Convert existing reservation to Free Dining when it is offered?

Dear fellow Liners: Here is a cry for help from three Disney World fans in Norway (DH, DW, DS7). We are planning a trip to Disney World October 1st - 7th. As it is already an expensive trip with the plane ride from Norway, we are hoping for free dining :blush:

We already have reservations for Pop Century. If free dining is offered for our dates, we would love to stay at Coronado Springs instead. We are planning several character meals (the ADRs are in the bag), so it makes sense (we did the math…) to stay in a moderate resort to get the Regular Dining Plan if free dining is offered. But what is the best strategy now? We can’t afford to stay at a moderate resort AND pay the character meals out of pocket, so we are reluctant to make reservations at the Coronado before we know if we get the free dining deal.

So here are our questions:

  1. Is it possible for us to keep the Pop reservation for now, make a new online reservation at Coronado including free dining when it is offered, and then cancel the Pop reservation when the Coronado free dining deal is done? Or will Disney refuse to let us have two different hotel reservations for the same time frame? (even for just a few minutes)?
  2. Historically, has the free dining offer required base tickets, or are we forced to buy park hopper tickets to get the promo? (we are not planning to do any park hopping). Different online sources say different things about this, does anyone know what the ticket requirements were for the free dining promo last year?

Thank you so much in advance! We are so happy to see here on Touring plans that we are not the only ones fussing about a Disney trip months and years in advance :smile:

I’m wondering about this too. I was under the impression that you would need to buy your park tickets with Disney as well, but that might just be a British thing.

I believe last year the park hopper was added as a requirement. Lots of speculation on what free dining will look like if offered this year but no details from Disney.

  1. You can have two reservations at once. When you call Disney regarding any promotion, they will make the necessary changes for you (often they will do all the cancel and rebooking for you).

  2. Last year and with some special PIN code offers, free dining required a minimum 2-day tickets with Park Hoppers. There’s no information yet on what will be required for 2016 fall promotions or that free dining will even be part of it.

Agree with the above replies. Also, WDW offers for people who live overseas are often different from those available to us in the US, so you might want to check with a local travel agent to see what their experience has been in terms of ticket requirements and other deal details.

It might be worth contacting a travel agent in the UK as well. Since you’re not in the US you might be able to book one of the special offers they often see which frequently includes free dining that isn’t available to folks in the US.

Thank you SO much for the extremely valuable tips and information from all of you! Now we are confident that we are prepared for the Free Dining promotion to show up on the Disney site - hopefully it will come soon! :smile: