PlanningThe ParksTips

Tips for Taking Those Tricky Teens to Disney

Taking teens to Walt Disney World can be just as magical as when you take them as toddlers. The trick is ensuring you approach the trip the right way for your teen. We have a few tips for taking teens to Walt Disney World. These are meant to help you navigate those tricky moments of having teenagers. These tips will help you be more prepared when arriving at Walt Disney World, which will make for a magical trip.

Family planning for Disney

Get Them Involved

Even if your teen says that they don’t care about the plans, make sure you try to include them in the planning aspect of the trip. Giving them a voice in planning and decision-making will make them feel like they are being heard. This is super important for teens and is a great way to get them engaged in the trip ahead of time.

Talk to them about their opinion regarding where to eat, what rides and shows to visit, and an overall plan for days in the Parks. We all know that teens have many opinions, so allow them to share them.

Knowing what the teenager wants to do ahead of time will help you make that a priority when you arrive at Walt Disney World.

My Disney Experience App

Allow for Technology

Even though we wish we could all disconnect from our phones during our Walt Disney World vacations, the importance of the My Disney Experience app means that we are more connected than ever before.

Because teens are so technology savvy, get them involved on the My Disney Experience app. Let them have a profile to help navigate the day by seeing wait times, Genie+, and menus.

Teens are used to being connected with their friends 24/7 through their phones. Don’t go into the trip with unrealistic expectations that phones will magically be put away. Instead, get them involved. They are constantly taking pictures, so have them be in charge of photos throughout the Disney Parks. You will be impressed at the shots that they take. You can also use the phone to keep them entertained as a group. Play Heads-Up together while waiting in line or work together in Batuu to help the Resistance.

Plan in time for everyone to chill out and have some phone time. This might be in line waiting for a ride, at the bus stop, or during a meal. Walt Disney World is very overstimulating, so allowing teens, and adults, time to step away from that can be significant.

Don’t try to fight the phone at every moment of your Walt Disney World trip. Be realistic with your expectations and try to use the phone to get your teen involved in the Disney fun.

EPCOT Spaceship Earth and Cinderella Castle
EPCOT vs Magic Kingdom

Give Options

We already mentioned that giving your teen a voice in planning is crucial. It is also essential to provide options when you are in Disney Parks. It won’t be surprising that your teen might change their mind once they are at Disney about what they want to do.

As you navigate your way around Disney Parks, give options and choices before making a plan without them. Keep them involved to stay positive and feel like they have a voice. Don’t assume that they want to ride Space Mountain. Talk to them to see how they think and what experience they hope to do next.

You don’t want to make assumptions about what your teen wants to do. This can make them frustrated and grumpy, which isn’t fun for anyone.

tinkerbell and spaceship earth

Give Space

No family is used to being together 24/7. Now during your Walt Disney World vacation, you will be together 24/7 for days. Realize that your teen might need a break. Make sure that you plan some downtime for them during the day.

Even though they won’t nap, having some downtime planned is critical. However, they chill at the pool, in the Disney Resort, or even at a Disney Park. Just providing them with some solo time can make a huge difference.

As they age, consider allowing them some time to independently walk around the Disney Resort or the Disney Parks. Giving them that freedom and trust can go a long way.

This downtime is a great place to allow them to hang out on their technology without you nagging them. No matter what down looks like, make sure you provide your teen with some of it during your vacation.

Have Food

We know that Walt Disney World offers food around almost every corner, but make sure you have a snack for emergencies. Like when they were little, you want to be prepared when that teen gets hungry.

Have a plan for meals, so you aren’t frantically trying to make a plan when everyone is hungry. Have those table service reservations made, or use mobile ordering to ensure you have a pick-up time locked in. No one wants to have significant meltdowns because they are hungry.

family in pandora

Be in the Moment With Them

No matter how crabby teens will get at some point during your trip, take a moment to know that you are creating magical moments together. Try to slow down and take all of that in alongside your teen.

Don’t miss out on those small moments where they are singing, laughing, or screaming, just like when they were little.

Taking teens to Walt Disney World can be tricky. These tips will help you have a magical time together. Create those memories that will last a lifetime.


Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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