This comes as a surprise to NO ONE, but Disney Cruise Line has the best kids’ clubs on board their four ships. Looking back on everything I’ve written about DCL so far, I’m surprised the only reference I’ve made to the Oceaneer Club/Oceaneer Lab was in regards to their amazing automatic hand-washing machines. Yes, those are very cool, but that only is a fragment of the fun factor inside the kids’ clubs.
Where else besides the Disney Dream can an aspiring Han Solo fly the Millennium Falcon?
Or see Andy’s Room from Buzz and Woody’s perspective?
The design of the kids’ clubs on board the ships – combined with activities planned and facilitated by DCL Youth Activities Counselors – inspire creative and imaginative playtime for children. So I’m thinking Disney could make a fortune if they had structured daycare centers around the country that were set up the same way as the Oceaneer Club on board DCL. Good for Disney AND good for children.
Critics of this idea might say that having land-based daycare centers like this might reduce cruise bookings for DCL, but I scoff at that. Taking a Disney Cruise is just as much a vacation for the adults as it is for the kids. And there’s so much more besides the kids’ clubs that DCL offers that you just can’t get on land. In fact, I wouldn’t mind having easy access to spas and poolside bars like I do on DCL. Is there such a thing as a working adult daycare center? I’m gonna mull that one over a bit for a future blog post.
The problem of redundancy is lessened if the daycare centers on land are differentiated just enough from the ones on the ships to make sure they still offer new, exciting experiences for daycare patrons who are taking their first or fortieth Disney Cruise. For example, maybe instead of piloting the Millennium Falcon like they do on the Disney Dream, kids can play in X-Wings at their land-based daycare centers. Maybe Nemo’s Sub (which used to occupy the space that the Millenium Falcon is in now on the Disney Dream) can be brought back to the land-based daycare centers.
The real challenge here is going to be maintaining waiting lists in all of those neighborhoods that offer a Disney daycare center. Families would need to plan five years in advance of having children to get their kiddos into the center! Maybe Disney could give priority to children of Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members, D23 members, etc. – the more Disney memberships one has, the higher on the waiting list they’d be.
And yes, the daycare centers would definitely need those handwashing machines.