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Considering a Solo Trip to Walt Disney World? Read This First!

Credit: Disney (left), Brittany DiCologero (right)

Are you thinking about taking a solo trip to Walt Disney World? It might feel strange at first to plan a trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth without friends or family, but a solo trip can be fun in its own way, and sometimes getting away on your own is just what you need! If you are still on the fence, here are some of my favorite things about a solo Disney trip that just might convince you to start planning yours:

Do What You Want, When You Want

Planning on the go, and changing those plans on the go is so much easier when you are a party of one. It may sound silly, but you can add lots of extra free time to your day when you cut out all of the deliberating on where to go and what to do with a large group and are only making decisions for yourself. Sure, this is an entirely different kind of trip than your typical family vacation, but if you are simply looking to experience a lot, especially during a shorter trip, heading to Disney Parks solo can give you an advantage.

Credit: Brittany DiCologero for Disney Fanatic

I have not taken a solo trip since the launch of Disney Genie (and Genie+ and Lightning Lane) but in the FastPass days, I almost never needed to even make FastPasses because I had all the control in getting to the parks early and heading to the popular attractions first thing in the morning or later in the evening, or I was able to take advantage of single rider lines.

And when I did use FastPass during a solo Walt Disney World trip, it was much easier to find availability on the go while I was already at the parks for just me than it was while you are trying to plan for a larger group. Although Disney Genie operates differently than FastPass, I would hazard a guess that you would have similar luck in this area doing Disney World solo now.

Eat at All Your Favorite Restaurants

There are a lot of restaurants I enjoy at Walt Disney World that my family is simply not interested in, but during solo trips, I’m able to dine wherever I want. While I know some Guests can feel uncomfortable dining alone, it really isn’t awkward at all once you’ve done it a couple of times (you could always try it at home before your trip- Sometime’s it’s nice to just take yourself out, too!)

Credit: Brittany DiCologero for Disney Fanatic

Of course, I love dining with family and friends, and there are some restaurants that I do think I might not enjoy as much by myself (Biergarten comes to mind. I love the food and the atmosphere of this EPCOT staple, but especially if/when the restaurant goes back to communal seating I’m not sure how I would feel about that.) Maybe I’ll give it a try someday though! During my last solo trip, I had breakfast at Boma, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and I thought going to a buffet alone would have been uncomfortable but it turned out to be my favorite meal of the trip!

It is also easier to find seats at the bar as a solo traveler if you are looking to dine at a fully booked restaurant with no reservation. I’ve had luck finding bar seating for dinner last-minute at Tambu Lounge at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (also a nice break from the Magic Kingdom!), and the Dockside Bar at the Boathouse in Disney Springs.

You Notice More of the Details

It is so much easier to pick up on small details whether it be on attractions or just in theming around the parks and resorts when you are by yourself. This is certainly a geekier benefit that may not entice everyone to take a solo trip (though if you are reading this post, it might entice you.) Without planning for a group on the go or watching the kids, you are able to take everything a little slower and notice things you may not have seen before.

Credit: Brittany DiCologero for Disney Fanatic

Going to Disney parks solo also allows you to ride attractions as many times as you want without the rest of the group wanting to move along. I’ve noticed so many details in the attic scene of the Haunted Mansion on days where I’ve ridden it solo a couple of times that I never would have picked up on before!

Take a Break From Being the “Tour Guide”

I am happy to help my friends and family as the biggest Disney nerd of the group during annual vacations, however, I’m not against taking the occasional break from this role. If you are anything like me, you are the one who makes Disney Park Pass Reservations, dining reservations, and plans the day for the whole group on the My Disney Experience App. It isn’t difficult by any means, and I really am always up for helping whoever I’m visiting the parks with, but it is still nice to take a break once in a while and feel more relaxed while exploring the parks and resorts.

Credit: Brittany DiCologero for Disney Fanatic

Tips for Your First Solo Trip

  • Purchase Memory Maker – At $169-199, it is an expensive purchase for a solo traveler, but it is worth it in my opinion for how easy it will be to download high-quality photos of yourself on vacation without relying on selfies or passing your phone off to strangers.
  • Opt for the most affordable resort – Make up for some extra space in your budget by skipping the deluxe stay and booking more affordable accommodations. If you will not be spending much time in your hotel room, and you don’t need the extra space, you could spend that money on dining or souvenirs instead.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and stay safe – This goes for any kind of traveling, but it is especially important if you are traveling alone (to any destination, not just Walt Disney World.)
  • Don’t hesitate to ask Cast Members for help – It’s what they’re there for, and they are always able to talk to if you just need some recommendations, directions, or anything else during your trip.

Are you convinced yet? Taking a solo trip to Walt Disney World might sound intimidating at first, but it really is lots of fun, and “Disney Fanatics” are sure to have a great time exploring more of their favorite parks and resorts at their own pace.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."

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