I was provided with free theme park tickets to help facilitate this blog post. All opinions are mine alone.
Back in January when I went to Walt Disney World for the WDW Marathon I did something I had never done before. I went and explored the amusement parks, all by myself. I know what you are thinking, Disney is the land of family vacations but you can have plenty of fun going solo too.
Originally, I was hoping that my husband or a kid would be able to join me on my adventure but it just didn’t work out. That’s was ok, I had tickets waiting for me, I could do Disney by myself. I had gone years ago with 2 small children so, why not. I had all sorts of plans in my head, there was so much that I wanted to do. I had all sorts of lists in my head.
Unfortunately, even the best-made plans sometimes fall apart. I didn’t expect for the temperatures to drop and the wind to be as bad as it was, The weather really put a huge kink in my plans and they, kind of fizzled out. While my trip wasn’t my best trip ever I did learn a bunch from my experience and know what to do for my next solo Disney World experience.
Here are my top tips to make your solo Disney trip a bunch of fun:
- Relax. This one sounds simple enough, right? Your first solo Disney trip can be a bit overwhelming. You will have that kid in a candy store feeling and you may not even know where to start. It is completely normal.
- Do what you want when you want. This one is pretty self-explanatory. You can do what you want when you want. You can go where you want when you want. You don’t have to worry about anyone but yourself. No kid’s, other family members, or friends to have to worry about. This small freedom allows for a completely different experience. Take in the shows that you want but never get to see. Browse the stores and shop with only your budget as your concern. Ride all the rides that you want to go on. Stop and take your time taking the pictures you want, making sure you get your perfect shot. Book a tour. Go get a massage. Be selfish and indulge yourself in things you normal wouldn’t. The possibilities are endless!
- Dining. Solo dining can be tough if you have never done it before. I know, I have taken a meal or three back to my room to eat solo at my resort. Then again, I’ve also put on my big girl pants and eaten at a table by myself at quick serve restaurants. You just have to find what works for you. The “least awkward” table service restaurants are said to be Biergarten and Teppan Edo in Epcot. These are the places to head down for a table service meal if you want a table service meal but don’t want to sit alone. These restaurants seat you at a table with about 10 other people. If you are looking at a table service restaurant and are concerned about the meal being served, family style, have no worries. They will bring you food for one, not 4,5 or 6. If a table service restaurant has a bar or lounge you can get food there also. Many feel eating in the bar is less intimidating when you are dining solo. An added plus is no need for reservations and you can order from the same menu.
- Rides. Most rides at Disney have a line but there are a couple ways to make your wait a little bit less, Fast Passes and Single Rider Lines. There are 3 rides that have a single rider line, be sure to take advantage of them. They are Test Track in Epcot, Rock n’ Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios, and Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom. This is a great plus, you get in the single rider line and they squeeze you into the empty seats and the wait times are generally drastically less than the regular line. Knowing these rides have the single rider lines can also help you plan out your fast passes if you choose to use them. When in line for a ride as you near the front keep an ear out for cast members trying to fill seats. Even on rides such as It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribean you most likely will be sitting next to someone instead of having a row to yourself. Some rides, such as The Haunted Mansion you will have the doom buggy to yourself.
- Take Pictures. I’m not just talking about pictures of the sights but with the characters, the castle, etc. Just because you are at Disney solo doesn’t mean you need to rely on selfies. Ask a cast member to take your picture and they will. Even random strangers are often more than willing to take a picture especially if you return the favor for them.
- Be friendly. I will tell you right now, I am pretty much an introvert. Talking to strangers is not my thing, I can do it but doesn’t mean I like to. When you are standing in that long line with an hour plus wait time because you weren’t able to get a fast pass you are bound to start talking to someone. It happened to me on not only Space Mountain but Seven Dwarves Mine Train. Maybe it’s the magic of Disney that lets it happen and people put their guards down but it was interesting meeting other people and helps make the time go by quicker.
- Be social. With the internet and social media, there are countless places to find groups of others with similar interests and this is no different for those who like to go to Disney solo. A quick search on your favorite platform and you can find and join a group. Then you can go on to ask questions and sometimes meet up with your friends that live in the computer.
- Have Fun! This is the most important thing above all, just have fun! See how fast you can get through the crowds. Wave to people going the opposite direction on the Peoplemover. Get a Dole Whip (i’ve heard adding your own rum to it makes them even better). Chow down on a turkey leg. Buy the person behind you in line, their Starbucks. Smile and say hello to people. Just have fun!
Going to Disney is something I have done since I was a young kid. I can’t even tell you how many times I have gone over the years. Each experience has its own special beauty and going solo has it’s own. It was a new experience that I won’t forget. Going to Disney solo allowed me to look at things in a different light and appreciate the parks more than I normally would have been able to. It’s an experience I look forward to trying again.
Have you ever visited Walt Disney World solo? What are your best tips?