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Old 08-08-2013, 12:58 PM   #1
Krs1300
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Red face Length of Dinner Service

I know this is going to sound like a silly question... but roughly how long does a dinner service last? I've got a (just turned) two year old who has a pretty early bedtime and is a total creature of habit. I am a little concerned with how he is going to do at dinner time each night after having a long day of fun in the sun. I certainly don't want to ruin anyone's dinner around us...

How did your little ones do? Any suggestions for tired little ones at dinner time?

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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This can depend on where you are eating. We tend to do buffets a lot while at WDW. There's a good chance by the time we get to eat we are all very hungry. No waiting once we are in fill a plate and go. Options are good to, makes it easy to find something a little one eat. Even if its only cottage cheese and black olives...lol it's happened. We also like T-Rex and Rainforest. Both locations have so much going on to keep a little ones attention. In addition it kinda noisy to begin with so a loud toddler is not noticed. Once out little ones are older I'm sure we will try many different restaurants Disney offers. For now meal time is more relaxing for our family this way.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:18 PM   #3
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This is the cruise forum right?
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:24 PM   #4
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The servers on the cruise are very good about bringing the kids food our first so things go a little faster if you request it. Disney is a cruise for families with children. It is not a quiet experience

A few suggestions
If you think he would do better not being so hungry you can order room service before you go to dinner and have a little snack as you are getting ready to go. Room service is included in your cruise (but you will need to tip)

Request a table by yourselves because they serve the whole table at the same time and if your dinner mates are slow this will slow you down. On the flip side dinner mates offer entertainment.

The restaurant on the pool deck in open as a sit down restaurant (except the first and last night). You will not have a seating time and you can go anytime during the serving hours. Service is more casual and usually faster. The times they are open will be listed in the Navigator (this is the newsletter you will get everyday listing all the activities.

Book the nursery one or two nights and have an adult dinner. You can feed him before you go from the fast food restaurants on the pool deck or from room service
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zy144622
This can depend on where you are eating. We tend to do buffets a lot while at WDW. There's a good chance by the time we get to eat we are all very hungry. No waiting once we are in fill a plate and go. Options are good to, makes it easy to find something a little one eat. Even if its only cottage cheese and black olives...lol it's happened. We also like T-Rex and Rainforest. Both locations have so much going on to keep a little ones attention. In addition it kinda noisy to begin with so a loud toddler is not noticed. Once out little ones are older I'm sure we will try many different restaurants Disney offers. For now meal time is more relaxing for our family this way.
I do believe the OP was talking about dinner service on the cruise ship, not WDW!
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krs1300 View Post
I know this is going to sound like a silly question... but roughly how long does a dinner service last? I've got a (just turned) two year old who has a pretty early bedtime and is a total creature of habit. I am a little concerned with how he is going to do at dinner time each night after having a long day of fun in the sun. I certainly don't want to ruin anyone's dinner around us...

How did your little ones do? Any suggestions for tired little ones at dinner time?

Thanks in advance!!
On DCL, our early dinner typically lasted about 1- 1/4 hours. I have heard reports that late seating can take upwards of 2 hours or more. At either seating, you can ask your servers to bring the child(ren)'s food quickly, then when they get antsy you can take them to the club. Would your DS go to the nursery to rest/fall asleep while you finish dinner? The late seating officially offers "Dine & Play" but at the early seating you can take the kids out yourself between the adult appetizer and entree if you have requested the kids food be served quickly.

Another option is the buffet upstairs (which is actually a sit-down at dinner time, but on your own schedule) or room-service.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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Its usually 60-90 mins. But can be quickened if you say to your server that you want to be finished as quickly as possible. If you have early sitting at. 6.15pm would your child be sleepy then also. If you have late sitting then maybe change it to early.
They can arrange to bring food quicker than normal.
You could bring their buggy to the dining room and if she falls asleep you can put her in the buggy and then enjoy your meal. There are plenty of food options to feed them later if they get hungry. Or haven't managed a full meal.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:52 PM   #8
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Early Seating is at 5:45
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:47 PM   #9
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On our last cruise, my 18 month old and my 2.5 year old both fell asleep at the table one or two nights each. Lol. For the 2.5 year old it was only if she skipped nap that day, otherwise she did fine. I took coloring pages, crayons, small (quiet) toys, and my iPhone (so they could watch cartoons) each night and that really helped. Plus the servers brought their food out first and fast.

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Old 08-08-2013, 05:21 PM   #10
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It is usually at least 1 1/2 hours, and tends to be 2 for us when dining with friends. You will find that your scheduled child will throw that out the window on the cruise. Our nap taking every day kids ages 3 & 5 did on our first cruise. There is so much going on around the ship, kids don't want to miss out on a thing.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanejudy View Post
On DCL, our early dinner typically lasted about 1- 1/4 hours. I have heard reports that late seating can take upwards of 2 hours or more. At either seating, you can ask your servers to bring the child(ren)'s food quickly, then when they get antsy you can take them to the club. Would your DS go to the nursery to rest/fall asleep while you finish dinner? The late seating officially offers "Dine & Play" but at the early seating you can take the kids out yourself between the adult appetizer and entree if you have requested the kids food be served quickly.

Another option is the buffet upstairs (which is actually a sit-down at dinner time, but on your own schedule) or room-service.

Enjoy your cruise!
Does the nursery offer dine and play as well? Since you pay for the nursery, that might get a little pricey over the course of a week. The servers do a great job of getting kids food out early, especially if you ask.

Our last cruise, we had two 4 year olds with us, and they had about a 20 minute attention span to eat before they wanted to head off to the kids club.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:28 PM   #12
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Just one more point of note....

We don't necessarily eat every course. I might do an appetizer and a soup or salad. Or if I like the entree selection, I might do a salad and an entree. Trying to do 4 courses every day fills me up horribly!

So I plan my dinners so that maybe later I can fit in a room service Mickey bar or something...

Don't stress- just play it by ear!
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:31 PM   #13
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I forgot to say- this will shorten the time spent at dinner accordingly. So you're not as over full, and you've had a shorter time in the dining room.

This might make you feel more comfortable about your little one!
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:59 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the replies and tips! DS doesn't go to daycare or anything (he stays with family while I'm at work) so I'm not sure if he will let us drop him off at the nursery or not. Right now we've booked time pretty late with the hopes that he will fall asleep in our room and we can just walk him to the nursery and put him in a crib for a few hours while we explore the ship. Who knows if it will work... But he is a pretty heavy sleeper so I think it is our best shot. As far as him taking a nap at the table... I'd say there is a zero percent chance he will do that. This kid is so nosey! He has literally only fallen asleep in a stroller ONE TIME in his whole life and that was at WDW for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party... And it was almost midnight by the time he passed out. He will probably do OK... I just wanted to see if anyone had any tips that may make things easier. I have to imagine that a dinner service on DCL is more entertaining than just being in some restaurant at home.

Thanks again!!
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:48 PM   #15
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Thanks for asking because I have two under the age of four and I wondered how it work out for them. We have main seating so i think we will be fine.
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