Hey all -
I keep hearing, here and all around my favorite Disney sites and podcasts, about how hard it was this year to get FD. I hear horrid wait times on the phone that resulted in learning no availability, and about Stitch eating the page for online bookers.
I, OTOH, that day and (almost every day) since then, have had zero difficulty. I have been researching options like mad trying to find something that would work for our family. I have looked at all levels of resorts, a wide variety of dates, and trips including kids and trips for just DH and I. And no matter what I was looking for, I was able to find availability.
What’s up with that? Any thoughts??
FWIW I wound up with a countdown as of yesterday. 3nts/4days Pop, 3 day park hoppers, QSFD for September…
Have no idea what’s up with that, but very excited for you to have a countdown!
The soonest one I have is approximately 550 days. But it’s probably going to be more in the 700 day range by the time we narrow it down.
In the meantime, glad to have countdowns like yours to vicariously celebrate!
All I can think is that folks aren’t plugging in dates that the offer applies to. I was just poking around too and there were tons of options. The dates this time are pretty tricky. Disney used to apply the free dining to huge blocks of the fall and winter. This time it’s much more restrictive. Like the days in November, only for arriving on the 15th - 21st and 26th -28th.
I don’t understand the problem either. I jumped online that morning and had exactly what I was looking for purchased within about 20 minutes. I think a lot of the problem was people trying to switch the packages they had already purchased to the FD packages.
I told myself that we were going no matter what, we just happened to get FD. I count that as some Pixie Dust, not as a guarantee that I had to have in order to go. Disney is a once every decade thing for me. I wish we could go more often but that’s how it is.
When I first seen the free dining come out I knew my dates didn’t apply. I was trying to figure out ways I could get the free dining. I called my travel agent and she suggested that we switch from the 25th-2nd of November and December to the 26th-3rd of November and December. We looked online cause I was going to stay at Art of Animation for my previous dates and nothing was available. Then I began looking at other resorts. That’s when I found the only resort available for that time frame. Well I called my husband to let him know and he was like send me the link so I can check it out. Sent it to him and waited and waited. Never heard a response from him. I called him at work and he said he was busy and at that time he didn’t have time to look at Caribbean beach resort. Then he said these words: it’s not like it’s going to book within the next hour. As soon as that happened I hit the refresh button and it was gone. I called my travel agent back and let her know not to go forward. She told me what happens is: when the free dining plan comes available people will have their travel agent or them their selves will go online and put a hold on the package. With that being said we made a plan to both keep an eye out to see if anything would come available either at art of animation or Caribbean beach. Sure enough Friday rolls around I get up and check Art of Animation was available but more expensive then the package I had in place, so then I went and checked Caribbean beach and it was available too. So I switched my dates, resort, and got the free dining plan. I am actually paying less now too so all around a win win situation.
We tried for free dining the day that it came out (and our travel agent) and neither of us were able to book it at CBR right away. I think what others said about the TAs and other people putting holds and booking reservations right away and then later cancel was true. We were able to get the room type we wanted for the dates we wanted about four days later. Either people or TAs dropped the reservations they were holding, or Disney released more. Either way, we were able to get what we wanted which was a great deal for us! We would have gone anyway, but the free dining is a nice addition to the trip.