Babysitting and childcare options at Disney World

by Heather Thomas 2 comments Like the Facebook page

Planning a date night (or even a date day!) at Disney World and need somebody to watch the kids? No worries; Disney has you covered.

From activity centers to in-room babysitting, there are several different childcare options at Disney World to choose from.

Lets take a look...

Children's Activity Centers

Some of the Deluxe Resorts have kids clubs (Disney calls them Children's Activity Centers) where your kids can go spend a few hours and play and eat. Each activity center is themed around its location and while they are very similar, the reservation requirements, costs and offerings vary.

Here are the details on each:

Simba's Clubhouse

  • Location: first floor of Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Closest park: Animal Kingdom
  • Cost: $15/hour, 2 hour minimum for 1 child; 2 children -$25/hour; 3 or more - $35/hour (note: children must be siblings in order to qualify for the discount)
  • Hours of operation: 4:30 pm - 11:55 pm
  • Activities available: Free-play including board and video games, crafts, a variety of toys and Disney movies
  • Are there any discounts? Guests dining at Boma, Jiko or Sanaa restaurants and guests on the Starlight Safari Tour receive the first hour of childcare free with a valid receipt. Guests participating in the Wanyama Safari Tour are charged a flat rate of $35 for the length of the tour. Note - you must present a valid receipt in order to receive a discount.
  • Ages allowed: 3-12, fully potty-trained (no pull-ups allowed)
  • Are meals served? Yes. Guests can have their meals at any time during their stay. No outside food allowed.
  • Booking information: Call (407) 939-3463 to reserve a spot up to 180 days in advance. Walk-ins are welcome based on availability.

Sandcastle Club

childcare options at Disney World

  • Location: lobby of the Beach Club resort
  • Closest park(s): Hollywood Studios and Epcot
  • Cost: $55/child (plus tax) for the entire evening (this fee includes dinner)
  • Hours of operation: 4:30 pm - 11:55 pm
  • Activities available: Free-play as well as organized activities including learning how to make cookies, pirate training and science experiments as well as visits from favorite Disney characters.
  • Are there any discounts? no
  • Are meals served? Yes. Dinner is served at 6:00 pm and a snack is served at 10:00 pm. No outside food allowed.
  • Booking information: Call (407) 939-3463 to reserve a spot up to 180 days in advance. Walk-ins are welcome based on availability.

Lilo's Playhouse

  • Location: Polynesian
  • Closest park(s): Magic Kingdom and Epcot
  • Cost: $55/child (plus tax) for the entire evening (this fee includes dinner)
  • Hours of operation: 4:30 pm - 11:55 pm
  • Activities available: Free-play as well as organized activities including learning how to make cookies, pirate training and science experiments as well as visits from favorite Disney characters.
  • Are there any discounts? no
  • Are meals served? Yes. Dinner is served at 6:00 pm and a snack is served at 10:00 pm. No outside food allowed.
  • Booking information: Call (407) 939-3463 to reserve a spot up to 180 days in advance. Walk-ins are welcome based on availability.

Camp Dolphin

  • Location: Dolphin hotel, first floor
  • Closest park(s): Hollywood Studios and Epcot
  • Cost: $12 per hour, per child. A kids meal from Picabu can be included for an additional $10.
  • Hours of operation: 5:00 pm-midnight
  • Activities available: Free-play, Disney movies, games and arts and crafts
  • Are there any discounts? Guests dining at Shula's Steak House, Todd English's Bluezoo or Il Mulino New York Trattoria or guests receving spa services at Mandara Spa receive up to 2 free hours at Camp Dolphin with valid receipt. Note: One child admitted free per adult entree ordered or 75 minute spa treatment.
  • Are meals served? Yes, but it costs $10 extra. No outside food allowed.
  • Booking information: Reservations required. Call (407) 934-4241 to check on availability.

Kid's Nite Out babysitters
kidsniteout

This service provides babysitters that function much like nannies who can be available when and where you need them. You can also hire them to be helpers if you need an extra set of adult hands for your trip.

Here are the details:

  • Available 24/7
  • Sitters are all 18+, insured and bonded, have hands-on training and child-care experience, including child/infant CPR and basic first aid
  • Children 6 months to 12 years old can be cared for
  • $18/hour for 1 child, $21/hr for 2 children, $24/hr for 3 children, and $26/hr for 4 children. After 9 p.m., an additional $2/hr fee is added. $10 transportation fee will be charged with every reservation.
  • 4 hour minimum
  • Activities are provided like books, games, arts and crafts
  • Kid's Night Out recommends you make reservations 2 weeks to 30 days in advance by calling  1-800-696-8105, extension 0.

Get more info on the Kid's Nite Out website.

Final thoughts on your childcare options at Disney World

With so many choices you should be able to find something that will appeal to your child and be convenient for you. As you narrow down your choices, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to choosing childcare options at Disney World:

  • Children's Activity Centers are best suited for people who only need a couple of hours in the evening, potty trained kids, families with 1 child, parents who are nervous about having a sitter in their room or who want alone time in the room without the kids.
  • Kid's Nite Out babysitters are best suited for families with small children who can't attend kids clubs, people who need a sitter outside of the hours offered by the kids clubs, families with multiple children (less expensive than kids clubs), people who need care for 4+ hours.

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Have you ever tried using one of the childcare options at Disney World? Tell us about it in the comments below.