Top Three Things About Solo Travel

 

cf5fe5b62e26e8efc49fccd8e07beb25_-jiminy-cricket-disney-disney-jiminy-cricket-clipart_236-559Last 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.

Rich here:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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!
  3. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Ok .. now it’s your chance …

  • Who was right?
  • Who was wrong?
  • What is your favorite?
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Favorite Resort Character Dining

cf5fe5b62e26e8efc49fccd8e07beb25_-jiminy-cricket-disney-disney-jiminy-cricket-clipart_236-559Last week we asked… You and Julie Patton answered.   The best thing about Moana was: the soundtrack!

Now let’s see what we will find this week!

Characters. Its one of the reasons to visit a Disney Park or resort. Sure they can be expensive, but there is no better way to meet Mickey or one of his pals in a more relaxed accessible setting, get a photo, and special autograph. Character meals have often been the centerpiece of a Disney Vacation.

Rich here:

  1. Cape May Café – I like Cape May Café any time of the day – the buffet for dinner is awesome but even better is the breakfast buffet because of the addition of the characters. This one is a bit more unique than the others because anyone – including Minnie, Donald and Goofy – can wear a bathing suit. I think it is above many of the others because this is generally quiet and easier to get an ADR than many of the other character locations. In my opinion, it has the same food as other breakfast buffet locations, but I think this one has slightly better quality. With its central location, it has great access to 2 parks in the morning.
  2. Mickey’s Backyard BBQ – There is a lot to like about Fort Wilderness, the openness, the get away from it all, its history, and the great outdoors. I have many great memories of this buffet, from the crazy antics of Chip and Dale to the ribs, corn, and beans (not to mention the open bar), and a full night of entertainment. I’m thinking its about time I went back!
  3. Chef Mickey’s Buffet – I am a big fan of the character interaction, and Chef Mickey’s has it all – all fab 5! I really enjoyed my time as a kid in Chef Mickeys, and have been reluctant to return due to the noise, cleanliness, and mayhem of my last visit mostly the overwhelming noise. 

Amanda, what say you?

Amanda here:

  1. I’m a sucker for the Fab 5 and Chef Mickey is a great place to see them. An easily accessible location for a pre-park breakfast, a mid-day break, or pre-fireworks dinner. The noise can be deafening but the buffet has a wide variety of options and, well, did I mention Fab 5???
  2. It’s off the beaten path but Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is a fun way to escape the madness of the parks and enjoy the outdoors. Fort Wilderness is an easy boat ride from the Magic Kingdom but still feels like it’s a world away when you’re there. There’s plenty of BBQ and no need for kids to sit still. Plus the Fort is a fun place to visit!
  3. Although there are many other good choices, I think dinner at 1900 Park Fare deserves the final spot. The buffet is surprisingly good and the characters are great fun. Where else can you argue with Lady Tremaine and her daughters over who is the step-child in their family? And for non-Princess loving brothers being dragged to Princess events, Prince Charming provides a rare human male presence.

Special Guest Kim Scharoff: How about you?

(*Disclosure – have not done Cape May Cafe for Breakfast) :

  1. Chef Mickey has to be my first cause who doesn’t love the Fab 5! The classic characters are great. Goofy is my favorite of that bunch. The buffet is good with lots of choices. Love the swinging of napkins with the characters.
  2. 1900 Park Fare Breakfast – yes, I need to specify the meal because the characters are different at Breakfast and Dinner. At breakfast, you get Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. The face characters are great because they will interact with you at a different level. The food is at a higher level than other places as well.
  3. 1900 Park Fare Dinner because the characters are great and the food is fantastic. Cinderella and her family make appearances. The stepsisters and stepmother are amazing! A number of choices on the buffet are great and there is something for everyone.

Kim (@kscharoff) is a Figment lover. She runs Disney as an excuse to go visit her home away from home as many times as possible.

Ok .. now it’s your chance …

  • Who was right?
  • Who was wrong?
  • What is your favorite?