Florida Guide > Hints and Tips
Taking Older Teenagers To Orlando
Little kids love everything about a Disney holiday. It is just magic for them. But as a mother of kids now 17, 23 and 25 years, I have been through the period with each when they were fed up with Mickey but not quite old enough for Ibiza with 18-30. You reach this period on average when they are between 15 and 18 years.
Major gripes are
- That they cannot drink. The drinking age is 21. Anyone who even looks less than 30 is asked for I.D. Even on the plane, an 18 year old will not be offered the free booze if it is an American airline.
- That they cannot drive. The driving age is 16 in the US, lower than the 17 years in the UK .But hire car companies will not accept drivers of less than 21 years and even 21-25 year olds have to pay an extra young driver premium.
- That there are no clubs, or not any where they don't have to dance with their mum. Any proper clubs will not admit an under 21 year old. Pleasure Island, the Disney night club complex, will admit under 21s provided they are with an adult and do not drink. But even so, they are excluded from entrance to some of the nightclubs such as the Sound Stage.
So what is there to entertain older children on a Disney holiday and take their minds off the lack of booze, clubbing and fast cars?
Some of the rides will be too young for them and there is little to interest teens in the Magic Kingdom or Epcot (with the exception of Test Track). Islands of Adventure is good for teens as it has some major scary roller coasters such as the Hulk and Duelling Dragons. They will also like the Montu at Busch Gardens and the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios.
They love the water parks, particularly Wet and Wild and Blizzard Beach where they can prove their manhood (or womanhood) by throwing themselves down practically vertical water slides.
If they miss the thrill of driving, what about hiring a quad bike on Daytona Beach? You need to prove you are 16 plus, hence of driving age, by ID. Or take an air boat ride (there is one in Kissimmee at Boggy Creek).
Most teens love computer games and Disney Quest is floor after floor of computer games and virtual reality rides. You get this free on the longer hoppers or can buy a day pass.
Finally shopping. Designer clothes at bargain prices. Reebok, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger for the boys and D & G, Donna Karan and Banana Republic for the girls. Plus the large Virgin at Downtown Disney for CDs, DVDs and computer games. What more could you ask?
They may even miss all this the next year when they go off to Ibiza with their friends ( or not!!!!)
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Page added on: 20 July 2004
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The following photos have been submitted by our villa owners for this article.