By: Minnie Diva
I get it, for most teenagers, lying on the beach or taking a cruise where they can sit around and meet other people their age is much more appealing than huffing around a theme park. My friends make fun of me for my obsession with the parks, for my built in map and bank of random facts that no one asked to hear. They don’t get why I would rather go to Disney than anywhere else, and I imagine, some of your teens might feel the same way. Or maybe you yourself are wary of taking them. Who wants to spend that kind of money on a Disney trip, when your kids are grown?
But as a teen, I’m here to tell you: Disney World is for teenagers too. In fact, I would argue that with the right attitude, Disney can be more magical for teens than it is for children, and these are some of the reasons:
- Thrill Rides
Disney does thrill rides like no other. These aren’t your average roller coasters. They tell stories, and build the suspense before you even board the ride. And there’s a countless amount to choose from: Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Seven Dwarves’ Mine Train; And those are just in Magic Kingdom alone! My personal favorite thrill ride is Tower of Terror. It’s a drop ride like no other, from the creepy backstory, to the dust covered “basement” of the hotel. There’s nothing like the feeling of the elevator dropping and your heart leaving your body. I walk off shaky and laughing every single time. The thrill rides alone should be enough to convince your kids to go to Disney, in my opinion.
Diva Tip: Any thrill ride is going to have a wait, so get Fastpasses for these, and book them in advance! (60 days if yo are staying on-property or 30 days if you are staying off-property.)
Don’t let your kids lie to you, everyone has a favorite Disney character. And odds are, they can meet said character at one of the parks! Plus, even if they claim they don’t have a favorite character, they’re still fun to meet. In fact, I enjoy meeting characters more now, than I did when I was little. None of the fear is there, and some characters have even made me laugh out loud. Some highlights I encourage all my friends to get in line for are: Chip and Dale, hilarious little jokesters and impossibly cute; any and all princesses, especially Rapunzel and Ariel; Pooh and Tigger, their meet and greet in Epcot is absolutely adorable, and hugs from Pooh can make the worst days better; and lastly, Peter Pan. In fact, upon entering Peter’s line, you’ll realize that it’s mostly teenage girls. Part of this is because he’s hilarious. (I told him I was having a Frozen birthday party and he got so angry he stomped out of line.) Another reason is he’s usually pretty cute, not even going to lie.
Tip: If there’s a character you’re dying to meet, get there 30-45 minutes before the line opens.
Another Tip: Take selfies! I promise there’s nothing more fun than taking a “shell-fie” with Ariel.
- The Food
Disney food is, quite literally, some of the best I’ve ever had. I have dreams about the chocolate croissants there, and I would do anything to be in the buffet line at Tusker House right now. And you don’t have to worry about teens who live off of pizza and mac n cheese. A sophisticated diet is not a requirement to dine at Disney. Even their chicken nuggets are to die for.
Tip: Book meals 6 months in advance, and show up 15 minutes early for your reservation.
- They will genuinely love and cherish the memories.
I can’t tell you this is true with a fact about the parks. But I can tell you that I still remember driving under the sign when I was 13. I remember the excitement of my first ride on Space Mountain on that same trip. I remember watching giraffes from my room in Animal Kingdom Lodge for my 14th birthday. I remember how special it feels to wear a birthday button. I remember the way I smiled when Flynn winked at me during Festival of Fantasy. I remember my mom surprising me with a lunch with the princesses, and I remember how happy I felt in that exact moment. The best memories I have from my teenage years so far were all made a Disney with my family. And I can guarantee that your teenagers will feel the exact same way.
Tip: While at Disney with teenagers, try to remember that we’re just that: teenagers. We’re moody, loud, and sometimes need mid-afternoon naps. Forgive us.
So please, if there’s any part of you thinking about taking your teens to Disney World, do it! Growing up is for losers, just ask Peter Pan!