Not all that long ago I saw a post about Walt Disney World on Facebook from the friend of a friend. The person who wrote it was over 50, and he said that a Disney vacation was something that he had always dreamed of taking. It was at the top of his bucket list, but he didn’t have anyone who would go with him. My first thought was that he should go solo. Fortunately, several others told him that, and he decided to seriously consider it.
I head to the theme parks fairly often by myself. Of course I love going with my family, but there’s a freedom that comes when I go by myself that I really enjoy. While I haven’t taken an entire Walt Disney World vacation alone because I live here, I have traveled by myself to other places, so I have some experience with solo trips.
When you travel to Walt Disney World by yourself, your time is your own. You can get up early and hit all the rides if you want, or you can sleep in, lounge by the pool, and then head out just for fireworks. It’s totally up to you how you spend each day.
On a solo vacation, you can decide which rides and shows you want to experience, and which you want to skip. If the idea of dropping 13 stories isn’t something that sounds like fun, you don’t have to ride Tower of Terror. If you want to hit all the scenes and characters in Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, you can ride repeatedly. If you want to stroll through the gardens in World Showcase or read the plaques in Walt Disney Presents, you can take your time. There is a lot of flexibility when you travel alone.
Another thing that is nice about hitting the parks solo is that you might wait a little bit less. There are a few single rider lines, but there are also some rides where they’ll call down the line, looking for a single rider to fill up a final spot. Space Mountain and Soarin’ are two rides where I see this happen often. You could fill that spot.
If you’re with a group, eating can be a bit of a chore. You’ll need to find a place that everyone can agree upon. If you’re on a solo trip, what you eat, when, and where, is solely at your discretion. If you want to skip lunch altogether and instead order a sundae at Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, go for it! (They have Mickey’s Kitchen Sink Sundae there, and you get to keep the “bowl”.)
Don’t worry about being lonely if you travel by yourself. Instead, chat it up with the people around you. Some of the best conversations that I’ve had in line have started by asking others where they’re from. Cast Members are also great at small talk. Ask questions such as what is their favorite restaurant. You might end up with a great recommendation. Also, try dining at a full service restaurant at a non-traditional meal time. Your server might have a little bit of extra time and will be able to chat for a while. Walt Disney World has some incredible servers!
On a solo trip you won’t take up much room for a parade, so you don’t have to grab a spot quite as early. You can also watch the fireworks from the vantage point that you are most interested in. When you travel by yourself you can resort hop, sign up for a tour, spend as much time in or away from the parks as you want, and be totally in control of your vacation. Sounds like paradise to me!