We love a good deal at Walt Disney World! Many of our travels to Walt Disney World tend to be with some sort of promo or discount, which allows us to travel there as much as we do. We are also Annual Passholders, so not having to pay for tickets every time we go really helps with the savings as well. Walt Disney World rolled out a new promo today, Jan 5, 2023, for a complimentary Disney Dining Card with certain bookings starting June 25, 2023. Here’s everything you need to know about the Disney Dining Card Promo and whether or not this promo is right for you.
Disney Dining Promo Card Offer
Walt Disney World announced their new Disney Dining Promo Card Offer for bookings starting Jan 5, 2023. For a lot of people, this is exciting news! Many have been waiting for the Disney Dining Plan to come back. And although that’s not at all what this means, it’s a sign that things may be moving in the right direction. And besides,, who doesn’t love free food?
The Disney Dining Promo Card Offer is more flexible than the previous Disney Dining Plan in that it’s issued in a dollar amount, rather than in dining credits. While we always loved the free Disney Dining Plan, many guests struggled to use all of their credits during their stay. And would end up buying loads of snacks on their last day to take home with them to make sure they weren’t wasted. The Promo card gives you a dollar amount. Which allows you more freedom in how you use it. Want to spend it all in one place? Go for it! Prefer to use it to offset small expenses that add up like coffee and treats? Go ahead!
The Disney Dining Promo Card is a bit different than what we’ve seen in the past. But we are here to help you understand how it all works. And whether or not this is right for you!
Disney Dining Promo Card Details
This promo is for vacation packages of at least 4 nights and 4 ticketed days, a non-discounted room, and ticket packages at select Walt Disney World Resorts. Qualifying stays can earn up to $750 on a Disney Dining Promo Card. And this offer is valid for arrivals beginning 6/25/2023- 9/14/2023.
The Disney Dining Promo Card offers the following discounts:
- For Arrivals 6/25-6/30/2023 and 7/11-7/31/2023:
- Value Resorts $35 per night,
- Moderate Resorts and Cabins are $75 per night
- Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villas $125 per night
- For Arrivals 7/1-7/10/2023 and 8/1-9/14/2023:
- Value Resorts $50 per night,
- Moderate Resorts and Cabins are $100 per night
- Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villas $150 per night
This promo cannot be combined with any other offers AND must be booked as part of a package. So for Annual Passholders, this discount is not something you’ll likely find much value in. One Promo Dining card is granted for each reservation. And is not influenced by the number of rooms or the number of people.
A few other things to note. ALL FUNDS on the dining promo card will expire on September 30, 2023. And if you happen to change your dates after your initial booking, there will be no adjustments made to your Disney Dining Promo Card. For example, if you switch your dates to dates with a higher promo amount, you will not receive the increased amount on your dining card. Additionally, if you add days, you will not receive credit for the extra days. Your initial booking will determine the amount of your dining card. And will not be changed due to modifications to your trip.
How to book a Disney Vacation with Free Dining Promo Card
Booking the Free Dining Promo Card is easy! You can book it the same way that you book any other promo. Go to the Special Offers page and book from there. Or you can also contact a Disney Travel Agent to help you plan your trip and book for you. At checkout, you won’t see any indication as to how much your Dining Card will be. You just have to calculate it based on the parameters of the deal.
When Will I Get My Disney Dining Promo Card?
The Dining Promo card will be emailed to you once you’ve arrived at your resort and checked in. Make sure you have a valid email address on file. And be sure to check your spam folders as they often get sent there. Guests who still can’t find their promo card after check-in can go to the front desk. And they can help you there.
Savings with the Disney Dining Promo Card
For starters, let’s establish something. You are technically not “saving” money with this. You are earning a complimentary Dining card while paying full price for a Walt Disney World package. But since most guests spend some amount of money on food at Walt Disney World, and therefore will save during the duration of their trip, we will use the term loosely.
The amount of money that you will save with this promo depends completely on what resort you’re staying at and your arrival date. For example, if you’re traveling to a Value Resort during the lower portion of the promo period, you will be given less than if you stayed at the same Value Resort during the higher period of the promo. And Deluxe Disney Resort guests will always save the most. Increased savings with higher-priced vacations is nothing new for Disney. So, this structure is actually pretty in line with how they usually run promotions. The promotion maxes out at $750 for deluxe guests. Even though the promo is valid for longer stays, the most that will be awarded to any reservation is $750.
How does the Disney Dining Promo Card Work?
Once you’ve booked your Disney vacation with the Disney Dining Promo Card offer, you can start planning your trip! You will receive an email with your Dining Promo card once you’ve arrived at your resort. It will show up similarly to a gift card, with one caveat: it can only be used at select restaurants throughout Walt Disney World. Each reservation only receives one card. So, if you’re traveling with a larger party, the lead guest will receive the card. And your group can decide how you want to divvy up the funds.
This card can only be used at select dining locations. And it cannot be added to your room folio, even if you are charging expenses from qualifying restaurants. You can also use the Disney Dining Card when using mobile orders at Walt Disney World. But it’s possible you may have to enter that number in every time you checkout. So be prepared for that in case you decide you’d like to use it in this way. Otherwise, just show the barcode at each dining location. And just like a regular gift card, the value will be updated on the bottom of your receipt each time it’s used.
At Which Restaurants Can the Disney Dining Promo Card Be Used?
The digital Disney Dining Promo Card is redeemable at select participating food and beverage locations at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Locations that DO NOT ACCEPT the Disney Dining Promo Card include, but are not limited to:
- Merchandise locations and candy kitchens
- Dining locations at Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, and Walt Disney World Swan Reserve Hotel
- Dining locations at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
- Dining locations at Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels
- Dining locations at Walt Disney World Official Hotels at Bonnet Creek
- Dining locations at Walt Disney World Gateway Hotels
When is the Disney Dining Card Promo a good deal?
That really depends! There are a number of factors that will determine whether or not this is a good deal for your traveling party. The amount of the Disney Dining Promo Card depends solely on the resort you are staying at and your arrival date. Even if your trip overlaps with a promo period that has a higher discount, you will only receive the amount that coincides with your arrival date. Because of that, if your dates are flexible and close to a date with a higher promotional rate, we highly suggest trying to book the date with the higher promo. Depending on the dates of your trip, these values can actually be higher than some of Disney’s previous percentages off promos.
For example, a sampling of rooms taken in September shows that if you book the cheapest Value resort, this discount results in a 25% discount. The cheapest deluxe resort during the same time amounts to a 31% discount. Even during the promo period with lower incentives, the cheapest Value Resort offers a 20% discount, and the cheapest deluxe a 27% discount. Which is generally more than the standard discounts released throughout the year.
Smaller parties especially will find this to be a great deal. Especially if you love eating at Walt Disney World! But for most, these amounts are a little higher than you’d be saving with the traditional promotions Disney offers.
When is the Disney Dining Card Promo NOT a good deal?
Those traveling with larger parties may not find this to be a good value. Especially if you’re traveling in a party large enough to require more than one room. Each reservation only gets one card based upon the resort chosen and arrival date. It has nothing to do with how many people or rooms. Alternatively, each room can be booked separately. But that can make things like getting rooms close to one another a bit more difficult. This specific situation is the one that guests will most likely find to be the biggest disappointment. Because even when there is a standard discount, it’s applied to each room, not each reservation.
In this case, we would recommend booking each room separately so that you can get the discount for each room and figure out the logistics from there. It may be a pain, but you could be forfeiting a good amount of savings if you choose to book them all on one reservation.
This also may not be a great deal if you tend to bring your own food. Staying at a deluxe resort during the peak promo period can give you up to $750 in free food. And since the discount is not applied to the actual cost of the trip, you may find that this deal doesn’t really benefit you. That being said, most people traveling to Walt Disney World probably won’t find it difficult to use this amount of money on their food during their stay. If you plan to cook your own meals, you may find better discounts by renting DVC points. We recommend doing the math to see what’s best for you!
Disney Dining Card vs Free Disney Dining Plan
First things first. Let’s be clear. The Disney Dining Plan is not currently something that exists. At all. Not even for those who want to pay for it. So, with that in mind, just remember that comparing these two things is kind of irrelevant, to begin with. But we will for the fun of it anyway. We know a lot of people have been waiting for the Disney Dining Plan to return, especially because that also means there was the potential for the free Dining Plan offer that was so popular for a good number of years. Many people would plan their vacations solely around this discount. It was just that good. This is not that. Keep that in mind! This is something entirely new for US residents.
The Disney Dining Card Promo is a bit more complicated than the Free Dining Plan in terms of the amount of money you get. But in practice, it is designed to be a lot simpler. And when comparing the value between the two, the Disney Dining Card Promo just really does not even come close to matching what the free Disney Dining Plan offered. Especially if you are traveling with a larger party, the value goes down tremendously. With the Free Dining Plan, each person received their own credits. Under this new discount, the number of people has nothing to do with the discount. For example, a party of two staying at Caribbean Beach will receive the same amount of money on their dining card as a party of five staying at Port Orleans Riverside.
With all of that being said, a discount is a discount. And again, we can’t really compare the two since the Disney Dining Plan isn’t actually a thing right now.
Is the Disney Dining Card Promo worth it?
Since this discount has the potential to save you more than some percentage-only discounts, depending on the resort you choose to stay at, we think it can be a good deal for some. Is it free dining? Absolutely not. But if you’re spending money on food anyway, it’s a nice perk. And we do think it could be worth it! We’ve mentioned above those who we don’t think this is necessarily the best deal for. For most though, the cost of food adds up quickly. And having some of that taken care of will help your overall budget.
If you’re hoping to take a Disney vacation, this is a great way to save money at Walt Disney World in 2023!