There’s an inevitable awkward stage kids reach when they begin to believe they’re too cool for the “little kid” stuff. When you’re traveling as a family, finding the right blend of family activities that appeals to each age range can be somewhere from tough to near impossible. On a recent trip to the Magic Kingdom, as a 30 year old, I was reminded of the three mountains that’ll ensure your teens (and yourself) still enjoy the park they may believe they’ve outgrown.
Strategery in Planning
Of course the three best thrill attractions in Magic Kingdom are going to be at the top of most visitor’s to-do list. This means proper planning is necessary to avoid the peak wait times and minimize the impact for the rest of your day. If you’re staying on property, you can schedule your Fast Pass+ experiences for these three rides (space allowing). You could also be ready to go right at rope drop and head for one as fast as you can. Early morning and late before closing are going to be your best bets in addition to Extra Magic Hours if staying on property.
Thunder Mountain Railroad
Just when you think you’re headed for a kiddie coaster experience, a few tight turns and quick drops pull enough G-Force to make your heart rate rise more than expected. The multiple tunnels and atmosphere created by circumnavigating a synthetic mountain give you the feeling you’re on a railroad gone awry. I actually prefer the back row of this ride because in the front, you have to wait for the entire train to come of the peak of a hill before you get going. In the back you’re speeding down the hills as long as possible.
All bets are off the second you head up a pitch-black climb in a 3-man capsule with as little external support as possible. I still can’t believe the lap bar is considered enough protection for this ride which takes you around a dark track dodging perceived shooting stars. The lack of knowing what awaits you is the most distressing part of the experience for riders. It’s also not a short experience so about the time you think you’re through with the launch around space, a second descent through the dome awaits.
My last hurl into orbit was very entertaining as a girl no more than 7-8 was having the best time of her life going on the ride for the third time that day. This was juxtaposed by a tween/teen backing out of the ride at the last second before boarding.
The story driven into this ride, in what could otherwise have been a typical log flume experience, makes Splash Mountain a timeless favorite for decades of park visitors. Follow Br’er Rabbitt as he alludes the fox through a whimsical journey of Uncle Remus stories. The ride famously concludes with the fox throwing Br-er Rabbitt into the briar patch in the form of a 50 foot drop down a steep hill. We all do our best to enjoy the story with its mini climbs and drops along the way, but we all know that the finale is really at the forefront of our minds.
This has been the toughest line to avoid in my limited experience in the park, so it is a Fast Pass must for my family.
Don’t forget other attractions in the Magic Kingdom which will appeal to your teens. The Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, your teen attempting to make you throw up in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (tea cups), and trying to set the high score on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin will be sure to occupy them. Make sure you check out the cheater’s guide to Buzz Lightyear so you can smoke your teen on the next go around and watch their mouth hit the ground.
How would you get your teen excited about the Magic Kingdom?