5 Things At Disney World That Will Make Your Teens Look Up From Their Phones

Your Disney trip is almost here! You have saved, you have planned, you are excited, the kids are excited… well, everyone except that teen over there looking at her phone. We’ve collected five ways that could help you get your teens to look up from their phones and enjoy your trip to Disney!

Get those teens off their phones!

We can’t say these are sure-fire ways, because the minds many teenagers are a mystery and ever-changing, but let’s give these a try!

Eat Around the World Challenge

Create your own “eat around the world” challenge. Your challenge could be around all of  the Disney World parks, lasting your whole vacation with items that include things such as:

  • Three Mickey-shaped foods
  • A themed slushy
  • Two items from another country
  • Try something you would never try at home

    Mickey Pretzel

An alternative could be a literal “Eat Around the World,” as in Epcot’s World Showcase.  The challenge could be to eat an item from each country represented by the World Showcase pavilions. Or perhaps try to find the same particular item in each pavilion — like we did many years ago when we tried to find “Chocolate Around the World.” Spoiler: We were not successful!

Give Them the Power

With the new set-up for FastPass+, all members of your party do not have to have the same FastPasses. Work with your teen and let them select their own FastPasses within times that fit the entire family’s park plan. For example, your teen may not be too excited about riding Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin with their younger siblings and parents, but may love to Space Mountain on his or her own.

Evil Zurg on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Let them select Space Mountain while you are helping Buzz defeat Zurg! Or let them sail solo with the Pirates of the Caribbean while the rest of the family takes a corny Jungle Cruise, then rendezvous and swap tales over a Dole Whip at Aloha Isle.

Take the Perfect Picture

There are at least 15 “Instagram Walls” in Disney World. These walls make fun, interesting, or unique backgrounds for your pictures and selfies. Surprise your teen by first telling them that you know what Instagram is, and then by telling them that you know about these walls! That will make them look up from their phones for sure! Help your teen find all of the “Walls of the World” by using our guide, and snap the perfect picture — or find “new” walls and start your own Disney Instagram Wall craze.

The famous Purple Instagram Wall in Magic Kingdom

Check Out Tours at your Disney Resort or in the Parks

Some Disney resorts offer free or paid tours and activities that are engaging, entertaining AND educational (although you don’t need to mention that to your teen!). Your teen can learn about the inspiration behind the Wilderness Lodge or Animal Kingdom Lodge for free on tours hosted by the resort on a regular basis. Be sure to ask about tours at the front desk when you check in.

Wild Africa Trek in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney also offers a range of in-park tours and special experiences, many of which go behind the scenes, which may intrigue your teen. There’s the  Wild Africa Trek in Animal Kingdom, which takes you across a rickety suspension bridge, or the Star Wars Guided Tour in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars fans. There are age restrictions on some these experiences, though, so be sure to check those out before committing to anything!

Several resorts offer fishing or boat rentals for a fee, including the Contemporary, Yacht Club, and Port Orleans RiversideDisney’s Fort Wilderness offers many recreation activities from archery lessons and kayak rentals to a Segway tour called “Wilderness Back Trail Adventure”. On the two-hour Segway tour you get to explore paths and woodland trails and stop at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Tri-Circle-D Ranch stables, and Bay Lake.

Giving your teen the option to do something off-the-beaten-path that’s relatively UN-Disney may just be the thing to get them to look up from their phones!

Visit our Rate and Review section to see our readers’ opinions of these tours and special experiences!

Hang 10 at Typhoon Lagoon

Did you know you can learn to surf in Disney World? Take the entire family or treat your teen to a surf lesson at Typhoon Lagoon. Surfing lessons are taught in Typhoon Lagoon’s wave pool and include breakfast, and digital copies of the photos taken during the lesson. If you are interested in these lessons call 407-WDW-PLAY to find out more and make arrangements.

Typhoon Lagoon

If your teen prefers terra firma, how about FootGolf? Take the whole family with you to learn a whole new way to golf – with a soccer ball! Learn about Disney’s FootGolf program here.

FootGolf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course

Have you tried, and won, the challenge to get your teens to look up from their phones while on vacation? Let us know how you did it in the comments below!

Remember! When you’re in Disney tag us @allearsnet in your photos!

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Sarah has built a career in communications and marketing that started when she was the editor of her high school newspaper. She has written for AllEars.net since 2018, and enjoys sharing Disney news and updates with the AllEars community. She's been a Disney fan ever since her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was 5, and has been known to arrange trips around visiting a Disney park!

5 Replies to “5 Things At Disney World That Will Make Your Teens Look Up From Their Phones”

  1. How about making them leave their phones behind if they want to go on an expensive Disney trip? I NEVER take my phone into the parks. I don’t want to be bothered with the real world while I’m on vacation. That’s the way Disney was intended to be enjoyed. I’ll never forget sitting in Carousel of Progress and looking down my row to see every, single, person looking at their phones. Why even be there? All that money to do exactly what you would be doing sitting on your own couch for free. Last year the girl in front of me walked into a pole and smacked her phone into her forehead! Good times…good times.

  2. I agree with you that there are teens and adults everywhere looking at their phones. However I believe a lot of people are trying to navigate through the My Disney Experience app (which by the way, it is by far the worst app I’ve ever used).

    1. Could someone even have a vacation there now if they didn’t have a smart phone?

      I remember in the 70’s and 80’s there was a pay phone somewhere on, or near, Main Street. Those were the good ol days.

      We were in Yellowstone a few years back and there was almost no cell service. People were freaking out. You’d have thought the apocalypse had hit.

  3. Teens? The, so called grownups, also walk around with their snoots in their phones at WDW all day too bumping into everyone.

    I think my teenagers might have looked up from their phones briefly when they heard me and my wife pulling out of the garage for our teenless WDW Vacation. See you later suckers! I’ll tell Mickey you said hey.

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