Holidaying with young children and teenagers
Disney Theme Parks, MGM and Universal Studios
“The Happiest Place on Earth” is the famous slogan for all five Disneys throughout the world. It might not apply to most adults though! But for me, growing up in the USA, I just love Disney! Again, we were fortunate enough to experience all five of them, so I do have some insights on which one to go and when.
When your children are just toddlers, I would start with the smaller ones: Hong Kong or Paris, depending on where you live. All the Disney theme parks are overly crowded and hot during the summer holidays. It is then best to get one of those Fast Track passes to avoid the crazy queues. As your children get older and become teenagers, they no longer want to ride on Dumbo or Peter Pan. They will look for exciting and thrilling rides. Then it’s time to go to the bigger ones: Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Orlando, the last being the largest. In Los Angeles, they also have California Adventure- these are for older children and it is full of exciting rides. Also, don’t forget MGM and Universal Studios. My ultimate favourite would be the Universal Studios Tour in Los Angeles and Disney Sea in Tokyo- which is quite different and unique from the others and the only one they have in the world.
There is no doubt that London is one of the most fun and interesting places to visit when you are a young child or a teenager. Or even when you are an adult. They have Big Ben, London Eye, London Dungeon, palaces, castles, and even Lego Land in Windsor. Don’t forget it is also home to several football Premier League members, such as Chelsea and Arsenal. Liverpool and Manchester United are only a few hours away. I remember taking my sons when they were very young on the Piccadilly Line underground ride was quite thrilling for them.
Edinburgh is another great choice for children of all ages. It has a gothic feeling with its castles and dungeons. The city is also incredibly beautiful and easy to get around with its public transportation system.
Australia is also exciting for children. On the Gold Coast (just outside Brisbane) they have Dreamworld, Warner Brothers Movie World and Wet’n’Wild adventure parks, of which the first is catered more for teenagers. While you are down under, might as well go visit Sydney, where adults might enjoy it much more than Brisbane because of the social and cultural activities that you will find in this bustling city.
As your children get older and start developing more specific interests, you might want to take them to places that they find not only fun, but also interesting when learning about their history and culture. For example: Egypt and Jordan are both very rich in history. And you can also go on camel rides in the desert. (in each instance when we visited both countries, Mum just opted for the much shorter donkey to avoid altitude sickness!)
Another place that could be interesting to learn about history, particularly European, would be Berlin in Germany.