In April of 2019, I took a trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It was my 14th trip (I think), so I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert on the whos, whats, wheres, whys, and hows of Disney World.
But this time, I went by myself.
No family, no friends, no husband… just me. As someone who has battled social anxiety for the better part of a decade, this was a huge step for me. It was a huge bucket list item!
And, surprisingly, I actually got a little bit of pushback from some family and friends.
How could you possibly have fun going alone? I’d be so bored!
Is everything okay with you and Thomas?
Do you really think it’s safe to go on vacation by yourself?
I guess I do understand the confusion – after all, I’ve always gone with family or Thomas, and Disney is known as a family destination.
However, I am highly introverted by nature and genuinely enjoy my own company. The thought of spending 3 days “alone” didn’t intimidate me at all- in fact, I found myself relieved that all of my energy could be spent running from one end of the park to another instead of having to keep up a conversation!
One of the running jokes Thomas and I had during my trip was this:
Thomas: Have you talked to anyone yet?
Me: Nope! *beaming*
Now that I have returned, I’m convinced that every Disney fan should take a solo trip at least once, even if it’s only for a few days.
I think that a solo trip can be a wonderful experience if you’re prepared for it! Here are some of the reasons.
Freedom – The perks of traveling solo started before I even booked my trip!
I was looking at plane tickets for over my school’s spring break, but they were so expensive. I used Southwest’s Low Fare Calendar and found that flying out a few weeks before my spring break would save me a few hundred dollars.
I then cross-checked with Disney for resort fares and found the same thing! Since I didn’t have to check anyone else’s work or school schedule, I quickly texted my principal to see if I could have the dates off, and then I booked my trip 20 minutes later.
And hey, guess what – I got to pick my travel times and where I stayed! I picked Disney’s All Star Movies resort, because it’s inexpensive and also my favorite resort there (besides Shades of Green, which I can only stay at when my dad travels with me). I didn’t even have to think about it- I wanted to stay there, so that’s where I stayed.
This goes along with the freedom mentioned above, but it felt like so much more than that.
As someone who is highly attuned to the needs and emotions of others, it’s often hard for me to speak up (for example, when I’m tired and thirsty and need a break) and “ruin a moment.” But, by myself, I didn’t have anyone else to worry about.
For example, on the first day of my trip, I had left Magic Kingdom and was headed to Epcot when I began feeling faint. I realized I was getting dehydrated and overheated, so I stopped in the Electric Umbrella restaurant, ordered a flatbread and water, and then literally sat there for an hour while I ate, drank, and cooled off.
If I had been with someone else, there is no way I would have stayed there for so long, especially if they were itching to get up and go. With it being just me, though, I was able to prioritize my own needs and take care of myself before I got really sick.
This was an unexpectedly fun part of my trip! When you go to Disney World with others, it makes sense to take everyone’s wants into consideration when planning Fast Passes.
On a solo trip, though, you can get 5 Fast Passes for the same ride on the same day and nobody will berate you for it.
Or, you can use them on your guilty pleasure attractions (you know, the ones that everybody in your family hates *COUGH IT’S A SMALL WORLD COUGH COUGH*) and nobody will bat an eyelash.
Or, you can really take advantage of the system and just grab whatever the next available FastPass is, even if it’s clear across the park, over and over again and not have anyone to answer to except the blisters on your feet. 😉
Single Rider Lines
Now, this isn’t something that is strictly reserved for solo trips. The Single Rider lines are there all the time. When I’m traveling with others, though, it seems awkward to go on rides alone, even if the wait time is significantly lower for single rider lines. But, when you’re traveling alone, you’ll always be a single rider so why not skip the long lines and wait in the single rider lane that’ll probably move faster?
WDW Prep School has lots of information on single rider lines here!
Also, I can’t even tell you how many times I was pulled from my spot in the regular line to fill a single vacant seat on a ride. It definitely happened on Soarin’, Jungle Cruise, and Space Mountain, and I know there were more. Any time the cast members would ask for a group of 1 or 2, I would shoot one finger into the air and offer myself up. It helped me get through ride lines much more quickly!
Okay, I’m gonna be honest here: I am a super picky eater. I’m totally okay with eating the same things over and over, day after day, as long as I like them.
Apparently, this is not normal adult behavior. *shrugs*
So, when I travel with others, I often find myself eating in fancier restaurants, ordering from the kids’ menu because I don’t like grown-up food (and I don’t eat meat).
Traveling alone, though, means that I can eat wherever I want, whenever I want! I wanted to snack my way through my trip, and so I did. When I found out that Casey’s Corner had a plant-based veggie hot dog, I was there. (And, as far as vegetarian hot dogs go, it was amazing and so filling.)
Spoiler alert: I got it totally plain, without the slaw, because I’m a 5-year-old. Thanks, @vegandisneyworld, for the amazing picture!
I ate “real” meals only 1 or 2 times during the 2 days I spent in the parks. It was amazing (and I got some great snack pictures)!
This encompasses so many things! When I was traveling alone, I could go at my own pace (which was fast, most of the time) so I had more time to do things. I didn’t have to wait for anyone else to finish eating, or finish using the bathroom, or stand in line for 15 minutes to buy something from the Emporium. A few minutes here and a few minutes there really added up and gave me more time to take pictures, ride rides, and enjoy myself.
It’s also much easier to maneuver through a crowd as a single person, as opposed to a group. I could dart when I saw openings in crowds and not have to worry about leaving someone behind.
I could take “shortcuts” and not have someone upset with me when I ended up in the totally wrong place (because I was born with no sense of direction).
So, there you have it – my list of the best perks of going to Disney World on a solo trip. While I understand that it’s not for everyone, I am so grateful to have had the chance to do it and can’t wait to do it again!
If you found value in this post, I would love for you to share it! And let me know below- would you ever consider traveling to Disney World on your own?