If you live with a teenager, you know that they can present you with challenges every day. After all, transitioning from being a youngster to being an adult isn’t easy. Those challenges don’t go away even when your family takes a vacation.
That lanky teen who once loved Mickey Mouse or a particular Princess might now consider Disney to be totally uncool.
Fortunately, there are ways to help your teenager enjoy a trip to Disney World so that the entire family can have fun together. Here are five ways to make it happen:
1 – Involve them in the planning
For many families, planning the trip is a big part of the fun. How will you get there? Where will you stay – at a Disney owned-hotel or off-site? What will you eat, and can you get reservations to your favorite places? What parks will you visit on which days? If you have a responsible teen who has an eye for detail or organization, ask them to help you organize the trip. They can research flight and hotel costs using online tools. Perhaps they can even help you make Advanced Dining Reservations. The more skin they have in the game, the more they will participate in the vacation itself instead of standing back and making snarky comments.
2 – Enlist their help on the vacation
Think about what your teen is good at doing. Are the good with technology? Perhaps you can put them in charge of managing the cameras, phones, and FastPass+ reservations. They can help make sure that all the right gear goes and stays with you. Are they social media experts? They can have a goal to provide your friends and family back home with daily updates that they create.
3 – Give them some freedom
Generally speaking Disney World is considered to be an extremely safe place. Many parents feel comfortable allowing older children to go on their own to explore a different area of the park they are visiting that day. Maybe they can even take a ride on the monorail to check out a Disney resort hotel on their own. Consider how much freedom you can offer your teen, stay in touch with your cell phones, and make specific plans on where and when you will meet up.
4 – Keep the fun confidential
One concern that many teens have is that their friends at home will see hokey pictures of them on vacation. Ensure your teenager that the fun will remain confidential – information for inside the family only. That means no posting embarrassing photos of your teen on your Facebook page or e-mailing too-cute stories back to your friends. Give your teenager the privacy and freedom to have fun like a kid again without worrying that it will embarrass them when they get back to the real world.
5 – Make Plans for Things They Will Enjoy
Disney offers plenty of fun activities for people of all ages both inside and outside the parks. This is another opportunity to take advantage of knowing your kid. Do they enjoy the water? Consider renting a boat or going parasailing. Do they like to look behind the scenes to see how things work? Consider taking a back stage tour. Do they love to eat exotic food? Go to an interesting restaurant in Epcot‘s World Showcase or a Disney resort that you’ve never tried before.
It Can Still Be Fun
Take a little time to plan ahead, and your entire family, including your teenager, can have fun together at Disney World.
Have your survived a trip to Disney World with a teenager?