By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Keeping Up with the 2014 Disney World Free Dining Scoop

By Dave Shute


September Free Dining from yourfirstvisit.netAs I posted yesterday, the current forecast is that Free Dining will come out for Disney Visa holders on May 1, and for the general public on May 7–not May 5.

But this is a forecast, not carved in stone.  To keep up with what actually happens–in case, for example, it does come out May 5!–I suggest doing two things:

  • First, sign up for email notification about free dining from my friends at Destinations in Florida.  Click this link, fill out the form, reply to the confirmatory email, and you are set!
  • Second, check this thread (click “last page”) every morning.  If things happens sooner than expected, you’ll find out quickly there–any news will show up right after 7a eastern.

Word is that the Brazilian deal will include the following eligible arrival dates, and thus so too might the general public deal:

  • 8/31 to 10/03
  • 10/26 to 11/1
  • 11/9 to 11/20 and
  • 12/12 to 12/23

Treat these as forecasts, too.  General public offers are often hairier than Brazilian ones. The US offer may be the same; it may be only for the late August-early October dates; it may be for all these basic date blocks, but with slightly different start or end dates; or it may be something entirely different.

For the best FAQ on free dining you’ll ever read, see this.

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1 Heidi { 04.29.14 at 9:04 am }

Ashley and I have a Girls’ Only Trip planned in November, so we’re anxiously awaiting this news! Loving the projected dates as they fit perfectly with our plans. 🙂 It’s hard to believe that last year you were predicting that Free Dining would disappear and it’s still hanging around.

2 Mary { 04.29.14 at 9:55 am }

Can you purchase any of the Dining Plans if you are staying at the Dolphin or Swan? Can’t find an answer to this anywhere on line. Thanks. Your site is wonderful!

3 Keith { 04.29.14 at 1:17 pm }

Hi Dave,
Would you change your resort ranking taking into consideration the free dinning in september?
For example, the mermaid room at AoA will likely not be included and if you stay at pop you´de have to pay to upgrade to the dinning plan that´s needed to follow your itinerary. It seems like Caribbean resort would end up costing about the same as pop. This question is for a first time visitor with a 8 year old daughter. Thanks for you thoughts.

4 Dave { 04.29.14 at 5:18 pm }

Someday, Heidi, I will be right on something…!

5 Dave { 04.29.14 at 5:21 pm }

Mary, no, you can only get the dining plan at Disney owned and operated resorts, so not at Swan or Dolphin.

6 Dave { 04.29.14 at 5:22 pm }

Keith that’s a really good question. Will there be two parents, or just you and your daughter?

7 Kerry { 04.29.14 at 6:39 pm }

Frig. Arriving on Oct 22nd. Still hopeful….

8 Wendy { 04.29.14 at 8:28 pm }

I love this site – even with no trip in the works! My hopeful winter trip is a no-go…but I keep thinking about the next one!

Thanks for all you do,


9 Keith { 04.29.14 at 8:43 pm }

Yes, the 3 of us. My wife, daughter and myself.

10 Dave { 04.30.14 at 7:47 am }

Fingers crossed, Kerry!

11 Dave { 04.30.14 at 7:56 am }

🙂 Wendy…I miss you when you don’t talk to me here! BTW if you are on facebook check out this gang It’s run by Joe and Smitch from the “free dining” threads…

12 Dave { 04.30.14 at 8:04 am }

Keiht by my math, mods cost about $80 more per night than Pop, but the upgrade cost on the Quick Service plan for your three will be ~$43/night. So just on the $ you still do better at a value–by $37/night.

13 KE { 04.30.14 at 9:12 pm }

This makes me hopeful! Our dates coincide with the dates mentioned and we will be so thankful for free dining! Free dining equals a longer stay for us, which would be so awesome! Fingers crossed! 🙂

14 Wendy { 05.01.14 at 12:07 am }

Not really much of a Facebook gal…but when I am in the planning stage of the next trip – I might bite the bullet and get with it. For now, it is just your wisdom that keeps me up-to-date for my fictional next trip. The winter trip turned into a trip to Maryland and Washington DC…but that is not as much fun to plan, sad to say. No “First time to Williamsburg at Christmas” websites…

Have a wonderful first day of May,


15 Michelle { 05.01.14 at 1:17 pm }

I am on a few of the facebook groups – Don’t do it!! they are enough to give you a panic attack….. Disney mustbe so TORTURED today with calls about free dining (that doesn’t exist yet) aye aye……

16 Michelle { 05.01.14 at 1:18 pm }

is it like this every year dave???? MADNESS!!!

17 Michelle { 05.01.14 at 2:39 pm }

People seem to think its gonna sell out immediately the first day before the public even has access…. that is not possible is it? I’ve heard of people booking weeks after the promotion comes out in prior years……

18 Dave { 05.02.14 at 6:44 am }

Yay, KE!

19 Dave { 05.02.14 at 6:48 am }

Wendy when I first started this site I thought I could do similar content for lotsa destinations–“Your First Yosemite Visit” “Your First Manhattan at Christmas Visit” etc. That’s why the title has nothing about WDW in it.

Then I discovered just how much work it is just to do Disney World!

20 Dave { 05.02.14 at 6:53 am }

Michelle, the fall free dining release was like this last year–there was no Visa offer and that threw everyone. People targeting specific resorts and specific room types can get shut out pretty quickly. And people who simply can’t afford a trip without free dining are highly incented to get their deals done right away…So frenzy is typical and in some cases quite justified!!

21 MO { 05.02.14 at 8:11 am }

Hi Dave
Quick question, I am planning on staying at all star sports in September.Does the room have a Bar fridge.If not how do i get one for medical reasons.


22 Michelle { 05.02.14 at 10:43 am }

Thanks Dave! When this is released to the public next week, do you think it will be easier to book online yourself than by calling with the masses at 7? also, will it release earlier online than 6am?

23 Tina { 05.02.14 at 11:56 am }

Just wondered what are the odds they open up some of the excluded resorts later on in the season? I’m seeing many people switching resorts for the free dining. Am I just being hopeful I’d be able to switch back to POR?

24 Michelle { 05.03.14 at 6:51 pm }

When i check CSR for my dates there are no standard or business rooms left… just Jr suites and above….. i know this is one of the only two mods being offered for the Free Dining Promo – If the promo hasnt even released to the public yet and its already not showing any standard rooms – what the heck is going on?

25 Dave { 05.04.14 at 11:03 am }

Hi MO, yes all the rooms have mini-fridges.

26 Dave { 05.04.14 at 11:06 am }

Michelle, on-line will be MUCH easier. I seem to recall that in the past on-line has opened right after midnight…

27 Dave { 05.04.14 at 11:07 am }

Tina, anything is possible–and POR is in the room only deal (so far…) but I wouldn’t count on it…

28 Dave { 05.04.14 at 11:36 am }

Michelle what are your dates, and your party size?

29 Michelle { 05.04.14 at 9:58 pm }

4+ baby.

Tried 11/14-11/22i think and it said no standard or business class.

tried 11/15-11/22 and it did have some…

makin me nervous!!!

speaking of business class – is it worth the 22.00/day??

30 abbey { 05.05.14 at 11:55 am }

Dave – Your free dining FAQ says that room only deals are usually available for the same dates as free dining. How and When can I find out about the room-only deals? I’d like to compare to see which is a better discount for my family before May 7 (midnight on May 6).
Thank you so much! Our family of 6 is trying to plan 1st Disney visit in Nov and your website has been very helpful!

31 Dave { 05.05.14 at 5:18 pm }
32 Michelle { 05.06.14 at 12:02 pm }

Dave – do you think the CSR business class upgrade is worth the 22.00 day? free breakfast and free happy hour. (I dont think we’d ever be there for happy hour tho)

33 Michelle { 05.06.14 at 12:15 pm }

Really still stuck between CBR and CSR – Me, my husband, My mother, my kids (6 and 2). I Like the doors on the bathroom at CSR and the mexican food, the option of business class breakfast…and the queen beds… I like the theme of CBR, the double sinks, and the cool kids pool… will have a car…. anything to push me over the edge?

34 Dave { 05.07.14 at 12:18 pm }

Michelle, I’m getting it as around $60/day more–at that no way it’s worth it…Eg in early september a regular CS room is $196 on weekdays and the biz class is $253…

35 Dave { 05.07.14 at 12:23 pm }

Cabanas Beach 2 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Michelle, either is a great choice, but more on the CS side: CS has amenities that CSR doesn’t–real room service, lotsa food offered at the pool bar, etc–and one area, the Cabanas, has a bit of a beachy look–though not as colorful as CBR. Plus transport is more convenient there. Though you have a car, you will still want to take the buses to MK, so that matters.

The photo is from this review:

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