When I set off on solo adventures to Walt Disney World this past year, I envisioned a magical journey filled with spontaneous fun. With Sarah sidelined during pregnancy and early parenting of Baby Bricker, I became a frequent solo park hopper, racking up experiences and, truthfully, making a fair share of blunders—including ones that might give you a chuckle or a cautionary note.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle was my acute indecisiveness. At home, hours can be squandered searching for the perfect streaming option before surrendering to a “Frasier” rerun. In the parks, the same paralysis occurred. Without a clear agenda, I roamed the familiar grounds aimlessly, often frittering away time and losing track of the day. Alternatively, when mission-oriented during field tests or family visits, I executed a plan like clockwork.

Rain preparedness turned into comedic gold—or rather, a soggy misadventure. Despite my thorough understanding of Florida’s fickle weather, I left umbrellas behind one too many times. Pair that with the lesson of carrying extra shoes, and I became a walking, drenched example of what not to do. This is your friendly reminder: pack those ponchos and never rely on a single pair of shoes for your Disney escapades.

Transportation also threw a wrench into the magic. There’s something hypnotic about Disney’s transit systems—the monorail, boats, and gondolas feel like rides in themselves—but they consumed hours of my solo trips. Navigating from park to park ate into precious park time more than I originally acknowledged. Park Hopping, which seemed like a delight, often ended up being an exercise in time mismanagement.

Dining solo introduced another set of challenges, particularly with family-style meals. An experience at Toy Story Roundup Rodeo BBQ underscored this. Seated conspicuously, I was overwhelmed by the abundance of food intended for a larger group, unable to fully enjoy or consume it. Yet, solo buffet visits, like those to Boma, felt much more fitting and enjoyable.

Finally, air travel blunders rounded out my solo struggles. Booking basic economy and missing out on TSA PreCheck privileges made trips a bit more uncomfortable and chaotic. Navigating the lines at Orlando International Airport (MCO) without PreCheck felt like a misstep I won’t repeat.

Have you had similar experiences traveling solo to Disney or otherwise? Which tips resonate, and what are your hacks for an optimal solo adventure? Share your thoughts in the comments, and let’s keep this lively conversation going!