Walt Disney World is full of so many delicious foods! I’m talking more than Mickey Bars, Dole Whips and Turkey Legs! Walt Disney World offers guests every kind of dining option imaginable. The World Showcase at Epcot alone is a Disney Foodies dream! Forget drinking around the world—I love eating my way around the world! But, one question I get asked often is, “What will my picky eater eat at Walt Disney World?” This is something my friend Kimberly Frisch and I have discussed before, as we both have children who are picky eaters. While they have different food preferences, one thing is the same: neither one will eat just anything. This can make the thought of a trip to Walt Disney World seem a little daunting. But based on our experiences navigating Walt Disney World with our picky eaters, we’ve learned a thing or two to help us keep our kids happy and fed, and keep our sanity while we’re at it! Whether you have one of Disney’s Dining Plans or you are paying as you go, these tips will help too!
- Be prepared. This is the number one tip I have! Look over the menus before you make dining reservations so you can be assured they serve something your child will eat. Also, look at the quick service menus ahead of time so you will have a game plan when you are there. There’s nothing worse than a hungry child who refuses every item on the menu while you hold up the line! For this reason, I also love taking advantage of Disney’s Mobile Order option! Order at your leisure and fastpass the regular restaurant lines!
- Know the best restaurants. This one is easy—buffets. You are most likely able to find something to make everyone happy at a buffet. Plus, the food is generally pretty standard, non-adventurous fare. Breakfast buffets are especially good with simple offerings that tend to please the pickiest of eaters. One other nice perk of buffets at Walt Disney World is that they are usually character dining experiences too! It’s a win-win.
- Order from the kids’ menu. Regardless of age, it is ok to order kid’s meals or eat selections from the kids’ side of the buffet. No matter where you go, the kids’ menus pretty much always offer chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, pizza, and other simple favorites like hot dogs and fries.
- Divide and conquer. Here’s an example. My husband and I love Satu’li Canteen at Animal Kingdom. Do you think there is anything there my precious little girl will eat? That would be a no. Animal Kingdom means Pizzafari for her. To keep everyone happy, we split up. One of us will go to Pizzafari with her and order her pizza. The other will go to Satu’li and order our food. Then we carry the pizza over to Satu’li and enjoy our meal together. Everyone’s belly is happy. This is when it helps to know what the menus are. You can preplan your strategy. That strategy might include Rock Paper Scissors to decide who will go to Pizzafari and carry the food back, but that’s ok too.
- Bring your own. According to official Disney policy, “Guests are allowed to bring food items—such as snacks or foods that do not require heating—into Disney theme parks. Inform a Security Cast Member of any food items when you enter the park.” Just remember you cannot bring any glass containers (excluding baby food jars) and no coolers larger than 24” long x 15” wide x 18” high.
- Super picky? Stay in a resort with a kitchen or kitchenette so you can prepare your own! Having access to prepare your picky eater’s favorite meals is a game changer! It’s also nice to have space to store snacks and beverages. Walt Disney World offers a wide selection of onsite villas and suites to choose from. This is where your travel agent can really help you find the perfect resort to meet your needs and your budget.
- Grocery delivery. If you are worried about lugging all this food to Walt Disney World, have no fear. There are so many options now for grocery delivery! Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Now, Instacart, Shipt, Garden Grocer, Walmart Grocery Delivery, and Goodings Supermarkets to name just a few. You can select your items from the comfort of home before your trip, select your delivery date and time, and then pick up your groceries at your resort. While the Disney onsite resorts carry some grocery items in the gift shops, it is highly likely they will not have what your picky eater will want. For this reason, I do suggest using a grocery delivery service instead.
There are so many ways to manage your picky eater’s preferences and honestly, no one makes it easier than Walt Disney World does! Kimberly has even had to order cheese sandwiches before for her son and has never been denied. Whether it’s food allergies or food preferences, Disney wants to make sure the guest experience is not hindered by dietary concerns. I know a couple of kids (and moms) who are extremely happy about that. Bring on the Mickey waffles and chicken nuggets!
Featured photo and Boathouse photo courtesy of Disney® All other photos provided by author.
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