Bringing Quick Service Food into Table Service Restaurants?

thursdaystgiles

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Hi, I'm planning a trip for our 8yo son who has autism and sensory processing disorder. We're planning on getting a DAS for him, but I'm still very new to figuring all of this out, so I was wondering if there would be any problem bringing different food in for him when we go to table service restaurants. We'll be using the deluxe plan, and everyone else in the party has an adventurous palate, so we'll be dining at plenty of the more exotic offerings, but honestly, even most of the more traditional fare restaurants do not have something he will eat. To give you an idea, he only eats his fruits/vegs pureed (so we have to carry baby food pouches), and solid food-wise he'll only eat chicken fingers, fish sticks, bread with cheese (but no tomato sauce), and that is about it. So no mac n cheese, no burgers, no chicken or fish that isn't breaded, etc. I figured we could just grab him a quick service meal on the way to our reserved lunch/dinner, then take it into the restaurant so he can eat with us.
 

Pumbaa_

>Hakuna Matata!<
Moderator
Joined
Jan 7, 2001
Most places can work w those restrictions

the problem I see is bringing food in is this may not be allowed at some places. Not every restaurant is Disney owned.
Second is the logistics. Are you going to carry a tray into a signature restaurant? Most qs doesn’t have the means to pack a meal to go. Not to mention it will be cold by the time you get to where you are going, check in and be seated.
Third there are places you will have to pay for him even if he consumes nothing.

i don’t know where you plan on eating, but it sounds like a rough week. What do you plan on doing w his DxDP credits?
 
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thursdaystgiles

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Yeah, I guess I was wondering if people had experience with this, and how I would go about checking on it, short of calling every single restaurant we want to dine at. Is this something DAS might be able to assist with?

Some I know specifically we want to eat at that have no options for him would be Tiffins, Marrakesh or Spice Road. But like I said, even glancing at other menus, like the Liberty Tree Tavern, for example, there's nothing he'd eat. We ended up renting at Old Key West over the Animal Kingdom Lodge because there was nothing he'd eat at any of their restaurants.

As for his points, we will be using them on snacks and quick service meals, and there are a few 2 point places we plan on going, like the Luau, and Cinderella's, for example, to use up extras.
 
  • Pumbaa_

    >Hakuna Matata!<
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2001
    He’s 8, his credits are only applicable to child meals. And the character meals, aycte and dinner shows will require payment, even if he eats nothing. Consider it an entertainment cost
    DAS only applies to the parks, not restaurants

    will he eat dessert? If you fed him before your adr and he could have the fruit/veg packet and dessert maybe? Maybe you need a 1 be at okw w a full kitchen for the little guy.
     

    Bjkandma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2019
    The DAS is for rides only, so it will not help with restauran ts.

    On January 1st Disney has decided to enforce the rules regarding kid's meals. As of the 1st, all credits are now divided between child credits and adult credits. You can use child credits,at quick service locations, but you must order a kid's meal (no alcohol or right now, to the best of knowledge any speciality drinks).!

    You will not be able to use kid's credits at table service meals like the Luau or CRT (adult meals or kid's meals to feed adults). This was a loophole in Disney's policy and Disney has decided to strictly enforce their polic y.
     

    thursdaystgiles

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 13, 2020
    He’s 8, his credits are only applicable to child meals. And the character meals, aycte and dinner shows will require payment, even if he eats nothing. Consider it an entertainment cost
    DAS only applies to the parks, not restaurants

    will he eat dessert? If you fed him before your adr and he could have the fruit/veg packet and dessert maybe? Maybe you need a 1 be at okw w a full kitchen for the little guy.
    Yeah, that's why we're being picky about character meals. Cinderella's Castle over the one in Norway, because he won't eat anything there. I know for the special ones, like the Luau and Tiffins we'd be out of luck and swallow the cost, but I'm hoping others would be more flexible.

    The DAS is for rides only, so it will not help with restauran ts.

    On January 1st Disney has decided to enforce the rules regarding kid's meals. As of the 1st, all credits are now divided between child credits and adult credits. You can use child credits,at quick service locations, but you must order a kid's meal (no alcohol or right now, to the best of knowledge any speciality drinks).!

    You will not be able to use kid's credits at table service meals like the Luau or CRT (adult meals or kid's meals to feed adults). This was a loophole in Disney's policy and Disney has decided to strictly enforce their polic y.
    Any quick service meals we'd be purchasing would be for him, in place of the other meals. Otherwise we'll be using our own credits for them.

    I was, perhaps, misinformed about the Luau and CRT, then, because it was my understanding that the credits would be 2 adult table service = 1 for signature meals, and similarly 2 children table service = 1 signature meal. Am I misunderstanding you, or are you saying ALL need to be adult meals? That seems odd, since the prices are different for children vs. adults.

    Or maybe what I wrote above was misunderstood? I basically meant we'll use up his points by giving him quick service meals, instead, and also we're using up a lot of extra points over all for the signature meals.
     

    thursdaystgiles

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 13, 2020
    And yeah, he'll eat bread if they serve it, and dessert, so it won't be a total loss. But I also don't want him going hungry. I mean, I'll pay extra to buy him food he will eat, the question is if we'd be allowed to bring it in with us.
     
  • sapphirerose915

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 7, 2018
    What would you be buying at the QS places? Many table service will accommodate picky eaters. Grilled cheese, chicken fingers, french fries, pizza. And many have fruit and ice cream as side dishes.
     

    thursdaystgiles

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 13, 2020
    What would you be buying at the QS places? Many table service will accommodate picky eaters. Grilled cheese, chicken fingers, french fries, pizza. And many have fruit and ice cream as side dishes.
    Honestly QS isn't a whole lot better, but as you mentioned, the grilled cheese, and chicken fingers (which even then are touch and go--they have to be the right size, and ratio of breading to meat), snacks like pretzels, or potentially limited fruit (peeled apples, or banana, if I'm pushing things). And yes, some of the table service menus have some of these things, but some are basically pizza/hamburger/hotdog, grilled chicken/fish, pasta of all varieties, and he won't eat any of that. Also, no solid vegetables aside from broccoli or sweet potatoes.

    I get that the menus change from time to time (I've been looking mainly on the wdwinfo site), so maybe I'm worried for nothing. But I'm also not exaggerating how limited his meal selection is. Also, it isn't an issue of picky eating. He's undergoing therapy for it, and over the course of 2 years, he's expanded to TWO new foods. It's exhausting and disheartening as parents, let me tell you, especially when well-meaning grandparents suggest we just force him, or give him no alternatives and basically starve him until he gives in, but it's not just a refusal to eat. He starts gagging, vomiting, and has choked on more than one occasion which is terrifying :/

    It's his vacation too, and I want to make it as magical and enjoyable for him as possible. We are really REALLY trying to encourage him to pick up either mac n cheese, pizza, or grilled chicken over the next 10 months, but it's a slow process.
     

    Bjkandma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2019
    Yeah, that's why we're being picky about character meals. Cinderella's Castle over the one in Norway, because he won't eat anything there. I know for the special ones, like the Luau and Tiffins we'd be out of luck and swallow the cost, but I'm hoping others would be more flexible.



    Any quick service meals we'd be purchasing would be for him, in place of the other meals. Otherwise we'll be using our own credits for them.

    I was, perhaps, misinformed about the Luau and CRT, then, because it was my understanding that the credits would be 2 adult table service = 1 for signature meals, and similarly 2 children table service = 1 signature meal. Am I misunderstanding you, or are you saying ALL need to be adult meals? That seems odd, since the prices are different for children vs. adults.

    Or maybe what I wrote above was misunderstood? I basically meant we'll use up his points by giving him quick service meals, instead, and also we're using up a lot of extra points over all for the signature meals.
    I misunderstood. I thought you wanted to use child credits for "adult" use. You are correct that you need 2 table service credits to equal a signature dining experience.
     

    Pumbaa_

    >Hakuna Matata!<
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2001
    I can’t imagine. Food issues are huge. Adding 2 foods is awesome! Grandparents need to stick a sock in it. And if even one of them says we didn’t have these issues in my day....make them be a doll in it’s a small world. That’ll teach ‘em

    it will all work out. ESP w a fridge and microwave in your room. That can help I hope

    regarding deluxe credits, prior to 1/1 all credits on dxdp were pooled. They ended that. If you had planned on using any of his credits for adult meals you can’t. Child plan get child meals only
    some will require 2 credits, like crt.

    Character meals, shows, aycte will not be flexible in how they charge. They can’t be. Folks on feeding tubes are still charged.
     
  • DrunkJam

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2016
    I am not sure if that would be doable, but I really do understand the issues. My DS is autistic too, and we use the DAS at WDW, it saved our trip the first time we learnt of it!
    I would say, ALL the restaurants we ate at were really good at helping us find something for him to eat, and were really great about listening and understanding the issues he faced. We never took QS into TS (because he didn't eat chicken nuggets, or burgers or mac and cheese etc and the things he did eat had to be the right sort, right shape, not touch other things on the plate etc, I'm sure you know what I mean) I DID bring familiar healthy snacks from home, but to be honest, we didn't need many, if any.
    I will also say that my son has got a lot better over time, and part of that is travelling, he got really interested in what they eat in different countries, and now he has added a range of international foods to his choices!
    I always know when he is anxious, because he reverts to needing the same brands, same foods, but, it has got better generally.
    I just wanted to offer some reassurance that WDW has, in our experience, been really open to helping us in restaurants. Have a wonderful vacation (and grandparents can be a bother, I know! Forcing or starving such children doesn't help at all, and can cause more anxiety and refusal to eat! 2 new foods is AWESOME!)
     
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    quietly

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2014
    I know it’s a bit of a hassle to call the restaurants and alert them to his dietary restrictions but it might be preferable to carting quick service into a TS. If you advise them most restaurants will be able to work within his needs or at least let you know that they can’t so you could give him something substantial before dining and see how he fares with the fruit and dessert etc while you’re there. Hope it works out and you have a great vacation.
     

    Disneylover99

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2012
    Honestly QS isn't a whole lot better, but as you mentioned, the grilled cheese, and chicken fingers (which even then are touch and go--they have to be the right size, and ratio of breading to meat), snacks like pretzels, or potentially limited fruit (peeled apples, or banana, if I'm pushing things). And yes, some of the table service menus have some of these things, but some are basically pizza/hamburger/hotdog, grilled chicken/fish, pasta of all varieties, and he won't eat any of that. Also, no solid vegetables aside from broccoli or sweet potatoes.

    I get that the menus change from time to time (I've been looking mainly on the wdwinfo site), so maybe I'm worried for nothing. But I'm also not exaggerating how limited his meal selection is. Also, it isn't an issue of picky eating. He's undergoing therapy for it, and over the course of 2 years, he's expanded to TWO new foods. It's exhausting and disheartening as parents, let me tell you, especially when well-meaning grandparents suggest we just force him, or give him no alternatives and basically starve him until he gives in, but it's not just a refusal to eat. He starts gagging, vomiting, and has choked on more than one occasion which is terrifying :/

    It's his vacation too, and I want to make it as magical and enjoyable for him as possible. We are really REALLY trying to encourage him to pick up either mac n cheese, pizza, or grilled chicken over the next 10 months, but it's a slow process.
    I don’t think it would be an issue at most places. If you’re going to buy something from counter service, I’d just transfer it into a ziplock container and put it in a bag before you enter the restaurant to discreetly bring it in. If it’s an issue once you get to the restaurant, it’s easy to put away. Good luck! :goodvibes
     

    TammyLynn33

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2008
    I started months before telling my 7 year old little guy who is autistic on vacation we are far away from home and people eat different foods in different places and that’s the fun part about being on vacation wear least try. That t things may look a little different etc
    We found a logic what he would normally eat was available and he ate fairly well . I did order a lot of snacks to be delivered to the room that I packed with me just in case (apples yogurt tubes cheese strings muffins crackers etc)
    He did ok and nothing he and his little brother took a bite of a few new things over the holiday . Wish you all the next on your trip :)
     

    Nancyg56

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2005
    First, he is your child so no one, not even Grands, should interfere in how you are managing his food sensitivity. Yikes! I am not sure if this helps, but a few years ago one of my friends had an issue and ended up in the hospital. WHen he was released he needed his food puréed. Every TS restaurant was able to help him. This does not mean that every restaurant will have what your son can eat, but I believe that every Chef will move Heaven and Earth where possible.

    What i would do is prepare in advance and bring a tupper container and freezer pack so if you see a CS restaurant that has food he can have and will be able to eat, you can pack it safely They have some nice ones that have dividers. Also, I would check on Amazon to see if there are any lunch things that keep food hot for hours so you could make something for him before you leave the villa. It has been a long tiem since I needed to worry about school lunches, but my daughter found a contraption for one of our young school friends who was having a problem with hot lunch in school. This thing worked wonders.

    SInce you are prepared to use credits or pay where there is a fixed price you have removed some of the stress the character meal can have when people, both adult and youngsters cannot eat enough to justify the cost.
     

    Moliphino

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2016
    Yeah, that's why we're being picky about character meals. Cinderella's Castle over the one in Norway, because he won't eat anything there. I know for the special ones, like the Luau and Tiffins we'd be out of luck and swallow the cost, but I'm hoping others would be more flexible.
    Are you doing a package (ROL or Lion King) at Tiffins or just a regular meal? If it's a regular meal you wouldn't need to use credits for him.
     

    sapphirerose915

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 7, 2018
    Honestly QS isn't a whole lot better, but as you mentioned, the grilled cheese, and chicken fingers (which even then are touch and go--they have to be the right size, and ratio of breading to meat), snacks like pretzels, or potentially limited fruit (peeled apples, or banana, if I'm pushing things). And yes, some of the table service menus have some of these things, but some are basically pizza/hamburger/hotdog, grilled chicken/fish, pasta of all varieties, and he won't eat any of that. Also, no solid vegetables aside from broccoli or sweet potatoes.

    I get that the menus change from time to time (I've been looking mainly on the wdwinfo site), so maybe I'm worried for nothing. But I'm also not exaggerating how limited his meal selection is. Also, it isn't an issue of picky eating. He's undergoing therapy for it, and over the course of 2 years, he's expanded to TWO new foods. It's exhausting and disheartening as parents, let me tell you, especially when well-meaning grandparents suggest we just force him, or give him no alternatives and basically starve him until he gives in, but it's not just a refusal to eat. He starts gagging, vomiting, and has choked on more than one occasion which is terrifying :/

    It's his vacation too, and I want to make it as magical and enjoyable for him as possible. We are really REALLY trying to encourage him to pick up either mac n cheese, pizza, or grilled chicken over the next 10 months, but it's a slow process.

    My son is almost 4.. and has a few sensory issues as well. I know all about the breading ratio on the tenders. That comment actually made me laugh as there is really only 2 types he will eat happily!
    It is so difficult.. and I agree 100% it's his vaca too.
    A lot of places will work with you. It is dosney after all!! I feel like you can call and make dietary requests at any restaurant you have an ADR for. If you explain the situation I do not see why they wont be able to make something work for you. My son was gagging over food at ohana and they brought him nuggets and fries. What else does he like to eat??
     

    Live4travel

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2019
    Does he drink smoothies or milkshakes? Some restaurants have various versions of those and those would even be easier to bring in from the outside than containers of food. Maybe you can check if the restaurant will puree individual foods for you based on what fruits and vegetables they typically have (i.e. strawberries, sweet potatoes, green beans, etc). Does he eat mashed potatoes? Ice cream? I really think you should be able to get chicken fingers and applesauce at most places. if the restaurant you go to for dinner also serves breakfast or lunch, you can probably get yogurt, bananas, and other options that may work for dinner.
     

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