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Old 08-30-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
nfrank
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Going Solo AND first trip to WDW.... Any suggestions?

The title pretty much says it all.

I had planned a trip to Vegas with a few friends for my birthday in October. They decided a few weeks ago that they couldn't afford to go anymore, so it was either go to Vegas alone or figure something out.

I've been wanting to do a trip to WDW for YEARS. So I figured this was as good a time as any. However, I'm a little freaked out. This will be both my first trip to WDW, and I'm doing it all by myself.

I decided I wanted to make it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, so I booked a first class plane ticket and ditched the value resort for a moderate. All of the deluxe rooms were booked up (and with paying so much for a plane ticket, I'd rather not spring so much for the room as well). But even with these comfort buffers, I'm still a little lost.

Any suggestions for a newbie going it alone?

Thanks!

Nate
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:30 PM   #2
714guy4u
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nfrank View Post
The title pretty much says it all.

I had planned a trip to Vegas with a few friends for my birthday in October. They decided a few weeks ago that they couldn't afford to go anymore, so it was either go to Vegas alone or figure something out.

I've been wanting to do a trip to WDW for YEARS. So I figured this was as good a time as any. However, I'm a little freaked out. This will be both my first trip to WDW, and I'm doing it all by myself.

I decided I wanted to make it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, so I booked a first class plane ticket and ditched the value resort for a moderate. All of the deluxe rooms were booked up (and with paying so much for a plane ticket, I'd rather not spring so much for the room as well). But even with these comfort buffers, I'm still a little lost.

Any suggestions for a newbie going it alone?

Thanks!

Nate
I've been twice by myself. I was able to wake up, ride , and eat whenever I wanted. After the 2nd day I was loney.
I'd stay at the value resorts. In my opinion there's really not a huge step from the value to the moderate hotels. The only dislike I have about the all stars is the transportation. It's also a very huge place with lots to do. I'd take advantage of the extra magic hours to make the best of your trip. I'd also recommend getting the meal plan at least the quick service plan. There's no kind of fast food chains around unless you stay at the All Stars there's a mc donalds in walking distance. Each QSR meal will run you about $13 to $19. I'd take advantage of buying park tickets as a package to save. I'd also spend at day to visit universal if you haven't. Pack a small backpack with a poncho, small umbrella, iPod, iPad, book, crossword puzzle or anything to keep your self busy and dry while waiting. I also bring snacks from home like crystal light, crackers, nutria grain bars, or any other small items to snack on. The heat is very hot and humid drink lots of water. Take lots of pictures I have thousands and I still think I don't have enough. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Your feet will tank you later. Try and ride all the rides and have fun.

If I can get the time off work I will go with you.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:32 AM   #3
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Hi Nate,

I've been a number of times by myself. Sometimes I book an entire trip alone, other times a few days alone before meeting up with some friends. I really enjoy the time to myself there. I'm able to go to the park I want to, ride the rides that I want, and jump around to other parks as I feel like it. And many rides have a "solo rider" line, so this really can cut down on the waiting times for rides as well.

You may find it easy to stike up conversation with other people in line, at restaurants, etc..... and there is another board up here just for Solo/Adult Travlers. If you have dates in mind already, you might find that you can make plans to meet up with others who are also traveling alone either for dinner or some rides on day.

As for hotels, I would stick with a moderate. It may cost a little more than value resorts, but the themeing is a bit nicer and the bus sitation is generally a little less conjested. While you are there, make time for some resort hoping. Get on the monorail, or a boat and check out the other hotels. The Boardwark area is really nice. Good restaurants, shopping, people watching. And maybe even do some of the group tours, this would be a great way to meet up with some folks and get some good conversations in while learning about the parks

Anyways, if you have any other questions feel free to PM me, I'm excited for ya. You'll have SO much fun

--sarah
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 714guy4u View Post
I've been twice by myself. I was able to wake up, ride , and eat whenever I wanted. After the 2nd day I was loney.
I'd stay at the value resorts. In my opinion there's really not a huge step from the value to the moderate hotels. The only dislike I have about the all stars is the transportation. It's also a very huge place with lots to do. I'd take advantage of the extra magic hours to make the best of your trip. I'd also recommend getting the meal plan at least the quick service plan. There's no kind of fast food chains around unless you stay at the All Stars there's a mc donalds in walking distance. Each QSR meal will run you about $13 to $19. I'd take advantage of buying park tickets as a package to save. I'd also spend at day to visit universal if you haven't. Pack a small backpack with a poncho, small umbrella, iPod, iPad, book, crossword puzzle or anything to keep your self busy and dry while waiting. I also bring snacks from home like crystal light, crackers, nutria grain bars, or any other small items to snack on. The heat is very hot and humid drink lots of water. Take lots of pictures I have thousands and I still think I don't have enough. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Your feet will tank you later. Try and ride all the rides and have fun.

If I can get the time off work I will go with you.
I'm staying at the moderate mainly because 1.) it is the moderate with the most amenities for when I take park breaks and 2.) I'm getting a CM's friends and family discount, so figured "Why not?" Unfortunately though, this means that I cannot get a meal plan since I'm not on a "package." I planned on buying park tickets from Undercovertourist to save (and possibly even upgrading to an Annual Pass, depending on the enjoyment of the trip). I'll definitely keep the backpack and other tips in mind though! Thanks!

It would be cool to have someone to hang out with.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extraredstuff View Post
Hi Nate,

I've been a number of times by myself. Sometimes I book an entire trip alone, other times a few days alone before meeting up with some friends. I really enjoy the time to myself there. I'm able to go to the park I want to, ride the rides that I want, and jump around to other parks as I feel like it. And many rides have a "solo rider" line, so this really can cut down on the waiting times for rides as well.

You may find it easy to stike up conversation with other people in line, at restaurants, etc..... and there is another board up here just for Solo/Adult Travlers. If you have dates in mind already, you might find that you can make plans to meet up with others who are also traveling alone either for dinner or some rides on day.

As for hotels, I would stick with a moderate. It may cost a little more than value resorts, but the themeing is a bit nicer and the bus sitation is generally a little less conjested. While you are there, make time for some resort hoping. Get on the monorail, or a boat and check out the other hotels. The Boardwark area is really nice. Good restaurants, shopping, people watching. And maybe even do some of the group tours, this would be a great way to meet up with some folks and get some good conversations in while learning about the parks

Anyways, if you have any other questions feel free to PM me, I'm excited for ya. You'll have SO much fun

--sarah
Thanks, Sarah! Those are all great suggestions!
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nfrank View Post
I'm staying at the moderate mainly because 1.) it is the moderate with the most amenities for when I take park breaks and 2.) I'm getting a CM's friends and family discount, so figured "Why not?" Unfortunately though, this means that I cannot get a meal plan since I'm not on a "package." I planned on buying park tickets from Undercovertourist to save (and possibly even upgrading to an Annual Pass, depending on the enjoyment of the trip). I'll definitely keep the backpack and other tips in mind though! Thanks!

It would be cool to have someone to hang out with.
If its not a problem Have the cm to call and see if any meal plans are available durning your stay most of the times it's not advertised but if you call they can check I highly recommended getting it
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:49 PM   #7
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My first trip as a solo trip and I was so excited I spent the whole 40 somehting days until my trip researching every last detail. As others have said do what you when you want. Take it easy or go commando style and do it all. I just went solo again in Aug and had a blast I love meeting characters and spent a whole day doing just that didn't ride a single thing. And if you plan on going back within a year the AP is great cause you get discounts on food and merch.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:08 PM   #8
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2nd Solo Trip!

I am returning on October 10 for four days and am really excited. I was in the parks last year for four days in November. I love seeing them for the holidays. But I love the fact I am on my own time schedule, and can do what I want. There is no discussion as to what to do next, what ride, is anyone hungry, etc. It's great. If you don't feel up to the parks, head back to the hotel and relax! I usually stay at the value resorts (Music this trip) and love them. The added travel time on the buses does not bother me, and I use the Extra Magic Hours to take advantage of less crowds - last year, AK for Everest 10 times in a row before the crowds started showing up!

This year will be my first MNSSHP and I am taking a costume (hey I live in New Orleans, I have a closet full of costumes!). I am going to have fun and just enjoy, relax and indulge!

Matt
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:56 AM   #9
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I second everything that's already been said re: the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want and using the DIS and other boards to set up meetings. I'm going to try to expand on this with a couple other ideas.

My first trip to WDW was also a solo one, and my guiding question in planning the trip was "What does it take for me to feel comfortable and relaxed when I'm by myself in an unfamiliar place?" Obviously, the response to this question depends on your personality, so YMMV from what about to say but here's where I ended up.

For my first trip, I decided to find a good touring plan and follow it for each park. I went with the Unofficial Guide, but there are lots of other good ones out there as well. Two main reasons why I went with a highly structured approach on my first visit. First, I wanted to see all the major "stuff", and I figured that a touring plan would be a good way to do that (as opposed to me exploring on my own). Second, having a set touring plan meant that I always had something to do. I'm not very good at "winging it" in unfamiliar situations, so having a step-by-step itinerary helped me.

One of the things I knew I would miss by traveling solo was not having someone with me to talk about the experience. I bought a notebook and started keeping a Disney journal during the trip. The notebook (which I still use) is small and light enough that I can carry it with me all the time, so during meals or snack breaks, I would update that day's entry. I was surprised and how much it helped me reflect on what I had done.

Speaking of meals, I'm not a huge foodie, so I mostly ate at counter service places, but if you're into table service places, many of them have bars that work well for single diners.

And finally, I made a point of talking to cast members. If they were busy, I left them alone, but if a CM was just standing there, I'd make eye contact, smile, and ask them if they had a few minutes to talk. My standard question was "I know that Disney sometimes has back stories to attractions (restaurants, stores, etc.). Is there anything cool you can tell me about this place?" Sometimes, the CM wasn't into it, but a lot of times, their eyes would light up, and they'd launch into a mini-lecture. For a lot of locations, there's a binder full of information that a CM is supposed to learn, and part of that is the back story. If the CM is a really into their job, they love sharing this information, because they don't asked about it very often.

A second question that's worked well for me is "Can you point out any hidden details here that I normally wouldn't see?" Imagineers load tons of subtle things into their designs, and they're the sort of thing that I don't notice on my own.

Oh, and one other things that I started doing a couple years ago is Lunchtime Resort Roulette. I usually hit a park in the morning but then bail around 11 a.m. or so, when the crowds start to arrive and the temps rise. (I usually visit in the summer.) I'll walk along the row of bus stops for the resorts and jump on the first bus that I find. That's where I'll go have lunch. It's a good way to explore new resorts.

- Dave
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