We all know that Disney World is the perfect vacation for families. What many do not realize is that Disney World is also the perfect solo vacation destination. After over 40 trips to The World with my parents, my husband, my kids, or some combination thereof, I took the leap and vacationed alone. It is something that I have dreamed of doing for years and the experience was definitely worth the wait.
The advantage of vacationing to Disney World solo is that every single decision about where to stay, what to do and where to eat is yours and yours alone. There is no one whining, begging or otherwise “encouraging” you not to do what you want to. It is as if some elevated level of freedom has descended upon your soul and you can truly relax and enjoy the magic of Disney.
Once the decision is made to travel solo, the fun of planning can begin. For many the first choice is where to call home during your time at Disney World. Normally when we travel as a family of 5, we choose one of the Deluxe Resorts. The mommy guilt took over when I planned my solo trip, however, and I could not talk myself into staying alone in one of those spacious rooms. It had been several years since I had stayed at a Value Resort, but I have always liked them. I booked a Standard room with 2 beds (one for me, one for my suitcase) at Pop Century. As much as I enjoyed my room and found the resort offered everything I needed or wanted, it was not what I had grown accustomed to in my Disney vacations. I will admit it. I am a resort snob. My one regret during my solo trip was the resort. I found myself wishing that I was enjoying the view from my room at the Boardwalk Inn. Just because you are travelling solo, does not mean you have to cut corners, if that is not how you typically travel to the World. Stay within your budget or comfort level, but this is still a vacation. Choose a resort that makes you happy.
Dining is probably the best aspect of a solo trip. Something happens when we have kids. We can forget the pure joy of food. Disney World is a great place to try lots of different types of food, yet somehow when I travel as Mom, I fall into the chicken tender and pizza rut. One goal I made for my solo trip was to make sure that I ate what I wanted and when I wanted. I decided before leaving home to try at least one restaurant that I had never eaten at before. This turned out to be the Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was so relaxing to just people watch and enjoy one of the best meals I have ever had in my many trips to Disney World. My family likes to eat regular meals and plan for the next one. Being alone, I was able to eat when the mood struck and enjoy whatever was nearby. Of course, this meant that I focused on Quick Service Meals, but I got to enjoy some new (for me) options there as well.
I love to meet new people, which brings me to the last great advantage of a solo trip. I met lots of new friends! Whether it was in the line for the Candlelight Processional or waiting for the bus back to Pop Century, there was always someone to talk to. Before I left, a family friend actually asked me if I thought I would be lonely. There was no time to be lonely! Everyone is at Disney World to have fun and that seems to make everyone extra friendly.
I could go on about all the other wonderful advantages of a solo Disney World trip, but I think it is something best experienced. Remember, stay within your comfort zone and keep a smile on your face. By the end of your solo trip, you will have lots of new friends and will come home ready to plan your next Disney World adventure.