We live in a day and age where it is accepted that people like to be alone.
Going to the movies solo? Not a problem; the lights are down, and it’s rude to chat in the cinema. Brunch for one? Excellent; more bacon for me.
However, there are still some activities that you see raised eyebrows when you say you go solo.
One that stands out is theme parks. “That couldn’t possibly be fun on your own.” “I enjoy screaming at the thrills with a group of friends.” “It’s so romantic going on It’s a Small World with my boyfriend/girlfriend.”
Ok, I may have made the last one up – can It’s A Small World be romantic?
The point remains that most people wouldn’t consider a day at a theme park, much less a trip to the home of theme parks, Orlando, when traveling alone.
But, like anything else, if we all waited for someone else to be ready to take that trip or be free to have their heart fall out of them as you plunge down on Jurassic Park River Adventure, then we would be waiting forever.
There’s nothing more disheartening than rolling up to your favorite ride and seeing a 90-minute wait time.
The pre-ride experience is usually interactive, exciting and builds the tension, but after ten minutes, it can grow old on the most patient of people.
For the solo adventurer, most major rides at the Disney and Universal parks offer a single line for riders.
This cuts wait time down to minutes or, if you’re fortunate, seconds, enabling you to ride Space Mountain as many times as you feel necessary (my record is 19).
Meet new people
Believe it or not, when you’re riding Space Mountain 19 times, you tend to bump into many different people and bonds can build as you share the super Space Mountain experience.
Theme parks are like anywhere else – you will meet many people similar to yourself.
It is possible to bond with complete strangers when ‘Let It Go’ is playing at the night-time illumination of the Disney Castle.
You can do what you want
This may seem like an obvious benefit, but it’s especially so when ‘theme parking.'
Theme parking is tiring business; you are walking miles and standing in queues – this is a tiresome business.
When you are alone, you are free to grab a bite to eat, pause for popcorn in front of the princess castle or even return to the hotel for a nap.
When traveling as a group, it’s harder to pause at times that suit everyone – someone will always be tired while another person is on a sugar rush.
You can do what you want (part two)
Again, everyone is different. Some people are thrill seekers and will want to ride on The Incredible Hulk roller coaster repeatedly. There are others who find Pirates of the Caribbean ride too adventurous.
These differences are brilliant – it means that Universal and Disney have something for everyone.
At the same time, if you’re the sort of person who will ride Space Mountain 19 times in a row, you’d prefer not to go to the park with someone whose thrill limit is the Ratatouille ride.
As with all other things, going solo to a theme park for the first time is daunting.
Yes, people may look at you oddly when you hop on a ride on your own. No, you don’t have anyone to hold your bags. That said, it can be insanely fun to have the freedom to spend a day riding Space Mountain on your own!
This story was written in partnership with OrlandoFunTickets.com.