Traveling to Disney solo

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.

One of my favorite photos from this trip, due to having the time to practice my photography.

One of my favorite photos from this trip, due to having the time to practice my photography.

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!

P1070464

Hello, Hidden Mickey!

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!

I could wait in line to meet Merida without anyone complaining!

I could wait in line to meet Merida without anyone complaining!

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.

I rode Everest three times in one afternoon thanks to the single rider line!

I rode Everest three times in one afternoon thanks to the single rider line!

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.

The Behind the Seeds Tour was well worth it when I just had to pay for myself!

The Behind the Seeds Tour was well worth it when I just had to pay for myself!

The “Bad”

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.

I had no one to complain to when I didn't get to ride Toy Story Mania.

I had no one to complain to when I didn’t get to ride Toy Story Mania.

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.

Don't be afraid to pose by  yourself for photopass pictures!

Don’t be afraid to pose by yourself for photopass pictures!

Would you ever consider doing a Disney trip alone?

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20 thoughts on “Traveling to Disney solo

  1. I did Epcot by myself a day before Infinitus started (Where we roomed together! 😉 And it was a blast!

    I’m the type of person that likes to go fast paced and see and do as much as I possibly can, so it was nice not having to slow my pace down like I normally do when I’m with people.

    One thing that was great for me, was when I went to go eat at my favorite restaurant, the San Angel Inn, they were completely booked up for the night. (This was before I was Disney savvy and had no clue I should reserve dining before the trip). They turned away a bunch of people who were waiting before me, but I decided to go up and ask if they possibly had a table for 1 if I ate fast lol. They did and I was able to eat at a restaurant that was booked up for the night.

    The only thing I didn’t like was traveling by myself at night to get back to the hotel. It creeps me out sometimes. That and having no one to talk to when waiting in lines, but talking to cast members is always fun!

    • Sounds like an awesome day at Epcot! That’s so cool that they sat you at San Angel Inn even though it was booked. And yeah, I could definitely see how getting back to the hotel would be a little scary by yourself. That was one of the pros of staying on Disney property – it feels very safe even when you’re by yourself.

  2. I’m loving your blog Becky, great job! Your solo trip sounds great and that castle photo is gorgeous, makes me very “homesick”for Disney!

  3. It sounds like an awesome idea! I did go by myself once in Feb. to Animal Kingdom and I agree the Single rider lane is amazing! I wish they had it for more of their other rides. That is one thing I will say about Universal is that they do accommodate single riders more in their parks. If I could hop on Space Mountain and Splash as a single… that would be super amazing. I have an annual pass that is up in November… so your blog has already gotten me thinking of when I could go before that. 🙂 That and it seems like we have the same concerns of the both the good and the bad.

    • I agree, more single rider lines would be great! Luckily the fastpasses help out too – the combination of fast passes every few hours and single rider made it so I could get on all of the major rides with little to no waiting.

  4. I used to by myself all the time when I was a CP. I loved it because I could stop and trade pins all I wanted without anyone bugging me. I don’t know if I would go back by myself now, I think I would miss my husband, although I’m sure he would not hesitate to go with out me! I’m glad you had fun!

    • I bet you would be busy enough that you wouldn’t miss him as much as you think! Haha, I definitely did miss mine but there was also something very liberating about knowing that I could travel and do things on my own without him, too.

  5. I surfed over from your trip report on Dis. That castle picture is incredible.
    I went by myself in 2009 and I’m going again in February (I’m fairly certain the next seven month will be the LONGEST seven months of my life!). I really enjoyed the ’09 trip, but I think I will like the next one even more. I am definitely more comfortable with myself than I was five years ago, and I had just been to World the year prior. So it’ll be almost five years when I go back… I cannot wait!

    • Thank you! It’s tough to go so long without being in Disney, but in some ways coming back after so long away is even better and more special. It had been about 4 years without going when I went for my honeymoon, and it was so exciting to see what was new and do my favorites that I hadn’t done in so long! I hope you have a great time!

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