October 2, 2011, through March 31, 2012.

There will be no exclusive period for Disney Visa cardholders for this offer, as there has been in the past.

The 2011 dates run from October 2 through December 17, with breaks for Columbus Day week, PGA Tournament week, Veteran's Day week/Jersey week, Thanksgiving week, and Pop Warner week. Available arrival dates are:

  • October 2-6 October 2-8
  • October 23-November 5 limited availability October 23-29
  • November 13-18 November 13-19
  • November 27-December 3
  • December 11-17

Update: We have now been advised that the October 23-29 dates are apparently available online, but not via phone.

2012 dates run from January 8 through March 31 (the end of Disney's second fiscal quarter), with blockouts for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday week, and several popular spring break weeks. Available arrival dates are:

  • January 8-14
  • January 22-February 4
  • February 12-18
  • March 4-10
  • March 25-31
  • August 19-September 29 (Canada residents only)

Contrary to our speculation on Monday, most of the availability periods do indeed run from Sunday through Saturday. Package eligibility is based on arrival date and is valid for the length of the reservation, so if you arrive on the last day before a blackout period and stay through a blackout week, you'll still have the free dining package for the length of your stay. Conversely, if you arrive on a Saturday that is the last day of the blackout, you will need to make a one-night reservation and then book the free dining package starting on your second day, during the availability period.

Guests staying at value resorts will get the Quick Service Dining Plan for free, and guests at moderate or deluxe resorts will get the standard Disney Dining Plan for free. As with all packages, park tickets must be part of the package. Packages are available for a minimum of 3 nights and a maximum of 14 nights.

No group rates or other discounts apply. The offer excludes suites, campsites and 3-bedroom villas. Advance reservations are required. The free dining plan excludes gratuities and alcoholic beverages. Children ages 3–9 must order from children’s menu if available. Some table service restaurants may already have limited or no availability.

Thanks to Sue Pisaturo of Small World Vacations for getting us all of the details and updates.

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Updated 08-03-2011 at 08:48 AM by Mark Goldhaber (Continuing changes are being reported.)

Walt Disney World , Policies , Disney Parks & Resorts , Featured , USAT


  1. Drince88's Avatar
    You forgot a big one, Mark -- even if you arrive on the last day before a blackout period, you'll have free dining for the length of your stay, IF there is availability at your resort for that time period for this discount. This actually goes for ALL dates. There are times when Disney GREATLY restricts the availability, (and in my experiences) particularly near blackout periods.

    Come on Disney, throw your AP holders a bone! Nothing past Oct 1 yet, and you're already discounting dining through the end of MARCH!
  2. winotracy's Avatar
    I believe there is a mistake in the dates for October. I was just told October will be 10/2 - 8 and 10/30 - 11/5. Also available is August 19 - September 29, 2012 for Canadians.
  3. 3Princesses1Prince's Avatar
    These are the dates currently listed on WDW's website:

    2011: Oct 2-8, Oct 23-Nov 5, Nov 13-19, Nov 27-Dec 3, Dec 11-17
    2012: Jan 8-14, Jan 22-Feb 4, Feb 12-18, Mar 4-10, Mar 25-31
  4. Mark Goldhaber's Avatar
    The dates changed a couple of times between the time that I put the original blog post together and 7 a.m., when the deal went public and the post went live. And then there were a couple of changes after that. It should be correct now.
  5. pceritello's Avatar
    Do you think they will open the Aug-Sept 2012 dates to US residents? Not only Canadian residents??