Friday, July 27, 2012

A Walk Around The World With Ridge: Solo Trip Advice

I love traveling alone, especially to Walt Disney World. In the last few years I have traveled to WDW 7 or 8 times. Now my situation is different from some.  I have plenty of friends I can hit up once I get there but I don’t have to do so if I want some time to myself.

Here are just a few of my ideas for a fun solo trip to the world.
I like a mix of half structure and half free-to-go-where-the-wind-takes-me. So depending on your personality your experience may vary.

out of the window from Feb 2012

Travel:  Not everyone likes to fly.  Me, I love it and have a license from our government that says I met the basic proficiencies of the FAA to call myself a private pilot.  So I will hop on a plane in a second and bingo, an hour and a half later I am waking up at Orlando International Airport. Southwest is my carrier of choice because they seem to have a friendly staff and cheap fares.  However if driving is your thing, I have done that more than my fair share too. From Birmingham, Alabama, it’s a solid 10 hours in the car. Before I had a bad back that doesn’t like sitting still for very long (my apologies to anyone that sits next to me at the movies, movement is a necessity or pain sets in), I would drive, getting up before the sun even thought about it and heading out so I would get as much daylight as possible. If you want steady driving, I75 south from ATL will take you all the way there. If you want something a little more scenic from Birmingham, try highway 280 south, till it becomes 82/520 in GA then when you get to Tifton, Georgia, you get on 75 South again and move right on in. Amazingly these two paths from Birmingham are almost the same time wise. I love to fly!

Planning: If you are going to plan out a day, then please take advantage of the resources available to you. A wealth of knowledge is out there. My favorite two sites for planning info are and Both are packed with information and touring has a book called The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and I got to be a fact checker/research person in the 2011 guide. Check page 11 for my nameJ
When planning out my day for my first solo trip I wanted to have some projects to fill up my day with photography. I was doing it for several reasons. 1) I wanted a catalogue of pictures to use for the site 2) I needed to practice with my camera 3) I made sure that I documented the things I was doing because no one would remember them for me 4) it made me look at things like I hadn’t before.  I think Disney is one of the best places for people wanting to practice photography because you’ll never see most of those people ever again and you can get away with being as silly and artsy as you want to be. I’ve lain down on the ground to get an angle I wanted since what did I care what they thought? 
fun pic I took in Africa of Tamu Tamu Refreshments
Also on a first solo trip you need to decide what is it you want to accomplish: time in the parks, exploring resorts?  What is it that you want to do that you have never done because someone was with you and didn’t want to do it? I highly suggest the Keys to the Kingdom tour. Tours are wonderful ways to have fun while still technically alone, you are in a group and everyone cuts up and has a good time. The tour guides are wonderful and usually very funny and will keep you on your toes. A tour I am saving up for is the Wild Africa Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom.  It is pretty pricey in the peak seasons and you have to try and do it early or else the animals are all napping.  Check out my trip recap with the Keys tour.

A nice perk for the attractions are the single rider lines. If one is available, use it and cut that wait time down.
End of Keys to the Kingdom Tour

Dining: We have to eat right? Well, when I am alone I sometimes forget then have low blood sugar hit me while standing in a queue that isn’t moving. So decide early if there are any ADR’s you want to make. Never be afraid to have a meal anywhere by yourself.  The cast members see it all the time and you deserve you enjoy yourself as much as possible. I recommend Via Napoli as a great spot to dine alone. If you want some interaction, Oktoberfest in Germany is family seating so you will not be alone and if you’re like me then it is a great time to chat up families from all over the globe. I met a family from Leeds, England, and the father and I talked about Football (soccer) and the differences in our countries. It was brilliant. However if you aren’t wanting to take lots of time out of your day of adventure, try some quick service or a snack you have never had before. Sit on a bench and people watch, catch your breath and just listen to the park in action. It’s a weird cacophony of sounds.    

Transportation: Late night leaving the parks… ok this one works best at Epcot and Hollywood Studios. When you are waiting on that bus to take a million tired cranky families back to the resort, I keep a few bucks just for a taxi. They take credit cards too; I just like dealing with money sometimes. Nothing is really much more than 10-15 dollars and the high end is going back to the resorts that are the farthest away like AKL. I have used cabs on several occasions where I might have been an extra hour just waiting to get on a bus. Now at Magic Kingdom the taxis are found over at the Contemporary and I do not actually know where they are at AK, since that park closes early I have never been on a packed bus. Check out The Great Escape.


  1. I LOVE solo Disney trips! I have one coming up in October and my last one in February was AMAZING!

  2. I agree about AllEars and Touring Plans - both are excellent resources! But like you, I am absolutely saving up for the Wild Africa Trek. I can only imagine how amazing that experience will be once I actually get to try it out!


Thanks so much for visiting us and reading this post. Please leave us a message because we love to hear your Disney stories and tips too!