PlanningThe ParksTips

You Will Thank Us- Tips For Taking Teens To Disney

If you have a teenager or a tween in your house, you know how difficult it can be to make them happy.  When planning a trip to Walt Disney World with them, there are a few ways to keep them happy.

Take a look at some of these tips for taking your teens to Disney.  You will thank us for helping you navigate those teenage tantrums.

Disney World Map

Give Them Voice

The first tip we have started before you even leave for Walt Disney World.  Allow them to be a part of the planning process.  By giving them some input and ownership in the planning, they will feel like they are being heard.  That is super important to them.

We all know that they have opinions about everything.  Make sure that their opinions are heard as you are making decisions about where to eat, what rides to visit, and how your day will look.  Knowing what the teenager wants to do ahead of time will help you make that a priority when you arrive at Walt Disney World.

its a small world
Credit: Disney

Provide Options in the Disney Parks

Even though you arrive at Disney Park with a general idea of what your teen wants to do, this might change.  Shocking right?  You might be surprised that what you think they want to do isn’t truly what they want to do.

As you visit the Disney Parks, give them choices and options before making a plan.  Again, keeping them involved can really help them be more positive.  Don’t assume that they want to ride the thrill rides over and over.  They might actually enjoy seeing a cavalcade in Magic Kingdom or watching the Hall of Presidents.

Providing some options can really help you navigate what they are feeling and wanting to do throughout the day.  If you just assume, this can lead to them becoming frustrated and a grumpy teenagers.

Photo Credit: Apple

Give Them Phone Time

My Disney Experience is so important to a successful Disney trip.  This means that we are on the app, and therefore our phone, more and more.  We would love it if everyone could put their phones away during a Disney trip and really connect to one another, but that just isn’t how it works out.

As you will be on your phone a lot planning the next move in the Park, allow your teen to be on their phone as well.  They are used to being connected to friends each day so don’t expect them to willingly go a week without connecting through social media with friends.

Because they are so tech savvy, get them involved using their phones.  Set them up with a My Disney Experience account so they do can help plan and navigate the day.

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 as a way to keep them entertained as a group.  Play Heads-Up together while waiting in line or work together in Batuu to help the Resistance.

A major tip for having a happy teen at Walt Disney World is to not fight the phone.  Be realistic with your expectations and try to use the phone as a way to get them involved in the Disney magic.

Credit: Jennifer Retzlaff

Give Them 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 at a time.  Realize that your teen just 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 key.  Although they to 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 get older, consider allowing them some time to walk around the Disney Resort or the Disney Parks on their own.  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 at them.  No matter what down looks like, make sure you provide your teen with some of it during your vacation.

Caseys Corner Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Have a Food Plan

Teens get hungry just like little ones and it can be a disaster if you aren’t prepared.  Either have your dining reservations made ahead of time, or know which quick-service locations you plan to mobile order at.

By having a plan, you will hopefully be able to prevent any major meltdowns from those teens because they are hangry.

Another big tip is to have snacks with you in line.  Again, just like you would for little ones, it is good to have snacks with you in the Parks so you can save some money and keep them happy between meals.

teens 3
Credit: Jennifer Retzlaff

Cherish the Moments

No matter how crabby they might be during different moments of the trip, know that you are making magical memories together.  Try to slow down and really enjoy those moments with your teenagers.

Seeing your teen laugh and scream with delight is just as fun as when they were little.  Don’t miss out on those moments together.

Taking a teenager to Disney can be a struggle.  Don’t get frustrated with them, but instead take time to give them some space.  We hope that these tips will help you have a magical time at Walt Disney World with your teen.

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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