First-Time (Basically) Trip To Disney World - Def Solo Trip November 2019! - Includes Pics From 1990 Trip

defhermit

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 17, 2019
Hello there!

Posting like this is new to me. I'm new to Disney-related travel and like a lot of people have become obsessed with Disney forums, podcasts, streamers, etc since booking a trip on a whim a couple of months ago. Work bonuses keep surprising me (even though they come on a regular basis) so I planned and pulled the trigger on a WDW trip on a somewhat short-notice basis.

After spending a week or two pricing out off-site hotel costs I noticed how close their costs were, after all was said and done, to the lowest-cost Disney resorts. All-Star Sports and such. So after a week of knocking the idea of an All-Star reservation around, I actually clicked the button on a Pop Century stay instead after confirming that the Skyliner would be in operation by the time my trip rolled around. I'm all paid up for an 8-day stay at PC from Nov 15th to the 23rd! I'm travelling solo, as is my way. I think I'm gonna have a great time!

This will be my second trip to DW ever. As a 43 year old dude, I went one time before when my mom took me when I was 12 in 1989! I only have really vague memories of the trip. Looking back I realize that Disney MGM Studios must have just been opened, but I have no memory of going there. My mom might have skipped it. I do have several memories of Epcot and I remember thinking the futuristic exhibits were outdated. Now I realize that Epcot wasn't even open for that long in 1989! I also have a few vague memories of Magic Kingdom, but no pictures have made their way to social media. I've asked my mom to send me what she has but it's a hassle for her so we shall see.

Part of the reason I got interested in going to DW after all this time is due to a random trip I made to Disney Land last year just before Christmas (much like my upcoming trip). I went for a long weekend trip to watch a Podcast Festival (Peecast Blast, it was hilarious) and decided to tack on a DL trip. Much like my upcoming second-time-ever trip, with Disney Land I had been there once before 34 years previous in 1984 when my dad took me and my brothers on a cross-country van drive that wound up with a day trip to Disney Land. It was a satisfying trip down memory lane, but it also made me realize how much I enjoy the outright un-ironic joy that Disney theme parks bring out in people. As a kind of snarky gen-X guy I've been bathed in irony and sarcasm my whole life and it feels good to just enjoy nice things that are nice.

Here are some pics from my DL trip last year. You may be able to suss out which long-haired solo dude I am from the in-ride picture. I assure you I have memory maker for my upcoming trip and will post better pics.
Please let me know if I'm doing this right. I'd like to figure out how to embed individual pics right in the post in the future.

I've absorbed all that I can from various how-to's internet-wide, I woke up early and got my fast passes. I've got a few dinner reservations. I've cancelled a Hoop Dee Doo Revue reservation that people here convinced me I couldn't get to in time. I signed up for a lightsaber, and a droid. I really need to just wait and stop making add-ons at this point.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! I'm planning on working on this thread consistently up to and including during my trip from Nov 15th to 23rd.

Stayed at Pop Century recently? Traveled to WDW solo recently and have any pointers?

Thanks for reading!
 

defhermit

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 17, 2019
Got my 'Final Itinerary', 'Thanks for paying in full' email yesterday. I'm 23 days out if I've done the math correctly!
My mom emailed me and told me a package is in the mail so hopefully I'll be able to update the thread with pics from my one and only trip to DW back in 1989!
I did wind up cancelling my reservation for Hoop Dee Doo Revue (I guess I already mentioned that) so I'm looking for a nice place to eat on my arrival day, Friday Nov 15th. I'm guessing I'll just be walking around the Boardwalk or Disney Springs to see what I can get, but if there's a place I can get a steak or a nice piece of fish without a reservation I'd love to hear about it.
Guess I should update my profile so I don't have a big 'D' for an image.
 

defhermit

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 17, 2019
Okay so it turns out my mom took me in 1990, not 1989. As previously mentioned, I convinced her to send me the pics she saved from the trip.
Today that package came. It turns out she sent me the whole photo album! Plus 2 boxes of Tastykakes. I'm from Philadelphia but live in Seattle now, my mom knows that I need those regional cupcakes.

My mom is great. She preserved a lot of pics for near 30 years and I happen to have a top-notch scanner. So I'm scanning the whole dang thing. Stay tuned. She saved the maps and a lot more.


447288447291

The first page of the photo album included an into post card and the 3 tickets my mom, a cousin and me used during our trip. This one was labeled as mine and it clearly was because it cost $72 while the others cost $92. Since the other member of our party was an adult, I assume the difference was because it was a child ticket. Another thing I noted: we were only there for the week that included jul 28-29th, days 3 and 4 of this 4-day ticket. The other days we went to Sea World, Universal, Typhoon Lagoon... I have very few memories of these things but flipping through this photo album is popping some flash bulbs. <Oh yeah I rode on top of a giant bee in a Honey I Shrunk The Kids experience of some sort>

22 days and counting until Def Solo Trip 2019!
 
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  • defhermit

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2019
    Spent quite a bit of time scanning pics from an old photo album tonight! I haven't had time to process these into a cohesive storyline so I think I might just post a few random ones every couple of days or so until my trip. Keeping myself excited for the trip! I did this while watching Disney movies, watching Snow White right now!

    Anyway, here's a picture of Pinocchio water-skiing:
    447781

    I have no idea where this pic was taken. We went to Typhoon Lagoon and Sea World but I'm not aware of anytime there would have been a Pinocchio ski-by in those places.
    Do you know where this picture could have been taken? 1990.

    Here's Minnie Mouse at some parade, I presume:
    447782

    Other pics confirm to be this from the Electrical Parade.

    20 days and counting!!!
     

    defhermit

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2019
    I figure I should fill you in with more details about my rapidly-upcoming trip!

    As a total noob when it comes to planning trips, let alone Disney World ones, I just reached out for help on the internet. After finding crowd-estimators and getting bogged down with that minutiae for a bit, I just decided on the week of 18-22 for my main DW days. With that decided I also wanted another couple of days for Universal, so I pulled the trigger on 8 nights at Pop Century with a 5 day park hopper pass for good measure. Went ahead and bought 1 day pass at Universal that I'll fit into some day I'm there. I have the option of grabbing a second day if I'm not satisfied at the end of day 1. Do I need to worry about the place selling out?

    So after learning about the whole dinner reservations/FP reservation days associated with the booking (for real didn't know anything about this until after I booked it) I got excited about really going for the FP reservations. I booked the trip in too short notice to really take advantage of the dinner reservation perk, and as a solo traveler I really wouldn't have gone TOO crazy with that, had I had the opportunity. Okay well maybe I would have guaranteed myself a steak dinner. But I really wanted to try hard to do well with FP reservations.

    I plan on spending 1 full day in each park with a 5th day to head wherever I wanted to try to hit rides I didn't get to. I didn't want to agonize too much about every step of the plan, and I'd heard conflicting opinions immediately upon seeking answers for the whole 'which day which park' question so I just posted a comment on an existing thread. "Does anyone want to just tell me which days I should go to which park during my trip between the 16th and 23rd?". I'll look up who the helpful responder was, but their answer was basically "Monday-AK,Tuesday-HS,Wednesday-MK,Thurs-Epcot". So that was the plan. I arrive in Orlando on a Friday. I'll head to Universal on Sat and maybe Sunday, then follow this person's plan Mon-Thurs and then add a 5th 'go wherever' day for the last day Friday.

    Time marches on and finally my FP reservation day is upon me! Good news: My regular work hours are from 7am-4pm so as an early riser (~5:30am) it was no problem to wake up for this. Bad news: I'm on the west coast so I did have to wake up at 3:50am to not feel as if I'd cheat myself. I did my research and was in front of my PC with secondary mobile device close at hand at 4am PST to stake my claims!

    In further weeks I succumbed to a few more reservations: Tusker House because I want SOME reservation on my first Disney park day. Lightsaber and droid and Cantina, because if not then what am I even doing this for? Plus oh yeah what the heck there's a special event (Mickey's Christmas Party) on my last night so throw that in there too!

    Here's what my schedule looks like, as seen through Google Sheets:
    (NOVEMBER)
    10 sun11 mon12 tue13 wed14 thu15 fri16 sat
    Delta Flight
    Leaves Seattle @9:30am
    Arrives Orlando @~6pm
    Universal Studios / IOA
    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
    Possible 2nd
    Universal Day?
    If not, resort day
    and Disney Springs
    Animal Kingdom Day
    8am-9am (w/ EMH am)

    9:20am-10:20am
    -Kilimanjaro Safaris
    10:20am-11:20am
    -Expedition Everest
    2:20pm-3:20pm
    -Avatar Flight of Passage

    7:25pm - Tusker House Res
    Hollywood Studios Day
    9am-9pm

    9:15am-10:15am
    -Star Tours
    10:30am
    -Savi's Workshop (lightsaber)
    11:30am-11:45am
    -Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
    12:55pm
    -Oga's Cantina 'Lunch'
    1:50pm
    -Custom Astromech Units (droid)
    3:20pm-4:20pm
    -Slinky Dog Dash
    Magic Kingdom Day
    9am-11pm (w/ EMH pm)

    9:20am-10:20am
    -Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
    10:20am-11:20am
    -Pirates of the Caribbean
    11:35am-12:35pm
    -Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    Epcot Day
    8am-9pm (w/ EMH am)

    9:20am-10:20am
    -Test Track
    11:45am-12:45pm
    -Mission: SPACE
    12:45pm-1:45pm
    -The Seas w/ Nemo & Friends
    Magic Kingdom Morning!
    8am-1pm (w/ EMH am)

    9:20am-10:20am
    -Pirates of the Caribbean
    10:45am-11:45am
    -Space Mountain
    11:45am-12:45pm
    -Jungle Cruise

    Dealer's Choice Afternoon!
    Go wherever. Maybe just relax.

    MK - Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
    7pm-Midnight (but I can arrive whenever)
    American
    Leaves Orlando @1pm
    Arrive Charlotte @2:45pm
    American
    Leaves Charlotte @4:30pm
    Arrive Seattle @7:30pm


    I'd like to get a few more nice dinners planned. I expect I'll make my way to Disney Springs or the Boardwalk area on my first night, have dinner in the Universal area Sat-Sun. I suppose I'll hit up Food and Wine for dinner on both Epcot and HS nights, so I guess I'm really just looking for a place to eat dinner on my MK day (11/20). Any suggestions for a solo dude trying to eat on a Wednesday? Since I have plenty of MK time on schedule for friday, maybe I leave MK early-ish on Wed and head somewhere random for a nice meal? I really would like to have at least one nice meal while I'm there.
     

    kimberwee

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2011
    Your memorabilia is so cool! I had a huge gap of no Disney growing up. My last family trip was when I was 16. I didn't go back until I was 33 and now try to go more frequently. :-) I'm 40 now and this will be my 3rd trip since taking my daughter for the first time in 2012...

    BTW - We have similar FP times on the 21st at Epcot.

    As for Wednesday, try a monorail resort restaurant? There are also several lounges at each of them that are serving food now if you aren't starving and want to eat at a bar. I enjoy sitting at the bar for my meal if I am by myself or just with my husband. It's great talking to bartenders and you can often get better service.
     

    defhermit

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2019
    Your memorabilia is so cool! I had a huge gap of no Disney growing up. My last family trip was when I was 16. I didn't go back until I was 33 and now try to go more frequently. :-) I'm 40 now and this will be my 3rd trip since taking my daughter for the first time in 2012...

    BTW - We have similar FP times on the 21st at Epcot.

    As for Wednesday, try a monorail resort restaurant? There are also several lounges at each of them that are serving food now if you aren't starving and want to eat at a bar. I enjoy sitting at the bar for my meal if I am by myself or just with my husband. It's great talking to bartenders and you can often get better service.
    Thanks so much for replying! For a bit there I was convinced that I was going to be talking to myself alone for the life of this thread!
    Disney trips were not a regular occurrence for me growing up. There was just 2: my Dad took me and my 2 brothers on a cross-country van trip in 1984 where we visited Disney Land for one day, and my Mom took me and an adult cousin to Disney World for a week in 1990. Anyway I guess I explained most of that above...

    I'm thinking about reserving Hoop Dee Doo Revue for wednesday night. I like cheesy theater and beer and I can just take a boat there from MK. Problem there is that the later showing (8:30pm) is already full. I'll definitely look into the monorail-accessible lounges!

    Here's a couple more pics from the Main Street Electrical Parade in July of 1990.
    448682448683448685

    Thanks again for reading! 17 days!
     
  • defhermit

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2019
    I actually went ahead and pulled the trigger on Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue for 8:30pm Wednesday night. I got it in my head that it would be cool to take a boat to that show, so it fits right into my Wed-MK plans. Also, MK is open to 11pm for EMH that night so I maaay have time to slip back into MK for a little bit AFTER HDDMR finishes up? Unlimited beers are a go! Now I should look into what food they actually offer there....
     

    defhermit

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2019
    It sounds like you have a great plan. I love Pop Century - we have stayed there the last few trips.
    Thanks! By any chance, did you go to Universal during a stay at Pop? If so, what's the best way to get there? As of now I'm just planning on grabbing a Lyft from Pop to Universal as early as I can but maybe I should take a Disney bus somewhere else before the Lyft?
     

    Chief Powhatan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2012
    Thanks! By any chance, did you go to Universal during a stay at Pop? If so, what's the best way to get there? As of now I'm just planning on grabbing a Lyft from Pop to Universal as early as I can but maybe I should take a Disney bus somewhere else before the Lyft?
    I have not take an Uber/Lyft from Pop to Universal, but I have from the Pop to other locations offsite. Just put in the ride request and it will pick you up in front of the Classic Hall. There shouldn't be any need to take a Disney bus anywhere.
     
  • defhermit

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2019
    10 more days til I leave for Def Solo Trip 2019!

    I don't have any (good) more recent photos so for now I'll have to rely on the ~2 year old photo I've used for my profile pic, in terms of showing my current face. There'll be plenty of current pics once I get to Orlando and memory maker kicks in! Note: I've gained a few pounds!

    Here's what I looked like 29 years ago:
    450326

    Rocking that original Game Boy, which was at that point less than 1 year from its release in NA. I still have one of those things in my collection! I'm really into video games, and work in the industry.
    Before we got onto the plane I was kicking back watching TV in the airport on the state-of-the-art TV vending seats that were in bus stations and airports at that time:
    450333

    At some point we went on this boat! It just says 'Magic Kingdom' on the side...
    450334

    Can anyone identify this boat and where it went? Is it obvious?

    And finally for now, here's a picture of my and my Mom in front of Spaceship Earth! I held off posting any pics of her until I got her permission!
    450335

    I wasn't able to secure the permission of the other guy in the photo. I'll hope he isn't litigious.
    I have more pics that I'll bore you with for the next 10 days, including some from Universal! I just remembered that I did some sort of audition for Nickelodeon!
    Cheers!
     

    defhermit

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2019
    8 days out!
    In 9 days from now I will be back at Disney Hollywood Studios!

    When I went 29 years ago I took part in an (in my memory) indoors experience where I was filmed in a green-screen type environment for a 'Honey I Shrunk the Kids' video:
    450838

    That's me on top of the bee, reaching for my cousin Sue on the wing.

    My research has led me to a lot of info on this as an outdoor experience, but that is not what I remember. I think this was inside.

    Anybody?

    Looking forward to my trip next Friday! Come join my solo adventure!
     

    SG131

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2017
    So I’ve done Uber/lyft from pop to universal. I was transferring hotels so I didn’t make the return trip. It’s really easy to get there and there are plenty of drivers around. Getting back is a little more of a pain and they now added the surcharge. I’d probably walk to hard rock hotel and Uber back from there. While I was there I did try to get a ride out of the park one night. Someone ended up grabbing my Uber after I waited awhile for it, I got charged for a much longer trip than what mine needed to be and I had to dispute the claim. I guess that can happen anywhere it was just frustrating late at night. I ended up walking.
     

    defhermit

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2019
    So I’ve done Uber/lyft from pop to universal. I was transferring hotels so I didn’t make the return trip. It’s really easy to get there and there are plenty of drivers around. Getting back is a little more of a pain and they now added the surcharge. I’d probably walk to hard rock hotel and Uber back from there. While I was there I did try to get a ride out of the park one night. Someone ended up grabbing my Uber after I waited awhile for it, I got charged for a much longer trip than what mine needed to be and I had to dispute the claim. I guess that can happen anywhere it was just frustrating late at night. I ended up walking.
    Thanks for the reply.
    I have a 1 day, 2 park ticket at universal. It seems like I just show them an email and get in?
    As someone who seems to know what they are doing: I'm trying to use this ticket on my first full day in Orlando, Saturday 11/16. If I don't hit everything I want to at Universal, am I going to have trouble buying a second day for Sunday 11/17?I guess it's just not a problem that I need to worry about?
     

    SG131

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2017
    Thanks for the reply.
    I have a 1 day, 2 park ticket at universal. It seems like I just show them an email and get in?
    As someone who seems to know what they are doing: I'm trying to use this ticket on my first full day in Orlando, Saturday 11/16. If I don't hit everything I want to at Universal, am I going to have trouble buying a second day for Sunday 11/17?I guess it's just not a problem that I need to worry about?
    If you need to add a day you shouldn't have a problem. I had my ticket on the universal app so they just scanned that for entrance. When I got a ride locker at the handful of rides that require it, I went to the locker attendant and they gave me a paper card to scan for the rest of the day since I didn't have a hard copy ticket. With the email you can probably just scan that for lockers. There are a couple rides you can't take your phone on. You should be able to get a lot done in one day since Universal has so many single rider lines. Disney will definitely be a little harder to get as many rides done in a day.

    Another thing to consider, you will be there the first night of the of the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert and pretty much all the other Christmas events. Not sure if you're interested in that, if not during the concert if you are on the Universal Studios side you should be able to get a handful of rides accomplished quickly. The lowest level of passholders will be blocked out from going to Universal Studios and can only go to IOA that day. In 2 days I was able to go on all of the rides other than the couple I chose to skip, see all the Christmas entertainment, and spend quite awhile waving a wand in the Harry Potter areas which are by far the best parts of the park.

    The boat you had above is probably the boat from the transportation/ticket center (aka the very big magic kingdom parking lot) to Magic Kingdom.
     



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