Is your teenager less than thrilled with the prospect of spending a day at the Magic Kingdom during your Disney vacation? Sure, teens may jump at the chance to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios or climb Mount Everest at Animal Kingdom, but a day at Magic Kingdom may be met with some eye rolls. Although Magic Kingdom is typically labeled as “a park for little kids” by tweens and teens, there are many things for teenagers to do. Here are my top picks for teens at Magic Kingdom!
Conquer The “Mountain Range”
While Magic Kingdom isn’t known for its thrill rides, that is quickly changing with the addition of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the construction of the TRON roller coaster in Tomorrowland. If you’re visiting in the next year or so, the ultimate ride challenge is riding all three “mountain” rides on the same day: Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Splash Mountain. With its retro outer-space feel and dark track, Space Mountain is a fun ride for all. Splash Mountain is the only full-water ride at Magic Kingdom, so it’s a perfect place to cool off on a hot Florida afternoon. As the wildest ride in the wilderness, Thunder Mountain is a Magic Kingdom classic and a must-do attraction.
Teen Approved Attractions
In addition to the “mountain range,” here are a few other attractions teens won’t want to miss at Magic Kingdom:
Sure the jokes are a bit cheesy, but this fun and playful attraction will have your teens cracking a smile.
This ride maybe a little scary for young children, but it’s perfect for teens. Although it’s more kooky than spooky, teens will get a kick out of the “less than magical” Cast Members who take their roles as butlers in a haunted house “deadly” serious.
Pirates of the Caribbean
The film franchise featuring Johnny Depp has put this attraction back on the treasure map. See the ride that inspired the films, complete with appearances by Captain Jack Sparrow himself.
Tom Sawyer Island & Swiss Family Treehouse
It’s possible you visited Magic Kingdom and walked right by these places without noticing them. However, these secluded attractions offer teens a place to get some time to themselves (with some boundaries). It’s controlled independence— isn’t that any parent’s dream?
Tom Sawyer Island is filled with walking trails, caves, hills, and rope bridges inspired by the literary classic, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. You take a short raft ride from a dock located across from the Country Bear Jamboree in Frontierland to get there. There are plenty of places for teens to relax without being too far away from the rest of the family.
Similarly, the Swiss Family Treehouse is another outdoor walking area between the Jungle Cruise and Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland. It’s themed after another literary classic and Disney film, Swiss Family Robinson. Cross the wood-planked and roped bridges to the trunk of a gigantic tree. For an added challenge, teens can make their way up the 116 stairs to the top of the treehouse. It offers rare views of the Magic Kingdom and The Jungle Cruise river at six stories high.
Give your teens dedicated time to fill up their Instagram and TikTok feeds around the park. Here are a few of my favorite places for a Magic Kingdom photoshoot:
This photo location at Magic Kingdom is so popular it has its own Instagram. The wall is located to the right before entering Tomorrowland, directly under the People Mover and on the side of the Monsters Inc, Laugh Floor building.
Probably one of the most well-decorated bathrooms at a theme park, the Rapunzel-themed bathroom area offers the perfect location for a fairytale photoshoot. Follow Rapunzel’s tower before leaving Fantasyland on your way to Liberty Square. The area features hanging lanterns that come to life at night. However, one of the most popular photo locations is inside the entrance to the women’s bathroom, where you’ll find a mural of swirling flowers, vines, and suns, just like the paintings Rapunzel decorated her tower with.
Of course, no trip to Magic Kingdom is complete without a picture in front of the castle. However, if you’re looking to beat the crowds stopped on Main Street, opt for some alternative photo locations of the castle, like from Cinderella’s Wishing Well or on the bridge between the castle hub and Liberty Square.
Tour of Snacks
Grab your teen an “I’m here for the Snacks” shirt and let them sample all the delicious treats the Magic Kingdom is known for, like Dole Whip, Turkey Legs, Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars, Mickey-shaped Pretzels, and even Starbucks. These snacks are located throughout the park, which will give them lots of time to explore.
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Did you jump for joy when Disney announced last month that traditional Disney character meet and greets were returning to the parks? I know so many of you are excited to finally give your favorite characters big hugs and share the joy of seeing them in real life with your children and family members. In honor of these character interactions returning, here are the best locations to meet characters in 2022!
Princess Fairytale Hall
Located in Fantasyland, Princess Fairytale Hall is the place to spot princesses at the Magic Kingdom. This indoor, air-conditioned hall is also a nice break from the midday Florida heat! The princesses appearing in the hall may vary from day to day (princesses are notoriously busy), but you could spot Cinderella, Tiana, Rapunzel, and Elena of Avalor there. Check the My Disney Experience app for an up-to-date list of who you may see.
Town Square Theater
What’s a trip to Walt Disney World without meeting Mickey Mouse? Town Square Theater, located on Main Street, U.S.A., just to the right of the Magic Kingdom Train Station entrance, is one of the best places to meet Mickey at Walt Disney World. Currently, Mickey’s sporting his 50th Anniversary EARidescent attire. Another bonus: this meet and greet location is a part of Genie+.
Anastasia & Drizella
Cinderella’s stepsisters know how to make an entrance! Meeting them is always filled with lots of laughs, a little jealousy, and (unfortunately) a bit of singing. You may see them walking around Fantasyland or greeting guests near Cinderella’s Fountain in Fantasyland.
Captain Jack Sparrow
You may remember it as the day you *almost* caught Captain Jack Sparrow, but if you’re lucky, you may grab a selfie with the best (or worst) pirate you’ve ever seen. You can find him at the Adventureland Stage near the Pirates of the Caribbean ride entrance.
Although character cavalcades aren’t traditional meet and greet locations, they’re worth mentioning! Since the parks reopened in 2020, these mini-parades have been a great way to see many characters at once. Several themed cavalcades run along Main Street, U.S.A., throughout the day. Check out Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade which features the “EARidescent Eight” (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale, and Daisy) all decked out in W.D.W. 50th Anniversary outfits. Another fun cavalcade is the Adventure Friends Cavalcade, which premiered earlier this year. It features characters like Nick and Judy from Zootopia, Moana, The Incredibles, and Miguel from Coco. See the Magic Kingdom Times Guide for a current list of cavalcade showtimes.
EPCOT currently has the most locations for Disney character meet and greets. Meeting characters is one of the best things to do with young children at EPCOT! Here are my top picks:
Elsa & Anna
The Royal Sommerhus in Norway is the only place to meet the Frozen sisters at Walt Disney World. It’s one of the most popular character meet and greet locations on property, so plan to get there early to avoid long lines.
Inside the Imagination Pavilion (where Journey Into Imagination with Figment is located), you can meet Joy from Inside Out and Vanellope Von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph.
World Showcase Princesses & Characters
You’ll see many characters while strolling around the World Showcase pavilions. Be on the lookout for Belle and Princess Aurora in France, Snow White in Germany, Jasmine in Morocco, and Mulan in China. You can also spot Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland at the U.K. Pavilion.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney Junior Characters
Preschoolers will enjoy meeting their favorite Disney Junior characters like Vamprinia, Fancy Nancy, and Doc McStuffins in the Animation Courtyard (before the Disney Junior-Play and Dance theater entrance).
We all know Olaf likes warm hugs, so give him one at Celebrity Spotlight, located near the A.B.C. Commissary.
Star Wars - Galaxy Edge
Encounter several characters from the Star Wars universe at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, like Rey, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, and Stormtroopers. For the time being, you can’t take individual pictures with them, but they’re a must-see for any Star Wars fan!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
If you look closely, you may spot a Snipe for yourself! Kevin from UP! can be seen searching for chocolate around Discovery Island near the Tree of Life.
Best Disney Character Meet And Greet Recommendations
These are just some of the Disney character meet and greets available at the parks right now! Other characters may pop up occasionally, so it’s best to have your autograph book handy! When you’re ready to plan your trip to The Most Magical Place on Earth, Just Add Magic Travel® can help! Get a free quote for your trip today!