Families. A few couples. More than a few couples but mainly families. Isn’t that the typical travelers you think of when visiting theme parks?
What if you’re by yourself? No one else.
Is that common?
There are no readily available statistics for how often single travelers visit Disney or another theme park. But it is hardly uncommon.
In fact, there are probably more solos than you think.
It is not only not an unpleasant experience, but a lot of visitors prefer to be alone.
And they are not worried about it. They are happy.
Even if you have never been to a theme park, you have certainly eaten at restaurants all by yourself. How does it make you feel to get the standard greeting: “Just you?”
Does this make you feel guilty that it is just you?
So are these single travelers’ all misfits or do they hate company or what?
Why are they so happy?
Here are the top ten reasons for being happy…when visiting solo or alone.
Why you should travel alone
First, you save a lot of money. Admission alone is above $100. And if you are flying in from, say Tucson, Arizona, there is probably air fare. Hundreds of dollars more.
And have you checked hotels?
Yes, the cost is often the same if you have one or two people staying there, but if you are a family, larger rooms or suites are often required.
Of course, you could stay with friends. Many visitors do that. But it is far easier to do it alone by sleeping on the extra sofa.
This all gets far more complicated when you are hauling around a couple of small and possibly boisterous kids who may not always be respectful of your hosts’ old-fashioned sense of kid-requirement to be “seen and not heard.”
So keep your friendship without risking it. And overall, score point one for why to travel alone. You save money.
Here’s a second advantage: Single rider lines. There are various options for this. Expedition Everest is a good example. The designated single line there moves very well. Some of these single lines may be only a five or ten-minute wait compared to an hour or more at others. The only downside is that there are not more of them.
3. So who do you talk to when you have to wait at other rides that don’t have your single rider options? No problem. Whoever is standing next to you. Like you, they are also theme park enthusiasts. Topics of conversation should be no problem. But if you need a hint, ask them if they have ridden this one before. That is an invariable conversation starter.
4. When it comes to restaurants, solo travelers get five stars even if the food is mediocre. You can avoid the long tables designed for large families by sitting at the bar. Bartop dining can be found at virtually all of the deluxe resorts such as the California Grill and others. You only need one empty seat. No waiting, usually. Bartop dining is also in good taste for anyone who hates to make those ADRs or Advanced Dining Reservations. You have more time flexibility. But you can also still get table service.
Get others to take your photos
5. You want a photo of yourself? No friend or relative there to ask? So you turn to another visitor, of course (an obvious move). So are the theme park photographers who roam the parks. At Disney, it’s time to get those Photopass Photographers in the picture. They can be found at the Cinderella’s Castle and at the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom, among other places. Worried about paying for your photos? Shooting you is their job. They will take your picture with your own camera, if you merely ask. No charge.
6. Call this the one-seat advantage. Solo Disney travelers can easily squeeze into seats others can only shun. That is the case whether you are on a bus, boat or monorail, or a lounge chair at the pool, or a seat at a live show.
7. You have seen this many times: families arguing over where to go next or where to stop for a restaurant break. Maybe it’s the crowds. But whatever the reason for the craziness, you don’t have it when traveling alone. Be glad you are here is all you need to know.
8. You can always sit down and have a nice, quiet place of your own. After the helter-skelter of park activities…after all the noise and activity…single travelers do not need to ask anyone if it is time to find a quiet bench outside the resort. All you need to do is ask for where that bench is located.
Visit like an adult
9. Adult behavior. You can’t take an infant to a bar. But when you want a night out at Disney World and want to hear live music at the House of Blues or Raglan Road, for example, you simply go by yourself. Drink your way around the World Showcase. You can even do a monorail crawl, similar to a pub crawl.
10. Finally, there is a simple joy in making all your own decisions. Entirely up to you. No one else to consult or to ask “what should we do next?”
So instead of looking at it as “oh boy,” consider adjusting your attitude for solo to say instead “ahoy.” ###