8 Tips for Traveling with Teenagers to Walt Disney World

Traveling with teenagers to Walt Disney World can be fun for everyone!  Do you think Walt Disney World is just for “little kids”?  Many people do, but it is not!  There are so many families that travel to the Walt Disney World Resort every year, with children of all ages in their family.  Take my family for example, comprised of two children that are 14 and one that is 7!  Or what about the family with children who are all over the age of 11?  Below, I have 8 Tips for Traveling with Teenagers to Walt Disney World! With two teenage boys, I have lots of experience with that, and I hope these are helpful!

Traveling to Walt Disney World with older kids can be fun and magical for the whole family!  Think about it….they don’t need naps, they can stay up to enjoy those super late Extra Magic Hours, and they’re tall enough to ride everything!  There is much fun to be had at the Magic Kingdom after 11PM during Extra Magic Hours! But, how can you create a magical Disney vacation experience when your teens seem to groan about everything? 

Involve your teenagers in the planning process .  There are some interesting Walt Disney World guidebooks out there, many that provide even fun facts about Walt Disney World. Encourage them to choose some restaurants they would like to try.  Give them the opportunity to make a list of the top attractions they don’t want to miss, and even let them have a say in where you stay!

Choose a resort that gives everyone plenty of space.  This can come in a variety of ways.  Perhaps a Family Suite at Disney’s All Star Music or Art of Animation Resort is the answer.  Or, a one or two bedroom villa at one of the Deluxe properties.  If a Deluxe is not in your budget, consider two rooms at a value or a moderate category resort.  This gives everyone plenty of sleeping space, two full bathrooms, and room to spread out. Teens like their own space, and having the option of spreading out to hang out while not in the parks can make everyone happier!

Use the Disney vacation as an opportunity to expose them to nicer dining and even more eclectic foods.  Any child of any age can be picky when it comes to eating, but teengaers are more likely to venture out and try something new.  Plus, they can sit longer through a sit down meal, giving you the opportunity to try some of the great, more diverse dining locations at Walt Disney World. Another great dining opportunity at Disney is getting dressed up for a nice dinner at a location like California Grille to watch the fireworks!  

Sleeping in is a good idea.  Most teens like to sleep.  So if they want to sleep in, you can easily plan around that.  In turn, this gives you an easier start to your day, and the opportunity to enjoy the Evening Extra Magic Hours until the wee hours in the morning.  

Give them their own time in the parks.  If you are a family like ours, traveling with a child who is quite a bit younger, you may consider splitting up for a few hours during the day.  One parent can take the younger one back to rest or swim, while the others spends some quality time in the parks with the older two.  This gives them the opportunity to ride some of the more thrilling attractions, explore the parks from a different perspective, and spend some one on one time with a parent.  

Plan some down time.  Older kids will enjoy shopping at Disney Springs, visiting the miniature golf courses at Walt Disney World, and even the Boardwalk area.  Plus, hanging out at the pool and getting some sun and relaxation is a “must do” for everyone in your family!

Let the kids be kids.  Even though my older two are pushing the teenage years, they still like to have a fun character breakfast with Mickey and his friends.  Don’t underestimate that they are still your kiddos, and doing a Disney trip and being a kid is part of the fun!   Your teen might surprise you, and want to ride It’s a Small World more than once!

Explore Walt Disney World activities specifically for older children and adults.  Many of the tours of the Walt Disney World Resort only allow children over the age of 10 and some over the age of 16.  These behind the scenes opportunities open your children up to fun facts and interesting information about the parks.  

Are you ready to visit Walt Disney World with your teenager?  Making family memories can happen at any age, and the Walt Disney World Resort is a fantastic place to enjoy time together no matter how old your children are!  How do you involve your children in the Disney planning process?

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