Monday, April 22, 2019

Disney World Adventures: My Solo Park Day at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney World isn't just for kids.

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time at Hollywood Studios all by myself.  I had a great time!  Yes, I missed my family, but it was nice to have a little Mom time.  It was rather fun to be the one completely in charge of the itinerary.

Below is a breakdown of my day with a few tips at the end for single travelers. 

I am a big proponent of getting to the parks early, and today was no different.  In fact, without any kids to buckle into car seats or strollers to push, I scanned in quite early, about 8:15, despite leaving at our "regular" departure time.

The park didn't officially open until 9 AM, but they've been unofficially opening Toy Story Land early and I was hopeful that they would do the same today.  I was not disappointed.  At exactly 8:45 the cast members began walking the massive crowd to Andy's Backyard.  The crowd can get mob-ish with hundreds of people trying to be the first to get to the same place.  Since I was all by myself this wasn't a big deal, but it could be stressful with the kids and a stroller.

I waited in the line for Slinky Dog Dash for about five minutes.  The line moves pretty quickly first thing in the morning, but it doesn't take it long to back up.  The line was out the door and around the bend by the time I was off.

After Slinky Dog I quickly walked over to Toy Story Mania and waited about 10 minutes.  I was so hoping to break the 200,000 mark, but I failed.  I had a great time anyway and I was "Best in Vehicle"!  (This is a rarity for me as my wonderful husband usually is the one to claim this honor.)

My first FastPass was Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, which I picked up using the app while in line earlier, so I headed over there and had a blast.

The lines were getting pretty long at this point, and I couldn't modify my FastPasses to get anything better, so I hopped into the single rider line for Rock 'n'.  I waited only about 20 minutes, which was great since the posted wait time for Stand By was 65 minutes.  (While in line I was able to modify my second FastPass to a better time.)

After the roller coaster thrills, it was time for a quiet show and food.  I love the live Beauty and the Beast show!  It's a Broadway style show with singing and dancing.  I found it really relaxing to watch the show alone.  I used this time to eat some of the snacks that I brought with me.  (Food is allowed in this semi-outdoor theater!)

My second FastPass was Slinky Dog Dash, so I skipped on back to Toy Story Land.  At this point the park was packed and Stand By wait times were quite high.

As I was exiting Toy Story Land, I realized the Indiana Jones show was about to start, so I quickly worked my way there.  The cast members warned that it was standing room only by the time I got there, but being a party of one it was pretty easy to get a seat on the edge.  (Then the family in front of me left after about five minutes, so I ended up having a great view, even if it was a little off center!)

My third FastPass was Tower of Terror.  I'm a little bit unique in my perception of this attraction.  I find the theaming to be excellent, but in all honesty, a little creep-tastic; while the ride itself is a blast and not even a little scary.  I do really enjoy it though, so I was really thankful to have the FastPass as the Stand By line was at 105 minutes!  Even the FastPass line was a little backed up, but that gave me the opportunity to take a few photos.  I have to say, I'm pretty happy how this one turned out!

At this point I was thinking about heading out, it was crowded and I already had been able to do many of the big attractions, but decided to see what was available.  I refreshed the app a few times and to my amazement scored another FastPass for Slinky Dog in ten minutes!  I couldn't pass that up, so back to Toy Story Land I went.  (You might not know it from this blog post, but Slinky Dog Dash is currently one of the most difficult to obtain FastPasses.)

At about 1:30 I decided to call it a day.  It was a great day!  Being a local passholder is so much fun, but it is a little disjointing to go from the magical World of Disney in the morning to running mundane errands in the afternoon. (I'm looking at you, Sprint.)

Photo courtesy of Disney's PhotoPass System.

A few tips for a solo Walt Disney World Disney park day:

  1. Use the My Disney Experience App.  The smaller the party the easier it is to score great FastPasses.  Keep in mind that you might need to refresh the page often.
  2. Pack light.  I wore a sling cooler (older and not as cool as this KAVU Ropesicle Insulated Cooler Rope Sling Bag).  This was plenty big for my lunch, snacks, phone, wallet, keys, and portable cell phone charger.  I realize many people wouldn't consider this "packing light", but since I typically also have diapers, wipes, baby blanket, a change of clothes, sippy cups, pins for trading, a camera, three kids, etc., this was light for me.  
  3. Utilize single rider lines when available. Only a few attractions in Disney World have them, but when they are available they are almost always better than Stand By.    

What about you?  Have you enjoyed a Disney park solo?  What are you favorite things to do?  Have you been able to ride Slinky Dog Dash?  What are some of your favorite things to do at Hollywood Studios?

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