Solo Trip: February 2019

Discussion in 'Disney for Adults and Solo Travelers' started by Mac7, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. Mac7

    Mac7 Let's Go Buccos!

    Dec 13, 2012
    I'm planning a solo trip for February 2019. I'll need a re-charge by then and also will want to escape the drudgery of February in Pittsburgh.

    I already know not to go President's Day Weekend, and avoiding Valentine's Day is probably not a bad idea either. Therefore, my thoughts are that I should either use the first or last weekend in February. Which tends to be less crowded?

    Since I only have to pack for myself and will be there either 3 or 4 nights, I do have a few questions:

    1. If I decide to get an early morning flight or a late night flight (or both) and arrive before/after check-in at the hotel (I'm going to use Beach Club), can my luggage be held? I intend to use the Magical Express, but if that is not an option, I'll rent a car at the airport. (I do not use ride share services.)

    2. Is it worth getting the Disney Photo Pass? I've taken to traveling solo quite a bit this year and have usually had success in getting others to take a picture for me (most recently at Churchill Downs), but I know Disney is a lot more frantically-paced in parts than an area like Churchill Downs. In the past, I've had others to take pictures for me. The only issue here is that I don't want to pay for something extra.

    3. Which rides have single rider lines? I've been to plenty of amusement parks where I've been able to get on rides quicker as a result. I know some Disney rides, namely Tower of Terror, use singles to fill in gaps if there are a lot of people in one car, but my mind is drawing a blank on the others.

    4. In regard to dining reservations, how hard/easy is it to get them for one person? Restaurants I want to include on this trip include Yachtsman Steakhouse, Flying Fish Cafe, and Cinderella's Royal Table.

    5. The hardest part--how do I manage to tell everyone I know that there is nothing wrong with flying solo on a Disney trip? They all think I'm nuts for this!!
  2. sanapp

    sanapp DIS Veteran

    Jan 1, 2008
    I am also doing my first solo trip in February. I chose the first week as it appeared to be good on both Kenny the Pirate and the Touring Plans websites as far as crowds. I have actually never been to Disney that time of year, so the weather trying to get there and while there has me worried.

    Yes the hotel will hold your luggage and they can give you a call once your room is ready.

    Hmmm is it worth it to get the Photo Pass. That is a very subjective question. I have decided to do it as I am not likely to ask anyone to take my picture. I am going to make it a challenge to try and get as many magic shots as possible as a way of remembering my trip.

    single rider lines I believe just TOT, Everest and Test Track

    I didn't have any trouble getting my ADRs, but I did them at the 180 day mark. You may not be able to get CRT now.

    It is very hard to explain the solo to Disney. I just tell people it has been a very difficult year for me and I really need some alone time and it is one of the few places my husband is comfortable with me traveling solo. I had considered a all inclusive in Mexico, but he really didn't like that idea!!!
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  4. jsmla

    jsmla DIS Veteran

    Mar 19, 2001
    They will definitely hold your bags. If you use Magical Express your checked luggage will be delivered to your room, probably a couple of hours after you arrive. (My info is a tad old here, It's been a while since I've used DME.)

    Can't help with PhotoPass, I hate having my picture taken!

    AFAIK, only Expedition Everest, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and Test Track have Single Rider. Check the wait times on RnRC, the single rider line can sometimes be longer than the standby.

    A tip for solo ADRs-sometimes restaurants will show no availability for one but have a table for two. Make your ADR for two and just explain that you'll only be one at check in. They really don't care. If you can't get a reservation many of the lounges serve pretty nice food. I particularly like Nomad Lounge (AK) and Brown Derby Lounge (DHS).

    You can't explain it. I tried for years and have given up. If your experience is anything like mine some of your friends and family will always think you're a tad nuts.
    Sunelis likes this.
  5. Shock13

    Shock13 DIS Veteran

    Oct 30, 2006
    I've traveled a couple of times and here are my thoughts...
    1. As previously stated, the resort will hold our luggage. I was usually texted when my room was ready and the room number.
    2. In my experience, the Photopass is not worth the money. There will always be someone willing to take your picture. I usually just kind of wave my phone around and ask generally and someone will jump in. Also, I've had characters give my phone to someone nearby to take our pic together. Selfies can be fun. They are candid and genuine. Just practice with various angles so you can get both of you in the shot. Of course if there is a character handler, they will always take the pic for you. Some of the magic shots are really cool but for the price I'd rather use the money for a really nice dinner or more souvenirs!
    3. I've used SRL for RNRC, EE and Test Track. The two times I've used RNRC the line was quick but from what I've read that is not the norm. EE and TT are great especially EE. i believe though (someone can correct if wrong) if you are in the SRL for TT you skip the room where you create your own vehicle. If you really want to do this, I think there are kiosks that you can use before you get in line.
    4. Like the PP said, put in a table for two instead of one if nothing comes up. If you want a place like CRT then always check the week or days coming up to your trip. People cancel all the time! Lounges are a great alternative.
    5. If your friends/family/co-workers know you love Disney they shouldn't freak out about you going. Those of us who love Disney will do what we can to get that fix. Going solo at first will be awkward and takes time to get used to but you will soon love the freedom it brings of doing your own thing on your own time.

    Have a great time!
  6. Sorahana

    Sorahana DIS Veteran

    Sep 16, 2007
    Congrats on the solo trip :D! You're picking a good time to go; just keep in mind that it's cheerleader/dance team competition season so some days you might see slightly busier crowds, but otherwise it should be an awesome time!

    Definitely take advantage of the single rider line, especially if the regular standby line is long. Even when I go with people, I will happily do single rider, it's also fun to ride with random people.

    If people freak out about you going, explained to them why you're going, you'll be fine, and that people do this all the time. If I could, I'd do more solo trips to Disney but my family (mainly my mom) would insist she go with (we're a Disney loving family lol) :rolleyes2. Let us know how it goes!!
  7. karly05

    karly05 DIS Veteran - "I found the Snipe!"

    Mar 7, 2009
    You've already had some good answers here, so I'm just chiming in.

    I've done 4 solo trips in early Feb and love it. I don't know of any negatives to Valentinrs Day. I was there during an early Mardi Gras one year and actually enjoyed it. I'd get in and out before the Thursday before Pres Day (that's when resort rates start to go up).

    I love Beach Club. Beautiful area and so nice to walk to Epcot.

    Photo pass: I used to get it but stopped. Are you looking for character photos or photos in general? I do lots of character meets, and the CMs and photographers with the characters have been great about taking photos with my phone. Same with CMs at character meals. Have the photopass photogs take their pics and scan your Magic Band - you don't have to pre-pay, you can look at your pics later and buy individually if you want. I've had a couple of nice guests take a pic for me, and taken pics for other guests a few times.

    Single rider lines: yeah, not many. But if you are in a "regular" line, pay attention - sometimes a CM will call out for a party of one or two to fill a space. (I am guessing this still happens.)

    Reservations: I've generally not had trouble making ADRs for one - but if it's an issue, I book for 2 then go into the reservation in MDE and change it to one. Now I have never tried to go to CRT, so not sure how that would work. If you haven't done this, start going on the WDW website and looking for same-day or next-day ADRs. It will give you an idea of what restaurants are easiest to get into without much planning and what ones you have to book as soon as you can.

    As for your last question... Well, I'm the sort of person who doesn't tell people stuff if I don't want to or have to. Do people think you're "nuts for this" because "why would an adult want to go to Disney?" Or are they concerned about the safety of a solo trip? Bad things can happen anywhere, but I think WDW has to be one of the safest travel destinations out there; just be sensible and use your usual precautions. If they just don't get the appeal of WDW, or of enjoying some solo time - well, it's not their trip! Tons of adults come from around the world to enjoy solo or couple time at WDW. They just don't know what they're missing!

    Hope you have a fantastic trip!
    YawningDodo likes this.
  8. RedK

    RedK Mouseketeer

    Mar 14, 2017
    I had this happen in Soarin' in February, so it definitely still happens.
    karly05 likes this.
  9. Mac7

    Mac7 Let's Go Buccos!

    Dec 13, 2012
    OK--so here's some updates!

    1. I got Beach Club. The days I wound up with were actually February 12 and 13 to stay there. I got an early flight in for the 12th and will probably get to the resort around 10:30 AM at the latest. I have a 10:00 PM flight on the 14th, so I'll have pretty much an entire day at the parks save for some of the later hours. It's a short trip, but it minimizes the impact of lost business and gives me just enough time to get away.

    2. I got a one-person reservation at Cinderella!! I'm not sure exactly how, but it happened! I also booked Yachtsman and went with Chefs de France in Epcot. I'm undecided on doing Flying Fish right now since I lucked into all of those but it could still happen.

    3. Only my mom thinks I'm crazy. Everyone else thinks a solo trip is brilliant--family, friends, and clients (who already know I'll be out a few days in February).

    Now--a few more questions!!

    1. My flight home is at 10:00 PM. What time would Magical Express pick me up if I went that route? I'm also considering renting a car, both for more flexibility in getting between parks and for getting to the airport quicker (plus I could just toss my bag in there). I know there are resort parking fees now, but I'd pay them. This would also give me a chance to rent something a little cooler than my daily driver Honda Civic--thinking of either a Mustang or a Mercedes.

    (side note: I am not at all comfortable with ride sharing so please do not mention it as an alternative)

    2. For a trip this short, I'm considering just taking a backpack that can fit into an overhead compartment on the airplane, making my trip to the airport quicker. However, I haven't gone this route with toiletries before. What are the policies on shaving razors and cream? If I got a rental car it wouldn't be a huge issue since I could always find some Wally World somewhere and pick them up on the way in, but if I take the bus instead, I'd need it to get through security. (I know there's a Rite Aid at my home airport but I have a 5:30 AM flight so they may not be open). I've never had an issue with checked luggage and could do that if need be, but I'd rather save myself the trip to the baggage claim. (I always take my own luggage, never leaving it to the Magical Express folks, since I want it to come with me). Aside from the razors I doubt anything else would cause alarm--toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and floss would be the only other toiletries coming with me since the resort would have everything else.

    3. Do any places not take cash? I know you need a credit card for reservations and I did pre-pay for Cinderella, but I'd like to stick to cash for one reason: controlling impulse buys! (I already know I'll probably get a pillow on the way out though so I can sleep on my flight back!)

    4. Lots of good feedback regarding single rider lines. Come to think of it I do remember seeing that on both Soarin' and Tower of Terror, especially Tower since people sometimes choose not to ride at the last minute. Should I FastPass more or less than usual as a result? I know the Toy Story stuff will likely need it just because it's so new, but what about an older ride if you're one person?

    5. When do we know which parks have Extra Magic Hours?
  10. b5sgqueen

    b5sgqueen Earning My Ears

    Aug 20, 2018
    As to your how to explain? I can only say that some people don't get how people can go solo on a trip. Just not at all. Sometimes, I go to the movies by myself and people will say, "how can you manage?" It's a movie, I'm not going to talk through it anyway.
    I travel solo a fair amount and was once in line for a show in vegas when the woman behind me began chatting. She asked who I was their with and said no one(to be fair, my boyfriend was in Vegas, just at a conference), and she literally said "you are sooooo brave."
    My point is, some people will just not understand, don't try to make them, just tell them about your awesome trip and how much you got on 7DMT 5 times because FP availability is so much easier for one person!
  11. georgina

    georgina DIS Veteran

    Apr 21, 2003
    With a 10 PM flight, DME will pick you up around 7 PM. I often rent a car to maximize time on short trips, plus I have GE so the precheck line really speeds things up.

    Travel shaving cream less than 3 oz would be fine, I believe a disposable razor would be fine also.

    I can't imagine anyplace doesn't take cash. (I rarely use cash myself) Since you are in Pittsburgh, you could also go to Giant Eagle and get a few giftcards for the fuel perks.

    Park hours are usually available 6 mos ahead as far as EMH goes (MK has evening EMH on Feb 13, Epcot has morning EMH on the 14th) The hours are subject to change, but which park has EMH usually doesn't. So if they extend the MK hours, the currently listed EMH of 8-10 PM would be later.
  12. Wild4Walt

    Wild4Walt DIS Veteran

    Jul 28, 2008
    We just got back and every place took case. They did seem to be pushing charging to the room, but we wanted to pay with cash to control our spending too.

    Disney kept changing hours on us up to the month before. I hadn't experienced that before ( or hadn't noticed ) - I chalked it up to being there during the off season.
  13. georgina

    georgina DIS Veteran

    Apr 21, 2003
    Park hour changes up to a month before (and even later) is standard operating procedure now, in every season. It is helpful for getting extra FP, when they extend the park hours, a day or two later more FP will open up for those hours. Especially helpful for those of us staying offsite to get the most popular FP!

    This thread has given me the itch to book another Feb stay. I was there 2 weeks last Feb - a few nights at Disney, then a week with family a few hours away, then a stay at Uni. Airfare on SW is low (I can fly any day of the week).

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