Teenagers and WDW


I'm a new liner. Planning a last week of June 2015 trip with DH and DS16. DS16 announced "I'm not really a rides guy." Plus he's an only child and we don't have the budget to bring a friend. Thoughts about the best place to stay and activities that he will enjoy? We've been to WDW 3 times previously, so it will be okay to leave certain things out this time. But what? And what to add in? Considering POFQ which says it has a game room/arcade. A good place to meet other teens? Last time we stayed at POP but that seemed like mostly families with young kids. I thought we could use the extra space this time too in a moderate. Thoughts on DisneyQuest? Is it just Dave and Busters or is it worth it? We are also planning on one or two days at USF/Cabana Bay to see the Harry Potter things, other rides not so interesting to any of us. Anyone else travel with somewhat surly teens have any advice? Should I just count on the magic winning him over? Thanks in advance.


DQ is probably a good idea Its loud dark and noisy sorry can't help with the rest. Maybe let him have pool time w/ out you They are all different and its 6 months away Also maybe let him do some of the planning or pick a tour for you guys to do.( Behind the seeds) There is blue man group at Uni hddr etc at wdw


Disney quest isn't exactly like Dave and Busters - no tickets given out to get prizes. It is filled with 5 floors of video games and interactive games that game people like. There are food areas where parents can sit and read or play on their phones with older kids off on their own.

Umm, the game room at POFQ has maybe 20 games. Its pretty small. Not like the ones at the values. Can't say whether your DS will find a friend to hang out with. We tend to go with friends because my Ds is an only child too.

I don't know if he will be into it if he already told you he isn't a ride person. He could be a relax at the resort person though.


When I visited Disney World as a teenager (awhile ago), I liked sleeping in, visiting the pools, EPCOT Center, and anything Disney history related. The Disney history thing is an acquired taste, likely acquired over the course of years of Disney vacations, so I don't know that will apply to your son. In Epcot, having time to visit the post-ride pavilion at World of Motion was always exciting, as were the non-thrill rides in that park. There's less of that sort of attraction now, with Test Track and Mission Space taking the place of my former favorite pavilions, but it's possible some things in that park may still appeal to older children.

Another thing I always looked forward to was the food, so asking your son for thoughts in planning some of the meals might be a good idea. Most teens (and most people) like to offer their opinions and it's harder to complain about an experience that you helped select.


Have you done any of the shows - maybe Blue Man Show at Universal or HDDR at Disney. These are great fun and my teenage girls enjoyed them. If your DS wants something a bit more sophisticated then try Cirque de Soliel in DTD. We also found that our girls really enjoyed trying out different restaurants - especially where they are well themed or there is something special (e.g. 50s, CG, Teppon Edo). It's expensive but Discovery Cove is also a fantastic day out - you don't need to book the dolphin experience as there is more than enough to do. You can also do snacking round the world in Epcot (and other parks) -great fun and something that everyone can do together. In terms of meeting other teens the pool is probably the best bet, but I know that doesn't always work. An alternative might be the (very) early morning surfing lessons at Tyohoon lagoon - don't know how much they are (probably expensive knowing Disney) but maybe worth looking into.


When he says that he is not really a rides guy, what does he mean? Does he actually not like the mega-thrill rides? I'm wondering if he means "I'm not a Disney rides guy", as he views the WDW rides as mainly being tame kiddie rides. Most teens want to go to UOR because they offer far more true thrill rides.


That's what I was thinking too -- when he says he's not a rides guy, he might have visions of sitting in a teacup spinning with his mommy while girls on the sidelines giggle at him for being so childish. But of course that's not how it is, and there are plenty of awesome rides for a 16 year old to do and feel cool about. Thinking Rockin Rollercoaster, Test Track, etc. Space Mountain...


And I totally think you should make him meet some princesses, hee hee hee. smile


Thank you so much for all the great ideas! I am going to look into the surfing and the shows and DQ. I'm afraid those shows might be extra money though and I always feel like for what I'm paying I don't want to pay extra. May need to do it anyway. WDW always seems like a reasonably priced vacation til you start adding all the extras, lol. For those who asked, what he means by not being a rides guy is that he really doesn't want to do the big roller coasters. That's fine. I'm doing Space Mountain and BTMRR and the Harry Potter ones with or without him. I"m betting he'll do those with us. And skipping RnRC and ToT is fine with me.

For those with teens, is it ok to leave a 16 year old at DQ or Typhoon Lagoon or do we have to go with him?


I forgot to mention that DS is a foodie, so your suggestions about letting him pick restaurants is excellent. Now if only I can get him to do that before the 180 day mark. He is a procrastinator which as we all know does not work well for planning WDW trips.


I think that a 16 year old being alone at Typhoon Lagoon or DQ should be fine. I was allowed to explore the main parks by myself at 12 or so. We never did TL or DQ, though.


The "good news" on ADRs is that except for V&A (and sometimes CG), most of the good "foodie" TSs can be booked considerably closer to your trip than 180 days. Other than BOG, the ones that "go fast" are primarily the CMs - and when I was 16, mediocre food mixed with characters would certainly NOT have been a trip highlight.


I think the important thing is to give him options. Tell him that you are going in for RD at a park, and if he wants to join you he can, but if he wants to sleep in, that's fine, call when he gets up and you can make plans to meet. If there's a ride he doesn't want to go on, don't pressure him. If he wants to split up in the parks and have some time to just "hang" by himself, give him that freedom (with controls as you see fit). If he wants to go back to the resort early and hang out at the pool or in the game room, let him.

16 year old boys can be SO different. Is he the kind who wants to hang out at the pool in a bathing suit and meet girls or is he the kind that wants to "nerd out" in a game room and find someone to talk about World of Warcraft with?

Of course all of this depends on his level of maturity and the amount of mutual trust that you have.

I don't HAVE any teenagers, but I remember BEING one (the only child of an over-protective Mom and a somewhat "distant" Dad). We didn't take many family vacations, but when we did I was never given any options; I did what my parents said we were going to do, and I was going to like it, and I was going to have fun. In all honesty, most of the time that worked fine, but there were certainly periods of frustration when I felt more like a 10 year old than a 16 or 17 year old...

I guess the bottom line of all of this rambling is that you should be sensative to the things that he likes to do, and find ways for your vacation to intensify the enjoyment of what he likes rather than replacing what he likes with something that he is not interested in...


Is he excited about the vacation? Maybe you can ask him to plan a day - he can watch videos, look around the disney web site to try to figure out what he would like to do. Sounds like you need to give him a deadline though smile


HDDR is an all-you-can-eat dinner show; a bit pricey, but not completely out of line with many other TSs (and less than most signature dinners). La Nouba is definately a "big ticket" item, but if he is in any way inclined toward the performing arts, I think he would find the show amazing.


If the HP areas are truly the only thing that interests you at UOR, one day may be enough for you. Virtually all of the rides at UOR fall into the "thrill" category (which is why many teens prefer UOR to WDW).


We went Many moons ago when my brother and i were 15 and 16. We rented a small sail boat one day, that was fun. What about the tours? Sine he could do on his own i think. There's behind the trains, keys the kingdom, the ft wilderness segwat tour, etc. And aren't there classes of some sort ? Maybe he could do a cooking one