Hey kids guess where we’re going? We’re going to Disney World!
Do your children dance and scream for joy? Do your children gasp for breath? Are they so excited they can’t go to bed even though the vacation is 4 months out? Or do your kids stare at you as if you’ve grown another head? Do you have teens? Then this article is for you.
Teenagers. Not quite kids. Too young to be adults. The ages of 13 to 17 is a really special time in a child’s life (yes seriously.) Everything is intense. School work: intense. Relationships: intense. It’s a tsunami of hormones raging in and out on a daily basis. How can I write about this age group? I’m a mom to twin 14 year old girls. I’m also a high school librarian. I work with 856 teenagers for 180 school days. Trust me on this. I’ve got some creds into a little insight into the teen mind.
I am a self proclaimed Disney nerd. Love all things Disney. For me a trip to the world and more specifically to the Magic Kingdom is a dream come true. My teen years are so far in the past I barely remember them. And yet I can jump around like a 10 year old knowing my next trip is in the works. Do 14 year olds jump at the news of a trip to the Magic Kingdom? I have to suspect certainly some do. I think many do. Safe to say there are a whole lot that don’t. There must be quite a number of teens that shrug their young shoulders when told about a trip to visit the kingdom of the mouse. But don’t dismay. I’m here to encourage the adult with a teen or two in tow. There is a lot to love about the Magic Kingdom for a teen. Its all in the presentation.
Magic Kingdom has the castle, Main Street, very few thrill rides. A teen sees princesses and flying elephants. Make them see more. Because as we Neurotic Disney people know, there is so much more. What gets your teen excited? Ok maybe not excited but at least perks some interest in those glazed over eyes? A lot of teens enjoy figuring out how stuff works. Let’s face it. The magic has worn off with teenagers. Take them into the Utiladors, the underground network of tunnels where magic is made. Let them see what it takes to run a theme park.
There are three E ticket roller coasters: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and Big Thunder. True they are not the monster coasters teens seem to love. But remember it is the story telling that drives the ride, not so much the thrills. Disney does this best. Let your teen believe he or she is an astronaut, or riding a mine car or a hollowed out tree. Teens like to suspend reality (why do they read so many vampire books anyway?). Let them experience the unrealistic. Or look at the other side of the equation. The realists want to know how things work. Let them figure out how the rides operate. Is your teen a budding physicist? It takes a great deal of physics and engineering knowledge to make a roller coaster work. This could be your angle.
Magic Kingdom is a very different park from the other three. There is no pretense to education. There are no animals. The park was devised with the whole family in mind. A place for a family to visit where magic can happen. This is an ageless appeal. Teens want that too. They may not admit it. A teen is not so much removed from being a child. They still remember the joy and the fun of childhood. They may even miss it a little bit. Bringing them to the Magic Kingdom allows them to experience childhood again. And who doesn’t love fireworks?