Travelling with a friend / Being alone in the parks


I’m travelling with a friend to Orlando. We haven’t seen each other in nearly ten years. We’re spending ten nights together in a large house in Davenport.

Readers of one of my other threads will know my friend and I have bickered a bit recently – I’ve gone nuts with planning and endless updates, she’s maybe busier than I am right now and is getting frustrated with it all. There’s also an issue with money. We’re at different stages in our lives (I’m nearly 50, she’s 30) and I’m fairly relaxed about spending a lot of money. She has a tight budget. I’ve offered to pay for much of the trip, e.g. ADRs, and I know she’s not super-comfortable with this. (From my perspective I’m paying because I want to do these things and we can’t if I don’t pay.)

In my normal life I live alone and I’m mostly pretty fine with that. Spending ten very long days together is beginning to feel like a recipe for disaster.

So I’ve suggested that she look at my schedule and pick items she’d like to do together. I’m encouraging her to make her own plans, but suggesting that we check-in with each other and share stories, e.g. over a meal or during a ride or show. And that we mostly ride in together. (We may have different ideas about when we want to leave. We have a car, but I hear good things about Uber.)

instinctively this feels right for me and makes me more excited about the trip. I’ve heard that being solo (some of the time) at Disney World is not the worst thing in the world.

I’d be interested in anyone’s thoughts – especially if they’ve had similar experiences.


I think it’s a great idea. When my husband and I went in January, there were a couple times where we split up for a few hours at a time and then planned to meet somewhere to eat or for a FP time. It was really nice because he wanted to ride some things that I didn’t want to or play SOTMK while I wanted the time to people watch or wander the shops. It gave us some much needed space from one another for a little bit and made it much more fun to compare what we did when we got back together.


That sounds like a great idea. My son and his girlfriend are always saying I am trying to “ditch them” but there is something thrilling and freeing about doing exactly what you want to do, without worrying about anyone else, in Disney!


I totally understand! My DH and I have different styles of doing WDW. I am a morning person who has lots of energy, and likes to do wild rides. He’s not any of that. Last summer he had a conference at CSR, so I had chances for solo time in the parks. I could “knock myself out” when alone, then slow down and do the gentler rides/shows when together. It was a great combination! There are plenty of threads talking about the joys of doing solo touring. You get to do it YOUR way, with no need to compromise for someone else (times, speed, rides, where to sit, stopping to look at details/shops, etc). I used some of my solo time to do a KTTK tour. I like your idea to let her pick when to be together. But if she’s not as detail oriented (or Disney focused), she may hesitate to pick. You might need to offer up suggestions, maybe keeping it simple in big blocks of time that she wander on her own while you do specific things. Good luck!!


Check the posts on going solo. I had a situation where I did a table service restaurant alone and the cast members were very gracious. As others have said it was actually fun exploring by myself and doing things I wanted to do. I also offered to take pictures for some family groups which was fun. Maybe have her make a list of her must dos and incorporate that into your planning. Plan the times you will meet up maybe for a meal, show or afternoon break and keep in touch via text.


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I personally enjoy alone in the parks. And i think it will be good for you and your friend to have time apart from each other. Especially being planned apart and share meals as wanted or experiences.


I do as many or more solo trips as I do with my wife. When we go together we go with the understanding that if we want to split up, it’s perfectly OK with both of us. She goes because she knows I love it, and she enjoys it in smaller doses. I’m pretty much an RD to closing kind of guy, and she like more kick-back at the resort time. Although she normally sleeps in (she doesn’t work), she fully appreciates the need for doing an RD, and we typically tour together through lunch, but she frequently goes back to the resort to relax while I do more touring in the afternoon. We always have dinner together - frequently a later dinner at one of the resort signatures. This way she doesn’t feel like she’s holding me back, and I don’t feel like I’m wearing her out. I also always plan one or two no-park days where we can just relax together and do whatever we “feel like” doing (which somehow always involves shopping) :slight_smile:


Sounds like me and DH. I’m the one who keeps going, whilst DH often heads back to the resort after 3 hours or so. I tried to plan our last trip so we did our fps and stuff together first, leaving the rest of the time open to him heading back without feeling like he was going to miss out.

I think the only day we did a pretty long day all together in the parks was DHS, where we started at around 11:00 and ended with Fantasmic even then, we had a long F! “dinner”, plus the Indy show so he could sit down. He just finds all the walking too much, needs to rest his feet.

I think that’s why we both love WDW. We can do that, and the boys are old enough to do their own thing too. Eldest is more like me, younger one is more like DH but loves going to MK on his own just to wander (he has some sensory issues so he doesn’t actually do many rides) and play SOTMK.

So to @profmatt, I would say try and find out what her “park style” might be. Gently. How much has she looked at WDW? Perhaps print off maps of each park and mark each FP you have, plus ADRs, and let her look at them in her own time. And leave it there. Let her take the lead on her holiday. At the end of the day, you want her to enjoy herself, and there’s no penalty if she doesn’t make an fp or even an ADR. The only thing that you might want to check is any tour you’re doing. No point paying for that if she doesn’t want to do it.

Don’t beat yourself up over this. There’s still time for her to come round. I’m sure she is looking forward to it, you just need to let her realise it!


I agree with what everyone else has said. You’re excited about this trip and have invested a lot of time and money into it, so it’s totally ok for you to enjoy it. If she feels free to join you or do your own thing, you’ll both be happier.


I think your plan is great. I’ll be going with my family, DH, DD4 and DD2 (and my parents for the 2nd half of the trip), and I’m a little bit sad that I won’t have any time by myself (probably…). I haven’t been to DW for 15 years and I’m so so excited to be back in the world. I’ve planned everything and I know that my family is excited too, and I’m SO excited to see it all with them, but I also wouldn’t be sad to have a few hours to wander by myself!


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