Can I Buy the Adult Disney Dining Plan for My Kid?
We are planning to attend Disney World September 2013. There will be only two of us one adult and one seven year old. I noticed by paying for two adults is only $20.00 dollars more with dining meal. If I buy two adult will the dining plans allow my seven year old order off the adult dining plan since I am paying for two adults.
The kids buffet at the Crystal Palace - Photo by architek2
Dad’s No Cuts, No Buts, No Coconuts Answer
While Walt Disney World does their best to accommodate guests, they do have hard and fast rules about a lot of things, and the Disney Dining Plan has some of the most rules of any policy you’ll face on vacation at the most magical place on earth. As far as Disney is concerned, when it comes to the Disney Dining Plan, adults are adults and kids are kids – no cuts, no buts, no coconuts.
Yes, the Quick Service Plan is $24 more PER DAY for an adult than a child. That's a lot of money when you are talking about quick service meals. The regular dining plan is $38 per day more. So even though you might be getting a great deal (I really doubt it), you still won’t be able to use it. Disney checks the ages of all resort guests and just like you cannot purchase a dining plan at all for kids under 3, you can’t pay to upgrade kids to the adult Disney Dining Plan.
It’s unfortunate really, because the kids dining plan is intended for children from 3-9 years old, which means that for 6 years growing kids are expected to eat about the same amount. Many families find that their older children are able to eat more than the kids plan provides and they supplement with out of pocket purchases.
The kids plan is also very limiting – macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, pizza, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the normal offerings, although you can find some more interesting fare if you know where to look
. If your child has a big appetite or is more adventurous than the average kid, I’d suggest opting out of the Disney Dining Plan altogether.
The folks at Disney are really smart – they know how to get guests hooked on something and make a pretty penny on it. When the Disney Dining Plan was first introduced, it cost far less and you got much more. During the recession they lured guests to the parks with the free dining offer, and now that free dining is dead
, people are so used to the convenience of the plan that they buy it for full price anyhow.
I encourage you, and all Dad’s readers, to do the math
before you commit to the Disney Dining Plan. Chances are, you’ll spend less money and have more freedom to eat whatever you want if you’re not on the plan. If you love to snack, you can fill up by grazing throughout the day and not worry about saving valuable snack credits. If you’re not a dessert fan you don’t HAVE to order it. I want to say that again. YOU DON'T HAVE TO ORDER THE DINING PLAN!!!!! If you’re a kid you can order whatever you like on the regular menu!
I'd also encourage you to talk to a good Disney Vacation Planner (like Dad's partners at Pixie and Pirate Destinations
) who can help you with important decisions like these.
Dad's Bottom Line
EJ, when it comes to the Disney Dining Plan, your options can be pretty limited, both in terms of what’s on the menu, and who is eligible for what plan. You’re better off to skip the dining plan and eat what you like!