The Solo Traveler's Guide to Walt Disney World

The sprawling vacation resort can be even more fun for a solo traveler

Epcot

Courtesy of Disney

We’re celebrating the joy of solo travel. Let us inspire your next adventure with features about why 2021 is the ultimate year for a solo trip and how traveling alone can actually come with amazing perks. Then, read personal features from writers who have traversed the globe alone, from hiking the Appalachian Trail, to riding rollercoasters, and finding themselves while discovering new places. Whether you’ve taken a solo trip or you’re considering it, learn why a trip for one should be on your bucket list.

Walt Disney World is often thought of as a family vacation destination, but the sprawling vacation resort can be just as fun—or even more so—for a solo traveler. There’s so much to do at Walt Disney World that there’s no way you could get it all done in one trip, but don’t worry, after going to Magic Kingdom alone for the first time you’ll be planning another solo getaway soon. Here's where to stay, what to do, where to eat, and more as a solo visitor to the happiest place on earth.

Where to Stay

There are dozens of hotels and resorts on Disney property to choose from, but there are three that truly stand out for a single rider on vacation.

Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

These cabins offer a secluded reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the parks with all of the amenities of home—including a full kitchen. You can even rent a golf cart to drive around the grounds, making trips to Tri-Circle D Ranch to see the horses that parade around Magic Kingdom each day, or to see decorated campsites during the holidays. Golf carts can be reserved up to a year in advance by calling Disney.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts

These sister resorts offer easy access to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios via boat, Disney Skyliner, or a walking path. Known for their on-site dining, including AAA Four-Diamond winner Todd English’s bluezoo, these resorts are technically owned by Marriott, so if Marriott is your preferred hotel, you will get points for staying right in the middle of the park.

Four Seasons Orlando

Located in the middle of the swanky Golden Oak private community, the Four Seasons Orlando's rooms have views of Magic Kingdom or Golden Oak. The rooms are well appointed and most suites offer Plum, an in-room wine dispensers, perfect for late evening ventures out to the balcony. The Four Seasons is also known for its pool, on-site golf course, and its rooftop restaurant, Capa.

Top Attractions for Solo Visitors

When it’s time to step into the parks consider making a list of must-do attractions and prioritizing them based on what has a single rider line and what doesn’t. No matter what attractions you choose to do there are four that should be at the top of your list.

Magic Kingdom Space Mountain

A must-do for solo travelers—and oftentimes, if ride vehicles are not filled and have an empty seat a cast member will look for a single rider in the nearby queue.

Soarin’ Over The World

This Epcot attraction makes you feel like you're on a hang glider traveling over some of the most iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

While Disney’s Animal Kingdom has quite a few attractions that are good for solo travelers, the best is Kilimanjaro Safaris where you’ll have an entire row in the safari truck on a simulated game drive. The 20-minute adventure is a perfect break for resting tired feet!

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Located inside the iconic Chinese Theater at Hollywood Studios, visitors enter the attraction and watch a Mickey cartoon short, in which Mickey and Minnie set off for a lovely day of picnicking. Spoiler alert: Things go awry when Goofy gets involved, at which point, visitors board the ride to tag along for the mayhem and mishap that occurs to set the day right again. It's a super cute ride through the Mickey cartoon shorts with a catchy theme song you’ll be humming the rest of your trip.

Where to Eat

Dining is usually at the top of the list of things to plan for a Walt Disney World vacation, and there are some truly exceptional spots around the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs to have a meal—even if you're alone.

Topolino’s Terrace

Located at Disney’s Riviera Resort, this is a must-get reservation. The character dining breakfast includes a set-price breakfast with drinks, an entrée, and a pastry basket. You’ll also be able to see Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy as they parade around the restaurant. Pro-tip: You can order extra sides or part of a second entree for no extra cost.

Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo

At this diverse restaurant in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll find a variety of dishes from plant-based kofta to ribs and fried chicken. There’s indoor and outdoor seating that’s all first-come, first-served, making it great for solo visitors.

Wine Bar George

This Disney Springs favorite lets diners sample small plates like burrata with crispy bread and tomatoes, perfectly cooked chicken skewers, and a grilled romaine salad. If wine is your drink of choice, consider creating your own wine flight with the help of one of the expert waitstaff and a list of over 120 different wines, all of which are available by the ounce, glass, or bottle.

Tips for the Solo Traveler

  • Be flexible with your dates if possible. If you go during the week, your room rate will be cheaper, and the parks will be less crowded. Also, look for discounts for annual pass holders and residents of certain states.
  • Set alerts on your phone for when your dining reservation window opens. Many popular restaurants like Topolino’s Terrace will reach reservation capacity quickly, so making your reservation right when your 60-day window opens will increase your chances of securing hard to get reservations.
  • Since there is no FastPass or single rider lines right now, keep an eye on wait times through the Walt Disney World app. Lower wait times will typically be first thing in the morning or later in the evening.
  • Drive (or walk) to the parks as much as you can. The lines for Disney transportation can get long as the parks are opening and closing for the day, so walking or driving will likely get you there faster depending on where you’re staying.
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