Orlando is one of the family vacation capitals of the world. Millions of families visit each year for the endless theme parks, water parks, animal parks, and all the great “Sunshine State” weather. When it comes to family vacations, many of Orlando’s attractions are geared towards younger children and pre-teens. If you are planning a vacation to Orlando with teens though, fear not. This is not just a city of famous mice and princesses. Families will find lots of fun, engaging activities for teens of all ages.
High Speed Thrills
There is something about the teenage years that makes you feel invincible. Thankfully Orlando has plenty of opportunities for the daredevil teen to get their adrenaline rush without ending up in the ER.
The best high speed, high adrenaline attractions can be found in the city’s theme parks. Universal Studios’ Island Islands of Adventure is great for older teens and the best place for any thrill-seeker. High-speed roller coasters come with fun themes like the Hulk ride on the Marvel Superhero Island and the dragon coaster at the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. When you’re buying tickets for Universal Studios look online for discount tickets. The Disney parks have plenty of high-impact rides of their own. For the horror movie fans, Disney’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is sure to get some screams and music fans always love the Aerosmith Rock ‘n Roller Coaster. Both rides can be found in Disney’s Hollywood Studios park, a favorite with teens.
Outside of the theme parks, the Orlando Grand Prix is a hit with new teen drivers and those teens still waiting to get their licenses. Teens can hop in high-speed “pro-karts” to fly around the indoor tracks at up to 50 mph! The tracks are designed to test the abilities of drivers with sharp turns, pedal-to-the-metal straightaways, and off-camber corners.
Water Park Fun
For teens more comfortable in the water than on dry land, Orlando packs in a ton of fun water attractions. There are a number of water parks, both connected to the theme parks and independent. Teens can lay out for a nice tan or jump on high-speed water-coasters that can rival many of the roller coasters in the city’s theme parks. Orlando’s Wet ‘N Wild park is a top pick with teens thanks to the number of high-adrenaline water rides.
A Day at the Beach
If teens are interested in a more laid back time, a trip to one of Florida’s nearby beaches could be a great option. Both the West and East coasts of Florida are within a few hours drive, with countless beach options in either direction. Cocoa Beach, on the east coast, is one of the closest options at just around an hour’s drive.
For one of Orlando’s most interesting and unique experiences, check out Discovery Cove. It is a highlight for people of all ages but can be an especially memorable experience for teens. Imagine getting to hand-feed exotic birds, snorkel with tropical fish, and swim with dolphins! Best of all, this little piece of paradise strictly limits the number of visitors per day so teens and parents can both enjoy intimate, one-on-one wildlife encounters.
No matter what the age of your family members, planning a trip to Orlando can be exhausting. Thankfully, traveling with teens offers up its own benefits. Rather than planning every minute of the trip and hoping your teens will like it, why not ask them to help in the planning? Giving teens a bit of control over the family vacation will help limit disappointment and give them a chance to explore their own interests. Just remember, no matter the age, everyone feels a bit of childhood wonder in Orlando.