A few weeks ago, I wrote an article with predictions about the hopefully upcoming 2016 Disney Free Dining Discount: 2016 Disney Free Dining – My Predictions
Since the 2016 Disney Free Dining discount was released this morning, I felt it was time to follow up on my predictions and see how I did.
Did I expect to see Disney Free Dining for 2016?
Original Prediction: Yes, I expected to see it, just like we have seen it for the last 10+ years.
Actual Results: Yes, 2016 Disney Free Dining has been released.
This was a fairly easy one, but one year, I do expect Disney to completely abandoned Free Dining. 2016 wasn’t the year though, but 2017 may be.
When do you expect to see 2016 Disney Free Dining Released?
Original Prediction: May 2, 2016
Actual Results: Today, April 25, 2016
I was a week off. I got the Monday part right, but I was expecting Disney to wait a bit longer until early May.
Available Free Dining Travel Dates
Original Prediction: August 26 – September 30, 2016
Actual Travel Dates: August 23 – October 1, November 15 – 21, November 26 – 28 and December 10 – 21, 2016
I did not expect to see Fall dates at all this year, and obviously, I was wrong. However, there is very little availability for any of the Fall dates, even less than last year. Disney made the dates available, but didn’t make very many rooms available. On the big set of dates in September, Disney added a few days at the beginning, and an extra day at the end, I was close, but not quite.
Disney Resorts Included and Excluded from 2016 Disney Free Dining
Original Prediction: I predicted that the list would be identical to 2016, no French Quarter, Little Mermaid rooms, limited Riverside.
Actual Results: Exactly the same list as 2015, no difference.
I nailed this one, no change at all. Riverside is available for the September dates, but nothing after, and the same resorts that were excluded in 2015 were excluded in 2016.
Requirements changes for 2016 Disney Free Dining
Original Prediction: I predicted that Disney World would extend the stay and ticket requirements to 4 nights and 3 day park passes.
Actual Results: Disney did not extend the requirements, and stuck with a minimum 3 night stay and a minimum 2 day park pass with hopping or water park options added.
I am a bit surprised by this one. I fully expected Disney to force people to stay a little bit longer and spend a little bit more money in order to qualify for Free Dining. Wrong.
Will the 2016 Disney Free Dining Discount change for 2016?
Original Prediction: I predicted that Disney would give away the quick-service dining plan at the value and moderate resorts and the Disney Dining Plan at the Deluxe and Deluxe Villa resorts.
Actual Results: No change at all for 2016, Value resort stays get the quick-service plan, Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villa resorts get the Disney Dining Plan
I was expecting Disney to cut back the discount a little bit by giving away less unless you were to spend the cash and stay in a deluxe resort. Wrong again.
As you can see, I was very pessimistic in my predictions for 2016 Disney Free Dining. The predictions I missed were all changes I expected to see from the Disney Free Dining discount that were more harsh than in 2015 and earlier years. I expected Disney making fewer dates available with more requirements and giving away less. In fact, they barely changed the offer from 2015 other than shifting a few dates around. I would have been better off predicting no changes at all, but where is the fun in that?
Of note, when the discount was released early this morning, availability was basically zero if you were traveling after September 15. Value and Moderate resorts are nearly impossible to find for any dates, and very few Deluxe resorts can be found. While Free Dining was technically released, so few rooms are available that very few people will be able to take advantage. Look for 2016 to be the last year of Free Dining.
Well, Disney Free Dining is out, I hope you all were able to get in on the deal, it really is a fantastic offer. If you haven’t yet, feel free to contact Mouseketrips to check on pricing for your next Disney vacation.