The Best Experiences for Teenagers at Disneyland Paris
You’re not wrong in thinking that on a whole, Disneyland Paris caters more towards younger children and toddlers than it does teenagers.
But little did you know, there are in fact a whole variety of experiences that teenagers will enjoy more than younger children, who may not be old enough or knowledgeable enough to understand the degree of work that goes into a 20-minute illumination and firework show, or the invention to ride single rider.
And that’s what this post is about, as we uncover the very best experiences for teenagers at Disneyland Paris.
Make Sure You Book a Park Tour
Unless you taught your child about metrics and nostalgia from the day they were born, chances are they won’t understand the scale or history of Disneyland Paris as a toddler – which isn’t ideal for this tour.
The park tour involves a lot of listening and a fair bit of concentration, so if you want to learn about what inspired Walt to choose the themes he chose and how his vision is continuously being evolved, we recommend saving the park tour until your children are old enough to fully appreciate the nostalgic tales that make this experience special.
The tour lasts two hours in total, so you’ll need to leave space in your itinerary if you want to experience Disney’s guided tour. Also, there are only two slots per day and a maximum of 10 guests per tour, so try to book it as soon as you’ve confirmed your visit dates.
Watch the Illuminations – All of it!
Ask anyone – first-timers or seasoned pros, Disney’s illuminations are out of this world and then some! Besides seeing yours and your little ones favourite snippets from your best-loved Disney films projected onto Sleeping Beauty’s castle, there’s the euphonious soundtracks and the sweet-scent of fireworks to accompany.
This would leave any child feeling awe and admiration, but we all know that toddlers have the unique tendency to become bored and distracted at the most astonishing times. There’s even more risk of this happening if your child becomes tired, and with the illuminations starting no earlier than 9pm, toddlers will most probably be feeling the effects of a long day by then. You won’t need to worry about this with a teenager, who will be full of life, singing and dancing to their favourite movie soundtracks long into the night.
Being present is one thing, but being able to see is another. Not only will teenagers be able to stand for the duration of the illuminations after a long day in the parks, but they also won’t need to sit on Mum or Dad’s shoulders to see. And though this is a great way for you and your kids to bond, it won’t please the person stood directly behind you.
If you’re attending the Illuminations with a toddler and you want to give them the best view, head for the main circle area directly in front of the castle. Be aware that people will start congregating for the illuminations 90-minutes before they actually start – so it’s essential to be well prepared with your child’s favourite snacks and small toys to make the time spent standing more bearable.
Ride Single Rider
Single Rider is epic, but it’s not for kids. The ability to ride alone will only seem exciting as you grow up and learn to become independent. Plus, it’s tricky to do it will little ones anyway as there aren’t that many rides that allow it.
Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain does allow Single Rider, and as it’s one of the most popular rides at Disneyland Paris, it’s a lot quicker than waiting with a large group. If your child is an out-and-out thrill-seeker, there’s the added bonus that they might get a front-row seat too.
Albeit less exciting than Hyperspace Mountain, other rides at Disneyland Paris that allow Single Rider include Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop, Ratatouille: The Adventure of Remi, Crush’s Coaster and RC Racer.
If you’re heading to Disneyland Paris with younger children, check out our tips for visiting Disneyland Paris with kids blog. By planning ahead and following our advice, you can turn a great trip into an unforgettable one!
Head to Fantasyland at Night
Visiting Disneyland Paris at night is a different gig entirely, but it’s only when spending time in Fantasyland that you realise the full extent that Disney goes to excite toddlers, tweens and teens. The versatility they show is flawless and perfectly executed at Fantasyland.
By day, Fantasyland is tailored towards younger children with slightly tamer rides and younger themes that will draw emotion from toddlers. Only at night, when the sun sets and Disney turn on the lights, it delivers fun for children of all ages – including teenagers. Along with the sun disappearing, the toddlers do too, and as any adventure-loving teen will tell you, fewer toddlers mean more space to roam free.
Another perk of visiting Fantasyland at night is the smaller queue for the teacups, which can be tricky to get on during the day with thousands of toddlers wanting a seat on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups. It’s a spectacle worthy of a place on any Instagram grid, as you spin around under the colourful lights of magic lanterns
Lit up with colourful lanterns hanging above your head as you ride, it’s a spectacle worthy of a place on any Instagram grid. And plus, who doesn’t love a go on the teacups, so regardless of your age really, there’s something to enjoy in Fantasyland.
Buy Lots of Merchandise!
You don’t need us to tell you that a great way to keep a teen happy is by giving them some spending money and allowing them to buy whatever they want – within the realms of what’s acceptable obviously.
Young or old, shopping is for everyone, but when you’re surrounded by a park full of Disney-themed shops with enough merchandise to (probably) fill a hundred football pitches, things become all the more exciting especially for a teenager. The sheer volume of things to buy is crazy: there’s everything from smaller items like Mickey ears, pens, mugs and fridge magnets, to statement items such as Disney clothing, luggage and ornaments. But besides a whole variety of Disney merchandise, look out for all the Disney-themed food dotted around both parks. Giant Mickey-shaped cookies and salted waffles are two of the most popular.
Bear in mind that if you’re visiting both Disney parks for more than a couple of days, things can soon become expensive, so we recommend budgeting €5-15 per day depending on the length of your stay. This budget should be more than enough to keep any teen happy and will allow them to purchase a handful of smaller items or save to buy one larger item at the end of their trip.
Character Dining isn’t Just for Kids!
While most people think character dining is for kids, it is, in fact, a great experience for teenagers and adults too!
Whether you’re six, sixteen or sixty-six years old, the staff and characters will tailor the dining experience to the group, so expect a lot of laughs and plenty of Disney references. As well as dining with characters like Mickey, Ariel or Beauty and the Beast who may not appeal to teenagers, there’s also the chance to dine with the likes of Captain Jack Sparrow and Cinderella. And that’s another thing, all the actors are clued up on the movie they’re from, so don’t be afraid to ask questions or make your own jokes and references.
Younger children may not remember their visit as well as teens or adults, so videos and photos are a great way to remind them of their experience if they’re missing their friends at Disney! If you have both toddlers and teens in your family and have booked a character dining tailored to your little one, it’s a good trick to pass the camera to your eldest so they can capture the entire experience.
If you need more advice, check out our helpful guide to character dining at Disneyland Paris.
And now, it’s over to you!
If you’re feeling a little nervous by the prospect of having to keep your teen occupied at Disneyland Paris, or are a little stressed about whether it will fulfil their expectations, there really is no need to worry. With so many amazing rides, attractions and experiences on offer, plus an abundance of shops and restaurants where they can hang out with their favourite superheroes, they’ll have fun from the moment they arrive until home time. Hopefully you have everything you need to make the most of your family trip to Disneyland Paris.