Making memories at Walt Disney World often is a family endeavor, but there are some magical experiences designed just for kids and others just for adults. The folks at Disney have come up with solutions that allow parents to have a guilt-free night out while the kids are fully entertained and supervised.
Located inside most of the deluxe resorts are children's activity centers, which are designed for kids ages 3 to 12. Children have to be potty-trained to attend. You do not have to be staying at a particular hotel to use the activity center, though. I'd suggest selecting one of the six sites that is closest to your destination. That way, pick-up is easy and, if you need to pop in for a visit, you are nearby.
Your choices include:
** Simba's Clubhouse at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
** Never Land Club at Disney's Polynesian Resort
** Cub's Den at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
** Sandcastle Club at Disney's Yacht and Beach clubs
** Mouseketeer Club at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
** Camp Dolphin at Walt Disney World Dolphin and Swan resorts
My children spent a couple hours at the Sandcastle Club and enjoyed their time so much that they didn't want to leave when we arrived to pick them up. While in the Club, they could choose to play video and board games, participate in arts and crafts, color, read, play with a variety of toys and watch Disney movies.
When I saw everything that was available, I was sure my kids would have fun. I also felt comfortable leaving my children in the cast members' care because there were security measures to ensure no one else could pick up my children, and doors to the center were monitored. Parents also can request pagers if they want another communication tool besides their cell phones. In addition, the ratio of adults to children in the center was better than average. There were two adults and four kids in the center when we arrived. When we returned, there were three adults and about a dozen children.
Most of the kids clubs are open daily from 4:30 p.m. to midnight. Dinner is included for children in the centers between 6 and 8 p.m. My kids loved getting to “order” their dinners. Choices included a hot dog with fries and fruit; macaroni and cheese with fruit; chicken tenders with fries and fruit; fish nuggets with fries and fruit; cheese pizza; and grilled cheese with fries and fruit. At the end of the evening, kids will be offered cookies and milk.
The cost is $11.50 per hour per child with a two-hour minimum. Call 407-WDW-DINE to make reservations, which are strongly encouraged. Walk-ups are welcome, based on availability.
If you'd prefer to have a babysitter come to your room, Disney recommends Kid's Nite Out caregivers. Get all the details on the AllEars.Net page.
Let us know what your experiences have been and read what others have to say in our Childcare Rate and Review Section!
The previous post in this blog was Ideas for unusual family photos at Walt Disney World .
The next post in this blog is What to know before you go to SeaWorld Orlando.