Whether seeing the wonder in a child’s eyes as they meet Mickey Mouse for the first time or screaming alongside them as you careen around Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, there’s no denying a family trip to Disney can be downright magical.
But, what if you’re hoping for a little alone time while visiting Walt Disney World? Or, maybe you wish you had an extra pair of hands to help wrangle your kiddos and keep your day in the theme parks as stress-free as possible. After all, it’s your vacation too.
Luckily, with a variety of Disney World babysitting services out there to choose from, like in-room child care, hotel kids’ clubs and even theme park nannies, a relaxing trip to The Most Magical Place on Earth doesn’t have to be a fairy tale.
So, grab some paper and a pen and get your dialing/emailing fingers ready as we go over all your Disney daycare options. Then, get ready to start planning your Disney World date night – don’t worry, we have some ideas.
Does Disney World Offer Babysitting?
Sort of. Unfortunately, things have changed quite a bit over the past few years when it comes to child care at Disney World, and believe it or not, most of it has nothing to do with COVID-19.
Previously, guests had a wide array of Disney babysitting services to choose from. Children’s activity centers, Disney World’s take on kids’ clubs, were housed at a few of the deluxe hotels, like Lilo’s Playhouse at the Polynesian Village Resort and Simba’s Clubhouse at Animal Kingdom Lodge, offering kids an evening of activities and entertainment and parents a few hours of freedom.
Sadly, these Disney World daycare centers closed their doors for good back in summer 2018. Then, following in their footsteps (in both good ways and bad), the Pixar Play Zone at the Contemporary Resort provided a similar service – complete with visits from the likes of Toy Story’s Woody and Jessie – only to shutter one year later in March 2019.
Not to mention the global pandemic! Although guests are no longer required to mask up, there is much that remains on pause as a result of COVID-19 – including, unfortunately, several popular kids-only activities parents could book for an hour or two of peace.
All that being said, while there currently aren’t any official Disney World child care centers or kid-exclusive events, there are still plenty of other providers around Orlando that can help you catch a break.
So, What About Baby Care Centers?
Although we can see how the name could be confusing for some tired, hopeful parents, Disney’s Baby Care Centers aren’t somewhere you can just drop off your little one for a few hours so the grown-ups can go on thrill rides without fear of height restrictions. (That’s what rider switch is for.)
Instead, these convenient outposts offering air-conditioning, a comfortable place to sit and some other thoughtful amenities are an oasis of calm and privacy for nursing mothers and parents of young children in general. Exclusive to the parks, Baby Care Centers are located near the front of each of the Disney World theme parks next to First Aid. Just look for the pacifier on the My Disney Experience app or your theme park map.
Along with cushy seating and a TV, each Baby Care Center is outfitted with changing tables and private nursing rooms, making for an easy alternative to the crowds and lines if you need to pump, nurse a baby, change a stinky diaper or feed a cranky kiddo. You can even take advantage of a few unique offerings depending on which park you’re visiting.
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, toddlers working on their potty training can use a pint-sized flushing toilet to take care of business. And while you’re down on Main Street, U.S.A., be sure to stop into the recently renovated Magic Kingdom Baby Care Center.
Themed after Alice in Wonderland, along with whimsical touches like framed illustrations and stained-glass teapot lamps, this quaint escape is stocked with a full kitchen (bottle warmers included!), rocking chairs and even a place to buy things like formula.
Disney World Child Care: In-Room Babysitting, Kids’ Clubs & Theme Park Nannies
Whether you’re dreaming of a romantic dinner without the kids at one of Disney World’s signature restaurants or simply a helping hand as you explore the theme parks, there’s a service that can make it happen. After all, Walt Disney World is The Place Where Dreams Come True.
Disney In-Room Babysitting with Kid’s Nite Out & More
If you’re looking for some quality time without the little ones in tow, consider making arrangements for in-room babysitting. Disney World babysitters, like those with parent-tested and Disney-approved Kid’s Nite Out, come directly to your room armed with everything needed for an evening of kid-friendly friendly fun, from age-appropriate games and toys to books and arts & crafts.
So, you never need to worry about your kiddos missing out on the fun even though you aren’t in the parks. As we just mentioned, Kid’s Night Out, Disney World’s preferred child care provider, is the most well-known babysitting service, but you’ll find plenty of others with a simple search online.
Reservations are required – at least two to four weeks in advance is best, but they can be made up to three months ahead of time) – and are available to start as early as 6:30 AM (earlier during the Walt Disney World Marathon) or as late as 11 PM, with caregivers available 24/7.
Just keep in mind that should your reservation begin before 7:59 AM or after 8:59 PM, you will be subject to a $5 per hour premium. Additionally, a one-time transportation fee of $12 is required no matter when you book.
Rates for Kid’s Night Out, Orlando’s unofficial babysitter of choice for tourists, are as follows with a four-hour minimum:
- $25 per hour for one child
- $28 per hour for two children
- $31 per hour for three children
- $34 per hour for four children
- $37 per hour for five or more children
If you’re going to be traveling with especially little Disney fans, in-room babysitting is probably going to be for you. Unlike kids’ clubs like Camp Dolphin, which tend to require children to be older in order to participate, Kid’s Nite Out babysitters care for kiddos from as young as six weeks up to 12 years, as well as those with special needs.
Best of all, with Kid’s Nite Out’s stringent requirements, peace of mind is a given. Caregivers (all 18 and up) have passed extensive reference and background checks and are all first aid and CPR-certified with a background in childcare or education.
Camp Dolphin Disney World Kids’ Club
While Lilo’s Playhouse and the other Disney World children’s activity centers may be closed, you can still reserve an evening of fun for your kiddo at a different kids’ club at Disney. Club Dolphin at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin can be a great option, particularly for those staying or with a dining reservation in the EPCOT resort area. And for those who plan on exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there are also a few kids’ clubs at the Universal Orlando hotels.
Held nightly from 4 PM to 11 PM, parents can choose from either a full night of child care or just a few hours. Whichever you choose, food is provided, whether a complete meal, snack or both. And similar to in-room babysitting, Disney World’s Camp Dolphin kids’ club comes with a whole host of hands-on activities to keep your children entertained all night long, including video game consoles like Nintendo GameCube, Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Unfortunately, Camp Dolphin isn’t for the littlest Disney guests since kiddos must be between ages 5 and 12 and completely potty-trained to participate – no pull-ups allowed. And remember, unlike reserving an in-room Disney World babysitter, kids’ camp at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel is only available during the evenings.
However, if it works with your schedule and your little one is old enough, Camp Dolphin is a convenient and (bonus!) more affordable Disney daycare option. We’re talking a savings of $35 or more for a single kid over at least four hours. Here are the rates:
- Camp Dolphin All Inclusive (4 PM to 11 PM) – $85 for the first child, $65 for each additional child
- Camp Dolphin Early Evening (4 PM to 8 PM) – $65 per child
- Camp Dolphin Late Evening (8 PM to 11 PM) – $50 per child
Theme Park Nanny & Disney In-Park Assistance
What if you’re simply in need of some extra help as you navigate the park? Then you may want to enlist the aid of a theme park nanny. Unlike traditional Disney child care services, theme park nannies accompany families on their day in the theme parks.
These fairy godmothers for hire are as much theme park authorities as they are childcare experts. Recruit your Disney World nanny for assistance with wrangling kids, pushing strollers, staying organized and even doling out advice. Use them as a pseudo-Mary Poppins to help keep your vacation on track or have them lend support as needed – it’s up to you.
Disney-backed provider Kid’s Nite Out offers in-park assistance through their Mother’s/Father’s Helper service. However, you’ll also find a few other companies with a similar offering, including Theme Park Nannies and Once Upon a Nanny.
This bespoke babysitting service is customized to fit your vacation, so pricing varies. Just keep in mind that depending on your requirements and the company’s policies, you may be required to pay for your Disney nanny’s theme park admission, transportation, dining and more.
Or, Book One of Disney World’s Kids-Only Activities Instead
Looking for a more unique Disney childcare offering worthy of your family vacation? Treat your little princess or prince to a spot at one of Disney World’s special, kids-only activities. Exclusively for potty-trained young guests between ages 4 and 12, these magical experiences are like daycare on steroids (and pixie dust!).
Now, if you’re in need of a sitter for more than an hour or two, these no-adults-allowed activities probably won’t cut it. But, if you’re content with just a bit of a break, you won’t find a more memorable childcare experience for your little one than a Disney World pirate adventure or tea party for kids.
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, these child-focused activities are temporarily unavailable. However, as things continue to return to normal, we hope that at least some of them will come back soon enough.
Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew
Yo ho, yo ho, it’s a pirate’s life for your kiddo at Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew. Held nightly at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, this interactive experience immerses your pint-sized scallywag in life on the high seas, with a special visit from Captain Hook himself, from learning how to talk like a pirate to solving clues during a treasure hunt out on Crescent Lake. Finally, once back on dry land, your little one and the rest of their crew will tuck into a bounty of kid-friendly pasta.
$55 per child, 5 PM to 8:30 PM nightly, with drop-off as early as 4:30 PM
Pirate Adventure Cruises
Like Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew on a smaller, shorter and cheaper scale, Pirate Adventure Cruises let your wannabe buccaneer live out their dreams of getting out on the water and searching for treasure. These kids-only cruises – the Islands of the Caribbean Pirate Cruise and Albatross Treasure Cruise, respectively – set sail in the mornings from the marinas Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. While a full meal isn’t served, crew members do enjoy a snack and drink.
$39-$49 per child, 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM daily
Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park Fare
It’s a very merry unbirthday party for your little one and their fellow partygoers at the Wonderland Tea Party at 1900 Park Fare in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. At this whimsical soiree hosted by Alice and the Mad Hatter, guests of honor enjoy an hour of fun, with fanciful activities like cupcake decorating, craft time, photos with their Alice in Wonderland pals and, of course, sipping “tea” (apple juice).
$49 per child, 2 PM to 3 PM Monday through Friday
Have booked a babysitter at Disney World or taken your child to a hotel kids’ club? Let us know in the comments! Want to reserve child care at Disney for a night but not sure if there’s room in your travel budget? Save some cash and secure the me-time you deserve with our Disney World discount tickets.