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Old 03-04-2013, 05:18 PM   #1
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9 year old on adult dining plan?

We are planning on taking our kids to WDW for the first time (shh...it's a SURPRISE!), and have been researching, researching, and researching some more.

I was looking at the menus at many of the restaurants, and I am seeing the same exact, and very limited offerings over, and over again. My son likes to eat, but he really tires of typical "kid" fare, and likes variety. He has autism, and in the past has had an extremely limited diet, and is now venturing out into the big wide world of food choices. He's finally excited about something other than mac and cheese, and plain burgers!

Is it possible to purchase the adult plan for our youngest even though he fits within the kid's age dining range? I know if he's sitting at a table with three of us with a nicely varied menu, and lovely deserts at the end of the meal, he's going to be ticked off when he looks at his 2-3 choices and chocolate chip cookie.

Initially, my husband and I thought we could just share our meals with him, but then we realized that's against dining policy. I don't want to be deceitful on his age when making reservations, can we just purchase the upgraded meal plan for him?
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:28 PM   #2
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Yes, you definately can. Just list him as a 10-year-old and he will be listed as a "Disney Adult" for your dining plan. People do this all the time if they have kids with a more expanded palate.

One thing to keep in mind is that if he's listed as a "Disney Adult" he is also considered an adult for park tickets. There's not much of a price difference anymore between adult and child park tickets, but I didn't want you to be surprised.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:04 PM   #3
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As noted, only if you register him as being 10 years old. WDW in general seems to allow this.

You can share meals with him, but you can't exempt him from the dining plan if the rest of you want it.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:12 PM   #4
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You will have to pay the adult price for both the DDP and his tickets. Will he eat $56 worth of food per day? Would it be cheaper to do OOP for all of you for meals? Are you doing any buffets? The child price for a buffet is much less than the adult.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:16 AM   #5
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As pp's have mentioned, you can purchase adult plan for him.

But if that's not something you want to spend - keep looking at menus...I have found that with enough research I was able to find enough variety for my kids. Keep in mind that the kids plan is cheap - so I never expected gourmet for it - but I was able to keep them from getting nugget'd to death during our vacations.

Some ways I did this:
- Buffets - kids are able to eat anything from adult or kid sections of buffets. When my kids were in a similar situation to your son - we did at least 2 - 3 buffets for our trip.
- Signature - The signature restaurants have much better selection than others for kids - so we would do 1 signature meal during our trip (and just do CS pizza at resort food court one other night for 2 CS credits and not do a sit down one night).
- EPCOT - Many of the World Showcase restaurants have wonderful kids meal variety (San Angel Inn chicken tacos is one of my kids favorites) - We always scheduled at least one meal here.
Between the 3 above, we were able to get a week's worth of credits used and only end up with maybe 1 - 2 sit-down restaurants that offered 'the usual'.

For CS meals - Again, with a lot of research you can find at least a little bit of variety:
- Breakfasts, IMO, give some decent kids' options - we would use the kids credits for some breakfasts and share the adult CS lunches (with a couple extra snacks using credits).
- The resort food courts have decent kids meal varieties (Example POP - pasta with meatball, beef & broccoli) - we always made sure to use a couple at food courts.
- EPCOT - Sunshine Seasons and World Showcase CS places offer some great kids meal variety.
- Occassionally, when there weren't good options for a CS meal - we would let dd get a 'snack lunch' - for example, smoothie, bagel and chips would be her lunch (usually on a day we were doing a big dinner).
- We would share CS meals frequently.
- If necessary, we would pay OOP for one or two CS meals that the kids wanted but weren't offered on kids menu (WAY cheaper than buying adult plan for them the whole week).
Using the above methods, kids ended up with nuggets and mac & cheese not at all or maybe once a trip.

It's doable!
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:31 AM   #6
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As long as all of you are on the DDP, you are free to share your meals with him. There is no need to change him to the adult plan. We found that buffets worked best when one of our kids was on the child plan and the others were on the adult plan. The "child" gets to select any of the items off of the buffet. They are not limited to only "child" items.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:31 AM   #7
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I think you can do it much more cheaply than having to buy him the adult plan and adult ticket.

PP had some great ideas:
--Buffets or AYCE (Ohana, etc.)-anyone can eat anything from the buffet
--At CS places, we used some of my 5 year olds meals more like snacks for all of us(uncrustable, packet of grapes, cookie) and he shared our meals. Also, at most CS places at least, if the kids meal only gets a cookie for dessert and the adults get a mammoth cupcake, you can usually get that special dessert for a snack credit (or very easily share).
--You can absolutely share if you are paying OOP or if you are all on the DDP in the same room. You just can't share DDP food with someone NOT on your DDP. If you bought the DDP, you would have to get it for your son (whether you got child or adult). Now some restaurants with let you just use the DDP credit for an adult meal and you can share (We did this at Chefs de France and Sci Fi, for example) while some might require that everyone order something and use a credit BUT they are not going to watch you eat and call the Disney police if you give your 9 year old your creme brulee and you eat his cookie
--It will also probably still be cheaper to order something extra for him/you if you don't feel like sharing. So if you have the basic DDP (1 TS, 1 CS, 1 snack), you can always order an appetizer or dessert OOP to supplement his meal.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:00 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your great ideas. I misunderstood the policy in regards to sharing. We'll keep him on the kiddo dining plan and just share with him. I like a lot of variety, but don't necessarily eat a ton quantity wise so I'm envisioning us sharing my meals quite a bit to offer him variety.

I like the idea of using some of his meals as snacks, and we just share meals here and there if he dislikes his choices.

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Old 03-06-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
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You can share your meals with him with the exception of the buffet in which case he can eat whatever he chooses to eat. When my son was 8, he was on the child menu and he hated the choices for the kids meals and we just kind of shared all our food with him. I mean my dh and I eat off of each others plates all the time.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:13 AM   #10
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I have a son with Aspergers who has limited food likes. So we chose buffet or AYCE dining for us. I had to review each menu at allears.com and easywdw.com to help me select. Good luck!
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by nanay2jdr View Post
I have a son with Aspergers who has limited food likes. So we chose buffet or AYCE dining for us. I had to review each menu at allears.com and easywdw.com to help me select. Good luck!
This is part of the reason I was concerned. My son has PDD-NOS and is somewhat limited at times, and when the planets are aligned and the stars and heavens open up...he wants REAL food. We encourage that as often as possible, and he's eating more variety as of late. I want to keep the momentum going!
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