For parents, a Disney World vacation with the kids is one of those quintessential American (or Canadian!) experiences. What mom or dad hasn’t dreamed of taking their little one to the Magic Kingdom and taking that picture: You know the one, where everyone is smiling and happy in front of the castle. But sometimes in the middle of that dream, it’s nice for the parents to get away and have a little evening out. It can really recharge you. Here are some childcare options that I use:
Disney World Child Activity Centers: These drop-in childcare centers, which provide dinner and fun activities, are located in the Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, Yacht Club and Beach Club, Grand Floridian, and the Swan and the Dolphin Resorts. They’re open from 4:30 until midnight and are available for kids 3 to 12. Depending on the time of day, your child will be given a menu and allowed to choose his dinner, something little kids love. Personally, I think children on the younger and older range are a harder fit at these clubs, but it all depends on the child. While you can keep your child at the center the entire time it’s open, I would probably not use it for more than five hours. My oldest son, who is 8-years old, loves going here. It’s usually the second question he asks when I tell him we’re visiting the World, right after “where are we staying?”
You’ll want to reserve ahead of time. You do not need to be a guest staying at a Disney World resort. You’ll be charged a two-hour minimum. Dinner is included in the $11.50 per hour charge. Call 407-WDW-DINE. You’ll need a credit card to reserve, but your card will not be charged at that time.
Kids Nite Out: Without question, my favorite childcare service for in-room babysitting for children 6 weeks and up. Sitters, all of whom receive extensive background checks, will come to your room and stay as long as you need. In my experience, the sitters know the resort very well. This service is a great fit for parents who need different hours than the child activity center offers or for parents with more than two children, as the rates for in-room sitting are actually cheaper. Rates are based on the number of children as follows:
- 1 child – $16.00 per hour
- 2 children – $18.50 per hour
- 3 children – $21.00 per hour
- 4 children – 23.50 per hour
The great thing about using an in-room sitter is not having to move your sleepy children back to the room. If you’re lucky, when you come back they’ll be snoozing away. For more information, call 800-696-8105.
- Disney World Quick Tip – How to Get the Best Seat (chipandco.com)
- Disney World Quick Tips – Snack Credits. (chipandco.com)