If you love a trip to the magic, but your other half isn’t into it, you might be tempted to plan a solo vacation to get your Disney fix. One concern that can deter people from booking a Disney excursion full of all the things you love, fabulously planned to selfish perfection, is the concern you will feel lonely. And truth be told, at times you might, but with a little planning ahead, the pros can undoubtedly outweigh the cons for enjoying the theme parks by yourself.
Blazing through single rider lines, eating whatever you want, whenever you want—basically suiting yourself at every turn. Sounds amazing, right? The only problem is sometimes you wish you weren’t doing it alone. This week I wanted to take a look at a few tricks you can use to enjoy your time at Disney without letting those solo blues get the best of you.
Plan Your Mission
Heading to Disney with a special mission in mind is a great way to keep your head busy when waiting in those queues or places that you might overwise let the lonely feels creep in. Perhaps you will go with a photography mission to capture all of the details like hidden Mickeys, allowing you to spend your downtime editing or enjoying your captures for the day. On the other hand, you might be interested in the Imagineering behind the attractions, or maybe you will be focused on meeting every character from a specific movie. Get creative with your side job and let it keep you going when things get quiet.
Ready Your Playlist
Music in the parks can be captivating, but it doesn’t always cut it when you miss the conversation of visiting with friends and family. Spend your countdown time before you leave, making that perfect playlist full of all your favorite tracks for each park—bonus points for arranging them into playlists for each themed land along the way.
Looking for something a little more stimulating? Download your favorite podcasts like the DIS Unplugged or listen to some of the historical and engineering documentaries based on Disney theme parks. You can even find a few on Disney Plus and just listen along without watching the screen.
Go Counter-Service Crazy
One of the more challenging aspects of visiting the parks with a group of people is catering to everyone’s tastes. What to eat and when can be a significant contention point and something you won’t miss having to deal with when flying solo.
If you are feeling uncomfortable, instead of sitting down for lengthy table service meals by yourself, go counter-service crazy with lots of little samples of your favorite things. Forget about traditional meals and suit yourself with a few of those appetizers and snacks that make up some of the most delicious Disney food on offer.
Book a Tour
A great way to enjoy Disney’s magic with a group of strangers is to book one of the many available tours. Meeting people is easy as you have a built-in common interest, and you might just find a friendship or two that last a lifetime.
In small groups, you have the chance to not only connect with other people but also enjoy new experiences that might otherwise be financially out of reach when the whole family is in tow.
Keep a Journal
A book can be great company when you are dining alone, but an even better way to pass the time while you are waiting by yourself is to keep a small journal and write down your experiences. Keep track of where you have been and what you have seen; make extra notes about the details you have never otherwise noticed along the way. Take the opportunity to write down those things you wish you could remember later on, like that fantastic salmon dish you won’t remember where you found and that sneaky parade spot you want to keep in mind for next time.
Not only will it keep your mind busy in those moments of downtime, but the reflection can also be very calming, not to mention an excellent keepsake for reminiscing down the track.
Solo trips can be an incredible adventure, satisfying a part of your Disney soul that you never realized was missing. They are an opportunity to dig deep and find what makes you tingle; an opportunity often lost in running after children and trying to plan for a family.
If you are destined for a vacation in a party of one, I hope these tips make some of the quiet a little easier for you. Enjoy the beauty of really seeing the details without any distractions. You won’t forget it in a hurry.
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.