Disney World is the stuff of dreams to many people and I am no exception. Back in September I finally made my way over to Disney World Florida as a solo adventurer! (as my badge said) and ticked it off my life long bucket list!
Disclaimer: I live in the UK, so heading over to Disney World is a big deal (and not plausible for a short trip!)
I’d previously been to Disney World back in 2016 but that was a complete write off and I absolutely needed to head back to rewrite those memories and experiences! What better way to head back there alone where I can do whatever I wanted?! As it turns out, it was the best experience of my life and I already have post Disney blues! Through out these series of blog posts, it might sound like this was my first time to Disney, but that’s what it truly felt like! I really missed out on everything back in 2016.
My friends will tell you that I am a massive fan of Disney but I’ve never portrayed that really on my blog for some reason. Besides my guide to Disney (click here) it’s never been obvious! But now you know.
P.S. I did specifically dye my hair pink for this trip..
I know some people are curious about this, as we all know Disney can easily get very expensive very fast for families! I did my absolute best to keep the price down. I’d booked my trip on what I consider as short notice (June) to travel in September, so grabbing the best deal and saving my ass of was the plan. September is usually the quietest month in Disney as kids go back to school, so I took advantage of that. Not to mention I managed to grab a deal just in time where you get a 14 day park ticket for 7. I stayed for 9 days at the Art Of Animation Hotel (review coming soon.) I booked my trip through the official website and not a tour operator so that also helped keep the cost down too.
Accommodation rental: £880
Memory Maker: £0 (came free with my ticket!)
Disney’s 14 Day (14 for 7 Ticket): £395
Combine and Save discount: -£26.40
Flights were booked separately with Norwegian Airlines: £319.80
Sounding expensive? That’s cause it was haha! But believe it or not, that was the cheapest deal at the time. Art of Animation was also my desired hotel (I got very lucky!) but transport to and from the parks was also very important to me too for this trip, as I cannot drive. Originally just the hotel was being advertised as £1400 when I originally looked a few months back, so I am super happy to have stuck it out and got this deal. Of course, it might be cheaper if you book way in advance. To me, this was worth every penny.
The park ticket its self covers Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Two Water parks.
When I told the people I interact with daily, they did question my sanity when I first booked it. I believe their questions came from a good place though, they wanted me to have a good time and not be disappointed! As my trip approached, they became more excited for me.
On my arrival, I admittedly was a little insecure about being alone. Especially as I was the only one who got off the Magical Express at my hotel! I soon settled in though and mentally started planning how to spend my first few days. I wanted to have a plan (in case I’d get bored) but also be flexible to see where the day took me. Honestly my biggest fear about going to Disney alone was that I’d get bored and not enjoy my time there and I’d have several days all sad in my hotel. How wrong I was.
The focus in this photo is real haha..
Monday 16th September –
Arrival – 5pm – Pass out from JetLag
Tuesday 17th September:
Wake up super early (like 3am – thanks Jet lag 🙄) – Magic Kingdom
Walmart (snack supply)
Wednesday 18th September:
Thursday 19th September:
Friday 20th September:
Animal Kingdom – Morning
Hollywood Studios – Afternoon
Disney Springs – Evening
Saturday 21st September
Hollywood Studios – Morning
Magic Kingdom – Afternoon/Evening
Sunday 22nd September
Disney Springs – Morning
Epcot (specifically the Food & Wine festival) – Afternoon
The Boardwalk – Late Afternoon
Magic Kingdom – Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party – Evening
Monday 23rd September
Magic Kingdom – All day
Tuesday 24th September (morning)
Hotel chill & Fly Home
The first thing I do when I get to Disney is to find the perfect themed Minnie Ears. This is a solo perk for me because I could honestly spend a good chunk of time trying to find the right ones. I feel like I can’t even start in the Magic Kingdom without them! This year I grabbed two. Some gold ones and Coco themed Halloween ones!
I’m really happy to say that I did not suffer any loneliness or have any issue with eating alone. My badge was a talking point for all of my conversations. Whether it was cast members, people waiting in the queue with me or even at the fireworks. People struck up conversations with me walking past me too. Always curious to find out where I’m from, how I came alone and my plans. It was really lovely and it made my trip! When doing character meets, this was also a topic of conversation too. Mulan asked me what I was up to while being alone, Aladdin and Jasmin said I was a woman after their own hearts and they love adventure. Even asked me if I would be taking a magic carpet ride any time soon! haha.
I bought my badge from an independent business on Etsy (link here) and I don’t know what I would of done without it. It’s made in the similar style to the badges you get on arrival (Just Married, First Time, Birthday etc.) so it was perfect! I got lots of compliments on it too. (Not sponsored by the way, just genuinely loved it!)
When it came to getting on the rides alone, it wasn’t an issue at all. I never had to share with a stranger and was always given my own cart regardless. I believe there are some single rider lanes for the biggest roller coasters? I’m not a big fan of those (solo perk: no one to disappoint) so I didn’t get on those.
Another thing I noticed was that it was a massive benefit when it came to fast passes. Rides that I wanted were always available within the few hours. I’d always check when I was waiting in the queue (after taking a fast pass) on the Disney World app and most were always available within the next 30 minutes. I think the most I had to wait for fast pass availability was an hour.
My favourite ride is the Haunted Mansion by the way!
As most of you know, selfie sticks are completely banned from Disney! Which I am actually super grateful for. I really hate the things personally but I do own one for my solo adventures. It did lead me to think of creative ways I can get pictures of myself while in the parks before hand. I was aware of Memory Maker before my arrival but it wasn’t until I actually arrived at the parks that I realised just how many photographers there were. Honestly guys, they were everywhere. If you’re travelling alone, you do not need to worry about photos.
Minnie pointing at my badge (Not a flattering photo but just to prove how it was a conversation starter for cast at Disney!)
Mr steal your girl
I actually believe Animal Kingdom is my favourite park for being solo. It’s funny, because back in 2016 it was my least favourite park. However, this time around it became my absolute favourite. I loved going to all the shows, walking around trying the snacks (coming soon) and the Safari. Not to mention enjoying the new (for me) Pandora section and finally getting some vegetables in my system.
I believe you all know the answer to this already but I would 1000% recommend Disney World Solo if it’s something you’ve always wanted to do (but are waiting on people to come with you!) The moments where you’re alone (queues/restaurants) you can chill on your phone. In places like Pandora’s land, there is reserved communal tables in the restaurant and I joined a few people there. Otherwise, you don’t really notice you’re alone. I didn’t have any moments where I was like “oh I wish I was sharing this moment with you” because I just sent it to my friends and family on Whatsapp and they replied. At the end of the trip, my boyfriend said he felt like he was there with me. In the evenings, I just did what I do at home and watched a movie on my phone!
To me, any solo adventures feel kind of similar to if you were going shopping by yourself but I understand that this may not be for everyone.
What do you think? Would you ever go to Disney alone? Let me know!