My 50th Birthday Solo Trip Blow-Out (Sept 2-13, 2017)

caribbeandream

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2017
I actually went back and read your entire post. Ideas I'm totally stealing - your packing list; eating at QS restaurants in the deluxe resorts; enjoying more adult beverages; buying Memory Maker just for the ride photos!

I'm surprised you never used Uber.

I just love how you stopped to enjoy the magical moments but also spread some pixie dust during your trip.

Just had to share that I too went to EPCOT when it was only nine months old! I'm also of German descent (my great-grandparents came from Germany in the early 1800s), a cat-lover and Mary Poppins is my favorite Disney film! We must be long lost twins. (;
 

useakiss

Am I there yet?
Joined
Jan 11, 2017
Excellent trip report! I am glad I came along!
This is what I learned:
1. Do a solo trip, it will be fun!
2. Try to engage with both guests and cast members, some may not work, but some will and it will be great.
3. Be flexible; things happen that is out of your control, you can work it out, you are at Walt Disney World!
4. Attitude IS EVERTHING, if you have a positive attitude, you will have a great time!
It's funny--I know that I have a tendency to fall into negative attitude cycles, allowing bad experiences or service to affect me far longer than necessary. It's easy to do when you're in a routine or surrounded by others with the same tendencies--you get into a feedback loop and it just spirals down from there.

I think there were several things I did differently on this trip to stop that from happening:

One was by going alone. It meant I wasn't always accompanied by the same people the entire time and thus tempted to constantly rehash something and blow it out of proportion because it's easy conversation. When I did had a negative experience (and there were admittedly few, which is why I picked Disney and pre-planned in the first place), I was more prone to just let it go because I was immediately moving on to the next experience and new people.

I'm self-aware enough to recognize that I'm too independent and stubborn, that I like to do things my way (what seems the most logical and efficient to me), and that I can easily lose patience when my friends/family don't agree with me. It's a personal flaw, and knowing this does help to some extent, but I'm not perfect. It's part of why I decided to make this a solo trip--because I didn't want to allow that sort of frustration to cloud my vacation. Someday I'll be happy to go with friends and be more accommodating to their own whims and choices, but this trip was too important to me to take that risk--this was for me alone.

Another was that I kept reminding myself to live in the moment, not dwell on the past or the future so much. I avoided getting on social media during the day because it did pull me out of the moment. I can surf or chat with friends anytime, but I'm only at Disney for a short while--I didn't want anything to distract me. I broke the rule sometimes (posting a live feed or surfing while eating if there was nobody to talk with), but for the most part I only took my phone out to take photos and then back it would go into my pocket. This included while waiting in line! If I'm busy on my phone, I'm not opening myself up to the people around me, and I'm certainly not paying attention to what's going on around me. You can't spot magic if you aren't looking up.

Finally, I literally DECIDED to have a positive attitude. I told myself "I'm going to have fun, despite any obstacles." But I was realistic about that goal, too. It's not the same as saying "I'm going to have fun and my world will end if I don't." I saw folks do that--they blew up when things didn't go their way or their plans were disrupted. I just assumed things wouldn't always go according to plan, and instead did as much pre-planning and homework as possible beforehand so that I'd be PREPARED to change plans without notice. Rather than fret about what to do because I had to cancel a reservation, I rolled with it and looked for other opportunities because I already knew what was out there. Going to the Sci-Fi Dine-In instead of Flying Fish is a perfect example--yes, I was a little disappointed, but I got to do something else even more unique instead, so it was all good.

It wasn't always easy for me to stay upbeat the entire time, and I'd occasionally find myself slipping--particularly as I got more exhausted--but I really worked at it. I sat down when I felt my attitude slipping. I searched for things to cheer myself up, like watching little kids being awed by the magic around them, or a nice frozen drink, or something deliberately silly like a character meet even if it took time. While time was precious, so were my memories and I wanted them all to be happy.

Ultimately, I didn't want to come away from this vacation just complaining about the crowds or the heat or the prices like I heard so many coworkers and friends do--I knew there was more to find there or else people wouldn't keep going back. I like to think that I found whatever that magic is, but I did have to LOOK for it. :tink:
 


useakiss

Am I there yet?
Joined
Jan 11, 2017
I actually went back and read your entire post. Ideas I'm totally stealing - your packing list; eating at QS restaurants in the deluxe resorts; enjoying more adult beverages; buying Memory Maker just for the ride photos!

I'm surprised you never used Uber.

I just love how you stopped to enjoy the magical moments but also spread some pixie dust during your trip.

Just had to share that I too went to EPCOT when it was only nine months old! I'm also of German descent (my great-grandparents came from Germany in the early 1800s), a cat-lover and Mary Poppins is my favorite Disney film! We must be long lost twins. (;
OMG, there were so many QS restaurant options that it boggled the mind. Aside from a couple of ones that I'd determined to visit prior to the trip, it really came down to convenience and if I saw anything on the menu that tempted me--if not, I just moved on. I think most of the ones at the deluxe resorts are probably excellent, but I get the feeling the ones at the moderates and economy ones are more hit-or-miss. And if you read the restaurant threads here or watch the DIS videos, you'll find that opinions vary greatly. For each person who hated something, you'll find somebody who loved it. Sometimes I took risks and it was dissatisfying, and other times it was worth it. For example, I was actually happier with my cold sandwich at Flame Tree BBQ than I was with the hot sandwich from Be Our Guest--go figure. (This was likely due to a combination of price/value, quantity, and how I was feeling those days.) I was also very curious about the luxury resorts and so I went out of my way to explore some of them. Next time I go, I'll probably try to visit some of the others as well.

I considered Uber/Lyft and loaded the aps on my phone just in case, but ultimately didn't feel like spending the money. In most cases I found the bus from my resort was satisfactory (rarely full and always on time). I maybe could have shaved a few minutes here or there, but with nobody to share the cost with, that would have added up quickly and I decided I'd rather spend that money on adult drinks. :drinking1 Looking back now, the only time I wish I'd called for a ride was my first day when I had breakfast at Kona Cafe at the Polynesian and then half the day at Typhoon Lagoon and then exploring the Animal Kingdom Lodge in the evening. That was a ton of crazy transfers and waiting for rides and going through security checks despite not visiting a park. I could have cut out a lot of that and it probably would have been worth the cash.

As for spreading some of my own pixie dust, I'm all about paying it forward. It cost me nothing to smile or make a fun comment or even offer to take a picture, and I hoped that maybe it made their day so much that they passed the favor along. Plus, let's face it--it made ME feel good, and that's why I was there.

You know, the only thing that could have made this vacation feel complete was if I could have met Sully somewhere so I could yell, "Kitty!!" :sulley:
 
  • alwaysadisneykid

    Princess in Training
    Joined
    May 8, 2014
    Hands down, the best trip report I have ever read. I felt like I was really there with you! It was really interesting to read about the hurricane, as I’m from the UK and wondered how it was at Disney.

    I have a solo trip booked for September 2018 to celebrate my 23rd birthday so it was especially wonderful to read your report as I now know lots of places I wanna go!! Best wishes and I hope you and your cats are well! I have kitties too :)
     

    Templemom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 22, 2014
    I just read your report, it was so enjoyable. I just enjoyed my first solo trip the beginning of October. Thanks for taking the time to write it all and share with us.
     

    crazycatlady

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2009
    Great report! I really enjoyed reading about your solo trip and your adventures with the hurricane. I am outraged that your boss was so insensitive about you being stranded because of the weather. What a jerk! As if you could help that a hurricane closed the airport! I am glad that you had such a nice trip and I am going to try very hard to follow your example on future trips and keep a positive attitude when things irritate me. Thank you for writing such a detailed and entertaining report!
     
  • RedsDrew

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2012
    Wow! This is a fantastic trip report. You had me captivated through out the entire experience. Your photos are stellar and you explained things so well! Thanks for a fun ride!
     

    Laura1123

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2016
    Loved your trip report, especially seeing the extended stay through the hurricane and the few days after. Glad you got to enjoy your birthday trip!
     

    happymommy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 8, 2006
    I'm really enjoying your trip report!

    Just wondering, though, with all the bus and monorail to get to a MK resort, why you didn't just Uber for less than $15? It takes like 10 minutes that way. I've done it to get from Pop to AKL, and it was actually like $10 I think (free with first Uber ride). It's the best way to get from resort to resort (or we've done it leaving World Showcase via the International Gateway then caught one from the BWI, much quicker than walking to the front of Epcot and waiting for a bus). On New Years Eve, we were back at the AKL in 15 minutes! You can imagine the bus lines.
     

    OurLuce

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 19, 2015
    thanks for the wonderful report. that sounds a perfect way to celebrate the 50th...she says as she dreams of a leaving the family behind for a week on my own in disney in May.....
     
  • amytech

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 21, 2008
    Just finished your trip report and loved it! Thank you for taking the time out to write it up for us. Really hope you get to plan another trip soon :)
     

    Disneyfan71

    Paging Mr. Morrow, paging Mr. Tom Morrow, your par
    Joined
    Nov 11, 2008
    I absolutely loved your trip report. I haven't been to WDW since 1995 and I know that it has changed so much. I almost went in 2009 and had planned to stay at Port Orleans, French Quarter. And when I do go back, that's where I will be staying.
     

    Clbemrich

    New to Disney
    Joined
    Jun 24, 2014
    Thanks for this awesome trip report. I enjoyed reading it very much. I know what you mean about feet pain. I have plantar issues, and really have to manage my foot pain when I am at Disney. I wanted to share with you how I did that in case it might help you in the future. First, well before my trip I make sure I massage my feet using a golf ball several times a day. Build up over time, but get to the point where you can really dig in. Also, I take the golf ball with me so that i can use it during breaks and at night. Now, this is a pain but it helps A LOT. I take a small plastic pan, and fill it with ice and a little water. I will soak my feet as long as i can take it. This really helps get rid of inflammation. I also take over the counter anti inflammatory medications. There are also some exercises you can do for you feet, just look them up on youtube.
     

    Rob Troxel

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2018
    Thanks for your great perspective not only on what you saw but what you were thinking at the time. We have been coming here many times over the last 37 years and still picked up some tidbits like the hidden Mickey. We will watch your space for more entries.
    Well done!
     

    useakiss

    Am I there yet?
    Joined
    Jan 11, 2017
    I'm really enjoying your trip report!

    Just wondering, though, with all the bus and monorail to get to a MK resort, why you didn't just Uber for less than $15? It takes like 10 minutes that way. I've done it to get from Pop to AKL, and it was actually like $10 I think (free with first Uber ride). It's the best way to get from resort to resort (or we've done it leaving World Showcase via the International Gateway then caught one from the BWI, much quicker than walking to the front of Epcot and waiting for a bus). On New Years Eve, we were back at the AKL in 15 minutes! You can imagine the bus lines.
    Looking back, in some cases I wish I had taken Uber, particularly that first day. I just didn't know enough yet and was learning the ropes. I think part of me was also reluctant to spend the extra money, particularly when the Disney transport wasn't crowded--just inconvenient. Next time, I will probably use Uber if I'm jumping resorts.
     





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