The kid’s clubs on Disney Cruise Line are arguably the best at sea. Disney has put more space into their clubs than any other cruise line. It seems like changes are coming every other week from Disney which is why I thought it was important to write on the current state of the kid’s clubs on Disney Cruise Line. This post was last updated in January 18, 2023.
The Youth Activity space for kids aged 3-12 is the Oceaneer Club/Lab. (On the Disney Wish, it is just referred to as the Oceaneer Club as it is one giant space with several different spaces within the same club.) This article is focused on the current state of this group. As for the other aged kids, the tweens have the Edge, and the Vibe is for teens. Each is unique in its own way. Except for potentially capacity limits, the Edge & Vibe are operating as they had in the past. The infants and young toddlers have the Small World Nursery which is also operating mostly as it had prior to the shutdown. You can reserve up to 10 hours in the nursery when your activities and shore excursion date opens for your cruise. As a reminder you have to be paid in full to reserve your time. For first time cruisers you will do this at midnight 60 days before your cruise.
Before your cruise be sure to check the Know Before you Go Section on Disney Cruise Line’s website for the latest policies and procedures for the kid’s clubs.
Are the kid’s clubs back to normal? Mostly
There had been some changes to how the clubs ran post re-start. But for the most part, the clubs are back to running like they were in the past.
During the re-start kids were placed in little groups at the clubs. This is no longer the case. There also was a short-lived policy that separated those aged 3 & 4 (those not yet vaccinated.) Fortunately this is no longer the case. The clubs have returned to the old ways where kids aged 3-12 can be dropped off and picked up at their convenience as long as the club hasn’t hit their occupancy limit (which is extremely rare.) There have been no reports since the policy has been reinstated that the clubs have hit their occupancy of 200 children.
The one area that has not returned to normal is food in the kid’s clubs. For both the nursery and Oceaneer Club/Lab, children are not fed. The except to this rule are babies within the nursery. The Small World Nursery will feed babies in the nursery. For sanitary reasons, you have to bring your own bottles. And then you can bring your breastmilk, formula or regular milk. You can also instruct them how you would like their milk heated. Finally the small world nursery is providing the littles in the Nursery with snacks.
But as for food, no food meals are being provided to the children in either the Nursery or the Oceaneer Club/Lab. In those cases, you would need to check-out your child to feed your kiddos. If your children are older, they can check themselves out to go and feed themselves on the ship.
As for the rest of their experience, once in the kid’s club, your children will be able to prepare crafts, play a video game, have story time (often with characters), play with larger than life toys in Andy’s room, participate in group activities like the Magic Floor, among other things.
Castaway Cay has a kid’s club as well
Definitely don’t forget about the kid’s club on Castaway Cay. Scuttle’s Cove is the dedicated secured space for kids at Castaway Cay. There is no limit on how long your child can stay in the kid’s club however, there is no food served in the club. You will need to check out your children and feed them but then they are free to return to the club again. Currently Scuttle’s Cove is open from island opening until 4 p.m. Similarly, on your Castaway Cay day, secured programming on the ship is not opening until 4 p.m. So the kid’s have to the attend the island’s club if they are interested. Keep this is mind if you have brunch scheduled on the ship at one of the adult only restaurants. You will have to drop off your children at the club on the island before going back to the ship for your brunch.
My son, aged 9, looooooooved his time at Scuttle’s Cove and on our most recent visit to Castaway Cay. He actually spent the entire time we were on the island in the secured programing at Scuttle’s. He had a blast. At one point when I went to pick him they were doing some kind of splash pad group activity. The kids sounded like they were having a blast. He asked to stay and get picked up later because he was having too much fun. What a treat for mom and kiddo!
Enjoy your kid free time while your kiddos are in the kid’s club!
Once you’ve dropped them off to have a blast in the kid’s club you are then free to enjoy some kid-free time of your own on the ship or on Castaway Cay.
The only real difference from the kid’s clubs of the past and today is that currently Disney Cruise Line is not feeding your kids. You will have to pick them up to be fed. On a recent cruise I asked what they are doing about this if the kids are being left on the ship while the parents do adults only shore excursions. We were told that in those cases the parents will need to give kids check-out privilege’s to check themselves out of the club to go and get food. Then the kids can check back in to the club. This obviously only works if your child is mature and old enough to be allowed to check themselves out of the club. Children can check themselves out of the Oceaneer Club with parental permission starting at 8 years old.
The kid’s clubs are so great and we are so happy that they are a fan favorite of our son. On our most recent cruise on the Disney Wish, he spent almost our entire cruise in the Oceaneer Club. I hope your children love their time in the clubs as well. Do you have any questions that I didn’t answer about the kid’s clubs aboard Disney Cruise Line?
- What’s Included on a Disney Cruise
- The Current state of the Kid’s Clubs on DCL
- What’s Included in my park/shore excursion bag
- What cruising is like in the Summer
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Here is my favorite mini granola bar to eat when I’m in a pinch and on the go.
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10 Replies to “The current state of the kid’s clubs on Disney Cruise Line”
Thank you for posting this information. I was curious how the kids club would operate under the current COVID restrictions. This helped me understand how it operates and that it is indeed still providing good value. My son absolutely loves the kids club. It’s good to know he can still enjoy it on our upcoming cruises!
This is honestly awful. I wish I had known this before I booked our cruise, and Disney should have done a MUCH better job making this clear. Like in big bold red letters at the top of the booking page. I have no desire to have every minute of every day scheduled, I just want to be able to drop the kids off when needed, which was supposed to be the whole point of a Disney cruise.
It was in the Know Before You go Section. But either way, this has changed as of yesterday.
Really appreciate this information, it is what I have been looking for ever since they updated the guidance in early March. The Know Before You Go does not make it clear what specific protocols there are for kids who can’t be vaccinated yet. I have a 4 year old so I am a little bummed they will be confined to Andy’s Room, but I’d rather know now and plan for that vs. figure that out at check-in time or after boarding the ship. My cruise is in May so perhaps things will change again by then.
Well… Everything is a changing. You’ll be happy to know that this has changed again. All kiddos will be commingled once again. Face Masks will be required for the 3/4 year olds in kid’s clubs. Have a great cruise!
Thanks, the update is appreciated!
Thanks for this info! We’re going on our first Disney cruise in a few weeks. Does the kids club reach full occupancy often? Do we need to get there early? I’m used to Disney things selling out quickly.
Fortunately I don’t think there have been any instances of the Disney Cruise Line kid’s clubs being at capacity since the restart. I had never heard of it happening before the covid shutdown either. You should have no issues dropping your kids off at the time convenient for your family. Have a great cruise!
Is the dine and play program back for second dining families?
It has not returned yet. On our cruises, we’ve just let our son eat quickly and then run him to the kid’s club ourselves. It’s worked for us.