Free Dining Promo - tips on how to score a room

So the day Free Dining was announced, I ignored my kids and tried online and on the phone for hours and did not score the reservation we needed at Caribbean Beach Resort for 5 people.

I know now that I should have had a reservation and then just modified the reservation, but I’ve never seen the website and phone so busy that I could NEVER get through. Anyways, next time.

So now my question is, what is the best way to score my reservation? I am sure people will cancel and I know if I am diligent I might score one of those, but how are the sale reservations made? Is it based on date? Do I need to keep trying every day and change up the dates? Or what is my best plan for scoring a free dining reservation at CBR (or maybe art of animation)?


There are still lots of free dining rooms available at CBR, according to the week you’re planning on being there. The week we’re going, there are nothing right now but pirate rooms available for the FD promotion, but there have been standard rooms in the past. When are your plans for your visit?

Even that might not have worked. It was a disaster this time around, rooms were super-limited. As for getting the promo, all you can do is try over and over again. You might try shifting your dates by a day or two to see if you have success that way. Good luck!

I was looking at Nov 11-21, but am now also looking for Nov 8-15-ish. Trying to cast my net wide! But dates are based on meeting up with family there, so not more flexible than that two week stretch

Thanks for the luck! It did seem like there were not many rooms released. But our kicker is that we need a room for space for 5, so I’m thinking that’s part of the problem…

Before we pushed our trip out to Feb 2016, I found a lot of availability at CBR for our dates - but I was searching for a party of 4. I assume that 5th person in your party is limiting the number of rooms that might be available to you. A LOT of free dining rooms were release a couple of weeks ago when the hold-time was up on previous reservations that weren’t paid up. Maybe keep checking your dates to see if something opens up for you - or wait until Disney releases their late-fall room-only discounts because that savings is comparable to the free dining.

Is anyone in your party under 3? If so, maybe leave them out of your room search since they wouldn’t need dining or park tix?

Just keep checking every day, several times a day. I couldn’t get what I wanted when it was released. At one point in time, I had three different reservations (pre-FD Standard room reservation, FD very upgraded room, and then another RO reservation when we decided in fly in the night before) and thought I was losing my mind. At least once a day, I ran the search and then one day much to my surprise, exactly what I wanted was available, so I snagged it, and then cancelled all my other reservations. Even though I’ve never used a travel agent, it might be worth using one in this case to help you determine what might be realistic and other options.

Oh yeah, I imagine that throws a wrench in the works, especially with POR and AoA blacked out (if I recall correctly).

I’m in the same boat as you. I have a reservation at All Star Music with Free Dining (upgraded from QS to standard), but wanted a Caribbean Beach room. So now I’m checking daily and hoping something opens up, and trying to decide if I can up my budget to afford AKL, which still has rooms available for my dates (10/25-11/2).

As to a travel agent, that didn’t work for me. When I was 75% sure we’d be going and Caribbean rooms were available, she said waiting until I was 100% sure should be fine. Two weeks later I was 100%, and no rooms. And the reason I wanted to book through her is because she was helpful with answering many questions, but now following her advice instead of trusting my gut backfired. Oh well. Enough of my sob story. :sob:

Hope you get the room(s) you want!

Donny, I had a free dining reservation that exact week at cbr but had to do 10/25-10/31 and then room only 10/31-11/2. Try that way. I gave mine up for art of animation. Got the whole time and 2 bathrooms. But 1k more.

Thanks, I’ll check that idea right now! I’m also trying to decide if I can justify an almost $2K increase for ALK.

Glad your plans worked out for you!