Dining plan with child under 3
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Friends of ours are going to WDW with us in July. They have purchased the dining plan for their family. One of their children is only 2 and therefore Disney did not charge for a dining plan. I know this may be a "dumb" question but if they do not have a plan for him does that mean they have to pay out of pocket for meals and a refillable mug for him? We do not have kids and when my friend asked how that worked I could not answer him. Thanks for your help!
Yep - they'll need to pay OOP. BUT- and here's why Disney does this: it's assumed that a child that young will just share with others. The meal portions are large, and more than enough to share with a 2 year old. They just need to ask for a plate for him.
If they go to a buffet, there is no charge.
When we ate at buffet restaraunts (Chef Mickey's and Crystal Palace specifically) we were provided drinks for our two that were under three, free of charge. They shared off our plates (and we were provided an extra plate for them). At CS we found portions more than adequate to share, if someone wanted something the little ones couldn't eat or wouldn't eat, I was able to purchase uncrustables for a reasonable price. We also took plenty of snacks that we knew the boys would eat.
At Sci-Fi, the chef had to make a special plate for the 2 year old b/c of food allergies. He created something "off menu" and created a special dairy free chocolate sauce to go on the Rice Cream for desert. We fully expected to pay out of pocket. When we got our bill, there wasn't a charge for his meal. We questioned our waiter who just smiled and told us to "enjoy the Mickey Magic".
A refillable mug would be purchased out of pocket - again, we bought one for the 2 year old manily because he has food allergies and can't share cups. For the youngest (11 months), we just filled his sippy cups with a bit of lemondae from one of our mugs and then added water. The mug was a bit of a waste for the middle child because he doesn't drink that much lemonade (1 cup per day of juice) and water is free, but he liked having his own Mickey Cup. Our kids don't drink pop (and neither does my husband) and I can honestly say they were sick of lemonade by the end of the week.
You get so much food with the dinning plan I always just fed my little ones off my plate and I shared my drink with them. Sometimes my youngest would share with my middle child if the portions were big enough. As for the buffets they never made us pay for the little one.
Our trip when DD was 2 was in the pre-dining plan days.
I remember that we knew she was free for park admission, but we were pleasantly surprised when she ate for free, too.
There was no charge for DD at buffets. As I recall, most of the places where we ordered "dinner on a plate" like Brown Derby, they brought her something at no charge. I know she had Mickey-roni at HBD. Other places, it was some applesauce and fries and a chicken tender or two.