Next time you plan a trip to Disney World, consider having a grown-up night out and leaving the kids with a sitter. You can hire an in-room sitter from several services in the area or you can use one of Disney’s on-site childcare centers. A few weeks ago, I went down to Disney World with my oldest son, who is eight-years old. Since I was going to be meeting up with friends in the area one night, I made arrangements to drop him off at The Neverland Club in the Polynesian Resort, right on the Magic Kingdom monorail. After showing him pictures of the club, which features rooms themed along the children’s classic tale Peter Pan, he was thrilled about going. In fact, he asked about it everyday of the trip.
Disney kids clubs are located at several of the deluxe resorts: The Cub’s Den at the Wilderness Lodge, Simba’s Cubhouse at Animal Kingdom Lodge, The Mouseketeer Club at the Grand Floridian, The Sandcastle Club at the Yacht and Beach Club, and The Never Land Club at the Polynesian. You can drop off children ages 3 to 12 between the hours of 4:00 and midnight (some clubs open at 4:30). Specially themed rooms, activities, crafts, games and meals are provided. Children must be potty trained. There’s a two hour minimum; cost is $11.50 per hour. You don’t need to be a Disney resort guest but reservations are recommended.
The cast members at the kids clubs are great at finding activities your kids will like and making sure that kids get included in all the fun. My son liked being able to order from the “menu” that they give your child when he checks in and he enjoyed playing with another little boy as well as doing arts and crafts. Like a lot of kids, he didn’t want to leave. He’s already told me that he wants to take his little brother and sister with him next time.
I think the kids’ clubs work best for people going out for a quick night, say two to three hours. While they’re open until midnight, it’s hard to bring a tired, cranky kid back to your resort that late, so if you need longer hours or more flexible times (such as during the day), I recommend having an in-room sitter. Similarly, in-room sitters are going to be more economical if you have more than two children. Finally, while children as young as three are allowed in the kids’ clubs, I probably wouldn’t drop off a child younger than five since the toys and games all seem to be geared toward slightly older children.
To make a reservation for The Neverland Club or other Disney kids’ clubs, call 407-WDW-DINE. Your time slot will be secured with a credit card.