How "planned" do you plan as a solo?

Discussion in 'Disney for Adults and Solo Travelers' started by JillianS1128, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. JillianS1128

    JillianS1128 Mouseketeer

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    So, I have a very high-pressure, 24-7, operations focused job. Because of this, I've learnt that my fave vacations are as uplanned as possible. Just book an adventure tour or a hotel, some plane tickets, and go- relatively unplanned beyond a few weeks of "hey, what's Portugal like" reading.

    Obviously, there's some planning that goes into a WDW vacation, but what I'm wondering from fellow solos is: how "go with the flow" can I be? Yes, "as much as you want!" :), but if I'm going the week after Labour Day (Sept 2-9), on my own, I'm pretty "get up and go" in the am, but if I still want to do most of the "to dos" and experience the fun, do I have the luxury of just going with it?

    I've never been to WDW before (DL a couple times as a kid but I barely remember those).

    What do I really need to preplan, and what can I just let happen? I'm pretty patient, and I don't mind being flexible with how a day unfolds on vacation at all (and love just wandering around), I just want to figure out where that balance is!

    My 60 day out will be in a few weeks, so just trying to figure out what I need to think about.

    :confused:
     
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  2. brad813

    brad813 DIS Veteran

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    I'm an obsessive planner, but at minimum your park choice, fastpasses, and any must do table service meals. Which park or parks are you planning on?
     
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  4. brad813

    brad813 DIS Veteran

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    Also, are you planning on a Halloween Party date?
     
  5. JillianS1128

    JillianS1128 Mouseketeer

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    I currently have 6 full days (and then an evening on arrival day- and really nothing on departure day). Partly considering arriving a day early, getting 7 full days, but who knows.

    With that re: "which parks", would do 1 full day in each, then would have to figure out whether I do 2 or 3 (depending on 6 or 7 days) of them twice, throw a waterpark day in there, or what. Because I've never been before, I really don't know what I'm going to gravitate towards. Right now I'm trying to go through the parks pages, and checking out all the attractions to try and guess, but it's hard!

    I will likely end up getting a hopper, as it would likely help with being able to be flexible


    I don't know! :). I'm still super overwhelmed by all that's out there. Trying to maybe pick 2-3 "evening shows/activities", but even that's overwhelming- and I'd way rather just "go with it". Alas!

    I think I will likely end up going with a DS hotel. I'd want a mod for on-site, so it's quite a bit cheaper (and I'm hoping for an international trip in Oct- so don't want to blow all of the $ :) ). So, with that I won't be getting a DP, but won't limit myself. guessing I'll do grab and go for breakfast, QS lunch, and then a nice dinner somewhere later on most nights. So, I can see maybe booking evening ADRs, but I don't know that I'd want to need to plan my day around set lunch times (hence QS lunch).

    I'm happy being a "leave the hotel in the AM and don't come back until it's time to sleep" person- I just assume I'll chill out at restaurants and people watch when I want to chill for a bit. Though I'm keenly aware that weather may play into changing that mindset!
     
  6. brad813

    brad813 DIS Veteran

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    I would suggest at least two days at Epcot. It's big enough that you will need it. I believe Food & Wine is going on during your dates as well. I would suggest doing 5 days and a party day or, if you wanted to get there a day early, do 6 regular days plus a party day. Party tickets are cheaper during September and all the rides are walk on. You can go into the park at 4pm with a party ticket as well. I would also highly recommend doing 1900 Park Fare for breakfast one day. Fantastic character buffet, with great food. Would be good for your departure day as well. Few different ways you can go with your planning, but if it were me I would go two Epcot, one MK, one Party Day(which you could also do a water park that day easily, and they are great fun), one HS, one or two AK, but that is just a suggestion.
     
  7. JillianS1128

    JillianS1128 Mouseketeer

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    Very helpful place to start! Thanks for the breakfast rec- that sounds fun.

    I'll definitely look into the party- from this, I'm taking it you would think it too much to do a park and then the party on the same day?
     
  8. JillianS1128

    JillianS1128 Mouseketeer

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    I have a feeling this "I want to not plan and just go with it" v. "going down the rabbit hole of planning everything" is going to be quite the slippery slope.....
     
  9. brad813

    brad813 DIS Veteran

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    The party is officially from 7PM to 12AM, and you will want to have dinner in Magic Kingdom between 4PM and 5PM if you do a table service that day. A full park day, in the 80+ degree Florida sun will have you exhausted by the party, but a water park day is a great alternative...some walking but is still doable with the party. You aren't going to be able to plan out everything but you can't completely wing it either. My experience is that you are best to have a basic touring plan so you don't wonder aimlessly, but still be flexible with it.
     
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  10. Gaugersaurus

    Gaugersaurus Mouseketeer

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    I’m in the same boat as you doing my first ever trip as a solo. For me I just planned a few table service meals and I’m going to get all my fastpasses sorted out and that’s the extent of my planning. I want to be able to enjoy some spontaneous experiences so I’m avoiding doing too much planning other than a rough idea of park days and possible quick service dining places.
     
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  11. brad813

    brad813 DIS Veteran

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    Staying at Pop Century?
     
  12. JillianS1128

    JillianS1128 Mouseketeer

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    that sounds great!
     
  13. skramer100

    skramer100 Mouseketeer

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    If you are solo staying at DS hotel, book Buena Vista Palace. Far and away the nicest one. Doubletree Suites does give you that big room feel, but everything else about it is not good.
    Depending on what your interests are really is important. For me at that time I would get a hopper and gravitate towards Epcot late afternoon for for and wine instead of grabbing dinner. You may not like that. I think you can figure out what rides you need to do and after that just go with the flow. Book FOP fastpass and 7 dwarfs, other than that you should be fine with anything. Have fun and just take it as it goes. Planning everything gets boring and living by the seat of your pants sometimes leads you places you never would have gone. Enjoy.
     
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  14. wisteria1019

    wisteria1019 A dream is a wish your heart makes

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    I appreciate the fact that you feel overwhelmed. If you can manage to select which park on which day, reserve the fast passes on your 60 day mark, then you're good. If you are not attached to a particular Table Service restaurant, you can check to see what is available when you are ready to dine. Fortunately, you are visiting at a slower, albeit hotter time of the year. Have a great time, I am a huge fan of spontaneity.
     
  15. sanapp

    sanapp DIS Veteran

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    I am planning my first solo trip in Feb/March. I am going to plan it the same as I always have when someone has been with me. I have always enjoyed rope drop and a early TS lunch. I will take a break in the afternoon to freshen up for dinner either at a TS or signature and then maybe back in to a park. The only difference is I am going to get a park hopper which I haven’t done in the past with my daughter. I am sure I will be doing more Epcot and Disney Spring time than I would with my daughter.
     
  16. Emtgirljen

    Emtgirljen Mouseketeer

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    I'm planning my second solo trip for 9/1 - 9/10, staying at POR. Right now I'm planning on getting either an 8 or 9 day PH ticket so I can have the option of going to the parks every day if I want. I'm also planning on doing MNSSHP, and possibly the Wild Africa Trek at AK. Right now I'm trying to figure out a rough schedule so I can do my 3 FP+ choices each day, then everything else will be a go with the flow, wherever I happen to want to go at the moment. I do have 1 ADR scheduled so far for breakfast on my first full day. I enjoy being able to do whatever I feel like, but I need to have a little bit of structure or I'll just wander about not being able to decide on anything because of all the options! :)
     
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  17. loves to dive

    loves to dive DIS Veteran

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    I don't plan at all. You will be there during F&W so if you do make some plans, set some time aside to wander through the booths at Epcot. I book a hotel and that is it. I have an AP so I can and do park hop. Normally I get up in the morning and decide where I want to go. If I'm riding a bus, I hop on MDE while on the bus and see what FPs are available, I don't book anything for any further out than 1/2 hour if I do book FPs and I try not to book more than 2 at first because I just don't know what I'll feel like doing once I'm in the park. If it's too crowded, I like being able to move on to another park. I don't book ADRs in advance either. When I start getting hungry I just hop on MDE and see what's available, it doesn't matter where it is since I can hop anywhere and I like trying new places. I don't really need to eat at the "must do" places, I'm not a fan of character meals and I don't do buffets because I just don't eat a whole lot at one time and they are a waste for me. When I go during F&W, I spend part of every day at Epcot, between the booths, the little wine seminars, the culinary demos and food and wine pairing meals I get too much to eat as it is. I don't have to ride any of the "must do" rides either but if I want to, I don't mind waiting in line, I have no schedule and no one to please but me. If I feel like spending 2 hours at the pool and enjoying the bar and hot tub I do, if I feel like sitting on a bench and watching people, I do. If I want to ride a ride, I do. I do stay on site, lately I tend to do split stays with a night or two at a value or moderate then move over to an Epcot resort, usually the Dolphin.
     
  18. JillianS1128

    JillianS1128 Mouseketeer

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    I dig that- thanks!

    This sounds like exactly what I'd love! Maybe a weeeee bit more w/ the FP a bit further out, since I've never been, but the rest suits me as well! I like your points about how you choose where you're going to eat/why. That sounds like what would work for me- I just don't care enough most of the time, and there are great restaurants all over the world- there's only one Disney (ok, well, there are a few, but you know what I mean!)! I can see doing a nice dinner one night, but there's nowhere I'd be upset about missing- I'll just spin the wheel and see where it takes me.

    A few of the shows I'd love to see, but at the same time, if I don't see them all, I don't! You gotta leave some new things for trip #2!

    Thanks- you've both (and all!) helped reassure me that I can plan a bit but not a lot.
     
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  19. srpresto

    srpresto Earning My Ears

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    I know that some of the rides I want are hard (or impossible) to get fp for the day of. I plan my mornings out and I prefer lunch ADRs. I usually have lunch after I have used my 3 fp, or 2 and the third right after lunch. I am a get out of the Florida heat person, so I head to the pool for a bit. Then I decide what kind of mood I am in and pick my evening park. See how the lines look on MDE (and the tp lines app), pick new fp and go. Some nights I have just gone back to Epcot because I wanted to have more F&W food. I have gone to MK because Columbia Harbor house was still open and that sounded good for dinner. Also, if the heat is getting to me (or the late night from MNSSHP), have an early night because it is my vacation.
    And when making fp pay attention to if they have a single rider line -if so make a diff fp.
    I will be there the week after, I am sure you will have a great time.
     
  20. Oneanne

    Oneanne DIS Veteran

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    If I'm going to do a tour I book that first, then I do a few ADRs for places I really want to eat - in a week long trip I'll only do ADRs for half the days, because I don't like to be locked in to more than that. The tours and meals will determine which parks I'm in on those days and I build from there. I RD most days and do my FPs for midday, that leaves afternoons and evenings open for what ever suits me at the time.

    As far as pre-planning for a first WDW trip, I'd say doing some research is most valuable, as you might find some lesser known things that appeal to you. Even after 40+ trips I still hear about new things here on the board.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  21. MikeNamez

    MikeNamez DIS Veteran

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    Parks and fast passes. You can pretty much get in anywhere for dinner if you don't mind sitting at the bar.
     
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