Tag Archives: dining

Free Dining for 2017

The most anticipated news every year is the release of the free dining offer!  The Free Dining offer is now available for fall 2017 dates with some changes.

A Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus ticket is required to qualify for free dining.  New for 2017 value and moderate hotels get the Quick Service Dining Plan included.  Deluxe and Villa hotels get the basic Dining Plan included.  You can upgrade to a higher dining plan and pay the difference.

As usual, many dates are excluded from the discount.  This includes all of October, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the first half of November.

There are several hotels excluded from the discount for 2017.  Refurbishment and construction at the hotels has made booking more competitive.  Little inventory was available at the release, and later on it’s common to see only a deluxe or villa hotel available for many dates.  Qualifying for Free Dining typically requires a lot of flexibility and that is even more true this year.

Free Dining 2017

You can get a FREE dining plan when you purchase a non-discounted 5-night/6-day Magic Your Way package that includes a room at a select Walt Disney World® Resort hotel and ticket with a Park Hopper® or Park Hopper Plus Option Aug. 21-Sept. 30, Nov. 14-20, Nov. 25-27, Dec. 8-23, 2017 when they book April 24-July 7, 2017.

With this offer, you can enjoy distinctive Disney Resort Guest benefits and amenities – including early access to Disney FastPass+ planning, Extra Magic Hours, complimentary Resort transportation, standard parking and entertaining amenities!

When you stay at a select Disney Deluxe Resort or Disney Deluxe Villa Resort, you get the Disney Dining Plan with a variety of delicious dining options! When you stay at a select Disney Value Resort or Disney Moderate Resort, you get the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan that allows you to enjoy a quick bite!

Plus, you can uncover a magical mix of new and unforgettable experiences, including Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

Booking Window: April 24-July 7, 2017
Travel Window: Aug. 21-Sept. 30, Nov. 14-20, Nov. 25-27, Dec. 8-23, 2017

Excludes the following room types and Disney Resort hotels:

  • Campsites
  • 3-bedroom villas
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – Bungalows
  • Disney’s All Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Additional exclusion for Nov. 14-20, Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 8-23, 2017:

  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Tickets and options must be used within 14 days of first use. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Ask about packages of other lengths of stay. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort-The Little Mermaid standard rooms. Dining plan excludes gratuities and alcoholic beverages. Children ages 3-9 must order from children’s menu, if available. Some Table-Service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase.

hollywood studios christmas

Trip Report November 2016 – Day 4

Day 4 started out with a morning in Hollywood Studios.  Fearing a re-imagineering of the Great Movie Ride, it was a high priority for this trip.  “Lasts” have become a common theme for our recent trips, but thankfully “firsts” have started to fill in some of those gaps.

sunset boulevard christmas

We also saw Voyage of the Little Mermaid and ate lunch at Backlot Express.  Voyage of the Little Mermaid was not as fun for our 2 year old as I thought it would be thanks to the mist during the show.  I can’t blame him, I don’t enjoy being soaked in a theater unless it’s 90 degrees outside.

Rizzo's balcony outside

Rizzo’s soft opened during our trip

Continue reading

Trip Report November 2016 – Day 3

Day 3 started with a morning and afternoon outside the parks, then Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party that night!

We started the morning with two adults ending up standing outside their room door with no Magic Bands.  I knew the Club desk could make a new room key, so one of us ran up to get that.  Once we tried to use the new room key card, we got a red light.

Long story short, if the deadbolt is thrown inside the door, the electronic lock outside cannot open the door.  Lucky for us, our 2 year hold could reach the deadbolt easier than he could reach the handle and probably threw it very early on in the process of us being locked out of the room.  Eventually someone brought the key for the deadbolt, but it took several people attempting the lock before a manager finally had the magic touch to turn the lock.  If you ever feel down, just think about that one time we locked our kid inside our room for 45 minutes.

The Springs

By the time this saga was solved, it was nearing time for our lunch reservation in Disney Springs.  We parked at the new Lime Garage connected to Town Center, which was slick and easy compared to the old days of prowling surface lots for empty spots.

Continue reading

snow on hollywood boulevard

Trip Report November 2016 – Day 2

Our first day in the parks was one I worked hard to prepare for.  On paper it was just a morning in Epcot with a lunch at Garden Grill.  In practice it was the shining glory of a chipmunk toddler.

Since the Garden Rooms at the Boardwalk are not located near the Innkeepers Club Lounge I went up and brought breakfast for all of us back on a tray.  After finishing that we walked to Epcot.  We arrived 40 minutes after park opening and did the Seas, Turtle Talk, Imagination, checked out the DVC Lounge, and Fastpassed Living with the Land in 2 hours.

chip n dale costume

Waiting for Turtle Talk with Crush

Our lunch at Garden Grill might be the most magical memory we’ve made in the parks, rivaling baby Goofy meeting Minnie and Pluto.  Our little chipmunk had fantastic interactions with the characters and all the staff went above and beyond in making our meal great.

Continue reading

boardwalk garden room 1201

Trip Report November 2016 – Day 1

Our November 2016 trip was somewhat an accident.  It started out as a long weekend trip after Thanksgiving so we could see some of the new experiences that opened since our January 2016 trip.  The trip slowly grew, then a month and half out had to be moved completely.  Suddenly it was a week-long trip in the middle of November!

I’ll start by talking about our flight, since traveling with toddlers is sometimes a fiasco.  This was not our toddler’s first flight, but it was his first with a seat.  I swore off lap children after our last trip, so it suited me just fine that’s he’s old enough to require a ticket now.  We have a dedicated travel car seat (Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat) which we strapped to the stroller (Summer Infant 3Dlite Convenience Stroller) using a bungee cord.  Our toddler walked or was carried through the airport.  At security the stroller was broken down and went through x-ray while the car seat is manually inspected since it’s too big to fit through the machine.

Continue reading

Trip Report January 2016 – Day 8

Our last day was easy and relaxed.  We had no park tickets which is a new rule we’ve implemented to prevent the crazy last days we usually have.  We’ve considering doing this for years, but having a baby to tote really pushed us to implement the rule.

We called Bell Services to our room at 10:13 and were done with Resort Airline Check-In by 10:36.  That’s pretty good time since Bay Lake Tower does not have Bell Services and they come from the Contemporary.  We also stowed our carry-on bags with Bell Services to free up our hands.

DSC01931

Bay Lake Tower beach. I want 4 Imagineers to paint this tree.

Continue reading

Trip Report January 2016 – Day 7

After years upon years of stressful last days we finally got smart and did not buy park tickets for our check-out day.  That meant that day 7 would be our last day in the parks and we had a long list of things we wanted to do again or missed the chance to do earlier.

DSC01808.2

Chinese Theater

We started the day in Hollywood Studios with a Fastpass for Great Movie Ride, which had skipped earlier in the trip.

DSC01813.2

Great Movie Ride

Then we all took turns experiencing our favorite attraction – Tower of Terror.

Continue reading

Candlelight Processional 2016 at Walt Disney World

The Candlelight Processional is Christmas traditioperformed nightly in Epcot. The Candlelight Processional uses a choir, orchestra and celebrity narrator to tell the Christmas story from a biblical perspective.

DSC_0696

The show runs after Thanksgiving and before New Year’s Eve (November 25-December 30, 2016).  It runs three times a night in the American Gardens Theatre, 5:00 PM, 6:45 PM, and 8:15 PM and is about 45 minutes long.  IllumiNations, with a special holiday tag, starts at 9:30 during the Christmas season.  If you enjoy the 8:15 show, you’ll want to find your viewing spot around the lagoon immediately after the show is over.

Continue reading

Trip Report January 2016 – Day 6

Day 6 of our January vacation started exactly the way Day 5 ended – rainy.  Since we accomplished so much at Extra Magic Hours, we planned a sleep-in morning.  That’s not always possible with a baby, but we tried!

Rainy Magic Kingdom from Bay Lake Tower. The train left a picturesque trail all morning

Rainy Magic Kingdom from Bay Lake Tower. The train left a picturesque trail all morning

We left our room at Bay Lake Tower at 9:50, and by 10:18 were in the Fastpass line for Jungle Cruise.  We had an excellent skipper for our only daytime journey.

Mekong River is my favorite on Jungle Cruise

Mekong River is my favorite on Jungle Cruise

Up next is one of my personal favorites, Enchanted Tiki Room.  I love the show and the music, and it never has a line.  You really can’t be that!

Continue reading

Trip Report January 2016 – Day 4

Day 4 of our January 2016 trip started in Animal Kingdom.  We had an easy drive of less than 15 minutes and were in one of the first few rows of parking.  It took about 20 minutes from parking to entering the Kilimanjaro Safari Fastpass line.  We had an excellent crisp early morning safari with lots of animal sightings.

DSC01558

They stood so still they looked fake peeking above the bushes

DSC01562

Snoozing hippos

Up next I rode Expedition Everest by myself with a Fastpass and then again as a single rider.  Since I’m the only one who rides this in our group and it has a single rider line, the Fastpass was not necessary.  Next we child swapped Dinosaur with Fastpasses.

Continue reading