Disney Hollywood Studios for Solo Travelers
Walt Disney World is a much-beloved family vacation destination. Smiling children with their indulgent parents fill the commercials, and may leave those planning a solo Disney World vacation with a sense of doubt. It is easy to believe that everyone who visits Disney does so with a group, and solos may wonder whether they will fit in.
Vacation Planning Tip - IF you are a solo traveler and you are planning your Disney World vacation package. We suggest adding the ‘hopper’ option to your Disney World tickets. Being a solo traveler it is much easier for you to hop from park to park than say a family of five.
There is no need to worry. Hundreds of solos visit Walt Disney World every day. Traveling alone actually has a number of advantages. For example, filling a theater to exact capacity is a tricky proposition for Cast Members. Therefore, they tend to become good at eyeballing the crowd to determine where to cut the line. If you see a rope going up directly in front of you, a simple “I’m alone,” said in a friendly voice will often get you to the other side of the rope, shortening your wait time. The same is true with ride vehicles as well, when one seat often remains available at departure time.
Singles also have a much easier time maneuvering through the often heavy crowds that accompany parades and fireworks displays. Excusing yourself past people who may have been holding a spot for hours draws much less ire than parading a small group through someone’s seating area.
At Disney-Hollywood Studios, there are a number of things that singles can do to minimize their wait times while maximizing their enjoyment. If you enjoy thrill rides, arrive early and make your way directly to Sunset Boulevard, home of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror. Check both lines to see which is shorter. Get a Fast Pass for the attraction with the longest wait, then get in line for the other. By the time you get off that one, it should be time for your Fast Pass. Grab a Fast Pass for the one you just rode on your way out, then head to the other one. After you ride, stand in line to ride again. By the time you’re finished, it should be time for your other Fast Pass. This method allows you to ride both attractions twice with minimal waiting.
The Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster both have load patterns that may allow you to take advantage of your single status. Though there is not a Single Riders line, seating is such that there is often one seat left available. Keep your eyes open, and always ask the Cast Member if you can take that seat, even if there are guests ahead of you. If no one has claimed the seat, odds are good that the guests in front of you are together and do not want to break up their party.
Another ride for which your single status may be helpful is Star Tours. Again, the seating arrangements are such that one seat is often left available. Guests are pre-loaded into rows for the preshow, so you will not be able to see an empty seat. However, as you approach the pre-load area, feel free to ask the Cast Member if there is room for one.
*Tip* If the Star Tours line is reasonably short, or you are using a Fast Pass, you may want to forgo this tip and, instead, request the back row. Sitting in the back corner with your feet lifted from the floor and your arms off the armrests makes a fun ride a bit more thrilling.
The Great Movie Ride and Backstage Studio Tour both have very large seating capacities per row. You will end up being seated with other people, and it is possible that you will end up seated between two groups. If this makes you uncomfortable, you can request to be seated on the end of a row. Normally this can be accommodated immediately, however, depending on load patterns you might have to wait for the next vehicle.
The other attractions at this park are shows, so be sure to take advantage of the tip listed above. Always ask, when you are at or near the front of the line, if there is room for one more. Many of the theaters allow you to seat yourself, and often being a single will allow you to slip into the end of a row that is quite close to the stage, even a few minutes prior to showtime. Be careful with this, though, as people often save seats. Always inquire before you sit down.
Many of the popular table service restaurants now book up long in advance, thanks to the new Disney Dining program. However, the smaller your party, the more likely that there will be room to accommodate you. The Sci-Fi Dine In Theater and the 1950’s-themed Prime Time Café are the best at the Studio for themeing and fun. The Prime Time Café is especially great for those dining alone, who might otherwise feel awkward, as the wait staff is fully in character. Your “brothers” and “sisters” will ensure that you are well taken care of, and will go out of their way to make you feel like a part of the family. Approach the restaurant early in the day to find out if there have been any cancellations, and inquire as to whether they can accommodate a single at any time during the day.
At the Disney Hollywood Studios, guests are invited inside the movies. Solos who are film buffs will appreciate the opportunity to peruse the park at a leisurely pace. The attention to detail is quite amazing, and small tributes to famous films are everywhere.
Allow yourself some time to interact with the “Streetmosphere” characters as well. These improvisational actors take on the roles of famous Hollywood stereotypes, from “The Director” to “The Ingenue” to the “The Character Type.” They roam the streets of Hollywood, adding flavor and realism to the Golden Age. These characters are excellent at bringing park guests into the fun, so feel free to step up and get involved.
Although Disney is known worldwide as a top vacation destination for families, hundreds of singles visit Walt Disney World every day. Disney guests tend to be friendly and easy to talk to, so if you are somewhat outgoing it is easy to strike up a conversation in line or while waiting for a parade. However, if you prefer solitude, that is also remarkably easy to find. It is a simple matter to lose yourself in the anonymity of the crowd, or to find an unoccupied park bench off the beaten path.
Touring alone means that you will not have to reach a group consensus on what to see and do. If you want to spend an entire day shopping, you can. If you prefer to ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster over and over until your nose bleeds, that is your choice as well. Disney is quite accommodating of singles, and no matter how you choose to spend your day, you can be certain that there will never be awkwardness or embarrassment at being alone.
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