For a lot of people, the thought of traveling alone can sound depressing and scary. I get it. The first time I went to Walt Disney World by myself I was terrified that I was going to miss my family and friends, get weird looks, and forget what my voice sounded like by the end of the trip. I was nervous that I would spend most of the time texting my friends and not be able to fully enjoy my favorite part of Disney – the food.
Fast forward to the end of my first solo trip and I felt completely different; both about traveling alone and about myself. It may seem silly, but at the conclusion of the trip, I felt like I had hit the reset button and my whole outlook was different. I felt like I had truly relaxed, being able to go at my own pace, and experienced parts of Walt Disney World that I had overlooked so many times. I made time to just sit and sketch in the parks, enjoyed every piece of food that I wanted, and realized that no one cared that I was by myself (if anything, people were interested in hearing about my solo travels!).
Maybe it’s just me, but my solo travels to Disney seem to be my time to regroup and refuel. However, I tend to believe that solo traveling will have that effect on anyone. Therefore, I am here to tell you that everyone needs to take a solo trip to Disney! Trust me, you won’t regret it and I have a few tips that will make sure you get the most out of your “me” time.
Traveling with a group means having to agree on your plans. No matter the size of your group or how alike you are, your plans will always be an amalgamation of your interests. Traveling alone, your plans are all about what you want to do. Take this opportunity to do what you really want and not feel bad about it – Want to hit all four parks in one day? Do it. Want to hang out in your resort and order room service for dinner? Do it. The [Disney] world is your oyster!
Because you don’t have a long list of “must do’s” from the rest of your group, you can spare a few extra moments getting around. As you get on the monorail, walk from Fantasyland to Adventureland, of travel on the bus from Epcot to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, don’t forget to look around. Take in the atmosphere, stop to read that sign you never noticed, snap a picture of the roses that are on bloom. You’ll start to notice aspects of the parks and resorts that you usually would pass right by.
Eat like a King (or Queen)
I love experiencing Disney’s full-service restaurants and try to hit a new one each time I visit. The first time I traveled alone I only went to quick-service restaurants, thinking I would look CRAZY if I sat in a full-service restaurant alone. As I got more comfortable traveling alone, I started eating at full-service restaurants by myself and loved it.
If you aren’t picky about the location and/or time you eat, most times you can grab a same day reservation for restaurants that you would never be able to get a table for a group at if you hadn’t made an advanced reservation. Servers will also usually seat you in an area that isn’t smack-dab in the middle of the restaurant too, so you won’t feel like people are looking at/judging you. If you feel a little odd sitting by yourself, pull out the park map or open your My Disney Experience app to plan the rest of your day.
One of the best parts of traveling alone? Treating yourself. You only have to worry about paying for yourself, so experiences that before might have been unrealistic aren’t as bad. I like to spend a day in the spa at the Grand Floridian and get a manicure (Pst – Disney Visa Cardholders, DVC Members, Annual Passholders, and Cast Members get a discount, so be sure to ask when you pay!), but there are so many other options – take a backstage tour, play a round of golf, or rent a boat!
Did you even visit Magic Kingdom if you don’t have a picture in front of the castle? Well, yes, of course you did! But what if you really want pictures of yourself on your solo trip? Get out your phone and take a selfie! Or ask another guest or Cast Member to take your picture. If you feel a little weird about it, ask a family if they would like a picture all together and then ask them to take one of you. Most people won’t blink an eye at you being alone because they will be so thankful to have a picture of their whole group! The other option of course, is to ask Photopass Photographers. Not only will you get a picture, but it will be excellent quality!
Be Open to Change
The best way to enjoy your trip is to remember that it will be different than traveling with a group. No, you won’t have someone to talk to in every line you stand in, but you will have time to experience a different Disney, and if you really want to talk to someone, start up a conversation! Most guests and definitely most Cast Members are happy to talk about Disney!
Have you taken a solo trip before? What tips would you add to this list? Let me know below!