20 June 2011

Disney Magic and Kids - Oceaneer Club

By Natalie of Meet the Magic

In March 2011, my family boarded the Disney Dream. While aboard, I was a bit nervous about leaving my son at the Oceaneer Club. For those of you who are not familiar with the Disney Cruise Line's Oceaneer Club, this is a club exclusive to children under the age of 3 - 10. Here the children take part in a variety of activites which include coloring, character meets, movie watching, dancing, singing, and on and on.

Once aboard the Dream, my son immediately asked that we take him to see the Oceaneer Club. Nearly as soon as it opened, we headed up to the deck to check out the space. Here are a few of the rooms they have to offer the children:

Pixie Hollow

The Wheelhouse

My son was so excited to see all of these fun rooms offered that he could hardly wait for the Club to open so he could get to playing! That night, he went with us to dinner at Animator's Palate and loved it. However, as soon as dinner was over, he headed out to the Club!

My husband and I were happy that the club was so clean, using a very cool hand washing system to reduce the amount of germs exchanged among the kids. The children insert their hands into the system and it automatically turns on. The water swirls around and moves up and down the hands and arms for approximately 20 - 30 seconds, then shuts off automatically. My son insisted that my husband and I try the system as well. The children are required to use the hand washing system each time they enter the Club.

The children who stay at the Club are required to wear an arm band. When entering the Club, the band is swiped to indicate to the Disney cast members that your child is in the Club. When you go to pick up your child from the Club later, a GPS system is used to tell you exactly where you can find your child within the Club (the club takes up about 1/2 of an entire floor of the ship). This feature was wonderful and helped me feel that Disney was on top of their watching-my-child game.

As time progressed throughout the cruise, I began to feel more comfortable with him being left at the Club. He eventually decided that eating his meals there at the Club was more fun than eating with Mommy and Daddy for 2 hours in the restaurants. Here is a photo of the Lab area where the children eat their meals:

Here you cand see two of the fun-loving cast members helping the children decorate cookies. When meals are eaten here, the tables are lines with celephane to ensure that the area is clean (and cleanable). The meals offered are the meals offered. They bring out the chicken, fries and fruit, for example, and that is what the children get. No additional choices are given. However, I did not inquire as to whether additional selections could be offered if wanted. My son was happy with the foods offered and thoroughly enjoyed his time spent there. In fact, often times my husband and I would come to take him with us to an event and he requested to just be left there at the Club. What better advertising is there for the Oceaneer Club than that?

Natalie H. is creator of Meet the Magic and guest contributor to Cooking with Mickey. She'll be providing Disney Magic and Kids - all about dining at DIsney with kids and giving great tips to make the most of your family dining experiences. Make sure to follow her on Twitter @nrhenley and @meetthemagic.

Cooking With Mickey

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