Tips For Traveling To Walt Disney World With Teens and Young Adults

Traveling to Disney with older kids can be a joy, if you just give them a little room to spread their wings. I loved taking my kids to Walt Disney World when they were little, the joy on their faces and the wonder of youth is awesome to behold. But - I'll be honest when I say that now that my kids are older (ranging in age from 16-22) it's a whole different sort of fun. I'm often asked by parents of teens how I managed to keep their Disney love alive, and mostly I think I just got lucky. I can say however that changes we made in our travel style as the kids got older have gone a long way to decrease my stress, and increase everyone's travel fun.

Tips For Traveling With TeenagersTips For Traveling With Teenagers

Sleep In - We don't wait around for everyone to be ready in the morning. Everybody is not required to make rope-drop. Those folks who are up early head to the Parks on the Disney Transportation System. Those who want to sleep in, spend a little longer in bed. A well rested Mom and Dad makes for a more enjoyable time for all. Thanks to our cell phones we can still keep in touch and contact each other when it's time to meet up.

Split Up - We no longer fight over what we're going to do first either. My family now picks a Park for the day and everyone heads off to do their own things. We'll run into each other periodically during the day to share experiences, and then often drift off on our own again. Not worrying about keeping the whole group together cuts down on a lot of my general mom stress, and everyone gets to do what's most important to them. If I want to spend two hours in the Emporium, that's my pleasure.

Early Risers Head Off FirstEarly Risers Head Off First

Financial Independence - Grown-up kids can carry their own money, and make their own souvenir decisions. It has been ages since any of the kids has had a melt-down because I wouldn't buy their favorite plushie. And - with the Disney Dining Plan on their MagicBands, I never have to worry about them going over a mealtime budget.

Family Meals - At the end of the night we always all gather around a table for a great meal. This is always one of my favorite parts of vacation because it brings our days together even when we've spent time apart. That evening group meal gives us a chance to all discuss the fun we had and what are plans on for the rest of the day. I've found that after a day off on their own, my kids are often more willing to spend the evening touring with their folks.

Dinner Together Is My Favorite Part of the DayDinner Together Is My Favorite Part of the Day

I think that it's really important to remember that even though your family is headed out on a "family vacation," everyone has their own version of what's the most fun at Walt Disney World. Most teens today put in long hours at school, and doing extra curricular programs, or working after school jobs, and just like you getting away from your routine, they just want to relax and enjoy vacation as well. When you give them time to enjoy Disney their own way it keeps the magic alive, and can actually bring your family closer.

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