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Walt Disney World with Teens and Tweens

No longer Princess obsessed, but not ready for cocktails at Trader Sam’s…What is there for teens and tweens at Walt Disney World?  Plenty!  As a matter of fact, the past vacation with my 14 and 12 year old daughters was one of my most favorite to date.  Our vacations have a different vibe than they did when we were searching out Tinker Bell for an autograph and making dining reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table, but that doesn’t mean the MAGIC is gone.  There’s plenty more magic to discover as my kids grow into teenagers.  Here’s a list of things my daughters enjoy that may have a place in your future Walt Disney World vacation!

EPCOT Shopping
Checking out the shops in World Showcase used to mean moans and groans from the kids.  Now they’ve discovered really cool things, shopping in World Showcase has joined our must do list.  Japan has really cool Hello Kitty, Domo and Nintendo themed gifts.  Travel further back into the shop and watch the oysters being opened and made into jewelry.  Venture even further back to check out all of the unique candy and Japanese soda flavors for purchase.  Green Tea Kit Kats and Shrimp Paki?  You’ll never know if you like it unless you try it!  Glass bead jewelry making in Germany kept their attention for quite a while, too.  The handmade glass creations were amazing to watch as they took shape. 

Thrills and Chills
Rock n' Roller Coaster used to be a bit scary for the youngsters, but now they can’t wait to ride again and again and again!  The single rider line is a godsend on busy days and shortens their wait time significantly.  Move on over to Tower of Terror for even more thrills.  These 2 attractions alone can keep the teens occupied for hours while I sit on a bench in the shade people watching.  What could be better?

Pool Time
You can’t come home from a Florida vacation without a little bit of bronzing from the hot Florida sun.  Be sure to allow for plenty of time for some fun by the pool.  Consider the pool when booking your vacation, too.  If that’s an amenity you’ll use more than some others, be sure to pick a resort with a pool that suits your family’s needs.

More Adventurous Eating Choices
It’s no longer chicken nuggets and cheese pizza for every meal.  The chefs at Teppan Edo are entertaining to watch and the food choices on the buffet at Boma allow them to try new dishes with the option of just getting a whole new plate if it doesn’t agree with their ever changing palate.  Cape May Café, Nine Dragons and The Yachtsman Steakhouse have replaced more kid-friendly restaurants of not so long ago with delicious choices that the entire family still enjoys.





Henna Art
The henna art provides a way to express themselves with temporary tattooing in magnificent design.  Available in Morocco of the World Showcase, the henna artists will create designs that last 1 to 3 weeks on the arms, legs or hands.  Both daughters had this done on our last trip and their designs lasted about 2 ½ weeks.  I’d have to admit that their art was beautiful, but I’m thankful that it’s also temporary!

Less Chaotic Park Schedule
Although we still spend a lot of time in the parks, we are definitely at a much more leisurely pace than in previous years.  If we stay in the parks for evening Extra Magic Hours until midnight or later, we play it cool the next morning and don’t stress about getting in that valuable morning park time.  It all works out.  Sleep is important at any age and you are on vacation, after all!  Sleep.  Get your rest.  Let the teens rest.  It will all make for a more pleasurable vacation in the long run!

Disney Springs
Disney Springs is full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.  For a slight additional fee, you can go bowling at Splitsville, catch the latest action flick (or any others) at the AMC Theater, or check out stunning views from the Characters in Flight tethered hot air balloon.  Disney Springs is also home to a ton of great shopping and dining experiences.  From the Lego Store to a Poutine Stand, there is a whole world of things for teens to explore to suit their different interests.

Technology
While it would be great if we could all disconnect and focus on spending time with the family while on vacation, it's unlikely that it's going to happen with technology-loving teens.  Especially with so much of the Walt Disney World experience being enhanced by My Disney Experience and the Play Disney Parks app.  Get the kids with their own devices backup batteries and cables (that they need to carry of course) otherwise you might find yourself hunting for chargers and outlets left and right and putting a dent in your fun because they just want to go back to the hotel to charge up. It doesn't hurt to get yourself one as well, because taking all those photos of your kids having a great time will eat through your battery too!

Mary Ann

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