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Old 09-18-2014, 10:25 AM   #1
SnowhiteHeather
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Solo VS with Friends

I have never been on a solo trip to Disney and EVERY time I go with my friends, any one of them, I think to myself, man this would be better if I could just do everything I wanted! I don't like to rush. I have an anual pass, I can come back any time I want! I don't like getting up at 7am to arrive at the gate with a crowd. I don't like to rush through the shops not being able to look at everything! I want to watch the fireworks I don't want to stay till the very end to get in a long line for the monorail. I do like having people to talk to and ride rides with and not look like a creepy person cause I don't have kids. Also, if im in a hotel, what do I do by myself.
Anyone else have some pros and cons to each side?
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:57 PM   #2
YawningDodo
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I wouldn't worry about looking like a "creepy person." I have yet to do my big solo trip purely as a guest, but back when I was a CM I'd go alone on my days off all the time. I felt slightly awkward at first on "kiddie" rides like Peter Pan, but I got over it when I realized most of the guests were too busy with their own vacations to notice me. None of the CMs ever commented, either (well, except for the ones I knew personally, haha); I think most people either assume you've been temporarily separated from your party or else they simply don't care if they do realize you're a true solo guest.

I can name only one time out of nine months of doing this when a guest actually noticed I was on my own and seemed weirded out, and it was a just little kid who stared at me while I was eating some QS in HS. No actual comment from anyone in that family.

I think you've already hit on the big pros and cons. Going alone means no one to talk to and needing to find your own ways of filling your time all the time. It also means devoting exactly as much or as little time to shopping and eating as you want, not having to stop and debate what to do next, and setting your own schedule. I guess the question to ask yourself is whether you enjoy spending time alone and if you're comfortable entertaining yourself by yourself in your regular life.

I think you should try it! Since you have an annual pass and it sounds from your other thread like you live relatively close, it doesn't sound like it'd be a big loss if you went for a mini-trip by yourself and decided it wasn't for you after all.
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Old 09-18-2014, 08:04 PM   #3
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A solo trip was unlike any other Disney trips I've taken in the past... it was pretty awesome.
I love going with my family, but like you said, the freedom to do nothing but do what I wanted to do. That was so nice.
I only did a short 4 day trip, and only had 1 ADR bc I didn't know how I'd feel at a TS by myself. I didn't so much mind QS, but I wasn't sure about TS.

At the hotel... I wasn't there much honestly. Really just to shower and sleep. I did spend a hour or so one night reading a book, but then I went down to the pool to watch the movie under the stars instead.

I have two trips coming up in the next five months with family, but I already have my next solo trip worked out in my head. I'm pretty sure this will become an annual thing for me.
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:31 AM   #4
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I enjoy going with friends, but nothing beats solo time! I love moving at my own pace and seeing the things I want and skipping those I dont like (tea cups ). I dont tend to plan my days out so it is a lot more convient to go solo sometimes. I may feel like doing Thunder Mountain and then walking all the way across the park to do the People Mover, only to feel like Haunted Mansion after that. Doesnt work quite as well with a crowd

As for the other side, LOVE going with first timers also! They're always so excited about everything. Well, at least all the first timers I encountered.

As far as the fireworks, I enjoy watching them at the Poly so you can avoid the insane Monorail trek after Wishes ends.
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:33 AM   #5
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I actually just got back a few weeks ago from my third solo trip (I've done a 10 day, 9 day and a 6 day on this last one). Unfortunately, I don't have family or friends that understand my love for Disney so I don't have a choice really who goes with me. I am also kind of introverted (okay super introverted), but honestly I have a blast when I am down there. Try going solo! It is a FANTASTIC way to experience WDW

I do get the occasional stare (even that is an overstatement though), but that is probably because I am a 28yo dude wandering around on my own (especially hilarious when I get the urge to ride Goofy's or Pooh or Dumbo or have a romantic dinner for one at Jikos or Artist Point ). My first trip (took 2 years worth of courage to book it) was one big panic attack as I thought every single person was looking at/judging me until about 3 days in when I remember sitting on Main Street with an ice cream feeling sorry for myself (can you get any lower? haha) when I simply perked up and decided I honestly didn't care what people thought. I say "Let them look! Let them make judgments! Nothing they say or think is going to make me want to leave WDW early or never come again. They are entitled to an opinion but I don't have to agree with it. I'm going to have some FUN!" Just remember that there are tens of thousands of people in the park with you and maybe you get a handful of looks, but how many will you ever see again? None! So who cares! Understanding that made that trip and the next two sooooo much more enjoyable!

Yes there are times on rides or at meals when you want to share the magic with your friends, but I quickly dismiss it with the fact that I can/should also enjoy the moment for myself (not to mention the fact that there's not much you can do in those situations except to maybe text/call/snap chat a friend?). Like Dodo said, you have to be comfortable with you and being alone (even then you can call a friend, chat with a CM or be sociable with people next to you in line or at a meal); so if you're cool with that then there shouldn't be a reason not to try going solo.

As for the hotel, I am in there for as little time as possible; I stay at the Values (b/c there is no reason to pay for a room you don't spend time in). I like photography so I am generally the last person in the park every night (best feeling in the world, by the way), plus it is a great way to "distract" yourself throughout the day (some people play on their phone, others bring a book, I like taking pics. Bring a "distraction" just in case). But if I do get done early, I resort hop or find a bar I haven't been to before to hit up and then by the time I get back home I am ready to upload pics and then go straight to bed. Sitting in the room by yourself for several hours would be a drag (and a terrible waste of time and money); find ways to occupy those minutes, even if it is just sitting in a chair by the pool with your phone. Keeping yourself busy is a good way to distract you from negative thoughts/feelings.

Sorry I kept going on and on. I just would hate for you to miss out the way I missed out for so long. I think it might be my "calling" on the boards to encourage solo travelers to give it a shot
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:32 AM   #6
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I just came back from mt first solo trip to WDW and US and it was awesome. Normally I like to browse around things people usually pass to get onto the next ride (Innoventions, Carousel of Progress, various exhibits) and I took all the time in the world I wanted to. On my day in WWHOP in US I rode Gringotts 8 times in a row via Single rider I loved it so much. I rode it 8 times in a row because I wanted to and because I could!

A lot of my friends with kids were pretty jealous about my solo trip because they would only dream of taking a break from their little ones to relax and have some "free time" away from everybody and everything

When not in the theme parks, I went to the pool and checked out various things around the resort I stayed in (AoA). It really just depends on how comfortable you are with yourself. The weirdest thing for me was eating at a restaurant all by myself which is why I mostly stuck to the quick service. You'll be used to it after a while. Restaurants with bars are a bit easier because it doesn't seem like you're sitting at a table by yourself and you'll have a bartender to talk to.

Sooner or later you'll forget you are all by yourself and you'll be having loads of fun. After all... it is 90% of what you make of it
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Old 09-19-2014, 03:48 PM   #7
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I'm all booked for my first solo trip at the end of October....for 3 whole blissful weeks....and I can't wait!!!

I'm from the UK, and have visited Florida many times since 1997, but always with family. I seperated from my husband three years ago, after 24 years of marriage, and have been out twice since then, to visit my daughter who was lucky enough to be participating in the Cultural Representative Program at Epcot....she finished & came home in September last year!

When I first booked this trip, I have to say I was a little concerned that I may get lonely & upset in a place that held so many memories of past family visits. I was also very worried about how I would cope with dining alone. But I love to travel, and I figured I had to learn to just rely on ME for my own happiness.....so I just went for it & booked....and now I'm just so excited about the whole 'advdnture'.....MY adventure!!!!

I'm spending the first week at the Hard Rock Hotel (been there loads & feel totally comfortable & 'at home' there!), followed by 6 days at the Holiday Inn DTD.....followed by 8 wonderful days in Key West!! That part is actually gonna be my biggest adventure, as I've only ever spent a few hours there, on a cruise back in 2008!! Loved it so much I always vowed to return....and now I am )

So....I say to anyone who's hesitant about booking a solo trip....just jump in there & DO IT!! Once it's done, & you start immersing yourself in the planning, you really won't look back. As the OP said, just think of all the freedom you will have to do exactly as you please, with no one else to consider but yourself ))) And I'm certain I will find someone to talk to if I feel like it...that bit will probably actually be easier as a solo!!

37 days & counting!!!
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:08 PM   #8
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Previous posters have given great advice-and sounds like some great trips are planned! I travel to the Dis 3 different ways-with family-who are not Disney people and mostly go because of the kids...with friends-who love Disney and on my own. There are advantages and disadvantages to each way of travel. It is less fun to travel with those who are not Disney people. But even traveling with those that are creates a different set of issues. Solo trips are my favorite-next one is 9 days!!! The planning is more fun because it is all my decision! With my friends-everyone picks one TS restaurant they want so there is always some place I am not thrilled about...I love a couple of signature restaurants that get vetoed because of cost...etc... No one knows your story-you could be solo, you could be escaping a grown man throwing a temper tantrum in Fantasyland. My first solo-2007 a quick weekend before the family joined. It was so much better on my own so I went in 2008-I ate table service and had a blast. Now I try to plan a "just me" trip every year I do not go with my other groups... Go for it and have an amazing time!
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:30 PM   #9
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You guys are all so amazing with this advice! I am definitely planning a solo trip for the beginning of the year which will involve a spa day and at least 2 parks. I REALLY want to stay at the Grand Floridian. I hear good and bad about it but I am a complete hotel snob. I and I am obsessed with victorian era things. I want to try the high tea time, which I know nothing about, and I wonder if that would be weird solo haha. I think I could handle the hotel cause its pretty busy. But I know a few posters have said they have done TS solo, that will be the thing I have to get over.
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenSB View Post
I'm all booked for my first solo trip at the end of October....for 3 whole blissful weeks....and I can't wait!!!
Hi Helen, so which days exactly are you at WDW? I'm there October 22 - November 2. I already have plans to meet up with various people during my trip, but if we're there at the same time and have a free hour or two in common, it would be nice to meet you!
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:29 AM   #11
YawningDodo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowhiteHeather View Post
You guys are all so amazing with this advice! I am definitely planning a solo trip for the beginning of the year which will involve a spa day and at least 2 parks. I REALLY want to stay at the Grand Floridian. I hear good and bad about it but I am a complete hotel snob. I and I am obsessed with victorian era things. I want to try the high tea time, which I know nothing about, and I wonder if that would be weird solo haha. I think I could handle the hotel cause its pretty busy. But I know a few posters have said they have done TS solo, that will be the thing I have to get over.
Eating at a TS restaurant alone seems to be a pretty big hurdle for a lot of people, whether at Disney or at home. It's only been in the last few years that I gave myself permission to eat at restaurants without company, and it does get easier with time (though I'm still really nervous about doing character dining solo -- going to push myself to do it at least once to show myself I can).

I always bring a book when I go anywhere alone. It does double duty as a boredom buster for downtime (though in Disney World I'd rather look at my surroundings a lot of the time) and as a way to signal to others not to bother you.
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by YawningDodo View Post
Eating at a TS restaurant alone seems to be a pretty big hurdle for a lot of people, whether at Disney or at home. It's only been in the last few years that I gave myself permission to eat at restaurants without company, and it does get easier with time (though I'm still really nervous about doing character dining solo -- going to push myself to do it at least once to show myself I can). I always bring a book when I go anywhere alone. It does double duty as a boredom buster for downtime (though in Disney World I'd rather look at my surroundings a lot of the time) and as a way to signal to others not to bother you.
Character dining is not scary when you're solo, I promise! It is fun and the character interaction is no less than if you are there with a group. At Tusker this year, Goofy actually sat down across from me for a minute!
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:57 AM   #13
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Hi DaisyDuck

I'm gonna be staying at the Hard Rock from Oct 29th to Nov 4th, and not venturing over to Disney until I move over to the Holiday Inn DTD on the 4th. So, unfortunately, it looks like I'll have to pass on a meet up this time around

Shame, as I would have liked to meet you too....maybe next time huh

If any other Dis'ers are around at the same time as me (leaving Orlando & heading down to Key West on Nov 10th!), I'd love to meet up for a meal/drink/park day etc......always good to make friends the other side of the 'pond'
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:13 AM   #14
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I think you've already hit on the big pros and cons. Going alone means no one to talk to and needing to find your own ways of filling your time all the time. It also means devoting exactly as much or as little time to shopping and eating as you want, not having to stop and debate what to do next, and setting your own schedule. I guess the question to ask yourself is whether you enjoy spending time alone and if you're comfortable entertaining yourself by yourself in your regular life.
Well said!

I've been multiple times with family and friends and the last two times solo. I like the freedom go going solo, especially picking what park to visit, when, and for how long. I take a book along to read at meals, though I don't always make use of it. Being seated at TS is often easier as a single, though no guarantee. I'm comfortable enough being alone that I'm not lonely, and while I don't like small talk, I've little trouble chatting with other guests and CM on occasion.

My worst experience was at the Biergarten at Epcot. I was seated at a table with two families. One spoke only Portuguese, and the other family barely spoke at all. Neither family got into the music or singing. So, I just refreshed my German with our server, who apologized that I had been seated at a "dud" table. Didn't stop me from having fun though.

Going solo sometimes takes getting used to and it's not for everyone, but I find the pros usually outweigh the cons.
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Old 09-24-2014, 01:53 PM   #15
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I think you owe it to yourself to schedule a solo trip. Make it a short one just to test the waters and don't worry about looking creepy. Plenty of people solo and there is certainly no rule that you must have a kid. You can still chat with other people you meet and as for what to do at the resort? Explore, read a book or watch some tv.

If you find you missed the company of a friend then you know what type of trip to plan for next time.
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