What To Do With Teenagers On Your Walt Disney World Vacation…

On Disney World vacations there is a plethora of things to do with children. The list is endless. Even adults (parents and grandparents) with children have lots of things to do because they’re enjoying the rides and watching the reactions of the kids. Disney is a family place. It is one of the major reasons Walt Disney built Disneyland so he could have a place to enjoy with his daughters. Nothing can replace the experiences a family can have creating magical moments at a Disney Destination.

But what to do with teenagers at Disney World? It is no secret that Disney is behind Universal Orlando on thrill rides. And they are really limited depending on which park you are in for the day. It is likely to see many 16 year olds bored on Small World, Pooh, and Peter Pan. Although I contend they act bored and put out but they may secretly enjoy it! So how can you make the moody and unpredictable teenagers happy at WDW?

1. Let them pick the restaurants. When you are doing your advanced dining reservations (or your talented amazing Storybook agent is for you) get your teenager to say where they would like to eat. Give them some choices in this regard. Show them the menus. Younger kids will likely drive your fastpass+ selections but where to eat will give your teenager a part in the planning process and they will likely enjoy the meal more when you are at WDW.

2. Give them alone time. We are lucky because we have been to WDW so many times our 16 and 13 year old daughters know where they are going anywhere on property but we never let them roam outside the park we are all in. But teenagers are generally good at directions and exploring- of course each teenager is different. Give them a time to meet back and make sure they have their phone and you are watching your phone. Give them suggestions on what to do. If there are teenage siblings even better as they can go together. But even if a teenager has an hour of exploring and riding an attraction on their own it gives them space and breathing room. And then when they are on Small World with the family, the happiest cruise in the world is all good!

3. Buy them a gift card and let them pick their own souvenirs, snack items, etc. Take what you would spend on each family member for snacks and souvenirs and put that amount on a Disney gift card. Gift cards are everywhere to purchase across the resort. It will give your teenager some responsibility and gives them freedom to make choices on their own. It will also be a good lesson as to the value of certain items as well as being an excellent math lesson if they keep up with the receipts.

4. If possible let them bring a friend. This is even more appealing if a sibling of the same age range is not in the family or not coming on the trip. But you may not want to pay for an additional person. You never know if that friend’s parents wouldn’t mind paying for them to come. Those parents may never want to come WDW and their child does, so perfect solution. Everyone wins. You as a parent have a built in buffer in that friend and the trip will probably be even more enjoyable.

There are many more suggestions that could work for teenagers at Disney World and we would love to hear them! Regardless of who is in your traveling party and the age make-up- have a magical time with your entire family!


Top 10 Things We Loved About Disney Dish Live at Walt Disney World

The first-ever Disney Dish Live at Walt Disney World happened November 10-13 and we had an amazing time! It’s impossible to fit all of the fun times into one blog post, but we’ll break down a few of them!

1. The People – We met so many new people and made so many new friends! We laughed together, ate together, rode rides together, and got to know Len and Jim better together! Can’t ask for more than that!

2. Live Podcast Recording – Of course we’ve all heard Len and Jim’s podcasts before, but seeing them live and in person doing their thing was surreal in a good way—like if this is a dream, don’t wake me up! Eating Mickey-shaped food while we listened was just the icing on the cake!

3. Jingle Cruise – Len and Jim graciously rode Jingle Cruise twice so everyone could join in on the fun for a group ride with extreme audience participation. With two cruise skippers who nailed their jobs, it was a ride to be remembered!

4. The Q& A – While we all stuffed our faces with a private breakfast buffet at Restaurantosaurus, there was no question that Len and Jim shied away from. Even one about a certain attraction that’s taking a suspiciously long time to reopen… In addition to their candidness and easy-going style, there seems to be no limits to their knowledge about Disney!

5. The Dessert Party – One may think that desserts would be the highlight of a dessert party, but once Illuminations started, we realized that wasn’t it! The view was absolutely amazing!

6. Private Frozen Ride – After the dessert party, while most guests were being escorted out, we were escorted deeper into the park, to our own private ride on Frozen Ever After! Walking on to an empty ride with friends all around is definitely the best way to ride something at Disney.

7. Walk Abouts – The Walk Abouts were a great activity for anyone who wanted to join in. We were once again astounded by Len and Jim’s knowledge while we were unexpectedly given a glimpse into what the upcoming Star Wars land could hold! It was exciting to say the least!

8. Ugly Christmas Sweaters – You can never have too many ugly Christmas sweaters at a Christmas party. And the participants did not disappoint! From light-up sweaters, to Yeti sweaters, to pictures of Len and Jim on a sweater, these were sure to be classics for years to come.

9. Late Nights at Rix – Sometimes a casual meet up is all you need! Len and Jim very graciously stayed up until all hours of the night meeting people and doing what they do best – telling stories. No one was sad they came.

10. Tambu Lounge – Melekaliki Cocktails, nachos and new friends were the perfect way to start a Christmas party!

We really can’t say enough how much we enjoyed Disney Dish Live at Walt Disney World. We don’t have details on the next Disney Dish event yet, but we will post them here as soon as we know! We can’t wait!

Disney Dish Live at Walt Disney World is this Weekend!

Disney Dish Live at Walt Disney World is this weekend, November 10-13!  We can’t wait to see everyone!  Here is our updated schedule:

Friday, November 10th –
2-9 PM Check-in at Disney’s Coronado Springs North Registration Counter
7-10 PM Informal Meet Up At Rix

Saturday, November 11th –
7:30 AM Board Bus to Animal Kingdom Meet at North Registration Counter in Convention Center at Disney’s Coronado Springs
8-9:30 AM Q&A Breakfast at Restaurantosaurus in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
10-11:30 AM Pandora Walkabout, Meet outside Tiffins, by Bridge to Pandora
1-2 PM DinoLand Walkabout, Meet by Gertie the Giant Yellow Dinosaur in DinoLand
9-10:30 PM Illuminations Dessert Party in Mexico Meet Near Friendship Boat Launch by Mexico
10:30 PM Frozen Ever After Group Ride
11:30 PM Informal Meet Up at Rix

Sunday, November 12th –
9-11 AM Boardwalk Walkabout, Meet Outside Flying Fish on the Boardwalk
1-3 PM Live Podcast Recording at Disney’s Coronado Springs Convention Center in Durango 1 & 2
5 PM Informal Pre Party Cocktails at Tambu Lounge in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
7 PM Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
7:15 PM Informal Meet Up Outside Gaston’s Tavern Group Photo and Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest
8:00 PM Group Jingle Cruise Ride
11:30 PM Group Almost Midnight Snack at Tomorrowland Cookie Station

Monday, November 13th –
8 AM Informal Breakfast Send Off at Pepper Market in Disney’s Coronado Springs