Walt Disney World vacation packages include room accommodations, tickets, and sometimes a dining plan as well. Years ago, booking a Disney package was a nice way to get everything done with minimal effort, but shopping for individual components was the way to go to get the best prices. Much has changed in the past decade since Disney packages are often the same price as the bundled individual components and they come with many extras.
With Disney offering discounted and “special deal” packages during various slower periods throughout the year for the General Public, packages often can save even more money. Disney’s “special deal” packages for the general public now come with components such as a Free Dining Plan or Discounted Room & Tickets for select resorts. Booking a package doesn’t automatically qualify you for a discount, though. Below is a discussion of several common discounted Disney Packages and how to get them.
Free Dining Packages
One of the most popular discounted Disney packages in recent years has been the Disney’s Free Dining promotion. This is not a standard package offering, but rather a special promotion that Disney has offered at least once yearly for the past half-dozen years. The promotion consists of Disney’s basic Magic Your Way vacation package (room and tickets) with a Free Disney Dining Plan included for travel at select times of year. Typically, those that book a value resort get a free Quick Service plan and those that book a moderate or above resort get the regular Disney Dining Plan. For the difference in price between the free Dining Plan being offered and a more comprehensive Dining Plan, packages can be upgraded. This is a fantastic deal and everyone hopes Disney will continue offering it for years to come.
You do not need to book the free dining plan at the time of release to get the discounted package. Those with a vacation package already reserved through Disney or who would prefer to make plans in advance, can in most cases apply a discount to a “qualifying” reservation even after a package is booked. Reserving a Disney vacation package with a Disney-specialized travel agency can remove all of the guess work. Such agencies monitor discounts, notify clients of promotions when they are released and make any changes or advance booking requests as soon as promotions are released. It’s all part of the specialty. To learn how booking your vacation with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner can save you money, visit our Benefits of Working With an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner page.
Below is are the dates the Free Dining package has been offered for the past five years. You can also check our Current Code and Discount page to locate all recent promotions offered by Disney.
Previous Free Dining Dates:
- 2010: booking window 4/29 – 8/14 Disney Visa Card Holder offer for stays 8/15/10 – 10/2/10
- 2010: booking window 4/29 – 8/14 for stays 8/15/10 – 10/2/10
- 2010/2011: booking window 8/16 – 12/20 for stays select dates 10/1/10 – 6/2/11
- 2011: booking window 4/28 – 8/27 Disney Visa Card Holder offer for stays 8/28/11 – 9/24/11
- 2011: booking window 5/2 – 8/27 for stays 8/28/11 – 9/24/11
- 2011/2012: booking window 8/3 – 10/29 for stays 10/1/11 – 3/29/12
- 2012: booking window 3/1 – 5/18 Disney Visa Card Holder offer for stays 8/25/12 – 9/29/12
- 2012: booking window 3/5 – 5/18 for stays 8/25/12 – 9/29/12
- 2012: booking window 7/8 – 9/29 Disney Visa Card Holder offer for stays 9/30/12 – 12/13/12
- 2012: booking window 7/12 – 9/29 for stays (select arrivals) 9/30/12 – 12/20/12
- 2013: booking window 5/6 – 7/31 Disney Visa Card Holder offer for stays 9/2 – 9/25
- 2013: booking window 5/9 – 7/31 for stays 9/2 – 9/25
- 2013: booking window 8/2 – 9/15 for stays select dates from 9/29 – 12/22
- 2014: booking window 5/1 – 8/8 Disney Visa Card Holder offer for stays select dates from 8/31 – 12/23
- 2014: booking window 5/7 – 8/8 for stays select dates from 8/31 – 12/23
- 2015: booking window 4/27-7/10 for select dates from 8/28-10/2; 10/25-10/31; 11/8-11/19; and 12/15-12/21
- 2016: booking window 4/25-7/8 Disney Visa Card Holder offer for select dates from 8/14-10/1; 11/15-11/21; 11/26-11/28; and 12/10-12/21
- 2016: booking window 4/25-7/8 for select dates from 8/23-10/1; 11/15-11/21; 11/26-11/28; and 12/10-12/21
Disney offers other types of discounted packages for the general public for select dates throughout the year. Check our Current Code and Discount page to see all the Disney discounted package offers for the General Public as they are released. One can’t always assume that free is best. Disney routinely offers room discounts up to 30 or 35 percent off. Depending on the category of hotel you book and the number of people in your party, a discounted room package may work out cheaper than Free Dining. Contact a Disney-specialized travel agency to assist with your reservation if you are unsure of how to do the math.
Annual Pass Holder Packages
Disney offers Annual Pass Holder packages that include the Disney Dining Plan. These exclusive packages allow Annual Passholders to book rooms (at an Annual Passholder discount when available) with the addition of a Disney Dining Plan, Disney Deluxe Dining Plan or the Quick Service Plan. Each person on the reservation will need to purchase the Dining Plan for length of stay, but one only person per room must have an Annual Pass. These packages also include Magic Your Way Package benefits, but do not include tickets. To learn how to get great Walt Disney World ticket deals for other persons on your Annual Pass holder Package reservation, visit our Disney Ticket page.
Unlike Annual Pass room reservations, packages are subject to WDTC’s package terms, including advance deposit, payment and cancellation rules and penalties. You must have at least one valid Annual Pass or AP voucher to book an Annual Pass holder Package. Length of stay requirements may apply.
Florida Resident Packages
Disney offers Florida Resident packages that include a room (at a Florida Resident discount when available) and 3- or 4-day Florida Resident tickets that offer a savings over the equivalent regular 3- or 4-day MYW tickets. These tickets expire 6 months after first use or on a printed expiration date (usually at the end of the year), whichever comes first. Select block-out dates apply to these tickets. Packages are restrictive since everyone in the room over 18 must be a Florida Resident to get the Florida Resident MYW tickets included in the package. The addition of a Disney Dining Plan, Disney Deluxe Dining Plan or the Quick Service Plan can be added at full-price.
Unlike Florida Resident room reservations, packages are subject to WDTC’s package terms, including advance deposit, payment and cancellation rules and penalties, as well as MYW package perks such as vouchers for miniature golf, Planet Hollywood, and more. Proof of Florida residency is required for each adult age 18 and older. Everyone in the same room must be on the same package with the same tickets, dining plan, etc. Length of stay requirements may apply.
Visit our Current Code page to see ALL current Magic Your Way package discounts for the General Public, Annual Passholder, Florida Residents, Canadians, Disney Visa Reward Cardholders, and more.