/ Monday, July 18th, 2016

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For many people, myself included, some of our favorite trips to Walt Disney World have been spent not with family or friends, but when we’ve gone alone. This week, we’re going to look at 10 reasons to go solo to Walt Disney World. Whether it sounds a little strange, or is something you’ve thought about trying but have never done, we’ll share how and why to visit on your own, tips on getting the most out of your experience, and even some things you can do solo that you may have never done otherwise.

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QUESTION for YOU from this week’s show: Have YOU been to Walt Disney World solo? Share your thoughts, comments, and tips in the comments below!

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20 thoughts on “WDW Radio # 453 – 10 Reasons to Go Solo to Walt Disney World”

  1. William Bragg says:

    I have to admit…I was not expecting that ending. Brought a smile to my face.
    Solo in the parks…there is a certain freedom moving around when and how you want to. I would highly recommend it to anyone that has the time and an understanding spouse/children. Great show Lou, Terri, Maria, and Stan…well done.

  2. What a great get-together show with my friends! I love, and have gone solo several times too. Can’t wait to do it again!

  3. Bobby Friedman says:

    I loved the music at the end. Would love to see it continue

  4. Brian Harvey says:

    Love going to Disney alone
    No one to ask what you are going to do next
    No compromising

    One word of caution though
    Something I WILL NEVER do again

    When just visiting so cal, I went to the Disneyland New Year’s Eve party
    Before midnight I was surrounded by thousands of friends
    At the stroke of midnight
    Everyone else paired off
    Even though I was surrounded by people
    I was all alone
    M very strange feeling

    Now I am married and won’t have to do that again

  5. Judy Pavarini says:

    I just listened to #453 about going solo, and thought it was great! My husband and I go to WDW a lot, but in 2009 I was doing my first Minnie Marathon and some girlfriends and I decided to make a girls weekend of it. They all left on Sunday night and I stayed a few days. It was my first time alone at WDW, and it was AMAZING! Since then I have taken many, many trips alone and always loved it. Going with friends and family is great too, but I suggest everyone try a solo trip at least once.

    Being alone means…

    walking up to any table service restaurant and get a table for one. (Hello! Le Cellier whenever you want!!)

    stopping for a snack whenever you want, then stopping for a snack again.

    sitting down and watching the World go by without having to rush from one ride to the next.

    having meals when you feel like, sometimes (once in a while, OK more than once) having lunch two times a day.

    going to the ladies room as many times as you need during the day (Hey, I’m hydrating!) without having to hear “Again???”

    I’ll admit sometimes late at night back at the resort I have gotten a little lonely, but I’m usually exhausted from a day of fun and go right to sleep.

    Thanks all for another great podcast! I could listen to Stan Solo talk all day! Love that Canadian accent!

  6. Donna says:

    Hi Lou, So happy you did this show !I went to Disney alone a few years ago- it was not originally by choice, but ended up that way. Anyhow I LOVED it and hope one day I can do it again. My favorite part was being able to window shop – something my family isn’t always wanting to do as they run from ride to ride ! My trip was actually one and a half days – but in one day I went to EVERY park and just walked thru the shops ! I even managed to stay for illuminations (staying at beach club – made that easy) But it was truly a great solo visit and I would do it again in a heart beat !

  7. Jordan Agzigian says:

    I’ve been to WDW about 20 times but only once solo. I had a similar experience as Maria in that I had a bad year and needed to some alone time. I had broken off an engagement and I just needed to get away and assert my independence. All my friends thought I was crazy and kept telling me to take someone with me -“Take your mom, take a friend..” But I wanted to be by myself. And it was probably the best trip I’ve ever taken!! I felt completely safe and I just loved being able to roam the parks on my own. Stan had mentioned something about asking others to take your photos for you if you’re not a fan of taking selfies. I wanted to suggest the Memory Maker package. I got so many great photos of myself at classic Disney locations. And I think the photographers made a point to have me do special poses and some silly things since they knew was alone. I would highly suggest a solo trip!

  8. Keenan says:

    There’s no best poutine in Winnipeg but the Poutine Cup sure makes it fun to try and find it 😉
    https://www.facebook.com/poutinecup/

  9. Joanne says:

    With regard to the single rider lines, how does one take advantage of this opportunity? Do you simply find a Cast Member near the relevant attraction and mention that you are a single rider?

  10. Fred Aebli says:

    Judy….Le Cellier…never thought about that one!!!

    I loved this episode and have a few tips that I think might be worth sharing. We have been going to Disney for a number of years. I had the opportunity to head to a conference for Adobe a while back and thought, hey the family could tag along….fall trip…they were young in school but it was just too much to coordinate so off I went with no family. It was the first time alone as a Dad since we had our kids. I didn’t know what to do. LOL. I have attended multiple conferences since then at Swan and Dolphin and Corondo Springs. (I would pick Swan and Dolphin any day)

    So if you are thinking a solo trip is possible. Tie it into your work. While at the conference, we were offered after 4pm tickets to the parks which are great and also we were given special tickets to purchase for special dining events watching Illuminations.

    Tip #1 – This sounds bad but if you are in Disney and your family knows it, odds are they wish they were there with you. I felt guilty being in park. Meaning…I have kids. I am in Disney. Disney and kids go hand in hand. So if you are feeling guilty….don’t wear your Magic Band. It takes pictures sometimes and puts them into your Disney Experience. If you just used that account while vacationing and family members can see them….um….don’t learn it the way I did.

    Tip #2 – For after 4pm…you have to move quick. Know your park time schedules. If visiting in the Fall realize Futureworld closes earlier.

    Tip #3 – Vehicles. Just be sure to park close enough to the entrance so that you can get in and get out. You forget how long it takes to walk to whereever you go. For example…if you wanted to eat at the Yak and Yeti….it might be a 20 minute or longer walk just to get there and if you arrived after 4pm (night hours weren’t in effect yet) you are now down to less than 3 hours. I am thinking Uber might work. Just don’t think you will get quickly from park A to park B quickly via Disney buses.

    Tip #4 – If you buy a park hopper and use it on the last day of travelling to a conference and hit the parks…think parking…getting to your attraction…eating…another attraction…eating and then going to another park. Time truly flies when you are having fun.

    Tip #5 – Maybe just enjoy one park…sit…watch…eat..ride…wandering…explore. As Lou says in this podcast…wander and explore there are SOOOOO MANY cool things to see and interact.

    Tip #6 – Counter seating rocks as they stated in the podcast! Walk in, let them know you are alone and enjoy the conversations with cast members and maybe the person also sitting alone.

    That’s it. Enjoy it. It really is a great way to see Disney!!! Then when you are back with your family next time, you won’t feel as bad if you can’t see YOUR favorite attraction. Oh…and for you northerners (like me) travelling south late Fall…. two words…>SUN SCREEN.

  11. Hannah says:

    Last March I stayed in Florida with my grandma and had her drop me off at Epcot for my birthday. It was my birthday present to myself to do Disney alone for the first time. It was easily the best day of my life. The birthday button brought on conversations that I am not good at starting naturally. I spent the whole day riding and dining by myself but the friendliness and comfort that I feel in Disney made it so that I did not feel lonely.

    I had dinner at the Rose and Crown and had a wonderful waiter. Two gentlemen who were sitting nearby overheard it was my birthday and wished me a happy birthday. At the end of my meal, I was told that they had paid for my meal and gave enough for me to get dessert. At this point, they were gone and I was unable to thank them but it was truly the greatest end to the perfect day. I’ve never felt more like a true Disney princess!

    Doing Disney solo is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. It’s easy to keep to yourself when you want to and it is also easy to make new friends as well.

  12. Chuck Zitta says:

    Oh wow! Stan and I are kind of in the same boat. My wife as well, is not the biggest of Disney fans. (insert sad face). Then there’s me, the HUGE Disney appreciator! LOL!!! But of course, she understands my passion for Disney and how happy it makes me. Even though I do sometimes get the occasional “eye roll” when I start talking Disney to others around her. Like, oh boy, here he goes again. LOL!!! But I know she loves me for who I am and vice versa. Actually, I think it’s the crowds that get to her the most when we visit the World. Now that our kids are older, I plan some day to bring her down for a visit during an off period when crowds are a little lighter and we can enjoy our visit from more of and adult point of view. Possibly take her on the Keys to the Kingdom tour, a few high romantic dinners, and a few lounge tours, in hopes that it may give her a better sense of appreciation for WDW? A challenge I am very much looking forward to.

    I DO, however, also see a solo trip in my future. Not a full blown trip, like the 9 or 10 day trips we’ve have taken as a family in the past. But possibly several “long weekend” trips, perhaps? Maybe a few 4 or 5 day trips? I could see that. I would need enough time so I could take it all in, without feeling rushed. And of course, I would like to plan a solo trip around a Meet of the Month with Lou. That way, I wouldn’t feel guilty about hanging around and chatting with all my Disney friends out there. (I sense a plan is starting to form…) And if my wife was not interested in the Keys to the Kingdom tour. Well, there’s another key reason for a solo trip. OK, just while writing this comment, I’ve come up with 2 legitimate excuses for solo trips! It’s really, sooooo easy, isn’t it people???

    And yes, I heard the little clip at the very end of last weeks episode. Love the little extras ;0)

    What a fantastic subject to discuss. Thanks again for another incredible show, Lou, Terri, Maria and Stan!!!

    I don’t know why, but I’m feeling a little “lonely” now…

  13. Jennifer T says:

    Perfect timing!! I am leaving in 3 days for my first solo trip! I am cautious and excited. All of the advise will be very helpful. I cant wait to make ALL the food, ride and rest decisions!! As always a great show.

  14. Judy Pavarini says:

    Joanne, single rider lines are always well marked and are usually right next to the regular llne. Just walk right in! Sometimes they do ask “One?”

  15. Marla in CA says:

    I am approaching my third visit to WDW. These trips are where I have met up w/ a friend, but lately the trips have more solo time in order for us both to be able visit our priorities. So there is more solo time. Solo dining, etc. Now after this podcast, lets just say Teppan Edo and cronuts are hopefully on my agenda. I am a bit apprehensive that my next trip is 14 nights. It is both too long and not long enough at the same time. Hoping to make sure there is some time for do as please, and people watch. Hoping to not go commando the entire time. First Halloween parties at WDW. First Food and Wine. Only thing I wish – is that I did not book it so close to the WDW Radio E ticket trip. So hoping either in 2017 or 2018 when I return, I return at a better time and hopefully can catch a meetup! Might have to leave a voice message or two on the WDW Radio voice mail box while on site! Hoping on a return visit, I split hotel stays where I can throw two nights at a Deluxe in. This trip is a revisit to a hotel I stayed previously. POFQ. But the price was really right. Love the podcasts. Always do. Thank you for all you do!

  16. David T says:

    I have to admit that your show gave me a huge resentment! I usually head out to WDW on a solo trip about once a year. This year, I went to the Marathon Weekend with a couple of buddies instead. (I figure one trip a year without the kid and the significant other is about as far as I can push it. Kudos to Stan Solo for his epic trips!) As soon as your show was over, however, I started fantasizing about a quick fall trip. Maybe I can convince the wife and family.
    Even when I’m traveling with my family, I make time for solo-time. My wife and son enjoy hanging around the resort pools, so I usually cut them loose for an afternoon (which usually turns into an evening) of time alone in one of the parks.

  17. Elaine says:

    This may sound very strange to everyone but since WDW is my emotionally comforting and happy place where I feel loved and nurtured, I went 2 times by my self. Each time was after a close loved one passed away. I needed to be alone for a while to adjust to the losses without telephone calls from well wishers or work. While alone, I was never lonely because of all the beauty around me. With sunglasses on, I could walk around the parks, sit by the pool, watch a parade without anyone commenting on the tears that may have been on my cheeks. I cherish those two solo stays at my home away from home.

  18. Doug L says:

    Lou,

    Great show this week. When I went to college in Daytona Beach I used to take day trips by myself to Disney all the time. Since I was in college it was normally on weekends when I’d go. Even though the parks were busy it was great to just walk around the part and enjoy the environment by myself like you said.

    Other big thing, you mentioned this week about how safe Walt Disney World is. I’ve always brought this up because Disney was the first place where my parents let me and my younger brother go off on our own. I’m 32 now but back when i was 12 they would let us go because we had been going since we were born and knew the property. We knew the parks and knew how to get back to our resort and it is the safest place in the world. So they had no problem letting us go and this was back when we didn’t have cell phones. They would just tell us to be back at the room by a certain time or meet them somewhere at a time. Even though I was 12 i felts like an adult because I was given freedom that I had never been given before. Best vacations ever.

    Thanks for doing such an amazing job with these podcast. Even though i’m home in Michigan right now, your podcasts make me feel like i’m back down there. It helps till i’m back down in October for Food and Wine.

    Have a good one,

    Doug
    Roseville, MI

  19. Dorothy Davies says:

    So…. My family is Disney Family! We like many others are in love with Both Disneyland and Disney World. My husband and I for the first time went to Disneyland alone for the D23 convention 4 years ago. I enjoyed the convention but not as much as my husband. So the second day I sent him off and went to the park by myself. With a green Mickey sugar cookie and coffee for breakfast in one hand (because I could) off I went to the Jungle Cruise (a ride that no one in my family cares for…..I know right?!). It was the most wonderful thing in the world. My first solo ride conquered I promptly went to Pirates and then my favorite ride ever…..the Haunted Mansion. Now, I love my husband and my children, and I enjoy their company pretty much all the time, however this experience is what I like to call “My Disney Moment of Clarity”. It was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced at Disney. Having the opportunity to just be. I was not a mother or a wife, I was just a kid taking in everything i could at my own pace. If ANYONE ever has the chance to do this-it is a truly a unique experience in the most positive way possible.

  20. Cheryl C. says:

    I’ve been to WDW 7X, all except 2 have been solo Disney trips. Now, going with a group can be fun, but it’s much more freeing to try the parks alone. Imagine being able to Fastpass all your favorite rides, waiting no longer than 10-15 minutes, and sit wherever you want. Eating is fun too. I was seated immediately at BOMA without a prior reservation. Quaint little table with a great view, excellent service and the food phenomenal. Same with 3 other sit down restaurants. While I bypassed all the groups waiting for a table to seat 6 or 10. The cast members at Disney seem to love solo guests, I felt like a real VIP everywhere I went. Single rider lines are awesome, you can grab the perfect seat last minute for major shows, sit between 2 groups. There really is true magic while experiencing Disney solo, and you never need to feel unsafe or insecure at any point. Your pace belongs to you only. And engaging in conversation with a cast member or a family near you in line just makes the whole experience neater. Solo Disney has a freedom to it that just can’t be beat as opposed to going as a group.