Are you wondering, “is my teen too old for Disney World?” or “will a teenager still enjoy a Disney World trip?” These are common questions, but rest assured, teens can have a blast at Disney World!
The truth is, Disney goes out of their way to make sure there is something for everyone at Disney World. These tips and advice will help you have a magical and unforgettable trip with your teen.
Advice for Disney World with a Teen
1. Get your teen involved in planning the trip
Planning a trip can be a blast, and Disney has mastered the art of making the anticipation half the fun. Disney’s website has information on every single restaurant and attraction in the entire resort. This allows you to pick fun things to do ahead of time. You can ask your teens to pick a restaurant they would like to go to one night, or help choose the hotel, or make the FastPass itinerary for rides, etc.
Do your teens enjoy upscale cuisine or do they prefer to eat quickly and spend time doing other things? There are dining options at Disney World that will appeal to everyone along that entire spectrum. Let them pick locations for your Advanced Dining Reservations.
Don’t be afraid to let kids be kids. You may be surprised to find out your teenager still wants to meet characters, spend extra time in the Magic Kingdom, or bring home a personalized pair of ears. Disney can have the effect of bringing out the ‘kid’ in everyone. While this can present planning challenges, getting your teen involved in the planning process EARLY can mean that they able to think about and choose the activities they want to try.
2. Plan activities that are aimed at teenagers
Did you know that you can take surfing lessons at Disney World at Typhoon Lagoon? Explore the huge sports complex at the ESPN Wide World of Sports or take in a sporting event? Go Horseback riding at Fort Wilderness? Go on a Safari Trek at Animal Kingdom? There are a lot of activities at Disney World that are intended to appeal to teenagers. Teenagers also often enjoy the water parks – Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Both feature some fun and thrilling slides! These may be a bigger hit than Magic Kingdom…
3. Use a GPS app to make sure you know each others’ locations at all times.
We recommend keeping tabs on everyone in your party with a GPS locator app. Apple’s Find my Friend App is great on the iPhone, and there is a also a Find My Friends app for Android as well.
4. Consider letting teenagers explore Disney World
The great debate… If you have older teens, you might consider letting them doing some exploring independently if you feel they are mature enough. Although it is a huge complex, Disney is a relatively contained environment and usually considered quite safe. They could check out another park, explore the Disney hotels, go shopping, or grab a bite to eat. With smartphones, it is easy to stay connected and know where they are (see tip 3). You may also consider using video chat during the day if you want to check up on them beyond just a text or call.
5. Invest in Room to Spread Out
We recommend springing for larger accommodations if possible. For example, in the Deluxe Category this would be one of the multiple bedroom villas at Bay Lake Towers, the Polynesian, Beach Club, Yacht Club, the Grand Floridian, or Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. In the moderate category you could get a cabin at Fort Wilderness, and in the value category, we recommend the Finding Nemo Suites at Art of Animation.
6. Let your teenager sleep in if they want to
Some of the best Disney advice can be to go early to the parks. We definitely recommend this with the younger crowd, but you might find that a teenager enjoys staying up late and sleeping in when they visit the Happiest Place on Earth. There are tons of evening events and shows that teens may enjoy. It is a vacation, and your teens may want to relax a bit! Alternately, they may want to get up early and put as much into the day as possible. Just be willing to be flexible as even teenagers can get overwhelmed and overstimulated at Disney World!
7. Take along a friend
This can be good advice for any vacation with a teenager. Teenagers love to hang out with their friends. If it is in the budget, consider allowing your teen to bring a friend to Disney World. This has a number of advantages, including getting to know their friend better! If you are inclined to let your teen explore on their own, having a friend along means they can explore together!
We hope these tips help you take your teenager to Disney World and you ALL have a blast!