Solo Disney World, Part Three

by Gray Cargill on October 20, 2008

This is part three of my series on traveling solo to Walt Disney World. In part one, I discussed why Walt Disney World is a great first trip if you’re dipping your toes in the solo travel pool. In part two, I discussed the pros and cons of being alone at Disney World. In part three, I’ll cover when to go to Disney World from a solo perspective.

Lily Pond

I like being able to see greenery in Florida when there's snow on the ground in Vermont

When to go

Whenever you want! That’s another plus of traveling solo. You are more flexible about when you can travel. Nobody else’s work or school schedule or vacation days need to be taken into consideration, only yours.  I surveyed my panel of frequent solo travelers for the answer to “When is the best time for a solo traveler to go to Walt Disney World?”  Their responses were varied.

Bill Brown from CA said, “I am hooked on visits in early December, because of the holiday decorations and cooler temperatures.”

Betsy from WDWForGrownUps.com, on the other hand, replied “I like to go when it’s moderately crowded.  I love to people-watch, so if it’s desolate, it’s a bit boring.  I love to swim and enjoy the warm weather, and am a fan of Disney’s seasonal events (Food and Wine, and Flower and Garden).  All of those preferences make October and May/early June good times.”

Fran from Pittsburgh agrees “. . .in my opinion, there really isn’t a bad time for Disney.  However, from a crowd and heat perspective, I like late April/early May and October.”

Epcot Bridge at Sunset

Epcot Bridge at Sunset

Notice none of their timing is based on the fact that they are traveling alone.  And yours needn’t be, either.  It’s not like Disney hosts a “Solos Only Week.” (Though wouldn’t it be fun if they did?)  There are as many reasons for choosing a particular time to visit Disney World as there are personalities in the world.  Only you can decide what factors are most important to you–weather, crowd levels, events, value season (if you’re on a tight budget), etc.  You may have very specific times that you must take vacation because of your job (teachers, for instance).

If your primary consideration is that you want to visit Disney World at a time when you’re likely to see lots more child-free and solo adults,  I’d agree with Betsy and think about timing the trip with one of Disney’s many events that appeal to adults:  The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival (fall), the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival (spring), Gay Days (usually the first weekend in June), or (if you’re an art lover), Festival of the Masters (November).

For my first trip to Disney World, I happened to choose a great time of year to visit–late January/early February. My reasons for choosing the week I did were cost (it was value season) and the fact that it would be the dead of winter in Vermont, but relatively warm in Florida. But it turned out to be a good time to go as a solo adult, too. It was just after school started up again following the holidays, but too early for any schools to be on winter break, so there were a lot more child-free and solo adults than I expected to see–which in turn, made me feel less conspicuous as one of them.

You may feel exactly the opposite–say you love kids and crowds and people-watching.  Then go during the most crowded times of the year–holidays and school vacation times.  Just be prepared to pay higher prices and wait longer for rides.  The key is to figure out what’s most important to you, and then do your research online before you book. You can find dates for special events at Disney World at their websiteWDWForGrownUps.com has a lot of excellent planning tools (including some tailored tools specifically for solos and business travelers) and Mousesavers.com is a great resource for figuring out general prices depending on when you want to go.

Next up:  How to Get Around Disney World.

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