We possibly have a glimpse into the future, and it seems the Disney Dining Plan might not be returning to Walt Disney World! Although there has been no official announcement, the United Kingdom is currently running its annual free dining promotion. However, for 2022 it isn’t really free dining.
Free dining promotions for United Kingdom residents are usually held earlier than in the United States. Around this time every year, British guests are tempted with offers of free Disney Dining Plans. However, for 2022 the proposal is a little different. Guests will receive, for 2022 reservations, up to $950 Disney Dining Credit per room at selected Disney Resort Hotels. This is worth considerably less for a family of four than a free dining plan. However, the $950 is only for Deluxe resorts and two-week vacations.
The offer does depend on which resort you stay at:
- Disney’s Yacht Club staying for 14 nights you will receive $950
- Disney’s Yacht Club staying 7 nights you will receive $476
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort staying 14 nights you will receive $850
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort staying 7 nights you will receive $427
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort staying 7 nights you will receive just $252
How does next year’s dining offer compare to 2021’s free night offer? Well, for UK guests, 7 nights at the Yacht Club for a family of four with tickets during July 2021 costs £4100, but in 2022 it will cost a staggering £5198! Even with a $476 dining voucher, this is still a very significant price increase. Several extras are included in packages, but they probably don’t add up to the cost of self-funding the loss of Disney’s Magical Express.
What conclusions can we draw from this?
- Walt Disney World vacations in 2022 are going to be considerably more expensive. Prices had already increased in 2021, but the 2022 price increase is around 25%!
- The Disney Dining Plan isn’t going to return in 2022, and possibly it will never return.
Finally, if you were wondering, these prices are slightly lower than current prices for residents in the United States. Walt Disney World certainly isn’t a cheap holiday.
Why wouldn’t the Disney Dining Plan Return?
Ultimately, the decision to continue to suspend the Disney Dining Plan is a financial decision. Disney must feel they can make more money by not offering either free or paid dining plans.
Disney is slowly returning the resort to normal capacity. However, there have been numerous reports that the resort is currently struggling to hire cast members. It is unlikely the resort will be operating at maximum capacity until the Disney College Program has fully returned. Even if social distancing is removed, capacity may remain reduced until 2022 or later.
Disney uses free dining to tempt guests to book Disney Vacations in slow periods. If resort capacity is reduced, there will be a lack of spare capacity. This will mean that free dining isn’t required, and Disney can justify these 25% price increases. By 2022 Walt Disney World vacations are likely to be a luxury product in limited supply.
However, the decision not to sell the Disney Dining Plan appears more difficult to comprehend. The Disney Dining Plan, if used to its maximum potential, can provide some decent savings. If there are fewer guests, there will be less restaurant capacity needed for peak periods and less need to sell Dining Plans. Presumably, Disney does not feel offering paid dining plans at this time is required.
To learn more about Walt Disney World visit our 2021 Guide to Walt Disney World.
This Guide is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.
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