Free dining and crowds


#1

So does free dining significantly affect crowds in the parks? I know the reason for offering free dining is to draw people to WDW, which is awesome. If we were considering a late August trip because of lower crowds, will the free dining offer actually make the “lower crowds” a null and void wish on our part? Lower crowds are a higher priority than free food, but free food is awfully tempting! :happy:


#2

I have been to WDW late august twice and am going there again this year at that time. It’s not so crowded that it’s hard to tour, but it’s more crowded then January…lol I get done everything I want without to much waiting in line. I stay away from evening EMH as they are so insanely crowded you can’t get on anything. I stick to the morning ones or am on hand for the rope drop. I am able to do all the headliners in the AM, take a nice afternoon break and then do random stuff at night. Other than the heat, which is a given in august, it’s a great time to go to WDW.


#3

Thanks, Dana!! Makes me feel better about our August trip!!:laugh:


#4

I was told the last week in Aug is the best as far as summer months go. We went the
third week last year it was pretty busy. So we are trying the last week this year As far as the heat goes, it can be very hot in the day but when the sun goes down it feels pretty good.


#5

I went last year at the end of Sept w/free dining during the food and wine festival and the longest line we waited in was for Soarin and that was about 40 minutes. We are going again this year same time. I mean, last year we went 9/27-10/3 and this year it is 9/26-10/1 lol


#6

Hopefully this won’t be the case for you in late August this year, but when we went last year in mid-September (actually around the 10th), it was FAR more crowded and hot/humid than it had been on our trip in July. We were a little shocked by the crowds that time of year.


#7

Sandy and i have done September the last 4 years and we never encountered anything resembling a line other than Soarin’. (and even that was no biggie). We are lazy sleepers and like to get to the parks after they’ve opened and people have filed in and we had no issues showing up after 11am, having lunch and then going on everything without a wait.

At home we like getting up early, but on vacation we’ll stay out longer and sleep later and get a later start. It’s definately a little heavier crowd wise towards friday and the weekend, but it was still totally managable.


#8

For the past 3 years, we’ve been in Sept. during free dining & have never had an issue with crowds- very mild, with last year being the lightest. Last year, we never waited more than 10 minutes for ANYTHING~ we hardly used FastPass at all. Plus the weather (mid 80s) makes it nice too. We asked a CM about summer crowds last year & after hearing her reply, we’ve decided it’s definitely NOT for us- she said it’s so packed some days in June-July that they actually stop letting people in @ 11 & even then it’s shoulder to shoulder in the super-humid heat! Yuck! No thank you!! I’ll keep September!


#9

We will be there at the same time (9/24 - 10/2!)

Anyway…

We are going back at the same time as we went in 2008. Everything was basically walk on except for TSM and Soarin.

I went on Space Mountain while DH too DS to the bathroom and I was walking out when they were walkin out!

Free dining + low crowds = A Most Magical Vacation!

Lisa

PS…IT WAS REALLY HOT HOT HOT!


#10

we were there two years ago over the week of september 13 it was very hot and more crowded then we expected but NOTHING like when we have gone in July and august and nothing as bad as last april right before easter. it was so cold. it was also so packed they closed the mk at least one day s. we are going this year september 16th to the 24th… I am not sure how im going to wait four l months…


#11

We’ve been there for free dining in September three different years. Our observation seems to be the consensus. Yes, the restaurants are full, but park crowds are normal (fairly light) for September. Enjoy!


#12

We went last year the last two weeks of Sept with free dinning and the crowds were great. The only real lines we had were for Soarin’, Dumbo and of course Toy Story Mania!!!


#13

Thanks for all of the responses! I think we’ve decided that low crowds (which I know is a relative term in the land of Disney) are a higher priority than free food and based on the Touring Plans crowd calendar, early December looks like a better bet than late August. But, much like Wisconsin weather, wait just a short time because we may change our minds again. :laugh::blink:

That crowd calendar IS fairly accurate, isn’t it?? :huh:


#14

[QUOTE=lisalovesmickey;1031341]We will be there at the same time (9/24 - 10/2!)

Anyway…

We are going back at the same time as we went in 2008. Everything was basically walk on except for TSM and Soarin.

I went on Space Mountain while DH too DS to the bathroom and I was walking out when they were walkin out!

Free dining + low crowds = A Most Magical Vacation!

Lisa

PS…IT WAS REALLY HOT HOT HOT![/QUOTE]

Yeah, we were there the same time and I remember the heat and humidity. I didn’t think the crowds were too bad, just at the restaurants!

I can’t wait for this year. It looks like three of us will be there at the same time!