|Harambe Village Acrobats at Animal Kingdom|
When our kids get older, it's a real game changer when you factor in travel and vacation destinations. This upset in balance is due to their changing interest and maturing view of what they consider fun that is also age-appropriate for them. Even the happiest place on earth can become a challenge for a tween who have become disconnected to the captivating magic that Disney possesses. Yes it can happen. And if you've been away long enough from all that magic and pixie dust - like what occurred to us- then that by itself will hasten the process of a dying attraction to Walt's enchanting kingdom. Although I'm sure some of you will be disagreeing about now.
But my tween is not an isolated case. The only downside is, my tween's recent disenchantment may have caused a few fairies to die. Sorry Tinkerbell... However, not everything is a total loss. We did manage to re-invigorate my tween's love for Disney and renewed that attraction to a whole new level that, hopefully, may lasts her - her entire lifetime! Fingers crossed. This is how we did it... and how you can too - if you ever needed to. And if you have multicultural tweens, the better! These tips are specially made for you! They will make your experience at the happiest place on earth beyond happy - that's what I got rewarded with for doing these things anyway. It also gives your tween or tweens a whole different perspective of fun at Disneyworld - and hopefully, appreciate every single minute of being there with you!
|In front of the famous Torii at Japan Pavilion as we proudly showcase our fans |
where our names were written in Japanese by one of the Japanese ladies at the Mitsukoshi Store!
To achieve memorable times with your multicultural tweens at Disneyworld, your first major task is to...
|The honor to wear a traditional Yukata at Japan Pavilion is priceless|
1. Connect them to their Heritage.
The world showcase at Epcot featuring 11 countries, is probably the best thought out plan that has ever been put in place at Disneyworld. My reason being, it brings together countries, their culture and cuisine right there in one spot! All you need to do is walk to it and get immersed into that little piece of that world right where you stand.
|Plus part Japanese. Part Spanish. Still 100% Her.|
As I, being a part of an interracial marriage that bore a multicultural offspring, It gives my child - who have never traveled to any of these countries (with the exception of the United States of course) - a chance to partake in a multicultural adventure and acquire an understanding on the things these countries are known for.
Best of all, I get my child to experience the joy of being immersed into the culture to which part of her heritage belongs to. Not just the food or wares that the country is known for, but to interact with its people and their language as well. That in itself, is priceless!
My takeaway: I get to practice my Japanese! And it's awesome.
2. Connect them to their Multicultural Interest.
There should be no shame in admitting when your child no longer finds Prince and Princesses a huge deal. It comes with the territory of growing up. Some kids, like my child, just go through the process sooner than others. But it shouldn't be the end of the world. I think no one will outgrew Mickey and Minnie. Ever. So, there's hope.
The great thing about Disney is that, there is always something that will reconnect or even feed your tween's interest. A good example is my tween child's love for Anime - and all things "Japan-related". I'd say Disney's Epcot Japan Pavilion, made our life bearable and easy for us by providing endless entertainment for the tween and renewed her fascination 90%. Now that's promising!
|Dr. Who Merchandise in an apparel shop at UK Pavilion|
My tween also love Dr. Who! And what better country to be in but the United Kingdom! Where an endless bounty of Dr. Who merchandise can be had. And of course, the Telephone Box and English-speaking natives abound. Bloody goodness as the English would say!
|Matsuriza Taiko drummers|
3. Re-introduce them to Forgotten Experiences
One thing that is inevitable when our children gets older is that they forget most of their childhood memories. Even a very exciting and allegedly "unforgettable" experience at Disney is no exemption. My tween couldn't remember anything from the years we've been to Disney when she was younger. The only consolation is that there are figments in her imagination that reminds her how much she enjoy certain places and attractions inside the parks.
We relived these experiences at our recent visit and it did not disappoint. The best thing about it is that, my tween has developed a deeper appreciation for them and certainly will never forget it soon enough!
4. Let Them Take The Lead
You've probably heard that famous words "I'm bored" - a lot more times than you can take while in a magical place where being bored is taboo! Well, been there, heard that, lived through that.
Surefire way to eliminate this occurrence is to give them the rein to fun-planning. The quickest way to boredland is monopolizing the plan of action for what you think is fun and expecting your "bored" tween to enjoy it with you.
We gave our tween the "freedom" to help plan the course of "fun" for all of us with one clear requirement: We'll all enjoy it together! It worked pretty well for us. And gave the tween a sense of responsibility and pride for creating an unforgettable experience for us.
5. Let the Tween be a Tween
Nothing spoils the fun factor quicker than a grumpy, cranky tween. There will be certain times when they won't want to do certain activities with you and if they're not digging a certain attraction, don't give them a hard time about it. Rather, find a common ground and compromise. Keyword here is: Negotiate. Remember, their interest is very different from yours!
A good example is, if your tween doesn't want to do anything else other than ride the same ride - then allow it with a condition that the next one, he/she will join you in the other ride or attraction that you personally enjoy yourself. A lesson in give and take!
Here are some fun stuffs that the whole family can enjoy together without puking their guts out. In short, for those who don't do extreme rides at all:
- Toy Story Mania Ride
- Spaceship Earth Ride
- Haunted Mansion
- Kilimanjaro Safari Tours
- Living with the Land Ride
- It's a Small World Ride
- Wishes Nighttime Spectacular
- Electrical Parade
And last but not the least...
6. Take them to A Multicultural Adventure
Besides Epcot, the best place to immerse your tween to an unforgettable multicultural experience is at Animal Kingdom! Where the rich culture of Asia and Africa is highlighted, as so is a part of USA. Both Asia and USA are cultures that run through my tween's veins which made Animal Kingdom a definite feast to my tween's eyes and imagination! Not to say, the abundance of wildlife inhabitants becomes an irresistible bait (no pun intended) that your tween can't ever say NO to!
Guaranteed no arm twisting needed, whatsoever.
|Inside Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom|
Our favorite ride at AK is the Kilimanjaro Safari tour, of course! - and the self-guided tour at Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Can you relate to any of these tips? What are your tween Go-to survival tips that works?
We were able to experience and rekindle our tween's love for Disney with the opportunity that Disney Social Media Moms Conference gave us by inviting me and my family this year. Read our full story below.
More Disney Magic to feed your curiosity:
Why DisneySMMC is More Meaningful to Me and My Family this Time Around