Thrifty Thursday: What if I Can’t Get Free Dining?

IMG_3811When I sent out an email alert to my list that Disney had announced a new Free Dining Promotion, I knew that many folks had been waiting for just this announcement to book their next Disney vacation. And it’s no wonder: getting most if not all of your meals for free is a great way to save some serious money! 

But the truth is that not everyone was or will be able to take advantage of this promotion. For some, their travel dates are not part of the promotion and they may not be able to move their trip. For others, there was limited availability. And for others, frankly, they saved more money using a different discount or promotion.

“What’s that you say? There are ways that I can save on a Disney vacation other than Free Dining?”

 Yes there are. 🙂

While Free Dining is probably the most popular promotion that Disney offers, it is limited to a relatively few number of days, compared to the entire year. However, Disney does also periodically run room-only or other promotions that can be a great savings. Discounts are not always offered, and the percentage off will typically vary on the different resort levels, with the greatest percentage off usually being on the Deluxe, then Moderate, and the lowest discount on the Value resorts. Still, a discount is a discount, and if BOTH promotions are offered at the same time, depending on your family’s eating habits, comparing Free Dining to what you would save on a Room-Only promotion may result in a better deal with the Room discount! The thing is, you have to do the math to really see how it works for you.

But there are other ways to save as well. There are the elusive Pin Codes  (or as Disney calls them now, “Unique Offer Codes”). Should you be fortunate enough to receive a Pin Code, be sure to read the details carefully: they usually have to be used by a certain date….and it would really be a shame to get a great offer and not be able to take advantage of it because you missed the date! As with Room-Only discounts, sometimes the offer is fantastic, and other times not so much. Yes, you will want your calculator again to do the comparisons. 🙂

Does comparing all these offers cause your eyes to glaze over? It can get confusing and overwhelming trying to see what will be best for you! After all, not everyone is a spreadsheet kind of person. But the good news is, YOU don’t have to be: that’s a big part of what a Disney World travel agent can do for you! Part of what we do to help our clients is to compare all available offers to see what will save them the most money…and then to continually monitor for them when new offers come out, to see if we can save them more money!

My clients don’t have to ask me to do this for them….I do it automatically. 🙂

So whether you use a travel agent to help you, or you are doing it yourself, just know that, if Free Dining doesn’t work for you, no worries: you can still save money on your Disney vacation!

Find out how the FREE services of a Disney World travel agent can make planning your Disney vacation simple and STRESS FREE!

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