How to Plan the Perfect Solo Disney Trip as an Introvert

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I love a good solo Disney trip, but it can be quite intimidating if you’re an introvert like me!

If you’re an introvert planning your first solo Disney trip, there are so many unknowns that can make you anxious and even scare you out of booking a solo trip to Disney!

Is it going to be awkward eating alone? Am I going to look weird getting photos of just me? Am I going to die of boredom waiting in ride lines? Is it even worth the cost of going to Disney alone? A Disney trip is really expensive, you know.

I completely understand all the questions swirling around in your brain as you contemplate booking a solo Disney trip.

This post is going to answer all those questions and more!

By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to decide whether going to Disney alone is a good option for you or not.

Going on a solo Disney trip always so much fun for me! I’ve never had a bad experience while at Disney alone, and I hope this post gives you the confidence boost you need to book a solo trip to Disney!

My Experience with Solo Disney Trips

There are a lot of people on the internet who write posts about things they don’t know anything about.

I wanted to share my history of going on solo Disney trips to show you that I know what I’m talking about and have the real answers you need. I haven’t just Googled “solo Disney trip” and regurgitated the information I found online.

I’m a self-proclaimed queen of introverts and have been on many solo Disney trips in the past few years. They’ve all been wonderful, and I didn’t feel like my introversion held me back at all!

A Chronology of My Solo Disney Trips

  • June 2017: Shanghai Disneyland (my personal favourite Disney park!)
  • September 2018: Disneyland (the trip that gave me the official status of visiting every Disney park in the world!)
  • September 2018: Walt Disney World (I went straight from Disneyland to Disney World!)
  • November 2018: Tokyo Disney Resort (celebrated Tokyo Disneyland’s 35th anniversary!)

As you can see, I’ve been on solo Disney trips all around the world and have a lot of experience hanging out in Disney parks alone.

Disneyland California Pixar Sulley About Travels with Erica

One Thing to Note

I’m an experienced solo travellers, so I’m pretty good at being alone and travelling alone.

Even though I am an experienced solo traveller, I was nervous about what a solo Disney trip would look like before I went to Shanghai Disneyland.

I was probably in a better position confidence wise when I went on my solo Disney trip, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a solo Disney trip yourself!

You’ll quickly build up your confidence and be booking more solo Disney trips in the future!

Dining Alone at Disney

One of the most nerve wrecking parts of travelling alone to Disney (or anywhere for that matter) is the issue of dining alone.

Everybody has that fear of looking like a werido dining alone or feeling like everybody is starting at you and judging you for eating alone.

I’ve been there for sure, but I can tell you from personal experience you get used to eating alone, and it starts to feel very normal and not scary at all.

Especially at Disney.

Absolutely nobody is judging you for eating alone at Disney. Heck. Most people are so consumed with chasing down their children that they don’t even notice anybody else in the restaurant. They certainly don’t notice you.

There are some tips and tricks to get more comfortable with eating alone that I’m going to share with you though!

Level One: Start Off at Quick Service Restaurants

The easiest way to get comfortable eating alone is eating at quick service restaurants. Quick service restaurants are Disney-speak for fast food-type restaurants where you order at a counter, wait for your food, then find a place to eat.

They are a lot less intimidating than table service restaurants because you’re able to control the experience.

You can choose what table you eat at, so you can easily choose a table in corner and eat with your back facing the rest of the restaurant.

You also control how long you’re in the restaurant. Since you already have your food when you sit down, you don’t have to wait for a waiter to take your order and for your food to be prepared before you get to eat.

Your time sitting alone in a restaurant is greatly decreased when dining at a quick service restaurant. You can eat as quickly as you want and then leave the restaurant in just ten minutes if you choose.

Quick service restaurants give you the ability to make the dining experience how you want it. This allows you to feel more comfortable dining alone and helps you build you confidence to move onto other forms of dining.

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

Next Up: Lounges or Eating at the Bar

The next step to take in the journey of becoming comfortable eating alone while on a solo Disney trip is eating at a lounge or bar.

I love eating in lounges and bars when I travel alone.

It is a great way to break the ice of eating in a table service restaurant alone, but it doesn’t feel weird. Eating alone at bars and in lounges is actually quite common.

You’ll fit right in!

One of the great things about eating at a bar is that your back is normally to the rest of the restaurant. The only people you’re able to see is the bartender and the other people eating at the bar.

You completely forget that there is an entire restaurant behind you, and you feel like you’re in your own little world.

I highly, highly recommend you give eating at a bar or lounge a try while hanging out at Disney alone.

You’ll get to try some amazing food that you can’t get at quick service restaurants, and I’m confident you’ll have a great experience.

Cast members are so kind, and you’ll never feel weird or awkward.

You might have to be 21 or over to sit at a bar or in a lounge, but you don’t need to order alcohol. However, since Disney is such a family-friendly place, there are plenty of bars and lounges you can eat at even if you’re not legal drinking age.

Boss Level: Eat at a Table Service Restaurant

The final step in eating alone while on a solo Disney trip is taking the plunge and eating at a table service restaurant. A table service restaurant is a restaurant where you’re sat, a waiter takes your order, you wait for your food to arrive, you eat, and then you pay when you leave.

I know it sounds intimidating if this is your first time eating at a table service restaurant alone, but there is no better place to have your first solo dining experience than at a Disney park!

Cast members will never make you feel uncomfortable or weird for dining alone.

You’ll be treated just like everybody else in the restaurant!

Plus, as mentioned before, everybody else is so consumed in their own world that they won’t even notice.

I know that sounds like a cliche, but it is 100% true.

Seriously, when was the last time you paid the other people in a restaurant a lot of attention?! You probably just scan the restaurant then become completely consumed with the experience you’re having.

Disney has some incredible table service restaurants, and it would be a shame to miss out on them just because you are self conscious about dining alone.

Festival of Fantasy Parade Magic Kingdom

Interacting with Characters While at Disney Alone

If you’re an introvert, interacting with characters at the best of times is intimidating. I feel your pain!

And that uncomfortable, introverted feeling you may have about interacting with characters (especially face characters who have a conversation with you) can be magnified.

The truth is that even if you’ve interacted with a lot of characters before, it never feels completely comfortable. Or at least it doesn’t for me.

You get more used to it and know what to expect, which helps a lot.

I do have a few tips to help my fellow introverts who are meeting characters while on a solo Disney trip.

They’ve helped me a lot in the past and hope they help you! And save you the pain of trying to learn them by trial and error.

Let the Character Lead the Conversation

The good thing about Disney characters is that they are trained to lead the conversation.

They’re used to interacting with introverted guests and children and have no problem being the more talkative person.

It is actually quite fun to just listen to the characters talk for a little while. They always speak about their own storyline or universe, and you might get to learn something new about them.

Of course you normally have to talk a little bit.

Most of the time you can get away with giving basic answers to their questions then they’ll take the lead again.

The fur characters lead the conversation as well although it can sometimes be a bit difficult to catch on to what they’re saying. Their character attendant will help you out if you’re really struggling though!

Fur characters will point at things to indicate what they’re talking about or trying to show you. They could point to their backdrop, a cool clothing item you’re wearing, and anything in between.

Whether you’re interacting with a face character who speaks or a fur character who uses gestures to speak, they’ll lead the conversation if you’re not comfortable taking on that role.

Start by Meeting Fur Characters

This is my best piece of advice when it comes to meeting Disney characters as an introvert.

It is so much easier and less intimidating to meet fur characters than face characters. To this day, I still prefer meeting fur characters and only meet face characters when I’m in the mood for it.

As mentioned above, fur characters can’t speak. That, to me, makes it less scary and easier to manage as an introvert on a solo Disney trip.

Fur characters are a great starting point to work up your confidence and how comfortable you are meeting characters before you start meeting face characters.

Minnie Mouse Magic Kingdom

Looking for More?

I have a couple of posts dedicated to meeting Disney characters. They go way more in depth than this post, so you may be interested in checking them out.

Everything You Need to Know About Waiting in Ride Lines on a Solo Disney Trip

This was the part of my first solo Disney trip that made me the most nervous. Especially since I was visiting Shanghai Disneyland during their first anniversary and knew the wait times were going to be long!

I didn’t have to worry because the lines were much less boring than I anticipated.

I took the time to enjoy the theming in the ride queues and then wasted the rest of my time scrolling through social media on my phone.

Gotta love it when wifi comes to your rescue!

I also had a book in my backpack, but I never ended up pulling it out to read while waiting for a ride. It did come in handy when waiting for parades though!

You don’t really need to worry about how you’re going to pass your time while waiting in ride lines on a solo Disney trip. Wifi has you covered!

It is a great time to fill your loved ones back home in what you’re up to. I always send my parents pictures and updates while I’m waiting to get on a ride. It keeps them up to date (and jealous) and helps me kill some time.

It is a win-win!

Take Advantage of Single Rider Lines

There is no better time to take advantage of single rider lines than when you’re on a solo Disney trip!

They were made for people like you, and you should use them as often as you can.

A single rider line often (but not always) moves faster than the normal line. People in the single rider line are used to fill empty seats, so the ride is always filled to capacity.

If a ride vehicle holds three people per row, and there is a group of two in the normal queue, a personal from the single rider queue will be used to fill the empty seat.

Single rider lines are a great way to use your Disney time efficiently and cut down on how long you’re standing in lines.

There are a couple of rides that don’t have very good single rider lines. In my experience, rides like Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster and the Incredicoaster that have two seats per row have a very slow moving single rider line.

I often hop in the normal line for these two rides because it is often quicker that way.

I highly recommend you use the single rider lines for other rides though! Rides like Test Track and Radiator Springs Racers that have three seats per row are perfect for single riders.

The single rider line for those-types of rides always moves super quickly!

Rock 'n' Rollercoaster (Disney Hollywood Studios)

What About Fastpass? Should I Even Bother When on a Solo Disney Trip?

Yes! A thousand times yes!

You should still get Fastpasses when you’re on a solo Disney trip. They’ll save you even more time than the single rider line.

The best part about getting Fastpasses while on a solo Disney trip is that since there is only one of you, you’re more likely to score a Fastpass for the most popular attractions that always run out quickly!

I’ve had amazing luck getting popular Fastpasses when at Disney alone. I’ve even gotten some same-day Fastpasses for popular attractions like Slinky Dog Dash.

You should get your Fastpasses as soon as you possibly can!

In Disney World, that means booking your Fastpass+ selections 60 days in advance if you’re staying on property and 30 days in advance if you’re staying off property.

For the rest of the Disney parks around the world, this means getting your Fastpasses the day you’re in the park. You’ll still be more likely to get good Fastpass selections, but you’ll have to work harder for them and have a strategy in place.

I have a number of posts about Fastpasses that go more in depth about Fastpass strategy and what Fastpasses are worth it and which are:

Will I Be Able to Get a Photo of Myself While Alone at Disney?

Of course! And plenty of them too.

Every Disney park in the world now offers photopass, so you can get professional photographs taken of you.

You can also ask a cast member to take a photo of you, and they’ll be more than happy to help you out. I’ve also had many instances where a fellow guest has taken a photo of me, and I’ve taken a photo of them.

There are lots of different options to choose from, but you’ll for sure be able to get some photos of yourself while on a solo Disney trip.

But Will People Think I’m Weird?!

Photopass photographers and cast members will not think you’re weird for being alone at Disney and wanting your photo taken.

Most guest won’t either! Especially if you ask childless adult guests to take your photo. They understand the love of Disney as an adult!

It might be awkward and uncomfortable the first few times you get your photo taken alone, but it quickly wears off. Photopass photographers do a great job of making you forget that there are thousands of people around, and you feel like it is just you and the photographer.

I wouldn’t let being on a solo Disney trip prevent you from getting photos taken of yourself! You’ll want those memories for the rest of your life.

Going on your first solo Disney trip is exciting, and you’ll want the photographic evidence.

Pooh's Hunny Hunt

Final Tips for Introverts Planning a Solo Disney Trip

Know What to Expect

The first step in knowing what to expect while on a solo Disney trip is reading blogs like this one. So congrats on taking the first step!

You’ll also want to be emotionally prepared for the crowds, weather, food, and transportation.

Research the aspects of a Disney trip that you’re not familiar with and become familiar with them.

This will help you be prepared and confident when entering your first Disney park alone.

Have a Plan

Having a plan will help you keep busy at Disney and always know what you plan on doing next.

I like to have an idea of what rides I want to ride, what food I want to eat, if I want to watch a parade or stage show, and any characters I want to meet.

This helps cut down on the decision making time, which is normally the time I’m standing around by myself trying to decide what to do next.

Know What You’ll Do if You Have an Anxiety Attack

I know being an introvert doesn’t equate with being anxious, but it does for me.

I try to have a plan of what I’m going to do in case I have an anxiety attack and need to calm myself down.

Whether it is a plan to go back to the hotel, find a bathroom, or go on a dark ride, I like to have an anxiety plan when I’m at Disney.

Oddly enough, the two times I’ve had an anxiety attack at Disney was when I was travelling with other people.

But it is good to have a plan just in case. I actually have an anxiety plan whenever I’m travelling alone and would highly recommend you have one too.

My general travel anxiety plan is to go back to the hotel, and I always book an extra day in a city just in case I spend most of a day at the hotel.

But booking an extra day at Disney is awful expensive, so I don’t really recommend that.

Monsters Inc Scare Floor Magic Kingdom

Be Confident

You’re at Disney! Nobody is paying any attention to you so walk with your head high. Nobody will give you a second look.

Having confidence makes your solo Disney trip so much better!

You’re not afraid to do things, and you’re more willing to try new things.

I know it is easier said than done but just fake it until you become it!

Know You’re Not the Only One

There are tons of people who go on solo Disney trips!

There are always people on solo Disney trips in the parks, but you don’t notice them because they blend into the crowds.

Just because you’re on a solo Disney trip doesn’t mean you stick out like a sore thumb!

Who Shouldn’t Go on a Solo Disney Trip

I thoroughly believe that most people should go on a solo Disney trip. It is a great experience and some of my fondest memories.

There are some people, however, that may not enjoy a solo Disney trip as much as the average person.

You may want to think long and hard about going on a solo Disney trip if you fall into one of the below categories.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t go on a solo Disney trip if you fall into one of these categories, but you should just evaluate whether or not you would enjoy a solo Disney trip.

  • You don’t really like rides and enjoy the atmosphere more than anything else
  • You’re hyper-dependent on other people and won’t do anything alone
  • You have a bare bones budget and wouldn’t be able to do anything other than go to the parks, stay in the cheapest hotel, and eat the cheapest food (no snacks!). You may want to save up for another year before you book your trip, so you can experience more of the Disney magic
Chip and Dale Main Street USA

Watch the Video

Conclusion

I hope this post helps you decide whether you want to book a solo Disney trip as an introvert!

Solo Disney trips are so much fun, and I would hate for you to miss out on the Disney magic due to being an introvert.

I fully understand that it can be awkward and intimidating to go on a trip to Disney alone, but it doesn’t have to be! It gets much, much more comfortable the longer you’re at Disney and the more solo Disney trips you take.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve been on a solo Disney trip before and what your favourite part of the trip was!

Say hi to Mickey for me next time you’re at Disney!!

How to Plan the Perfect Solo Disney Trip as an IntrovertHow to Plan the Perfect Solo Disney Trip as an Introvert

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