Orlando for Teens
Age range: 13-19
Full-fledged adulthood is around the corner for your kids — but that doesn’t mean they’re too old for a family vacation! By this age, they’re probably ready to appreciate some of our more mature-oriented theme-park fare, including learning about other countries at the World Showcase or taking in food-focused festivals at Walt Disney World Resort’s Epcot.
Featuring fast-paced rides based on popular film and television properties, Universal Studios Florida is another great choice, especially if you’ll be here for spring’s Mardi Gras or fall’s Halloween Horror Nights events.
If your children feel like they’re “too sophisticated” for theme parks, you can show them wonders of a different kind at SeaWorld Orlando’s Discovery Cove. Here, they can have close encounters with dolphins, exotic birds and other amazing animals.
Your kids will soon be driving for real if they’re not already, so let them take the wheel at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, located in the International Drive entertainment district. Close by is Topgolf Orlando, which pairs golf with a scoring system similar to darts or bowling. In the same area, iFly Indoor Skydiving will give your teens the chance to experience flight in a safe, controlled environment.
The Escape Game Orlando
About an hour from Orlando on Florida’s East Coast, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex presents a whole day of wonder and excitement for anyone who’s interested in a STEM career or space exploration.
Back in Orlando, Gatorland has plenty to keep teens occupied, especially when you add the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line and Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure experiences into the mix.
If your teens love outdoor adventure, they’ll develop a deeper appreciation for Orlando with some of our more unique outdoor attractions. These include off-roading at Revolution Off Road and airboat tours at Boggy Creek Airboat Rides and Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides.
As your children are probably better at traveling long distances than they were a few years ago, this is also a great time to hit the West Orange Trail. Starting in Winter Garden, just minutes from Walt Disney World, this paved, 21-mile trail is perfect for hiking and biking, with plenty of amenities along the way. You can even rent bikes for every member of the family from Bikes & Blades Co.
As kids mature, so do their palates, which means yours are now ready to experience the best of the best in Orlando dining. Take a walking tour of celebrity chef restaurants at Disney Springs, the dining, entertainment and shopping district that’s home to Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen, Tony Mantuano’s Terralina Crafted Italian and Guy Fieri creations at Planet Hollywood Observatory, among others. And even without a celebrity chef, themed eateries like T-Rex Cafe are another great option.
More celebrity eateries can be found at Universal CityWalk and Restaurant Row near International Drive, among other spots. Or, head to Winter Park to try some of Orlando’s best homegrown chefs. These include Julie and James Petrakis of The Ravenous Pig, Brandon McGlamery of Prato and Luma on Park, and many others.
Just as they have themed suite options for younger kids, Walt Disney World also has some resorts with themed rooms that will appeal to your teenagers. For instance, Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort have suites that are infused with music, movies and sports, as well as pop-culture icons. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort features 20 tropical luxury bungalows that sleep up to eight guests each.
Maybe your progeny are eyeing careers as world-famous musicians. In that case, book them a stay at Universal Orlando’s Hard Rock Hotel, which recently debuted its Future Rock Star suites. Each one features iconic celebrity memorabilia, liquid flooring and lights, and a twinkling, starlight canopy over the beds.
If your teens are more interested in spending time in your hotel’s pool than in their suites, Orlando has some mind-blowing options in that regard. At 1,200 feet long, the lazy river at Holiday Inn Vacations at Orange Lake Resort’s River Island pool complex is one of the longest in Orlando. Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld has its own on-site water park, R Aqua Zone, and Orlando World Center Marriott has four heated outdoor pools at its Falls Pools Oasis, which includes waterslides, whirlpools and a 600,000-gallon lagoon pool.
Bottom line is, there are so many unique ways to have a blast in the water at our resorts that you might have a hard time getting your teens out of the pool!