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Old 08-15-2013, 02:42 PM   #1
blondie511
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Question Children's Meal Portions - any advice for me?

Today, I read a review on another website that the children's meals on the dining plan (for ages 3-9), are extremely small for a 9 year old. One person said she complained to Guest Services at her resort that it just wasn't enough food for her child and they upgraded his childrens' meal plan to the Adult meal plan for free. Two questions: if your child is 8-9 years old is it really enough food for them, and have you ever heard of a meal plan being "upgraded" from "children's" to "adults'" for free in such a case?
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:46 PM   #2
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I find it difficult to believe that they upgraded the child for free, I wonder what kind of stink she raised to get that done. I've never read here about anyone having that done.

You can upgrade the child before you arrive, but you have to register that child as a 10 year old and buy adult tickets if you are on a package.
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:52 PM   #3
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Portion are one if many reasons the dining plan makes no sense for us.

The portion for the kid's cheese pizza at CRT was so small it was laughable for my then 8 year old son. He's let us know that he will be ordering the noodle bowl at Brown Derby rather than the kid grilled cheese (raising our bill by $22 lol). Etc.

On the other hand he has been satisfied with the Sanaa kid cheese pizza though he does sample from our food too.

I would rather budget more to feed the kiddo rather than try to get a plan upgraded.

Ad there are plenty of lighter eating kids out there for whom the plan works just fine.
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blondie511 View Post
Today, I read a review on another website that the children's meals on the dining plan (for ages 3-9), are extremely small for a 9 year old. One person said she complained to Guest Services at her resort that it just wasn't enough food for her child and they upgraded his childrens' meal plan to the Adult meal plan for free. Two questions: if your child is 8-9 years old is it really enough food for them, and have you ever heard of a meal plan being "upgraded" from "children's" to "adults'" for free in such a case?
My daughter is 13 and she ate a couple of kids meals at Table Service restaurants on our trip 2 weeks ago and they were enough food for her. Remember that you also have snacks on the DDP so your kids won't starve .
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:19 PM   #5
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Depends on many factors, IMO.

We have never had an issue with portions on the regular dining plan, and we've always had at least 1 child on the kids plan when we've gone. The reason is this - We rarely have soda AND a dessert with meals at home (at least not every meal of the day) - so even if the meal is on the small side (3 chicken strips and fries)...The extra calories from the soda I USUALLY let them get on vacation (sometimes it's milk) AND the dessert (chocolate cake) - make it plenty for a single meal. For the rare times when it hasn't been enough - we have snack credits and can always pick up a mickey ice cream bar an hour later if the tummy wasn't full enough at the meal.

We also share a lot of our meals...so between the adult portions (in some cases HUGE) and the kids - we all eat plenty between all of us.

For TS places - book all buffets if you're concerned about it - adults and kids can eat as much as they want of everything there. This is another reason we don't usually bat an eye at a small portion at the CS meal for that day - Oftentimes we know we're going to be eating a TON at the buffet meal later in the day so honestly we don't want to be 100% full at lunchtime.

And unless it was a very difficult guest, that I'm assuming YOU don't want to be - I doubt they upgraded for free. The rules for the dining plan are spelled out all over the place and you have no obligation to buy it, if, for example, you think the kids meal sizes will be too small for your family. Also - you are always welcome to upgrade your child to adult for a fee. If the kids plan doesn't work for you I wouldn't complain or even want to get it for free - either don't get it at all or pay for the adult plan.
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:40 PM   #6
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My son is a very active 7YO going on 8 and we have never had a problem with size. IMO most of the Kids meals are enough to feed an adult. If your child is fine with a kids meal at any of the fast food chains you will have left overs from Disney CS. As far as the TS I have never seen my son finish one.
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:55 PM   #7
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My daughter (almost 9) generally doesn't finish the kids meals. They are pretty typically sized in my opinion. If a fast food kids meal is enough, disney's will be enough too.

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Old 08-15-2013, 08:37 PM   #8
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Personally I've always found them rather small, especially at CS. On our first trip when DD was 4, we ate CS several times and it was laughable how small her meal was (like, 3 small nuggets, a handful of grapes, and a bite size cookie). It's one of the reasons we've mostly avoided CS since then.

The TS kids meals are a little better, but on our last trip DD (9) still needed a little from our plates to supplement most of the time.

But, unlike the majority it seems, we don't let our kids fill up on sugar while we are there. We almost never eat snacks between meals, only water to drink, and one small dessert per day, at most. So they need a filling meal.

I have also never heard of Disney offering a "free" upgrade unless they were getting free dining anyway. But you can definitely pay to upgrade if you think it will be worth it. Or just see how it goes and buy extra food OOP. Remember at buffets and family style TS, the kids can eat whatever they want, so if you are doing many of those, upgrading probably isn't worth it.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:47 PM   #9
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It depends on the location. My kids can split some kids meals (like they did with the pizza at Tutto) and other times they need their own plus some (namely with the CS locations that serve an Uncrustable with carrots and grapes or four nuggets with a handful of fries). We went to CRT in 2011 and what they had seemed to be plenty for them, of course they may have been less hungry because of all the excitement and we had also ate at the food court just 4-5 hours prior.

If you are going with a free dining discount, the cost to upgrade to an adult ticket (and therefore meal plan) should be minimal. It was about $20 per kid when I priced it out for us. If you are going with the adults stay/play/dine at kids prices, then the cost to upgrade should be nothing. If you don't have either of those, you may want to see if it would be better to pay OOP and allow your child to order an adult meal when needed.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:20 PM   #10
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Years ago when DS was 7 it kids portions were to small for him when we did CS. For most of our TS we did buffets so that was fine. We tried to pay the difference to upgrade him and they would not let us. Disney suggested using his CS as a snack and buying him an adult meal. I think expecting a serving for a 3 yr old to be the same as a 9 yr old is a little silly. 3 chicken nuggets, some yucky unsweetened apple sauce and a drink are not enough for most 9 yr olds that I know.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:06 AM   #11
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Will they let you upgrade any child to the adult plan (and ticket) regardless of age? DS will be 4 when we go. He has the metabolism of a hummingbird and an enormous appetite to go along with it. I just don't think a kids size meal is going to be enough for him. It's not strange at all for him to eat a breakfast of 2-4 eggs, a bagel, a peach, and milk. 3 nuggets and a handful of grapes is a snack, not a meal. And he doesn't eat sugar at all so filling up on high calorie, sugary treats is not an option for us. I know we can do buffets but I would like to be able to experience some of the other restaurants too.
He also doesn't usually eat things like nuggets or hot dogs. We're mostly interested in places that serve things like grilled chicken or meatloaf and things like that for kids. Are those portions a little larger than the standard kid-fare?
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:14 AM   #12
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From what is being reported, as long as you register the child as 10 years old it will be done.

If you get someone who tells you you can't do it, call back and ask someone else.

Someone who has done this might let you know if there are problems inherent in registering a 4 year old as a 10 year old. But the age of the child on the reservation must be at least 10 to get the adult plan.

If you are in the UK, there are usually reports that UK guests are not permitted to change their child's age on their reservation.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:26 AM   #13
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The CS kids meals are small. Very small. Here is a link to a picture of one so you can get an idea. It is the last picture.

http://disboards.com/showpost.php?p=...8&postcount=81
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:05 AM   #14
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OP - I'd compare the meals to a normal happy meal sized meal or child meal at a sit down restaurant in your town (Fridays, O'Charley's, etc). My kids usually don't finish them, but they're small kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by worm761 View Post
The CS kids meals are small. Very small. Here is a link to a picture of one so you can get an idea. It is the last picture.

http://disboards.com/showpost.php?p=...8&postcount=81
That's from 4 years ago in an area of the park that no longer exists. I've never seen that particular meal or one that small even.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:20 AM   #15
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No one is saying that kids need to fill up on "high calorie sugary sweets". There are a number of snack options that are not "junk food". Look here for a fairly comprehensive list of available snacks: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3039087. One thing to remember is that the DDP is not for everyone. For instance, with all of it's restrictions it may not appropriate for a family with a 4-year old that eats more than most adults do for breakfast.

If parents are worried about the size of CS meals for your kids you have some options other than paying more to upgrade a child to a "Disney Adult". The price is negligible if you have "free dining" but can be quite expensive if you are paying for the DDP. You can review the menus here on the DIS and All Ears to find CS locations that do not offer kids meals. You may buy your child a regular adult meal at those locations and still abide by the DDP rules. Another option is to find CS locations that offer larger kids meals like Sunshine Seasons in the Land in Epcot. They suggested that my vegetarian DD order the Orange Vegan Chik'n as a kids meal and the serving was huge! Pinocchio's Village House in the MK had a kids pizza that was about half the size of the adult flat bread but it included 2 sides (my DD had yogurt and grapes) and a drink.
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