For some, Valentine’s Day is a time for expensive dinner with your significant other, flowers, and chocolate. Others may celebrate with a bottle of wine and a movie. And if you’re really lucky, you might spend it in Disney, sharing a Mickey’s Kitchen Sink from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor while sitting on Main Street USA waiting for Wishes to begin. I considered writing a post about all of the romantic dates to be had at Disney World, but honestly I’ve been single for 6 years and probably wouldn’t be the best person to make those recommendations. Instead, I’m going to share with you the best way to spend Valentine’s Day that I know how- by yourself.
Okay, so being single for 6 years maybe sound awfully depressing, and I would be lying to you if I didn’t get down about it every now and then. But being alone for that amount of time has taught me some very valuable life lessons and skills, one being how to spend some actual quality time by and with yourself. Which leads me to this crazy thing I did about 2 years back- I went on my first solo Disney trip. The first few hours I doubted how I was going to get through 4 days by myself, let alone enjoy it, but minute by minute I grew more self aware and found that I enjoyed being there by myself just as much- if not more- than when I go with other people.
Here are just a few reasons that I thoroughly enjoy going to Disney by myself and why you should give it a try- regardless of if you are single, attached, or somewhere in between.
- Want to ride Space Mountain 5 times in row? Do it. Decide last minute to stay at the park until close and then head back to your room to eat pizza in bed? Go for it! Sing along to every single word during an Enchanted Tiki Room show with zero judgment? Well, I cant promise other park goers wont judge you, but you should go for it anyway (I know I did)!
- Ever get to the park and regret not making reservations for dinner? Well, it’s a lot easier for them to fit one person in last minute than if you were there with a few of your friends. On my trip, someone on the bus was telling me about how delicious the dessert fried wontons were at Yak & Yeti. I decided to give it a try a few hours later and they were able to sit me at a little table by the window within 5 minutes.
- Now, this one isn’t a given- but since I was by myself I had a couple of cast members invite me to use the fast pass line rather than waiting in an hour long line by myself. I think this happened because being by yourself forces you to talk to people outside of your group and I ended up just chit chatting with so many CMs over the course of the trip.
- Finding a spot for parades or fireworks is much easier when you only have to fit one body into that tightly packed crowd.
- If you’re tired and want to change your plans and go back to the room, there is no one around to make you feel guilty for doing so. On day 3 I wore some horrible shoes that gave me blisters (oops!) and I decided around 1pm that it was time to go back to my room and take a hot bath. And that is exactly what I did for the next two hours.
Have I convinced you yet? If so, here are a few tips I have for first time solo travelers:
- Request a room closest to the main building if you are staying at a value or moderate resort. If you explain that you are there alone, they will usually accommodate you. Although I always feel safe at Disney, I tend to stay out late and I feel much better having a shorter walk to my room when it is dark and quiet out.
- Don’t be afraid to have sit down meals if you want to. Having dinner by yourself only feels slightly awkward to you; trust me no one around you is judging you. I do this all the time, even when I’m not at Disney. It is a great time to reflect on your day, people watch, and thoroughly enjoy that glass of wine or steak that you are having. And don’t write off Character meals either! The characters are still delighted to have you there and everyone around you will be open to assisting you with pictures. I had breakfast at Crystal Palace one morning and the servers, as well as the people at the table next to me, were glad to help.
- Take advantage of PhotoPass photographers! If you have an annual pass like me, your photos are included and you get some really nice shots. If you don’t have an AP or memory maker, the photographers will be more than happy to take a picture for you with your personal camera or phone. There is only so many times you can take a selfie before they all start looking the same.
- Just because you went by yourself doesn’t mean you can’t interact with those around you. I talked to everyone- cast members, people in line, the couple sitting next to me at a restaurant, or the women standing next to me at the bar in Epcot. You might have a great conversation, find out something you didn’t know about Disney, or create a great friendship.
- Try your best to avoid distractions- don’t sit on Facebook reading up on everyone’s drama and expect to enjoy the moment you are in. You don’t need to completely cut yourself off from the world- I love sharing my trip via social media- but don’t get sucked into it for too long.
And, if you aren’t able to get to Disney World in the near future, spend a nice Valentine’s Day at home by yourself! That is what I will be doing this year. Why not celebrate by pretending its another holiday you love? I went to a haunted escape room over the weekend since Halloween is my favorite holiday. Tomorrow, I will probably stay home and catch up on some of my favorite TV shows and sipping some wine out of my favorite Disney glass. I have a bottle of Chocolate Raz wine from a local winery (DiMatteo Vineyards) that is to die for!
As far as attire, since I’m not going out I am keeping it low key. This outfit would be appropriate for work (at least at my office) but would transition well to dinner or drinks if that is what you plan on doing.
Mickey and Minnie Sweater- Kohls (similar)
Black Turtleneck- Target
Pants- New York & Company
Red Heels- Bought them too long ago to remember (similar)
Necklace- JCPenney (similar)
Earrings- Zales (similar)
Lips- NYX Liquid Suede (told you I’m addicted!) in Kitten Heels
Mickey Wine Glass- Disney World- Available on the Shop Disney Parks App
Pictures by my talented sister in law- Brielle Kaschak Photography
Let me know how you plan to incorporate Disney into your Valentine’s Day- whether its in your outfit, watching some Disney movies at home, or planning your first solo trip! And if you plan on booking a solo trip feel free to reach out to me- I would love to answer any of your questions or discuss the awesome plans you are making!
Sounds just like me and the beach! I spent a summer working a Sun-Thurs schedule and none of my friends ever were free/ wanted to go down the shore. I started going on Fridays often solo and loved it. The crazy sh*t that you see/hear is the best lol. Not to mention no one telling you it’s time to get off the sand because it’s dinnertime or almost dark. Ice cream for dinner? Check. Stay later than you thought because a good band was playing at the Stone Pony summerstage? Check!
Right?? It’s great being free to do what you want when you want. It’s great to have people join in sometimes as well, but doing things solo is a great experience a lot of people miss out on.
Great article. I love your writing. Thanks for sharing!!!
Thanks so much! I enjoy writing, so I’m glad you enjoyed reading!