Can teens really have fun at
a place like Walt Disney World?
Absolutely! Actually, be
prepared to have the time of your life.
Its a safe place to assert some independence from your
parents, a place youll never forget. Here are some of the best experiences for teens
at "The Most Magical Place on Earth":
Have a Splashing Good Time at Disney's Water Parks
Blizzard Beach has a melting alpine resort theme where chairlifts carry swimmers instead
of skiers. Its a place for daredevils to challenge wild, rushing water and
death-defying slides including the Summit Plummet, a 120-foot slide reaching speeds of 60
miles per hour. Those a bit less adventuresome will love Typhoon Lagoon, a tropical
fantasyland offering a wave pool with the tallest simulated waves in the world as well as
a chance to snorkel among tropical fish, leopard and nurse sharks, and picturesque coral
at Shark Reef.
Live it Up at Downtown Disney
After the parks close hop a bus from your Disney resort for a night on the town
at Downtown Disney. Highlights include Disney Quest with five floors of interactive games,
a 24-screen AMC Theater, a Cirque du Soleil show, and over 60 shops and restaurants.
Favorite dining choices for the younger crowd are Planet Hollywood and Rainforest Café.
And definitely consider House of Blues where teens are allowed to attend some of the
almost daily concerts in their live music venue next-door.
Cool Off at One of Disneys Resort Pools
When your parents are wondering which resort to book for your Disney vacation, be
sure and put your two cents in and steer them toward one with a great pool. Disneys
very best uniquely themed pools include the Yacht and Beach Clubs Stormalong Bay, a
3-acre mini-water park, the Swan and Dolphins lush, grotto-style lagoon pool, the
boulder-strewn wonderland at the Wilderness Lodge with its very own erupting geyser, and
the Volcano Pool at the Polynesian Resort with its luxuriant waterfall, smoking peak, and
perfect views of Cinderellas Castle.
Plan Some Watersport Fun
Disneys Contemporary Resort is the place for water-ski, parasail,
wakeboard, kneeboard, and jet-ski action under the guidance of a professional instructor.
Theres nothing better than a birds-eye-view of the Magic Kingdom as you
parasail high above the Seven Seas Lagoon. And the action down below on Bay Lake is a
blast! For reservations call 407-WDW-PLAY up to 90 days in advance, and be sure to bring a
parent along to sign a waiver to participate if youre under age 18.
Pilot Your Own Boat
What could be more fun than renting a Sea Raycer, a 2-seater mini-power boat
perfect for zipping around Disneys waterways and lakes. Its a great pastime
for teens with a valid driver's license (those under 18 must bring along a parent to sign
a waiver). Youll get the most bang for your buck at one of the resorts near the
Magic Kingdom (the Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, or Wilderness Lodge) where
youll find miles of recreation on the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake.
Scuba and Snorkel at Epcots Living Seas
Scuba dive or snorkel in The Living Seas 5.7-million-gallon saltwater aquarium
amid a variety of sharks, rays, fish, and turtles. Epcot's DiveQuest Program along with
the Seas Aqua Tour using a Scuba Assisted Snorkel unit (snorkelers swim on the surface
with a built-in flotation device while breathing compressed air from a regulator attached
to a small tank) are two of the most exciting behind-the-scenes tours offered in all of
Walt Disney World. Dives include all equipment, but be sure to bring a bathing suit.
DiveQuest is open to certified divers, but those ages 14 and under need to dive along with
a parent or guardian. The Seas Aqua Tour is open to participants under age 18 as long as
they are accompanied by a participating adult.
Surfs Up at Typhoon Lagoon
"Hang 10" before park opening hours in the 2.75-million-gallon wave
pool (some waves as high as 6 feet tall!) under the guidance of professional instructors
with surfboards provided.
Guests must furnish their own transportation to the park since
Disney buses are not up and running that early in the morning, and those under age 18 must
have a signed waiver from their parents to participate. Call 407-WDW-PLAY for reservations
up to 90 days in advance.
White-Knuckle Riding at Richard Petty Driving Experience
Lying next to the Magic Kingdom is this speedway where white-knuckle rides in a
NASCAR Winston Cupstyle race car are offered. If you are at least 16 you can
participate in the Ride-Along Program where youll ride shotgun at speeds of up to
145 mph for three laps around the track with an experienced instructor (riders 16 or 17
years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian). Even more exciting, those
ages 18 and older can drive the car themselves after an introductory class. If you just
want to observe you can do so for no charge.
Head for a Theme Parks
Last but certainly not least are the theme parks. If youre staying on
Disney property its a cinch to board a monorail or a Disney bus and head out to the
parks on your own.
At the Magic Kingdom youll find all the old nostalgic
favorites like Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean. And dont forget to head
straight to Splash Mountain, an unforgettable ride that ends in a plunge over a 5-story
waterfall! Epcots main attractions for fun-loving teens are Mission Space, a
hair-raising rocket into space, and Test Track where youll speed through hairpin
turns and then barrel outside onto a high-speed banking loop at over 60 mph. At Disney-MGM
Studios youll be floored by Rock N Roller Coaster and The Twilight Zone
Tower of Terror, both a thrill a minute. Then theres the Animal Kingdom where a trip
around the African savanna at Kilimanjaro Safaris and back in time 65 million years at
Dinosaur are quite the adventure.
So do you still think Disney is just for kids? I bet you cant
wait to pack your bags. And dont forget to thank your parents on your return home
for taking you to one of the most exciting places on the planet.