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andee515
05-03-2011, 08:19 AM
We are planning our 5th trip to Disney with our children who will be 11, 7 and 5 at the time. My husband and I wanted to have an evening at EPCOT together.In 10 years we have maybe been out 5 times together without the children so this will be something special. We were looking at using the kid's club at the POLY and I had a few questions.

1) How has your experiences been with the kids clubs? Staff pretty awesome? our youngest is autistic and nonverbal, but pretty easy to take care of, his sisters will keep him directed and he does very well with different environments.

2) How far ahead can you reserve ( we aren't going till Oct 2012, so plenty of time)

3) When you pay do they just put it on your room tab? Do you usually tip beyond the cost, it will be just under $300 for the night.

thanks:lovestruc

Redheaded Sunshine
05-03-2011, 08:32 AM
As a parent of a child who is autistic as well, albeit verbal, I WOULD NOT leave him with the kids club, even with the assistance of his older siblings. I have no idea how many kids they allow but I would imagine it would get crazy in there. What if he has a meltdown, by the time the staff would think to call you it could be VERY out of control and traumatic and his siblings may or may not be able to calm him down. Then you've still got 15-30 minutes of travel time to get back to him.

I COMPLETELY understand wanting to have a night out, but what I would be more inclined to do is look into the babysitting service that they have at Disney. Maybe they have folks with some more specialized training and maybe they can have a fun pizza night and a movie? :goodvibes (they have the movies on the beach at Poly)

I think they start reserving kids club 6 months out.

Claire&TheBoys
05-03-2011, 09:48 AM
You might consider the Sandcastle Club at the Beach Club Resort, since you want to go to Epcot. You would be close by should you need to get back. Also, trying to maximize the 'value' of the time you have while leaving your kids in the kids' club, I want to be close to my destination, not paying for time that I'm getting where I'm going, you know? We're planning to leave our kids at Sandcastle Club on our next trip so we can enjoy browsing World Showcase, seeing the shows, without the kids saying, "can we go back to Test Track?"

You know your son best and if you think he'll be fine with your other kids there with him, enjoy a night out.

They do take reservations 6 months in advance.

lucyem
05-03-2011, 10:13 AM
My kids BEG for the kids clubs. They have been to both the Sandcastle club at the BC and Simba's at AKL. They are presently 5 & 9, my 5 yr old stayed at the Sandcastle club at age 4. He is delayed and has some comprehension, speech and learning issues. We were concerned with his being with strangers and lots of other kids but he loved it. 3 out of 4 times at the clubs there have only been a few kids. Once when we dropped off it was busy but was quiet when we got back. But we have never seen one full.

I totally agree with Claire&TheBoys about looking into the Sandcastle club. It is a couple minute walk right outside the World Showcase. If you were needed you could pop right over there much more easily then you could get back to the Poly. Another thought is waiting until closer to your trip to make the reservation and seeing what night might have the least amount of kids.

In the past I was only able to reserve a kids club 90 days out but that may have changed. Often we just call when we are already at WDW. We reserve with a credit card and that is what they charge to. I would expect you could charge it to your room card too. No you do not tip. Dinner for the kids is included.

beebeeryan
05-03-2011, 10:23 AM
Haven't used the Kids Club yet, we almost did last summer, but then changed plans. I would agree with using the one closest to where you are going, just incase. But with 3 kids it might actually be a better bargain to use Kids Night Out, the babysitting service Disney recommends. They come right to your resort and do activities with the kids they will not however take them swimming. Good thing is, kids might just be in bed sleeping by the time you get back:)

LilGMom
05-03-2011, 12:04 PM
We haven't used one yet but plan on using the Sandcastle Club on our next trip for an evening at EPCOT. We stopped in to check it out two months ago and my kids were begging to be left there. There were four CMs in there and two children. From what I saw there were various video game systems, a stand-up arcade type game, books, arts & crafts, dress-up area and a movie area which was a room off to the side with a large screen tv with bean bags and it was a little darker in there. From what we were told (and going on my memory), when you check your child in you decide what they are going to get for dinner (some of the choices were peanut butter/jelly, chicken nuggets, & grilled cheese - there were others but I can't remember them), the club gets a contact number for you and you can go over any concerns or issues at that time. I'm not sure about tipping since there are a few CMs working and it is possible that the CM that was there when you dropped your child off might have already left by the time you get back so you might end up tipping someone that had little to no interaction with your child(ren).

Check Childcare Options (http://www.wdwinfo.com/just_for_kids/childcare.htm) for some info on the various clubs.

Grace&Carolinesmom
05-03-2011, 12:52 PM
I have 2 DDs with the youngest being in the autism spectrum--but verbal. We have used Fairy Godmothers for in-room babysitting(when girls were 8 & 6), Poly's Neverland Club (DDs were 10 & 8), and BC's Sandcastle Club (DDs were 11 & 9). At the time of year we were there (springtime about 2 weeks after Easter) the clubs were not busy at all and only had 3-6 other kids besides my own.

Fairy Godmothers was great for in-room and even gave us a very "special" fairy godmother who is a retired school teacher. She brought games and coloring books w/crayons, etc.

Neverland Club was FABULOUS! Very well themed with LOTS of activities and games and movies. I was so worried but girls had such a great time that they begged to go back so we changed our family dinner plans later in the trip to send them back to the club and Dh and I had a 2nd date night:goodvibes

Sandcastle Club was also fun for the girls but was geared slightly more for the older kids IMO. More video gamiing systems.

With all that said, you know your child best. My DD's meltdowns were more numerous in MY presence than when others were taking care of her and she does well when there is lots of entertainment that keeps her occupied. Her older sister is wonderful at helping her thru her frustrations and redirecting her--she has learned well;)

We have the added worry of DD also having some severe food allergies but both clubs were great with that as well. I specifically remember Neverland Club attaching allergy warning bracelets on DD to remind staff.

I agree with PPs. We had our date nights close by for "just in case." I highly reccomend Narcoossee's at GF. Great food, a little more adult-ish, and the walk back to the Poly along the beach watching the MK fireworks is very romantic:love: We also really enjoyed a date night to Artist Point but Narcoossee was our fav!

Good luck and feel free to pm me if you have any extra ???s

andee515
05-03-2011, 12:59 PM
thanks for info everyone! :hug:

We are still over a year out, so a lot can change with my little one, but he's been going to school for 2 years ( he is 4 and 1/2) and although he is nonverbal he is otherwise pretty high functioning and deals with changes in environment and stimulus very well. He is relatively independent, he's main problem is he may or may not listen to instruction (usually not...:rotfl:), so I think a play area that is confined (limited access in and out) is a perfect set up for him. I think he and his sisters will be happier there than in a hotel room for 7-8 hours.
I will have to do a search and look and the other kids clubs. I would be interested in people's experiences with clubs on the monorail or epcot area. We will probably be staying at the BLT(possibly Poly), but had seen the POLY club and had heard good reviews and figured we could get the kids via monorail on way back. Don't wanna say money is no concern, that would be fibbing, but an extra 1 hour or so of peace and quiet on the monorail in transit ,I think would fall within affordable for us.:goodvibes and if we would be needed back quick we could always take a taxi.

Carrie in AZ
05-03-2011, 05:12 PM
Our girls stayed at the Sandcastle Clue in Nov. 2008 and will do so again in June. It was FABULOUS!

If you are going to EPCOt, I would definitely choose this kids club. You could drop them off and be on your way to the WS in a jiffy! And, if anything went wrong, you could be back to your kids in a flash.

Our girls had soooo much fun there! I thought the CMs were great.

We've also used Kids Night Out and had a sitter come to our room/resort at POR when our girls were 6.5 and 2.5 -- they loved her and it was also a wonderful experience!

Good luck!

kamikazecat
05-03-2011, 11:01 PM
We used both the Neverland Club at the Poly and the Mousketeer Club at the Grand Floridian last summer for our 4yo and he loved both of them. I know we booked both reservations at 180 days out (this was during the summer so we figured they would be packed). At the Neverland Club he was one of five kids and at the Mousketeer Club he was the only one there all night and had a blast having the full attention of both the CMs. :lmao:

This year we are trying the Cubs Den and the Sandcastle club. :thumbsup2

C&G'sMama
05-04-2011, 05:23 AM
We are planning our 5th trip to Disney with our children who will be 11, 7 and 5 at the time. My husband and I wanted to have an evening at EPCOT together.In 10 years we have maybe been out 5 times together without the children so this will be something special. We were looking at using the kid's club at the POLY and I had a few questions.

1) How has your experiences been with the kids clubs? Staff pretty awesome? our youngest is autistic and nonverbal, but pretty easy to take care of, his sisters will keep him directed and he does very well with different environments.

2) How far ahead can you reserve ( we aren't going till Oct 2012, so plenty of time)

3) When you pay do they just put it on your room tab? Do you usually tip beyond the cost, it will be just under $300 for the night.

thanks:lovestruc

My children are DD 11 and DS 8, he is verbal Aspergers. We are going to WDW at the end of the month and they will be going to the Neverland Club. This will be their 3rd stay there. It has never been crowded. Staff is great. As long as he doesn't need any special assistance and it doesn't sound like he does, I wouldn't hesitate to use the kids club.

I have heard good things about the Sand Castle Club too. We were going to take the kids there but we want to be out late this time and will be closer to the Neverland Club.

I can't remember about putting on the tab or not.

As for the cost, we just got a voucher with our vacation package for 15% off if we use a "Children's Activity Center" which is what they call them now. We were going to use the club anyway, this was just a nice little bonus (now if I can just remember to pack the voucher:rolleyes1

DisMomAmy
05-04-2011, 06:35 AM
Great thread! Both of our boys are on the spectrum (will be 8 & 10 - Asperger's & PDD-NOS/verbal). We are visiting WDW for our 15th anniversary in November and want to use a kids club for the first time so DH & I can get away for an anniversary dinner. We're on the fence about the Sand Castle Club or the one at the Dolphin. We are going to be eating at Shula's so the Dolphin kids club would be free but I can't find too much about it. We might be more comfortable paying for the Sand Castle Club because I've read a lot of great things about it & the CMs who work there - specifically regarding autism.

I would definitely agree with what one of the previous posters said about using the kids club that will be closest to where you want to go that night. I know I'd feel better being nearby - just in case.