We normally do Disney as two adults. But we are bringing my nephew and niece along on our May trip. He is 13 and she is 12. What advice can you give an uncle who is only used to worrying about adult stuff? What should I watch out for? What should I try to do that I wouldn’t otherwise do? What is it I don’t know that I don’t know?
My kids are right in that age range (15 and 12). All kids are different but I can tell you that mine appreciate having control of some spending money of their own. They get a set amount and can choose as they see fit to spend it on souvenirs without getting “approval”. Also, they like to go and go and go and rides are their thing. A nice sit down meal might seem really appealing to me, but my two would much rather use that time to cram in a few more rides. We compromise, of course, but that would always be their preference. And lastly, teens and preteens typically are difficult to get up in the morning but are night owls. We have to prod ours to get up for rope drop, but once we get them going they are always glad they did.
Feed them regularly and before they get hungry–teens/tweens can get hangry.
Get their advice on planning, where to eat, what they really must do, etc. Make them feel important like the adults.
Sunscreen and lots of water. My teens/tweens aren’t good at using sunscreen and drinking water–they prefer to get sodas, slushies, etc on vacation b/c that’s not what we get at home but hydration is an issue at Disney.
Also! Most importantly…have a blast! How cool that you are taking them! Kids this age are a blast in the parks, in my opinion. They are big enough to pretty much take care of themselves and you can ride everything together.
LOL I would take my sister in-laws kids to 6 flags. Two were good one was a nightmare always wanted to do his own thing. Know who and what your dealing with before you go. Sit them down and find out WHO IS IN CHARGE you or them. It’s a family vacation so they should get a say on what they want to do and what you want to do. I asked my family what they wanted on our trip I got breakfast at Ohana and Its a Small World everything was up to me so lets see how this goes in June.
Discuss ‘the rules’ prior to going on your vacation. Make a set of rules that they have to agree on. They can also have input to the rules. Don’t make a lot of rules, just a few very simple and broad rules. It’s a lot easier than having to make up rules as you go. Money-eating-touring-and free time are good subjects
And with this you need to map out the consequences for breaking the rules. Make sure it’s something you can actually follow through with (so no “you’ll have to sit in the room and miss EVERYTHING!” if no adult is actually willing to miss out, too). But figuring out the consequences BEFORE you’re in the middle of a “so-and-so did such-and-such and I have no idea how to handle/discipline this” situation is very helpful. Not just at WDW.
So much this. We adults can take the unexpected hunger far better than the teens/tweens can - something I needed to be reminded of by my kids a couple weeks ago.
This is excellent advice. I had my kids do a list of “must do/like to do/if we have time” attractions and asked what 1 TS meal we should do (That’s all I was budgeting for). Used that to make a Touring Plan and figured out how to prep for “missed attractions” as well.