9 Tips for Planning a Walt Disney World Getaway With Teens and Tweens
Over the years here at MickeyBlog we’ve spent plenty of time sharing our awesome Disney theme park tips for families visiting with preschoolers, toddlers and even infants. But what about those visiting with teens and tweens? Visiting the parks with slightly older children can be an amazing experience but it also requires a slightly different approach to your Disney planning. That’s why thought we’d share 9 of our favorite tips for those looking to surprise you older children with a dream Disney getaway!
Let Your Kids Have a Say In the Planning Process
As children get older, they will certainly have opinions when it comes to how they’d like to spend their days. That’s why it pays to get them involved in the planning process with you! Start by watching resort videos on You Tube to find your perfect place to stay. Or you may want to check out the rides and attractions at disneyworld.com to plan out an itinerary perfectly suited to the needs of teens and tweens. Also let them help you set up your My Disney Experience account where they can customize their MagicBands, help you make FastPass selections, hone in on some awesome places to dine and more!
Pools Are Important When Picking a Resort
When travelling with tweens and teens, having plenty of time to lounge by the pool can be a pretty important part of your visit. Though we personally think that all the Disney pools are pretty awesome, there are some clear frontrunners! Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort is typically my first recommendation for families with an amazing pool at the top of your wish list! More than just your average resort pool it features a sand-bottomed pool, lazy river an awesome shipwreck themed water slide and lots of space for lounging. The neighboring Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is also a popular spot for teens and tweens to pick up a rootbeer float or other ice cream treat!
For a look at some other awesome resort pools check out this article.
Dine Outside of Your Comfort Zone
You can get burgers and fries anywhere. That’s why when it comes to Disney, it’s a great opportunity to try out some incredible eats that you normally wouldn’t get at home. Whether it’s delicious Pan Asian eats at Yak & Yeti (Animal Kingdom) or Morimoto Asia (Disney Springs), a taste adventure with the Moroccan-themed Spice Road Table (Epcot) or the wonderful Island Cuisine at Ohana (Polynesian Resort) set aside some time to enjoy a fun out-of-your-comfort-zone meal as a family!. Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance meaning that there’s plenty of time to review and make selections as a family in the lead-in to your vacation!
Consider an After Hours Event
If you teen or tween would much rather sleep in until noon but be at the theme parks until midnight, Disney’s After Hours events are the perfect way to add an extra little bit of Pixie Dust to your Walt Disney World visit. During these special evening events, the theme park stays open for the exclusive use of guests who have purchased a special After Hours ticket. Because tickets are limited, guests can enjoy short lines for some of your favorite rides and attractions. There’s also special eats and treats and so much more! After Hours events take place at most of Walt Disney World’s theme parks and even Typhoon Lagoon (with H2O Glow Nights.) For more information on all the After Hours fun you can have check out this article.
Take a Tour
Delve a bit deeper into the history of Walt Disney World or go on an adventure with one of Disney World’s incredible tours. Where tiny tots wouldn’t have the stamina to go on one of Walt Disney World’s incredible walking tours, for teens and tweens it may be just the ticket. Whether you are going on an African adventure complete with ominous-looking rope bridge on the Wild Africa Trek or exploring the hidden underground passages beneath Magic Kingdom with the Keys to the Kingdom Tour you can add an extra element of fun by adding one of Disney’s awesome guided tours to your package.
For a closer look at some of our favorite tours check out this article.
Head to the Water Parks
Disney has two incredible Water Parks- Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Both parks offer a wide range of rides and slides perfect for teens and tweens from daredevil-worthy Summit Plummet to the meandering lazy rivers and everything in between! With private cabana rentals and awesome eateries, a water park day is also the perfect time for moms and dads to sit back and relax! For an extra element of fun, consider attending one of Typhoon Lagoon’s awesome H2O Glow Night events which offer late-night dance parties, unlimited access to rides and slides and awesome eats. You can find out more about this limited-time event here.
Make Sure Your Teens/Tweens Download the Play Disney Parks App
Let’s face it, if you’re visiting Walt Disney World with a teen or tween chances are they’ll be spending a lot of time on their smartphones. So why not make it Disney relevant? The Play Disney Parks App is just the ticket. The app is filled with ways to stay entertained while walking through the park (sparking interactions with magical surprises around the parks) or waiting in line (via a wide array of attraction related games) It’s the perfect way to keep teens and tweens engaged while glued to phones!
Consider a Stay at One of Disney’s Skyliner Resorts
If you’re thinking about a Disney World getaway in 2020 and beyond, the Skyliner resorts may be the way to go. Disney’s gondola system is slated to open in December of 2019 and will transform the way guests get to and from the theme parks. Visitors to Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach Resort or Disney’s Riviera Resort can simply hop a cable car and be whisked away to Epcot or Hollywood Studios. If you’re travelling with teens who value a bit of autonomy these are great options as you can send them off in a gondola to go about their Disney day and meet up with them after you’ve enjoyed a quiet breakfast!
Head for the Mountains
Thrill rides are definitely the big draw for teens and tweens visiting Walt Disney World and thankfully the theme parks have them in abundance. Be sure to make time for each of Disney’s amazing mountain coasters: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Expedition Everest. Other attractions like Tower of Terror, Rock n’ Roller Coaster and Flight of Passage are also wildly popular with older kids. Have your teen or tween help plan out your park days so that you’re sure to add all of these important thrill rides to your travel plans!
Set Aside Time to Explore Disney Springs
If your teens like to shop til’ they drop then this is the perfect place to be! Disney’s downtown shopping district has a wide range of stores that your older children are sure to love. You’ll find Free People, UNIQLO, Lucky, MAC Cosmetics, Ron Jon Surf Shop and so much more. There’s also incredible eateries, one of the World’s largest Disney stores, a movie theater, bowling alley and so much more! If traveling with teens and tweens I recommend you set aside at least an evening to enjoy all that Disney Springs has to offer.
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