It’s not typical practice for me to talk about my trips in great detail on the Touring Plans blog. I usually leave that for my personal blog. However, I’d like to tell you briefly about my solo trip and how it all turned out since so many of you took the time to write in and give your solo trip tips. Wow! Say that ten times fast. Solo trip tips! Solo trip tips!
The four and a half days that I spent alone at Disney World undoubtedly changed me for the better. I was able to reconnect with myself and learn how to be okay with just spending time with just me… and thousands of other park guests. If you followed me on Twitter during my vacation then you probably understood how I felt at different points in the trip.
There were countless experiences that were priceless. From my sensual and educational private tequila tasting at La Cava Del Tequila, to my relaxing 3 hour dinner at Jiko where I met interesting people and shared life stories. I even attended my very first Touring Plans meet in Epcot!
Many of you wrote to me on Twitter or posted a comment on my previous post here on TouringPlans.com’s blog and I was surprised at how many people said they suddenly felt inspired to try a trip to Disney World by themselves. While I definitely would not and could not call myself a solo touring expert, I feel that I can share my afterthoughts and suggestions for anyone that is ready to brave this new experience for themselves. It’s something to really think about before you decide to go alone, but when you do, dive into it head first.
As I said, I had a memorable dinner at Jiko. This was my first signature meal ever at Walt Disney World believe it or not. If you’ve never indulged in Disney’s fine dining and you’re going solo, do it! Forget the price and get whatever you want. That is a direct tip from Chef Joshua and he was right. The man took good care of me and I owe him a lot for how well my night turned out.
Be social and sit up at a counter or bar where you can watch the chefs or bartenders work their magic. They’ll chat it up with you and make you feel special. Any other patron who sits down next to you is also probably open to a little conversation and trust me, it’s welcome conversation after you’ve not had anyone to talk to for a few days. You don’t realize how very little you use your voice when you’re alone.
Something that I thought was going to be harder for this power touring guru was the ability to go slow. I surprised myself. On my first day at Animal Kingdom, I was in the parks for an hour and a half before I even stepped foot into an attraction queue. I took a lot of pictures, grabbed a tea, and just strolled around in the sun’s warmth. It was so new to me to travel like that and also so absolutely wonderful. I discovered a new appreciation for Animal Kingdom all because of a slower pace. My suggestion to those who find themselves in the parks alone is to take your time. Don’t rush things. The parks will always be there and not “accomplishing” something just gives you a reason to return.
At numerous times throughout the year, folks from TouringPlans.com and The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World are cooking up different opportunities to meet up in the parks. Never been to a meet? Going there solo is a perfect way to give it a shot. I had a great time at my first meet and partially because I didn’t have to worry about dragging people along or leaving people behind. After not saying much more than, “Jambo” for a few days, I loved being able to talk to people about all things Disney. If you can, try scheduling your trip around a TouringPlans.com meet or another online community get together in the parks. It’ll be worth it! Trust me!
I’d like to thank all of you that followed me on my vacation. I’ve essentially been wearing a “Stalkers welcome” sign on my head for a week. Your suggestions and words of positivity helped me on my journey. I truly hope that many of you are more prepared and better educated about solo touring.
If you decide to take your first solo trip, be sure to let us folks here at TouringPlans.com know about how it goes!