I love my children dearly, but having three small kids really limits what we can do on our annual Disney World vacations. Luckily, our oldest is now 6, and that means he is tall enough for the big kid rides, doesn't need a stroller to navigate the parks, and can stay up much later than his brothers. When we decided to get tickets for one of Disney's after-hours events on our most recent trip, I only felt guilty for about a second when I also decided to book a babysitter and leave our two younger children behind (sorry, boys).
Until recently, I didn't even realize you could have a babysitter come to your Disney World hotel room, but I stumbled upon it while doing research for our trip. Disney provides in-room babysitting (and in-park assistance) through Kid's Nite Out, an independent childcare agency that has been vetted and approved by Disney. I'm normally too nervous to leave my kids with someone other than friends or family, but Kid's Nite Out had tons of great reviews and I felt safe knowing the service had Disney's seal of approval.
The prices, while not cheap, aren't too much higher than what you would pay for an evening of babysitting at home, starting at $18 per hour for one child and going up for additional children and late-night hours. They also ask that you provide a meal or snack for your sitter if you're booking for more than four hours. It only took me a quick phone call to set everything up, with a followup call after we checked in to give them our room number.
Our sitter arrived right on time with a bag of age-appropriate toys and activities for our sons. We could tell that she had really taken time to think through the task of keeping kids occupied in a small hotel room. My 3-year-old had every single toy unpacked on the bed within about two minutes!
She spent a few minutes with us discussing feeding schedules, bedtime routines, and their likes and dislikes. I felt 100 percent comfortable that our boys would be well taken care of. Once we headed out for our night of fun, she sent us periodic text messages and photos to let us know how the kids were doing. It definitely eased my mind to have proof that they were doing well and having a good time.
When we arrived back at our hotel room, both boys were sound asleep and our sitter gave us a full rundown of the evening. If you do choose to take advantage of this service on your next trip, make sure you have cash on-hand to tip your sitter, as there is not an opportunity to leave a credit card tip or add it on to your charges. All in all, our sitter was so friendly and warm with the kids that I may just make this a regular part of our Disney vacations. Although next time I think a romantic Disney date night is in order!