Disney isn’t just for kids. If you want some grown-up time during your family vacation, there are a few ways you can ditch your kids to make that happen!
If your kids old enough, you can let them go on their own. But for those of you with younger kids, here are 3 ways to ditch your kids and still be able to say you’re a responsible parent.
Now for those that might be thinking: “Why would you take your kids all the way to Walt Disney World and want to ditch them?” There are many reasons.
- Date Night
- Do a bar/lounge crawl
- Drink “around the world” at Epcot
- runDisney race
- Special backstage tour or experience
These are just some of the things that you’d probably want to ditch your kids for. So how can you do that?
Plan A: B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Babysitter)
Convincing a friend or relative to come with you to Walt Disney World shouldn’t be hard. That being said, we can tell you from personal experience that it isn’t always easy. But it’s not beneath us to beg, lay on the guilt, or even employ Bella and Jackson to put their adorable faces to work in an effort to bring a babysitter when we know we’ll need one. Bella is one responsible 10 year old, but we’re not about to leave her on her own or in charge of her little brother away from home.
In case you are wondering, Disney’s policy is that no child under 14 can enter its theme parks or waterparks without being accompanied by someone over 14.
This is always our first option because it offers flexibility to plan your escape anytime during your trip, day or night. Plus, it is great to get to enjoy Disney with even more family and friends. Lisa’s mom joined us on our last trip. That enabled us to have a night out alone AND run the Princess Half Marathon.
If that sounds like too much work and you’d rather pay some cash for someone to watch your kids for while at Disney… you can do that too.
Plan B: Children’s Activity Centers
If your kids are between 3 and 12 years old, and are potty-trained, ditch them by dropping them off at a Children’s Activity Center. And no, you don’t have to be a Disney Resort guest to take advantage of this. They’ll take any paying customer.
There are 4 Children’s Activity Centers at Walt Disney World.
- Simba’s Clubhouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (4:30pm-Midnight)
- Sandcastle Club at Disney’s Beach Club Resort (4:30pm-Midnight)
- Lilo’s Playhouse at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (4:30pm-Midnight)
- Camp Dolphin at Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel (5pm-Midnight)
*The Cubs Den at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is closed due to construction. Rumor is that it will not re-open.
I love that each of these activity centers is located near the best places for a night out at Walt Disney World.
Simba’s Clubhouse and Camp Dolphin will run you $15 an hour per child with a 2-hour minimum. Lilo’s Playhouse and Sandcastle Club charge a flat rate of $55 per child which makes them a better deal if you want to leave your kids for at least 4 hours. Each location includes dinner, which is served around 6pm. Reservations are recommended for Simba’s, Lilo’s and the Sandcastle Club. Reservations are required for Camp Dolphin.
We ditched our kids at the Cubs Den so we could celebrate our anniversary without them. In our opinion, doing so is the perfect way to have a date night at Disney. The kids enjoyed themselves and we were able to have a great time knowing they were safe and having fun. We’ll just have to choose a different activity center for the next date night.
The activity centers are great options, but what if you have a child under 3, a child who isn’t potty-trained, or want to ditch your kids during the day? There’s one more option.
Plan C: Kids Nite Out
This is the one option we’ve yet to use, but we keep it in our back pocket just in case. The fact that Disney recommends this service is enough for us to consider using it in cases where plans A and B are not feasible.
You can hire a Kids Nite Out babysitter to come to your resort room armed with age appropriate activities and watch your kids while you have some adult time.
Under 3? no problem. Disney’s site says 6 months to 12 years old. But the Kids Nite Out site says they will watch kids as young as 3 weeks all the way up to 18 years old. They can even accommodate children with special needs. Babysitters are available any time of day. That makes them a popular option for runDisney participants looking for someone to watch their kids at 3am so they can get to the starting line.
There are many positive testimonials on their site and mostly positive reviews on Yelp. One of our friends, Kimberly at Magical Memories with the Mouse, has used Kids Nite Out about a dozen times.
My son is mildly autistic and can’t handle many hours in the parks so Kids Nite Out stays with him in the room while my husband and I go out. – Kimberly
As far as rates, they charge $18 an hour for 1 child, $21 for two children, $24 for three, and $26 for four kids. After 9pm, it’s $2 more per hour. There’s also a one-time transportation fee of $10. There can also be upcharges for holidays, and they don’t provide meals like the kids clubs do.
- online reservation form
- 407-828-0920 (Disney phone #)
Our wallets are thankful that we haven’t had to use this option yet, but it’s good to know that this service is available.
So, that’s how you ditch your kids at Disney! The question now is… what in the world will you be ditching them for? Let us know what you’d ditch your kids for in the comments below!