As an annual pass holder, my time is mostly spent at the parks with friends or family. Every now and then I run into a slight tissue: no one can go with me to the park. In the past, I used to just reschedule my trip and do something else with my day. Except recently when I was so hyped up for my trip that I made the decision to go to Disneyland by myself.
And let me tell you, it’s one of the best trips I’ve ever had to the park.
A lot of my friends asked me why I would do that. Didn’t I get lonely waiting in line? Didn’t I have to wait for all of the shows alone? They couldn’t understand how I managed to have a good time in the park alone, so I want to share my experience and encourage people out there that Disneyland is still the Happiest Place on Earth, even if you’re going solo.
This is probably the best part, in my experience, about going to the parks alone. Virtually no waits! Who can say no to that? Several attractions have separate entrances for a Single Rider Line, the longest I waited in one of these lines was about 30 minutes (For Radiator Springs Racers, I think that’s pretty great).
But wait, I was asked several times, what did you do in line by yourself for that long? I’m a big fan of reading, so taking a Kindle was ideal for me. Another thing I did? I talked with people! You’d be surprised how friendly people are at the park when you start talking about anything Disney. After all, if they’re visiting, then there’s a chance that they love Disney. Another thing I did was I talked with cast members; several of them were kind enough to give me suggestions and tips about the parks. (Did you know you can hear the little girl in Tower of Terror through the second floor wall?)
For the attractions that didn’t offer Single Rider lines, I tended to have a lot of luck by going up to the cast member and asking where the Single Rider line was. Some cast members informed me their particular attraction didn’t have a line, but would sometimes let me in through the exit. Of course, this is up to the discretion of each cast member, but Magic Moments happen all the time at the park!
One of my favorite things to do in the park is to take pictures with the characters. Princesses, Darth Vader, Donald, Spider-Man, no matter the character, you can count me in. Usually, when I go with other people meeting characters is not the thing they’re dying to do. But going alone I was able to take pictures with tons of characters! I had the flexibility to hop from one character to the next, from Main Street, To Fantasyland, to Tomorrowland, without having to worry about how many rides I was getting on or how much time I was spending doing this.
There’s two reasons why I loved being on my own when it was time to eat. The first was people watching. Disneyland is a haven for those of us who love people watching! It’s great to see the excitement on everyone’s face as they go throughout the park, and it’s usually easy to spot a family who’s first visit it is. My favorite is seeing the kids who can hardly contain themselves, whether it’s their first or hundredth time to the park.
It’s usually also a lot easier to find seating when you’re on your own. I opted to sit along the Rivers of America with a bread bowl from New Orleans Square. I also caution here to only sit there if it’s not a particularly crowded day to ensure there are no hazards created.
My second favorite reason is that I didn’t have to eat at a sit down restaurant. Actually, it was super easy to take my little salad bowl from Pizza Port and go to sit on the benches near the hub, where said people watching from above commenced.
If you’re a sweet tooth, like me, there’s the added benefit that you can go around and just spoil yourself all day if you wanted. Have you tried the funnel cake from the Hungry Bear restaurant? You definitely should!
This was my absolute favorite thing about my day in the parks alone. As on person, it’s a lot easier to find seating along the parade route last minute than if you had more people. I was able to squeeze in between a couple of families right in front of the route for Paint the Night, and they didn’t even mind! In fact, they were happy to make room for me.
For shows like Mickey and the Magical Map? Just as easy! People are surprisingly accommodating when it comes to scooting down to make room for just one more person. Same goes with the fireworks. I think the added benefit here was that I’m rather short, so basically everyone can see over me, but it was a piece of cake for me to nab a spot in front of the Castle for the fireworks.
I’m not necessarily advocating that all future trips should be done alone, but I am of the mind that going to Disneyland alone is not a bad thing. Maybe you’ll find new things to do, board an attraction you normally wouldn’t wait for, or find a new favorite spot to sit for dinner. The possibilities are endless.