We have seen Walt Disney World at all phases and stages with our children. Our oldest are 16, and around the time they turned 10, it was about that time where we changed our focus on what we were looking for when booking a Walt Disney World Resort.
Suddenly, having an amazing pool, separate sleeping space for them, and a somewhat “muted” Walt Disney World theme became important to us. It has become incredibly important that we are able to give them the space they need as teenagers, and that makes it an extra magical Walt Disney World vacation for all of us!
Today, I am going to share my top 6 Walt Disney World Resorts for Families with tweens and teens.
Disney’s Yacht or Beach Club Resorts
I am grouping these together, as they are the same property, and share all the same amenities and dining. Disney’s Yacht Club or Disney’s Beach Club are at the top of my list when it comes to Disney resorts for teens.
First, the Stormalong Bay pool area is fantastic. There is a lazy river, a very fun slide, and it is close to Beaches & Cream Soda Shop for ice cream! I feel as if this is a great option when you are looking for a good pool with older children.
While the pool area is very popular, I like this option when you have older children because it is kind of hard to keep an eye on younger kids in this pool area. In turn, older kids can come and check in, and you do not have to watch them every second.
The location of Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts is also fantastic. With older children, families tend to spend more time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. Both of these are walking distance or a boat ride from these resorts. Also, located along the Boardwalk, the entire area is filled with fun kiosks for food, ice cream, and entertainment.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins
At Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins, you will have some convenient amenities when traveling with older children. There is a kitchen set up, as well as a grill at your cabin. Plus, this set up allows plenty of sleeping space for everyone, which is really important when traveling with teenagers.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is also FULL of fun activities. There are campfires, movies, the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue, and it is convenient to the Magic Kingdom area resorts. I think this is a great option if you want to give your kids some freedom to roam the resort a bit, enjoy some activities, and check in with you later.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
As far as Disney resorts, I think Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge meets a lot of requirements for teenagers.
First, you have the option to book a Studio or Villa over at Kidani Village or Jambo House. This allows you plenty of sleeping space and even multiple bathrooms, both of which are great when you have teenagers in your family.
Secondly, this is an easy resort to explore. So if your teenagers wanted to go off on their own and check things out while you had a drink at the pool, it is very doable!
Animal Kingdom Lodge is full of artifacts, and the Cast Members are fascinating to talk to. It is still a Walt Disney World Resort, but it really gives you a unique experience you cannot get at any other resort on property.
The dining options are fantastic, and give you a unique experience if you have teenagers who like to try new things. I also appreciate it for families with older children because there are no character dining experiences here. And while a character meal is fun, there is something to be said for a good meal, with a great theme without characters.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
This iconic Walt Disney World Resort is on my list for teenagers for so many reasons. Disney’s Contemporary Resort guests have access to the marina activities – as you do at some of the other monorail resorts.
Guests with a driver’s license can take advantage of some of these boating and fishing activities, which would make a great “extra” for the teenagers in your family.
Secondly, if your teens like to explore on their own, and maybe hit Magic Kingdom or EPCOT for a few hours, getting to those parks from the Contemporary is very, very convenient. Also, it allows easy access to the other monorail resorts to enjoy some of the restaurants as well.
Also, most of the rooms at the Contemporary have two queen beds and a daybed. This allows you to have that extra bed for sleeping space that is so important to teenagers. The resort is classic, but not so over the top Disney themed that it would be annoying to older children. Disney’s Contemporary Resort also has several really good dining options.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has a lot of offerings for families with teenagers.
First, on the monorail is great – you can see the Contemporary Resort right behind the Polynesian’s bungalows in the photo above – as there is easy access to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. You can even walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center from the Polynesian. This gives super easy access to EPCOT.
Secondly, the variety of dining options at the Polynesian is stellar. Kona Cafe, Captain Cook’s, and even ‘Ohana are great options for everyone in your family. We found that Captain Cook’s is one of the best quick service locations at any of the Disney resorts.
Third, the beach at the Polynesian makes a great place for the teenagers to walk around and hang out. There is also a fairly large, very nice quiet pool if they feel like relaxing without a lot of kids around. This location also has a drink refill station, which is nice and convenient. Also, the Quick Service location, Captain Cook’s, is very convenient to both pools.
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Traveling with teenagers can be a financially interesting experience! They eat more, they are adult ticket prices….so I felt like it was a good idea to add a Walt Disney World value resort to this list.
Of the value resort options, Disney’s Pop Century Resort came to mind first.
Pop Century is an easy walk to Art of Animation, which has one of the best food courts on property. In fact, I would say that Disney’s Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts top the list for best quick service options out of all the resorts.
Secondly, the theming of Pop Century is fun, but not in your face, “cutesy” Disney like the All Star Movies or Art of Animation. I would consider it more of a “grown up” themed Value Resort.
Also, Pop Century has queen size beds, which gives you more sleeping space. It may even be a good idea to book two rooms at Pop Century for your family, so you have the two full bathrooms and plenty of space for everyone.
While I don’t think you can go wrong with any Walt Disney World Resort, these are my top 6 if you are traveling with tweens and teenagers. You, and your teens, will all enjoy any of these options! Do you have any you can add to the list?
- Disney World Resorts for Large Families (5+ people)
- Best Walt Disney World Resorts for Families with Young Children
- Recommended Non-Park Experiences for Disney World Vacationers