Walt Disney World is a beloved family vacation destination. Looking at the crowds on any given day, with the abundance of strollers, it is easy to believe that only families with small children visit the parks. The Magic Kingdom in particular, especially Fantasyland, is the land of children’s dreams. Flying with Peter Pan or traveling the world with the animatronic children of It’s a Small World appeals to the small fry, but may leave single adults wondering, what could there possibly be for me?
In reality, a Walt Disney World vacation as a whole is an excellent destination for singles. From the hopping nightlife at the adults-only clubs of Pleasure Island, to the world class cuisine, Disney offers a variety of enjoyable activities for adults of all ages, whether alone or with a group.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Going Solo
Throughout Walt Disney World, being alone can actually work to your advantage. Cast Members estimate the number of guests who can fit into a theater show, for example. If the dreaded red rope goes up in front of you, often the words “Is there room for just one?” will gain you access to the theater, significantly shortening your wait. This is often true when ride vehicles are being loaded as well, as one empty seat will often remain. Be polite, but always inquire whether there is room for a single.
Another advantage to traveling alone is the ability to follow your own schedule. Want to ride Space Mountain over and over again until you are so dizzy you can’t walk? You can! Is your idea of a perfect day a shopping spree? You can indulge to your heart’s delight, without anyone trailing behind you begging to go on rides. You can be spontaneous as well, stopping for coffee or to listen to a band, without worrying that you will be late to meet the rest of your party.
The Magic Kingdom hosts hundreds of singles on any given day. As a result, the Cast Members are quite skilled at making solo guests feel comfortable. There is no awkwardness in dining alone, as you may experience in other places, and your wait staff will go out of their way to ensure that you are both comfortable and entertained. Whether waiting for a parade to start or taking pictures with characters, you will be welcomed into the fold.
Other guests are an excellent source of company as well. Disney guests are by nature friendly and outgoing. Many lasting friendships have been forged while waiting in lines or holding curbside seats for parades. Or your interactions may be merely transitory, a short conversation held on the monorail with someone you will never see again.
Of course, if you seek solitude, the opportunity also exists to become lost in the crowd. Many locals visit the Magic Kingdom solo to take advantage of the backdrop of sights and sounds, as inspiration for art or writing projects. Some visit for the day and never take a single ride, preferring to wander the shops and dine in the restaurants, or simply sit and watch the crowd.
Making The Most of Being Solo
At the Magic Kingdom, there are a number of ways to maximize your single status in order to minimize your time spent waiting in lines. Pirates of the Caribbean was recently refurbished to include the characters from the popular movies. Hence, the ride is extremely crowded all day. Take advantage of being on your own to dash directly to this ride at rope drop. You may be able to ride two or even three times in a row before the crowds descend. Also in Adventureland is the Jungle Cruise. Postpone this ride to the very end of the day, and you may find yourself on a private tour! The Tiki Room : Under New Management is a theater show, and it is easy for singles to find a seat.
Liberty Square is home to two attractions: Hall of Presidents and the Haunted Mansion. Take the very last ride of the night on the Haunted Mansion, when the crowd is quite small or non-existent, and the Cast Members put a bit of extra “oomph” into the show. This is a great time to meet local Haunted Mansion buffs as well, many of whom know the spiel by heart and recite it loudly during the pre-show. The Hall of Presidents is a theater-style show, where your single status can minimize your wait.
Frontierland offers a great opportunity for singles to save some time. Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (coaster) are next to each other. See which has the shortest wait, then get a Fast Pass for the other. Ride the one for which you do not have a Fast Pass. Grab a Fast Pass for that one on your way out. Then use your Fast Pass at the other one, and immediately get in line to ride again. Then use your Fast Pass at the first ride. This allows you to ride both twice with a minimum of waiting.
Also in Frontierland, be sure to visit Tom Sawyer Island. The Island offers caves to explore, forts to climb in, and an excellent barrel bridge. This is a great place to meet other guests of all ages, and perhaps share a game of checkers at the barrel lid boards at the fort. Be sure to ask a Cast Member about the paint brush hunt, which has a real prize: A Fast Pass.
Visit Fantasyland late in the evening. During the day, it is overrun with small children, with long lines and extremely crowded paths. By night, the land takes on an almost surreal luster and the wait times will be drastically diminished. Though Fantasyland may seem to be an area solely for children, the classic dark rides are extremely well done, and definitely worth a visit. You can watch the Wishes fireworks from Fantasyland, for a completely different perspective. From this side of the castle, you are up close and personal with pyrotechnics in every direction. This is a great place to meet other pyrotechnic buffs as well.
Mickey’s Toontown Fair is primarily a character greeting area and playland for children. If you have the time, however, you may enjoy Goofy’s Barnstormer , which is a short but surprisingly exciting “kiddie coaster.” This is also a nice land in which to take a break, perhaps with a snack from the produce market.
Tomorrowland represents “The future that never was, and always will be.” Primarily consisting of rides, it is difficult for singles to gain a wait time advantage in this land. However, it is always a good idea to keep your eyes open as you approach the load platform. If you see that not every seat is filled, it is perfectly acceptable to let the Cast Member on the platform know that you are alone. If you want a break from the crowds and noise, be sure to ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. This slow moving ride provides beautiful aerial views of Tomorrowland. It is hardly ever crowded, and you may be able to ride twice back-to-back.
Main Street USA in a wonderful place to shop and dine. This area is also home to VMK Central. Virtual Magic Kingdom is primarily an online multiplayer role playing game, but there are some in-park quests as well. The in-park quests are of the scavenger hunt variety, and are a lot of fun whether or not you play the online game.
Character meals are often booked far in advance. However, cancellations do occur, and the smaller your party, the more likely that you can be accommodated as a walk-in. Be sure to ask at the Crystal Palace, home to the Pooh and Friends character meals. The food is excellent, and the characters go out of their way to interact with adults, particularly singles, as well as children.
No matter how you decide to spend your day, from thrill rides to shops, the Magic Kingdom is an excellent choice for solo travelers. Friendly Cast Members and fellow guests, exciting rides, and Broadway quality shows ensure that your day will be memorable and fun.
If you are visiting Disney World alone, we suggest renting a townhome or Disney condo , because many of the sub-divisions we book for have so many fun events going on all the time.