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Old 03-23-2013, 04:00 PM   #1
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Nervous about a solo trip...

Hiya. Sorry, this could be long... Anxious teenager alert!

I'm starting to get really nervous about my solo trip. I'm staying at All Star Sports, so I access my room for the outside- right? Is that gonna be a safety issue for an 18 year old girl alone?

Will I need my OWN credit card to check in? I don't have one, my mum says I'm too young (and I agree!) She trusts me to take hers and not use it apart from the on file thing, but it's in her name... If I bring written proof with her signature, do you think that'll be okay? We share the same surname.

Taking pictures at character meals. I have a lot booked, but only one with face characters (princess meal at Epcot). I plan to use my iPhone front camera for those pics, but with the fur characters, the pics don't work out well- I have a with Chip, Dale, Goofy and Minnie (seperately) from my front camera and it didnt work too well! In my experience at character meals, they don't normally have a handler with them. The only time they had one was at Crystal Palace, because some little kid tried to kick Tigger in anger. All the characters taken out for 'refreshments' and returned around ten minutes later, and all of them had a handler with them at all times. I was with my family on the meals though, so it was a problem anyway. If I ask a family at the next table to take my picture & I offer to take their picture so they can have 'natural' as well as posed shots, do you think they'd be happy to do that? I've booked 6 character meals so far- it might seem too many, but I'm on the dining plan and characters are the main part of my trip.

Also, posing for pictures solo, like with photopass, in front of the castle, spaceship earth, the sorcerer hat etc- I get really self conscious, and the pictures end up with me just standing there looking awkward. Any tips on how to overcome this 'shyness'?

I'm also a bit worried about having to lug my bag everywhere. I'm guessing the lockers aren't free- I spent loads of days alone last time so I just put everything in a backpack with ziplock bags for Kali (Splash wasn't open) but space mountain was a problem. My bag was too bulky, so I wore my backpack back to front and held on, but sitting at the back was awfully rough and I nearly lost it at one point! I'm thinking I'm gonna have to stop with the whole OCD bringing everything I could possibly need, but I do tend to use most of it

Any advice?
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:28 PM   #2
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You will be fine as far as safety is concerned

Now. About the credit card. That's a problem. I would call and ask. But I don't think you can
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:10 PM   #3
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I think it's great you're going by yourself at 18! I never had any problems with getting other guests to take pictures of me, I didn't do character meals but not only were other people happy to do it if I asked, but I had quite a few people offer themselves. For families where one person is always stuck behind the camera, I'm sure they're love to exchange photo-taking with you for some group shots.

Do you have a debit card? You can use that instead of a credit card, they'll just put a hold on it (if I remember rightly, its $50 or $100) which is refunded at checkout. So you could use your own debit card and not nave to worry about the credit card issue. You might have a problem using your mums because you'll have to show ID and it'll be obvious the names aren't the same. Even as family, you're not technically authorized to use her card.

I've never ever felt unsafe at Disneyworld when I've been there solo

With the backpack, most likely after a day or two you'll be able to identify a few things you don't need and you can lighten the load a bit from then onwards. On rides, I always put one my leg through one strap so that even on RnRC or something, I won't lose it.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:06 PM   #4
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I found that I was very safe even with an outside entry..

character pictures - no problem someone will help you and take pictures..no worries..

Backpack?? What do you carry? I just bring my KTTW, lip balm, sunscreen, water..I tie my sweatshirt around my waist..
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by geffric
Backpack?? What do you carry? I just bring my KTTW, lip balm, sunscreen, water..I tie my sweatshirt around my waist..
Spare socks, a book, my touring plan (not needed this time though) a list of my ADRs, my padded iPhone case, my iPod, 2 ziplock bags, a little make up pouch which mainly holds tinted moisturiser and chapstick, headphones, a shirt, a light hoodie (not in September though) a poncho, an umbrella, 2 water bottles (I drink LOADS), my purse, my lanyard when I take it off (kids always want to trade my pins and I feel bad telling them no with some of my rare ones ) a little first aid pouch with antiseptic wipes, band aids, blister plasters, moleskin, ointment etc, my travel size sunblock (that I replenish with the big bottle in my room- mums idea) and occasionally a small plushie, if I wanna get cute character pics with the plushie/irritate Donald with my Mickey that I pinned a #1 badge on ;-)

Yeah, I carry LOADS. But I generally use a lot of it, if not all! It's hard to believe but I actually empty and repack by bag every night before I go to sleep, I think that's the OCD. haha! It can be real annoying, though.

Thanks for all your answers! I'm going to ring the UK number for WDW soon and ask about the card.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:55 PM   #6
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You probably will only need one water bottle--- can refill it at water drinking fountains everywhere in the parks for free.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bxccah View Post
...my lanyard when I take it off (kids always want to trade my pins and I feel bad telling them no with some of my rare ones ) ...
If you have some rare pins or favorite pins, I'd leave them safe at home.

Or, purchase some metal screw backs that can not be easily removed as it requires a special tool (unlike the rubber backs). Put those on any you don't want to trade…easier to tell someone you can't take the pin off instead of you don't want to trade it.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:49 AM   #8

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As far as your safety is concerned, you will be fine--but use common sense. Keep an eye on your valuables. Dead bolt your room door. (I'm a mother--can't help myself.)

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:35 PM   #9
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Agreed - use the normal safety precautions, be aware of your surroundings, bolt your door, etc. But I will say I stayed at my first "exterior corridors" resort this year (POFQ) and, despite being a bit uneasy about it beforehand, I think I probably felt more safe coming home to an outside door than if I'd had to walk down a long, empty interior hallway. My room at POFQ overlooked the lawn where they show movies, so there were always lots of families out and about, and the doors and walkways were well lit.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:15 PM   #10
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As someone who has traveled extensively for business, safety is always a concern. Always be aware of your surroundings, and don't avert your eyes or look away/down when walking. Make sure to keep some cash in a safe place separate from your backpack-a pocket, etc.

Disney may be willing to do a credit card authorization with your Mom. She will need to complete paperwork and send to Disney-most places need at least 30 days in advance (if Disney does this). Better to find out now what is needed than to have your vacation ruined by the credit card issue. I am not sure what Disney's policy is regarding debit cards, but it could be for the length of stay, or a fixed amount equal to one night's accommodations. The problem for most folks is your bank will put a hold on your account for that amount, but even if Disney released it, the bank can take 30 days to make available to you. If you are traveling on a tight budget, that is a huge set aside that you need to factor in to your spending money.

If Disney allows and your Mom does do the credit card pre authorization with Disney, bring copies of the paperwork with you, and make sure that your Mom gets the name of the Cast member who assisted her and dates. I have to do this frequently for my company pays for travel for volunteers, and many don't have access to a credit card.

Hope this helps! Have fun!
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:18 PM   #11
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Don't know if your mum would be willing to do this, but many credit card companies let you put a family member's name on your card. In other words, it's still her card (and she gets the bills), but your name is on it. I know American Express does it.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:40 PM   #12
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Not sure when you are going but I would see if your mom can add you on as an authorized user on her card. That will solve that problem and if there's enough time between now and your trip then you will have a card that has your own name on it. I did this for my brother when we were younger.

As for the backpack thing...I would get a smaller purse or cross body bag and use that instead. You could actually probably get most of what you mentioned in one minus some of the extra clothes and umbrella (I would probably pick EITHER a poncho OR an umbrella...not both). I usually take a hoodie with me to the parks but tie it around my waist so no bag is needed for it. It's very liberating to not have to carry a bunch of stuff in the parks. I try to go without a bag whenever possible and try instead to bring a light jacket with zipper pockets where I can keep any necessities that don't fit in my pants pockets or on my lanyard. But that's probably too drastic a change for you right off the bat. Worst case...try the smaller bag the first day but bring the backpack with you (leave in the hotel room the first day). That way...if it doesn't work out on day one you can always fall back on using the backpack. And if it works to just have a smaller bag then so much the better.

And you shouldn't be too concerned with safety. Just use common sense like you would anywhere else and you'll be fine.

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Old 04-07-2013, 03:29 PM   #13
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Okay, first get mom to put you as an authorized user on her card. You will get a card with your name on it in 7-10 business days. Deposit some cash onto a prepaid debit card. Disney takes those. They will authorize the balance for room charge priveledges. If you have a debit card you can use that anywhere. Keep a little slush fund in the safe provided in your room. I call it emergency cash. You will be plenty safe on property. Just be aware of your surroundings and look at everything. Take in everything.

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Old 04-09-2013, 06:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by nurse.darcy View Post
Okay, first get mom to put you as an authorized user on her card. You will get a card with your name on it in 7-10 business days.
^ This definitely! My parents did this when I travelled out of the country when I was in High School. It's super easy to do, and gives you some extra security in case you need some emergency funds for something that you don't have the cash for.

I did my first solo trip last year; I'm 30, but seriously look like a kid and I never felt unsafe. I didn't do any character dining, but I found that I actually preferred table service dining solo rather than quick service. I felt less self-conscious, which I know is weird, but I'm a shy person, so I would rather have a table to myself rather than potentially share with another family, which did happen quite often due to the crowds.

Other than that, I really had a blast, and I was REALLY nervous beforehand! The Photopass people were great about taking pics for me with my camera, although I didn't ask very often. On my last day, a CM driving one of the old cars in front of the castle stopped when she noticed me alone, dragged me to the car, grabbed my camera, and did a mini photoshoot for me! Other guests went out of their way to take pictures for me, too. I had a very positive experience, and would not hesitate doing another solo trip!

I hope you do it, and have fun!!!!

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Old 04-11-2013, 08:36 PM   #15
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Tips, in no particular order:

Get a smaller cross body bag for touring around the park. Sound like you like having your stuff with you, so put the backpack in a locker. They are seven dollars a day, I think. That way, you can have your stuff close and have less risk of losing stuff. Late in the afternoon, go back to the locker, freshen up, wash face, re do make up, grab the extra water bottle, leave anything you've bought in the locker for when you are really leaving. There a restroom not far from each locker site.

Pictures. After coming home with me all in the same pose, I now also do silly poses or pretend acting.... Like pretending to really struggle to pull out the sword or ride the light speeder. Ask for the magic shots.. Mimic Minnie's poses. Pout. Throw your arms out. Stick your tongue. Smile way to big. Look stealthy. Pretend to throw kisses. Some will come out totally stupid, but I bet you'll get a few great ones.

Put the credit card on file when you do online check in. Totally agree with the authorized user thing. My folks did that with me at 18. I had strict rules, but they wanted me to have the security of access of more cash when I was away from them as a young adult. Pre paid Visa card is a good option for carrying spending money. Leave a copy of your drivers license and some cash in the room safe in case you lose something.

Take a picture of your photo pass number with your phone!

As a single female traveller, I purposefully think through where each item goes that I am carrying. Travel size sunscreen goes in pocket because its okay to lose. Photo pass card in outer pocket of bag because I can get to it quick. Credit card hidden in zippered pocket inside bag, etc. fumbling through things is when you set something down and forget to put it back in or you don't realize it fell out.

Disney is safe, but don't be stupid. Downtown disney and the boardwalk area can be quiet in some parts very late at night and folks didn't need a ticket to access those two places .. So.. You don't need guys calling out at you who might have had too much to drink. Parks until closing and then buses back to the resort..fine..stay as late as you want. Call mom and be on the phone if something is making you nervous but stay aware of your surroundings.

Have loads and loads of fun!,,,
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