When planning your Disney vacation, keep an open mind and go with the flow. Obviously, some people have to plan a vacation around school or work holidays, but if not, check one of the many crowd calendars online to find the best week to attend the parks. The less crowded the week is, the more likely Disney will be offering an incentive for you to visit! The free dining plan package has been offered for several years now and is by far the most popular discount that Disney offers. It is in such high demand that the Disney phone lines are jammed the minute the deal is made public, and the more popular resorts can sell out in hours. What we have done is research when the discount has been offered in past years and made a reservation in that time period. Although the dates are never quite the same, you can easily change your reservation once the dates are released.
We realize we might have to change when we travel or choice of resort, but getting that discount is worth it to us. Here’s an example: In 2015, we planned to go for seven nights in December, and stay at Caribbean Beach Resort. We thought for sure our vacation would be included in the free dining. When the dates were released, we quickly realized our dates were not included and we had to scramble with plan B. It seemed like every resort was sold out, but by inputting different arrival and departure dates on the website, Todd was able to come up with a new (and longer) vacation in November, at Coronado Springs. This was all planned in April, so there was plenty of time to get time off from work and arrange a pet sitter, etc.
It’s the same for many of the other deals that Disney offers. You might get 20% off your room rate if you can put your trip off for two weeks. There is a function on Disney’s website that allows you to see the room rates throughout the year. The lowest rates seem to be in September, which is still a little too hot for my comfort. So I keep looking for the next lowest…you get the idea. You are free to price out several different vacations on the website and choose what works best for you!