Thinking about ADR's with 3 and 6 y.o.
About This Page: This is a discussion on Thinking about ADR's with 3 and 6 y.o. within the Feasting and Snacking: The Eateries at Walt Disney World, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; I have been thinking about our dining plans for our next trip and I wanted to get the passporters thoughts ...
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I have been thinking about our dining plans for our next trip and I wanted to get the passporters thoughts on ADR's with small children. We will be traveling with an almost 3 y.o. and a 6 y.o. How many table service meals do you usually plan with little ones? Hubs and I did the dining plan when we took an adult only trip and I don't see my kids doing a sit down meal a day. I am thinking maybe 3-4 for a 7 night trip?
Rainforest for arrival night
Le Cellier for lunch when at Epcot- need a somewhat adult meal
Tusker House Breakfast
I figure little ones will be pretty good first thing in the morning for breakfast.
Also, is CRT something my two boys would enjoy. I have always wanted to do this but don't know how little boys feel about it. I am thinking the eating in the castle will have a cool factor. What is your experience with this?
I have a 3yo and an almost 2yo and they do pretty well at Table Service meals. They really enjoyed Tokyo dining because the kid's meals are served in a little bento box shaped like a monorail. They had really good teriyaki chicken with white rice and steamed veggies. My kids aren't too picky as far as the type of food, so I take them pretty much anywhere.
My kids are a little afraid of the masked characters like Mickey and Pooh, etc, so we stick to the character meals with the princesses or face characters like CRT, Akershus or 1900 Park Fare (our favorite breakfast!).
I mine are a girl and a boy, but the boy is the younger one, so I don't think he really gets it when we do the princess meals. At CRT they get a sword and he loves whacking his sister on the head with it, we have a couple of them at home now and he likes to pretend he's Zorro. It's a cool view from the castle and I think your kids would enjoy it.
My kids also really enjoy the dinner shows, like the Spirit of Aloha Luau and the Hoop de Doo Review. They are TONS of fun.
We usually do at least 1 Quick Service and 1 Table Service a day and they do ok. Lunch is usually a snack under a shade in the parks since we have a big breakfast and dinner.
If you can dream it, you can do it. - Walt Disney
Last edited by watermelonpatty; 04-19-2012 at 09:27 AM..
Reason: Adding info
How do your kids handle restaraunts/eating out around home? For us, that is a huge factor because we only eat out infrequently due to food allergies. My kids are also a bit restless, so I knew to look for places that would entertain them in some way...T-Rex in DTD; 'Ohana's; character meals.
We also looked at our schedule and tried to plan our ADR's around their regular meal times, which tend to be on the early side. Oldest eats lunch at 10:45 at school, and they all eat at 11:30 on weekends. Dinner is usually between 5 & 5:30. So, those are the times we picked for our reservations.
Our first trip, we learned (the hard way) that early breakfast ADR's don't really work for our family. My oldest was worried about missing out on park time (he was five), the middle one didn't want to try the food (he has food allergies and tends to eat the same breakfast every day), and the youngest just didn't want to be awake and sitting in a high chair. My husband was the toughest of all because he HATES breakfast foods. So, for this trip we schedulled on "breakfast" ADR for 11:20 (the restaraunt starts serving lunch at 11:30) this way we get some park time in first, and it's close enough to lunch so my husband will get his lunch foods.
What about character meals? Or meals with some "entertainiment" like dinner at 'Ohana, or the fish at Coral Reef. Those might be more interesting for little ones than Kona and LeCellier.
Disney's a family friendly place, so I wouldn't worry too much about TS meals.
I agree to look to the places with distractions - Whispering Canyon Cafe is another good choice.
Please don't forget to factor in how tired and excitable the boys will be. On one memorable occasion, we took our four year old to Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge. Bear in mind that she had eaten in nice restaurants on several previous occasions without any previous incident. Long story short, she was tired and irritable and within 5 minutes and thrown her crayons across the room and started upon the mother of all meltdowns. My husband ended up eating a $40 piece of salmon back in the hotel room. We stuck with buffets for a while after that!
Like the others have said, it depends on your kids. We out reasonably often enough at home and our daughter has always been very good in restaurants. We did one sit-down meal per day on out trips with DD at ages 2 and 3 and had no problems at all.
Disney is also god at turning tables. That is a complaint to some, but for us it's a nicety so there isn't a whole lot of wait time at the restuarants.
Thank you all so much for the good ideas and advice. I think we will stick with 3-4 TS. My boys do great eating out at home but we all know a day at Disney can be a different world! I actually chose kona for breakfast on a non park day thinking we might need a nice low key meal. We will def do tucker house for characters in place of our usual crystal palace- I need a change there! And maybe chef mickeys instead of CRT. I hate to do CRT and have my boys not really enjoy it. 1900 park fare sounds nice- would you suggest breakfast or dinner there?
1900 Park Fare - we prefer the dinner. Mostly because the characters are "Face" characters and talk to the guests.
I've got to say - my kids NEEDED those TS meals every day, just to sit down, collect themselves and calm down when they were younger.
With our 3 year old granddaughter we had to sit her in a seat not on the aisle with characters that are not face characters. If she could see them coming and they could not get to her easily she was much better with them. She did so much better with the face characters.
We too did most of character meals in the morning 1900 PF being our favorite also Cape May at the Beach Club. With buffets the lil ones can pick and choose what they want. We also always do 1900 PF and/or Chef Mickey's for dinner after naps in the afternoon a sit down dinner went much better. The castle was always fun for our nephews they got a sword and the princess attention tickled them even though the older one would not admit it. Lol
I think you got some great suggestions, so I don't really have anything to add there. My youngest was 4 and 5 on our last two trips, and we had the dining plan. So we did sit down meals almost every day (we did 1 or 2 2-credit meals on each trip). And, like Teresa said, my kids needed the chance to slow down. If it seemed like it was going to be a "difficult" day, we went back to the resort a few hours before dinner for a swim and/or a nap.
I think your plans look great. If you are looking for another place I would definitely say Ohana's would be great with small ones. It is not as quiet with the music and entertainment while you are eating and they do fun activities to keep the kids entertained. My nieces went there with us couple of years ago (they were 6 and 3 at the time) and it was their favorite place of our trip except of course the Princess Breakfast. I am partial to it because the food is so wonderful!
My kids are the same age, we always do 2 table service meals a day & lunch on the go (whever we happen to be at the moment). I always have a character breakfast (I get my character pictures & breakfast done in 1 shot & then I dont have to wait on line in the parks to see the characters). It works out great for us. My kids were wonderful at the fancier restaurants too (le cellier & narcoosees, they alwys make it so kid friendly with crayons & coloring menus) If you are going to the Poly, I would eat at Ohana over Kona Cafe (so they can see the characters)
We usually plan one TS meal per day with kids (more takes up too much of the day and we can't get in all the "must do" rides and activities).
When DS was 6 or 7 we tried CRT. He enjoyed the castle and the sword. The princesses did not really impress him. If you are looking for character meals that entertain little boys, I would go with Chef Mickey (loud, fun, entertaining).
We also love 1900 - much better interaction (especially for boys) and much better food than CRT (and it is less money or credits, too). Our boys are older now (12,13) but they still enjoy 1900. The characters are so funny (for dinner...we have not been here for breakfast).
"Disneyland has that thing - the imagination and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." --Walt Disney