If you think Walt Disney World is only for toddlers, think again! There is a lot to enjoy at Disney with teens! We have been visiting for years and these are our picks for the best things to do with teens at Disney World.
We have been visiting Walt Disney World since my kids were babies and young children, it has a special place for us as a family, but even if this is your first visit to Walt Disney World you can find something that teens will love at the Disney theme parks.
I suggest starting with a basic plan for visiting Walt Disney World and then take time to discuss what everyone wants their Disney vacation to look like. When you are visiting Disney with teens you need to be flexible and discuss expectations before you arrive at the parks.
There are four theme parks at Walt Disney World. They are Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. There are two water parks: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. There is also a dining, shopping, and entertainment area: Disney Springs.
You should use your teens interests to determine what parks and activities will work for you. We have attractions and dining that we enjoy at all parks so we try to plan a day at each, but you should do what works best for you.
Tips for Visiting Disney with Teens
If this is your first time visiting Disney World you probably want to visit all 4 theme parks because there are rides and attractions that are so much fun for all ages.
If you are traveling with teens to Disney World and they have younger siblings it is a good idea to check the height requirement of rides to see what attractions everyone can experience and what are for the older kids.
All of the Disney theme parks have rides for all ages as well as some targeted towards older kids and some targeted towards younger kids. This makes it easy to visit and make sure everyone can ride what they want.
If your teen wants to ride an attraction that is not great for the younger kids you should try to single rider line. You will skip the long line and wait time but you are not guaranteed to ride with your party. Most likely you will get split up.
We have used the single rider line to avoid long waits and it works great with teens and tweens at Disney World.
Best Attractions for Teens at Disney World
The best rides for teens are spread out through the four theme parks. If I could only pick one park to visit I would say the best Disney park for teens is Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but honestly that is by a small advantage and I think all 4 parks offer something great for teens.
Our picks for the best rides for teens at Disney include the most thrilling rides at each park and most teens will enjoy them. I also included a few on the list that are not all thrill rides but teens like them.
Keep in mind most of the rides at Disney World are fun for all ages so even though its target audience may be young, your kids may like it.
Best Rides at Magic Kingdom for Teens
Magic Kingdom is the castle park. Guests will enter on Main Street U.S.A. and have many attractions and rides to experience.
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain (Currently becoming Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and opening in 2024)
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Tron Lightcycle Power Run
- Haunted Mansion
- Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
Related: 9 Best Rides at Magic Kingdom
Best Rides at Epcot for Teens
Epcot has a lot to discover with the World Showcase as well as unique rides and attractions.
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Test Track
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- Ratatouille: Remy’s Adventure
Best Rides at Hollywood Studios for Teens
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has roller coaster rides as well as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. There you can meet characters from Star Wars like Kylo Ren and Chewbacca.
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Rock N’ Rollercoaster
- Rise of the Resistance
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Toy Story Mania!
Best Rides at Animal Kingdom for Teens
Animal Kingdom is a mix of attractions and animal exhibits.
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Expedition Everest
- Kali River Rapids
Most of these attractions have a ride height requirement and are thrill rides. A few like Toy Story Mania are fun and most teens like the competition aspect of it!
Best Places to Eat at Disney World with Teens
I’m going to include the places we like to dine at when visiting Disney World. Most of the time we do quick service because it is fast and has some of our favorite meals. A few places are table service and require a reservation.
- Satuli Canteen (Animal Kingdom)
- Peco’s Bill Tall Tale Inn (Magic Kingdom)
- Les Halles (Epcot)
- Docking Bay 7 (Hollywood Studios)
Check out our full list of the best quick service at Disney World. Don’t count our character meals when visiting Disney World with teens. It can be a fun way to see the characters without waiting in the lines. A few of our favorites are ‘Ohana Breakfast and Dinner Update at Disney World, The Mad Hatter & Red Velvet Pancakes: Our 1900 Park Fare Breakfast Review, and Garden Grill.
12 Best Things to Do at Disney with Teens
These are our favorite things to do at Disney for teens. It is what we include in each visit to the Disney parks.
Splash Mountain is one of my favorite rides at Magic Kingdom because it has water and thrills! It is fun and even better on the hot Florida days.
Update: Splash Mountain is being reimagined to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. It is set to open in 2024 and I expect it to be a popular ride among teens and families.
Flight of Passage
Flight of Passage is a simulator ride at Animal Kingdom. It is the most popular attraction at the park and one of our favorites.
Docking Bay 7
Docking Bay 7 is a quick service restaurant at Hollywood Studios. It is located at the Galaxy’s Edge area of the park. The theme is really cool inside and the food is good too. I recommend using mobile ordering for your visit.
Rise of the Resistance
Rise of the Resistance is the most popular ride at Hollywood Studios and possibly at all the Disney parks at the moment. It is located in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and even if you are not a Star Wars fan you should check this out.
Lines will get very busy, I suggest arriving very early to ride or securing an individual lighting lane pass.
Test Track is at Epcot and is also a popular attraction, although once Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opens it will be less busy first thing. At Test Track you build your car and then get to test it on the track.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is an all ages ride but we always make a point of riding it because it is one of the Disney original attractions. From the animatronics to the song playing during the ride this one has to be on your list when visiting the parks.
Tower of Terror
Tower of Terror is probably one of the most thrilling attractions at the Disney parks. Guests board an elevator at the Tower of Terror hotel and are taken through the Twilight Zone.
The rides culminates with a drop and a view of the park. This is not for the faint of heart and is very thrilling.
Chicken Guy at Disney Springs
Usually on a rest day at Disney World we will head over to Disney Springs for lunch at Chicken Guy. Chicken Guy is a chicken restaurant that specializes in different sauces. We all order the chicken tenders and try different sauces.
We love the garlic parmesan, peri-peri, and honey mustard. This place is budget friendly and delicious.
Walk the World Showcase
The World Showcase at Epcot is great for kids and adults. Take some time to explore each country. Most teens will enjoy the different areas and shopping from the different countries.
You can also sample food from around the world and there are daily performers in each area.
Satuli Canteen is located in Pandora at Animal Kingdom. It has great rice bowls and something for everyone. Everyone in our family likes this restaurant for our days at Animal Kingdom.
Tron Lightcyle Run is open at Magic Kingdom. It is a launch roller coaster and best for kids that love thrills.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Cosmic Rewind is a roller coaster at Epcot themed to the Guardians of the Galaxy and has a different musical soundtrack each ride. This is a must do at Epcot.
To ride guests need to purchase an individual lighting lane or join the virtual queue. This opens at 7:00am and is typically full by 7:01am. If you miss the first round try again at 1:00pm.
More Tips for Visiting Disney World with Teens
Let them help in the planning of your Disney vacation. Some teens may want to help a little and some may want to help a lot. Including them in the planning process will help make the days go smoother and they will know what to expect.
Be flexible. You may want to wake up early for a few park days but plan some rest days where you can sleep in. The great thing about going to the parks with teens is they want to stay up late. Sleep in and start your day later when everyone is leaving the parks.
Allow everyone to pick there top 3 priorities and then plan your trip with those in mind. For a family of five like us we find it helpful to learn what everyone wants to do during our visit. Then we can plan our days.
Make time for breaks in the afternoon for naps, pool, or to relax in the room. As our kids are getting older we have noticed they need down time at the rooms during the day. It allows everyone to have some time to themselves and recharge for the evening.
Don’t forget about meeting their favorite Disney characters and taking fun pictures throughout the park. There are lots of places to meet your favorite characters as well as photo spots at all the parks.
Make time to enjoy the little details throughout the parks.
Disney World with teens can be a great vacation for your family. It offers awesome entertainment, rides, and attractions making it a great family vacation spot no matter what age your kids are.