shopping in japanDisney World is known as a family destination — but what if one parent can’t be with the family due to other obligations? My family and I recently traveled to Orlando so I could participate in a blogger retreat, which meant that my nine-year-old self-proclaimed “tween” daughter had to (reluctantly) go with her dad to the parks alone.

DestinationReviewNow, don’t get the impression that I am so much fun or any more fun than her dad. If anything, I am the conservative one when it comes to rides and sweets. When I met them after their dinner at in Japan at Epcot, I asked her how it went and was surprised (and not surprised) to find out what a great day they had. I had to find out the secret to their success.

TMom: What was your favorite part of the day?

Tween: Going on the rides. When I was younger I was afraid to go on most of the rides so they were all new to me.

Dad: When she was four she was even afraid to go on “It’s a Small World” (after we waited 20 minutes to get on). Being able to go on rides that were more stimulating was fun for me this time.

TMom: Did Dad let you do anything you didn’t think he would or did he try to get you to do something you didn’t want to do?

Tween: He got me to go on Expedition Everest. That was terrifying and I was mad at him for making me go on it at first, but it was kind of fun.

TMom: Did you get Dad to anything he was not thrilled to do?

Tween: Shopping. Dad let me shop at Magic Kingdom. I don’t like princesses anymore but I liked looking at the perfume, make-up and accessories. I loved browsing the shops at Epcot, especially in Japan. He would not buy me a Kimono though. That was sad.

Dad: She got excited when she first saw all the characters, even the princesses. I was surprised she still wanted to have her face painted.

TMom: What is the secret to a successful day at Disney World for tween girls with their dads?

Tween: Dads can be fun. Sometimes you have to go on scary rides to make them happy.

Dad: You have to tell them that the thrill rides are not that scary to get them to go on, but make sure you know what is really too scary. Food usually takes care of unexplained mood swings and candy always works in a pinch. Go with the flow. It is really her day.