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 Welcome guest writer Patrick Wilson who writes for !

Disney Dining with Infants and Babies

Even at a family-friendly place like Disney World, finding dining options that are fun and comfortable for your family can be challenging, especially if you have very young children. A place needs to have options for kids, without making parents and older siblings feel like they are eating at a play land. Luckily, millions of families have been to Disney World over the years, and there is some consensus on which restaurants offer the best of all worlds. Here are some of the most popular kid-friendly restaurants:

This character restaurant gives parents a break from the hectic-buffet style breakfast places, while still giving them the joy of seeing their little ones interact with Disney characters. The breakfast is all-you-can-eat sausage, eggs, bacon, and potatoes, and a basket of Mickey waffles makes its way around. While the cast of characters changes, it generally features Mickey, Pluto, Stitch, and Lilo! The characters lead families in a few songs and dance! ‘Ohana caters to the 0-7 age range, so you never have to worry about feeling out of place. It may be worth it to inquire about Advanced Dining Reservations, as ‘Ohana is quite popular.

This is buffet-style dinner experience is a little different than other eating experiences at Disney, and definitely worth a try! Located at the outdoor pavilion near Fort Wilderness, it is only available March – December. The food is buffet style, with separate adult and kids’ buffets, and several characters are available to dance and interact with kids. Because of its outdoor nature, the Backyard Barbecue is perfect for families with antsy kids because kids are encouraged to get out of their seats and onto the dance floor!

Boma is often overlooked in favor of more classic eateries like the Crystal Palace, but Boma is a ton of fun for toddlers and babies. Perhaps people are wary kids’ tastes in African cuisine, but there are plenty of American options to satisfy picky eaters! Boma is located in the Animal Kingdom Lodge and offers a mid-priced buffet style meal. There is a kitchen (where you can see a big spit roaster) and food stations. There are no characters here, so parents can enjoy a more traditional meal, but the servers and atmosphere are incredibly kid and baby friendly!

Chef Mickey’s
Chef Mickey’s is a Disney classic that allows families with Mickey Mouse himself! The atmosphere certainly conveys the joy and magic of Disney, and families with kids of all ages have been coming to eat here for years. The dance parties keep kids busy and entertained, while the monorail zips around the dining area. The meal is buffet style, with more healthy options being added every year!

Coral Reef is another restaurant that is very kid-friendly without specifically being geared towards kids. The restaurant is located in The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion, and the food menu has options for adults, toddlers, and children. The aquarium that runs the entire length of the dining area, so kids can watch the different fish and enjoy the sea-themed decorations. Coral Reef is a great way for parents to spend one night at a restaurant with a little romance without worrying about bringing the kids along!

With these options, you can be confident that you will not feel like your family is making a disturbance (there’ll be plenty of families louder than yours), and all the restaurants have changing stations, highchairs, and booster seats. Even with the friendliness of these restaurants, there are a few things to keep in mind to keep dining as fun as possible:

Dining is time to get off your feet. You’ll be walking quite a bit at Disney, so when you plan your activities, keep this in mind. It’s a bit of a waste to schedule dinner right after a show because the kids might be restless and ready for more action, not dinner!

Look at the menus beforehand. If you have a super picky eater or a person with allergies, check out an online menu or give the restaurant a call. Dining, as with everything else at Disney, can be much improved with a little planning.

Kids’ interests can surprise you. You may be tempted with this age range to schedule character meal after character meal, but sometimes kids and toddlers are equally taken with the aquarium at Coral Reef or the African decorations at Boma. Make sure to check out a restaurant that the adults are excited about as well.

With these tips and restaurants, you’re bound to find something fun and comfortable for you and your toddler or baby. Be sure to experiment, and try one thing you wouldn’t have normally!