Last month I had the fantastic opportunity to take a trip to Disney – it kind of just fell into my lap, to be honest. A friend was getting married, and while I would’ve loved to go, I just didn’t think I could afford it. Then a family member offers up his DVC points for free, so that combined with my annual pass made it so that I couldn’t say no.
The only thing was that my husband wouldn’t be able to take the time off from work. I thought about it for maybe two seconds and decided I would just go down to Disney alone. It turned out to be a fantastic decision. While there were occasionally times when I wished I had someone else around, for the most part I loved being by myself! Here are a few of the benefits to traveling to Disney solo:
You can move at your own pace.
One of my goals on this trip was to practice my photography. When I’m with other people they generally don’t want to stand around in one spot while I try different settings on my camera or experiment with different angles. But alone, this was something I could do. I could use the bathroom when I wanted to, stop for a snack when I wanted to. I could take a break midday or spend all day in the parks.
You stop to look at things you wouldn’t normally notice.
Because you don’t have the distraction of other people with you, there’s really not much else to do but to really soak in all of your surroundings. You’ll probably notice lots of those magical Disney touches by yourself. I know I found a lot more hidden Mickeys than I would have seen otherwise!
You can do what you want to do.
My husband only takes pictures with the characters to humor me. And while I appreciate the fact that he’s willing to do it for me, I know deep down that it’s not what he wants to be doing, and so I feel a little bad sometimes. By myself I didn’t have to worry about that – I could take all of the character photos that I wanted. I should also mention that you can eat wherever you want to eat. My husband and I are usually on the same page food-wise, but when I went with my parents I knew there were certain things my dad might not care for, such as the African cuisine at Boma. But on this trip, Boma it was!
Single rider lines help reduce wait times.
I should say, “for the most part”. My wait on Rockin’ Roller Coaster was just as long as the regular standby line due to large tour groups all going through the standby line (because they were all “together,” you would go through 100 people before a single rider even got the chance to board!). But on Expedition and Everest and Test Track I waited at most 10 minutes to get on those rides, even when the standby was an hour or more! If you are thinking about planning a solo trip, those are the only 3 rides that offer single rider lines.
You save money.
If you normally travel with a spouse or family, when you go by yourself you’re not paying for 2 or more of everything. It feels so much cheaper when you just have to get one – one ice cream, one glass of wine, one souvenir. I also made a last minute decision to do the Behind the Seeds tour at Epcot. For $18 for just me it sounded like a pretty good deal. If I was with my husband, who I know wouldn’t really be interested anyway, I don’t think it would’ve been worth $36.
There were only a few negatives for me about traveling solo. The first was that when you did end up waiting on a long line, there wasn’t a ton to do to entertain yourself. I didn’t want to use my phone too much because the battery drains quickly. It also would’ve been nice to have someone around when I got upset/frustrated, like when Toy Story Mania was never open the day I was in Hollywood Studios, or when someone dropped a cupcake on my foot frosting side down that was not protected at all by my flip flops. And yeah… I missed my husband a little bit. Mostly at night when I went to bed by myself, and occasionally throughout the day.
The bottom line
For me, I absolutely loved doing Disney solo and I highly recommend it. You have to be comfortable with yourself in order for it to be good, though. I wasn’t afraid to do table service meals alone (I did bring a book), meet the characters by myself, or take photopass photos with just me in them. If you’re willing to let go I’m positive you will have a great time! There is something amazing about being at Disney alone so you can soak up all of the magic without any interruption, and do things exactly the way that you want to do them.
Would you ever consider doing a Disney trip alone?