Disney World vacations are most often thought of as family experiences that create memories to last a lifetime. Going to Disney World alone is not something that most people would think of or even consider. I’ve gone to Disney parks with both friends and family in the past, but had never been alone. This last October I decided to try out the parks on a “quick” solo trip of four days. Did the experience live up to my past trips and will I be repeating a solo trip to Disney parks in the future? Hit the jump for my experiences and how to make the most out of your solo trip.
When you’re walking around Disney World you don’t see many solo guests in the parks. Let’s face it, Disney World is marketed as a family destination and that certainly rings true. I had never visited a Disney park alone before October as I’ve always tried to use these trips as an excuse to go on a grand vacation with friends and family. I have traveled solo quite frequently around the country and have always enjoyed those experiences. However, Disney World is not your typical vacation destination. I wasn’t going for a work conference or just an over night trip. I was actually nervous that I wouldn’t enjoy myself! I had planned this trip as a sort of “work-cation”. I wanted to get more content for this site and film as much as possible to get started with my YouTube presence! So, I knew that I’d have plenty to do but would waiting in lines, eating and moving from park to park alone take all the fun out of it? The answer isn’t a cut and dry yes or no.
I would describe myself as an introvert. I am able to relax and recharge when I’m by myself. Traveling alone in the past did help set my expectations and planning for my Disney World trip. I have my own set of preferences and routines when I travel so going alone would let me follow these without bothering any travel companions. I like to get to the airport 2 hours early, grab a Kiva Juice and watch the aircraft take off and land before my flight boards. I can be very particular when traveling (This is both a good and bad thing). So going on a trip alone takes the worry of bothering my travel companions with my routines out of the question!
I also found that I was more lax and laid back than on previous Disney trips. I did come prepared with dining reservations & FastPass experiences selected but I didn’t always stick to them. I would frequently change my FastPasses around to fit my current mood and I even outright cancelled one of my dining reservations just because I didn’t feel like eating there that day. On past trips I tried to stick to schedule as much as possible, especially concerning dining reservations. This is partly because reservations can be hard to change last minute and Disney will charge a “no show fee” if you cancel last minute. Instead of having everything planned I’d often come into the park and find something to eat at that moment.
I was able to eat when I wanted, ride any ride that I wanted (including multiple times if so desired) and most importantly stop and film or take a break when needed! The best thing about going solo during this trip was definitely not having to take multiple schedules or desires into consideration. I let myself sleep in and wouldn’t get to the parks until after noon every day. I felt that even though I got less time in the parks I had more energy and got more out of my day.
Another big plus of going solo to Disney World was the lines. Some attractions have single ride queues which tend to move much quicker than the normal lines. It’s common to see recommendations from people saying if you don’t mind splitting up your party then use the sing rider! I don’t think I ever used a designated single rider line during this trip but I still experienced the benefits a few times. Most attractions have a cast member at the head of the line asking how many are in your party so they can direct you to the appropriate area. Several times they asked for any singles and I was able to jump ahead and get on a ride very quickly. This happened a couple of times on Pirates and The Great Movie Ride.
Going solo in line does have some drawbacks. When I’ve gone to Disney with family and friend waiting in long lines isn’t too bad because you can talk and pass the time. During this trip I would frequently rely on my phone while waiting in line. I would play a game or in some cases do some work. Waiting in line alone did make it feel like it was taking longer. In turn I found myself avoiding anything with more than a 30 minute wait time. I didn’t want to be standing there refreshing Twitter over and over hoping something interesting would pop up.
Along those same lines, dining can be a lonely experience as well. I’m not adverse to eating out alone back home so doing this at Disney is nothing new. I usually used meal time to catch up on social media and post anything interesting. I would still rather spend the time with family and friends instead of more phone time. If you’re an Annual Passholder or you have Photopass don’t be afraid to get your photo taken! Cast members often take photos of solo guests so it’s not going to seem out of the norm for them!
Conclusion & Considerations For Your Trips
Did the good out weigh the bad? In my case, yes. I do plan to do more solo trips in the future. They aren’t my preferred Disney vacation but I’m not nervous about them now! So what can you expect if you’re going to Disney alone? First off, don’t be nervous that people will stare of wonder why you’re there. The only time I felt this was while waiting for the Magical Express in the airport. It was glaringly obvious that I was alone. It didn’t bother me once I remembered that I wasn’t going to see any of these people again and what others thought didn’t really matter!
As mentioned above there are some perks such as the single rider line, setting your own schedule, and doing what you want! I was even able to squeeze on a packed bus to/from the parks a couple of times since it was just me! For my next solo trips I plan to load some e-books on my phone or movie/TV shows to keep me occupied while waiting in line. Don’t be afraid to spark up conversation with the guests around you! You may end up making friends on your solo trip!