Solo in Style!
Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy many trips to Disney with friends and family; however, I recently went on my first fully solo trip to Walt Disney World and had an amazing time!
I found that Walt Disney World is probably one of the easiest places for a party of one to plan a visit! Here are my top 5 favorite perks about traveling solo to Disney World!
Single Rider Lines
This is probably the most obvious perk to traveling on your own! Disney parks are busy places, and Cast Members try to be as efficient as they can when they’re loading guests into the various ride vehicles. As such, there is often a call for a party of one to fill a car, train, or boat, and it can easily make a huge cut in your time waiting in line!
This can happen at any ride, as Cast Members may call out for a solo guest to the regular queues, but some of the attractions have specific single rider lines.
Here you enter the queue separately and enjoy your shortened wait in a specific line. Guests are then called forward by a Cast Member as soon as another party with an odd number of guests is ready to board. Using the single-rider line can even be a fantastic way to ride favorites multiple times in minutes if you time it just right!
Single Rider Lines are typically available for select attractions in three of the four Disney World Theme Parks, including Test Track at Epcot, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Hollywood Studios, and Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom. One thing to note is that you may miss portions of the regular queue or pre-show; however, if you’ve experienced the attraction before, I don’t find it to be an issue!
The ease of making Fastpass selections, dining reservations, and scoring spots for shows and parades!
I have traveled with large groups of family and friends, and scoring the Fastpasses we’re hoping for can sometimes be challenging. As a solo traveler, at 60 days ahead of my check-in date, I managed to snag each and every Fastpass I had been crossing my fingers for!
This continued as I was on the trip, and I was able to make same-day Fastpass selections for some of the most popular attractions, such as Slinky Dog Dash and Avatar Flight of Passage!
Of course, Fastpass availability is subject to change and is never guaranteed, but I always recommend checking back to see if anything changes through the course of the day. Plans can change quickly, and if you happen to check your My Disney Experience app at the right time, that elusive Fastpass for 7 Dwarfs Mine Train could just be yours!
This has also proven true for me with dining reservations! One of my favorite dining locations at Disney World is Via Napoli at Epcot, but as I planned my trip a little later than usual, advance dining reservations were all booked up for my dates. I kept checking back as the days counted down towards my trip, and sure enough, the day before I left for my jolly holiday, I was able to score a reservation!
Similarly, Fantasmic Is my favorite nighttime show, and as the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater has a finite amount of space, I have always ensured that my group arrives early. This time around, I knew that it would be easy for me to snag a spot on the end of one of the benches without needing to arrive over 60 minutes before showtime.
Sure enough, I was able to grab a snack with time to spare and ended up with a great seat only about 10 minutes before Mickey and pals graced the stage.
Full control of your day with as little or as much planning as you want
I must say, I am typically a pretty intense planner when it comes to my Disney trips!
However, I had a much easier time making advance plans for a party of one, and this helped me to take a step back and be more relaxed this time around.
Rather than planning things down to the hour (and sometimes minute), I would make some dining and Fastpass plans for a portion of the day, and then see what else might pop up for the rest!
Using the park hours, current wait time listings, and planning elements of the My Disney Experience app was very helpful, and often times I let these lead the way.
Not making quite as many plans in advance allowed me to just follow my heart a little more than normal. Sometimes the mood strikes and you really just want to ride Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios, as you finish up your final Fastpass during a morning at Epcot!
It was nice to know that I could just hop on Disney’s transportation and quickly be on my way to the Twilight Zone.
I took full advantage of my park hopper ticket, and would often jump around to different locations if the mood struck for a certain attraction or I happened to start craving a specific restaurant’s fare.
People around me were extra, friendly, and helpful!
So many people now spend their time with their heads down, staring at their gadgets, and while I did take time to keep in contact with my loved ones, I also enjoyed the chance to unplug a bit. Thankfully, I find that people are usually pretty cheery when they’re on vacation, and this makes it very easy to enjoy some great conversations with the other guests!
I had the chance to chat with people visiting from all over the world, and hearing them share some of their trip experiences made my vacation all the more magical! Cast Members were also quick to share a minute or two of their time and offer some trivia, tips, or even just a quick story.
When riding Splash Mountain, I had the chance to meet and talk with a lovely family, and be part of their long-time tradition of making a certain pose when it was time for the obligatory ride photo. I know that’s a photo they will cherish, and it brings a smile to my face thinking of how warm and kind they were to a complete stranger who happened to join them.
Not only were most people happy to have a little chit-chat, more than a few offered to help with some photography! Any time I stopped to snap a quick selfie, a friendly guest or two would inevitably ask me if I would like them to take the picture for me! To see so many people willing to take a few moments out of their busy park days to help a stranger really moved me, and I was very inspired by their kindness. This was especially true at the character breakfast I enjoyed during my trip. As Donald and friends made their way around Animal Kingdom’s Tusker House, Cast Members and other diners alike were happy to help me with pictures during the meal, and I definitely appreciated their time!
There are two Disney experiences that I have wanted to check out for quite some time, and have never been able to talk friends or family into doing them with me – a Dessert Party, and an After Hours event. For me, this was an extra dose of magic in the most magical place on Earth, and these were two of the elements of my solo trip that I’m so happy to made the choice to splurge on! They were both fabulous, and I would definitely do them again!
As I didn’t have anyone calling my name in another direction, I kept to a pretty leisurely pace. I took my time savoring meals and snacks (and the occasional cocktail), browsing through endless thingamabobs in the gift shops and boutiques, and enjoying the beautiful views that can be found at the various parks and resorts. Sometimes, all it takes is enjoying a Mickey Bar as the sun sets over Cinderella Castle and colorful balloons twirl in the breeze to make a lot of magic!
Throughout my solo trip, I took the opportunity to sit back and drink in these blissful moments. If I wanted to park myself on a bench and slowly sip a cocktail while enjoying the view of World Showcase, I did! If I wanted to spend a little more than I typically would on a souvenir from Memento Mori after visiting the Haunted Mansion for the 5th time in a row, I did!
If I wanted to sleep in for an extra hour rather than catching a bus at dawn in order to make it to rope-drop, I did! On this trip, I was able to enjoy the luxurious feeling of true vacation indulgence!
The idea of traveling alone can seem pretty intimidating in some ways, but once I got past my initial anxieties, I had an incredible time. I’ve even started planning my next solo Disney adventure, and I hope these stories inspire you to do the same if you’ve been considering it!