WDW with Teens?
About This Page: This is a discussion on WDW with Teens? within the Touring the 'World': The Parks at Walt Disney World, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; Hi all! I'm looking for suggestions on how best to tour with two teen-age girls. Thanks!...
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Welcome to the boards!
1st of all, I commend you for not believing the "teenagers and Disney are worst enemies" myth. The truth of the matter is that most teens have a great time at WDW, provided that you follow a few simple guidelines:
DO NOT force your girls on any rides that they do not want to go on. A teenager pouting on Dumbo is never a pretty sight. 'nuff said.
Go with your impulses. Suddenly have the urge to ride Buzz Lightyear? Go for it. (trust me, you will get addicted.) However, don't cave to your impulses when the posted wait time is more than 45 minutes, or you're already set on riding something.
NO extremely posed photo ops allowed! Don't do it! If you spend 15 minutes posing your family for "the perfect Kodak moment," all you will get is hard feelings and an extremely fake photo. Same with the characters. Your daughters know all about Mickey's friends, so posing with the characters may make them uncomfortable. Don't force it.
Let your girls be involved in the planning. Got a choice between All-Star Music, Movies, and Sports? Listen to their input and honestly consider it. Trying to decide which water park to visit? Research the rides, and talk it over as a family. The more say they have in their vacation, the more that they will enjoy it!
Do you have the current Passporter book? Jennifer and Dave give descriptions of all of the attractions and then rate them according to age preference and thrill factor. How many days will you be at the parks? Will you be there when the water parks are open? Do the girls like roller coasters? Would they enjoy some of the staged productions? Possibly La Nouba at Downtown Disney? I think much of it will depend on their personalities. My own DD is 18 and in most recent visits she enjoys not only the attractions but the shopping opportunities at Downtown Disney and Epcot, as well as the opportunity to try different styles of cooking. You can also go to the Disney website and request the free planning video which gives an overview of the whole Disney experience which might give you some ideas as well. Hope you have a wonderful trip!
My daughter and I are looking forward to our upcoming trip, just the girls. She will be 13. She has forbid me from anything having to do with princesses. But she is letting us do CP with Pooh Bear and she doesn't mind Mickey and friends, so we are safe there.
Her biggest request was sleeping in, which is difficult since I want to get at it, but I understand that it won't be a vacation for her if I'm waking her up at the crack of dawn.
Last night she started making our day planner, so I would suggest you get them involved. Give them the Passporter and let them have at it.
This is a great topic. I asked my DD yesterday if she'd still want to go to Disney with me when she's a teenager. She said yes and she didn't care if her friends thought she was weird. I hope she doesn't change!
My only advice is to plan some shopping time - girls are girls!
Nothing says spoiled day like spending increasingly frantic minutes wondering where in the World your kid has got to--the one who said she was just going to look in that shop for a minute and then poof! She's nowhere to be seen. Ring, ring...
If you don't have a family plan w/roaming on your cell phone, consider getting a couple of Virgin Mobile pay as you go phones (I use VM as my main phone). There are other pay as you go providers, but I know VM works at WDW. You can pick up a pair of modest phones for under $50, put $20 in minutes on each, and you'll be good to go. We find our phones essential as my largest kid (that would be my husband) still cannot get his bearings in MK after almost 10 visits, gets lost at least once each trip, and needs to be talked back to Splash Mountain or wherever my son & I are waiting. Teens will enjoy being able to go off to ride a ride that makes mom white with terror while said mom enjoys browing the shops or relaxing with a coffee. Beats pacing up and down for 20 minutes at the prearranged meeting spot, only to find your kid just couldn't pass up the chance to ride Space Mountain one more time ("But mom, the line was soooo short...")
Nik & his favorite guy Goofy at DHS Osborne Lights
Sandra in Northern VA
I had a chat with my two teens. I have my DD (17) and DS (16) I had to sit down with them and remind them that they are almost out of the house and it WILL be our last family vacation together. They won't (probably) ever see these strangers again, and they should feel free to let their inner kid come out. This won't be as much of an issue for my DD but a big one for my DS who thinks he's too cool for just about everything. (He doesn't know that I know that he secretly loves Pooh. ) We went to DTD in April when we did a Universal trip and he loved the Pooh Corner store. Also, a lot of things happen in life. Life is messy. Anything could happen to prevent them from ever going again. My kids have been around long enough to know that not everyone has this oppurtunity and I told them they should make the best of it and if they want to hug a character or something, they shouldn't let their cool-ness get in the way.
When I was a teenager I went to Disney every Spring vacation. We LOVED doing some sort of challenge. Like, how many hats could we get pictures of ourselves in, how many languages could we learn to say Hello in, how many boys could we meet (Okay, Mom didn't know about that one!!! LOL!!)
I would say, get them inolved, Let them plan a park one day where you have to follow their touring plan.
Go easy, i they want to sleep in let them, if they want to ditch out o AK to go back and swim, let them.
Give them a little independance, that will be the memorable part or them.
If they are old enough then let them tour by themselves for a while. You might enjoy the break and the chance to tour the world your way. I've let my DD15 tour with a friend as long as we were in the same park and it worked out fine. She had a cell phone with her just in case.
You also might get the girls to choose a few activities that they want to do and schedule these activities into the vacation so you have a little structure in your vacation and an incentive to get the girls out of bed before 3:00pm.
Thanks everyone for your suggestions so far. My DDs will be 13 & 15 on our trip in June. Already preparing for their input on touring and whether or not to do Character meals. My 13 DD only wanted to have access to some sand ... so we're staying at the Caribbean Beach this time. I'm ready .. let's go to WDW!!!
One of my boys will be 15 this trip, and his cousin 18, so I have already told him I would have no problem with them going off together for awhile, but staying in touch and/or meeting for dinner. You know your kids best!
I have two teenagers as well and this past summer, we let them go off on their own a lot. We always ate all of our meals together and spent a good part of the day together, but they did have plenty of time to go off and do the things that they enjoy. I had one major rule, they needed to call when they got to where they were going and they needed to call when they were heading back to the resort. It worked out very well and actually made for a more enjoyable time for everyone, because DH and I didn't have to wait around for them to go on things that we didn't want to.
Location: A little over 1000 miles from my happy place!
had a chat with my two teens. I have my DD (17) and DS (16) I had to sit down with them and remind them that they are almost out of the house and it WILL be our last family vacation together. They won't (probably) ever see these strangers again, and they should feel free to let their inner kid come out. This won't be as much of an issue for my DD but a big one for my DS who thinks he's too cool for just about everything. (He doesn't know that I know that he secretly loves Pooh. ) We went to DTD in April when we did a Universal trip and he loved the Pooh Corner store. Also, a lot of things happen in life. Life is messy. Anything could happen to prevent them from ever going again. My kids have been around long enough to know that not everyone has this oppurtunity and I told them they should make the best of it and if they want to hug a character or something, they shouldn't let their cool-ness get in the way.
Well said! My DS15 also thinks he's too cool for this world, but I try to get him to let that little kid (who we know is still inside somewhere) out every once in a while! Life IS messy, especially when you're raising teens, and it's so important to be able to laugh and have fun together as much as you can.
Have you ordered the 2009 Planning DVD? It has a section on there for older kids. It features six tween-teens (they look to be in the 12-14 range) and their perspective of Disney. It obviously doesn't show the teacups, Dumbo, etc. with those kids, but features the things that kids that age really enjoy. It definitely got my family, including my teen, psyched for our upcoming trip.