It’s true that a visit to Walt Disney World is certainly a family affair and naturally you’ll want to spend most of your visit to the Mouse enjoying the theme parks and resorts with your little ones. However, its nice every once in a while to have a bit of down time. I travel regularly with an eight year old and I find that allowing her to branch off and have some “me time” is a fun-filled way of letting my family take a bit of a “time-out” during those busy Disney days. Walt Disney World, offers handful of fun “Kids Only” activities that are perfect at fostering your children’s sense of independence and giving mom and dad a breather. Try one out during your next visit.
1. Wonderland Tea Party – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa- (pictured above) Happening during the day from 1:30pm to around 2:45pm, your children can this “kids only” event hosted by Alice and the Mad Hatter. It’s open to children between the ages of 4-12 years old and each party can accommodate around 20 children. The kids get to enjoy tea (that tastes an awful lot like juice) as well as some tasty snacks and join in the fun as they’re led through songs, games and other fun activities. There is a photographer on hand to capture the magic and when my daughter went they created their own gorgeously decorated teacups and saucers which were signed by Alice and the Mad Hatter – making a wonderful keepsake. The cost is $42.60 per child and reservations can be made via My Disney Experience or by calling 407.WDW.DINE. During this time grown-ups can enjoy a stroll around the grounds of the Grand Floridian, visit the shops, enjoy a Spa treatment or even hop the monorail for a tour around Walt Disney World.
2. Pirate Adventure Cruises – This kids only swashbuckling adventures take place at a few Walt Disney World Resorts. Suitable for children between the ages of 4-12, the ships sail each morning at 9:30 am and the adventure lasts about 2hrs. The pirate crews don bandannas, board their pirate ship and embark on one of 4 cruises complete with tall tales and buried treasure. Each resort offers a a distinct adventure and they are as follows:
- Disney Pirate Adventure at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Sailing every Monday through Saturday.
- Islands of the Caribbean at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort sailing every Sunday, Tuesday and Friday.
- Albatross Treasure Cruise embarking from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
A snack is included in the cost. Guests do not need to be staying at the resort to take part. Adults must bring ID and sign their children in at the marina at their resort of choice. Adults should try and return slightly earlier than the designated pick-up time as you’ll get to watch the final stages of your little corsair’s hunt for buried treasure. So, be sure to have your cameras at the ready. Again, the two-hour window is a great time for grown-ups to do some shopping, have breakfast or (in this mom’s case) squeeze in a ride on the Haunted Mansion! The cost is $39 – $49. Advance booking is highly recommended. Contact your travel agent or phone Disney at 407-939-7529.
3. Children’s Activity Centers – For parents looking to spend an evening out at the parks, go for a romantic meal or just indulge in some alone time without the little ones, Walt Disney World’s Children’s Activity Centers provide an ideal solution. As a matter of fact, last time I used this service for my child, she cried because she didn’t want to leave. If you’ve ever cruised with Disney before, the Children’s Activity Centers are quite similar to the Oceaneer Clubs. You arrange to drop your children off at a designated time and they’ll get to enjoy meals, activities, games, movies and a few Disney surprises while you enjoy your night on the town. Walt Disney World currently has four different Children’ Activity Centers at the following locations:
- Simba’s Cubhouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Lilo’s Playhouse at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Sandcastle Club at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Camp Dolphin at Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
Two of these centers (Lilo’s Clubhouse and Sandcastle Club) even offer premium experiences where children can enjoy awesome activities like making volcanoes, learning culinary skills at the Ratatouille Cooking School or brushing up on pirating skills from none other than Captain Hook himself. Centers are usually open from 4:3o pm – midnight. The cost s $15 per hour per child for a 2 hour minimum or $55 per child for the premium locations. Advanced reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by either contacting your travel agent or Disney directly at 407.939.3463.
4. In-Room Babysitting Service – For those preferring for their little ones to enjoy some me-time in the comfort of their resort room, Disney works with an independent childcare provider Kid’s Nite Out which offers one-to-one babysitting services directly to your Walt Disney World Resort hotel room. Kids will be able to enjoy arts and crafts, reading, playing games and other fun activities. The service is available for children between 6 months up to 12 years of age. Guests should note that the sitters will not take children outside of the guest rooms so activities like swimming, campfires or Movies Under the Stars are out of the question when using this service. The cost varies depending on the number of kids. Here’s a brief breakdown:
- 1 child will cost $18 per hour
- 2 children will cost $21 (total) per hour
- 3 children will cost $24 per hour
- 4 children will cost $26 per hour
Additional fees include a $2 charge added per hour after 9pm as well as a one-off fee of $10 to cover transportation and parking costs. Guests interested in booking the service should contact Kids Nite Out directly Monday -Friday from 8am – 9pm at 407.828.0920.
So next time you pay a visit to Walt Disney World, why not give one of these kids-only options a try!
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