If you’re a die-hard Disney nerd like we are at Inside the Magic, there may be one sentence that makes you cringe more than the rest: “My kids are too old for Disney.”
It’s nothing new for parents to feel as though their kids may be getting too old for the Disney Parks by the time they’re entering their teenage years. But even though Disney may be the most magical through the eyes of children and their parents, the Disney theme parks and resorts can be just as magical for teenagers. Keep reading to find out the perks of visiting Disney as a teenager and what you can do with the teens in your family on your next Disney vacation.
There are plenty of thrills
Disney Parks are known for having more than enough attractions for the whole family (especially your little ones). But the best part of being a teenager on a Disney vacation is that there is no ride you can’t experience! There are plenty of attractions for the teenage thrill-seekers in your family at each park. At both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, you can conquer all three mountains (Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad). Disney California Adventure has Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! and Incredicoaster, two of the most thrilling rides on the West Coast. Epcot has Test Track and Mission: Space, two amazing and immersive rides. Disney’s Animal Kingdom has the always fun Expedition Everest and the epic Flight of Passage. And Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to our favorite thrill rides: Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
The resorts are relaxing yet fun
If the teens in your family want to relax while on vacation, they can utilize all the amenities that Disney resort hotels have to offer. Your teens can go swimming at the resort pools, play games at the arcades, and even watch a movie under the stars. Disney vacations aren’t always about park hopping every hour of every day. And if you have some temperamental teenagers who just need to chill out for a little while on your Disney trip, don’t fight them. Instead, embrace their need for relaxation. They will love you for it.
There’s food for both picky and adventurous eaters
As your kids get older, they may want to experiment with a variety of foods…or Disney may bring out their picky side. But whether your teens are picky or adventurous, Disney has it all. Disneyland and Walt Disney World both offer a variety of dining options from chicken tenders and fries to Asian- and African-inspired cuisine. If you’re planning a trip with a teenager, we highly suggest visiting Disneyland or Walt Disney World during one of the amazing Food & Wine festivals, which take place at Disney California Adventure during spring and Epcot during fall. These will provide your family with some awesome opportunities to try plenty of new California- and international-inspired dishes. And if all else fails, there’s always Mickey waffles.
No bedtime? No problem!
One of the perks of traveling to Disney with your family once your kids get older is not having to worry about bedtimes. We know that traveling with children can be pretty stressful once bedtime rolls around. You’re tired, your little ones are tired, and you know you’ve got to get to bed by 9 if you want to make your 8 a.m. dining reservation the next morning. But with teenagers, bedtimes probably won’t be much of an issue. Your teens may be used to staying up late, and now that they’re older, your family can finally take advantage of those nighttime Extra Magic Hours or even grab a pizza at your resort when you come back from the theme parks at 11 p.m.
You can always hop over to Universal
For many teenagers, visiting the Universal theme parks is a rite of passage. They finally get the chance to visit once they feel old enough to fully experience everything Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort have to offer. At last, the “Harry Potter” fans in your family can see Hogsmeade come to life, and you can finally experience all of the intense simulation rides that your kids would have been too afraid to ride when they were younger. Now that you’re planning a Disney vacation with your teenagers, your family may be ready to add some theme park time at Universal to your trip.