Enjoying Disney with Teens & Tweens
Disney World didn’t get its moniker “the happiest place on Earth” by only catering to preschoolers. However, families with teens and tweens know that the definition of a “fun” vacation in the eyes of parents can be very different by the standards of teens. Being able to manage the mood is so incredibly important when traveling with children in this stage of life. Disney World offers so much for tweens and teens to do to ensure they have the vacation of a lifetime filled with magical memories. Here’s our top ten things to do to ensure your Disney vacation with your young adult is amazing!
1. As soon as your Disney vacation is booked allow your teens and tweens the opportunity to help in your vacation planning. Maybe they want to hit the water parks, maybe it’s important to them to get to sleep in a little and start the day at 9am instead of the usual 7am, or your history buff just has to hit the Hall of Presidents. Allowing them to have a part in what they get to do and experience lets them know this is truly their vacation as well.
2. For select night May 30-August 24th your teens and tweens can experience Disney’s H2O Glow Nights at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. This DJ hosted dance party is sure to bring out the kid side in your teen with their playful mix of Toy Story themed experiences and other splash-tacular surprises! There’s even a special area, The Wharf, for adults only, so your kids can have some fun with their peers while you enjoy your own entertainment and bar with specialty drinks.
3. Visiting EPCOT’s World Showcase is a must do with your young adults. They’ll get to experience eleven different countries; Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada, just by taking a huge lap around Epcot’s lake. If you feel comfortable allowing them to have some time to explore on their own, let them check out each country’s traditional architecture, authentic cuisine, and exhibits. You’re giving them a chance to experience different cultures of the world, all while having fun and never leaving the US!
4. Be sure to check out the Amphicars in Disney Springs. These cars that are able to drive on land..and then right in to the water are sure to captivate even your most hard to impress teenagers. As there are only roughly 100 of these left in the world, you’re truly in for a once in a lifetime opportunity in taking a ride. Bonus that your teen will think the pictures taken by Disney’s professional photographers on site will make awesome social media posts!
5. Of course no Disney vacation would be complete for teenagers without hitting all the Disney thrill rides. Make sure you Fastpass the most popular rides; Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, and Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n Roller Rollercoaster at Hollywood Studios just to name a few.
6. Make sure when visiting Animal Kingdom to secure a Fastpass for Kilimanjaro Safaris. It offers a unique opportunity to see many different kinds of animals in their natural African habitat..without having to travel to Africa. Your teens will love the experience and you’ll get to be right beside them for it.
7. There aren’t too many tweens and teens who don’t have the excitement of getting to drive soon on the brain! Make sure to take in Epcot’s Test Track where your kids will get to create their own virtual concept car and then take their car for a white-knuckle spin around the rough terrain and many obstacles on the test track.
8. One of the best things about having a teenager is leaving the preschool picky attitude about meals behind. Most have more refined palettes allowing you to try a new cuisine you’ve never tried before all together!
9. Consider splurging on one of Disney’s Behind the Scenes Tours which are restricted to older guests. There’s Disney’s Keys to Kingdom Tour which accommodates guests aged 16 and older and Disney’s The Magic Behind our Steam Trains Tour which is only for guests aged 10 and up. Some other only for teen experiences include Exploring Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort on a Segway for teens 16 and up and getting to meet and interact with dolphins at Epcot for teens 13 and up. You can check out all of Disney’s events and tours for teens and tweens here.
10. Probably the best tip is one for us parents--- Step outside of your comfort zone! Don’t normally let them off on their own? Consider granting them a little age appropriate independence, even it’s just to wander around a store little bit. Not a roller coaster fan? Why don’t you hop on one with your teen and watch them squeal in delight as you really let loose. Let Disney be the magical place where it truly is ok to be a kid again!
Jade Monzo is the owner of Rope Drop Travel, a full service travel agency specializing in Disney Destinations. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her husband and six little ones, vacationing in Disney and helping with her children’s school PTO’s. Follow her on Instagram and visit her website: https://ropedroptravel.com/
PLEASE NOTE: The writers of this article are not medical professionals. The information in this column is not intended and should not be construed as providing medical or psychological advice, but rather to offer readers information and provide a perspective to better understand the lives of themselves and their children. Articles on this website may be opinion based. The articles are not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, psychotherapist or other licensed medical professional. If you do have health or safety concerns, please get in touch with a healthcare professional.