How Does the Children’s Dining Plan Work at Walt Disney World?

Chef Mickeys
Chef Mickeys
Disney Dining Plans With Children
Q: I’m on the Disney Dining Plan and travelling with small children.  How does this work? Can they only order from the kids menu?

A: When it comes to travelling to Disney with children and pre-paying for your meals via a Disney Dining Plan, a lot of first time visitors get confused in terms of what children can order, whether they have to order off of the kids menu and various other logistics.   Here are some answers to your frequently asked dining plan questions.

Are all the dining plans the same or is there a kids meal plan? This depends largely on the ages of your children as well as whether or not you are considering table service or quick service options.  Let me explain.

Age:  When it comes to the Disney Dining Plans, we follow the same rule as park tickets.

  • Children under the age of 3 are FREE   They will not have an allocation of dining points as the expectation is that they will eat off a grown-ups plate.
  • Children between the ages of 3-9 are considered children – This will have an affect on some of the Disney Dining Plan credits as I’ll explain below.
  • Children 10+ are considered adults – Dining Plan allocations will be the same as mom and dad.

So now let’s talk about the two types of Dining Options covered by the Disney World dining plans.

  • Quick Service – This is also called counter service and is essentially any meal where staff do not come to your table.  This includes food courts, cafeteria style meals and take away windows.
  • Table Service – This is any meal where you are sat at a table and waited on by staff.  This can include buffets, character dining and dinner shows.  These are meals that you really take your time and enjoy as opposed to the more fast food offerings you’ll find at a Quick Service location.

There are 3 different types of Disney Dining Plans that families can opt for which offer allocations in one or both of these categories.  The plans are as follows:

  • Quick Service Dining Plan – features 2 quick service credits a day per person plus 2 snacks
  • Disney Dining Plan – includes 1 quick service meal a day, 1 table service meal a day and 2 snacks
  • Disney Deluxe Dining Plan – includes 3 meal credits a day that can be used on either quick service or table service meals plus 2 snacks.

For families eating a Quick Service Meal – Adult and children’s menu items are not tracked separately. If you are using your allocation of Quick Service dining credits, there is no difference between adult dining credits and kids credits.   Each member of your group is entitled to 1 Entree and 1 Non-Alcoholic Beverage.  There may be children’s options available that will appeal to the 3-9 year olds but whether you go with the kids meal or opt for an adult meal it is still 1 quick service dining credit.   This makes it a perfect option for kids with larger appetites and also for adults with tiny appetites who have the option of being able to order smaller portions via the kids menu.

For families eating a Table Service Meal – With table service its a bit different.  In this category, Disney does make the distinction between adult meal credits and children’s meal credits.   You’ll notice this on your receipts.  For buffets, it has little impact, the children and adults alike will make their plates.  However at the end you’ll notice kids being charged 1- Child Table Service credit and the adults being charged 1-Adult Table Service Credit.  However, for non-buffet sit down meals, like Be Our Guest, 50’s Prime Time Cafe, many of  Epcot’s World Showcase eateries etc. the expectation is that kids will order from the kids menu and be charged 1 Children’s Table Service Dining Credit for the process where the adults eating will use up their Adult Table Service allocation.

There are some restaurants that will cost more than one Table Service Dining Credit including Cinderella’s Royal Table, Hoop De Doo Musical Revue, Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show,  Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. These take 2 dining credits per meal but are still split up by child and adult.

If I’m at a Table Service Restaurant with a kids menu and my child wants to order off of the adult menu can they? Staff are pretty insistent on the kids meal policy.  They may allow you to upgrade but there will probably be an up-charge. For adults wanting to order from the kids menu, Disney will still charge you the Adult table service credit.

Hopefully this has shed a bit of light on your dining options. Please feel free to reach out in the comments below should you have any dining related questions. Bon Appétit!

How Does the Children's Dining Plan Work at Walt Disney World? 1

Melissa with Mickey Travels

Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to help you with everything from finding your perfect package to nabbing those hard-to-get dining and Fastpass reservations.  Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025  via email at  or follow along on Facebook.

Images copyright Disney.

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