One Solo Day- HELP! EPCOT? DHS?

pharmama

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2012
Background- I am a west coast DIS'er and DLR Annual Passholder, also visited Aulani last year so I usually hang out in the Disneyland and Aulani boards. My sole experience with WDW is a MVMCP in 2017 when I was in town for a conference. I thoroughly enjoyed that and it was a great way to get in my first visit to WDW. I did that based on recommendations here on this board so I'm looking for some more awesome advice from all you pros.

Well now I'm headed back to Orlando for a conference and am flying in a day early to visit the park(s). It will just be me on Sunday, February 10th (yes, in just a few weeks). I don't have a problem touring the parks solo- I did it for that MVMCP and have done DLR solo several times.

So here's where I'd like some help or advice. Which park(s) should I try to go to? I want to go somewhere other than MK. I was thinking EPCOT as its totally different from anything we have and I see the International Festival of the Arts will be happening which looks really interesting . I am a big theatre and arts nerd too so it seems right up my alley. But does it make the park crazy busy?

What about DHS? Or even crazier, should I try to hit both even just to walk around and "sightsee"? I know park hopping is a lot more complicated at WDW and its much bigger than DLR so is typically discouraged there. But I'm solo and flexible on what I actually accomplish. I do enjoy rides but I know I'm planning this quite late and that will limit FP availability (if any) so I will have decent waits for rides I want to go on. This may mean I end up just walking around a bit more. I haven't even started to look at shows, other than the Broadway one that's part of IFOA which looks interesting.

Other advice or suggestions?

I know the resorts are covered in another forum but if I am looking at EPCOT and/or DHS it seems like the Swan/Dolphin might be a good option? Actual Disney Resort availability is pretty limited and $$$.
 
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mousehouse23

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
The Swan and Dolphin would be ideal if you're not going to stay at a Disney resort. I definitely think you could park hop between Epcot and HS in one day, though you'll be stuffing a lot in. It's only about a 20-25 minute walk from the International Gateway entrance of Epcot to HS. Just follow the signage or take a Friendship boat. (A boat will take longer than walking, though.)

The Festival of the Arts may be a bit busier on Sunday, since locals come in for the weekends, but that time of year is pretty light with crowds overall, so I don't think you should worry too much. If you're interested in the food booths, you might want to aim to get to World Showcase by 11:00 or 12:00. But it shouldn't be anything like Food & Wine with crowds.

I'd probably aim to hit the Studios in the evening, since Toy Story Land is so amazing at night. You could watch the Star Wars fireworks to cap things off for your stay. If you use up your FastPasses at Epcot earlier in the day, you will probably have difficulty getting another a quality FP for HS, but you might luck into something good, being a solo traveler.

I say go for it! You're only there for a day. Might as well go all out. :-)
 

Chrislovesdisney

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Epcot is, hands-down, my favorite park. And especially if you’re solo, the countries would be so lovely to browse on your own and take your time to take in the shops and snacks. As far as the bigger attraction rides go, there’s some single rider lines that would minimize waiting. I’ve never gone during the arts festival so I can’t speak towards the crowd influence. And yes, swan/dolphin is in the perfect area for either or both parks.
 
  • Bete

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 14, 1999
    I love special events and would go with Epcot. Do rope drop if possible and get your advanced fastpasses done early; so, you can try for more
    Fastpasses.

    Have early lunch in World Showcase; there's so many choices. Get around all the countries in the afternoon.

    After this is done you can make your decision to park hop or not by going to guest services and upgrading. If you upgrade to park hop then you have late afternoon and the evening at Hollywood Studios. You can skip Fantasmic; since, it's offered at DL. That can be a great time to catch some rides.
     
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    Bete

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 14, 1999
    There's a little confusion with your post Feb.10 is Sunday and Feb.9 is Saturday. I'm assuming you are there Sunday; is that correct?
     

    glocon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2010
    Another vote for ep. Last time you devoted a day to mk, this time ep, next time.... who knows?
    There’s lots to see and do at Epcot, so much food to try and shows to see in the world Showcase, then the rides in future world... you won’t want for things to do.
    And if you do... just upgrade to a hopper if need be.
    Have a great time!!!
     

    pharmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 6, 2012
    Thanks everyone! That’s a good point to just wait and upgrade to a hopper in the moment if I want to go to DHS. Though I’m intrigued by Star Wars fireworks- I may have to look into that.

    My apologies for the date. You’re correct it should be Sunday the 10th. I’ll fix my OP.

    Appreciate all the feedback and suggestions! Sounds like I am on the right track for general plans and will do Epcot +/- DHS.
     
  • glocon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2010
    We loved the SW fireworks!
    My son and I did the dessert party and it was wonderful. Something else for you to consider...​
     

    kydisneyfans

    <font color=blue>It may be because they are too em
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2005
    Just did a solo day at Epcot as my wife had to work during our trip and it was an enjoyable day. Take some time and walk into each country in the world showcase, enjoy the food, watch some of the performances. Having a special event like the Arts fest there is a bonus. One thing to consider is Illuminations is leaving soon, your one and only chance to see it would be that evening. I personally love Epcot after dark.

    Toy Story land has a wow factor like Cars Land did when we first saw it in California though. If you are not coming back soon, it's worth a look.

    If this is a trip that you make every year/every other year, I'd probably give a day to Epcot, then spend a day at DHS next time once Star Wars land is open and the new Mickey ride is running.
     

    mamaofsix

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2017
    I second the suggestions to stay at Epcot in order to see Illuminations. It will be gone soon, whereas I imagine there will be Star Wars fireworks at HS for many years to come...
     

    goofyintoronto

    We the North! Lets go Raptors!
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2011
    Epcot is, hands-down, my favorite park. And especially if you’re solo, the countries would be so lovely to browse on your own and take your time to take in the shops and snacks. As far as the bigger attraction rides go, there’s some single rider lines that would minimize waiting. I’ve never gone during the arts festival so I can’t speak towards the crowd influence. And yes, swan/dolphin is in the perfect area for either or both parks.
    Same here. Epcot is my fave. And I agree that its so much fun doing Epcot solo. You can take your time around the world exploring countries. I highly recommend it. Test Track has a single rider line, but Soarin doesnt. The art festival sounds interesting, esp the food booths. So this is something i'd definitely want to experience solo. I honestly have a hard time spending a full day at Hollywood Studios. Its a much better park since they've added Toy Story. But Epcot is still my fave. I have no trouble spending a whole day there.
     
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  • tjmw2727

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2001
    I vote Epcot - you can easily spend a day there esp with the festival and I find it the most enjoyable solo park due to all the live entertainment as well as the movies/shows and exhibits in the counties.

    If I were going to do both DHS and Epcot (easily doable with the walking path/boat) I would do DHS in the morning and then head to Epcot in the afternoon. You could do your first 3 FP+ for DHS and then most likely get a 4th for Soarin and then ride TT via the single rider line.

    As for the evening shows I prefer Illuminations and since it is in its final days you may not have another opportunity.

    Enjoy
     

    JennaDeeDooDah

    My oh my what a wonderful day!
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2012
    I actually vote for DHS. I wasn't all that impressed by the Festival of the Arts at Epcot. I found it to be my least favorite of their festivals. As a theater geek, I think DHS would be right up your alley. Full disclosure, it is my favorite park so I am biased. But, I think my reasons for liking it will also appear to to the theater and arts fan in you. As soon as you enter the park, you are transported to this great old Hollywood. In fact, when it opened, Michael Eisner called it "A Hollywood that never was and always will be". In other words, it's an idealized version of old Hollywood. The Andrews Sisters sing songs like Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree With Anyone Else But Me as you stroll down Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards. The stage shows of Beauty and the Beast, Indiana Jones, Little Mermaid, and especially Fantasmic (it has some different elements from the one at Disneyland and I actually like the DHS version a bit better) are absolutely fantastic. You can have lunch at Sci Fi Dine In which is, in my opinion, the best themed restaurant on property. Because of its setup, it isn't awkward being there on your own and you won't feel bored as you can enjoy cheesy movie trailers of sci fi movies from the 1950's playing on the big screen while you wait on your food. There is a romance to DHS that I don't think you find at the other parks. Don't get me wrong. Epcot is great and I'm sure you'd enjoy yourself there, but I think DHS is really where you want to head.

    Edit: And if you do head to DHS, make sure you catch a show or two of The Citizens of Hollywood. They never disappoint!
     

    NickC

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 15, 2018
    Between those two, I would pick Epcot. I would love to be able to explore WS at a more relaxed pace.
     

    gatorlisa

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2016
    While I'm a huge fan of hopping, it's a very expensive option for a one day ticket and I'm not sure it would be worth it. While I love HS, I feel like Epcot is a more unique experience for a DLR visitor, so I would recommend going there. Between the rides in Future World and the countries in the World Showcase, you can easily entertain yourself for a full day.
     

    DisneyBelle27

    DIS Veteran and Browncoat - I have a cunning hat
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2009
    Personally, if it were me I'd be torn between Epcot and AK, and I think those are the two most unique options vs DL. AK is prob my fave park, I could easily spend a few days there on my own, wandering around, admiring all the details, enjoying the live entertainment, observing the animals, doing the rides, and going to the shows. Also, if you can rd/stay til park close/find a FP then FoP is the best ride currently at Disney.

    Now, based on your stated interests though, I'd go with Epcot since it has the Festival of the Arts going on. I'll actually be in Epcot the Mon and Tues after you (I arrive in WDW on 2/10) and am looking forward to checking out the festival as I've heard great things about it. And Epcot is super fun solo, just wandering World Showcase, exploring all the nooks and crannies, eating and drinking whatever you want, checking out the Broadway performers show. And, as others have stated, it will most likely be your only chance to see IllumiNations (the music from this show is my ringtone, it's some of my all-time favorite!)
     

    pharmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 6, 2012
    Thanks so much everyone! I did not realize Illumniations was ending and I think I would like to see that so it sounds like Epcot it is. If, somehow, I'm super bored by midafternoon I might check out DHS but its probably not worth the cost, especially if I'm trying to then back track for Illuminations. I also reserve the right to change this plan 3482 times between now and then. :rotfl: There's some really good DHS arguments above too... :scratchin

    As for AK, I would LOVE to go to AK but am theoretically saving that for a family trip in the future. But I did notice there's a Disney After Dark at AK during the week that I'm kind of considering... I hear the conference I'm attending will be pretty tiring, though, so I don't know if I'll try to make it happen or not.
     

    pharmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 6, 2012
    Same here. Epcot is my fave. And I agree that its so much fun doing Epcot solo. You can take your time around the world exploring countries. I highly recommend it. Test Track has a single rider line, but Soarin doesnt. The art festival sounds interesting, esp the food booths. So this is something i'd definitely want to experience solo. I honestly have a hard time spending a full day at Hollywood Studios. Its a much better park since they've added Toy Story. But Epcot is still my fave. I have no trouble spending a whole day there.
    Good to know there's SR for Test Track. I'm curious to compare it to RSR, which I love, as I hear RSR's ride mechanics are based on it. I can probably live without going on Soarin' now that the movie is basically the same at DLR (except, I assume, the park featured at the end).
     

    cgattis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2009
    If I had a solo day, I would love to do one of the tours, especially one that goes into multiple parks. Pricey, though, I know.

    Also, I second SwanDolphin. Several stays there and you just can’t beat the location or the bedding! Hope you have a great trip!
     


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