Disneyland: Solo Trips
I've been to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World by myself. Sometimes, I actually prefer it. You get to do what you want, when you want. You can eat whatever you want without judgement. Plus, you can take it slow and actually absorb your surroundings. So here are my tips to have a fun-filled day at the Happiest Place on Earth solo!
1) Single Rider. A few of the rides at both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure offer a Single Rider line. At Disneyland, single rider is offered at Indiana Jones and Splash Mountain, and at Disney's California Adventure California Screamin', Grizzly River Run, and Soarin'. Single Rider line is a quicker way to get on the above rides. Even for rides that don't offer Single Rider specified lines, sometimes the Cast Members who ask, "How many?" will ask if there is a party of one and you can jump several people. Also, if it's a ride like Space Mountain where there's two people per seat, you can sit with another single rider instead of watching the single person go and waiting for the next train.
2) Meet the characters. This is your chance to get one-on-one time with the characters. Chances are you have lots of pictures with you and your family with the characters, or your kids with the characters. With going alone, you get to choose which characters you want to see. Don't forget your autograph book. Disney is the place to be a kid and what's more fun as a kid than seeing Mickey and Goofy?
3) Party of one? Some people feel very insecure about eating by themselves, especially at Disney where it's a more of a "family" atmosphere. But never fear! Take this time to grab a churro. And some ice cream. And a turkey leg. Here's the best part: you don't have to share and no one is keeping track of what you're eating! If you're more daring, do what I do: go to a sit down restaurant and enjoy a relaxing meal. You can people watch while you eat! Disney is home to some of the best treats so self-indulge! You're at the Happiest Place on Earth!
4) It's showtime! Take your alone time to see a show, or two, or three! They don't ask, "How many?" so you don't have to worry about being embarrassed. Catch the Aladdin show, It's Tough to Be a Bug!, or Muppet*Vision at Disney's California Adventure and Captain EO at Disneyland. you also get the opportunity to watch World of Color, Fantasmic!, and/or the fireworks without worrying if everyone in your party can see or having little ones on your shoulders so they can see.
5) Explore. Now is the time to do things you always wanted to do that you never get to do. Innoventions, Mark Twain Riverboat/Sailing Ship Columbia, Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes, Tarzan's Treehouse, Main Street vehicles, Main Street Cinema, and The Walt Disney Story Featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln are just some of the things at Disneyland that are sometimes skipped over due to the rush of trying to fit in all the popular rides. Disney Animation at Disney's California Adventure is also a good one to do when solo; you can learn to draw a character (and you can keep doing the show twice, three times, etc.), visit the Sorcerer's Workshop, or Turtle Talk with Crush.
6) Take a tour. If you have the money, be sure to call in advance to take one of the tours the Disneyland Resort has to offer. Click here to see all the tours they have to offer. If money's tight, there are a couple of free tours, and they are both inside of Disney's California Adventure. Boudin Bakery and Mission Tortilla Factory both offer short tours of their space and you may even get a little sample at the end!
7) What to bring? Be sure to bring a bottle of water (you can refill it at a water fountain), sunscreen, a jacket/sweatshirt, money/credit/debit cards/AP or ticket, make-up, chap stick, cell phone (fully charged), keys (if driving), camera (a friendly guest or Cast Member can help you document your trip!), and gum or mints (gum is not available anywhere on Disney property), a pen and autograph book, and the most important part: you can't forget about your ears!
Photo credit to darthservo