“I want to go to Disneyland alone.”
Who says that? Social outcasts? Overly-obsessed Disney fans? Disney cast members? Why did I say it? I am the type of person that is always worried about everyone having a good time. In reality, everyone but ME ends up having fun. When I adventure alone, I’m able to focus on what I want to do and have an overall peace of mind. Hence the decision to spend a day at Disneyland solo.
To be honest, I was a bit nervous. I’ve had an annual passport for years and have visited the parks (Disneyland Resort and California Adventure) countless times. So why was I nervous? Do people really go alone? Personally, I had never noticed anyone at “The Happiest Place on Earth” solo so I assumed that no one does. After all, how much fun can you really have alone at Disneyland? Yes, the rides are fun, but mostly because of sharing the experience with friends. Will waiting in lines be extremely boring without someone to play games or have deep conversations with? Will people think I’m weird or creepy and glare at me with judging eyes? Will Disney cast members pity me?
Despite these thoughts, I sought my trusty friend Google for advice. I found a couple articles with tips on how to have fun at Disneyland alone. I honestly didn’t learn much, other than the fact that people do go alone. I also came across multiple forums with questions such as “Thoughts on going to Disneyland alone?” and “Has anyone ever gone to Disneyland alone?” Obviously people were considering it but may be a little hesitant as I was. Long story short, I went and loved it.
Here are some things I learned:
Tips For Success
Single Rider Lines. One of the most helpful things I found was a list of rides with single rider passes. I was shocked at how many other single riders there were, but also how short the wait time was. The first ride I raced to was Cars (see what I did there?), which is usually the longest wait time of the day. As I approached the entrance, I sighed at the two hour wait time. But wait! The single rider line said 15 minutes. Score! I self-consciously entered the single rider entrance with my head down, earphones in. As I got to the end of the line, I found that there were others just like me! What was I thinking? They have a single rider line for a reason. I suddenly felt some relief. To sweeten the moment, it only took about five minutes to get on the ride. And my car won the race! In fact, all of the single rider lines only took about five minutes to get through, on a Friday nonetheless. I was stoked!
Rides that have single rider lines:
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Splash Mountain
- Radiator Springs Racers (Cars)
- Soarin’ Over California
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- California Screamin’
Explore. Do things you wouldn’t normally do if you were with friends, or even things you’ve never done. For example, I had never seen an entire parade from start to finish in the hundreds of times I’ve been to the parks. Personally, they never really appealed to me. Plus, they would usually be over by the time friends and I would arrive in the late afternoon. I decided to watch Mickey’s Soundsational Parade at Disneyland. I picked a spot on Main Street right in front of the train station where I had a clear vantage point. It was perfect! I actually really enjoyed it. I do recommend watching it at least once all the way through. Obviously food is a huge part of your day at Disney as well. Check out my favorite meal and snack options too.
Favorite meals and snacks:
- The Golden Horseshoe (Disneyland – Frontierland) – For a meal under $10.00, this is your place. Pick between chicken tenders or fish and chips. They are both delicious. Or just get a delicious Mint Chocolate Chip Sundae. This is a quick service restaurant so you order and are welcome to dine-in or find a nice spot outside to enjoy your meal. Hours are Mon thru Thurs 11-8 and Fri thru Sun 11-9.
- Pacific Wharf Cafe (California Adventure) – The sourdough bread bowls with broccoli cheddar are delicious and only $10.99. They also have other budget-friendly options. Hours are the same as park hours.
- Tiki Juice Bar (Disneyland – Adventureland) – Cool down with a Pineapple Dole Whip soft-serve or a Dole Whip Float with pineapple juice for a classic Disney treat. Hours are the same as park hours.
- Royal Street Veranda (Disneyland – New Orleans Square) – More $10.99 soup bread bowls! If you are more in the mood for clam chowder, steak or vegetarian gumbo, this is your spot. Hours are the same as park hours.
- Various snack carts (Both parks) – My absolute favorite snack while visiting the parks is a chimichanga. Random, right? The carts that sell turkey legs also sell chimichangas. And let me tell you – they’re delicious! They are actually pretty filling too. But beware, they run out quick! On my solo trip, I had to run all over the place to find a cart that still had some.
Activities to do alone:
- Mickey’s Soundsational Parade (Disneyland) – The parade features songs from Disney films. It runs for 36 minutes. Best viewing point in my opinion is right in front of the train station on Main Street.
- Mickey and the Magical Map (Disneyland) – Located right before you enter Toon Town, I have always walked right past this live musical show. It runs for 22 minutes. I think this was my favorite new discovery! I loved everything about it and it was such a professional show. The featured talent is unreal.
- Mark Twain Riverboat (Disneyland) – The Mark Twain is located in Frontierland. When the boat is running, you can take a ride around the Rivers of America. If it’s not running, you can still walk around the boat and enjoy the scenic views of the park. I actually brought my Dole Whip from the Tiki Juice Bar and enjoyed the cold refreshment on the top deck of the ship. BONUS TIP: Instead of waiting in the huge line at the Tiki Juice Bar, go through the turnstile right next to it and wait in the much shorter line on that side.
- Frozen Live at the Hyperion (California Adventure) – This 1 hour long theatrical interpretation of the hit movie just recently made its debut. I have yet to see it, but if it provides the same great experience as its predecessor, the Aladdin show, it should be worth it. The amount of talent in these live shows are truly magnificent.
- Fireworks (Disneyland) – The classic and historical nightly firework show sets off at 8:45. It really is a spectacular show that can be viewed from most places within the park. The best place in my opinion is on Main Street. This viewpoint gives a straight-on view of the fireworks above Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and it also features projections on the Main Street buildings that create a very entertaining show. Other notable areas to watch the fireworks are right in front of the castle, aside the Rivers of America, and near It’s A Small World.
- World of Color (California Adventure) – Head over to Paradise Pier for this enchanting show featuring lights and water features that bring life to the night. Starting at 8:15 and lasting 23 minutes, it leaves just enough time to run over to catch the fireworks at Disneyland. Tickets are required so make sure you get yours early in the day. If you are alone, you will be able to squeeze in and get a great spot.
There are many other things you can do when you go to Disneyland alone. Just remember: You are in control of what you do and when you do it. Don’t rush and stress about getting on rides or seeing certain things. The beauty of going solo is the fact that you have no one to worry about.
I hope that this post has given you some reassurance that you can have a successful and fun time going to Disneyland alone. I will definitely do it again. If you have any other tips or ideas on what to do when visiting Disneyland alone, please comment below. Also, follow my blog for more tips for solo adventures!
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