**Originally published in January 2018. Content last updated May 2020**
A few years ago, I embarked on my very first solo trip to Disney World and IT WAS AWESOME. I’d been to Disney World with others before but I’d heard that so many people did it alone and it was always on the bucket list. Now I’m fully addicted to going to Disney World solo. Yes, I still love going with people but there is something so special about a Disney World solo trip.
I often get comments, tweets, DM’s and emails from people who see my videos from that first Disney World solo trip and either find themselves booking a trip or really wanting to. I find it absolutely wonderful that I’ve encouraged people to do something for themselves and it honestly makes my heart happy! The follow up from them is usually something along the lines of, ‘what is your best tip when for when you go on a Disney World solo trip?’ So, I thought I’d write them down in the hope that I’ll help somebody who is taking the plunge and maybe visiting Disney World solo for the first time!
1) Don’t worry about being in your own company
In terms of solo travel, Disney World is a pretty low risk when it comes to getting lonely. You are surrounded by thousands of people, most of whom are in the same happy bubble that you are. I spoke to people in lines and while waiting for shows. Cast members are always happy to have a chat too. There are so many friendly people around and I always find most American’s are happy to chat to me (especially when they realise I’m British!)
2) Do whatever you want – it’s your Disney World Solo Trip!
By far the best bit of heading out on your Disney World solo trip is you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. I used my solo travels last year to envoke a little more freedom over my trip. When I go with somebody I like to schedule most things in but while solo, the only thing I planned was the odd fast pass here and there (for popular rides like Flight of Passage, fast pass in advance is still essential!). Being a party of one means you can usually pick up fast passes on the day for most attractions and you can get up in the morning and go where ever you feel like going!
This is a big one for me. Find a hotel you like the look of and read some reviews online. Look out for reviews relating to safety because being on your own in another country can be quite daunting and you want to make sure you’re staying somewhere safe. Also try and get one with a shuttle bus as remember, you won’t have anybody to split that Uber fare with (uber are great for getting to and from the parks btw!) I’d stay at ANY of the hotels on Disney property but if you’re on a bit more of a budget (as you’re covering the whole cost yourself) maybe try The Red Lion in Kissimmee. I’ve stayed here a number of times, including when I visited solo. They do have a shuttle (although times can be a bit wild) but the best bit is, is that it’s one of the closest off-site hotels you can get to Disney, so the Uber bill is manageable!
4) Use Single Rider Lines… and get ahead in regular lines too!
The beauty of Disney is that there are a few single rider lines you can take advantage of. By far the best one is at Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom which seems to move a lot quicker than the others. Test Track and Rock n Rollercoaster are the other ones. These are quite big rides and by using single rider there’s no need to waste a fast pass on them.
Also look out for calls of single rider when you’re in the regular queue and approaching the loading bay. Make it really clear to cast members that you’re a party of one. They want to fill all available seats so will more than likely move you forward into the ride. The bellhops at Tower of Terror are particularly notorious for calling out for ‘parties of one!’ Don’t be afraid! Get your hand up in the air and get moving!
Selfie sticks are banned from Disney parks and if you don’t want to stop random strangers (although sometimes this is fun) and ask them to take your picture for you, PhotoPass is a great way to get the pictures you want. Disney photographers are located all over the parks and you can either buy a photopass deal which will get you every photo taken (including all your ride photos and videos), or you can buy the individual ones you want. Photopass photographers will even take a photo on your own device but you won’t get any magic shots or the more candid photos that way.
The big one for me was eating alone. Quick service on my own I can do no problem – you’re on your own time frame with that one. But a table service meal was something I really had to work towards. I actually didn’t do it on my last solo trip (although I wish I had) but ended up doing it when the person I went away with a few years ago couldn’t come to dinner and there was no way I was missing the experience of that restaurant. I ended up eating alone at Yachtsman Steakhouse and having a wonderful meal and some time to myself for a bit of self-reflection. I really loved people watching around the restaurant and my waiter stopped by several times to check how I was doing or for a little chat. I then very quickly dined alone again at The Rose and Crown before my flight home and now, if I ever do a Disney World solo trip again, I’ll be including a table service meal. You can use phones and books a bit like security blankets if you’re not totally confident about doing it yet – just remember to pack a power pack for your phone – well you should probably pack one of those anyway!
So I hope I’ve inspired you with my Disney World Solo Trip tips and tricks. If you do decide to head to Disney World solo, please let me know as I love hearing other peoples Disney holiday stories. If you’re heading off to Disney soon in any capacity, please tag #CLROhana on Instagram so I can see all your photos. We also have a wonderful community there so go follow some other Disney lovers.
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