Solo Disney ideas!


#1

OMG I am doing this. I toyed with the idea for months, thinking maybe someday ... Then my DD began planning her trip for her family - DSIL and DGD - and I half jokingly said, "Can I tag along?"

Then I got to thinking, I should do this. Semi-Solo Disney.

We went last May, and the kids were on their trip too, so we got to share some of the Magic with them. Had an absolute blast. Then DH and I returned in December, and we're also planning a huge family trip with all the kids and grandkids in May 2018, PLUS DH and I are going to Hawaii in March, which takes up almost all of his vacation time for the year. I get a lot more vacation though ...

So .... Hmmm. Yeah. I could do this.

The kids are booked at AoA in a Mermaid room, so it wouldn't be feasible to bunk in with them. We could but it would be too much. I looked into getting my own room, or upgrading them to a family suite and paying the difference, but in the end, I decided to leverage my membership in Interval International and I booked a getaway trip at Vistana Resort (we own there too, but we're using it for the Hawaii trip) for a little over $500. Sweet. And I have airline miles to cover my flight. And I got a 4 day + 3 free PH ticket in anticipation of the May 2018 trip, so I will convert that to an AP on this trip so I can use it for both trips (and maybe sneak in a Christmas or winter trip for DH and me!) .

Wheew!!

Now I am having a panic attack. I am SOOOO introverted, it's not even funny. This isn't just outside of my comfort zone, it's outside of my comfort universe!!! :cold_sweat:

So, OK then ... I'm doing this ...

What are some cool things to do solo?
Shows, restaurants, events (early May) ... ??

I am also hoping to have a whole day and maybe overnight with DGD-5. I thought about the tea party, but holy cats - $333??? She loves princesses, Minnie and Star Wars. I thought maybe try to get JTA and H&V breakfast at HS, then boat over to Epcot to meet Elsa and Anna, and some others, maybe with a stop for ice cream at the Boardwalk.

I'm still working on which parks on what days, but the CLs are pretty low, so it doesn't matter much. I can make TP and swap days around later. One day will be a 4 park challenge, for sure! DH and I did that on our Christmas trip, catching all four parks for their respective evening shows ... that was a blast.

TIA for any tips, suggestions and what not! Getting excited!!!

:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Solo Trip - sell me on it!
#2

I did a solo trip Jan 2015 to run the WDW Marathon.
I TOTALLY get being outside your comfort universe as I am highly introverted as well (even stuttering as I type this)
My advice, DO IT! You will love it! It was one of my most cherished WDW experiences, scratch that, it was one of my most cherished LIFE experiences!

The cool things to do solo....anything and everything that YOU want to do. Is there something that DH or DD never wanted to do? Now is your chance.
Take your time to soak in the details of the parks, stroll at your pace and people watch. Eat what you want, when you want. Feel like a Mickey Bar at 10:00am....go right ahead!
I would definitely do all the shows because you wouldn't feel out of place being solo.
I didn't do Dumbo, Tea Cups or Magic Carpets solo as I thought I would feel odd spinning out there by myself but I made an exception for Astro Orbiter because my family never wanted to wait for this line.
I did book one TS but ended up canceling because I wasn't confident enough to sit alone in a restaurant but in hindsight I realize that it was silly.
Still, I was perfectly content eating at select QS locations.
Touring WS in Epcot was so lovely solo. I watched shows the kids wouldn't and stopped to admire the highly detailed countries for as long as I wanted. If you go early May you will still have Flower & Garden to enjoy in Epcot.
4 park challenge should be a piece of cake traveling solo as you tend to move at a much quicker pace.


#3

@LissaKay - Go for it!! I had a lot of solo time last July while DH was at his conference. We had times we were together at various parks, but I also had a few daytimes (and an Epcot evening) solo. It was wonderful!

When solo, you can move at the pace you want (I move fast). You can do all the wild rides no one else does. You can give in to all those spontaneous urges (go in a shop, grab a bite, meet a character). I found out I liked to meet the characters, and had too much fun doing it! I met lots of them. They're good even with us solo adults! I did a Keys to the Kingdom Tour (a bucket list item).

I ate at Biergarten, which is great when solo 'cuz they seat you at long tables for 8. Ours had me, a group of 3, and a group of 4. Once seated, no one else can tell you are solo.

You will never see the people you meet again, so don't be shy!


#4

I can't fully say from experience quite yet as my solo trip is in May, but these are the tips I have based on my planning:
- As others have said, find the things that YOU want to do, especially those things that those you usually vacation with would prefer to pass by.
- Don't be afraid to eat table service meals alone, especially if there are some Must-Do ones for you. Make it YOUR trip
- If you're willing to give up some regular park touring time, book a tour. Good solo activity in that it doesn't feel so expensive when you book for just yourself as when you book for a group. It's the piece of my trip that I'm most excited for.
- Introvert advice: Figure out how you're going to get some quiet time away from the crowds each day. Depending on your touring style, that may mean a midday break at the hotel, or even just knowing where there are quiet places in the park (table service meals, Tom Sawyer Island in MK, etc.)

Also, I can relate to a lot of your nervousness about a solo trip as a strong introvert (and I have social anxiety to boot). The different responsibilities of traveling solo are daunting, and even if you have a full-on panic attack meltdown about it at some point, you will still enjoy much of your solo trip (which is what I learned reading some old trip reports on this forum). Being an introvert also has its advantages to traveling solo as we can enjoy our vacations without relying on sharing each moment with other people 24/7. Plus, it sounds like you'll get some awesome quality time with your DVD, so you don't have to feel quite so alone.

I'll be sure to report back after my solo trip in March and share anything else I learn!


#5

Disney is the epitome of what one would consider a “family destination” but after doing a solo trip this past September, I think it’s almost superior as a solo-traveler’s destination. I am a contender for being the poster child of an introvert/social anxiety, and I have to say going to WDW alone was the best thing I’ve ever done.

In fact, my family has gotten annoyed that I won’t shut up about it here at home.

Now, in my case, I hadn’t been to Disney World since I was a kid, so seeing it through adult eyes, everything was all new to me. The same can't be said for you but there’s an absolute freedom you get by going alone. You also don't need to worry about pleasing anyone. I won’t hijack your thread with my analysis of traveling alone, but my Trip Report goes into detail. I will say this, even when you travel solo to WDW, absolutely NOTHING is off limits to you. ESPECIALLY because you're solo.

That said,
Cool things to do solo? (some of this you might’ve already done or others have already said)
* Keys to the Kingdom Tour (or any tour for that matter)
* Repeat breakfasts/lunches/dinners where YOU want to eat (Highly recommend boma, Pre Rope Drop BOG, Tiffins, and anywhere you can find yourself a mickey-shaped food item :smile: )
* Tour various hotels on the grounds.
* Walk from EPCOT, to Board Walk, to Holly Wood Studios
* Ride rides more than once, twice, three times. (unless the ride is very crowded, you will likely get your own spot on the ride, so don't hesitate to ride. When I went, the only two rides I was forced to share a "seat" with was 7DMT and The Great Movie ride. Everything else I was left alone.)
* Things that would be crazy expensive for a party are cheap for you alone, so splurge. Tours, Parties, shows (hoop dee doo musical revue), Eat at CRT, upgrade your hotel/room, etc…
* Get a button from Main Street
* Ride the main street transportation
* Walk the trails in Animal Kingdom
* Stay out RRRREALLY late (or don’t, it’s up to you)
* Get up RRRREALLY early (or don't, it's still up to you)
* Parasailing
* Boat over to TTP or to the Grand Floridian.
* Take in the transitions between the lands at Magic Kingdom. Study them both through the visuals and the audio.
* Do a Fireworks Cruise
* Do a desert party

Tips?
* Be patient and relax. Roll with it all. This will happen on its own for the most part as you’re in the best place on earth, but just because your're solo doesn’t make everything smooth. Glitches and annoyances will still happen. Don’t fret and don’t dwell on anything negative. As others have coined: "Pack your patience."
* Start a walking regime now! Obviously WDW requires quite a bit of walking, so get moving now as the faster/longer you move, the more you can do. You don’t have to go at lightspeed, but fatigue can be really irritating, you want to kick that in the butt.
* Don’t think your plan is a bible, but don’t abandon it either. Feel free to be flexible. (and make sure the Lines app is on your smartphone for quick-answers to your questions)
* People watch.
* Don’t deny yourself something because you are alone. Whether a ride, a restaurant experience, or even just standing around in the open. Trust me, NO ONE CARES that you are solo. They’re all too busy with their own vacation and the stress of dragging/keeping up with family members.
* If you don’t like something? Bail on it immediately (outside a ride, of course). Find yourself bored at a park, go to another.
*Takes notes of what you are doing/saw. This is helpful to pass the time while waiting for meals or in line.
*Keep your park-gear light. No need for a big backpack full of things for you and your group, it's just you. Identify what you'll truly need for the day and take just that.

There...that about scratches the surface.

Going to WDW alone is so much fun. I don't want to freak you out, but you need to know you're going to have a wonderful time! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


#6

I did a mostly solo trip in November and it was great. I second everything people mentioned here - do whatever makes you happy. Dining at lounges (e.g. Nomad Lounge in AK, outside seating at HBD) was ideal for me because there was never a wait. Related to being able to change your plans on a whim - being solo makes it way easier to stop for random streetmosphere shows (e.g. Citizens of Hollywood in DHS, anything around the WS in Epcot) AND be able to get a decent view: you can easily find an open spot for one in existing gaps between families already there, whereas wedging 4 people in that same spot would earn you justified dirty looks.


#7

Going solo is great! As another introvert/social anxiety person I was also anxious about my first solo trip this past August but found i prefer to tour solo. Flexibility is the best thing about solo touring, you can choose what to do and when. I've also found is super easy to get extra fast passes after your first 3 because you're only looking for 1 person. Don't be put off by going to a TS as a party of one. I've had both good and bad experiences but mainly good. Often the servers will take a bit more time to chat with you as you're there by yourself or take a book along to read while waiting. It's also a great time to review your plans and see what you've accomplished so far in the day. For quick service places, I've found the 2nd floors of Columbia Harbor House and the Electric Umbrella to be less crowded and great places to go in the parks to get away if I need some quiet time. Also the area in the Japan Pavilion Garden is great to go for this as well. I would also recommend doing the tours, I did both the Undiscovered Future World Tour and the DestiNATIONs tour on my last solo trip in January and they were great. It's a smallish group to begin with so you don't stick out as much and you'll learn some great Disney info. You have the advantage of doing the things you want to do when you want to do them and don't have to worry about anyone else.


#8

Thanks for the encouragement everyone! I am getting super excited about this trip, even though I am super nervous. It will be helpful that my DD and her family will be nearby. Since I've been twice in the last year, I can really take things at a relaxed pace, hitting only the attractions and shows I want to do when I want to do them. I can also let my control freak fly and follow my TP to the letter without worrying if DH is wanting to do that particular thing at that particular moment. (our last trip, I got a little freaky when he questioned my precious TP!! Why yes, I AM a control freak!!)


#9

All of this talk of solo trip awesomesauceness, has only solidified the idea that I need to do my own solo trip! My DD16 and I are going in August and again in Nov/Dec, so my vacation time for this year is pretty much shot. However, I just purchased a 5 day MYW from UT at the 2016 price, so I'll have to scrounge some time in 2018 to go by myself!


#10

I know what you mean! This forum is why I am doing this. There's a wonderful trip report by a lady who did a solo visit. That planted the seed for me. I'm actually thinking I might do another one in the fall for the Food and Wine festival.


#11

Absolutely! And that's the best part of the whole thing: It's all about what you want to do and how you want to do it! Don't have to check with or accommodate anyone.

Btw do you have a link to that original trip report you mentioned? I'd love to read it (If I already haven't)


#12

Yes, it's @EthicalAddict's report that got me thinking about doing this myself. So much fun to follow along while I was planning our December trip. Now I am reviewing it for ideas for my solo trip. I found yours too, good stuff!


#13

Food and Wine is awesome to do solo. The only problem with doing it solo is you don't have anyone to share the food from the booths with so it's easy to fill up quickly! That was my 2nd solo trip, a short weekend in October where I did both food and wine and MNSSHP. I have an incomplete trip report floating around the board (I didn't finish my last day and now don't remember all the details!)


#14

Oh I'm so glad you found my solo trip report helpful! I had such a great time that I'm planning my "Solo 2.0" trip (hopefully) April 2018!

When I was planning my first solo trip I had no idea how much I would enjoy it - it was so empowering to go and do things on my own and succeed! You're going to have the best time - and if you start to implode the "forum folks" are here and they are quite possibly some of the most encouraging people around!

I look forward to hearing how your trip went and if you have any questions please feel free to ask. AND if I can think of any advice to add to the already great advice - I'll chime in. Promise :slight_smile:


#15

Alrighty then .... T minus 5 days, 6 hours before I take off on this crazy adventure!

I have my TPs, ADRs, and FPPs all lined up. My plans are tightly packed, down to the minute which will be helpful for those "What do I do NOW?" moments - just refer to the TP! Or do something different. I tend to get paralyzed by indecision. Having a guide telling me to Do This will get me back on track.

One of the things that DH is totally not interested in is meeting characters. I want to do this, but ... I'm not a little kid! I've no idea what to even say to them! Do people get snarly with adults doing the character meets with no kids?

My biggest challenge will be dining at TS restaurants alone. This has always been something that has tripped all my anxiety triggers. I have the Tusker House ROL dining package booked, and a lunch at the Skipper Canteen, and lunch at Tiffins. Otherwise, I will be snacking at Epcot Flower and Garden, or QS places. I am joining DD, DSIL and DGD for several meals too.

I have one afternoon and evening with DGD, and I am over the moon excited about this. I got FPP for FEA and dinner at Garden Grill. I got the Disney Visa, so I will take her for the special character meet, a couple of rides, then head over to HS to meet up with DD and DSIL for Fantasmic, maybe stopping at Ample Hills for ice cream on the way.

And I have a trip for September already booked at CBR for Food and Wine, with my Sister In Law maybe coming along!


#16

Nope, no one is going to get snarly. Let's just get that out of the way right now. From a cynical point of view: you paid your money, just like they did. You signed up, just like they did. If they don't like it, tough.

But from a more positive (and accurate) view: When I was there I saw more than a few solo adults doing meet and greets (both men and women) so you'll be fine. I think the best was probably a guy meeting Aurora in Epcot. It also stuck in my mind because it was the first one I saw. She was completely cool with it and even the line was laughing along and enjoying their exchange. I forget exactly what was said, I remember she was hoping he'd protect her from something (I'm assuming Maleficent). As for what to say to them on your trip though...I'm afraid I can't help here really. Hopefully someone who's had great interactions with the characters will chime in to give some pointers.

Of all the anxieties one can have when going, this was one of my biggest. So right there with ya. But honestly, it's a nonissue. I promise. You will have a blast. Cast Members don't have any issue that you're a table for 1, and they will go out of their way to make sure you sit where YOU want. This actually tripped me up a few times where I was expected to just be shown a seat, but instead I was given choices of where I wanted to be. Very cool, buuut not sure it was exactly helpful for me if I'm being honest haha, and I always opted for the "paranoid seat" (aka the seat that has the best view of everyone else in the area).

Remember, there's a billion reasons someone's eating alone and, as I said before, everyone else is too absorbed into their own vacation to care. If you feel uncomfortable though, use this time to organize your photos and/or takes notes of what you've done for the day (so you can fill us in on your Trip Report later hint-hint-hint :smiley: ), and/or adjust your TPs a bit as the day is progressing. By the time you're done with that, the food should be out by then and you can really start to enjoy. Or, feel free to get up and actually take a look at the restaurant itself. Some of these places are incredibly detailed and there's no one anchoring you to your table so go on and explore! Just let your server know you'll be getting up for a minute to two (I usually just asked them where the bathroom was, that seemed to all that needed to be said)

BTW, your dining choices sound awesome! I'm incredibly jealous.


#17

I met a lot of characters on my trip with DH, many of them during solo portion, and had way too much fun. They are so much into their character, with their comments and interactions. Read Kenny's (KtP) tips for character interactions for great ideas. Rapunzel wanted to know if I painted the flowers on my shirt, Cinderella thought my choice of footwear was much more practical, etc. I started easy, meeting the Fairy Godmother (she's an older grownup, like me).


#18

I wish I would have seen this sooner so I could have given you some more tips. I've probably been to WDW 15 times for solo trips. Some short, some long. I'm not sure there is a better place to take a trip by yourself on the entire planet. I love that you're doing this, it will be so good for you in a lot of ways. When I first started I was overly anxious and worried like yourself but that disappears so quickly. Let me just say this: Use your trip as your own way to encounter fears and get out of comfort "universes" and it takes on a whole new meaning. Eat at places you normally wouldn't, experiment and try things you would never try at home. Take pictures for people you don't know, say hi to people you eat next to, etc... it will all help and you'll be amazed at the transformation. Also, three things necessary for every solo trip: Book or kindle to read in lines or meals, cellphone to post things on facebook and check in with family and friends (helps a lot when you're alone) and a camera - you're going to love taking pictures and becoming an amateur photographer (even on an Iphone lol). Have fun, and do whatever you want to do - make sure to wing it from time to time too.


#19

Thank you all who have encouraged (enabled??) me on this adventure. In about 12 hours, I shall arise from my slumber and venture forth to face my first challenge at the airport - which tends to freak me out anyway, just the thought of some stranger putting hands on me nearly sends me into a panic. Having my husband nearby is what keeps me glued together ... I hope I can get through it on my own.

I have my TP all set up, and ready to be my security blanket should I become paralyzed by the question of "What do I do now?" (Oh! I see ... 2:15 Ride Pirates of the Caribbean but with the freedom to veer off and get a Dole Whip and go watch the Pirate Tutorial instead. Then take a nap on the porch of the Skipper Canteen)

I can be like a Ninja, slipping through the crowds like a wisp of fog, to get positioned in the best place to watch Wishes or the parade. I can linger in the stores, or sit through PhilharMagic 3 times in a row. I'll pig out until I bust at Epcot F&G Outdoor Kitchens, then ride the boat over to HS for Fantasmic.

One evening, I will have DGD all to myself while DD and her DH have a date night at Rose and Crown, then over to HS to ride ToT and RnRC while DGD and I dine at Garden Grill then take in FEA, Nemo, Disney Pals, and the Visa M&G before stopping by Ample Hills on our way to meet back up with mom and dad.

I will try to post updates and pictures, mainly to my Facebook page and/or Instagram. I'll try to post some updates here, but will only have my phone with me, and I hate typing on that thing.

See you in the World!!


#20

I wasn't solo but my DSIL ended up not feeling well and we had reservations so I went alone... I had to eat. CMs were great. my server made sure she took pictures of me with all the characters. I did the rides and shows I wanted and didn't feel out of place at all. Have fun,!