Top 7 Ways to Get Your Teenager Excited About Walt Disney World
A Walt Disney World Planning Articleby Kathleen DiPietro, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 02-09-2017
Getting a young child excited about your next trip to Disney World is pretty easy. Talk of princesses, Buzz Lightyear or Winnie the Pooh will usually be enough, but teenagers are a whole different ball game. They are often “too cool” to show excitement for anything at all, let alone a trip to Disney World, so how do you get them excited about your next trip? Here are seven ways I have found that work for my 16 and 14 year olds.
Entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean
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1. Watch Disney Movies - Yes, you can pull out the traditional standbys like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, but try some movies that are geared more towards an older audience like Pirates of The Caribbean, Tomorrowland or any movies from the Star Wars series. If you are visiting after the new land opens at Animal Kingdom, Avatar would be a great choice. I already have my copy ready to go for our next trip. Another option is to go back to the REALLY old Disney movies such as Swiss Family Robinson or Tom Sawyer. These movies are great because they connect directly to attractions at Disney World.
2. Their Own Guide Book - Get them their own copy of your favorite Disney World guide book, maybe as a birthday or holiday present. They can highlight and take notes in it as much as they want, and then let you know exactly what it is they would like to do on your next trip to Disney World. (Editor's Note: Better yet - get them access to the PassPorter Live Guide! Teens love anything they can access online. ;) )
3. Disney Question of the Day - This is my favorite way to get teenagers excited about a trip to Disney World. Every so often during your planning process, pick a Disney question of the day. I usually wait until dinner to ask it, since I have a captive audience at that time, but you would be surprised how into it they get. Questions can be simple like, what’s your favorite ride, resort or park? Or they can be more complex such as, name your top three roller coasters, nostalgic rides or restaurants. We’ve had conversations that go on forever as they debate the what and why of their answers. The other bonus to doing this is that you will get a lot of really useful information to help you plan your trip.
4. Tickets to a Water Park - Visiting in the heat of the summer? Think of getting tickets to spend a day at either Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon. This is something that will appeal to the adventurous teen. On our last visit we actually added the Water Park Fun and More option to our base ticket. This allows you to visit either of the 2 water parks or ESPN’s Wild World of Sports complex once per day for the number of days on your base ticket. Our boys actually had so much fun at Blizzard Beach they went for two days on our last visit.
5. Look into Other Experiences - If this is not your first time at Disney World and you will have some free time on your trip, look into some of the other experiences Disney offers such as the backstage tours and fireworks cruises at all the parks. Epcot offers an interesting tour behind the scenes at the land pavilion and a tour of the varied architecture around the World Showcase. Both of these tours would appeal to teenagers with a “been there, done that attitude.” Another interesting tour, only if your children are over 16, is the Keys to the Kingdom tour. Your get to see behind the scenes and learn about the history of the Magic Kingdom.
6. Shopping - I have two boys who hate to shop so this doesn’t work for me but my nieces, who are now in college, have always loved going into all the shops. There are different and unique items in the World Showcase at Epcot, and Disney Springs has a lot of great new shopping options such as Alex and Ani, Vera Bradley, Star Wars Galactic Outpost, Sephora and many other boutiques. If your teens love to shop, Use the Disney question of the day to talk about all the shopping options and what they might want to buy there. They can even start saving their money from holidays, allowances and part time jobs to fund their planned shopping trips.
7. For the Foodie In the Family - At a certain point, teenagers will often become more willing to try new foods. This is a great time to start branching out because of the many interesting top quality restaurants at Disney. Instead of just concentrating on the character meals, which they may feel too old for now, try exposing your teen to different ethnic foods at Epcot or experience some of the signature dining all around the World. My kids have always been very picky with food but on our next trip I’m planning on booking at least one restaurant at the World Showcase for dinner.
Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach
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Sometimes it can feel difficult to get teens excited about a Disney World trip. They may think it’s boring or too immature for them, but often all they really want to know is that their wishes are being considered and there are things to do that specifically interest them. Engaging them in the planning process early, and showing them that they will be exposed to new things while you are there, is often enough to get any teen looking forward to your trip.
Updated 02-09-2017 - Article #1370
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