Disney World Epcot for Solo Travelers
Many single travelers to EPCOT may think that Disney World vacation is just for families and it really has nothing to offer the single traveler. In fact, hundreds of singles visit Walt Disney World every day. From the adults-only nightclubs of Pleasure Island to the world famous cuisine, Disney offers a plethora of choices that are designed to appeal to adults, whether single or in groups.
Although in recent years, Disney has made a conscious effort to make the park more family-oriented, Epcot Disney World has always had the reputation as a more adult-oriented park. Future World offers enough past, present, and future technology to hold the attention of the biggest technology buff, while the World’s Fair atmosphere of the World Showcase will appeal to those who love to travel.
Solo visitors to Epcot will love the freedom that their single status represents. Epcot is designed on the concept of pavilions, each housing a variety of exhibits and attractions. Marine life buffs may find themselves lost for hours in The Seas with Nemo and Friends, while car aficionados are drawn to the new car preview center of Test Track. Singles who visit Epcot with an open mind and no particular agenda are completely free to spend as much or as little time in each pavilion as they see fit.
Dining is another area in which solos have a significant advantage. Since the Disney Dining Plan was implemented, it has become almost impossible to get reservations at the world famous table service restaurants. However, cancellations can and do occur, and singles have the best chance of finding a table on a walk-in basis.
The single biggest advantage that solos at Epcot will find is in the use of the single rider line. The extremely popular Test Track ride offers this option. While Fast Passes may be gone for the day by 10 am, and the standby line at a 3 hour wait, the singles line rarely if ever approaches an hour wait. Most often, the singles line stays at around a 20-30 minute wait even during very crowded times.
Future World generally opens at 9 am and World Showcase at 11 am. Solos should head directly to Mission: Space to pick up a Fast Pass, then to Test Track. Ride Test Track back to back with no wait, then use your Fast Pass for Mission: Space. You will want a Fast Pass for Soarin’ as well. Depending on how long it is until your Fast Pass return time at Soarin’, it is quite possible to spend all or most of that time inside the Land pavilion, where Soarin’ is housed. Take the Living with the Land boat ride. This often overlooked attraction takes you into both the history and the future of food production, and offers a look at the greenhouses where a large portion of Walt Disney World’s food is produced. Be sure to catch the Circle of Life film as well. The food court at the Land has been redesigned to resemble an airport concourse, and the food is both reasonably priced and quite good. Lunch here is an excellent choice.
Though the Living Seas was recently redesigned as The Seas with Nemo and Friends, in an effort to become more child-friendly, adults should not miss it. The aquarium is so large that it has been termed “the world’s sixth largest ocean.” Check out Turtle Talk with Crush. The technology involved is quite amazing and the show is hilarious.
Do not miss Spaceship Earth. Housed inside the “giant golf ball” at the front of the park, this dark ride provides a spectacular trip inside communication from the dawn of man to the global connectivity of today. There is hardly ever a wait, and the ride is extremely well done. Ride this one in the middle of the day, when the dark, cool solitude provides a nice break from the scorching heat and crowds outside.
The World Showcase provides a celebration of world cultures. Live music, street performers, and world-class dining ensure that single adults are never bored. Plan a leisurely afternoon taking in performances as they appeal to you. A great opportunity to meet others is through shared meals. Both the Biergarten in Germany and the Teppanyaki Dining Room in Japan offer seating at large tables with other guests. Both restaurants offer performances, conversation, and fun, and are excellent places to make new friends.
Make your single status known to the various street performers, if you would like some extra attention. You might be selected to perform in a wacky re-creation of a well known play with the World Showcase Players, or singled out for attention by Bubble Nicholas, the mime who performs in France. Also catch the live bands, particularly the British Invasion in England and Off Kilter in Canada. These shows draw a good crowd of friendly people. Make sure you see the Voices of Liberty, performing the pre-show to the American Adventure. This a capella group performs classic folk tunes, and their show is simply breathtaking.
Epcot lends itself particularly well to solo exploration. Each pavilion is so large, housing so many different attractions, shops, and dining opportunities, that it can be difficult to get a group to agree on much of anything. The solo traveler has the freedom of movement, to spend hours sipping wine and pastries in France, or to run back and forth from Test Track to Mission: Space multiple times. Every pavilion is worth a visit, but some will speak to you more than others. Visit everything, but allow yourself the luxury of lingering in those that most appeal.
Illuminations, the nightly fireworks display, can be viewed from anywhere around the World Showcase Lagoon. Guests arrive as much as two hours or more in advance to save their spots. However, as a single, you can arrive just before show time and secure a decent, if not spectacular, position. Another option is to have a snack from one of the outdoor cafes (Norway is a particular favorite), and watch the show from the café’s seating area. This will provide a somewhat obstructed view, but the peace and solitude are quite nice.
Regardless of how you choose to spend your day, Epcot is a wonderful place to visit alone. Many locals use the sights and sounds as a backdrop for creative projects from writing to drawing, and may never visit a single attraction on any given day. Others visit in the evening, just to shop, dine, and see Illuminations. Epcot offers a variety of opportunities for solace or company, and enough attractions to ensure that you are never bored. The Cast Members are used to solo visitors, and will go out of their way to ensure that your visit is special. Try Epcot on your solo vacation, and you will not be disappointed.
If you are traveling alone we suggest adding the hopper option to your Disney World tickets. The upgrade is only around $50 and since you are traveling alone you will be able to hop from park to park much easier than families with 2,3 or 4 kids.