When you’re traveling to Walt Disney World with teenagers, a little bit of flexibility goes a long way.
It’s totally inevitable – the members of your group are going to have different priorities. By far, the easiest way to get everyone to the attractions that they’ll like the best is to be able to split up on occasion. But even with a good plan and an established meeting place, the process of meeting up again can burn up a lot of park time – not to mention the grumpiness you’re likely to find in the group that spent longer waiting for the reunion.
We’ve heard all the arguments in favor of ditching technology so that you can “let go and enjoy your vacation.” While we think this is a nice sentiment, it’s only nice if you plan to stay together ALL THE TIME. In reality, even a trip to the bathroom can cause frustrating delays. (“What? Cosmic Ray’s has more than one entrance?”)
We believe that text messaging is the best thing to happen to Disney World Vacations since, well… Disney World itself. Text messaging gives you the ability to send a runner for fastpasses, and the flexibility to jump into a line with a 5 minute wait. The group can adjust plans on the fly, and avoid the crankiness that comes from knowing you stood in one place waiting while the rest of your group fit in some extra fun without you!
The benefit of touring Walt Disney World with cell-phones for teenagers and their families just can’t be overstated. Mom and Dad are going to be much more comfortable giving their teens a bit more freedom with the lifeline of a cell phone. Teens and their parents can send photos and texts to keep in touch, and easily adjust if there’s a change of plans. Everyone wins!
If you’ll be bringing your cell phones from home, be sure to check with your cell phone provider beforehand so that you understand the details of your plan. Make sure that there will be no extra charges for roaming or texting while you are away from home, and change your plan temporarily if necessary to avoid unwelcome surprises in your next bill.
What if a cell phone isn’t practical or necessary for your teenager in your normal life? This trip doesn’t have to be the “gateway” to a new cell phone contract for every member of your family. A great option is to purchase a “pay-as-you-go” cell phone, and load it with minutes (and text messaging capability) especially for your trip. Many cell phone providers now offer such an option, and retailers like Wal-Mart and Target also have options that might work for your family. If you plan to get the phone before you leave for your trip, just make sure there won’t be any barriers to using the phone in Florida!
However you go about providing one, a cell phone for any member of your group that might want to venture off alone is a ticket to better touring. With a teenager that can explore on their own, and a parent that can call them back again, you’ll find great balance.
With the help of a little technology, your family will discover that Disney World is great for teenagers, too!