Whether you’re hitting the Parks for an hour or two on your own while your family is napping back at the hotel, or spending a day there by yourself just because, going solo at Disneyland (or any Disney Park) is something I recommend doing at least once (don’t be chicken!). It may sound scary, or weird even, but an outing by yourself is actually quite a delight.
Not sure what you’d do with time to yourself at Disneyland? Here’s 10 suggestions for exploring on your own:
- It’s all about you! Ride what you want, when you want. Take advantage of Single Rider lines and ride a favorite attraction over and over again (often available on Soarin’ Over California, Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones and California Screamin’).
- Showtime! Skip the rides and take in some shows. Especially the ones you might otherwise skip, such as Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Muppet Vision 3-D or Billy Hill and the Hillbillies.
- Get to know the “locals”: Chat with a Cast Member or two and do some pin trading. Maybe they’ll have a tip about the Parks for you!
- Relax with Walt Disney: Enjoy a Dole Whip on a bench in the Hub at the end of Main Street near the Partners statue. It’s a great place to soak in the sunshine and notice the extraordinary floral display and the bronze character statues in the roundabout.
- Say Cheese! Go on a photo adventure. Snap pics of the little (and amazing) details throughout the Parks. Ask Cast Members or other guests to take your photo. (Offer to take theirs too!)
- Take in some Southern hospitality: Stroll through New Orleans Square, grab a Mint Julep and have a caricature drawing made while you listen to the sounds of VooDoo spells and N’awlins jazz in the alleyways.
- All Aboard! Take the Disneyland Railroad on a full circle tour of the Park. And then go around again. Ask a Cast Member at the Main Street station if the Lilly Belle is on-line that day and if so, find out if you may take a ride in this historic railcar.
- Vino: Enjoy a nice glass of wine while you watch Guests pass by from the peace and quiet of the Wine Country Trattoria patio in California Adventure. While you’re there, swing through the Blue Sky Cellar for a sneak peek of what Walt Disney Imagineering has in store for the Parks.
- Giddyap! Take a turn on King Arthur’s Carousel in Fantasyland. There’s rarely a line for this classic attraction so you can hop right on. See if you can find Mary Poppins’ horse Jingles (hint: look for the umbrella).
- Cat Patrol: Ride the Mark Twain Riverboat or the Sailing Ship Columbia and keep an eye out for Disneyland’s elusive (but hard-working) feline residents who can sometimes be spotted on the shores of the Rivers of America.
One last word of encouragement before you decide if going solo is for you, nobody will know you’re alone unless you tell them. And I’d bet a churro that some of those weary Park-going parents would gladly trade places with you for the opportunity to enjoy Disneyland’s magic on their own terms, if even for an hour…
I went to Disneyland alone last October since I was in Anaheim for a conference and couldn’t resist the opportunity. I’ve been to Disney World many times, but never Disneyland. Despite it being a drizzly day, I was there from open to close, and saw everything I wanted to. It was wonderful wandering around at my own pace. I did have to stop and call a friend though, to share just how weird it was being at Disney, but not at Disney (alternate universe Disney?). There was plenty to keep me occupied while I stood in lines by myself, and I never pulled out my book like I thought I might.
I spent a week at DL by myself this past August (well, half of it was at the D23 Expo) and I had a great time! I was able to go completely at my own pace, and enjoy everything I wanted to! Going by yourself is a great way to experience both parks!!!!
I went to Disneyland by myself last October. Ive always wanted to go alone and I think it was one of the best experiences I have had.. Ive been there so many times, but its always with people and mostly their first time, so you’re rushing around.. But I do recommend going alone. I tell everyone that wants to go, to just go. Plus people are nice to you where ever you are in the park. Guest and Cast Memebers alike.
I’ve been to Disneyland alone 3 times. Whether just for an hour because I happened to be in the area, or once I went for the whole day. Nobody really noticed I was there by myself. It was great to do everything at my own pace. It’s so funny to see these suggestions, because most of them are EXACTLY what I do in the park by myself :)
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I go by myself once or twice a week. Monday, I rode Toy Story Midway Mania 3 times because the wait was 20 minutes or less. It’s fun to relax in the lobby of the Grand California; the chairs are so big and comfy. The staff of the perfume shop in New Orleans Square are so friendly and there’s a Hidden Mickey to be found. I also like to sit on a bench by the Big Thunder Barbeque and enjoy the lively music show. If the Davey Crockett canoes are running, grab an oar. It’s fun exercise.
I do all this stuff all the time, sometimes, I just need to get a “trip” in… in fact, I’ll be there by myself this coming weekend!!! and Looking forward to it, eat what I want, see what I want, go where I want, and not hard to “get around” on my own, and I LOVE “single rider”….
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In 2008 I went to Disney World by myself for a week. It was lovely, I did more random wandering about than I would if I was traveling with someone else. I sat on benches and in chairs and people watched, I went to shows more than once if I wanted to. It didn’t even bother me to eat alone, even went to buffets by myself. I really really enjoyed having a hotel room all to myself as well. It was during the Flower and Garden Festival and I loved having the time to stop and read all the plaques and take notice of all the topiaries.
Also shopping on my own, awesome! It was great to be in that huge World of Disney store and not have to keep track of another person.
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I’ve been doing this for years! There’s no other place I’d rather be.
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As an annual passholder to Disneyland for over 15 years, I was sad the year our youngest started school, half day Kindergarten. My weekday trips to my Happy Place had come to an end.
And then, it hit me about a year later, once our youngest was in school all day just like her older sister, I could go to Disneyland ALL BY MYSELF!!!
I’ve gone numerous times all by myself! IT’s great. No one argues as to what rides I want to ride. No one argues about where to eat for lunch. No one argues about simply sitting on a bench and people watching for an hour. LOL!!!
While I do still very much enjoy going with my girls, and my husband, and friends, I do enjoy going by myself. It makes for an entirely different trip!
I have visited Walt Disney World parks a few times on my own. While I certainly prefer to be there with family, there is a fun factor to being alone and being able to hit any ride, or any eatery, at any time.
As Darcy says, it is a totally different trip. And I also appreciate not having a debate over where or when to eat!
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This is very encouraging reading! I have had a season pass a few, relying on other friends that have one to go with me or begging people to get a pass with me. Now this year I am the only one with a pass and my husband has gone with me 4 times, each time paying for his ticket cause he’s not to fond of Disneyland and does not want a pass. A few times I have contemplated, to go alone or not because I am a big chicken of doing things alone, but today I decided that tomorrow I’m going alone. It’s a waste of a pass if I don’t take advantage of it and what’s the big deal? I’m almost 30 so just suck it up and do it. Thank you all, you have made me feel better and excited about experiencing my happiest place on earth alone.