Walt Disney World "Free" Dining Plan Dates Released

Walt Disney World has released details for its annual "free" dining package promotion, with some changes for those who stay at moderate resorts. There are lots of ways to save on dining at Walt Disney World, but a free dining package is one of the simplest options.

 Be Our Guest is always an enjoyable dining experience!

Be Our Guest is always an enjoyable dining experience!

From WDW News Today:

In 2017, guests booking a Moderate resort stay will now only be receiving free Quick Service Dining, rather than the Disney Dining Plan which includes table service meals. The table service plan will only be “free” to those booking a Deluxe resort.
In order to get the deal, guests must book a minimum 3-night-stay with 2 days of Park Hopper or Park Hopper+ tickets. Booking for the package will not open until tomorrow, Monday, April 24th, 2017. Available travel dates will be between August 21st (beginning August 13th for Disney Visa Cardholders and Canadian guests) and September 30th, 2017, as well as select dates between November 14th through December 23rd.

This change is a pretty big blow to moderate resorts, as the Quick Service dining plan is worth much less than the Disney Dining Plan.

Don't forget to check room-only savings

Along with the dining deal, Disney released a room-only offer, too, with savings of between 15% and 30% for stays August 1 through October 7.

 Savings can get up to 30% at the Deluxe Resorts!

Savings can get up to 30% at the Deluxe Resorts!

You can't get both of these deals, so you'll have to decide whether you'd rather have a room-only discount and pay out-of-pocket for food, or whether you'd pay full-rate for the room but get free dining.

If you head over to The Dis, you'll see how much the various dining plans usually cost. Your family might get more or less value out of the plan, depending on how you use it, but that pricing should give you a good idea of whether you should be looking at free dining or a room-only discount.

Finally, remember that room-only offers can be booked with Chase Ultimate Reward points and using the Citi Prestige 4th Night Free. The dining plan won't be bookable with Ultimate Reward points, and while I doubt it could be booked with 4th Night Free, it might be worth trying.

Which do you prefer, free dining, or the room-only discount?