Friday, April 18, 2014

Doing Disney Solo

Walt Disney World, and all the other Disney Parks, are often described and thought of as a place full of enjoyment for the family. For good reason too, right? I mean, why would Disney try to market this park to a single traveler who would probably not empty his or her bank account over the course of a trip when they can aim at much bigger fish, such as families with multiple kids to buy souvenirs for.
No cranes and almost all the spires are blue!

Suppose you're not in that situation though? Should you go by yourself? Absolutely! You can have a ton of fun even, on your own! I had the opportunity to do just that last week. I was lucky enough to have a work conference less than 5 miles down the road from the Magic Kingdom. Here's what I did and learned.

Ride what YOU want to ride

The last few times I've been to WDW, I've been with people who have never been before. It was also my first trips back in about 20 years. So while I had an idea what I remembered I enjoyed, things had changed. I've never been a big fan of thrill rides either, but the people with me were. So we did the things I had never done. Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Rockin Roller Coaster, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Splash Mountain. But I still loved the classic rides as well, like Peter Pan, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates. While we did ride those, it seemed like I was the only one really enjoying them, so it was a one and done with those.
Please revel in my terror.

I road Pirates and Haunted Mansion probably 10 times last week. I got to take advantage of the single rider lines for the coasters (I have started to enjoy them). I watched Captain EO for the first time since 1993. I rode Living with the Land. I even got to ride the super disappointing Figment ride (It really is shameful what they've done with that and the imagination pavillion).
Thought I had it this time. Stupid camera!

Lastly, I love riding the monorail. Not just to see the parks and resorts, but to see how other people are enjoying (or not enjoying in some cases) their vacations. Many times, I'd see pirates and princesses super excited and completely worn out, fighting sleep, in case they miss something. I'd also see the kids and families sadly (sometimes crying like a loved one died) leaving the park for the last time before going home. And then there are the families who made a schedule and are hell bent on keeping said schedule, at the expense of the rest of the family's enjoyment of the parks.
Monorail black is my spirit animal.

Do what YOU want to do

I was also able to fully do the Pirates adventure, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, and the Muppet Scavenger hunt in Epcot. Sure, I had to wait on kids. Most of the time, I'd let them go before me. But I wasn't in any hurry. A couple of them even tried to give me tips for these games. I thought it was awesome.
This was lunch one day, or dinner. I can't really remember.

Normally, I'm not a big fan of taking a lot of time out of the day for sit down meals. I'll typically grab some quick service and be on the way to the next attraction. This time though, I was able to fastpass lunch at Be Our Guest. I also at the 50s Prime Time Cafe one night. People who were at this same conference had he same BOG fast pass invitation, but couldn't find an open table, due to party size I'm sure. Me on the other hand, since I was only a party of one, had my pick of days and times. I also was able to preorder my food there. Make sure, if you do eat here, get The Master's cupcake. It's topped with "The Gray Stuff" and really is delicious!

With the 50s PTC, since I was in DHS, I decided I'd give it a try. Initially, I was told it was a 45 minute wait. But thanks to a great cast member, I was seated immediately since I was only a party of one. And boy was it worth it. I highly recommend eating there if you have the chance. Aunt Janice, my waitress, was great!

Go as early as you want, stay as late as YOU want

Both Thursday and Friday nights, I was able to stay at multiple parks until closing. Thursday it was EPCOT Center and MK and Friday was AK, DHS, and MK. But once again, I had no schedule to adhere to. No one with me wanting to do something else. I also didn't have to be up super early the next day, like I did on Marathon weekend. I had the intention of trying to rope drop MK before my flight on Saturday, but sleep prevailed on that one.

So, in conclusion, you can have a lot of fun at WDW solo, or with a group. It's all about how you want to spend your time. Don't be afraid to let Cast Members know you're flying solo. They can help you maximize your time and enjoyment. Plus, you can get some good banter out of the characters. Well the ones who speak anyway.

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