Teens at Disneyland—it’s truly magical and thrilling at every age, you just need to know what to look for. I’ve gathered the best tips for teens doing Disneyland either with their families or flying solo. Rides, food, rules and must-have supplies are all covered here.
Dive into everything teen related at Disneyland or send the link to your parents for a not-so-subtle hint.
Table of Contents
Is Disneyland Fun for Teens?
Yes teens have a ton of fun at Disneyland. There are many thrill rides that teens will love at Disneyland, plus immersive experiences featuring popular franchises at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Pixar Pier and Marvel at Avengers Campus in addition to the classics like Mickey Mouse.
There’s a lot to explore for teens at Disneyland between two parks and the Downtown Disney entertainment district and we’ll explore all the offerings for teens at Disneyland.
Rules for Teens at Disneyland
You might be taking a trip to Disneyland with your entire family and need to know what rides and things your teen will enjoy. Or you might be ready to let your teen explore on their own.
Either way, it’s a good idea to have a grasp on the regulations and Disneyland rules for teens going to the resort.
- Teens must be 14 years old or older to enter the theme parks alone, but more on that in the next section.
- Every guest will go through security screening upon arrival.
- Firearms and toy weapons are prohibited (but you can bring in Light Sabers); see all prohibited items here.
- Costumes may not be worn by anyone ages 14 years or older, with the exception of Oogie Boogie Bash.
- Teens under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at Downtown Disney between the hours of 10:00 pm and 5:00 am.
- No jumping lines, saving places in line for others; use Disney Genie+ to skip the wait instead. Every guest should use common courtesy when in the theme parks.
Of course, these rules apply to everyone and this list is not exhaustive but these rules should be reviewed by everyone before visiting Disneyland Resort.
On Their Own at Disneyland
Disneyland is one place teens don’t mind being with their parents, for the most part. We’ve been taking our kids since they were infants and have found it to be unity building and rewarding in so many ways.
But there comes a time when your teens are ready for bigger thrills than the toddlers or want to bring a friend, or even go alone to Disneyland depending on how close you live to the parks.
As far as age requirements to enter and ride solo, Disneyland’s website states: Children should be supervised. Guests under age 14 must be accompanied by a guest age 14 or older to enter a theme park. To board an attraction children under age 7 must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older.
Here’s a must have list for teens going on their own at Disneyland, and a few nice-to-have items:
Disneyland tickets and Disney Genie Plus. Make sure you buy tickets in advance, and buy the option with Disney Genie+ as long as everyone in their group has it. Genie+ is the newest skip the line feature at Disneyland, your teens will figure it out in no time.
Download the Disneyland App. This is how teens will use Disney Genie, as well as access their tickets and even mobile order food if you decide to link a credit or debit card to the app.
Use gift cards. Disneyland gift cards can be used almost everywhere at Disneyland.
Portable chargers. Disneyland drains cell batteries like crazy. I love using this portable charger so I can get a new, fully charged one at any time while at Disneyland.
Meeting place. Whether you’re dropping them off for the day or splitting up for a few hours, you need a distinct meeting place and time frame. It’s not always easy to get somewhere right on time with rides, lines, and moving about the crowds. Here are some suggested meeting spots throughout the resort:
- La Brea Bakery outdoor patio in Downtown Disney
- Under the Mickey Sorcerer hat in-between Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Hotel
- In front of Lost and Found outside Disneyland’s main gates
- Small seating area on Main Street in front of the lockers and by Market House (aka Starbucks)
- Tropical Hideaway outdoor seating area in Adventureland
- Outside the bathrooms in New Orleans Square just by Mint Julep Bar
- By the exit of Splash Mountain in Critter Country
- Near Queen of Hearts bathroom in Fantasyland
- Pizza Planet outdoor/covered patio in Tomorrowland
The idea here is to pick a very specific spot, point out numerous things about it and have everyone repeat it back. Don’t say “meet at the castle at 2.” There are so many sides to the castle and so many people around, it’s easy to miss. I like to choose spots near shade, seating and a bathroom if possible
Top Disneyland Rides for Teens
Now that we got all the rules and prep out of the way, let’s hit some rides! You’ll get great use of Disney Genie+ since the ones teens love tie right into this.
Thrill Rides for Teens at Disneyland Park
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Space Mountain
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Rise of the Resistance, learn the new strategies to get on this popular ride
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Thrill Rides for Teens at Disney California Adventure Park
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run, use the fee lockers nearby to house things that can’t get wet ask a Cast Member where they are
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Radiator Springs Racers
Of course there are a ton of other rides teens will enjoy that are both fun and bring a certain nostalgia to their visit including:
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Haunted Mansion
Be sure to check out my entire Disneyland ride guide here to learn about all the rides, seating configurations and typical wait times.
Other Things to Do at Disney
It may be all about the rides for most teens, but there’s a few other things that they’ll enjoy as well:
- all the best photo spots, free pic downloads with Disney Genie+ too
- Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge for teens, including non-alcoholic drinks at Oga’s Cantina
- night time shows and fireworks for a magical ending
Teens will also enjoy exploring the Animation Building in Hollywood Land. It doesn’t look like much outside but there’s plenty to do like roam Beast’s Library and learn to draw animated classics.
Downtown Disney for Teens
The best souvenirs are at Downtown Disney’s World of Disney. And you don’t even need to pay admission to visit Downtown Disney. Teens will enjoy bowling and dining at Splitsville, grabbing a giant Crazy Shake from Black Tap and live entertainment most nights during peak season.
While most teens’ favorite thing is being inside the parks, a night at Downtown Disney might do the trick instead. Do you let your teens go off on their own? What other ground rules or ideas should I include in this Teens at Disneyland article?