I am lucky enough to live close to Walt Disney World. I’m an Annual Passholder, and before the closure I would hit the theme parks solo all the time. As much as I like visiting with my family and friends, it’s nice to be in control of my time and do what I want. Once Walt Disney World reopened, I wondered if visiting solo would be any different because of the new regulations. I’ve now been to all four of the theme parks by myself, and I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts and experiences.
The final park that I visited solo was the Magic Kingdom. I took the ferry over (it was my first time on it since things reopened) and this was the only time I didn’t feel safe that day. There were markers that groups were supposed to stand on, but many people just ignored them. When it was time to board, the group rushed forward without keeping apart. The same thing happened when we made it to the Magic Kingdom. One thing that is nice about being by myself is that it is easier to hang back if others are getting too close. I was one of the last people off the ferry because I didn’t want to be squished together.
There’s one other transportation note about visiting the Magic Kingdom alone. I did not stay until closing; when you’re by yourself you can come and go as you please. When I left, I was the only one on the monorail. It wasn’t that I was the only one in the car, I was alone on the entire train! I’ve had a whole bus to myself in the past but this was something I never thought that I would see.
I’ve noticed that there isn’t any difference between going through the queue alone or with others right now. With the social distancing markers on the ground the lines move at the same speed if you’re alone or if you are in a group. One thing that is nice when alone is that I know that I am keeping the proper distance between myself and the group in front of me. If it is a large group and they are spread out a little bit too far for my liking, I can just keep back an extra mark without having to explain why.
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On rides in the past, if I visited a park by myself I would often end up crammed into the end of a row, often with barely enough room. I would sometimes avoid rides such as Kilimanjaro Safaris because I would get dirty looks and a row of people would all have to move down, even though that was where the Cast Member told me to sit. There is no crowding in right now, when I go by myself the whole row is mine! I’m getting views of rides that I don’t normally have when I visit by myself, because I don’t have to sit on the end. It’s a nice feeling.
My favorite ride to go on by myself is Smugglers Run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I had the whole cockpit to myself! Since they aren’t pairing parties together to ride right now you can pick the position that you want, and the Cast Members will set everything else to auto. Before all of this if you were a single rider you would end up as an engineer, but now you get to pick between left and right pilot if you want! I picked right, because sending the Falcon into hyperspace is always a dream come true for me. I got to pilot the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy “solo”. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
I am a bit obsessed with the Character Cavalcades in all four parks, so finding characters has been part of each lone mission that I’ve been on. That is another reason why I like to visit by myself. I enjoy standing on the side and watching the characters go by. If I’m in a good spot, I might just wait in the same area for the next cavalcade. When you’re with others, there is a good chance that at least one person in your party will not have the patience for it, since the characters aren’t seen at posted times.
Eating alone at a park is really no different right now than it was before the closure. That’s another plus about visiting alone. I don’t have to base when I eat on when someone else might be hungry. I can pick the time and the place.
For the most part, visiting solo hasn’t changed all that much since the parks reopened. I do like not being in crowds, and I like the extra space that I’ve been able to have on the rides. If you are comfortable traveling and wonder if it is worth it to visit the Walt Disney World theme parks solo, I say go for it! The short wait times and lower crowd levels are going to eventually be gone, and “solo” riders will end up as engineers on the Millennium Falcon once again. That will be a good thing, though, because it will mean that we’re on the other side of COVID-19.