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What if your kid doesn’t like what’s on the kids menu?

by Nancy
(Medina, OH)

What if you have a kid who doesn’t like what’s on the kids menu and your on the Disney Dining Plan? Can you opt to order something else and pay the difference?

You might find something interesting at Sunshine Seasons

The food court at Sunshine Seasons

Photo by Jeff_B.

Dad’s Picky Eaters Answer


Picky eaters are no stranger to the cast members and chefs at Walt Disney World, and the kids menu is a common source of grief for many parents. Every day cast members, they receive special requests and will help by doing their best to make something that your child will enjoy. Sometimes this service can cost a little extra, and sometimes not.

Can kids order off the adult menu? Sure! If you are paying out of pocket, you can order your child any menu item they have – child size portions of adult items are not always available but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Good bets for smaller appetites are ordering appetizers or small items like soup for kids.

If your child wants something not available in a smaller portion and you know they won’t be able to finish it, consider splitting it with them (you can always order an appetizer or salad to supplement your own meal if you think you’ll still be hungry).

Whether you’re visiting a quick service location or a table service restaurant, there are always options for kids. Most places only offer 2-3 items which are usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, turkey sandwich, chicken suggest, mini burger, hot dog, mini pizza, mac’n’cheese, or a “Power Pack” (string cheese, goldfish crackers, marshmallows or a cookie, yogurt, and veggies or fruit).

If your kid likes those items – great! But beware, not all items are offered at all locations – check the menu outside before sitting down or waiting in line for disappointment.

Quick service locations with unique kids menu offerings include: Flametree Barbeque in Animal Kindom (baked chicken drumstick), Sunshine Seasons (lots of options!) or Katsura Grill (chicken teriyaki) or Cantina de San Angel (cheese empanadas) in EPCOT, and Be Our Guest (lots of options!) in the Magic Kingdom.

Table service locations usually have larger menus for kids, and some great ones include Yak and Yeti at Animal Kingdom, Primetime Café or Hollywood Brown Derby or Mama Melroses at Disney Hollywood Studios), any of the table service restaurants in EPCOT have great options for kids, and Be Our Guest and Tony’s Town Square in Magic Kingdom have special offerings.

At Downtown Disney you’ll find lots of great kid-friendly dining options, notably Rainforest Café (this is at Animal Kingdom too!) and T-REX Experience. Resorts are typically very accommodating and can often be the best places to dine with a picky eater. Buffets are wonderful for kids who hate the kids menu, since you can pay the child price but your kids can eat anything they want!

Beware though, if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, kids can only order off the kids menu. No, you can’t pay the difference (although you can order them anything you like and pay out of pocket). No, you can’t upgrade them to an adult package until they are 10 (3-9 year olds are “kids” and 10+ are “adults” for menu ordering purposes). For that reason alone, I’d avoid the Disney Dining Plan if your child is a picky eater.

Dads’s Disney Dining Plan page

If you know what your kid likes and doesn’t like, do your research before you go, and make a list of “pre-approved” locations where you know your family will be able to eat without a fuss. You can find menus for every restaurant at Walt Disney World here.

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

Nancy, there’s no end to the possibilities of what is available to eat at Walt Disney World if you know what you’re looking for, do your research and know where to find it or how to ask!

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