We started going to Disney World when my kids were 3 years old. They are now almost 13 and the way we travel around Disney World has definitely changed. Some people think that Disney World is only for families with young kids and once their kids are older, that they need to start looking for new vacation destinations…that there isn’t enough to keep a tween or teen occupied. But, there is so much tweens and teens can do and experience the Disney magic in a whole new way!
As your little ones get older, there is more available to them because they don’t have to worry as much about ride height requirements. You don’t have to worry about running back to your resort for an afternoon nap and hopefully everyone can stay up late enough to see the fireworks! And, I don’t care how old you are, it’s always exciting to meet Mickey!
Once my kids were old enough, I let them help decide which restaurants we would make dining reservations for and which Fast Pass+ Reservations we would make for each park. This has always allowed them to feel like they have a part and a say in our Disney vacation planning.
We do like to stay in a Disney resort where we can have a little more space so that everyone has their own space and hopefully, the kids have their own bed! There are a lot of resort options for families to spread out. Our favorites are Bay Lake Tower and the Beach Club Villas. There are several resorts around Disney World that offer 1- and 2-bedroom suites or villas. The Art of Animation Family Suites are also a great place for families to stay and have room to stretch out.
My kids love riding the big thrill rides, but they also enjoy taking a ride on It’s a Small World or Peter Pan’s Flight. It has been fun experiencing them transitioning from rides like Dumbo to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to Rock n’ Roller Coaster.
Pool time is also important for our almost teens. Disney is known for having really fun resort pools.
If you are looking for a little more water fun with your tween or teen, Disney has two amazing water parks. Once our kids were a little older, we made sure to visit both Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. I loved Blizzard Beach…the wave pool, Melt-Away Bay, has really nice, big relaxing waves. My kids loved the Surf Pool at Typhoon Lagoon with it’s 6 ft tall tidal waves.