Disney Cruise Kids Club — Here's Everything You Need to Know!

by Mommy Frog on March 18, 2024
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If you're planning a Disney Cruise and have kids in tow, we already know that you probably have a ton of questions. More specifically, you may be wondering how the Disney Cruise Kids Club works. "What exactly is a kids' club?" "Is it safe?" "What's included?" Or "How do we even start?" Don't worry momma and poppa frogs, we got you! If anything, you'll want to start getting very excited, both for the kiddos and for you! The Disney Cruise Line kids clubs might just be the secret ingredient that turns a sea voyage into a magical experience for the whole family. So, buckle up (or, more appropriately, anchor down) as we explore the ins and outs of everything you need to know about the Disney Cruise kids clubs. Let's hop in, shall we?

Disney Cruise Kids Club - Tweens testing out their roller coaster design in the Imagineering Lab

Disney Cruise Kids Club Overview

Did you know that Disney Cruise Line is the number-one-rated cruise line for families? It's true! One of the biggest reasons for this is because of the Disney Cruise kids clubs that are offered on all the ships in the fleet. Except for the "it's a small world" nursery!, the Disney Cruise kids clubs onboard are complimentary and do not require reservations. Specially trained counselors lead these top-notch immersive clubs, and it's no surprise that they are outrageously fun, engaging, and, well, magical!

Oh, and to help even more with your planning process, your favorite frogs here at Undercover Tourist now offer exclusive Disney Cruise Line savings!

To meet the needs of both families and children, Disney Cruise Line provides structured youth programs and activities. These programs are organized by specific age groups and offer tailored spaces and activities for each group. As mentioned above, all the youth programs provide supervision with specially trained Disney counselors who facilitate age-appropriate activities in all of the clubs.

Here's a breakdown of the Disney Cruise Line kids clubs:

"it's a small world" nursery! (6 months to 3 years) — a nursery providing childcare services for infants and toddlers, featuring a safe and stimulating environment with trained staff and age-appropriate activities.

Disney's Oceaneer Club (3 to 10 years) — a club offering themed play areas, interactive games and Disney character encounters for younger children. Activities are designed to cater to different age groups within this range.

Disney's Oceaneer Lab (3 to 10 years) — similar to Oceaneer Club, Oceaneer Lab provides interactive play and educational activities but with a focus on creativity and experimentation. The Oceaneer Lab and the Oceaneer Club are connected.

Edge (11 to 14 years) — a tween-exclusive space featuring high-tech entertainment, games and activities, providing a cool hangout spot for older kids.

Vibe (14 to 17 years) — a teens-only lounge where older kids can socialize, enjoy various entertainment options and participate in themed events and activities.

"it's a small world" nursery! for Infants and Toddlers

For infants and toddlers ages 6 months to 3 years old, the "it's a small world" nursery! provides both quality and convenient childcare services onboard all the ships in the Disney Cruise Line fleet.

Your baby or toddler will be well cared for and entertained by trained Disney counselors to include feeding, changing and, of course, play! Activities include games, arts and crafts, character meet-and-greets, movies and storytime. And if your little one is ready for a nap, there are cozy cribs and dimly lit quiet areas designed just for resting. For this age group, all of the activities are unscheduled and vary depending on the mood and needs of your child.

Disney Wish Cruise - "it's a small world" Nursery

Because of the personalized care and the low child-to-counselor ratio, space is extremely limited. There are typically a maximum of four infants and 16 toddlers allowed at any given time (also dependent on the number of counselors available). You must make a reservation and space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you know that you will need or want to use this service, be sure to make advance reservations as soon as you can. You can book up to 10 hours of reservations online before your sail and the booking window is based on your Castaway Club membership level.

  • Concierge & Pearl Castaway Club members — 123 days in advance
  • Platinum Castaway Club members — 120 days in advance
  • Gold Castaway Club members — 105 days in advance
  • Silver Castaway Club members — 90 days in advance
  • First-time cruisers — 75 days in advance

Reservations can be made online or in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app. You can also make reservations during the open house on embarkation day or anytime throughout your cruise, based on availability. The fee for this service is $9 an hour (subject to change).

If you need to cancel or make changes to your reservation, be sure to do that at least four hours before your reservation time to avoid any cancellation fees. You'll also want to note that the minimum reservation time is one hour.

Disney Cruise Kids Club - "it's a small world" nursery!

For babies and toddlers who eat solid foods, snacks such as crackers and juice are provided between meal times. If applicable, the following items will need to be brought along when dropping off your child:

  • Baby food, formula, milk or bottles
  • Diapers, pull-ups and diaper wipes
  • Extra clothing
  • A baby blanket (as a safety precaution, children under 12 months are not permitted to bring items other than a pacifier into a crib)
  • Pacifier

If you're anything like this mommy frog, sometimes you just need a little reassurance that your little one is doing OK. Should there be any concerns, the Disney counselors will be in contact with you via the messaging feature in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app. If you just need a sneak peek for your own peace of mind, you can do so unnoticed through a window into the nursery's main play area.

"it's a small world" nursery! Locations:

Disney's Oceaneer Club & Disney's Oceaneer Lab

The Oceaneer Club and Lab are open to children ages 3 to 10 years of age. If you have kids in this age group, this is where they'll probably want to spend most of their time! These clubs are available on all of the Disney cruise ships and the service is included in your Disney Cruise package. The best part? Reservations are not required! You can drop off and pick up your children whenever it is convenient for you and your vacation plans.

Disney Cruise Kids Club - Mickey & Minnie's Captain Deck play area

These dynamic spaces are a treasure trove of excitement and imagination. In the Oceaneer Club, young cruisers can immerse themselves in themed play areas inspired by beloved Disney characters, engaging in interactive games and activities catered to different age groups. Some of Lily's favorite activities were marshmallow Olympics, the Magic Play floor, cooking classes and Sloppy Science. (The list of scheduled activities can be found in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.)

Meanwhile, at the Oceaneer Lab, creativity takes center stage as kids explore hands-on, educational experiences and experiment with innovative projects. From crafts to interactive games, this club offers a blend of entertainment and enrichment for your little sailors. Disney's Oceaneer Club and Labs are created slightly differently on each of the Disney Cruise ships, but the design and function work the same — a variety of themed rooms branching out from the main hub. A hallway connects both the Club and Lab, allowing the tadpoles to freely explore both areas securely.

Kids Club Hours

Except for embarkation day, the operation hours for the Oceaneer Kids Club are typically from 9 a.m. until about midnight. The times can vary and may be shorter during the days at port. You can find all of the youth club operation hours in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.

The Check-in and Checkout Process

When you arrive at the club, you'll find the dedicated check-in area where youth counselors are there to assist you. To ensure security, each child will be issued an Oceaneer Band. This looks and functions similarly to a MagicBand. The check-in and checkout process is smooth and secure, as tadpoles will scan their band upon entry and exit. Linked to your child's Oceaneer Band is important info such as your child's name, age, stateroom, dietary concerns and medical information. Additionally, the RFID chip inside the band ensures that the youth counselors can pinpoint your child's location within the clubs at all times. During the initial registration, parents can indicate who can pick up their child, and a special password adds an extra layer of protection. You will also need to present your Key to World Card at every checkout to confirm your identity.

The Oceaneer Club is a very secure area. All children can check themselves into the club. However, to exit, you can rest easy. Parents must accompany kids when leaving the club. However, for a touch of independence, children ages 8 and older have the option to leave at will if their parents have granted permission in advance.

When Tad turned 10, he was in that in-between age where we knew he might not want to spend all of his time in the Oceaneer Club. Because he had a cell phone, we felt that it was safe for him to check himself out of the Oceaneer Club. This way he could hop over to other areas of the ship when he wanted a change of scene or a break from his little sister. But our rule was that he had to send us a message in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app so that we knew where he was at all times.

Disney's Oceaneer Club Locations:

Scuttle's Cove

If you'll be making a stop at Castaway Cay, Scuttle's Cove is where you'll find the kids' clubs on the island. The clubs onboard the ship will not be available until 4 p.m. (However, the clubs become an open house during this time.) Scuttle's Cove is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Exciting activities such as a "dig" and treasure hunt are just a couple of the highlights in store here. If water safety is a concern, Scuttle's Cove is located away from the shoreline. And for everyone's safety, both parents and kids need to check in and out at the front entrance.

Disney Cruise Kids Club — Tweens & Teens

The youth clubs onboard the Disney Cruise ships are inclusive for your tween or teen too! Edge is a space designed for tweens ages 11 to 14, offering a high-tech haven filled with interactive games, themed activities and a cool lounge atmosphere. Meanwhile, Vibe caters to teens ages 14 to 17, providing a trendy retreat where older kids can socialize, enjoy various entertainment options and participate in themed events. Both clubs have a unique blend of age-appropriate activities and downtime. This mix of activities allows young cruisers the option to participate in organized activities, make new friends or relax on their terms.

Edge

Kids ages 11 to 14 will find their perfect hangout at Edge. On the Magic and the Wonder, Edge can be found midship on Deck 9. On the Dream and the Fantasy, Edge is located on Deck 13 inside the forward funnel. How cool is that?! On the Wish, Edge is on Deck 5.

Vibe

Vibe is the ultimate hangout exclusively for teens ages 14 to 17. Located on Deck 5 forward on the Dream and Fantasy; and Deck 11 midship on the Magic and the Wonder; and Deck 12 on the Wish, this club is both hip and casual. The furniture is modular, letting teens create their own chill zones. The central area is a tech paradise, boasting a massive screen for movies and video games. A dance club area lets teens test their DJ skills, complete with colorful lights and a video wall. There's even a stage for talent shows and karaoke contests. Vibe also has a fountain bar serving up nonalcoholic drinks such as soda, juice, smoothies and coffee drinks.

Disney Cruises - View of Vibe seating TV area

On the Dream and Fantasy, the fun extends outside with a private deck area featuring a pool area and loungers.

For teens on the Wish, Vibe offers a stylish space inspired by a Parisian artists' loft with vibrant neon signs, funky pop art and floor-to-ceiling windows providing stunning ocean views.

The Hideaway

The Wish is the first to introduce a third posh retreat just for teens called The Hideaway. Located on Deck 12, this space is a chill hangout where older kids can kick back, enjoy a smoothie and groove to music. With a stylish dance floor and DJ booth, it's the ideal spot for karaoke contests and dance-offs. The Hideaway is decorated in a bright color scheme, retro design touches, a friendly "Hiya, pal" mural and disco ball lights for that extra flair. Since it is located next door to Vibe, it can be opened to the teen club or even reserved for guests ages 18 to 20. Be sure to check the schedule for the hip hoppenings on the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.

Chill Spa

Teens, there's a spa just for you! It's called Chill Spa and it's on Deck 11 of the Dream and Fantasy, and Deck 9 on the Magic and Wonder. You get your own space with treatment rooms, showers and a relaxing seating area. The spa offers special treatments including facials, massages, body treatments and mani-pedis, made just for guests ages 13 to 17.

Disney Cruise Kids Club FAQs

How do I register my child for the Disney Cruise Kids Club?

You can register your child during the online check-in process, at the port terminal or onboard the ship at the kids club check-in locations.

Book a cruise - Castaway Club Sign at Port Canaveral

What are the hours of operation for the Kids Clubs?

The kids' clubs open around 9 a.m. and close around midnight/1 a.m. You will find daily operation hours listed in the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.

Does my child need to be potty trained to visit the Disney Cruise Kids Clubs?

Yes, attending Disney's Oceaneer's Club, your child will need to be fully potty trained. Also, note that swim diapers are not allowed in the pool areas. Children with swim diapers are welcome to play in the splash pad areas.

Are the Kids Clubs available on Castaway Cay?

Scuttle's Cove is the kids' club location on the island. Scuttle's Cove is usually open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Onboard, the kids' clubs will open after 4 p.m. During the day it is an open house, which is a great time to check out the club and play with your kiddos if you're staying on or heading back to the ship before 4 p.m.

What about during the days at other ports? Are the kids' clubs open then?

Disney Kids Clubs are open on port days, but they may reduce or vary the hours. If you booked an excursion or plan on exploring sans the kiddos, you can leave your child at the kids club onboard. Keep in mind that you will need to have your cell phone with you, just in case the crew members need to contact you about your child.

Can older children pick up younger children from Disney's Oceaneer Club?

Parents can pre-authorize children aged 13 years and older to pick up their younger siblings from the club. You can complete this authorization during the online registration process or by visiting the club registration desk and adding the information to the younger sibling's file. Your older child will need to know the family password as well.

What about my tween and teen? Do they need to be checked in and out by a parent? 

Nope! The biggest difference here from Disney's Oceaneer Club is that kids ages 11+ can come and go as they please from either Edge or Vibe.

How will I be notified if something were to happen to my child?

The Disney youth counselors will use the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app for communication. If a child asks to be picked up, the cast member will inform you and communicate through the Onboard chat feature. They will also alert you in case of injury or illness.

My child has a disability. Can they participate in the youth clubs?

Disney Cruise Line actively provides inclusive and accommodating services for children with disabilities through its kids' clubs, although specific details may vary. The cruise line works toward creating a magical and safe environment for all children on board. The Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab offer a range of activities with Disney committed to making these experiences accessible to children of all abilities. Being fully potty trained, capable of participating individually and able to interact comfortably with peers are the current requirements for children. Disney cannot provide services to children requiring one-to-one care.

Parents should communicate their child's specific needs and preferences to the youth counselors. For further assistance, you can also contact Disney Cruise Line Special Services at (407) 566-3602 or send questions via email to [email protected].

More Hopful Disney Cruise Kids Club Tips

  • Before you book your cruise, make sure your children will be old enough to embark. Babies must be at least 6 months of age to set sail, and at least 1 year old for any transatlantic cruise. Children as young as 6 months old are welcome in the "it's a small world" nursery!
  • While most kids absolutely love the Disney Cruise kids clubs, not all will and that's toadally OK. You know your child best. If you think they (or you) will be apprehensive about being in a place without you, then be sure to have some chats beforehand to help them prepare. You can do this by discussing what to expect, talking up the exciting activities they will get to experience and watching YouTube videos about the spaces.
  • Take advantage of the family playtime in the nursery from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. This provides an opportunity for quality time with your toddlers, but it also helps them get familiar with the location. They will be more comfortable when it's time for you to leave them with the Disney counselors.
  • Don't froget to attend the open houses to explore the clubs with your children. Leap and I had just as much, if not more fun than the kiddos here! It's also a great way for your child to become familiar with the space.

Disney Cruise Kids Club - Star Wars: Cargo Bay

  • Even if you or your child are unsure, we recommend giving the kids' clubs a try at least once. You'll discover that most kiddos (and froggy parents) love the flexibility and convenience, not to mention all the fun the clubs provide. And, if it ends up not being your child's favorite thing, at least you'll know and can then plan to visit the many other family-friendly activities aboard the ship.
  • Movie time and quiet spaces are available if your kiddos need a break or even a nap. If your child is ready for a nap, mats will given out. The counselors won't disturb them (or you) if they happen to take a nap during the time they are visiting.

And that's a wrap on everything you need to know about the Disney Cruise Kids Club! Shew! That was a lot of info we just threw at ya. But now you and your family should be more ready than ever to set sail on a magical Disney Cruise. What questions do you still have about the Disney Cruise Kids Club? Let us know in the comments! 

Related: Choosing the Right Disney Cruise Stateroom for Your Family

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments

Comments

Feb 5, 2024 at 6:55 p.m.
Katie Says...

Did Disney resume feeding kids in oceaneer club? I was told that it has been pushed since Covid

Reply
Feb 6, 2024 at 2:57 p.m.
FrogBlog Says...

Hi Katie!

We've updated our post accordingly. Thanks for the heads up!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply

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