The teen years are some of the most awkward in your life—and I should know, being only 16. A teen’s opinion on Disney Parks, and Disney in general, can be very confusing: You don’t want to be made fun of for being childish, but you may still really enjoy the IPs that Disney owns. Because of this confusion, planning a trip with a teen can be rough. Hopefully these tips will help with the process!
Tips & Tricks:
Let your teen help in the planning process
Teens are most engaged when they are involved.
You don’t need your teens sitting there as you make the actual reservations, but it’s good to ask questions:
What are their favorite rides?
Do they have a favorite park?
What is their favorite food or restaurant?
Are there any events that are a must-see/must-do?
These answers can help you plan what parks you visit and where you eat.
Each family plans a vacation differently and price is usually a major factor.
If hotel selection is limited by cost, you may want to leave your teens out of that discussion.
If you have a range of hotel options, you may want input from your teens so that the vacation is still tailored to them.
The stress of a vacation during school
Make sure you consult with your teen to find a “safe” time to go on vacation.
Most teenagers like to miss school, but make sure they are aware that they do have to make up the work they miss.
Each school is different about making up work, so it may be best to consult with the school and your teen’s teachers.
Other Orlando attractions
You may want to surprise your teens with a day of non-park activities just to relax.
Disney has miniature golf courses, professional golf courses, foot golf, Disney Springs, and more.
How much is too much?
A couple long days in a row at Disney can really affect the energy level of the trip. Plan your reservations around well-placed break periods.
There is a wide variety of behind-the-scenes tours that may appeal to your teens.
Tours can be a special activity for just your teen and one parent.
Some tours need to be reserved in advance. Best to check before just showing up.
Shopping is a good way to take a break and keep your kids engaged.
Depending on weather, shopping can also be a good excuse to spend some time indoors.
WARNING: Disney shops can be EXPENSIVE. It can help to give your teens a budget or prepaid gift card before setting them loose!
A Disney trip can also mean experiencing new foods and nice restaurants.
Chicken nuggets & burgers are not the only food options!
Too tight or rigid schedules can make for unhappy teens—and even adults!
Your vacation is supposed to be FUN, so it really helps to keep things flexible and not make reservations or FastPasses too close together that you’ll have to run to or stress about missing.
Check out this article by Anne Marie Cronin for more valuable advice on taking your teens to Walt Disney World.