Happy Friday, everyone. And Happy St. Patrick’s Day! For my readers who are parents of teenagers out there, are you at all concerned about what your teen is up to this Friday evening? For today’s idea of the day, I’m continuing yesterday’s train of thought on how awesome the children’s clubs are onboard Disney Cruise Line. Of equal awesomeness is the teen club, Vibe.
I’ve only been on board the Fantasy and Dream – I understand the club is a bit different on Disney’s older ships, the Magic and the Wonder – so this post reflects what I know from the Youth Activities Open Houses I’ve attended on the cruises I’ve taken. The teen hangout offers spaces to watch movies, play video games, or just recline and relax. There’s also secluded outdoor space where teens have their own personal swimming pool and deck games like ping-pong and foosball. Youth counselors facilitate structured activities like karaoke nights and dance competitions.
Oh, and there’s a bar. They serve smoothies and coffee.
Being a teenager today looks very different from the teenage years of the prior generations, Xers and Boomers. Outside of school-sponsored events like sports and extra-curricular activities, most teens today interact with their peers and the rest of society through screens (multiplayer online video games, text messages, Facebook, etc.). Sure, interacting through screens is something teens can do safely at home, but what are they missing out on in their social development?
Disney could take Vibe to different cities across the country to provide a fun, interactive space where teens can meet new people, learn new skills, and get out in the world in a safe, supportive environment. Vibe wouldn’t need to be open every night; perhaps once each week or month. Disney could charge a per-night fee, or provide annual memberships at a slight discount – like offering Vibe Annual Passholder memberships. It would just be a new way to bring Disney across the country, and make Disney a positive influence in shaping the next generation.