Top 10 Things for Teens to do on Disney Cruise Line

I love a top ten countdown. I love teens – I have three of them. So let’s combine them and take an up close look at all of the great activities for teens (and tweens) to do on Disney Cruise Line. Knowing that teens are unpredictable creatures – and what was a favorite on one vacation gets bumped a notch or two down on the next – I have listed these activities in NO PARTICULAR ORDER. My kids love them all, and I love that they love them. No ranking necessary.

Edge: Club for Tweens and Young Teens ages 11-14

This is the place to be for kids who are too old for the Oceaneer Lab but not quite ready to hang out with the older teens. The ability for kids to check themselves into and out of the space (with their parents consent at the beginning of the cruise) gives kids in this age group a sense of freedom while providing them with structured programming just for them.

Disney Dream & Disney Fantasy: Forward Funnel (Deck 13)
Disney Magic & Disney Wonder: Midship (Deck 9)

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Edge on the Disney Magic & Disney Wonder

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Activities: This is just a small sampling of the fun to be had in Edge.

  • Brains and Brawn: Ship wide scavenger hunt.
  • That’s Hilarious: Improv workshop where kids put their acting skills to the test.
  • Pizza Perfection: Part trivia game, part food craft, totally delicious!
  • Outings to the sports deck.
  • Movies (and movie trivia)
  • Free time and so much more!

Check your Personal Navigator as activities vary by ship and itinerary.

Vibe: Club for Teens ages 14-17

Teenagers know about Vibe. You likely won’t even need to tell them. Teens also have a 6th sense for where to find that mysterious entrance stairway to Vibe on the Dream and Fantasy. (Parents – it’s on the Deck 4 Promenade. That hint should save you about 20 minutes of searching.)

Disney Dream & Disney Fantasy: Deck 5
Disney Magic & Disney Wonder: Deck 11 (Entrance stairway/elevator on Deck 10)

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Activities: Here are just a few of the activities waiting for your teen at Vibe.

Teens on the Disney Dream & Disney Fantasy will get to hang out in Vibe’s teens-only sundeck. This outdoor space has plenty of lounging space, a splash pool and pop jets.

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  • Zombiefied: Has your teen ever wanted to be an extra in a Hollywood feature film? Here’s their big chance. Zombified lets them unleash their inner zombie while creating a movie that friends and family will be invited to the big premier in the Buena Vista Theatre on the last night of the cruise.
  • Gotcha: While the rules of this game elude my adult brain, it is a ship-wide game of spies and tag. Really, that’s all I understand, but my kids love it!
  • Teen Download: The ultimate interactive mix of tech and dream vacation planning, teen-style.

Activities vary by ship and itinerary.

Coffee & Tea at Vista Cafe

This isn’t a structured event, and Vista Cafe can be found on Deck 4 of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy only.

Vista Cafe is a specialty coffee nook with beverages prepared by a barista. It’s like a miniature coffee shop that is open to all guests, but there are plenty of comfy couches for guests to hang out on and enjoy the views.

We could find our teenage daughter there a couple of times a day enjoying a fruity tea concoction. The baristas are fun and knowledgable, and the area is out in the open, so no skulking away in hidden corners. If your teens like to hang out at your local coffee shop, they will enjoy time at Vista Cafe.

Charges will apply for any beverages purchased, but the snacks in the confectionary cabinet are complementary even if you do not order coffee… I may or may not stop by a couple of times a day too.

DCL Prep School Tip: Be sure to get a punch card from your barista. For every 5 specialty coffees/teas you order you will get the 6th free. You can get your card punched at any specialty coffee location with a barista on staff. Not only that, but if you only get 4 stamps on one cruise, you can bring the card back on your next cruise and pick up right where you left off!

AquaDuck and AquaDunk Waterslides

The AquaDuck (on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy) is a more than just a water slide at sea. It’s a water coaster, taking riders up and blasting them down. Most of the tube is clear which allows you to take in all the scenery surrounding you.

Picture Courtesy DisneyCruise.com
Picture Courtesy DisneyCruise.com

The AquaDunk (on the Disney Magic) is the most adrenaline-pumping water slide at sea. Of course, that is my own opinion… but check out this animation, and see for yourself!

The AquaDuck (on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy) is a more than just a water slide at sea. It’s a water coaster, taking riders up and blasting them down. Most of the tube is clear which allows you to take in all the scenery surrounding you.

Picture Courtesy DisneyCruise.com
Picture Courtesy DisneyCruise.com

The AquaDunk (on the Disney Magic) is the most adrenaline-pumping water slide at sea. Of course, that is my own opinion… but check out this animation, and see for yourself!

Wild Side Port Adventure on Castaway Cay

My kids enjoyed this special Port Adventure on our last Castaway Cay Double Dip (where you get to enjoy 2 days at Disney Castaway Cay).

On the Wild Side Port Adventure teens get to bike, snorkel and take a special hard hull speed boat ride.

There’s music. There’s adventure. There’s no parents or little siblings allowed!

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The Hideout on Castaway Cay

The Hideout is a Teens-Only hangout on Disney Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. The space is built to resemble an airplane hangar and has game tables and activities for kids ages 13-17 to enjoy.

Pirate Night

Pirate night is fun for ALL ages, but teens really enjoy this specially themed evenings every bit as much as adults and younger siblings. THAT IS TRUE DISNEY MAGIC RIGHT THERE!!!!

Even if your teens don’t want to hang out with you on Pirate Night (shocking, I know) it is common to see groups of teens together enjoying the deck shows, fireworks and special late-night buffet.

DCL Prep School Tip: Even if your teen is ADAMANT that they don’t want to dress up for Pirate Night, I would still pack a pirate themed t-shirt for them. An hour into the festivities – when they decide they DO want to dress up – they will thank you for being an awesome parent! (Here are a few available on Amazon.)



 

Star Wars Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Makeovers & Pirates League Packages

Speaking of Pirate Night… did you know that on special themed days and nights (like Star Wars Day at Sea Cruises) the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique isn’t just for young kids ages 3 – 12 years of age.

On Pirate Night, anyone guest the age of 3 can book the First Mate Package and Empress Packages.

First Mate Package
Price: $44.95
Landlubbers are transformed into buccaneers—just in time for Pirate Night festivities—with their choice of pirate facial effect, a sword and sheath, bandana, earring, eye patch, tattoo and unique coin necklace.

Facial effect choices: Captain Jack, Captain Hook or Blackbeard

Empress Package
Price: $44.95
For a Pirate Night look with a touch of glam, the Empress Package includes shimmering makeup, a face gem, nail polish, lip gloss, a bandana, earring, eye patch, tattoo and unique coin necklace—all the essentials for a lively evening at sea!

For Star Wars Day at Sea sailings on the Disney Fantasy, any guest (including adults) over the age of 3 can enjoy a galactic makeover.

Galactic Transformation – Adult
Price: $54.95

More seasoned Jedis can join in on the fun with their choice of Star Wars-themed tee and face painting—along with exclusive accessories including a nametag, lanyard, medallion and stateroom magnet.

DCL Prep School Tip: T-shirt sizes are limited to what is onboard and in stock. If you or a loved one needs a shirt in a special size, please be sure to bring your own so that no one is left out of the magic!

Character Meet & Greets Teens will L-O-V-E

I could say that teens love meeting characters, and stop right there. I have kids who will tell me all year long that they don’t want to meet characters and then I find the opposite to be true once we get on the ship. I have the photos to prove it!

But, having said that, there are a few characters that appeal to teens a little bit more than others.

  • Stich
  • Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirate Night Only)
  • Jack Skellington and Sally (Halloween on the Hight Seas Cruises only)

Star Wars and Marvel Day at Sea cruises will also feature your family’s favorite heroes and villains. So be sure to check your personal navigator for the scheduled meet & greet times.

Goofy’s Sports Deck and Sports Simulators

If you have active teens in your home, Goofy’s Sports Deck and the sports simulators are a good way to spend a little time.

Goofy’s Sports Deck Activities:

Photo Courtesy DCL
  • Basketball Court
  • Mini Golf (Disney Dream & Disney Fantasy only)
  • Foosball
  • Table Tennis

 

 

Virtual Sports Simulators (fee applies for activities in the simulators)

These are large screen video games with an active component. Games and sports to chose include

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Golf
  • Soccer

We booked a 30 minute package (see details below). There was no one waiting after us, so the Crew Member gave my son a little extra time, but after 40 minutes he was pretty tired.

Packages

Golf 30-Minute Package

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Price: $28 per session

The virtual golf simulator at Goofy’s Sports Deck features a variety of championship golf courses, interactive practice situations and real-time ball flight. This state-of-the-art virtual golf experience is a great way to practice your swing or compete against friends without ever leaving the ship.

Sports 30-Minute Package

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Price: $13 per session

Play popular sports including soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey or football thanks to state-of-the-art virtual sports-gaming available at Goofy’s Sports Deck. Virtual sports simulators recreate your favorite game activities so you can enjoy them while you’re at sea.

Golf 60-Minute Package

  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Price: $49 per session

The virtual golf simulator at Goofy’s Sports Deck features a variety of championship golf courses, interactive practice situations and real-time ball flight. It’s a great way to practice your swing or compete against friends without ever having to step off the ship.

Sports 60-Minute Package

  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Price: $22 per session

Enjoy soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey or football—without the hassle of having to chase a ball—using virtual sports-gaming systems available at Goofy’s Sports Deck. Virtual sports simulators recreate your favorite game activities at sea.

Cancelation fees apply. Be sure to read all terms at time of booking.

Honorable Mention #1: First Run Movies

It’s no secret that teens love to go to the movies. It was true in the 1950’s, and it’s true today. Disney Cruise Line offers a lineup of first run movies in the Buena Vista Theatre throughout the day. Brand new blockbuster releases may be shown in the Walt Disney Theatre as well.

These are great when the weather isn’t cooperating or for a break from the sun.

And with the Star Wars and Marvel family of films now in the Disney family, your teen and tween (and even the adults) in your family are sure to find a movie everyone will enjoy.

Honorable Mention: 1820 Society

What is the 1820 Society anyway?

The best way to describe the 1820 Society is that it is a series of gathering for guests 18-20 years of age.

The gatherings take place in various ship locations – like Cove Cafe, the Quiet Cove Pool, nightclubs, and there is even a meet up on Castaway Cay. Each gathering is led by DCL Crew Members and has an activity – like an ice cream social – to help the kids (because the 18- to 20-year-olds in my life are still kids) get to know one another.

One fun aspect is that many of these events happen in areas designated for guests ages 18 and older, and for many of them, it’s their first cruise as an “adult.”

And the best thing is that all of the 1820 Society activities are FREE! If drinks at Cove Cafe are part of the activity, then they are FREE. If the whole gang is riding bikes on Castaway Cay, there is NO CHARGE for bike rentals!

As interest varies from cruise to cruise, it is highly recommended that guests go to the very first gathering. The leaders can get a feel for the size of the group and get input so that activities can be tailored to that group.

My son loved it, and we were lucky enough to have a pretty sizable (and active) group of 18- to 20-year-olds on our sailing. But I can easily see how experiences with this can vary from cruise to cruise.

Wrapping it up

My teens enjoy the freedom that they can enjoy on Disney Cruise Line. Make sure they are familiar with the communication features on the DCL Navigator App and that the know “The Rules”

  • Always text before leaving one location.
  • Send a quick text when you get to the next activity.
  • You are NEVER EVER EVER NEVER allowed in a new “friend’s” stateroom.
  • And new friends are NEVER EVER EVER NEVER allowed into our stateroom.

With a few ground rules in place, teens can enjoy time on their own!