Disney cruises truly do have something for everyone, and my daughter Emma Kat loved the kid’s clubs! This post is an in-depth look at the Disney Wonder Kid’s clubs and what we liked (and would change) about them.
The Oceaneer Lab and Oceaneer Club are connected with a “secret passageway” and kids can go back and forth between the two unless there is an “open house” on one side. Then any kids checked in without adults present for open house are secured on one side. Emma Kate seemed to enjoy two area the most: The Frozen themed area and the Toy Story themed “Andy’s room” area. She legit went down the slinky dog slide about 1,000 times.
Yes, they have tablets for the kids to play on, which I get, but I was like… ok kid, you can do that anytime, go play with the cool toys you don’t normally have!
As I mentioned, Andy’s room was a huge hit, Bobby and I even got roped into going down the slide!
Throughout the day, there will be scheduled programing like making slime, cooking, becoming a deputy with Woody and Jessie, or hanging out with Anna and Elsa. When your kids are in the club during one of these scheduled activities they do NOT have to participate. The only thing I hate is that parents can’t be in there unless it’s open house, so we didn’t get to see Emma Kate meet Anna and Elsa or get any photos. We did get to see Timon during open house though!
The bathrooms are super cute and kid sized, a pro tip is to show your kids where they are during open house so they aren’t running around at the last minute when they need to go trying to find it.
Check in procedures:
When your child wants to be dropped off at the kids club, they will scan their magic band and go in to either the club or the lab, at any time during operating hours. If there is anything you would like to tell the cast member checking them in, you can do so at that time.
Your child will then be asked to wash their hands at a hand washing station at check in before they go play.
You must keep your wave phone with you at all times, as this is how the clubs will communicate with you if there is an issue or if your child would like to be picked up. (It also works on the DCL app but I found there was a delay in it).
Pick up procedures
When you go to pick your child up, you go to the club or lab and show your key card. You must also say a special password that you have set up ahead of time, and I always had my ID with me as well.
They will then tell you which section your child is in, will give you a hand wipe and let you in to go get your child. You acnnot bring food or drinks in but they allow you to leave them at the counter until you come back.
Once you get your child they have to scan their magic band to get out and the doors will open so you can leave with them. We felt very safe leaving EK there since you have to have your card, ID and know the password. Plus the magic band acts as a tracker so their whereabouts are known at all times.
Meals were also provided at the clubs, however we only did this a couple of times because I know my child, and if given the choice to eat or play, she’s going to eat, and the cast members won’t force them to eat. (I DO force her, so it worked out better for her to eat with us most days.)
However at dinner (we are main seating) I would bring her up once she finished her meal because she was bored and then we could enjoy the rest of our meal without her whining. At the late seating, they have a cast member come to the dining room and will pick up any children that want to go to the club so you don’t have to leave the table.
What would I change
There are a couple of things I would change about the clubs, first being a note in their file after meals letting the parents know if they ate or not and how much. It’s hard to ask a barely 4 year old what they ate and how much.
The next thing is probably the biggest one, and that is any time the kid says “I want my mom” they will call you to come pick them up. For our family, this wasn’t good because Emma Kate goes to school all day and doesn’t have the OPTION of me being at her beck and call. Once she realized all she had to do was say the word and we would come running, she did it all. the. time. To tell us the slide was closed. To tell us she fell down. To tell us she wanted to see M
After this happening a few times, we asked them to make a note in her file to only call us if she was bleeding or sick. We wanted to be clear that she was fine and was just playing games with us. We also had a talk with Emma Kate and told her she wouldn’t get to come back if she kept doing this. She finally took the hint and we got very few calls/texts the rest of the trip.
One thing they will do is if you tell them you are going to be at PALO, they will make a note so that they won’t call unless necessary. So we were like…why can’t we do this all the time not just when we are at PALO? Heh. So if you are like us and don’t want your kid to be able to call you every 5 seconds, you will have to let the CM know and ask them to make a note in the file.
Other than those minor things, we absolutely loved the club. It was great for everyone because she got to do fun things, make friends, see characters, and get energy out and Bobby and I were able to have some time alone on our vacation. How often did she go? Probably for a couple of hours during the day
Overall we had an amazing experience and were so thankful she loved them and begged us to go back every day.
*These clubs are for kids ages 3 and up that are potty trained. They are included in the price of your cruise, and you child is given a magic band upon check in that they wear the whole cruise. You can return it at the end or keep it for a fee.