So you’ve decided to take the plunge, leave the friends and family at home and embark on a solo trip to Walt Disney World. Deciding to take a trip to the Mouse on your own can be both exhilarating and intimidating. However, follow these 10 Tips for first-time solo travelers and we guarantee that this will be just one of many Disney “me parties” that you’ll be having in the years to come!
1) Still have those Table Service meals- When travelling alone, one of the things that seems to intimidate visitors the most is eating out as a party of one. However, there are so many delightful places to eat on property that it is worth incorporating a nice sit down meal or two into your itinerary. Yes maybe a character dining breakfast may bit awkward but there are some restaurants that lend themselves really well to solo dining. Be Our Guest is the perfect bustling restaurant for people watching. When travelling solo I also make Spice Road Table a regular haunt. I find the tapas portions perfect for one and nothing beats a glass of wine and a view of Illuminations.
2) Use Single Rider Lines. When travelling solo, you can beat the lines at several key attractions by hopping in the Single Rider Lines. These queues are designed to help Disney fill up cars that may have empty seats due to odd numbered families. This is good news for the solo traveler as it means minimal wait times. Unlike Universal, Disney only has 3 single rider options but these are ones definitely worth using: Expedition Everest, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Test Track.
3) Go off peak. Travelling solo means that you may not have to worry about things like school schedules or public holidays. If this is the case, definitely try to visit Disney during an “off peak” period. My favorites are in September when back to school means that most families aren’t visiting Disney or in May where again you’re less likely to run into family crowds as everyone is focused on the end of the school year. Travel during these times and you’ll find nice warm temperatures and minimal crowds.
4) Go on a tour. When you are travelling with family or a group, taking time to really explore and savor the details isn’t always a possibility. Going solo provides the perfect opportunity to learn some behind-the-scenes secrets, explore hidden areas of the parks and find out about the histories and legends surrounding these amazing theme parks. Disney offers a wide array of tours covering everything from zoology, steam trains, the Haunted Mansion, the Utilidor, holiday decorating, the history of Epcot, horticulture..the list goes on and on. Many of the longer tours also include meals and transportation and will leave you feeling like a Disney VIP. Check out our list of tours that we love.
6. Pamper Yourself. Whether its a manicure at Senses Spa in the Grand Floridian, a massage a La Vida at Coronado Springs Resort, having afternoon tea at the Garden View Tea Room or getting a Henna tattoo at Epcot’s World Showcase, there are a lot of special ways to pamper yourself while at Disney. So treat yourself to that extra special little indulgence. You’re worth it.
6. Explore the World Showcase. One of the things that many adults travelling in a group or with small children consistently wish they had more time to explores are the 11 lands that make up the World Showcase. There is no better time than a solo trip for walking along those random pathways in Morocco and seeing where they take you, enjoying a Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich in Paris or exploring the delightful inside market in Mexico. Set aside a day or at least a fair chunk of the afternoon to watch the performers, peruse the shops, enjoy the gardens and simply take in everything that the World Showcase has to offer.
7. Unleash your inner-photographer. I don’t know about you but every time I travel to Disney with my family, despite the best of intentions, I completely fail as the family photographer. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the moment when rushing from attraction to character meal to parade to remember to take time to get those holiday snaps. However, the slower pace of solo trips are a perfect opportunity to capture some amazing photos of the Main Street store fronts, the elaborate parades, the gardens and all those little details that tend to pass you buy when traveling with a group.
8. Enjoy the nightlife. With so many amazing watering holes at Walt Disney World its worth keeping a night or two free during your solo trip to enjoy a cozy pint at Raglan Road, a tiki cocktail from Trader Sams, or a magical concoction from the new Abracadabar at Disney’s Boardwalk. There’s also amazing performances at Jellyrolls Dueling Piano Bar also at the Boardwalk and some Indiana Jones-inspired fun at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar over at Disney Springs. So next time you head to Disney on a solo-trip be sure to make a night of it.
9. Go for the Park Hopper Option. Adding the park hopper option to your Disney World ticket frees you up to visit as many parks as you want each day. You can enjoy a quiet breakfast at the Magic Kingdom before heading over to Animal Kingdom for an afternoon safari. Travelling solo with a Park Hopper means that you have the freedom and flexibility to do anything that you heart desires across Disney’s four parks. Don’t run yourself ragged trying to see and do it all, but do enjoy the freedom that a solo trip combined a Park Hopper provides.
10. Take-in the parades and fireworks. Hands-down my favorite thing about travelling solo is how quickly you can find yourself a wee spot from which to view the afternoon parades or evening fireworks. When you’re travelling as a party of one you don’t have to worry about staking out your parade spot hours in advance or waiting around for hours for that perfect location to view the fireworks. Since you’re not traveling with a group you can find a cozy spot to stand just about anywhere. A solo trip is a very stress-free way to enjoy those events that draw a big crowd.
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