Our family has enjoyed visiting Disney over the years. On our first trip our kids were four and seven years old. They loved the character experiences, rides, and dining so we began visiting as often as we could. I loved Disney as much as they did, and I was scared as they grew older they would lose that feeling of Disney magic. We’ve been visiting Disney for over ten years and my kids want to go now more than ever. Here are my top tips for traveling with teens to Walt Disney World®!
Let them take part in the planning!
Once I’ve narrowed down the choices within our budget and dining plan, I often let my kids offer their thoughts on our resort and restaurants. Encourage your teens to watch ride videos and check out restaurant menus online. Find out which attractions, shows, and dining are on their “must do” list. Letting them in on the planning builds excitement and gives them a sense of ownership in the success of the trip.
Give them some freedom.
If your teens are old enough, let them explore. We often let our teens hop on a thrill ride or walk around nearby areas of the park while we get off our feet and relax. We have GPS apps on our phones so it is easy to catch up with them.
Let them stay social and share the fun with their friends at home.
Check out these links from Disney Style and Oh My Disney to find the most Instagram worthy spots and locations of special Snapchat filters for the parks and attractions. Be sure to ask your teens to send you a few of those photos for the family album!
Get them exclusive access!
There are many amazing tours at Walt Disney World® and some are only open to teens and adults. Our favorites are Backstage Magic and the Keys to the Kingdom tour which offer behind the scenes tours of the parks. I took my oldest teen on the Keys to the Kingdom tour recently where we learned about Disney history and went on a tour of the utilidors under Magic Kingdom®. It was the highlight of our trip!
Stay Up Late!
Take advantage of the PM Extra Magic Hours! When my kids were small we really needed to stick to a schedule to be sure they were rested and ready for more fun. Now that we have teens things are much more flexible. We love taking advantage of the late park hours when we can. Late Extra Magic Hours allow your kids to stay out “after curfew” and explore the parks!
“Perk” them up!
There are lots of spots for coffee and specialty drinks all over Walt Disney World®. Joffrey’s® and Starbucks® have locations in the parks, Disney SpringsTM, and resorts. If your family has purchased the dining plan you can use your snack credits to get Starbucks® drinks (even fancy ones) for one snack credit.
Get connected and stay charged!
Make sure your teens are connected to the free Disney Wifi to save you from data overages and fees. Most smartphones have low power modes which can save battery life. Bringing along an external battery charger can be useful for both parents and teens. I also love the convenience of FuelRodTM chargers. Once you have purchased and used this charger you can swap it out for a fully charged rod at one of the kiosks in the parks and resorts.
Get in character and strike a pose!
Find out which rides take photos and prepare poses in advance. Challenge Gaston to a flex contest or ask Flynn Rider for smolder lessons. Character interactions with teens can be especially fun!
Spend a day at Disney Springs™!
There are over 180 shops and restaurants with something for everyone. My teens love to shop WORLD OF DISNEY® and UNIQLO or grabbing cupcakes at Sprinkles. If your teen is looking for entertainment check out Splittsville luxury bowling lanes, AMC ® Dine in Theater, Planet Hollywood, and Coca- Cola store where they can taste Coke products from around the world.
Snack around the world!
Snack credits can be put to good use at Epcot®. This can be a great way to encourage your teens to sample foods from other cultures. There are a number of novelty passports available online for exploring the World Showcase. Any festival at Epcot® that includes outdoor kitchens are a must do for my teens!
Consider a day trip to Universal Orlando® Resort!
The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM and thrilling roller coasters are just a few miles away. A day at Universal Orlando® Resort is an easy addition to your Disney vacation!
Mix it up!
If you’re planning a repeat trip to Disney consider varying the time of year. Seasonal events such Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are fun for the whole family.
Our family has learned that kids don’t outgrow Disney, it grows with you! For more tips and help planning an unforgettable Disney vacation for your teens contact your Key to the World Travel® Planner.
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