Last week we asked… You and Kim Scharoff answered. The best out of park character dining is Chef Mickeys!
Now let’s see what we will find this week!
One way that Disney keeps the guests on property is by making it easy to get around the property. From monorails to boats and ferries, busses to trams, you don’t need a car to enjoy all that Disney has to offer. While some Disney fans insists that a rental car is the only way to get around, many people enjoy the various forms of Disney transportation and the opportunity to leave the driving to someone else. Here are our favorites!
Resort Launches – My Retirement job! This is a perfect mode of transportation that is also an attraction all on its own. I will just ride these boats around the Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness Loop just to enjoy a nice ride and see the sights. I really enjoy being out on the lake, and just letting time pass.
Monorail – The monorail is probably the first mode of transportation when people think of Walt Disney World. While I really enjoy it, I think the monorail has lost some of it’s luster in the past few years. Whether it is safety precautions, or just an aging system the Monorail is just not as fun as it used to be, and certainly not as reliable. All that being said, it is still a joy to take a ride on the EPCOT loop.
Friendship Boats – Sure you can walk from Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the Boardwalk resort, but after a long day why would you? I enjoy the friendship launches, they are semi air conditioned, they are relaxing, and most of the time they are not that crowded.
Honorable Mention: I am looking forward to the rumored gondola, as much as I have been the monorail expansion or the oft-rumored TTC as a transportation vehicle.
Amanda, what say you?
Amanda here: I think Disney transportation is one of the things that makes a Disney vacation relaxing and easy. Leave your car at home and let Mickey do the driving!
I love the monorail. Since my first trip back in the 1970’s, the monorail has been an iconic part of the Disney experience for me. My favorite is the trip from the TTC to Epcot where you get an amazing bird’s eye view of Future World. It makes me smile every time!
Although most people stay at the Polynesian for the monorail, I love the early morning boat ride from the Poly to the Magic Kingdom. It’s quiet and peaceful with great views. And if you’re there early enough, you may even get a private boat. From the classic wooden boat to the breeze in your hair, this is a great way to travel.
Nothing beats a free trip from the airport to your hotel. Disney does it in style. I love taking the Magical Express to get on Disney property. The drivers are often witty and fun and the video never gets old. After the airport monorail, nothing says “you’re here!” like hopping on the bus.
Special Guest our friend Michael Miller. How about you?
For me, love of the Disney Parks Experience transcends the time actually spent in the parks itself. It’s the build up and anticipation that sets a tone of excitement that carries over into the trip itself. That’s why the AutoTrain is my favorite Out of Park transportation. Though technically (ok not so technically) part of WDW itself, our frequent use of Amtrak for our Disney Trips puts it on my list. Originating in Lorton Virginia and terminating in Sanford Florida an hour outside of Walt Disney World. The AutoTrain provides a unique travel experience that blends the old world charm of travel births with sleeping accommodations, fine (way better than you’d expect) dining and the built in white noise of the clickety-clack of the rail line; with the familiar Disneyesque vibe hat harkened to Walt’s love of Trains and their impact on the parks. Wine tastings, snacks, and a movie-car means that the AutoTrain is almost a ride inside of a ride.
Car of your choosing. Though not the cheapest option with the price of parking, the value of time at Disney is paramount in my mind. While the bus system is unparalleled and the boats are both scenic and functional…an ability to go from any Point A to any Point B of my choosing without figuring the best route and/or options allows me to maximize my time in my travels. Finally as the inevitable need to call an audible due to the challenges that arise when moving around Disney, having a car means you can adjust plans mid-trip meet your quickly changing needs.
Monorail. Bonifide, Gentrifide, Quietglide, Monorail. Any mode of transport good enough for North Haverbrook, Ogdenville, Brockway and Springfield, it’s good enough for me.
Michael P. Miller (@makomichael) , a Legend in his own mind, has always been a Disney fan however only started in 2008 to frequently trek to the parks. Even though being abnormally handsome, brilliant and witty…it’s his great humility that makes him stand apart. Far apart…most people like him to stand far apart.
Last week we asked… You and Holly Adams answered. The most important thing to pack are those extra comfy shoes. .
Now let’s see what we will find this week!
While many people continue to harbor the misconception that Disney World is only for families with children, Disney can be a great vacation for a solo traveler. With dining options ranging from counter service, communal, food festivals, to bars and lounges, it is easy to have a meal by yourself without worrying about feeling awkward. There are several events which target adult fans of Disney such as race weekends, D23 Events such as Fanniversary or sip and stroll, or Food and Wine Festival with all sorts of courses and events that would be perfect for a solo traveler.
Single Rider Lines – Want to take another spin on Test Track? Need to face the Yeti again? Aerosmith wants you to rock and roll? It’s all good with single rider lines. As a solo traveler, there are multiple options for a single rider and many other attractions that will look for that one more passenger. Way too often, they are looking for that ‘odd’ rider to fill a journey on Star Tours or that last body for dino bait.
Go at your own pace. I found that as a solo traveler, I would tour hardcore from rope drop to lunch time, and then take my break, and go slow the rest of the day. As a single rider, you can maximize your time, and just do those things that are calling out to you. No need for groupthink on this trip!
You get to choose the must dos. Way too often we over book our vacations… Touring plans, ADRs, Fast Passes. Want to blow off a day and do the monorail loop dining plan… you can do it. Want to meet some friends in world showcase, and not see Rivers of Light… why not? Sometimes it’s fun to be free!
Amanda, what say you?
Amanda here: Most of my solo travel experiences have been during race weekends where I have had roommates and running friends for companionship although I have traveled alone on a few occasions.
One of my favorite solo trip experiences involved a magical day at Animal Kingdom where I literally rode Expedition Everest five times in a row. I got there at rope drop and kept riding until there was a line. It was super fun and not something I would ask anyone else to endure. The ability to do whatever you feel like doing is a major advantage to solo travel.
Most Disney trips are non-stop action with a focus on getting as much done as possible. When you’re alone, you can take the time to stop and smell the roses. I had a fantastic day at Epcot during Flower and Garden Festival (I was in Orlando for a work conference and was able to sneak away for one day). I’m not a great photographer but I brought a DSLR camera and spent the day taking photos of the flowers. There is NO way my kids would have tolerated that. Having the ability to Slow Down and enjoy the details is a real luxury.
I am a natural born extrovert who could make a new best friend in line at the grocery store (much to my children’s horror) so one of my favorite things about solo travel is the ability to meet people and talk to them. I love talking to cast members and fellow travelers. Disney attracts a diverse group of people and it’s fun to hear everyone’s stories. Plus, as someone involved in the Disney fan community, it’s rare for me to be at the World without knowing someone else there. When you’re with a group, it’s harder to keep the flexibility necessary to meet up with others. When you’re by yourself, it’s easy.
Special Guest David Koch of the Mickey Dudes Podcast: How about you:
Stopping to smell the roses in the World Showcase.
I like to wander the pavilions of the World Showcase and really appreciate the intricate architecture of all the buildings. I then like to take a slow look in all the shops, experience some of the cuisine and have a nice drink associated with that pavilion. I also like to take time and experience all the character greetings and entertainment offerings of each pavilion: be it a band or an acrobat.
Not having to worry about anyone else. I’ve lost track of how many times I have been to Walt Disney World. I have experienced a vast majority of the magic. When I am with other people in Disney, my main concern is to help others experience the magic. When I’m alone I don’t have to worry about other’s enjoyment. I can just take it for what it is and not have to worry about being a manager of the world.
It’s a good time to socialize.
Believe it or not, the trips where I come solo, I am the most social. This blog, for example, is for Disney fans, by Disney fans. Chances are if you are reading this, you are a member of some type of community of Disney Park fans. Through social media, I have made lots of friends in the Disney community. Every time I am here I meet up other travelers or locals. With travelers, they are usually with their family. So as to not impede on family time I might meet them for just a little while to experience a few attractions or to get a bite to eat. Locals have met me in the parks after work for a few hours almost every time I came. I have even used meetup.com and a well know Disney Parks fan forum to attend a monorail bar crawls of mostly locals looking to meet like minded people. I find that I am more social when I travel solo. When others are in my travel party, I tend to stay with them and am unable to meet up with others. When I’m solo I just see where the wind takes me. In my experiences, a simple tweet or Facebook post saying I will be in WDW with dates has always yielded somebody to hang out with for a time.
Dave Koch @FigmentsReality is a relatively new fan of Disney Parks, only visiting for the first time 7 years ago. You can say he has made up for lost time holding an AP for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. He is the cohost of The Mickey Dudes podcast, (https://themickeydudespodcast.podbean.com/) where a group of guys discuss all things Disney. His spirit animal is Figment and he collects pictures of himself with different Disney characters: having over 150 of them.