Pssst, want to know a secret? Disney’s California theme parks – Disneyland Park and its equally enticing neighbour, Disney California Adventure Park – are not just for little kids. In fact, if you are looking for a holiday that will paste a great big smile on your teen’s dial, you have come to the right place. From adrenaline-fuelled adventures to good old-fashioned treasure hunts, the two parks are packed with attractions that will have your teens ditching their too-cool-for-school attitude, and laughing with delight. So invest in a Park Hopper ticket, which gives you entry into both parks, and use these five strategies to enjoy a teen-friendly Disney adventure.
Get an adrenaline hit
There is nothing teens love more than a good dose of thrills and chills, and Disney dishes up big doses of both. Those with nerves of iron should try California Screamin’, the park’s longest, fastest roller coaster, with a stomach-churning 30-metre drop. Another must-try coaster is the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, where you find yourself aboard a runaway mine train, weaving through caverns and canyons as rock faces flash past you. (Tip: get ready for an explosive finish!) Other crowd favourites include Matterhorn Bobsleds, the world’s first steel coaster – keep an eye out for an appearance by the Abominable Snowman – and the Indiana Jones Adventure, where you follow the famous archaeologist into the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Then there is the wet and wild Grizzly River Run, a white-water rafting adventure over rampaging rapids, and the spine-chilling Haunted Mansion.
Become an action hero
Step inside your favourite movie and discover your own superpowers on some of Disney’s most addictive rides. Opening in May, the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! ride takes you inside the forbidding fortress of the Collector, who has imprisoned Drax, Gamora, Groot and the rest of the Guardians. On this runaway ride, your task is to help Rocket Raccoon stage a breakout – get set for a wild ride. The Guardians aren’t the only famous faces waiting to take you on an adventure to remember. Star Wars fans can hitch a ride with C3PO on a Starspeeder 1000, on Star Tours – The Adventure Continues. A series of randomly-selected storylines takes you to the ice world of Hoth, the oceans of Naboo, or may even drop you straight into the middle of a galactic battle. The fact that each trip is different makes this attraction seriously addictive: you will be lining up over and over again for your chance to come face to face with Finn, Yoda or even Darth Vader himself. Up for more Star Wars thrills? Then head for Hyperspace Mountain, where Admiral Ackbar briefs you on a mission that puts you up against a Star Destroyer.
Eat your way around the world
All those thrills and spills work up an appetite, and there is no end of places ready to sate your hunger. In fact, if you have an adventurous palate, you can graze your way right across the globe. Feast on tamales and fajitas at Cocina Cucamonga, or grab a taste of New Orleans at Café Orleans, perhaps a big bowl of gumbo or a fried green tomato sandwich. In the mood for Mediterranean? Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta has a menu stacked with favourites. Other crowd-pleasers include the gourmet hot dogs at Award Wieners and all-American favourites such as buffalo wings, burgers and choc chip sundaes at ESPN Zone. If your teens are sports lovers, ESPN Zone may soon become one of their favourite hangs, thanks to the TV screens broadcasting live sport from around the globe and a sports arcade where you can show off your skill at more than 40 different games including air hockey, hoops and roller ball.
Try some time travel
You’ll never get them to admit it out loud, but inside every teen there is a big kid waiting to get out. So don’t be surprised if they rediscover some childhood favourites during their travels. The 4D Toy Story Midway Mania! Extravaganza is always a hit. Armed with a Spring-Action Shooter, try to get the top score as you take aim at an ever-changing range of targets. Just as entertaining is the fast-paced Radiator Springs Racers, inspired by another classic Disney Pixar film, Cars.
Go on a treasure hunt
Your mission, should you choose to accept: there are more than 100 Mickey Mouses hidden throughout the park. You will find one on a manhole cover in Toontown. You will find another on the Big Ben clock tower on Peter Pan’s Flight. The rest? Those you will have to find for yourself. Spot-the-Mickey is a great choice for a do-it—yourself treasure hunt. Simply challenge your friends to spend an hour tracking down as many as they can find, and see who comes out on top. Or have a race to see who can score the most star-powered selfies. You will find plenty of colourful characters roaming the park, trom childhood favourites such as Mickey and Minnie to Chewbacca and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Happy snapping!
“There is a place, like no other. Where a walk down Main Street can fill you with wonder. Where magic is spread with every touch and the spirit of imagination lives on. So make the time, to take your time because at the Disneyland Resort in California there’s Magic for Days. Contact your local Travel Agent to book your dream Disney holiday.”
As to Disney artwork/ properties: ©Disney. ©Disney/Pixar. ©2017 MARVEL. ©Disney/Lucasfilm Ltd. © &™ Lucasfilm Ltd.