Going to Disneyland with teens and tweens is a total blast. It’s really fun to take them when they’re small, but there is something extra great about having fun in the parks when they are a little bit older. It’s a different time, though. Here are some tips on how to handle Disneyland with teens and tweens.
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Tips for Disneyland with Tweens and Teens
Spend Time On Main Street
When you have infants and toddlers you pretty much live near Main Street where the baby care center and first aid are. Now I’m not equating tweens and teens to infants and toddlers. However, the plaza is the intersection of the three main places your teens will be going.
It’s a convenient way to get around and a good place to stop for food be it a snack cart, a corn dog, a good view of the Magic Happens parade, or a light treat.
How to Do Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge with Teens/Tweens
Tweens and teens are the ideal audiences for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. There are awesome attractions and some exciting experiences for Star Wars lovers to engage in.
One of the main highlights is the chance to build their very own lightsabers at Savi’s Workshop. This hands-on experience allows teens to select their hilt and kyber crystal, assembling a personalized lightsaber while being part of an interactive storytelling session that deepens their connection to the Star Wars lore.
Have your tweens and teens interact with Galaxy’s Edge characters like Rey, Kylo Ren, and The Mandalorian. These interactions offer memorable photo opportunities and a chance to engage in light-hearted banter with characters they’ve admired from the movies. Interactions with Galaxy’s Edge cast members are also a fun treat. Talk to them about Batuu’s famous inhabitants or what they think about Blue and Green milk!
Additionally, teens and tweens can immerse themselves in the role of pilots, gunners, or engineers on the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride. This interactive attraction places them at the heart of a smuggling mission aboard the iconic starship, offering a thrilling and teamwork-driven adventure that resonates with the dynamic energy of teenagehood.
Batuu also has interactive puzzles you can solve around the park using your Datapad on the Play Disney Parks app.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is an immersive ride also located in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. It stands out for its interesting storytelling, advanced technology, and multisensory experiences. Teens will find the attraction fun due to its epic narrative, seamless integration of high-tech elements like trackless ride vehicles and lifelike animatronics, and the opportunity to be an active part of the Star Wars universe.
Park Hop to Disney California Adventure
You can’t miss Disneyland with teens and tweens but they will get the most out of Disney’s California Adventure. It has their favorite franchises and the most thrilling rides. It’s really easy to park hop at Disneyland because the parks sit right across from each other.
Disney California Adventure offers a ton of exciting activities for both teens and tweens, ensuring an unforgettable experience. First, “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!” is a must-try attraction where they can join Rocket on a thrilling escape mission, accompanied by an energetic soundtrack. The Incredicoaster, themed after “The Incredibles,” provides an exhilarating ride that combines speed with family superhero fun, perfect for the daring spirit of tweens and teens.
For teens interested in immersive storytelling, “Avengers Campus” offers the chance to interact with Marvel superheroes and even sling webs alongside Spider-Man on the “WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure” ride. The atmosphere is both dynamic and engaging, catering to their love for action and adventure.
Exploring “Pixar Pier” offers a chance to relive beloved movie moments, with attractions like Toy Story Midway Mania and the emotional roller coaster ride “Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind,” appealing to their nostalgia and sense of fun.
Disney California Adventure has some great food that teens and tweens will love. Teens and tweens can indulge in delicious food offerings like nachos and sugar donuts Lamplight Lounge or experience the vibrant tastes of the San Fransokyo area. Have them try a giant pretzel and cheese at Pym’s Kitchen or share a warm and gooey Jack Jack Num Nums which is a warmed-up chocolate chip cookie kiosk just outside of the Incredicoaster.
Leverage Single Rider Lines
If it’s a very busy day at Disneyland and the lines are going into extended queues, and (oh, yeah) you couldn’t get a Genie+ for your favorite attraction that was the only reason you went to Disneyland…you get the point. There’s a hack for getting on the ride faster and it’s called Single Rider. Many e-ticket attractions allow single-rider queues. If there is not a separate entrance, you may still have a shot as cast members called Groupers patrol the lines in search of a Single Rider.
What is a Single Rider? It’s somebody who can fill in an empty spot on a ride vehicle to help maximize efficiency. If you don’t all need to ride together, you can save some time by jumping on the Single Rider option.
Rides That Offer Single Rider
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Space Mountain
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge)
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Soarin Over the World
- Grizzly River Run
- Web Slingers
- Goofy’s Sky School
Visit Downtown Disney
Don’t forget to also fit Downtown Disney into your schedule, Black Tap, Salt & Straw, the VOID, and Splitsville are calling your teenagers’ names. This would be one packed day, so make sure you at least have a couple of days to do everything in.
Splurge On a Special Experience
Teens and Tweens still love a special experience when in Disneyland. Consider splurging on a character meal or walking tour!
Character meals are a fantastic option for teens who enjoy interacting with their favorite Disney characters while savoring delicious cuisine. At places like Goofy’s Kitchen or the Plaza Inn, teens can enjoy a meal in the company of beloved characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and more, creating unforgettable photo opportunities and lasting memories.
Character meals start at $59 per person.
In addition to character meals, teens might enjoy Disneyland’s guided tours that offer in-depth behind-the-scenes insights. The “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” tour takes guests through the history of Disneyland, sharing stories and anecdotes about Walt Disney’s vision and the park’s creation.
For teens with an interest in the inner workings of theme parks and the magic behind the scenes, this tour can be an eye-opening experience.
For an extra dose of adventure and excitement, parents of teens and tweens can consider booking a VIP tour. These personalized tours offer front-of-the-line access to popular attractions, reserved seating for shows and parades, and a customized itinerary tailored to their preferences.
While VIP tours come at a premium price, they provide an unparalleled experience for families with teens and tweens who want to maximize their time and enjoy the park’s offerings to the fullest.
Take Advantage of the Photo Opportunities!
Disneyland is a paradise for teens seeking the perfect Instagram-worthy shots to curate their social media feeds. The park’s enchanting landscapes, iconic landmarks, and captivating attractions provide an abundance of opportunities for teens to capture and share their unique experiences with friends and followers.
One of the most iconic settings for Instagram-worthy photos is in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Teens can strike a pose against this fairy tale backdrop, capturing the magic and wonder that Disneyland embodies.
For those seeking a more modern and adventurous vibe, “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” is a treasure trove of Instagram opportunities. Whether it’s posing with the Millennium Falcon, capturing the action of the “Rise of the Resistance” attraction, or snapping shots of immersive marketplaces, this themed land offers a dynamic backdrop that transports followers to a galaxy far, far away.
The vibrancy of “Pixar Pier” also lends itself to vibrant and lively photos. Teens can get pictures on attractions like the Incredicoaster, capturing moments of exhilaration and joy. The Pixar-themed attractions and character meet-and-greets offer endless possibilities for candid and creative shots that reflect their love for these beloved animated films.