Every parent of a teenager agrees: Raising one is the hardest, thankless, most frustrating job in the world. That’s one of the reasons why I try to make it to Universal Orlando Resort as much as possible.
That smile, the hugs and that: “mom you are so cool” make it all worth it. In the parks, my sulky teen becomes his best behaved charming self. Even sweeter than his 9 year-old brother, who is reveling in his role as the good child. The transformation is beautiful and easy to understand.
- They can be children again without feeling childish: Isn’t that what happens to all of us in the parks? We can melt over E.T. or the Minions and get excited about Spider-Man and Dr. Seuss without being judged.
- There is no competition. Being in Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure is all about enjoyment. There is no pressure to succeed.
- Parents become cool again. Talking about the first Jurassic Park movie or singing our hearts out while riding Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit doesn’t provoke a rolling of the eyes, but a request for more info.
- They can feel independent. It’s OK to allow them to wander for a while and enjoy some of the rides by themselves. Theme parks are incredibly safe. Park employees are never more than a few steps away and they all have been trained on how to assist kids.
- You can be the good guy without spending more. Since the cost of the ticket to the parks covers unlimited times on the rides, they can enjoy the ones they like most over and over again.
- The family trip is actually a fun idea. The idea of a family vacation won’t seem like the most boring thing in the world when you say it will be at Universal Orlando. The mention of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley brightens my teen’s face every time.
- Parents become heroes. They will see you exhausted and willing to keep walking just so they can keep having fun.
- They can take care of you. Teens go from wanting to stay children to thinking they are adults. If you are like me, some rides will terrify you. Your teen will feel protective and more than willing to help you out, even if you have to endure a little teasing.
- It’s just so much fun. There is nothing that bonds more than having a good time together. And that is what Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are all about: good, not-so-old-fashioned fun.
Can you resist the idea of seeing your teenager back to being a care-free kid again? Or catching glimpses of the future adult they will be? I know I can’t. That’s why the parks of Universal Orlando are some of my favorite places in the world. And we are lucky to be able to enjoy them together.