The first time I went to Disney World with my sons, they were ages 3 and 8. Their favorite “attractions” were things like meeting Goofy at a character breakfast, climbing around Animal Kingdom’s dinosaur-themed playground (in dino jammies), the holiday parade down Magic Kingdom’s Main Street and riding a flying Dumbo. Sometimes, for my younger son, just watching birds dive bomb for French fries seemed entertainment enough, and we didn’t need a park ticket for that.
Here we are now–five more Disney trips and 10 years later–and boy, the way we ‘do’ Disney has changed considerably. No more character breakfasts or waiting in lines for autographs. No more lollygagging curbside while we wait for a parade. Our last two trips have been driven by a need for speed, thrills, and things that appeal to one’s curiosity, which leads me to a few things I’ve learned about experiencing the “World” with tweens and teens.
The rest of the story is here on FamilyVacationCritic.com, with planning tips and a list of 15 tween/teen favorites, the latter written by my own teenage son, which made it all the more fun to research this piece.