View Full Version : Best tip for first time solo traveler?
02-24-2002, 02:38 PM
I'm taking my first solo trip to WDW this coming May. This is my fourth trip there overall, but the first two were both over twenty years ago as a kid. I was also there two years ago for the millennium celebration with my sister and her family. But this time I'm going alone. So I'm asking all of you experienced solo travelers for your best tips to make this an enjoyable trip. Thanks in advance.
02-24-2002, 03:03 PM
Just relax, and enjoy the fact that your trip will be spent doing everything you WANT to do, and nothing you don't want to do! For me, that's the best part of a solo trip - the complete freedom. Not knowing you at all, I'm at a loss to really recommend anything more detailed - but don't let your solo status keep you from doing anything you enjoy - rides, shows, dining, etc.
02-24-2002, 03:34 PM
My best tip is get a camera with a self timer!! On my first solo trip, I did not have one, so I have almost no pictures with me in them - and the pictures were quite boring. On my next trip, I got a self-timer camera (with a 9 second delay) and I used it often, and got many good pictures this time!! I usually placed the camera on a trash can - they are the perfect height for picture taking. I also have a tripod if I want to get a really good shot of myself somewhere, though they are clunky to use. :)
When I am solo at WDW one of the things I enjoy alot is talking to different people. I have had some great conversations with people from all over and also with the CMs. CMs will often strike up conversations with solo travelers and most of the CMs are very interesting people to talk to. When you are with other people you tend to just talk to them but when you are solo it is amazing how many nice people you meet. I also like to just sit back and people watch and take in the wonderful atmosphere at WDW when I am solo, but when I am with others they always want to go, go , go! Also, as someone else said, one of the nicest things about being in WDW solo is doing what you want, when you want, without having to please anyone but yourself!
02-24-2002, 06:18 PM
don't go to the MK on a Saturday - unless you just have to do the fireworks and the nighttime parade - (until June - these are only on Satuday so it gets alot more people)
If one park is crowded just leave and go to another park. Sometimes the Studios will be very crowded but at Epcot hardly anyone is there - so if there are too many people leave and go find another park.
when in may are you going - I will be there May 3 thru 10 (not staying at Disney).
02-24-2002, 07:42 PM
Solo trips are lots of fun! I just know you'll have a great time!
Here are some of my tips...
Don't be afraid to go to sit-down restaurants. As a solo traveler, I've found that they sometimes seem to go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and taken care of.
Don't be afraid to ask someone to take your picture. CMs are required to do so if you ask them and most other guests will be happy to accommodate as well.
Make a list of things you've always wanted to try but couldn't get anyone else to go along with. Make sure you do them.
Engage CMs in conversation. They will often have good tips for you.
Relax and have fun!
Have fun planning.
Splurge on a deluxe , if you can afford it and order room service at least once!!! I've never been on a solo trip and don't think I would enjoy it , but if I did I would pamper myself silly!!! Go to the spa and don't forget the tea at GF!!!!
02-24-2002, 09:56 PM
Spiceycat, I'll just miss you. I fly down late on the 10th and will be there until the 17th.
02-25-2002, 12:55 PM
I've taken 4 solo trips to WDW, with lots more to come, I hope. My best solo tip I didn't figure out til this last time. Take a pad of paper with you or a journal. Then when you're sitting at meals or at the end of the day, jot down notes on what you did, your thoughts, etc. Boy, I wish I'd done that every trip! I love looking back at my notes that I took, helps bring me back there in my mind.
03-03-2002, 03:34 PM
Thank you all for your suggestions.
Anyone with anymore?
HugsForEeyore- I've gotta ask, approx. how many steps back do you need to takr from the trashcan holding your camera?
03-03-2002, 09:40 PM
Take one of the tours. It's a great way to learn even more about WDW.
03-04-2002, 11:42 PM
To answer your question .....
I really do put my camera on trashcans - it actually works well! How many steps??? I usually "run" about, I guess, 10 - 15 (maybe more even) steps from the camera. I like lots of scenery in my pictures. Then I quickly turn around and keep my pose until the camera clicks! I usually do this method only when there aren't too many other people around, obviously! I used to be quite self-conscious, but nowadays I don't care too much what other people think, since hey - I'm at Disney World! :) :) :)
03-05-2002, 04:19 PM
For solo, I use my larger journal to write my day down, when I
am in my room at night. I use a very, VERY small notebook to
write down my plans and thoughts while I am having a meal by
myself. When I have my tiny notebook, and my park map, at a
meal, I feel perfectly fine.
I love the idea of asking the CM's to take my picture, but I have
not done this, yet. I am going to try to do this, this December.
My DH does not want to vacation ANYWHERE so it works out
well, because he does not object to me spending one week at
my favorite place. In order to really enjoy myself, I call my DH
once I get to my resort, and I call him every evening to say
goodnight. I would not be able to sleep if I did not call him.
I love the idea of doing my very favorite attractions MANY times,
without DH complaining.
03-05-2002, 10:32 PM
What differences in your days compared traveling alone vs traveling with a loved one?
I'm going on my first trip alone this June. I have no desire to eat at a character meal or ride certain rides like 'Rock n' Roller'. I plan on perhaps eating at Le Cellier in Canada, visiting downtown, sitting at the pool. I'm also thinking about taking a MK tour - Keys to the Kingdom.
03-06-2002, 08:53 AM
A few tips from a fellow solo traveler:
If you can afford it, stay at a deluxe (as a previous poster mentioned) and pamper yourself with room service at least one night.
Get all your rides/attractions under your belt, then just chill out and enjoy the ambience of the parks. Get a snack then sit on a bench and people watch. Stroll around the rose gardens. Take time to look at all the little details that are normally missed. Just soak up the unique atmosphere at each park, taking in all the sounds and smells. Do what you want, when you want.
Occasionally dine at the full-service restaurants. When you're solo, you have to pay for only one expensive meal when the bill comes--I like to splurge when I'm at WDW by myself.
At night, plop right in the middle of the bed, placing ALL the pillows behind you and relax!
Most importantly, just savor each moment.
03-06-2002, 12:43 PM
These are all great suggestions! I'm a weekly solo traveller and agree with most of them. I have had many experiences with families who notice that I'm alone and talk to me. Most of the time, it's the kids who are friendly.
Epcot is probably the best place to be alone at. It is so big there that you can wander around and no one will notice. Test Track also has a single line that makes it faster to ride (if you like that ride; I don't because it messes up the hairdo).
I only had one bad experience and that was when I was in line for the Pooh's Adventures in Magic Kingdom. I had used the Fast Pass option and my time was up. I went into the fast pass lane, got up to the ride, and the family behind me (who were waiting for the next car) got pissed because I had the car to myself. The mother turned and said "how sad - she has no friends or family to ride with". It was said in a pretty cruel way.
On the plus side, CM are always happy to put you in the up front / best seats on the rides. Sometimes you get to bypass the line and fill in on a car (Space Mountain).
I usually don't stay in a deluxe resort because all I'm gonna do is go to the parks until they close, then go to Downtown Disney. I fall into bed at night - sleep - get up and go. I don't think I really want to spend the extra $100-$200 to just sleep with more room.
Oh yeah, I'm a Florida resident ... that's why I go every weekend.
Have a good time -
Please email me if you have any questions.
03-13-2002, 09:15 PM
I would second so much of the advice given above. I would also add...
If you like a show, watch it as many times as you want. My first (and sadly only to date) solo trip was 5 nights and I saw Fantasmic 3 times. I also caught repeated showings of Beauty and the Beast for the opening act there.
Take a tour. I am really looking forward to doing that this next solo trip.
Follow your own schedule and pace. I meandered through the parks going from open to close. I ate liesurely lunches and didn't worry about a mid-day break.
If you like the rides, take advantage of e-nights (if available). It was great to just wander through a quiet, peaceful MK.
Eat wherever you want to. Skip the meal and go straight for dessert (love those s'mores at 50's Prime Time).
Talk to anybody and everybody.
Take pictures for other people and give them a real family memory of their trip.
03-16-2002, 08:16 AM
I just got back from my first solo trip. It was wonderful!
my tips -
*have good weather. Just kidding, but it sure does help!
*offer to take pics for people & they will be happy to take one for you in turn.
*take up smoking. the smokers are always fun people!
I ate two solo meals, Le Cellier & Boma. Le cellier was ok, but I was in the middle of the room & didn't like the feeling. I had a notebook & map, which helped. The waiter was friendly, but very busy. I saw someone who looked like a manager, but he didn't go to any of the tables.
I didn't think I would like a buffet solo, but I enjoyed Boma more because I could always get up & get food if I started to feel uncomfortable. I was also at a table along the wall which made me feel more at ease. It's something I would request in the future. There was also a manager type but he skipped my table.
03-16-2002, 08:38 AM
I just came back from my 4th SOLO trip in Feb. I had an even BETTER time than before!:D I had various converstions with CMs and other Disney travelers. Some I let know I was alone, others I did NOT!:rolleyes: What I like about being SOLO, is you can get a good seat for a Parade/fireworks show at least a Half hour before it starts. I had a WHOLE bench to myself, and than a couple, who hadn't been to WDW since the 70's joined me on my bench!:D Needless to say, I had to FILL them in on whats happened since the 70's!:eek:
03-28-2002, 01:20 PM
It's been a while since I was here (and I see a lot of familiar names!), but this is a subject I can speak on. I've been on one WDW trip solo and one where I was solo for half of the trip. I always do a mix of sit-down and counter service meals while I'm there. If you're unsure about dining alone, go out for a solo meal at home to practice. There are some restaurants that lend themselves to solo dining more than others. For instance, watching the "movies" at the Sci-Fi Dine-In can keep you entertained while you eat. I sat in the front seat of a car with a friendly family in the back two seats and had a nice conversation with my server. I even conned him out of one of those cool frisbees they give to the kids! (However, the food wasn't really worth the price.) I also had very friendly, attentive servers at the Brown Derby and Tony's Town Square. I usually try to avoid the busiest meal times, coming in for a late lunch or breakfast or an early dinner.
One piece of advice, though. If they put you in an inferior table when there are other, better tables available, definitely speak up. This happened to me at a certain restaurant at the Boardwalk which shall remain nameless, I didn't speak up, and I have regretted it ever since. Regardless of how many people are in your party, good service is good service.
My other main tip is to take breaks! Since I didn't have to consult with a travel buddy about what to do next, I didn't stop as often. After a couple of days, I was too pooped to go on by early afternoon. I spent at least two evenings sacked out in my room watching TV and eating counter-service take-out. Not a terrible way to spend the night, but not what I planned either.
Most of all, enjoy yourself! Talk to people. I've encountered some really nice people at WDW. Ask people to take your picture. The main benefit of travelling solo is that you get to be completely and unapologetically selfish. So do whatever it is that makes you happy.
04-04-2002, 09:03 AM
Another counter service tip -- if there aren't any free tables, just ask if you can sit with a smaller party. I asked to sit with a couple & after they left a mom with 2 boys asked if they could sit with me! Of course I said yes, but "made" them take a picture of me & my huge turkey leg in exchange :D
04-22-2002, 01:57 PM
One thing I like to do is take my cell phone into the parks with me. If something exciting or eventful happens and I want to share it with someone, I just call my DSIS (who loves WDW as much as I do) and share it with her. She also has fun being at the parks vicariously through me. I'll call and say "I'm sitting on a bench at Epcot looking out at the lake and eating a Kaki Gori." Or I'll hold out the phone so she can hear the music from the fountain show in Future World. Plus it helps you through those (infrequent) bouts of loneliness.
I agree with the others about how great it is going solo. I spend a lot of time just wandering around the parks. It's amazing how much live entertainment you run into that way, and not just at Epcot. I saw the neatest show in the New York area of MGM last December. I have no idea who they were or what they're called, but it was a blast!
I found that I, too, talk to a lot of people when I'm by myself. I've met a lot of interesting people when I didn't have family or friends with me to talk to.
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