Well hello internet, long time no see! As you’ve probably noticed I’ve been more than a little MIA lately. I could chalk this up to the excitement of a big move, the fact that I’ve kind of been working 2 jobs, my near constant stream of house guests (love you dad!! Lol), or the unchartered territory of trying to keep my much larger than I’m used to house clean and tidy – But the reality is, I just haven’t felt the urge to type away. You know when you get super into a Netflix series and then it ends and you’re like “ok….but now what do I do with my life?” Well, that’s kind of how I am feeling at the moment. I have the man of my dreams, the house of my dreams, a steady income, and tons of free time. So, what’s left? Well, I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out, but in the mean time I finally got the urge to kick on my computer. So here it is, my much awaited, highly anticipated return to blogging. Lol, dream big kids. :p
For many people, a big part of the joy of visiting Disney is the joy of seeing the children in your life interact with their heroes. Or maybe for you, it’s about introducing people to long forgotten childhood memory. Or if you’ve got a touch of the OCD like me, it’s the joy of putting pen to paper as you plan every last detail down to the timed bathroom breaks – oh wait, is that just me again? Crap. Well anyway, everyone has got their reasons. But there is a completely different type of Disney trip that doesn’t include any of these thrills. The solo trip. That’s right boys and girls, buckle your lap belts because this week we are doing Disney like Han – Solo.
Now, if you are looking at your screen right now thinking to yourself that I am crazy, just know you are not alone. I too was once perplexed by the idea of doing Disney alone. Who would I talk to while I was waiting in lines? Who would I take Main Street selfies with? How can I be expected to not go to the Cove Bar since I’ll have to drive myself back home?! I had so many questions!! I’d seen a friend of mine go solo to Disney and posting on Facebook about it, all the time. She even went to the Halloween party solo once. I was so confused, why would you ever go alone. Surely there’s someone you know that would at least be willing if not eager to go with!
So how did I end up alone at Disney?
It started innocently enough, boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl – whoops! Wrong article! But seriously, this is kind of how it happened for me. My boyfriend, while amazing and willing to go anywhere and do anything I want, is not a Disney fanatic. We’ve been to Disneyland together, and had a ton of fun. He goes on all the rides I want (even Small World, talk about true love), he takes tons of dumb photos with me, he’s even willing to be the designated driver while I day drink at the Cove Bar (I really need to work on my Cove Bar post, apparently). But I know that he’s got his own hobbies and interests, and isn’t always up for a trip to the happiest place on earth.
My first solo trip to Disneyland was in late November. I drove the boy to LAX from San Diego, so that he could fly back home (what up KY!?) for Thanksgiving. It felt morally unethical as an annual passholder to be so close to home and not stop bye to say “hi” to Mickey. His flight left at 6:00am, so we left SD around 3:00am. Surprisingly enough, no one wanted to get up at 3:00am to take my boyfriend to the airport with me! (So rude, I know). Armed with my AP, some walking shoes, and an open mind I decided to go it alone.
What’s it like to go to Disney alone?
In a word, amazing. There are some distinct advantages to doing Disney solo, best addressed individually.
Hello Single Rider Bliss
Remember how concerned you were that there would be no one to talk to while you were waiting in those notoriously long lines? Well, have I got some good news for you my friend. Two words, four syllables: Single Rider. You know when you go with a group of 3 or 5 people, and there’s an empty seat in the ride car? Single Rider lines fill that seat. The catch about this trick is that, if you are with a group and try to do Single Rider to cut your wait know that your group will be broken up into different cars. If you do not have kids in your party, or everyone in your group has been before, this is a great strategy. In fact it’s the basis to my guide to California Adventures. It works even better when you are all by your lonesome though, because you don’t have to worry about your group being separated.
Splash Mountain, over, and over, and over
Splash mountain is one of those rides that allows you to do single rider. Even when I go with my usually party, I typically end up doing SR. My cousin is terrified of the ride and my boyfriend isn’t keen on the notion of walking around in wet shorts all day. However, when it’s just me myself and I, I can ride it over and over again with no line and no one complaining they want to do something else.
In fact, one of my favorite things about the solo trip is that you do whatever YOU want to do. You don’t have to worry about height restrictions, or being bogged down by someone who forgot to eat breakfast and needs to stop, or a bad temperament. It’s just you, and if you want to ride Roger Rabbit like Christmas Vacation on December 24th (constantly over and over), than you do it.
Your Schedule on Your Time
Perhaps though, you prefer to take your time and enjoy the sights and sounds, the amazing snacks, and general ambiance that is Disney. Well, there’s absolutely no time for that nonsense on a solo trip! Just kidding! You do you. Buy a pretzel or cotton candy from every stand in the park if you want. Take a break and sit down whenever you feel like it.
When I go to Disney with anyone else I expect of myself to ensure whomever I am with has a good time. I’ve made so many trips, that I constantly worry about if the other people in my party are enjoying themselves. I’ll ask constantly, “are you hungry?” “would you like to take a break?” “what would you like to do next?” Because I know that the routine I am used to may be too fast paced or involve running between parks more than some care for. One of my sisters made a great point on our last family trip to Disney World. She said “I didn’t come on vacation to walk 20 miles and have scheduled bathroom breaks.” I mean, I did. That was exactly what I was looking forward to, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
But solo, it’s your schedule. You can go full steam ahead, like me, if that’s what you prefer. Or if I’m making you feel anxious just reading about Disney right now, then you can make your day as leisurely as you like.
You’re Not Really Alone
I know, I know. I keep saying solo and you drove (or flew) there on your own, sure. But, there are so many people at Disney every day, you’re absolutely not alone at all. And, for the most part, everyone there is in a good mood and will happily participate if you strike up a conversation. I talked with so many people, and even helped them make decisions about their plan of attack (or at least I like to think so). Waiting at rope drop was especially a great time to chat it up, everyone is so excited and happy to be there. It’s easy to ask “what are you headed to first” and make a new friend.
Go When You Want
Of course, you can visit Disney solo whenever you want, because you don’t have to coordinate schedules. But, you can leave whenever you want too. On my last trip I rode all the E-ticket rides, and then I left. I came, I conquered, and I took my Dole Whip to go.
Give it A Chance
I love visiting Disney with friends and family, I never dreamed that I would go alone. But I’m so glad that I did. Heck, writing this now is making me want to plan another trip! It’s a bit of a longer drive now, but I’d guess it is every bit just as worth it. You grow a little bit in that one day by yourself as well. I’ve never been one to do anything by myself, but it’s freeing to not worry about what everyone else wants. It’s empowering to talk to strangers – you’re not likely to see them again, so don’t worry about saying something stupid. It’s emboldening to have people ask “Who are you here with?” and then say, “just me.”
So treat yo self, as the kids say, and spend the day your way on your next trip to Disney.
Got questions about how to make the most of your trip? Curious how I got started blogging? Interested in knowing how my cats are settling in at the new house? Shoot me an e-mail, Rebecca@MySoCalStyle.net, or hit me up on Facebook.
Drop a line in the comments and let me know what’s your biggest concern about a solo trip!