This week on WDW ESCAPE, we’re taking a very special look at one of YOUR Disney Memories! Join us as one of our readers shares her experience of going on her very first solo trip to Disney World!
Today’s very special edition of REMEMBER comes courtesy of our reader, Michelle Z. of Wilmington, North Carolina. Follow along as she recounts her experience of heading on her very first solo trip to Walt Disney World. Thanks, Michelle!
What to do?
“I’m going to be gone 8 weeks for training later this year.” My husband said one evening.
We had only been married a year, and I was still adjusting to being a Military wife. “Do you think you’ll visit home while I’m gone?” He asked (home being a terrible 5-hour drive away).
I pondered for a while and an idea struck me, “What if I did a solo trip to Disney?” He didn’t even hesitate.
“If there’s anyone on this planet who’d enjoy Disney by themselves, it’s you. Do it!”
Planning a New Adventure
I wasted no time planning, organizing, and booking the trip. I’d be gone 6 days – 4 days in the parks and 2 travel days.
My excitement level was through the roof… until the night before… Nerves kicked in and I had no clue if I should ask someone to magically go with me last minute.
At 30 years old, I had never taken a trip alone before. “Am I going to spend the whole time in silence? Will people think I’m weird?” I started asking myself all sorts of questions.
But once I stepped off the plane at Orlando International, all those questions and doubts disappeared. I was at Walt Disney World… BY MYSELF! I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
Nostalgia in Italy
While the entire trip was absolutely amazing, there are two key moments that stick out when asked about my trip.
One moment happened my first day in the parks at Via Napoli in Epcot. My husband and I honeymooned in Italy the year before, so I was excited to taste authentic Italian pizza again!
My server, Laura, was from Milan. We chatted every time she came by. “Are you here by yourself?” she asked.
I gave my explanation—husband being deployed and I wanted to make the best of it. I shared how we went to Italy and plan on going back. Laura was so attentive and amazing throughout the whole meal.
Before I left, Laura came walking over with some other servers and they presented me with a piece of cake. A man knelt down next to me (probably a manager), “Laura shared your story about your honeymoon and your husband being deployed, we thank you both for your service.”
I could have cried! My heart was so full of gratitude and joy! Before Laura could walk away, I asked her to sign my autograph book.
“Me? You want me to sign it? No one has ever asked me that before.” I handed her the pen. “I’m going to sign with my nickname my friends call me back home.” She gave the book and pen back. “Now I’m going to go in the bathroom and cry because you’ve been so kind to me. Thank you.” And she walked away. I think both our days were made during that lunch.
One Final Stop in Agrabah
The other key moment happened during a meet-n-greet with Aladdin and Jasmine in Magic Kingdom.
While Aladdin was fascinated with my autograph book (from 1994, mind you), I decided to share a story with them.
“A couple years ago I met this man outside of Agrabah, and we started dating. He learned that ‘A Whole New World’ is my favorite song and learned the full score on the piano for me. Two years later, we got married, and ‘A Whole New World’ was played for our first dance.”
Jasmine reacted first, “That is the sweetest thing I have ever heard!” Aladdin asked when the wedding was and why they didn’t receive an invitation.
I informed him I had sent them an invitation (true story), to which Jasmine quickly chimed, “Did you send it by camel?” “Yes, yes I did. Maybe you’ll receive it by our 2 year anniversary and you can just send a card.”
Aladdin asked where my other half was, and I explained. “Well, we need to get you guys a magic carpet so you can quickly get back to each other whenever you want.”
They both signed my book and we had our picture taken.
The Sun Sets on the Solo Trip
I walked away feeling a little emotional. Our conversation made me miss my husband; wishing he could have experienced the fun and kindness I was receiving from every cast member I came in contact with.
I came home from the trip feeling on top of the world! Being proud of myself for traveling alone, and for experiencing Walt Disney World in the way it was meant to be-
Ready with pictures and videos to share with my husband when he returned!