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Tips from the DFB Guide: Dining with Picky Eaters in Disney World

Got a picky eater in Disney World? Worried about finding food that your young (or young-at-heart!) “selective” eaters will enjoy during your Walt Disney World vacation? You’re not alone!

Lots of families have at least one picky eater in their midst, and we’ve collected tons of tips during our Disney dining experiences.

Our readers note fussy eaters as a top concern, so The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 e-Book includes a lengthy section on how to plan your Disney dining when your trip includes less-adventurous eaters.

We’ve got plenty of tried and true advice in the DFB Guide on satisfying choosy diners without making the rest of the family sacrifice interesting eats. Pick up your copy here for an extra $4 off using code 2013 for a limited time!

Grown-up picky eater? Order an adult portion of a kids menu item!

You’ll find valuable information that will allow your family to enjoy a variety of restaurants! Here are just a few of our many suggestions!

Buffet restaurants offer plenty of choice for picky and adventurous eaters alike! Try Boma and Tusker House for a true variety.

3 Top Tips for Dining with Picky Eaters in Disney World

Your picky eater dilemma can range from a kid insistent on only chicken nuggets for meals to an adult with a non-adventurous palate. Let’s look at three tips that can help your family!

Take Advantage of Appetizers or A La Carte Menus. Often a restaurant will have an appetizer that is familiar to a picky eater — salads, soups, and flatbreads (pretty ubiquitous at Disney World) work well for adults with simple palates. If there’s an appetizer that looks…well…appetizing, ask for a meal-sized portion. Is your toddler only eating mashed potatoes this week? As long as you see the item on a dish some where on the menu, you can order it as a side or meal.

Just Ask! Don’t be shy. Ask your server if the chef can whip up a grilled cheese if that’s your kiddo’s favorite, or an adult portion of chicken nuggets from the kids’ menu if Uncle Bob would prefer it. Your server and the chef have heard much more difficult requests than yours, and their goal is to make your family happy — so speak up.

Even Mac and Cheese can be fancy -- and many restaurants will make it for you!

Simplify Your Selections and make Substitutions. It’s okay to ask for a plain burger instead of the dressed up bacon cheeseburger. And you won’t be the first guest to ask for a grilled chicken breast with no special sauce, or a sandwich without the veggies. I do it all the time!

We have plenty more great ideas and experience-based information on dining with picky eaters and adventurous eaters, as well as kids, big groups, and more — and it’s ALL sandwiched in our 400+-page DFB Guide!

Now’s the time to order The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 for help with all of your Disney Dining needs. We’ve dined with picky eaters and can tell you what to expect!

Our up-to-date dining tips will help your family enjoy a stress-free vacation! Click here to get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013 E-book — and use code 2013 for an extra $4 discount for a limited time!

How have you survived dining with a picky eater at Disney? Share your tips in the comments below!

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19 Comments

  1. Jacky says:

    Those chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes in the picture look delicious! What restaurant are they from?

  2. AJ says:

    Jacky — They’re from 50′s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios: http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/50s-prime-time-cafe/ :-)

  3. Matt says:

    What about the Mac and Cheese?

  4. Sue says:

    In general my kids aren’t picky, but I always tell other parents to use apps or the internet to check menus before picking their quick service. Not every place will have every kid choice. On our first trip — and before we discovered the DFB — I assumed that we could at very least get chicken nuggets at all of the quick service locations. It’s hard hauling a family from one restaurant to the next in hopes of everyone finding something to order. Better to negotiate that before criss-crossing the park.

    Oh, and you forgot one category of picky eater — pregnant women. I had definite food aversions that made some quick service menus a challenge.

  5. Kenny says:

    Growing up, being a picky eater would have lead to starvation. I guess times change.

  6. Jenny says:

    I use to be extremely picky (Still am somewhat but I have extended my palate a lot in the past 8 years) and my family has taken so many of these tips and the Disney chefs are very helpful in accomadating picky eaters. Some servers and chefs are nicer than others about it but they all will be willing to accomadate any picky habits. Heck I still make variations on certain meals and I have found that even at the age i’m at now they still are amazingly helpful.

  7. Lori says:

    The Mac & Cheese looks like Yachtsman’s to me.

  8. Mark D. says:

    We need a name that food and location quiz game on the DFB.

    I recognized that Truffle Mac from the Yatchsman immediately.

  9. Wendy Snelgrove says:

    You can also easily substitute one side for another. So if the collard greens with some fancy sauce doesn’t appeal to you, but it is beside the pork dish you really want, you can ask for green beans or brocolli or whatever else you see as a side dish on the menu.

  10. Laura W. says:

    This brings back memories. During one meal at the Sci Fi, our youngest (a very picky eater) didn’t want to eat the rice because there were some vegetables in it. Someone from the Sci Fi actually went to another restaurant and brought her back some plain rice. Awesome!

  11. Jess says:

    I too recognized that Mac & cheese! So yum!!!

    My 4yr old can count on 1 hand what she is willing to eat. Combine that with food allergies and it’s extremely hard to eat out but we’ve become “experts” and enjoy ourselves every time we go. The Disney chefs are AWESOME! We ate at a restaurant that went around to another restaurant to get my daughter a plate of strawberries.

  12. Sandy says:

    There is always “grilled cheese”. Just melted cheese on a hamburger roll.

  13. Farrah says:

    I’m lucky enough that my daughter who’s 9 will eat pretty much everything!! However last year and next year we are on the quick services meal plan but my daughter gets really fed up with nuggets and burgers which seems to be the only thing to offer for under 9. I know an adult can ask for a child’s meal, but could a child as for a adults meal but made smaller? Has anyone done this?….

  14. Glynis Ward says:

    I am a VERY picky eater due to health reasons..:(
    Can anyone help with what I CAN eat..as I cannot eat (certain) dairy products/ bread/pasta/meat or anything with additives/preservatives …..or acesulfame/aspartame in…or caffeine/alcohol…
    Basically I live on (various kinds of ) fish/seafood and vegetables and salad here….
    I’ve been many times to WDW before..but never had THIS problem until two years ago, so am worried about our forthcoming trip…as it’s not that I want to be fussy…but that my health issues dictate what I eat..
    HELP…..

  15. Chris Headden says:

    My wife is a very picky eater. We have been very lucky at Teppon Edo in the Japan pavilion in Epcot. We have also had luck with the Coral Reef. In the Magic Kingdom, we go to Columbia House & Cassie’s Corner is very good for hot dogs.

  16. Andrea says:

    Even as an adult now, I’m a lot weird about food served still on a bone. My husband really wants to hit Hoop-Dee-Doo on arrival day, but the menu of fried chicken and pork ribs has me shaking in my boots! Would it be rude to request something like a grilled chicken breast? I mean it really isn’t a dietary issue, but I could toss my cookies trying to eat from those buckets!

  17. Joni says:

    Mark D. I am with you , I would love to see a Name Dish that Location Quiz

  18. Joni says:

    Name that Location Quiz duh

  19. Amy says:

    So- I have a question… I have two very picky eaters. There are plenty of quick service options for them, but my main concern is that we want to do a character dinner at Epcot so our (non picky) daughter can meet the princesses. However, I see nothing on the kids menu that either of my sons would eat. They have grilled chicken as an option there, do you think they’d substitute like breaded tenders or something? That’d definitely solve the problem but I don’t know how hard that is to do at character dining. Thoughts?

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