I’ve pretty much lost count as to how many times I have visited the happiest place on Earth. I started going to Walt Disney World in Orlando when I was a young boy with my mom and dad and when I had a daughter of my own, I began taking her there when she was around 10. We went every year till she turned 17, then she began to lose interest as I think many teenagers do. The problem is that as she was losing interest, I was developing an infatuation with this happy place. I felt like I could not get enough of it and started toying with the idea of visiting by myself because it seemed none of my friends had the interest I had in Disney. The last trip I took with my daughter, I bought myself an annual pass, committing my self to visiting the next time solo. I am now a 3rd year annual passholder and visit 3 to 4 times a year. Here are 5 reasons why visiting Walt Disney World by yourself absolutely RULES!
5. Do what you want, when you want
The first time I boarded the monorail heading into the Magic Kingdom by myself, I felt really strange. When you’re with a kid, people tend to warm up to you a little easier but I think when you are by yourself, you get these strange looks like “why is this guy alone?” That being said, it did not take long for me to immerse myself into doing what I wanted, when I wanted and for how long I wanted. Ride Space Mountain 10 times in a row. Hang out on the park bench on Main Street and shoot pictures till your hearts content. Not having to stop for the bathroom when everyone else needs to go is a big one! One of the things that always ran through my mind when I was in Disney with a group of people is wishing I could just go at my own pace and explore the things that didn’t seem to interest anyone other than me.
4. No Dining Reservations Needed
Imagine walking into California Grill, The Hollywood Brown Derby or Ohana with no reservations and being seated right away. One of the perks of traveling solo at Walt Disney World is that you can walk into nearly any restaurant during prime dinner service and get seated almost immediately. Traveling with a group of people in Disney is tough if not impossible to make dining reservations last minute for a group of 4 or 6 but when you are alone, it opens up an entirely new and flexible world! Sit at the bar and have dinner or get seated at a table. I personally enjoy sitting at the bar when I am alone. In many cases you will quickly strike up a conversation with whoever is sitting next to you and voilà! You instantly have someone to share conversation with.
3. Meet New People and Friends
My daughter will concur that I am definitely not shy when it comes to striking up a conversation and meeting new people when at WDW. Whether I am on the monorail or just carousing through Epcot, I love to meet new people and share experiences. One time while waiting for my 6PM reservation at Le Cellier, I met a Canadian couple sitting on a bench just outside the restaurant. They were thumbing through their iPad looking for last minute dinner reservations. They could not find anything available that interested them and were ready to walk away and grab a hot dog. We spoke for a short time and I remembered that my reservations were for 4 that night (my friends cancelled on me). I apprehensively invited them to join me for dinner. They accepted and we had the most wonderful time sharing stories and getting to know each other! I still keep in touch with them to this day.
2. Get Creative with Photography
If you are like me, then Disney is a place that inspires incredible creativity. I do allot of photography and whenever I am with a group of people at WDW I find it more difficult to stop and really spend the time on a subject I find interesting. I feel like I’m making everyone wait. When I am alone, I sometimes will find a spot that has great light or is interesting and hang out there for a while playing with different ideas. Even just walk around the parks aimlessly finding cool stuff to photograph… bring your camera and have some fun! Stake out a spot for the parade or the fireworks without having to negotiate with others in your party… you are by yourself and can setup wherever you like. You will be amazed at how much fun you will have.
1. Sleep in Late, Stay Out Late
When you are with a group of people you’re pretty much at the mercy of what the majority wants to do and that usually means getting up early and going back to the room before the parks close. When I ride solo at WDW I love sleeping in till 8 or 9AM then jump out for the morning/afternoon. Head back to the room for a nap then out again for the evening’s festivities. I will usually close the park and just love to hang out while guests are leaving. It doesn’t take long before the park is nearly empty and you feel like you have the whole place to yourself. You get an entirely new perspective of Walt Disney World in the late night hours after the parks have thinned out.
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