View Full Version : Kid's meals - how strictly are the age limits enforced?

09-16-2007, 11:19 PM
First of all, we will not be on the DDP, so will be paying OOP.

Our 12 y.o. has a very 'kid-like' appetite, in that she would be fine if her diet just consisted of macaroni & cheese, hot dogs, and chicken strips! I see that most of the kidís menus at the WDW restaurants say for ages 2-9. Is there any wiggle room on this? Iím not talking about doing anything illicit, but if we asked if she could order from the kids menu, would they let her?

This really makes a big difference in where we make our ADRs, since DD would be hard pressed to find food she would eat at most of the non-buffet restaurants. For example, Iím looking at menus from Le Cellier, Narcooseeís, Citricos & Spoodles Ė and canít see anything on the adult menus that she would be happy with.

Weíd even be fine paying a higher price for an adult portion of the kidís food for her. Does anyone have experience with this issue?


09-17-2007, 05:21 AM
suffice to say that my 55 yo brother was able to order off the kids' menu a few times as he's quite picky... so i'd say a 12yo should be fine! :)

09-17-2007, 05:23 AM
Well, they let my 10 yr old son order from the kids menu at Brown Derby for lunch. We were not using the DDP, but because of our ADR, they knew he was 10 and an "adult." He just wanted a hot dog and they let him. I would have paid extra, but they didn't charge me any more.

09-17-2007, 05:44 AM
When we went in 2001, our kids where 12, 10, 9 and 8. We said two adults and four children and that is how we where charged. They did not eat adult portions and I was not paying for something I was not going to use. Plus, they ate chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, etc. They did not want to eat the other things.

09-17-2007, 05:44 AM
We were not on the DDP for our last trip, and we nicely asked if our 11 y.o. ds could please order off the kid's menu at a couple of ts restaurants. They let him do so without any problems.

It doesn't hurt to ask. Of course at fixed-price meals (buffets, family-style, and/or character dining), a child over 9 must pay the adult price. But if your older child wants a hot dog or mac & cheese at a regular table service meal instead of an adult entree, it's OK to ask if you're able to order off of the kid's menu for your child.

09-17-2007, 06:22 AM
My older way over 12 year old ordered off the kids menu, one day when he wasn't too hungry. And they were fine with it. We didn't do the dp that time, either. popcorn::

09-17-2007, 06:31 AM
We had similar success but in the oposite direction. My 6-year-old cannot have powdered or processed cheese food and we kept running into this as an option. He also has other food allergies. He was able to order the regular hamburger meals off of the menu. We were also allowed to pick items from the adult menu to create a meal that was safe for him to eat. When we went to LeCellier, the chef made him a special pasta dish with real Asiago cheese and chicken!!:thumbsup2 . We never ordered from the kids menu for him at counter service except at Columbia Harbor House because they had the chicken strips and fish that he liked. I always asked first and they said it didn't matter. :thumbsup2

09-17-2007, 06:41 AM
Asd long as you are paying out of pocket, it isn't an issue. (except buffets of course) I have read of adults frequently ordering kids breakfasts since they are a smaller portion.

09-17-2007, 06:43 AM
My 12 year old had no problem ordering of the kids menue in June. I had to pay the adult price for him at CRT (which was totally fine and expected) but he still got to choose from the kids menu. They just made the portions bigger for him. Your daughter should be fine.

09-17-2007, 12:30 PM
Thanks for all of the great information! There have been so many threads about the DDP and kids only eating off the kids menu, that I wasn't sure if the restaurants had become more regimented. Now Iím off to try and change our ADRs to some nicer restaurants!

Conservative Hippie
09-17-2007, 02:39 PM
I tried to order a kid's burger at Beaches & Cream (NOT using the DDP), and the waitress wouldn't let me. Someone who actually is a kid, just a little older, might not have a problem, but just be aware. The only time I've had this issue is at B&C.

09-17-2007, 04:28 PM
I have done it all the time at WDW at TS and CS places over the years (I am 30). I haven't been told yet. Usually for met, I just cannot physically eat a full meal even at CS places, so at the TS I just kindly ask for the kids meal or look at the menu I have with me on my PDA.

However, I haven't tried doing what CH did above. I would imagine it would be harder to order a kids meal when they have the same item as an adult (though only smaller). Maybe some day I will try it just to see ;)

Believe it or not, I've had a lot of luck doing this at restaurants locally as well. Polite asking has gotten me very far with these kind of requests I guess :teeth:

09-17-2007, 08:58 PM
Thanks, this is really great news. My nephew will be 10 when I take him again in April, and not only will the "adult" menu not appeal to him, he doesn't even finish a hot dog. Glad to hear we won't only have to do counter service.

I know it's been discussed before, but personally I think Disney is really shooting themselves in the foot with this "kids are adults at age 10" thing. When my nephew fell into the kid's prices (age 3-9) we did lots of character meals and even dinner shows (Hoop De Doo and Poly Luau).

Now that he's an "adult" we won't be doing those for a while. Not at double the price for him. So rather than Disney getting more money for charging a 10 year old as an adult, they won't get ANY of the money my ENTIRE FAMILY would have spent at these meals. We'll stick to cheaper counter service and a few table service meals. At least until he's 13 or so and his appetite kicks in. THEN it might be worth paying $30 for a character dinner. But it's not worth $30 for him to eat half a hot dog.

09-17-2007, 09:12 PM
I'm really interested in this issue, as I have a small appetite.

I've heard that it is illegal age discrimination to allow only people of certain ages to order off of certain areas of a menu (e.g., kids section, seniors section). That's why kids menus sometimes say "designed for kids" or something else noncommittal. A restaurant is free to design certain entrees to appeal to certain groups, like making smaller portions that would appeal to kids, but has to sell it to anyone. It is like if you have kosher items on a menu -- the waitress wouldn't ask you whether you were Jewish and only let you have it if you were. That would be illegal religion-based discrimination. Or can you imagine if they had a "whites only" section of the menu? That would obviously be unacceptable race-based discrimination. Isn't a "kids only" section a similar idea, but based on age rather than race? I just don't see how it could be legal, and I know I heard somewhere that it's not...

I am not a lawyer, so I really am curious about this. :confused3

09-17-2007, 09:41 PM
My (now 14 y/o) son ordered off the kids menu for many years. We never had a problem with it. He really just started ordering off the adult menus this year.

When my stepdaughter was 17, she ordered off the kids menu a couple of times. Actually, she asked if she could get the chicken strips as an adult order, but they brought them to her and only charged us for the kids meal.

We have found the wait staff to be very accomodating at most restaurants.

09-18-2007, 08:29 AM
We went for 14 days in August, my girls are 10 and 12 and ordered fairly often from the kids menu, the 12 year old also ordered an appetizer as her meal at times, we were not on the DDP as it makes no sense for us with the age of the kids. We did stay away from buffet as I really can't justify $30 for a kid who might not eat much that night, it was so hot that very often they really were not hungry.