Free Dining-How many park ticket days are mandatory, historically?

With all the talk about free dining possible coming out very soon, I’m looking further into it. I can’t find a clear answer about what all is involved, except that you must purchase the full room value and non-discounted park tickets. And, I understand that if you book your first night within the time period for free dining, all subsequent nights of your stay will include the free dining, regardless of whether they are outside the promotional dates.

My Qs:

  1. If I wanted to book 3 nights at a moderate WDW resort during the free dining promotion, then would I be required to purchase four days of park tickets on that package or could I just choose 2 days of tickets?

  2. Historically, has POR been included in this package?

  3. Why does POFQ rarely seem to be included in any of the various discount packages? Whenever I look, that moderate is never included.


From what I understand it is a 3 night minimum, park hopper or waterpark will be required on your tickets and I do believe that as long as you arrive within the promo dates your whole stay is eligible for the free dining. I did notice that POFQ is excluded yet again and I heard that Riverside will be excluded after October for some reason.

Thanks. Does that mean 3 days of PH tickets, minimum? That’s a lot more expensive than the regular tickets. They manage to get their money always, don’t they?

I priced out a 3 night stay at POR, rack rate, dining, two days of tickets to equal 2470. Minus the dining would be 1708. But, obviously, given POR won’t be included (I’m thinking November) and I’d have to do PH tickets for more days, I don’t think the dining would be worth it. They just always make you buy more to get a “discount.”

Definitely do the math and be sure free dining is right for your family, because it’s not for everyone. Many times you can choose between Free dining OR a room discount, so there’s a chance you could get a pretty good deal on the room.

Because my family’s not big eaters, and we don’t get dessert with every meal, we decided to take the room discount instead of free dining last September. We ate everything we wanted while we were there and ended up spending less in total than if we had taken the free dining.

Yes, this is what I have heard others say. We are big eaters (love dining experiences and do like desserts). But, even so, the math still doesn’t pan out. Having to purchase more tickets than we would otherwise do is a bit problem in the equation. Plus, with room discounts from places like MVT, it’s like saving $100/day on the room.

Yes and yes! Free dining does work best for some, but you really have to price out exactly what you would buy if there were no restrictions. Honestly, you can do better than free dining most of the time. Check out Magical vacations travel, they have awesome prices on rooms which will likely give you the most savings. Then you can eat what you want, when you want by paying OOP, and also can get the park tickets you want.
Edited to add: I just finished reading and realized you already know about MVT.