While Magic Kingdom has a reputation for being for the younger ones in the family, this park also has some great options for teenagers that the toddlers and infants wouldn’t dare go on! In fact, some of the best rides for teenagers and tweens at Magic Kingdom are the ones that the younger children can’t go on due to height restrictions.
This isn’t to say that Magic Kingdom is a park filled with thrill rides, because it’s definitely not, but that’s not what Disney is for anyway. Disney is about the theming, the family fun, and doing its best to make grumpy teenagers smile.
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Many of these rides can obviously be enjoyed as a family, but I would also encourage families to let the teens run free for a bit and take advantage of creating their own experiences on some of these rides while you take your little ones on the best rides for infants at the Magic Kingdom.
My love of Disney started when I was very young and taken by my parents, but it was cemented when I spent my teenage years making memories with my best friend. Especially if you’re a younger teen, there’s something special about being allowed to separate from Mom and Dad for just a bit to go throw your hands up on Space Mountain or Splash Mountain.
Disney is very safe and an excellent place to let your teens and tweens have some independence if they’ve proven that they can behave like normal human beings and not create too much of a commotion.
So whether you’ve dragged your teenagers along with you to have a forced day of fun at Disney or you are one of the lucky parents to Disney-obsessed teenagers, here’s a complete guide to the best rides and attractions for teenagers at the Magic Kingdom.
If the weather is warm (which, let’s be honest, it’s Florida so it’s very likely to be the case), one of my favorite attractions for teenagers at the Magic Kingdom is Splash Mountain. Not only is an iconic Magic Kingdom ride, but it ends in a dramatic drop on the log flume that will definitely force your stomach to slosh around a bit.
The length of this ride, including the interior boat ride, is also long enough that it feels worth the wait.
To make Magic Kingdom even more exciting for teenagers, have them see what kind of crazy faces or poses (within reason) they can make during the ride picture.
What’s not to love about a dark ride that sends you hurtling through the cosmos? I’d argue that Space Mountain is the most extreme ride at Magic Kingdom, making it the perfect Magic Kingdom ride for teenagers who want a bit of a thrill.
If you’ve ever seen the ride with the lights on, you’ll realize that it actually isn’t a very intense rollercoaster track, but there’s something about being thrown about with the lights off that makes it feel 10x crazier than it is.
Especially if you sit in the front and have way of knowing which way you’re going next, Space Mountain has elicited some pretty impressive screams from me over the years.
Big Thunder Mountain
As the third “mountain” at the Magic Kingdom, Big Thunder Mountain is a teenage favorite for being an all around enjoyable rollercoaster with a lot to look at while you ride. It’s also one of the best Magic Kingdom rides for adults, so both generations can hang out together.
Big Thunder Mountain doesn’t go upside down or do anything crazy like go from 0 to 60mph in 10 seconds (ugh, barf), but it’s a classic staple of the Magic Kingdom and teenagers will enjoy the theming.
In fact, there’s a secret about Big Thunder Mountain that teenagers will love if they want to try something new at Magic Kingdom. From the ride, there are beautiful views of the fireworks during the nightly show. Suggest that they time their ride to fall within the fireworks and be prepared to hear stories of their magical night (or to hear nothing because they’re teenagers, duh).
Hear me out here. Astro Orbiter, found right next to the People Mover in Tomorrowland, is an often overlooked attraction at Magic Kingdom and it shouldn’t be.
At first glance, it’s like Dumbo on steroids, which doesn’t sound all too thrilling. But LET ME TELL YOU, there’s something about being so high off the ground while rotating in a fake rocket that just gives you life.
It’s more that the ride actually feels pretty intense once you’re up at the top, so much so that my palms were super sweaty by the time I got off.
And the views from the top of the Astro Orbiter?
As a child, Haunted Mansion scared me out of my mind. I have horrible memories of feeling the impending doom in the first room and wanting to crawl out of my skin when you look up to see…well, I’ll let you find out.
But for teenagers? Haunted Mansion is a Magic Kingdom ride for teenagers through and through.
They’re old enough to know that it’s not REAL, but not so old that the classic Disney tricks throughout the rides have lost their impact. Whether they spend the whole ride trying to scare each other or soaking in the creepy music, your teenagers will love this ride.
And have them pay close attention to the Imagineering choices in Haunted Mansion’s line, as there are a lot of details that are a part of the storyline you wouldn’t notice if you just walked through as quickly as possible.
For Disney-bred and born teenagers who love classic characters like Jasmine, Aladdin, Ariel, and Simba, Mickey’s Philharmagic is a must-do. This 4D show not only includes musical numbers from the movies, along with a storyline that involves Donald Duck making his way through their various lands, but it also has additional elements.
From smells to water to a great ending that combines the on-screen world with the real world, this is a nostalgic win for teenagers at the Magic Kingdom. It’s not the most technologically advanced show with the sharpest graphics that they’ll ever see, but once the famous songs start and their favorite Disney characters appear on screen, they’ll embrace their inner children in no time.
Oh, and did I mention that the ride is air conditioned and involves sitting for a while to take a break from your aching feet? Double win.
Especially if you have teenagers who are just on the cusp of getting their Learner’s Permit or Driving License, Tomorrowland Speedway is a chance for them to practice their skills while also terrifying their parents with how out of control they are.
In all fairness, the Tomorrowland Speedway cars are nothing like real cars and do seem to have a mind of their own, but it’s a fun ride if your teenagers have never tried it before and haven’t had the chance to get behind the wheel of a car for themselves yet.
Mad Tea Party
For full disclosure, I hate the teacups because I get severely motion sick and spend the entire ride begging the people with me to not spin so fast.
But throw a group of teenagers in a group, a couple with motion sickness, and the rest with a penchant for trying to see how green they can make their friends, and…well, you’ve got my biggest nightmare and many teen’s greatest dream.
The teacups aren’t an obvious choice as an attraction for teenagers at Disney World, as there will be quite a few children and their families on it and it can be viewed as a “kiddie” ride.
However, in a group, this ride is perfect and provides lots of laughs for the teen crowd. Oh, and they can’t really bother anyone else because they’re confined in their own teacup. Which is a bonus if they get a little out of hand with the spinning.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Most teens have grown up watching the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but may be surprised to find out that the movies were inspired by the ride, not the other way around.
Not only does Pirates of the Caribbean have a brief “drop” that gives it a slow-moving boat ride a little bit of thrill, but it also is a fantastic ride for spotting Hidden Mickey’s and for playing “Where in the world is Johnny Depp?” as he pops up throughout the ride.
Pirates of the Caribbean is one of my top picks for teenagers at Magic Kingdom who are interested in Disney history and immersive theming.