View Full Version : "Sit-down" dining , solo
07-24-2001, 11:00 AM
Sometimes I get a little "self-conscious" when I choose to dine at a full-service sit-down restaurant at WDW. I know I am being "silly" , but I sometimes feel that it isn't quite "normal" to have a "single" (sometimes the ONLY one) seated in a room full of tables filled with family groups, etc.
Am I alone ?
I am on the "shy" side for one thing. Another problem is that USUALLY , when I do use a full-service place , I always seemed to be placed right in the MIDDLE of the room---which drives me crazy.
I don't know. I just feel "uncomfortable" , and I KNOW I shouldn't. It would certainly make me feel better if I knew there were other , older , "solos" who felt the same. I hate to "give-up" my favorite restaurants. But, I just HATE the thought of walking in and being seated RIGHT where I seem to be the "focus" of attention (even though I know I am NOT.) I feel "out-of-place" , so to speak. It would be different if I saw many OTHER single diners. But, that has never been the case for me. I aways seem to be THE only single diner in the whole restaurant, and it makes me feel VERY "uncomfortable."
Any comments , or "tips" would be appreciated.
I LOVE the thought of dining at the Brown Derby , or Alfredo's , or LeCellier, etc. but am "concerned" that I will end -up right in the center of the room , OR someplace where I seem to draw "attention." The thought drives me crazy , and I often "give-up" the thought and just dine fast-food.
Like I said, if there are OTHERS who have the same "problem" I do , it would help me to know. Maybe it is because I hardly EVER see single diners at full-serve restaurants---either when I am dining with a group , or alone.
07-24-2001, 11:35 AM
Glad you posted over here with us. Welcome.
You might want to check out this thread too. What do you do for dinners when solo? (http://www.disboards.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=48613)
I think that the key for me was to realize that I had just as much reason to be having dinner there as anyone else and just as much right to have a good time and do whatever made me happy. If you enjoy it, keep doing it. If you really don't enjoy it, find something that you do enjoy. It's your vacation and you should have a good time and be able to do whatever you want to do.
I've vacationed and traveled a lot for business as a solo. I've gotten used to it over the years. If you enjoy having a nice sitdown meal, keep doing it. The more you do it the more comfortable you will become. Just decide that you want to be there, you have a right to be there and you are going to enjoy it. Talk to your server as well. You will find that most of them are quite happy to have someone other than the other servers to chat with. Makes the time pass more quickly, you don't feel that you are just staring around the room and you can learn a lot of inside info as well.
Ask to be seated around the outside. I've almost always been seated around the outside anyway. Seems that there are more of the 2 top tables there. I don't think I've even been in the middle. Many of the others here talk about asking for a window table so that they can watch the activity outside and have that to do while waiting for their meal.
Keep at it and enjoy. Also check out the Dining Central threads near the top of this board. They are there so that you can find other people with whom to share a sit down meal while you are there. I've got three scheduled for my trip in September. It will be a great new experience for me!!
07-24-2001, 03:42 PM
Prior to my first solo trip, I was nervous about dining alone. My first experience was at a late lunch (around 2:30 p.m.), therefore the restaurant was not busy at all (this was in the winter). I chose a restaurant I had visited before with my family, so the surroundings were familiar. I dined all alone, and it was way more relaxing and enjoyable than I had anticipated. After that, I had no qualms about dining by myself. I went to restaurants they I had never been to (had to check things out for my DH) ;-) I enjoy dining alone--I choose where/when to eat--it's all up to me! I think if you try it you'll do just fine. You can ask for a table that's not in the middle of the room--I know what you mean about this. (I noticed that there were others dining alone, too, so I was not self-concious. And the CM's are just great!) I even went to a character breakfast alone and got hugs from Eeyore! Give it a try!:earsgirl:
I highly recommend dining at the Flying Fish if you are dining alone. There are stools along the open kitchen where you may watch the chefs at work. They also interact with the people sitting there. I think this might be a solution to your problem. Perhaps you should try eating at the buffets. My husband spends so much time making his selections, most people would think I was dining alone.
07-26-2001, 09:54 PM
First, I got comfortable dining at my
local malls, first the food court, and
then a full service. No problem.
When I did WDW alone for 7 days, I was
nervous, but also excited. I began with
DxL ( PO-R ) food court. That was OK,
but I also found it too hectic for
being solo. The frenzied pace made me
feel even more nervous. I also felt
guilty for using a table for four.
I really love a buffet breakfast, so I
did Boatwrights. I felt less nervous
because of the relaxed pace. I had a
very small notebook that I was writing
in, and had my park map out. I really
felt better when I looked busy. I
was actualy taking down some ideas for
a speech that I had to give when I got
If you are inclined at all to write
poetry - a meal alone like that is a
great time for reflection. You can
write poetry about what you are seeing
and feeling at the time.
Hope This Helps. Have FUN !!!
07-27-2001, 08:51 PM
The first meal is always the hardest.....
This was my approach:
Went to epcot....checked out a feww countries...then went to Mexico for dinner. The atmosphere was dark so you really were not that uncomfortable. Had a great meal and then I was off.
Now that I got the initial fear out of my system, I now planned to eat at the sci-fi theator(I think thats what it was called..it's the place where you watch a movie and sit in cars as if you were at the drive in).
Well, I arrived and I listened to the waitress tell the couple ahead of me that there was a 90 wait. That sort of depressed me right a way, but to my surprise the waitress asked how many in my party, and when I said one, she asked me to follow her to my table/car.
I found by eating solo you are seated more quickly then in family size.
After you have a few meals solo, you will be very comfortabe...in fact people from other tables are normally very friendly and may ask you to take a picture of them, and then a conversation may start.
Enjoy and have fun......don't worry about the little stuff.
07-29-2001, 12:50 PM
I understand the meaning here. I'm not so much concerned about attracting attention (nobody's really paying attention) than I am about the fact that I won't have anyone to chat with. I'm not one to initiate conversations with strangers.
After I planned my upcoming solo trip, I made an impromptu trip with my mother in May. While we were sitting at the Rose & Crown, I told her about some of the restaurants I wanted to try but about my apprehension at dining alone. She pointed out a gentleman by himself at a table behind us - he had a newspaper and seemed content. He stayed for Illuminations. That entire trip we noticed single diners - at a nearby table at Jiko, at Mexico, in the Tusker House at AK. WDW is full of solo travelers! So I have decided to try some solo lunches and a dinner at Jiko, where they have counter seating to watch the chefs at the "cooking place." It's a first step to getting over the worry! I'll be carrying a book with me that I can read if I get restless.
So I suggest to folks with the same apprehension - try it! I will.
08-01-2001, 07:36 PM
I have been dining alone for 30 years. I love to have dinner by myself. Don't get the
idea I am anti-social (a group of 4 of us dine together at a Disney Resort once a month),
but I love to dine alone, with my book and watch the action.
I was shy and nervouse but I hate fast food. I lived in the New York metropolitan
area for many years, and I wanted to go to nice places. I find that Disney is much
better for lone diners than New York was. In New York they have a tendency to
put you out of the way, next to the kitchen.
I have dined at Epcot in France, Rose and Crown, Norway and Japan many times, alone.
Just bring a book or magazine or whatever. Also, since I don't like to eat late, I usually
like to eat at the beginning of the dinner seatings. You get a better choice of tables
( France the single/double tables are by the windows and you get a great view of
the passers-by and the living statues. The same with Norway, they have table's for
one or 2 along the perimeter of the room.
The Resort Restaurants are the same.
08-03-2001, 03:54 PM
I took a one time solo trip in the winter of 99, and it turned into an annual thing just because I enjoyed being able to do the parks my way so much. I have never tried dining alone in a sit-down restaurant because of the same fears people have expressed here. I am so glad I found this board, because now I am definitely going to do it on my trip in February. Thanks!
08-28-2001, 01:40 AM
I am going on my first solo trip to WDW on 8/29 and plan on eating several meals alone....just bring a book and and an open heart and mind!!
08-28-2001, 05:10 PM
I tend to look at the issue somewhat differently. Fresh out of college and traveling for my job,
I found myself dining alone at very nice restaurants quite often. At first, I was a little uncomfortable, but then I noticed other well dressed ladies and gentlemen also dining solo and found them quite distinguished. Now when I dine solo, I feel quite distinguished. Of course, no one is really paying attention anyway. I also find that waiters and waitresses love to chat with solo diners.
08-28-2001, 06:31 PM
Well, you'll get an agreement here-I don't like sit-down dining when I'm solo. You know why? I feel like the server is an "interruption". I like getting my meal at the counter, then sitting and people-watching in the resturaunt or looking out the window or looking at the park map. Just coming and going when I'm ready. With sit-down, when I'm all done I feel pressured to leave (I guess that's really my problem, not the resturaunt's). But with counter-serve, especially a nice, big food court like DxL (oops-POR now), I can sit and relax as long as I want. Did anyone else used to feel like that and eventually get over it? I'd like to-there are some nice sit-down resturaunts I'd like to try if I could get over this feeling.
08-28-2001, 11:21 PM
I'm not sure why I read this thread, since I will be at Disney with DH and 2 kids. After hearing about everyones experiences and feelings, it has given me a wonderful idea. I would like to dine out one time without everyone. Neither my Dh or kids would care to dine in an elegant setting , like at the GF, but I would savior every detail. Perhaps a meal sans family is the answer. It could be my "splurge" while they are off at the wilder rides or Disney Quest. Of course I would rather have company, but the alternate is to miss a fabulous experience.
I also enjoy solo dining at WDW because it gives me a chance to try out a lot of great restaurants at a much cheaper price then when I am with my family. I have also found the CMs to be very nice and talkative when I am dining alone. My favorite places for solo dining so far are: Chefs de France & Le Cellier in Epcot, Yachtsman's Steakhouse at YC and Fultons at DTD. I eat lunch solo almost everyday when I am working so dining at WDW solo did not even faze me, but if you have never dined solo WDW is definitely the place to start-the food is wonderful, the atmosphere is fantastic and the CMs couldn't be nicer.
09-04-2001, 11:13 AM
I frequently find myself alone at the parks. My solution is to bring along a good book. That can mean making a special request for a table where there'll be enough light to read by, but generally it works out just fine.
09-07-2001, 11:56 AM
I agree with everyone here. This will be my first trip to DW alone and I can't wait!
I've traveled by myself quite a bit (it just always seems more relaxing when you can keep to your own schedule without worrying about others' likes or moods!) I was worried about eating alone at first, but servers have always been nice and even babied me a bit: "Are you comfortable here? Can I get you something to read? Do you want to be seated out of the way or in the middle of all the action?"
I would think Disney would be even better at this. For all those who think they're too shy to start conversations with strangers, remember you have something in common with everyone you meet: you're all enjoying a great Disney trip! I look at it as we're all part of a really huge tour group!
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