Planning a vacation with a tween or teen can be difficult. They want to feel like a grown-up, but if they’re honest with themselves, they still enjoy the kiddie things that Disney has to offer.
Since Disney can make even the adults feel like kids again, it can be a really great place to take the family if you plan well.
Part of making a family vacation great is choosing the right hotel. If your tween isn’t happy with your hotel choice, it could ruin your stay. On the other hand, choosing the right hotel can make for a very happy, highly entertained, and pleasant tween.
Let’s take a look at the top five hotels for tweens!
5. Art of Animation
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort gets the fifth spot on our list because it has some really great theming including oversized displays of the characters from popular Disney animated films like Cars, Lion King, Finding Nemo, and the Little Mermaid. If your tween isn’t too cool for Disney movies, they’ll really like this resort.
Some other nice features of AoA include the amazing Landscape of Flavors food court and the fun pool, which is the only one on property with underwater speakers. This Value Resort hotel also has family suites so there’s enough room for everyone. Your tween just might enjoy the extra privacy.
4. Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge can soften even the moodiest tweenager. After all, who could be in a bad mood when a giraffe is staring right onto your balcony? This Deluxe Resort hotel has really nice pools, and one even has a water slide. If your tween is into animals, nature, and the jungle, he or she will love Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is also home to some of the best dining on property. Jiko, Boma (hello buffet to tame that endless appetite!) and Sanaa consistently receive top marks for their authentic African cuisine, so if your tween is a foodie, this is the place you’ll want to stay!
3. Old Key West
Disney’s Old Key West Resort is a moderate resort close to Disney Springs. Since the moderate resorts are pretty spread out, you should know that one downfall of these properties is the potential for very long bus rides. If you can get a room near the Club House, you’ll be close to the last stop before the buses head to the parks.
Being close to Disney Springs can be a huge benefit. This shopping and dining district has something for everyone including table-service restaurants like T-Rex and Rainforest Café but also quick-service places like Wolfgang Puck and Earl of Sandwich. There are also two Starbucks locations- if your tween is into expensive coffees- and a Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop that serves up the most decadent treats. A ton of new stores offering clothing and accessories that will appeal to your tween have also been added recently.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort hotel is one of my favorite locations because of its proximity to Magic Kingdom. It’s literally right across the street. If your family plans to spend a lot of time at the Magic Kingdom, this is the hotel for you! Forget having to board the bus or the monorail. Just walk across the street, and you’re back to your hotel!
Its modern-day architecture is also great for tweens who might have an interest in engineering especially since the monorail runs right through the middle of the hotel. The Contemporary also boasts one of the best spots from which to watch Wishes. The California Grill and its adjacent observation deck might be even better than being in the park.
1. Crescent Lake Hotels
Ok, I may have cheated a bit on this one.
Crescent Lake is more of an area than a hotel, but just go with me on it. This area is comprised of six Disney resort hotels, but it’s worth the stretch. Crescent Lake is near both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios meaning that guests at these resorts are within walking distance to half of Disney’s theme parks. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Swan & Dolphin hotels, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort make up this area.
From here, Epcot’s World Showcase International Gateway is accessible by foot or by ferry as is Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This means that you’ll get exclusive access to Epcot’s World Showcase and skip the lines at the main entrance.
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Beach Club Resort both provide guests access to the Yacht Club’s water area known as Stormalong Bay, which is basically like a water park in itself. It even has a sand-bottom pool! Not only will your tweens love to take a midday break here, you’ll save money on water park tickets and have access every day of your vacation!
Is your tween still into Disney World? Their favorite resort?