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Old 10-18-2009, 07:38 AM   #1
jgperkin
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Tell Me about first week of Free Dining in August????

Is this week CRAZY busy?????? We have booked for that week.
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:49 AM   #2
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Free dining for next August has already been announced? Wow.
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:50 AM   #3
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anybody go this year???
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Aug. 09, Off site: We got engaged! Swan: July '07,DD First trip! Riverside: April '08, Wilderness Lodge: May'09, Corn. Spring: Aug. '09, Polynesian: April '10, ASMovies & Carribean Beach: Aug.'10, Riverside: Feb. '11, Pop Century: April '11, Wilderness Lodge & Cruise on the DREAM & Kidani Village, Aug. '11 for 10 year anniversary, Pop Century, Sept. '11, Aug. '12 Family Trip: Carribean Beach, Mar./Apr. '13 Cruise on the Fantasy & AOA, Aug '13, French Qrt., Dec. '13 1st Xmas Trip Wilderness Lodge August 2014 Back to Wilderness Lodge!
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:56 AM   #4
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No it hasn't been announced but our bounceback was for a start of free dining Aug. 15, 2010. I was just curious how crowds were the first week of it because we went at the very end of August last year.
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Aug. 09, Off site: We got engaged! Swan: July '07,DD First trip! Riverside: April '08, Wilderness Lodge: May'09, Corn. Spring: Aug. '09, Polynesian: April '10, ASMovies & Carribean Beach: Aug.'10, Riverside: Feb. '11, Pop Century: April '11, Wilderness Lodge & Cruise on the DREAM & Kidani Village, Aug. '11 for 10 year anniversary, Pop Century, Sept. '11, Aug. '12 Family Trip: Carribean Beach, Mar./Apr. '13 Cruise on the Fantasy & AOA, Aug '13, French Qrt., Dec. '13 1st Xmas Trip Wilderness Lodge August 2014 Back to Wilderness Lodge!
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:14 PM   #5
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From what I remember reading here it was VERY crowded....schools still hadn't started yet so lots of people waited until 8/16 to go on vacation for free dining. The 2 weeks leading up to free dining were reported to be less crowded at the parks. I waited until 8/30 to take advantage since most southern schools were going back 8/24...the parks were empty the first few days but by the weekend (labor Day) it started to get very crowded.

If they offer and start free dining 8/15 next year expect it to be VERY hot and VERY crowded.
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
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We went for the 1st week of free dining this year, I have to say it wasn't that bad (but we have been over Christmas and New Year before!) The lines were OK, we used EMH, got to the parks for opening, used fastpass etc. The only park I thought felt crowded was AK, but I always think that park feels crowded. The only thing that puts me off that time of year is the humidity, but seen as we can only go in August or Christmas I would go that week again.
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:38 PM   #7
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I have an opinion that is the polar opposite of danauk's experience. I have been to WDW, at the exact same time in Aug (right around the 13, 14, or 15th) at least 4 times now...and every single time it was hot, humid and pretty good crowd-wise. I even arrived the same day as Hurricane Charley that one year. But, this year, I arrived on 8/14, left on 8/21.....it was the absolute worst trip I have had to date....well over 20+ trips at all times of year. The Friday/Saturday (14/15) were barely okay. But Sunday on was a nightmare. I have never, ever seen crowds like I encountered in MK ever before...shoulder to shoulder. The restaurants were jammed...I felt awful for those who hadn't been told about making ADRs..they had free dining, but only counter service places to eat..simply because they didn't know any better.
The lines at the vast majority of attractions were very long. Granted, because I had an adult dd with me, who doesn't seem to adhere to the philosophy of rope drop, we didn't get started as early as I would have liked. But still.....I have never come away from a trip where I managed to miss so many attractions, simply because the lines were so excessively long.
I booked that trip well before free dining was announced...same thing with my late Nov/early Dec trip. But, both times, Disney came along and offered free dining. I'm more than a little nervous about the crowds for my next trip.

I've been during free dining in early, and then late, Sept. And both trips were terrific. I think (and this is just my thought) that when Disney offers free dining at a time that most schools are still out, you are going to have a million families decide to get 'one more trip' to WDW....and take advantage of free dining. Many people reported that the crowds were down as time went by after that first week. After about 3 weeks went by, I think it was much better. But that first week, mid-August, was incredible. I think that if I ever book a trip at this time again, and Disney comes along and offers free dining, I will cancel the trip..or change to the weeks before free dining...never, ever again for that first week.
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:02 PM   #8
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Goofy4tink...what you wrote is pretty much what I remember reading here from alot of prople there the 1st week...VERY crowded. I agree with you, I would skip Disney before going at the height of free dining with all the kids still on vacation, just too crowded to enjoy.
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:28 PM   #9
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We were there the week before free dining last year, for seven days starting Aug 13. It was pretty crowded, though the lines weren't horrible, as long as you got to the parks pretty early.

This year, we got there the second week of free dining, for 14 days starting Aug 22nd. It didn't seem as crowded to us as it was last year, lines were very manageable. It was hot, but not as hot as last year (I know that is just luck of the draw), and the rain was a bit more forgiving this year than it was last year.

Next year, we will be there starting Aug 15 as well, so here is hoping for reasonable crowds, and fair weather.
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:43 PM   #10
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Thank you everyone. We are traveling with friends this year and their sons starts college on the 23rd so we had to do the first week. We have been during easter time too as I am a teacher so I guess disney is disney. Its busy and we will use our touring plans and make the most of it. At least we will be in disney!!!
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Aug. 09, Off site: We got engaged! Swan: July '07,DD First trip! Riverside: April '08, Wilderness Lodge: May'09, Corn. Spring: Aug. '09, Polynesian: April '10, ASMovies & Carribean Beach: Aug.'10, Riverside: Feb. '11, Pop Century: April '11, Wilderness Lodge & Cruise on the DREAM & Kidani Village, Aug. '11 for 10 year anniversary, Pop Century, Sept. '11, Aug. '12 Family Trip: Carribean Beach, Mar./Apr. '13 Cruise on the Fantasy & AOA, Aug '13, French Qrt., Dec. '13 1st Xmas Trip Wilderness Lodge August 2014 Back to Wilderness Lodge!
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:56 PM   #11
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We were there the first week. August 17-22nd. Yes, it was crowded and hot but, we were pleasantly surprised. We expected it to be far worse.
We had to utilize FP, which we normally do anyway. We had no problem seeing shows or eating counter service. We came home saying we would have no problem going again at that time.

The only place that was ridiculously crowded was DTD, oddly enough. We went there the day we arrived and we stopped there the night we left. It was just insane!

This was our first summer trip and we have no problem going at that time again! Of course, crowds are different to everyone so keep that in mind.
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:20 PM   #12
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We were there Aug. 15-23 and it was without a doubt the best vacation at Disney we've ever had. We went down a day early of FD, and enjoyed the resort. We got up early every day and hit the parks at rope drop, came back to resort in the afternoon to swim, and then went to the parks at night. It was the most relaxing fun time ever. We utilized FP's and followed NO guides touring plan, just did what we felt like and it was the best. We loved it so much, we have booked a bounce back for 10 days next year the same time. It was wonderful, I hope you have a great time.
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:57 PM   #13
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Wow! Sounds like you had a great time. I'm so happy to be going and going with friends for their first time! I am hoping for a magical time too! Believe it or not I LOVE the heat there in august! I mean love it! I know call me crazy!
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:17 PM   #14
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We arrived the very first day of free dining in August 2009 and it wasn't bad at all. The temps were actually higher back home in NJ that week and crowds were very manageable in all the parks.
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