Disney Free Dining 2024: What is the early booker deal?
By Helen Wright
A holiday to Disney World is no doubt one of the most incredible and memorable experiences you will have with your family. With such a lot of elements involved, there are not that many deals for Disney Orlando tickets, but there is a small period every year where you can literally save thousands of pounds on your Walt Disney World trip. In the past, this deal was known the Disney Free Dining and Drinks Deal, but now it’s called the Disney Early Booker Package 2024.
The clue is in the name, but this Disney deal is for those who want to get in early and book their big holiday in advance. You can only book this deal between now and 9th November for travel in the following year, but if you plan to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel during your Florida trip – there is no better time to book your Disney Orlando tickets and accomodation.
The new 2024 Disney Free Dining Deal explained:
For visitors from the UK, heading out to Orlando can be a trip of a lifetime involving months (if not years) of planning to make sure it’s the perfect holiday. With most people keen to book in advance, the 2024 Disney Free Dining / Disney Early Booker Package is perfect.
There no doubt that a Walt Disney World holiday will be a significant spend and so anyone who wants to get their trip booked and secured for next year can make a great saving.
Since January 27th 2023, Walt Disney World in Florida has been celebrating Disney 100 (D100) to mark 100 years since the Walt Disney Company was established. In true Disney style, the parks have gone into party mode and the celebration (which is taking place at all the Disney Parks around the world) involves limited-edition food, entertainment and events – and new attractions to thrill guests arriving to join the fun.
Cover image: Disney Parks UK. This page contains affiliate links.
So, what exactly is the Disney Early Booker package? And why is it not called ‘Disney Free Dining 2024’?
The Disney Early Booker Package 2024 works in a similar way to the Disney Free Dining and Drink deal, but it’s much easier to use and a lot less confusing. It’s not called the Disney Dining deal anymore because you can also use it in the shops to buy merchandise too!
In the old days, you were given different credits to use each day, such as a quick-service breakfast, a snack, drinks and a table service dinner etc. You would be able to claim these throughout your stay and it essentially resulted in the whole family eating and drinking for free (to a point) for the duration of your time spent at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
So how does the Disney Free Dining Deal 2024 work?
The Disney Early Booker Deal 2024 works in much the same way, but instead of set credits, you are given a gift card for use in the parks and resorts. This can be spent on food, drink and merchandise, if you’d prefer.
The catch is, you can only take advantage of the Disney Free Dining Deal 2024 if you are staying at one of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. This is a hotel or villa on the Walt Disney World resort.
If you’ve never been to Disney before, these hotels are not inside the Disney gates (a separate ticket is still required for the parks) but they are situated around the Disney property. This post about staying on property at Disney World or Universal explains more.
You can qualify for the Early Booker Deal 2024 when you book a hotel + park ticket package with a stay between 5 and 21 nights on selected dates in 2024. This package will be for a Disney Resort hotel and a Disney Magic Ticket for all your party.
Depending on the grade of your hotel (Disney hotels range from value, moderate and deluxe) you can get up at $2100 free spending money. The deal is only available to book between April and November 2023, so you need to book between these dates if you want to secure the Disney deal.
Is the Disney Free Dining Deal 2024 worth it?
If you are planning on spending multiple days at the Disney Parks and would like to stay at a Disney resort hotel, the Early Booker offer Disney Dining Deal is definitely worth it! Who doesn’t like free money to spend at Disney?!
Many UK outlets are selling the Early Booking Offer 2024, including Walt Disney Holidays, but the best Disney Free Dining Deal offer I could find was at attractiontickets.com. This is because as well as the hotel and Park Tickets with Disney Dining Deal, with this package you get 14 Disney Park Days for the Price of 7 PLUS up to $300 Disney spending money per room. This was the most generous of all the UK tour operators, but please email or message me on social media if you see a better deal so I can amend this post.
The Dining and Merchandise card can be used on anything from your morning coffee to breakfast with Disney Characters, a cocktail around the World at EPCOT, lunch at Galaxy’s Edge, Minnie ears or a giant Mickey teddy bear. It’s totally up to you.
The card can also be used for selected experiences like the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, so if you ever wanted to do something extra special at Walt Disney World – this is your chance.
RELATED POST: The best foods and snacks to eat at Walt Disney World
Do I have to stay in a deluxe hotel to get the Disney Free Dining Deal 2024?
You can book a stay in any Walt Disney World resort hotel but the amount of money you get on your Disney free Dining and Merchandise Card increases with the grade of hotel AND the dates in which you stay.
Here is a rough breakdown of the 2024 Disney Free Dining and Merchandise benefits:
For arrivals between August 1st 2024 and September 30th 2024:
DISNEY DELUXE RESORTS AND VILLAS
$150 Disney Free Dining & Merchandise Credit Per Room Per Night, $300 Disney Gift Card* (with bookings on attractiontickets.com only).
These hotels include, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht Club and Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel.
DISNEY MODERATE RESORTS
$100 Disney Free Dining & Merchandise Credit Per Room Per Night, $250 Disney Gift Card* (with bookings on attractiontickets.com only).
These hotels include Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts.
DISNEY VALUE RESORTS
$50 Disney Free Dining & Merchandise Credit Per Room Per Night, $200 Disney Gift Card* (with bookings on attractiontickets.com only).
These hotels include the Disney All Star Resorts and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.
For arrivals between 9th January 2024 – 22nd March 2024; 13th April 2024 – 31st July 2024; 1st October 2024 – 11th October 2024; 26th October 2024 – 18th December 2024, the benefits are slightly less.
DISNEY DELUXE RESORTS AND VILLAS
$86 Dining & Merchandise Credit Per Room Per Night, $300 Disney Gift Card* (with bookings on attractiontickets.com only).
DISNEY MODERATE RESORTS
$72 Dining & Merchandise Credit Per Room Per Night, $250 Disney Gift Card* (with bookings on attractiontickets.com only).
DISNEY VALUE RESORTS
$36 Dining & Merchandise Credit Per Room Per Night, $200 Disney Gift Card* (with bookings on attractiontickets.com only).
But, what if I want to go to Universal and other resorts?
The Disney Free Dining and Merchandise credit is only for use at Disney theme parks and resorts (and the Disney Springs and Disney Boardwalk entertainment areas). This does not include Universal Orlando, SeaWorld or other non-Disney attractions in Orlando. This means you can only use your credit when you are at Disney.
However, with the new gift card, it does mean you don’t miss out on dining credits if you spend time away from the Disney resort. You don’t have to spend the Disney Free Dining and Merchandise money day by day, so on the days you are not there, you will be saving up more credit to use on the days you are there. Extra Mickey Ice Creams for everyone!
In over 40 visits to Orlando, we have guides for every aspect of your Florida holiday. Check out some of our helpful and honest blogs.
Does the Dining Credit expire or can I use it on future trips?
Yes, the cards DO EXPIRE so make sure you use all your credit before you go home! The Disney Dining and Merchandise Credit expires 21 Days after the hotel check-in date. This is why the fact you can use it in the shops for gifts and merchandise is great. If you don’t spend the Disney Free Dining credit on food and drink, you can use it up with souvenirs and gifts on the last day.
Is it still cheaper to stay in a villa off-resort and not get the deal?
It’s difficult to answer without knowing the cost of the villa, the length of your stay and how much time you plan to spend at Walt Disney World. I would say, yes there are great Orlando deals out there, so you may be able to plan the trip more cheaply.
However, if you are spending a lot of time at the Disney Parks and add up the cost of food and drink for the whole family, plus park tickets and souvenirs, you might find you get the opportunity to stay in the Disney bubble for the same amount as staying off-property. That’s still a great deal. To plan your budget, read our post on how much a Disney holiday really costs.
Is it still possible to do a last-minute Florida trip?
If you want to travel THIS year (2023), you can’t take advantage of the early booker Disney Free Dining deal but you absolutely can book last minute! Why not?
Yes, a trip to Orlando and Walt Disney World takes some planning (especially now you must reserve park days at Walt Disney World theme parks) but there are guides just like this one that can help you do that.
There are currently some really tempting ticket deals from companies like attractiontickets.com and through Disney Parks UK themselves. You can buy tickets today and fly out next week if you really want to. Now that’s last minute! And, with some potentially great savings on tickets and flights, you have the option to spend the extra cash on a fancier hotel – such as Disney’s Grand Floridian or Disney’s Boardwalk Hotel – if that’s what you’ve always dreamed of. Nothing is stopping you having an adventure that starts in just a few weeks’ time.
Take advantage of some EXCELLENT low-cost deals to Orlando THIS year
With ‘escape’ fever finally dying down, demand for car hire, accommodation and flights has eased, making way for some of the best deals I’ve seen since 2020. Take a look at direct return flights from London to Orlando International on Virgin Atlantic for £396 (hand luggage only) or £471 with a checked suitcase in October. Virgin are also now flying into Tampa where you may find deals are even cheaper!
For those looking for a package deal, Tui are offering direct flights from London to Melbourne Orlando Airport, with a checked bag and seven nights at the Rosen Inn Lake Buena Vista in October 2022 for £486 per person. Virgin Holidays have return direct flights to Orlando International, with a checked bag and seven nights at Coco Key Hotel and Water Park for £515 per person over the same dates. These prices are fantastic compared to advertised rates at the end of 2021, with some quotes double or even triple this amount.
By comparison, the same deals travelling on identical dates next year, in 2023, were £791 for Virgin Holidays (£276 more), and £949 on Tui (£463 more). That is a pretty big incentive to go wild and have a last-minute adventure to celebrate Disney’s 50th and enjoy a pretty amazing holiday at the same time, don’t you think?
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