People’s reluctance to leave their children in the care of strangers is understandable. It requires a leap of faith and trust on the part of the parents, particularly if they’re traveling to a place as special as Disney World.
But there are quite a few good reasons to consider it. For one thing, you get some alone time with your partner. If you go to Disney World as a couple, or even as a group of friends without kids, that’s an opportunity for some undistracted time together without any small people clamoring for attention.
And even if you have children yourself, that time can be precious when you’re faced with thousands of other people and hundreds of attractions competing for your children’s attention. If you have kids who are old and mature enough to stay home alone without supervision, then this may not be such an issue for you.
But many parents don’t feel comfortable leaving young children unsupervised at home, let alone in a hotel room hundreds or thousands of miles from home. That would mean either skipping Disney World entirely as long as they were still too young to stay by themselves, or waiting until all their kids were old enough to take care of themselves (which could take years).
It often leaves tourists wondering if Disney offers sitting services for younger kids. Let’s find out here.
Does Disney World Offer Babysitting?
If you’ve ever visited Disney World with young children, you know that it’s a magical experience. But it can also be exhausting. If you’ve got kids who fall asleep in the stroller, or who are happy to spend time in a play area, then you’re all set.
But if you have kids who don’t nap and need constant supervision, you’re going to need some time to relax and recharge — which means hiring a babysitter.
Disney World does offer sitting services for younger kids, but not in the way you might think. Disney World doesn’t exactly offer in-room babysitting like some resorts or hotels do.
Instead, Disney offers child care centers that are great for families traveling with kids aged three months to 12 years old.
These in-park child care centers are called (Child Activity Centers). They’re located at the main resorts on Disney property and they have cool names like Never Land Club and Simba’s Cubhouse.
Each Child Activity Center has a room just for infants and one for toddlers and preschoolers. Some of them have rooms just for school-age kids too. All of them are staffed by trained counselors who are great with kids and can even give your little ones a snack or meal if needed.
Disney does not offer babysitting services for adults to have a night out on their own. However, there are several options for parents looking to get some alone time during their Disney vacation. These include:
Disney In-Room Babysitting with Kids Nite Out
Disney World is one of the most fun places on earth – but only when your kids are having fun too! When they aren’t, you might as well be in purgatory – or worse, stuck on a long flight with no end in sight. This is why many parents who visit Disney World like to take at least one night away from the kids so they can enjoy some adult time together.
For those lucky enough to be able to afford it (and have someone trustworthy watch their kids), this means hitting a theme park for dinner and an evening of rides or an adults-only dinner show such as Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue (see our review here). However, not everyone wants to leave their kids alone in their hotel room all night.
That’s where Kid’s Nite Out comes in. For children, Disney World childcare services are called Kid’s Nite Out, and they’re run by a company that has been in operation since 1989. They employ over 300 active babysitters who are licensed, insured, and bonded. The babysitters are all CPR certified, and must pass a 4-hour training program before they’re allowed to work with children.
Kid’s Nite Out provides three different services: in-room babysitting, theme park sitting (where your child can stay at one of the theme parks while you go off on your own), and hourly sitting in your hotel room or another location.
Prices start at $25 per hour for one child, $28 per hour for two children, and $31 per hour for three or more. You must also pay a transportation fee of $12 per trip. There’s a four-hour minimum charge. You can hire them by the night if you need someone overnight.
Camp Dolphin Disney World Kids’ Club
Camp Dolphin offers supervised activities for kids in their own private area of the Dolphin Hotel, separate from the main hotel lobby and pool area.
When you book a stay at the Walt Disney World Swan or Dolphin Hotel, you have the option of adding on a Camp Dolphin package to your room rate. The cost is $12 per hour per child, with minimums of three hours (from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.) and four hours (9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.).
Camp Dolphin has several different activity rooms designed for kids of different ages, including a nursery room for toddlers age 3 and under. Trained counselors lead the children in fun-filled activities like arts and crafts projects, themed games and scavenger hunts, with snacks provided throughout the evening.
Theme Park Nanny & Disney In-Park Assistance
This company provides in-park babysitting services as well as nannies who will stay at your hotel room. They don’t just watch your kids, they make sure they have a great time, too.
The sitters are all CPR and first aid certified and the company does background checks on all of them. You can even request the same sitter for the entire trip so that you know your children are with someone you trust. The sitters are available from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m., which is great for those nights when you want to have dinner or go see one of the nighttime shows at Disney World.
The prices for this service are reasonable, but there are still some restrictions that might prevent you from using it. Since all of the nannies are independent contractors, they set their own rates, so prices vary from sitter to sitter. Another thing to note is that the company requires a 3-hour minimum booking time per day, so if you’re just looking for an hour or two here and there, this isn’t the right fit for you.
Theme Park Nannies also offers in-park assistance if you’re traveling with someone who needs extra assistance. You may be traveling with a disabled person or elderly parent who needs accompaniment on rides that are handicap accessible but still require some help getting in and out of rides. This service will allow you to get more done during your day without worrying about leaving anyone behind.
Disney World’s Kids-Only Activities
Disney World offers plenty of child-only activities to give you a break from the little ones and help you take a more grown-up approach to your vacation. From daycare options to activities for kids, there are plenty of ways for parents to get some alone time during their stay in the land of Mickey Mouse.
Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew
Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew is a party for kids ages 4 to 12 who want to set sail on a high seas adventure and live like real pirates.
The journey starts with a pirate makeover at The Pirates League in Adventureland, complete with face paint and an official pirate bandanna and coin. Your kids will also be given a sword and eye patch before they’re sworn in as official pirates.
Once the transformation is complete, a group of pirate entertainers will take your children through various activities, including sword fighting, dancing and treasure hunting. Kids are encouraged to use their newfound skills during the voyage to help them capture the pirate flag and find the hidden treasure.
Pirate Adventure Cruises
You might not have been able to find Neverland as a kid, but you can always become a pirate instead. The Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage is a cruise around Disney’s Seven Seas Lagoon that lets kids get in on the pirate action while they sail off into the sunset. When they return to shore, they’ll watch the fireworks displays at Magic Kingdom Park and be treated to special souvenirs and snacks.
Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park Fare
This special tea party is held on select days at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Children can sip on milk and orange juice while they snack on a buffet of fruit, pastries and finger sandwiches, such as strawberry cream cheese, cucumber and chicken salad. They’ll also get to meet Alice, the Mad Hatter and other characters from “Alice in Wonderland.” Reservations are required.
The Bottom Line
Traveling with your kids can be a magical experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime. But sometimes it’s nice to get a little break from the non-stop, child-focused nature of family travel. If you’re looking for a few hours of adult time during your next Disney vacation, consider booking some time with one of Disney’s childcare services.
Disney World offers a number of babysitting options, and they’re not just limited to theme parks. You can also book in-room childcare at your hotel or resort. Camp Dolphin is another option, which involves poolside fun while parents enjoy some time at the spa or some other adult activity.