Disney appeals to all ages. Where else can you take your toddlers, your teenagers and your parents and ensure that everyone is going to have an incredible time? My family has road tripped several times from our home in Ohio to Orlando to experience all the magic Disney has to offer so I have a few tips to share when you’re traveling to Disney and enjoying the Magic Kingdom with Teens.
Visiting the Magic Kingdom with Teens
My daughter was seven years old last time we visited the Magic Kingdom. She was old enough to remember the experience, but young enough to think that we had traveled to a land where her favorite storybook characters had come to life and strolled through the park in flesh and blood. Now that she’s older, things are a bit different. As a 7-year old, our Disney vacation was filled with character meet and greets and character meals, things that a teenager may or may not appreciate depending on their mood. So, the question I ask is what to do with teenagers in the Magic Kingdom? It turns out, the answer is pretty simple.
- Plan your Disney vacation together.
I ordered a free Disney planning DVD to help plan our big day and I also purchased a copy of the Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger & Len Testa to consult when planning our trip to Disney and Florida. Both proved to be very helpful. The kids and I discussed what rides and attractions they wanted to see and experience before we even left home. This ensured that no one was disappointed when we were leaving the park and realized that we didn’t have enough time to fit in the ride they were really looking forward too.
- Make sure they are well rested before the arrival of the big day.
You don’t want to spend the day with a cranky toddler and you don’t want to spend the day with a disagreeable teen either. Get plenty of sleep before the big day. You’ll have a full day ahead of you so hit the park bright and early.
- Plan to spend part of the day together as a family and then allow your kids the freedom to explore the park on their own.
Teenagers love to be treated as responsible adults. Grant them a bit of freedom on your vacation.
- Eat before you’re starving.
Unlike some parks, you’re welcome to take some snacks into the Magic Kingdom. We packed granola bars and got free water from the vendors.
- Plan to eat at a nice restaurant.
We make it a point to dine at one nice restaurant when vacationing and it’s something my teens really look forward to. If you plan to dine at the Magic Kingdom, make sure you make reservations in advance. Many of the restaurants fill up fast which leads me back to point #3.
- Encourage your teens to trade pins.
My kids still have their lanyards from our first trip to Walt Disney World. The boys weren’t interested, but my daughter couldn’t wait to trade pins again. To save money, we visited the Disney Store at the Premium Outlet Stores and purchased a new lanyard and pins for her to trade. That’s a tip we learned from a cast member on our very first visit. Read these helpful tips on pin trading at Walt Disney World before you visit the parks.
- Give your kids a bit of spending money.
My boys have jobs so we rarely give them spending money. If we did, we’d have agreed on a dollar amount before we ever stepped foot in the park.
- Plan a meeting place in case you’re separated.
Nothing can ruin a day faster than not being able to find your child- even if that child is a teenager. It is easier to stay connected with cell phones, as long as they’re charged. Unfortunately, our phones died while we were in the parks so we were thankful to have prearranged a meeting place and time.
- Take lots of photographs to document your day.
Disney is full of photo opportunities and no one loves to be photographed more than teens. My teens are constantly snapping selfies for their Snapchat accounts. Consider purchasing the Disney Memory Maker package and you’ll get downloads of all you Disney PhotoPass photos from your trip.
- Don’t miss these rides at the Magic Kingdom.
My teens have their favorite rides at the Magic Kingdom, but one stands out head and shoulders above the rest. Hands down, Space Mountain is the ride for teenagers who love roller coasters. I don’t know how they did it, but they even convinced their grandmother that she needed to ride with us. Between you and me, she didn’t like it nearly as much as they did. Head to this ride as soon as the park opens and you may be able to hop right back on a time or two. Other favorite rides include Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Railroad Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (especially when they were seated in the back train car).
What tips would you have for visiting the Magic Kingdom with teens?