In August of this year my family of four, including kids ages 5 and 9, traveled to Walt Disney World with my sister, niece – age 7 and nephew – age 5. For the first time ever, we tried one of Disney’s Children’s Activity Centers. I’ve always want to explore the Animal Kingdom Lodge, so we decided the kids would spend time at Simba’s Club House while the adults dined at Jiko.
We arrived at Animal Kingdom Lodge a little early to explore. It’s easy to slow down at this beautiful resort. We strolled around with beverages from Victoria Falls Lounge, catching drumming lessons near the lobby and viewing zebras and giraffes from the observation areas. It was a peaceful and lovely experience, interrupted every few minutes with pleas from the kids, “When can we go to Simba’s Club House?” and “Can we go to the Club House now?” Even my young nephew, who spent much of our trip velcroed to my sister’s leg, was excited to go “…where parents aren’t allowed.”
Simba’s Club House is located on the ground floor near the Uzima pool and Pumbaa’s Fun and Games Arcade. The large room, with various play areas and self contained bathroom facilities, is brightly decorated in a theme to fit Animal Kingdom Lodge. From the Club House’s windows we could see some of the animals on the savannah.
At check in we introduced the children to the Club House cast members, then all four kids immediately began to explore: game stations, arts and crafts, puzzles and more. The adults showed identification, completed forms to indicate our location during the two Club House hours we reserved, and selected dinners for each child. My niece and nephew have allergies to nuts, so their selections were indicated on a separate form used just for children with food allergies. This extra step greatly comforted my sister
After our very relaxing dinner, rested parents returned to find happy kids – playing games, watching movies, drawing and more. I chatted with a cast member who told me how much she loved working at the Club House, “We all choose to be here.” Our kids didn’t want to leave and were sorry they would miss cookies and milk at the Club House later in the evening.
Disney provided a welcoming, safe and fun place for our kids while my husband, sister and I recharged our batteries in the middle of a busy trip. I highly recommend parents take advantage of the Children’s Activity Centers – you and your family will love them!
Children’s Activity Centers include Simba’s Club House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Sandcastle Club at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, The Never Land Club at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Cub’s Den at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Camp Dolphin at Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel.
Ages and Requirements
All children must be potty trained; pull-ups/training pants are not permitted. Children ages 3 – 12 may participate at any center, with the exception of Camp Dolphin which is open to children 4 – 12.
The Never Land Club
4:00 – Midnight
5:30 pm – Midnight
Special deal for Camp Dolphin:
Dine at Shula’s Steak House, Todd English’s bluezoo or Il Mulino New York Trattoria or treat yourself to a pampering service at Mandara Spa and receive up to two hours of complimentary time at Camp Dolphin. Simply present your receipt as proof of purchase at time of child pickup. (NOTE: One child admitted for each adult entrée purchased. One child admitted for each purchase of a spa treatment of 75 minutes or more.)
Do you have questions on Children’s Activity Centers, or other topics, for Ask Amy? Be sure to post them below!
Amy works as a college administrator and instructor in the Philadelphia area, where she lives with her husband and two children. She visited Walt Disney World for the first time as an adult for a conference. But Amy truly caught the “Disneybug” when she traveled with her young daughter. Amy loves all things travel and especially enjoys trip preparation and strategy: trying to find the best deals, exploring new resorts and restaurants, and planning an extra something special for each trip.