Mistakes I’ve Made Going Solo to Disney World


I’ve gone solo to Walt Disney World a few dozen instances within the final 12 months or so, with Sarah unable to accompany me on account of erring on the aspect of warning throughout being pregnant and earlier than Baby Bricker hit the six month mark. In so doing, I’ve made loads of errors and realized loads of classes alongside the best way, a few of which I believed it is perhaps attention-grabbing to share so you may be taught from or snigger at me. Really your name.

I’ll begin by saying I’m really a fan of taking solo journeys to Walt Disney World. Or moderately, I used to be a fan up till this previous 12 months. At this level, I’m very a lot over it and able to resume touring solely as a household. We’ve already completed that, and even shared ‘what went right’ throughout our household journey – half 1 and half 2, together with what incorrect incorrect half 1 and half 2.

Even although I’m wanting ahead to extra household holidays, I additionally assume solo journeys is usually a good technique to see a unique aspect of Walt Disney World or do issues otherwise than when with a bigger social gathering. See our Top 10 Tips for Taking Solo Trips to Walt Disney World for more information. Think of this as a companion put up to that, as an alternative of suggestions for issues to do to reinforce a solo journey, that is the other–cautionary tales so you may be taught from my errors…

Indecisiveness – You know that feeling if you’re sitting at dwelling on the sofa with a number of free hours and a wealth of streaming programming at your fingertips? (I not do since Baby Bricker, however I used to!) But as an alternative of getting proper into it and deciding on a film to look at, you waste half-hour looking out a number of streaming providers for the proper programming, earlier than finally giving up and simply watching reruns of Frasier? (No? Just me? Well alrighty then.)

Unfortunately, I’m the very same means at Walt Disney World when I’ve my very own free time. When it involves subject testing, I’m completely in my factor, able to execute an ideal plan with precision whereas additionally having contingencies to which I can pivot at a second’s discover. All of that is high of thoughts–I really feel like a part of Seal Team 6, however for dorks, or (extra precisely) these elves from Prep & Landing. It’s an identical story when Sarah and I am going to the parks collectively, albeit extra laid again. Even although we’ve been lots of of instances, I really feel a stress to take care of momentum. (Doubly so on our household journeys now.)

When I’m on my own at Walt Disney World and don’t have an agenda apart from “have fun,” that’s the place the wheels fall off. I’ve all the alternatives on this planet, and may’t determine on what to do. This results in loads of wandering and revisiting acquainted favorites, which is definitely enjoyable and satisfying, however typically sundown rolls round and I discover myself questioning “where did the day go?!” So lots of the huge plans I had for the final 12 months didn’t occur as a result of I had on a regular basis on this planet to do them…however didn’t.

Getting Soaked – I’ve been advised I’ve “middle age absent-minded professor energy,” which I can solely assume is excessive reward because it signifies that I’m literate and competent at instructing. That’s not what is admittedly meant by that, and a very good instance of the particular intent is made clear by my rain preparedness. I’m very accustomed to Florida climate, having visited and lived within the Sunshine State for years. I do know that the climate can flip to liquid sunshine with out warning or discover, and it is best to all the time take an umbrella in every single place.

Somehow, I’ve managed to interrupt or lose a number of umbrellas during the last 12 months to the purpose that Sarah “joked” she ought to arrange Amazon Subscribe & Save for an umbrella. Adding insult to damage, each single umbrella casualty got here at a time when it was not raining, leaving me with out an umbrella when it did rain.

Moral of the story: pack a number of technique of staying dry–and umbrella and ponchos as a backup. Oh, and whereas we’re at it, all the time pack a number of pairs of sneakers. This needs to be a given, for extra causes than one, however taking a single pair of sneakers to Walt Disney World is like strolling a tightrope with no security web. Not advisable.

Mears Connect – This was not a mistake for me, because it didn’t make sense for me as a solo traveler to spend the additional cash on Uber/Lyft or different types of transportation, particularly since I can work on my laptop computer whereas on the Mears Connect Driven by Sunshine shuttle bus. So the additional time was very a lot definitely worth the cash saved.

With that mentioned, I would like this to be a sensible put up for planners and never only a ineffective record of my goof-ups. For many/most different company, I believe Mears Connect is a suboptimal choice, both as a result of added time or added value over the alternate options–or each. I believe many individuals use it as a result of it’s the religious successor to the free Disney’s Magical Express, so that they stick to the secure and acquainted.

To every their very own, I suppose, however with a celebration of three or extra, I choose the choice airport transportation choices to Mears Connect. For solo vacationers or {couples}, it can make sense, however trip time is cash (or needs to be) for many of you!

Transportation Time – Speaking of which, the time-sink of transportation is one other one. When it’s each of us, we have a tendency to remain in the identical park, having fun with as a lot as doable. There are many days that we don’t Park Hop in any respect, particularly if working hours aren’t conducive to it (that means that there’s no profit to hopping to increase the day).

With the exception of subject testing days the place I wanted to spend your complete day in a single park, I’m all the time bouncing round. I really love this, however that’s largely as a result of I view the monorail, boats, and gondolas as a type of an attraction. I additionally wish to cease by the varied resorts and spend time at every. So for me, this works and wasn’t essentially a mistake per se.

However, in ‘auditing’ my days after every journey, I couldn’t assist however discover that I wasted a ton of time on transportation. Most of the time, I didn’t even come out forward when accounting for beginning at parks that opened earlier and ending at ones closing later. There have been some days when transportation ate up a number of hours, the truth is. I believe that is value highlighting as a result of some company underestimate simply how a lot time commuting round Walt Disney World can take. (And little or no of this has to do with inefficient buses or ready–it was largely the transit instances themselves, going by safety, and many others.)

Family Style Meals – I like to eat and, though images would possibly counsel in any other case, can put down loads of meals. But by myself, I nonetheless sometimes can not eat sufficient to pretty and completely evaluate eating places with out making a number of visits. And I refuse to waste meals. That introduced a dilemma of both overeating (or taking leftovers to again to my room) or doing household fashion meals.

Family fashion meals have been enticing as the plain worth for cash choice that labored higher, not less than in concept, for solo journeys versus ones as a pair or, now, as a household of three. After all, the menu is similar whether or not you could have a celebration of 1 or a celebration of 10–in contrast to a la carte menus, there’s no benefit to having a big social gathering. It’s best solo.

Again, all in concept. I realized my lesson the exhausting means with Toy Story Roundup Rodeo BBQ. I used to be seated on the very entrance of the restaurant, at a desk each social gathering would cross on their technique to be seated, and proper subsequent to somewhat prep station for servers. I used to be already barely uncomfortable to be a solo grownup male in a children restaurant, and being on totally show exacerbated it.

What actually put issues excessive was that the kitchen couldn’t put together smaller measurement parts, so I received a complete ton of meals introduced out to me. And in fact, I’m photographing all of this meals. (My personal “fault,” so to talk, however did me no favors in making myself much less conspicuous.)

Even if Sarah have been with me, this may’ve been means an excessive amount of meals–I’ll wager we might’ve solely completed half of it. By myself, I used to be solely capable of eat rather less than half of it, and that was solely after going means too exhausting to reduce the waste. I used to be embarrassed and apologized profusely for the meals waste to my server. She was unfazed and advised me to not fear about it–that Walt Disney World recycles the entire meals (to not future patrons–this isn’t Chuck E. Cheese). Although I’m accustomed to Walt Disney World’s dedication to lowering and diverting meals waste, I’d nonetheless moderately not be in that place within the first place.

For no matter it’s value, buffets are a very totally different story. I’d really say these–particularly Boma because it has a bit extra of an grownup vibe–are excellent for solo vacationers. There are additionally different household fashion eating places which are higher about this, together with Liberty Tree Tavern and Diamond Horseshoe, however Toy Story Roundup Rodeo BBQ was such an embarrassing expertise that I finished doing solo household fashion meals after that.

Eating Too Much – Probably an unsurprising outgrowth of the above, however I ate means an excessive amount of at Walt Disney World within the final 12 months. Not being prepared to waste meals (with the occasional exception for the barely-edible and desserts laden with synthetic flavors and colours that hardly qualify as “food” within the first place) and eager to evaluate as a lot as doable proved to be a harmful mixture.

It additionally didn’t assist that, as soon as pre-arrival Lightning Lanes have been introduced, I reduce considerably on Genie+ testing. This left the center of my days large open, and–moderately than ready in lengthy traces for sights I’ve completed dozens or lots of of instances–I opted to eat. Lots. For analysis.

Combining the entire above (huge meals for the sake of critiques, no waste, consuming too typically) together with Disney meals being very totally different from what I eat at dwelling led to me feeling bloated and drained. On the plus aspect, that additionally satisfied me to stroll extra and quicker than regular–I’d clock over 25,000 steps on a median day and burn 1,000 to 1,500 energy (in response to my watch). All in all…I remorse nothing. This really was loads of enjoyable and not likely a mistake, on steadiness. I most likely ought to’ve opted for a number of lighter dishes, although. That would’ve made it extra fulfilling.

Too Much Caffeine – A typical trade between the 2 of us is me saying that I’m going to get a espresso or Coke at 3 p.m., and Sarah saying, “are you sure that’s a good idea?” It’s not, which I understand as quickly as she says one thing–and don’t purchase it in consequence. This occurs on a regular basis once we’re out and about (together with at present as I used to be scripting this put up).

When I’m on my own, there’s nobody to remind me of this apparent factor I ought to’ve realized a decade or extra in the past. And so I get a 3 p.m. espresso and generally a 6 p.m. Coke and, on uncommon event, an 8 p.m. Coke earlier than the fireworks. It’s superior! I’m puffed up and full of pleasure!!! (If you’ve ever met me within the parks and I’ve been cheery and outgoing, this was inside an hour of espresso or Coke.)

Then 3 a.m. rolls round, and I’m stressed and anxious. I don’t get uninterrupted sleep. It sucks. Who might’ve recognized that caffeine would do that to me?! (I do know I sound like an imbecile incapable of checking my worst impulses, however…eh, that’s about proper.)

All Star Sports – This one isn’t what you would possibly assume. I’ve zero regrets about All Star Sports being my high resort (when it comes to stays) during the last year-plus, with Coronado Springs being sizzling on its heels. I’m on report as saying that Walt Disney World’s most cost-effective resorts are literally good, and I imply that. That wasn’t simply faint reward to reassure price range vacationers.

To the extent this was a mistake, it’s that I turned very accustomed to Walt Disney World journeys being very cheap. And though I shouldn’t since I value these items out on a regular basis, I had a little bit of sticker shock once we began planning Megatron’s first journey and we wished to splurge. They say that when you get a style of filet mignon, you may by no means return to lesser cuts of steak.

I suppose I’m the other. Once I received a style of doing Disney on a dime and having these lodging be completely nice, it’s turn out to be tougher to justify the pricier choices. This might be why Pop Century ranks as my #1 resort at Walt Disney World–it affords nice bang for buck and I’ve a extremely exhausting time justifying the premium pricing on Deluxes, particularly for anybody who will spend most of their days within the parks. Is it actually value spending lots of of additional {dollars} to keep away from bus rides in the beginning and finish of the day?!

Flight Follies: Basic Economy – To lower your expenses, I routinely booked fundamental economic system on Delta. I’ve their co-branded American Express card, so this wasn’t as a lot of an obstacle because it may appear.

However, I didn’t earn miles (in the direction of standing or rewards) on these flights. So regardless of flying lots, I don’t have something to indicate for it with Delta. This is an effective instance of short-term considering having a better long-term value. This will be utilized far past flights, and I’m usually fairly good about any such factor. I’ve additionally generally gotten caught within the center seat. I hate the center seat. Anyway, lesson realized.

Flight Follies: TSA Precheck – I had Global Entry, which incorporates TSA Pre-Check. I wasn’t paying shut sufficient consideration to my electronic mail, and missed my extension window. Unfortunately, renewing as soon as this expires just isn’t simple–6 months later, and I’m nonetheless ready on conditional approval. After that, I’ve to schedule an interview.

I’ve thus had a number of flights out of MCO utilizing the common TSA safety screening traces. 0/10, don’t suggest. While MCO is a nice airport that’s as environment friendly as doable given the circumstances, I’d implore you to join TSA Pre-Check. (If your journey is approaching, undoubtedly do this–don’t look ahead to Global Entry, as processing instances are absurd proper now.)

MCO retains breaking its personal customer quantity information, and is bursting on the seams. The regular safety traces can take a very long time, and also you’ll need to be on the airport over 2 hours prematurely with out it. Seriously–I’ve been doing 3 hours. That, or fly out of Terminal C if in any respect doable, because the state of affairs there appears to be significantly better.

Finally, a “dishonorable mention” to flying into LAX. I’ve a love-hate relationship with Los Angeles International Airport. It even made our record of 10 Things We’ll Never Do Again at Disneyland. The purpose it’s not an official entry is as a result of I really like LAX when flying solo, as I do know the ins and outs of the airport and may get nonstop redeye flights to MCO that work rather well for my schedule. I additionally love the Delta lounge and new terminal at LAX. But flying fundamental economic system and not having TSA PreCheck exacerbate the negatives of LAX, so it deserves not less than a point out right here.

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Learn about inns on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To lower your expenses on tickets or decide which kind to purchase, learn our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets put up. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips put up takes a singular have a look at intelligent objects to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, the very best place to start out is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for every thing that you must know!

Your Thoughts

What errors have you ever made when doing Walt Disney World or touring normally, solo or in any other case? Does your accomplice likewise stop you from making poor choices at Disney? Any entry on this record “speak to you” or do you assume these are all dumb strikes that no functioning grownup ought to’ve made? Hearing your suggestions—even if you disagree with us—is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!


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