By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Disney World Free Dining for the General Public to Come Out in Early August?

By Dave Shute


Crack insider the “Mysterious J” emailed me last night to let me know that a free dining deal for the rest of 2013 at Disney World for visits booked from Europe and South America will come out on August 1st.  

Disney World 2013 Free DiningThis deal will have book-by dates of November 15, and will cover arrival dates of

  • September 29 to October 2, 2013
  • October 18 to November 2, 2013
  • November 11 to November 23, 2013
  • December 12 to December 22, 2013

At or near the same time, a room rate deal will come out as well.

The “Mysterious J” has given me the heads up on such items weeks before they appear before, and has never yet been wrong.

Moreover, what typically happens is that these deals come out outside the US first, and then soon get released for the North American general public.

So this news bodes really, really well for general public free dining to come out in early August as well!

I’ve been frankly skeptical about such a deal and am oh so glad that it appears that my forecasts of no more general public free dining in 2013 might be wrong!!!



1 John { 07.15.13 at 8:56 am }

Do the dates usually stay the same? We were hoping for the November 30-December 4 dates to be included.

2 Anonymous { 07.15.13 at 8:57 am }

This just made my day! 🙂

3 Bridgette { 07.15.13 at 9:05 am }

Woohoo!!! Thanks so much for the info, been impatiently waiting for news and was starting to get really discouraged about our October trip.

4 Steven's Pelletier { 07.15.13 at 9:58 am }

I’m in the same situation as John, I already booked for November 30th to December 9th hoping to get free dining, based on previous years dates. I hope that they will add those dates! I also have a trip booked at the end of September and I’m waiting to see what happens with November free dining so I can cancel one of them (November / December is my first choice). I have to pay the September trip on August 7th so the clock is ticking… fingers crossed!!!

5 Paula { 07.15.13 at 10:01 am }

Also hoping early December is added as we are going 12/1-12/7. With a family of 5 it sure would help. Disney isn’t priced well for families over 4 people so I’m keeping my fingers crossed! This is my kids first trip to Disney – I can’t wait!!!

6 Carrie { 07.15.13 at 10:28 am }

Thanks for the heads up! Any idea why oct 5-12 is blacked out? REALLY hoping for some kind of discount. We may have to downgrade our resort or dining package …. It’s our first trip, excited either way.

7 TJ { 07.15.13 at 10:53 am }

Pop Warner is December 6-14 this year. That may be why the discount days are different.

8 Dawn { 07.15.13 at 11:23 am }

We are headed there during the Oct dates, fingers crossed this actually happens!!! I made all my ADR’s just in case. This will be our first trip as a mom and dad…they kids have NO IDEA…not telling them until we are at the airport.

9 Brandi { 07.15.13 at 11:25 am }

Why just Europe and South America ?

10 Jay { 07.15.13 at 11:58 am }

Ok, this might be a dumb question…I am also booked in Early Dec. I did not choose the dining plan as my girl just turned 10 so it makes no sense for her to pay as a adult. I will just pay out of pocket and she will order off kids menu at the places we go to. With that being said, if a free dining plan was offered now for our travel dates, would Disney actually let me change my reservation to add it?

11 John { 07.15.13 at 12:59 pm }

One of the reasons we booked the early December dates was that it was projected to have lower crowds. Since free dining is not offered during the November 30-December 4 time frame, do you think this would indicate that crowds would be higher than anticipated?

12 Autumn { 07.15.13 at 1:31 pm }

” will just pay out of pocket and she will order off kids menu at the places we go to. With that being said, if a free dining plan was offered now for our travel dates, would Disney actually let me change my reservation to add it?” Jay is and when it is announced yes. BUT their may be ticket/room length requirements involved too..

13 Tiffany { 07.15.13 at 2:20 pm }

We are booked for Dec. 7-13th. Is there any way that we will be able to get free dining or a room discount if they come out? I know that pop warner is around that time so will that completely eliminate our chances of any kind of discount??

14 Lori { 07.15.13 at 4:02 pm }

Why do they have blackout dates in early October? We are booked for October 5th. Should I consider changing my date to November or take my chances and hope for the best?

15 Caralee { 07.15.13 at 4:50 pm }

Thanks Dave for the info. For the record, I wouldn’t consider your forecast wrong; you did say that if certain factors came in to play, then free dining could be a possibility. And if you still want to consider yourself wrong, wouldn’t this be a good thing to be “wrong” about??? Thank you for this awesome site!

16 Danelle { 07.15.13 at 11:43 pm }

We currently have a vacation booked sept 28- oct 6 based on the info you provided since we are not arriving on sept 29 we will not be able to take advantage of this is that correct? I am waiting on the military discounts to be released also. But if I am figuring correctly this would be better. We already have the room and dining booked for 3 adults 2 kids

17 Kel { 07.16.13 at 2:33 am }

Hi, any news on oct6-13th? Im goin for my 30th bday (the 11th) and was told by 3 diff. travel agencies I would get free dining, they were 99% positive, im so confused on y they are blackin out those dates, since its a slower time frame. PleaSe respond if you know anything? thanks!! 🙂

18 Dave { 07.16.13 at 8:25 am }

Bridgette, Dawn, etc.: I’m excited too! But this is still just a “might” happen, not a “will” happen!

John, Steven’s Pelletier, Paula, Carrie, Lori, Kel etc.: I can’t fully explain why Disney includes or excludes certain dates. In theory, it’ll exclude dates when it projects enough demand or willingness to pay that it can meet its goals without discounts (thus Pop Warner week and the fall break weeks of early October being out, as they have been out in past years)—or simply because the restaurants are already booked up from prior pin code releases (this is what I’m guessing happened to the week after Thanksgiving). But there’s no clear way to tie these “logical” factors to its behavior. Dates have been changed/added in the past either due to errors by Disney (it honored the wrong dates too, if booked before the errors were corrected) or to encourage more bookings on other dates. But don’t count on it…

Brandi: All that was reported to me is the Europe/South American discount. That’s why free dining might come out for the US. We won’t know for sure til early August…

John: Neither the availability of dining, nor of rooms in the WDW resorts, is a crowd calendar. Crowds come because masses of kids are out of school. They aren’t then, so don’t worry. See also this (about a different period, but they key points are still valid):

Jay: As Autumn noted, if your resort and dates are eligible, you can flip in to the deal by calling Disney, but will face a minimum ticket buy

Tiffany: I wouldn’t give up on a room rate discount being available your dates, but I wouldn’t count on it…

Danelle: if you split your booking into two, with one being on an eligible arrival date, you can do free dining. This may increase your ticket expenses tho…

Caralee: you are very kind, and yes, I would LOVE to see this deal come true!

Follow on Facebook!

19 Lacee { 07.16.13 at 11:27 am }

If you have already booked for these dates Disney will NOT just automatically change you to the free dining deal. A travel agent WILL do that for you if you have booked with one, but if you booked with Disney you will have to call and make the change. The deal always says “only a certain number of rooms available with this offer” so you may have to change to a different room category or even a different resort. The phone lines will be crazy, be prepared to call as soon as they open and be on hold a long time.

These dates are a little different from what we have been seeing people get with PIN codes. It MAY be that they have already gotten plenty of bookings for 11/30-12/4 and therefore don’t need to include those dates. That is one reason why the “I will go ahead and book and then switch to free dining when it comes out” mentality may backfire at times.

But, I guess we will know for sure soon enough!

20 Lacee { 07.16.13 at 11:30 am }

In general, any date that always has enough bookings for any reason at all will be blacked out. Even small holidays and events like Pop Warner will give them plenty of reason NOT to have to offer any special deals.

21 John { 07.16.13 at 4:48 pm }

It seems strange to me that the dates that are included would potentially include all of Thanksgiving week and all of Christmas week. I am happy for those of you who can use it!

22 Dave { 07.17.13 at 7:42 am }

Thanks, Lacee!

23 Dave { 07.17.13 at 7:45 am }

John, I think that’s weird too…

Follow on Facebook!

24 Kimberley { 07.19.13 at 2:06 pm }


Silly question. We are booked at AoA in a LM room for the week of 11/17-11/23. I know with these past FD offers the LM rooms at AoA are not included. Do you think they will offer just a room discount during that time? I really don’t care if we get free dinning. We are taking a 5 yr old for the first time and an upgrade to mod hotel seems, dare I say lame compared to the AoA LM rooms. Plus with only three of going the cost of the family suites just did not seem reasonable.

25 rhonda { 07.19.13 at 8:19 pm }

In your dates above re: fd – you say at or around the same time room discounts might come out. Question: Do you think room discounts will come out for 12/6 – 12/13? I have given up on fd – but I’m hoping for a discount????

26 Dave { 07.20.13 at 11:07 am }

Hi Kimberly, I suspect it’ll be a while before LM is included in discounts–especially since those were the only standard value rooms ot see a price increase in 2014–see this:

Follow on Facebook!

27 Dave { 07.20.13 at 11:08 am }

Rhonda, it’s possible, but because of Pop Warner week, I doubt it. See

Follow on Facebook!

28 John { 07.20.13 at 1:48 pm }

Do you think there will be a RO discount at all this fall/winter ? If so is this something that is likely to be leaked by the mysterious people or will it just suddenly come out without warning? I know its all speculation but just interested in your opinion. Thanks for the best WDW planning site around.

29 Lisa { 07.20.13 at 4:23 pm }

Hi Dave:
We had a reservation at AOA for LM but decided to change to Coronado Springs. When I called about the free dining to see if they knew anything about it coming out for winter they told me that the LM rooms will not be included in the FD since they where new. By us moving to Coronado Springs we can pay $500 less by getting the free dining offer at the Coronado Springs then if we stayed at LM. So we saved money (we hope) if the free dining plan is offered for Nov. 2013 by moving from the value LM to the Moderate Coronado Springs. How for sure are you with Dinsy offering the FD for Nov. 14-24? This site is great.

30 Lisa { 07.20.13 at 4:25 pm }

What is the best deal? Free dining or Room offers? Or can you have both deals?

31 Dave { 07.21.13 at 8:32 am }

Hi John, and thanks! Yes I do think there will be a room only discount–word is that it will come out in early August.

Follow on Facebook!

32 Dave { 07.21.13 at 8:34 am }

Hi Lisa, and thanks! I’m not “sure”–just forecasting based on the info I have. LM has been out of FD since it opened…

Follow on Facebook!

33 Dave { 07.21.13 at 8:36 am }

Lisa you can’t have both, and which is better varies by family and visit specifics. In general, the bigger your party, and the less expensive your rooms, the better free dining is…

34 Kathie { 07.21.13 at 1:00 pm }

This information is wrong. Free dining will be available August 1st and available 2 days earlier for Disney visa card holders.

35 Peggy { 07.21.13 at 3:04 pm }

I’m assuming that at least part of the reason there isn’t one for Oct 2nd -18th is stuff like the Tower of Terror 10 miler weekend, the Halloween party and the Food Festival all happen during this time making it so that Disney really doesn’t need to advertise to get people in the parks at that time of year if more and more people are coming for these events every year.

36 Mike { 07.21.13 at 10:11 pm }

Dave, have you been hearing July 29 and Aug 1 release dates for fall Visa FD and general public FD? Are room only discounts likely to be released same days?

37 Dave { 07.22.13 at 6:56 am }

So what’s the “wrong” part?

38 Dave { 07.22.13 at 6:59 am }

Yup, Peggy, plus fall breaks and the the Columbus Day holiday…see

Follow on Facebook!

39 Dave { 07.22.13 at 7:04 am }

Hey Mike, yes, and probably!

40 Courtney { 07.22.13 at 3:47 pm }

We are a family of six ( 4 kids) staying December 3-9 at CBR, only moderate left and do not want All star sports without a food court. Fourth kid staying next door with my parents. We have free dining and this my kids fith trip. Also considered staying off site with rental car. Do you think driving to the parks is faster than Disney busses?

If we were to stay value then upgrade to moderate or deluxe does Disney transfer your luggage? This is a great site, thanks for all the info!

41 Dave { 07.22.13 at 6:49 pm }

Hi Courtney, driving is faster at every park except MK, where the buses are always faster.

Disney will move your bags for you! You may lose your free dining though if you change resorts…

Follow on Facebook!

42 Lisa { 07.22.13 at 7:38 pm }

Dave, how do you get notified for the FD if you are a Disney Visa Card holder? Mail or email?

43 Dave { 07.23.13 at 6:20 am }

Lisa–neither–you will “have” it automatically if you are a cardholder, but need to get the package code, and have it and your visa card in hand when you call Disney. See this:

Follow on Facebook!

44 rhonda { 07.23.13 at 8:31 pm }

Dave – not sure you can answer this – but previous question from Courtney above who is staying 12/3 – 12/9 with free dinning – DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW SHE GOT FREE DINNING my stay is 12/6 to 12/14 and that would cover part of it….I am a Disney visa card holder should I call them and ask for this mysterious code many are speaking of??
Also – you say a car is much faster to all resorts except mk – we have a car – but plan on taking the buses to all resorts – which would you suggest doing? thanks

45 Dave { 07.24.13 at 7:02 am }

Hi Rhonda! My guess is that she got a pin code, which had among others 12/3 as an eligible arrival date. See this:

Those late November/early December dates are NOT included in the general public free dining rumored dates, likely because they were all booked up enough already–see this:

Unless I am simply testing the buses for timing, stops and such (or my kids insist, as they do at times–see this: ) I always drive except to the Magic Kingdom…

Follow on Facebook!

46 Rhonda { 07.24.13 at 10:25 am }

I have a room at the AOS LM – for the week of pop warner 🙁 I have a 4 year old and my hubby and I would like quiet nights – relaxing movie by the pool or whereever they have it in the aoa resort. Should I change to a different resort due to POP Warner? My concern is – is when we are at the hotel we want to semi-relax and can this be done with all of the teenagers??? If you suggest moving where would you move to 2 adults and 1 4 year old – It would need to be a moderate due to budget. Thanks.

47 Rhonda { 07.24.13 at 10:25 am }

I meant AOA – little mermaid

48 Dave { 07.25.13 at 8:12 am }

Rhonda, I don’t think there will be a lot of Pop Warner people at Little Mermaid, and they do stay at the moderates as well.

Pop Warner guests can stay anywhere they want, but tend to concentrate at Caribbean Beach among the moderates and All-Star Sports among the values. See this:

Follow on Facebook!

49 Gina { 07.28.13 at 1:13 pm }

Hey Dave, like Tiffany my family and I will be there December 7th through December 13th. If the FD is available starting December 12th would we qualify? Also I’ve heard rumors of RO discounts while we are there and if we don’t qualify for for the FD do you foresee the RO being available at Port Orleans Riverside Royal Guest Room?

50 Lisa { 07.28.13 at 3:30 pm }

Hi Dave, If and when the codes come out for the Disney Visa card holder for the FD, will we need to pay for the trip in full or just the deposit and pay in full later? I love this site. Knowing that I can ask questions and get an answer from a real person. THANK YOU.

51 Dave { 07.29.13 at 6:24 am }

Gina, on the first question, you could book two reservations and get FD for the 12th and later. On the second, that level of detail just isn’t known yet!

Follow on Facebook!

52 Dave { 07.29.13 at 6:28 am }

Hi Lisa 🙂 Real person here! You need to use your Disney Visa to put down a $200 deposit. After that, all the rules for when it has to paid in full are unchanged…

Follow on Facebook!

53 Lisa { 07.29.13 at 9:53 am }

Hi Dave, I’m going nuts this morning. I CAN’T FIND THE CODES!!! I’m trying to find the codes for the DVC for the FD for Oct. – Dec. and I went to the places you told me to go to and I had no luck. Have you seen them? I’m just so excited to go to Disney and getting a good deal would help. I’m trying to be patient but it’s really hard. We only have 108 days to go. LOL Hope you have better luck finding the codes than I did. THANK YOU !!!

54 Dave { 07.29.13 at 10:20 am }

Lisa you can’t find because it didn’t come out!! See this:

55 Amy Elizabeth Duggan { 07.29.13 at 11:47 am }

Oh lordy I hope this happens! i’m in the UK. Free dining is available for next year but if they offered it for 2013 again that would MAKE MY YEAR

56 Katye { 07.29.13 at 11:51 am }

Do you have any idea when free dining pins will be mailed out for 2014? I get a pin every year but haven’t received one for 2014 yet. Thanks

57 Mike H { 07.30.13 at 2:15 am }

How silly is it to have an arrival the day before a free dining block of time and then change to a day later to quality for free dining??.

58 Dave { 07.30.13 at 7:39 am }

Good luck, Amy!

59 Dave { 07.30.13 at 7:41 am }

Hi Katye, no, I’ve never seen anything that illuminates how/when/why the pin codes come out. There is a round of 2014 room-only discounts that went out recently–see this:

60 Dave { 07.30.13 at 8:09 am }

Mike, people do stuff like this all the time when there’s a deal that starts a day or two after their arrival dates.

Follow on Facebook!

61 Julie { 07.31.13 at 12:39 am }

Keeping fingers crossed but so sad that I do not ever receive any mailing or pin codes we visit every other year and have never received any of these !!!

62 Dave { 07.31.13 at 8:17 am }

Me neither, Julie. Did you call to see if you had a pin code? See this:

Follow on Facebook!

63 Alicia { 07.31.13 at 10:23 am }

I just noticed on the boards that the movies resort is not included in the free dining special. Do you know if this is true and if so do you know why that is?

64 Dave { 08.01.13 at 7:51 am }

Alicia, the most popular–and hence easy for Disney to book at standard prices–resorts are always excluded…the scoop as I have it so far is here:

Follow on Facebook!

65 Andy { 08.03.13 at 4:01 pm }

Hi Dave,

It looks like “mysterious J” has got it slightly wrong! I am based in the UK and the offer is not open to us, only the US, so when you say………. “Crack insider the “Mysterious J” emailed me last night to let me know that a free dining deal for the rest of 2013 at Disney World for visits booked from Europe and South America will come out on August 1st. “……… I guess everyone has to get it wrong eventually!!

66 Dave { 08.04.13 at 9:06 am }

Oh Andy, good point, my mistake. The UK always has a different set of deals than everybody else. I lived in England for three years as a kid–in Ruislip!–and learned then to not really think of the UK as part of Europe! I should have said “the Continent” instead of Europe…

Forgive me? BTW, you can sometimes find US based travel agents who can do the US deals for UK visitors…

Follow on Facebook!

67 Andy { 08.05.13 at 4:40 pm }

Hi Dave,

Ruislip? Nice part of the World but not as nice as where you are now I bet? We telephoned Disney in the US and can book but unfortunately we have already booked our flights and Virgin want to charge over £300 to change our flights!! (Currently staying 26th Nov – 10th Dec) typically our dates are not eligible for free dining.

68 Dave { 08.06.13 at 8:10 am }

Ouch, Andy, 300 pounds is a bit rich…but still you are going at a great time so have a wonderful visit!!

I’m still in Northeast Ohio–don’t get to WDW til Thursday night…

Follow on Facebook!

69 Andy { 08.06.13 at 10:37 am }

Thanks Dave. If your mysterious contact can arrange for the free dining to last until the 27th November I would be very grateful.
Enjoy your holiday, I am sure we will as it is our first ever visit!

70 Dave { 08.07.13 at 7:43 am }


Leave a Comment | Ask a Question | Note a Problem

My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2017 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.