Advice From Those Who Have Taken a Solo Trip

EpcotPhoenician

Est. 1982
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Hello all.. long-time lurker, first-time poster, looking for some advice from those who have taken a solo trip. :wave2: I'm considering the trip for sometime in July (avoiding 4th of July crowds, of course). My original intention was to hold out until October, but with the 50th Anniversary hype increasing, I expect crowds around that time to be substantially higher.

I have been to WDW a number of times over the past few years with family members, so I'm fully prepared for fireworks, etc. to be missing from the experience. Truthfully, any bit of Disney will help my current mental state. For the past 13 months, I have been working from home, greatly limiting my exposure to the outside world, doing very little for myself... so even if I'm just sitting on a bench in Epcot taking in the sights & sounds, I'm OK with that! I plan to be fully vaccinated by the end of March. Honestly, the social-distancing measures in Disney are superior to my local supermarket.

I suppose the only thing stopping me from planning this trip is the stigma of going to a theme park alone, mid-pandemic (though, COVID cases have been dropping substantially, and will likely be much better by July). When you all took your first solo trip, did you receive pushback from friends & family, and if so, how did you handle? I am fully prepared for it, but truthfully, the joy and mental-health pickup I know I would receive from this trip greatly outweighs the uncomfortable pushback I expect from those closest to me. If it matters any, I have traveled solo for business a number of times, so I don't expect to get lonely.

Thank you all for your advice! :earsboy:
 

Cheburashka

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Honestly, the social-distancing measures in Disney are superior to my local supermarket.
But your local supermarket is a lot less crowded and doesn't attract people from all over the world.

I'm not saying to be afraid or not make the trip, just injecting a bit of reality into your perception of WDW, where based on your description, you haven't been since reopening. We've been twice since reopening, and while attendance is limited, there are still crowds in some areas at times, and if you use the pool area, realize that no one will be masked there, not even adults crowded into the hot tub.

Based on our July 2020 trip, I would advise you to stick with fall. Due to the shortened hours, you will have to tour midday and that is brutal in the summer. And mask-wearing, which will undoubtedly still be a thing this July, is really difficult in midday summer heat. I can't imagine wanting to "sit on a bench in Epcot" in that kind of heat especially while masked. And this is coming from someone who had enjoyed 3 prior summer trips to WDW. It's just different when the hours are so short on hot days and you have to be masked. I really recommend dealing with the fall crowds in exchange for decent weather. Our December 2020 trip was much more enjoyable than our July 2020 trip (aside from the pools), even though December was a lot more crowded.
 

aboveH20

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
I LOVE to go solo, have been probably close to a dozen times and have a trip planned for April. I will be getting my second shot soon (hooray for being old) but will continue to follow protocols because I don't want to be the 5% that still gets covid. Something about gasping for breath doesn't appeal to me.

Like you, part of the trip is just getting away. My husband supports my solo trips, one friends makes comments occasionally, and other friends I think are more confused about why I would want to go than care that I do.

Like you, sitting on a bench at Epcot sounds pretty good right about now, especially if the temp is above 70 and there's no snow on the ground! Recently I have switched from low budget trips to spending a bit more, so I will be staying at the Contemporary and am looking forward to sitting on the balcony. If values and moderates had balconies I think I would be just as happy there.
 

TexanInTheMidwest

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 30, 2018
I say GO FOR IT.

I did my first solo-ish trip back in Dec. 2019 to do some recon before a big family trip (solo-ish because I met with some online friends on my 2nd day that have become really good friends). As part of the family trip, I got an AP as it helped us save $$ on the rooms for the family trip.

Post-Covid, I've done 2 trips and will be leaving on my 3rd next week. My 1st two trips, I met up with a girlfriend for the majority of the trip having a solo day or two before connecting. And my next trip, I am meeting friends the 1st day only with 6 solo days! And I am so excited! I dearly love doing "Girls Trips" to Disney but there's something so magical about the days 100% on my own, too.

When I pondered the 1st post-Covid trip in October, DH encouraged me to go for my own mental health. I used to travel 200+ days a year for work. And 2020 was the longest I'd been "home" since 2005 and was going a little stir crazy. I took extra precautions the first trip: I drove (14+ hours) and stayed off-site at a resort where I had a full kitchen, washer, & dryer in case I felt uncomfortable in the parks and needed to just somewhere other than home. BUT I felt very safe at Disney 95% of the time (some areas are super crowded but now I know how to plan for them).

One of the big "ah-ha's" I've had this year is that I can live an authentic life without having to be transparent with everyone I know.

What that means is this. DH and I are 100% IN on the risk assessment of me going. In fact, he's the one that suggested this trip next week (we need the Marriott points and he has an intense work week). BUT I am NOT sharing my travels on any public social media nor am I disclosing my travels to most of my friends. We currently live in a society that seems to look for reasons to be outraged and I've chosen not to add to that fodder by opening my choices/decisions up to most of the folks outside my household (me and DH) and a few super close/non-judgmental friends. This includes not telling DH's extended family, BTW. And it also includes not telling many friends that live in the Orlando area that I could possibly meet for lunch or dinner.

This past year has reminded me that my opinions about life and myself are enough. That I don't need permission or approval from others to live a good and valuable life.

I also make these decisions knowing that I will take all precautions during my travels. Rather than fly out of my home airport, we're driving an extra 40 minutes so I can fly direct, and I am still staying offsite so that I have a full kitchen + washer/dryer. AND when I get home, I do have the luxury of quarantining myself from others until I am sure I am fine since I work from home, DH is now working from home, and we have no plans to see our families in until July.

I have noticed that since I began going back to WDW - and planning for future trips - I've felt less blue and more hopeful. It brings me out of the funk of COVID + Politics + more. In the parks, I can forget the craziness and the political divides and simply experience joy.

I've made a lot of ADRs, plan for a nice long lunch at NOMAD lounge, and can't wait to be back in the magic.

I hope you take the plunge and GO.
 

Missingmypooh

Annual pass addict
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Go! Sit on that Epcot bench.

we are social by nature and it looks like you’ve done the risk assessment

I agree with the above poster, don’t share on social media. People are so polarized these days. They are jealous and worried and anxious. Do this for YOU!

my family still doesn’t understand why I do disney, or why I do it solo. Sometimes I don’t even understand and I talk myself out of it. Then I get there, check in, and I just feel better!

i also think October is going to be slammed. SO many people on Facebook are talking about it. The dis community has shucked it mostly- but I think this forum as a whole has gotten a tad cynical from a few years ago.
 

lorenae

I'm going to Disney World!
Joined
Sep 12, 2015
I’ve gone solo quite a few times, but not since last year. I’m debating going in the next month or so, as they have a discounted Florida resident ticket and rooms. But...... after having two trips cancelled last year, one that included my grandkids first trip, and having my annual pass refunded, I’m finding it harder to muster the energy to want to do it.

I LOVE the parades, fireworks, rides, the characters; all of it. And of course, at my age (nearly 57), I also hate change.

However, if I go solo or not, I’m considering taking my grandkids in late April, thinking that this fall will be crowded (we all need our Disney fix!) and into next year when the international visitors start coming. I’m just afraid that I”ll miss the things I’ve loved for so many years and be disappointed.
 
  • Lizgistix

    Don't follow me, I'm lost too
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    I did not receive pushback from friends or family because they know I'm a big Disney nerd, and the person who I normally go to Disney with was advised by her doctor to not go because she is high-risk. So my family knows why I'm going solo and they know the precautions I take so as to not bring anything back with me. In fact, on my last trip I actually left Magic Kingdom early because I was uncomfortable with the crowd level.

    My friends don't give me a hard time about going to Disney alone because they respect it's my thing and what makes me happy, and I don't poo-poo on things they like that make them happy. And going to Disney alone is the best! Especially if you're the only adventurous eater in your normal group. I'm totally looking forward to a dinner in the Morocco pavilion next trip because noone else in my family would ever want to eat there.
     

    Jillfo

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2020
    I went on solo trips twice last year (September and December) and will be going again next week. I met up with a few friends for a day in Epcot on the first trip, but told no one (other than my boss) about the second. I haven't told anyone but my business partners about the upcoming trip, although a friend who will be there at the same time did ask if I would happen to be in Orlando (she knows I travel a good bit for work) so she and I will meet for a drink and/or dinner.

    My current motto is if you don't tell anyone what you're doing, you can't be judged.
     

    Pooh's World

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2021
    Hello all.. long-time lurker, first-time poster, looking for some advice from those who have taken a solo trip. :wave2: I'm considering the trip for sometime in July (avoiding 4th of July crowds, of course). My original intention was to hold out until October, but with the 50th Anniversary hype increasing, I expect crowds around that time to be substantially higher.

    I have been to WDW a number of times over the past few years with family members, so I'm fully prepared for fireworks, etc. to be missing from the experience. Truthfully, any bit of Disney will help my current mental state. For the past 13 months, I have been working from home, greatly limiting my exposure to the outside world, doing very little for myself... so even if I'm just sitting on a bench in Epcot taking in the sights & sounds, I'm OK with that! I plan to be fully vaccinated by the end of March. Honestly, the social-distancing measures in Disney are superior to my local supermarket.

    I suppose the only thing stopping me from planning this trip is the stigma of going to a theme park alone, mid-pandemic (though, COVID cases have been dropping substantially, and will likely be much better by July). When you all took your first solo trip, did you receive pushback from friends & family, and if so, how did you handle? I am fully prepared for it, but truthfully, the joy and mental-health pickup I know I would receive from this trip greatly outweighs the uncomfortable pushback I expect from those closest to me. If it matters any, I have traveled solo for business a number of times, so I don't expect to get lonely.

    Thank you all for your advice! :earsboy:
    I think one absolute must for a solo trip is Park Hopper. (assuming this isn't your first time)
    With the added mobility and freedom of a solo Park Hopping takes less time and can be fully taken advantage of compared to a group trip.

    As I mentioned in the other thread, who cares if you go solo. Nobody. And most people in groups are envious of the freedom and flexibility that the solo person has.

    With the iphone, a solo person can also bury there face in the phone, while walking or on the bus or waiting in line, which makes it look like you are less "solo" and give you something to do while waiting.

    Also Resort Hopping can also be fun when solo. Once again because of the added mobility and lack of complainers.

    Also, you can eat wherever you want! Whenever you want!
     
  • godders

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 3, 2014
    I'm from the UK so haven't been in the 14 months due to the travel ban so I can't speak to current experiences due to covid BUT

    I've been going solo to WDW every year since 2014 (minus 2020 :sad:) for 10-18 days. I have had my fair share of comments ranging from questions as to why ('it's for kids') to jealousy to comments about their practices as a business. I was lucky in that I'd already been travelling solo since I was a teenager and I loved Disney so no one was massively surprised when I went the first time but my continued trips have brought up comments from some people.

    Here's the thing - it's your money and it's your time! Do what the heck you want! It has been a pretty sucky year for most people so why wouldn't you want to visit a place where the hero always wins?? Sometimes you just need some joy in your life.

    Some of my responses to people when they get judgemental are:
    1) I don't need to consider the needs of any travel companions, just me. I can do, eat, sleep what I want, when I want
    2) It's waaaaaay easier to negotiate the crowds and get around big groups when you're alone
    3) Solos often get called forward in lines so you can skip out some of the waiting
    4) It's not just for kids. There wouldn't be alcohol if it was.....
    5) You should see the amount of temper tantrums (from adults and kids) that you witness as you skip on past munching your dole whip and are sooo grateful to not have that problem
    6) Cost wise, it's pretty on par with London (where I live) so it's not a shock to my wallet
    7) It's incredibly safe

    People are going judge, some absolutely live for the opportunity to have their say. But that's their problem, not yours! Let em say their piece and move on as you bop your head to the songs of Main Street, USA
     

    LilMsMidleton

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2021
    My first visit to WDW in 2019 was a solo trip - and i was 23 and came from germany and i would do it again anytime if i had the chance. I never felt weird a lot of people very super nice and kind F.e when i took the bus to Animal Kingdom for rope drop - the couple standing behind me in line offert me to buy me some breakfast so i woudn't have to leave my spot. I went to a lot of character dinings and the servers took great care and even some chefs came buy to chat. I would just do whatever i wanted , fiddle-faddle the fast passes.

    I'm currently planning a trip with my boyfriend - and tho i am veeeery excited : I also kinda wish i would have the freedom again to do whatever i want when i feel like it hahah

    Oh and btw: I locked myself out of the room: I fogot my magic bands next to the shower, didn't take my phone with me.... nobody inside to open. The castmember at the reception had a blast making fun of me the next couple of days because i had to take the walk of shame at 3 am
     

    jimmymc

    Professional Adventurer!
    Joined
    Nov 26, 2016
    I think I get less pushback and more confusion from friends and family, or I did at first. Now they know I travel solo all the time, both to the parks and other destinations. Solo travel has a lot of advantages over group or family travel, and they all apply to Disney World too. I've also been to other theme parks solo, and Disney World might be the best for solo travellers. There are so many things to do that don't involve waiting in lines, so you almost never have downtime alone.

    When people ask me, I just tell them the truth: I'm a 27 year old single man who likes Disney World. And the reaction is always neutral or positive.
     

    DaisyDuck001

    Let's meet up at WDW
    Joined
    May 5, 2006
    Unless someone is an immediate family member within your household, I don't see that it's any business of theirs that you're doing a solo trip. Why would your friends who don't want to go to Disney have any say in whether you go or not? Do you judge them for where they go on vacation? I don't see why there would be any stigma about going to a theme park alone. If you're comfortable with yourself, who is anyone else to say you shouldn't go alone? You don't tell them who should be in their travel party, right?

    I agree with the above comment that July outdoors in a mask would not be so comfortable, and a cooler time of year would be easier especially as long as the mask requirement is in place.

    If you do want company for any part of your trip, people on this board often will arrange to meet someone for a meal or some park touring.
     

    jgl130

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 26, 2015
    I loved my first solo trip over 4th of July weekend in 2019. Friends I told were actually in awe that I had no problem going by myself. I got over the “fear” of doing stuff alone back in college on my study abroad, when I realized if I waited around for someone to want to do the same things I did, I’d just be sitting in the flat doing nothing...

    The hardest part for me about the solo trip was figuring out what I wanted to do (all the things!) and narrowing that down. 🤣

    I love going with my family, but I loved solo too. I’m a open to close go go go kinda girl.

    I’ve been back twice since the pandemic started, July and November. Both times I felt safer than at my local grocery store and Target. My sister and I are going again in May!

    These COVID trips we’ve rented a car so we didn’t have to be in the busses with people and drove to the parks. That worked out really well for us. Disney Springs on a Friday and Saturday night in November were the only times we felt uncomfortable. It was busy and there are a several choke points. Other than that it was great!
     

    oompa_lumpia

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2020
    Been there three times during the panorama, once solo, and gearing up to go again in a week. I try to reassure people that Disney is probably safer than a trip to the grocery store or a restaurant at home because of all the enforcement. Solo is even better because you can really prioritize social distancing. Other than that, I haven't noticed any odd reactions because people already know I prefer my own company. Have fun!
     

    Simba's Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2000
    I’m going solo next month. The only reason why I feel comfortable going during the pandemic is because I’ve been fully vaccinated. I agree with others that say if you’re afraid of stigma don’t tell people you’re going. I’m certainly not. I haven’t fully decided if I’m going to post on SM or not. But you may consider not if you’re worried about pushback.
     

    BalooFan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2015
    I have gone solo several times. My family and the people I am closest to know WDW makes me happy, so they don’t say anything. I don’t feel the need to explain a solo trip to anyone; it’s my life, my money, my time. If anyone made a negative comment, I would muster as much good nature as possible and say something like “Why do my vacation plans matter so much to you?” or “You aren’t paying for it, so why do you care?” or “I’m not inviting you along, so you don’t need to worry about it.”
     


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