My Kids Are Too Old for Disney. Sure about that?
“You took your 15-year-old to Walt Disney World?! Was he bored?” Yep, this was the response I received from folks after our Fall Break trip to Walt Disney World last year. I get it. Walt Disney World isn’t for everyone but I wouldn’t rule it out based on age alone.
I’m going to preface this by saying my son loves Universal Studios and likes to be doing SOMETHING at all times while on vacation. Meltdowns and tantrums aren’t limited to toddlers and we always have our fair share of them on vacation, some of them from my son. 😉
So let’s talk about taking teens to Walt Disney World, shall we?
If your teen is like mine, they will probably want to squeeze in some pool time, so choose a resort with a great pool! We stayed at Beach Club and Animal Kingdom Lodge, both of which had great pools.
Have a fun breakfast! It isn’t often that you can have funnel cakes for breakfast, so take advantage of it while you can. Seriously. My kiddo and I enjoyed funnel cakes and waffle sandwiches with fruit and Nutella. YUM!
Park Hop. Why? Because teens can get bored pretty easily and with the power of a park hopper, you have the ability to go between the parks as you wish. One day, my son and I started off the day at Hollywood Studios, hitting Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Roller Coaster before heading to Animal Kingdom to use our fast passes. I couldn’t talk him into Toy Story Land. 😉
Rope drop a park. Most teens like to sleep late but they may jump at the opportunity to be one of the first people in the park. We chose to rope drop Magic Kingdom and were some of the first in Adventureland. We did a fast walk to Pirates of the Caribbean and were in the first boat of the day! This is my son’s favorite ride in MK so this really set the tone for the rest of the day.
Play in the rain. You’re in Florida and it’s bound to rain at some point during your trip. It POURED while we were in Animal Kingdom! At first, we took cover with most of the other park goers and then we decided to take advantage of the rain! We hightailed it to Flight of Passage and found a much shorter line than we had found earlier! Score!! We still waited two hours but it was totally worth it. The details leading up to the ride itself are AMAZING!
Ride the rides. Preferably from the front car. It’s a common misconception that there aren’t a lot of rides for teens at Walt Disney World. I mean, we aren’t riding It’s a Small World but we are riding and LOVING Expedition Everest, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Kali River, Flight of Passage, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, Na’vi River, Mission Space, Soarin’, Test Track and MORE! Not to mention Tom Sawyer’s Island and A Pirate’s Adventure. We definitely didn’t have a shortage of rides.
Have a great dinner! I had some failures with this BUT I did have a solid win with Via Napoli. If your kiddo enjoys pizza and tiramisu, go to Via Napoli. If you know your kid isn’t a very adventurous eater, maybe you shouldn’t try an African restaurant. I loved it but he did not. You don’t know until you try.
Take photos. They probably won’t smile (or this could just be my kid) but take them anyways. At some point during the day, you’re gonna catch them off guard and capture a great photo. My son hates taking photos but I was able to capture some great shots of him having fun.
Close down a park. This is a sure sign that they’re having fun! I had plans to head back somewhat early on our Magic Kingdom day but we ended up staying until closing because we were just having so much fun. My son discovered A Pirate’s Adventure and just didn’t want to leave until he had completed the quests and earned fast passes for Pirates of the Caribbean even though we had ridden it multiple times that day.
While waiting to board our flight in Orlando, my son asked WHEN we were going back to Walt Disney World. That in itself, tells me that he had a great time!
Yeah, teens may not want to get up early and are going to want to stay up late, they’re probably going to get moody and grumpy at some point along the way BUT a Walt Disney World vacation can be great for kids and kids at heart, of all ages! We are already planning our next trip!
Need help planning a trip to Walt Disney World with teens? Let me know!