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As an old time Disney fan, I remember when the free dining promotion first began, as a way to incite people to visit during the slowest times of the year, and to stay on property.
Unfortunately, this promotion is not really a money saver for most groups travelling today. Although it is certainly convenient, and gives the appearance of a discount, the rack room rates and ticket prices have been raised so much, that giving free dining away to a small party actually can increase Disney's profits, rather than decreasing them. They have also done a really strong job advertising their special events, and extending their seasons, so that there isn't really a true low-attendance time of year anymore.
Today, they are simply using it as a way to get people to stay in the under-utilized resorts, and have no need to offer it, or any other promotion, to get people to stay in the more popular rooms.
I was not surprised that both Port Orleans resort were excluded from this offer and I expected October to be out as well. What I was a little surprised by was the lack of days being offered in November. The 24-27th was it. Last year I believe it was offered from around the 12th to the end of the month. Maybe excluding thanksgiving. Regardless more days in November were offered Free Dining last year.
Something to keep in mind Disney credited free dinning when they had a major drop in resort guests because of September the eleventh. They now offer it because people expect it however they seem to be limiting it more and more probably to get people to not expect it to happen, The resorts that you see not getting it already have people booked in them, they may be waiting to get free dining or some other discount but it doesn't make sense for a hotel anywhere to discount a fully booked hotel. I blame the numerous Disney travel agents that encourage people to book a room early and wait for a discount and then they cancel the existing reservation and book a new one with whatever discount is available.
You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make the dream a reality.
- Walt Disney