Monday, November 7, 2011

Flyin' Solo at the World

This week, I made my first solo venture to the world. Needless to say, it was daunting. Having been there more times than I can count, what I was most apprehensive about was the fact that I was going to be alone. By myself. Me, myself, and I. As it turns out, after a day of solo touring, I enjoyed it so much, that I came back two more times during that week. Here are some of the questions I had before hand, and how I would answer them today:

What am I going to do?

Well, the answer to this one is pretty simple: Whatever I darn well please! As a solo traveler, there's none of that pesky thing called "other people's desires". When touring the parks, you have the advantage of riding what you want to, eating where you want to, and taking in any show you want to.
For example, for the first time today I finally got to explore Tom Sawyers Island in Frontierland. While it's no Space Mountain, there were a lot of hidden gems in there which proved to be pretty entertaining. However, a majority of guest will pass up visiting the home of Tom and Huck in favor of waiting for an E-Ticket attraction. Which is pretty reasonable, after all by the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World's attraction classification, Tom Sawyer's Island is a "diversion" in comparison to the behemoths next door. Yet, in classic Disney style, it truly is a delight to traipse through. This is one of many experiences I was able to enjoy because of the more flexible touring style.

How's dining going to work?

It seemed like dining was going to be one of the more awkward moments on the trip. Amidst the hoards of bustling families, lovey-dovey couples, and Brazilian tour groups sharing compacted tables, it seems like the only way to enjoy your meal is if someone is enjoying it with you.
Well that's not always the case. Never underestimate the power of people-watching! While eating at Epcot's Electric Umbrella Restaurant, I grabbed up a table on the patio facing the Fountain of Nations and watched as the masses came by. It was nice and relaxing to be able to sit back and watch the water jets scream into the air, and tiny infants scream into their parents ears. And if even this solution seems a bit daunting, there's nothing stopping you from grabbing a turkey leg and taking it on the go!

Whose going to do the other stuff?

The one drawback of touring alone deals with the secondary stuff, for example, running to grab FASTPASSes, or holding on to your things while riding Splash Mountain. Now to the best of my knowledge, it's not a good idea to hand all of your valuables to a random stranger while you ride. The one solution I found was the lockers at the entrance of every park. While a tad pricey at $7.00, ($12.00 deposit and $5.00 back), it is probably the best way to secure your valuables while in the park.
And while you may not be able to grab a FASTPASS for Toy Story while standing by for Tower of Terror, you can take advantage of the single-rider line. The theory behind the single rider line is that in return for a shorter wait time, guests give up the ability to ride with a companion or family. But as you are a solo tourer, that makes no difference to you! I've found that at a majority of attractions that offer it, the single rider line dramatically reduces your wait times, that is, if the cast member working it knows what they're doing.

Overall, I found my time in the parks alone to be a lot of fun. My advice to you would be to soak it all up, but take a step back from the headliner attractions and focus on experiences you wouldn't normally get to take part in. Also, just because you're alone doesn't mean you have to become a hermit for your entire trip. Engage other guests in conversation, and talk to cast members. In fact, I had a great monorail ride to Epcot with a family from North Carolina because I was able to strike up a conversation.

So don't be apprehensive about going to the World solo. As long as you approach it positively, you're going to have a great time!


1 comment:

  1. Great information, Alyx! The information about the lockers and single rider lines for solo travelers is great, and we appreciated your perspective as a teen. The information was so great, we shared it with our followers on Twitter! We're always looking for guest bloggers - send us a note at if you ever feel inspired!