Tips from the DFB Guide: Dining Solo in Disney World

When most people think of Walt Disney World, they automatically think of visiting with friends or family, which is lots of fun.

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But there’s another way that I really love to tour Disney World. And that’s solo.

Sure. It’s always awesome to experience the magic with others…to catch their smiles, impressions, opinions. But sometimes out of necessity, and sometimes out of preference, I find myself visiting the ‘World alone.

It may sound lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. After all, what better way to take advantage of that single rider line? ;-) You can also spend as long as you want drinking in every detail of attractions and other surroundings.

But even if you’re totally OK with doing attractions by yourself, dining may feel like another matter altogether. You may be tempted to just stick with a table for one in the counter service spots.

And that’s all good, if that’s what you want. But if you’re looking to enjoy some of the great dining choices Disney has to offer, we have some terrific Tips from the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining for making this an awesome experience. And this is just one of the many unique ways of enjoying the World that we cover in the guide. There’s a chapter for everything, so be sure to check it out!

And if you find this information helpful, then be sure to pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Dine Overlooking a Great View

There is no shortage of great Disney restaurants with equally great views! Why not choose one of them for your next solo meal?

One of my favorites is Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Request a window seat and enjoy an ever-changing view of the animals that call Sunset Savanna home.

Watch the Wildlife as You Dine at Sanaa

Watch the Wildlife as You Dine at Sanaa

And while you enjoy the live action through the window, the food incredible as well! The menu features East African and Indian-inspired dishes, and I can never pass up the opportunity to enjoy their incredible Butter Chicken.

Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well-seasoned Butter Chicken and Chicken Vindaloo

Ya Gotta Try the Butter Chicken!

Prefer serenity to scenery? Grab a table at one of Flame Tree Barbecue’s many pavilions. (Flame Tree Barbecue has been closed for refurbishment, but we expect it to re-open very soon.)

Eat at the Counter

Many Disney table service restaurants feature chef’s counters or bars where you can dine while you watch all of the exciting action of the kitchen. Sitting at these high-energy spots was a favorite tip that I received from my friend Gray at SoloFriendly.com. And if I’m choosing some of my favorite bar seating, it has to be Flying Fish Cafe. But spots like Wolfgang Puck Cafe, Jiko, and California Grill, among others, have similar setups.

Bar seating in front of the kitchen

Bar Seating at the Flying Fish

Sitting here is a great way to watch artistry at work. And I’ve always found culinary Cast Members to be willing to chat about their craft.

Char-crusted Angus New York Strip Steak

Char-crusted Angus New York Strip Steak at Flying Fish Cafe. Don’t Miss This Just Because You’re Dining Solo!

Who knows? You may even pick up a cooking tip or two!

Take in a Show

Another way to enjoy a solo dining experience is to take in a show while you eat. Consider classic options like Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort or the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

But hands down, one of my favorite spots to dine is the Biergarten Restaurant in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion.

Playing the Alpenhorn at Biergarten

Playing the Alpenhorn at Biergarten

Enjoy traditional live music as you dine on hearty German fare.

Roasted Potatoes and German Sausage with Sauerkraut

Roasted Potatoes and German Sausage with Sauerkraut

Get there early enough, and you just might get to tap the keg for the day!

Ready for All of Our Best Tips?

We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips — including more ideas for your best solo trip ever — in our big, bold, 490-page DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 — and the guide is your ticket to planning your best Disney trip yet!

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The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 20+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With sample dining itineraries, plus our “Disney Dining at a Glance” section, featuring “Where Can I Find?” options, you’ll have everything you need to plan the best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 E-book — and use code 2015 for an extra $4 discount for a limited time!

Now I’d love to hear from all of you! What are YOUR best tips for dining solo in Walt Disney World? Share them with us in comments below!

Comments

  1. Jen Johnston says

    I am a single woman with no children and I love traveling to Disney World solo. And although I’m not a “foodie”, I love eating at the World (especially Boma!) and I love reading the DFB (awesome site!!) I have always enjoyed my meals at table service restaurants where I am lucky to have a small table with a good view and attentive service. I have avoided, though, any family style restaurants (Hoop Dee Doo, ‘Ohana) or places where the wait staff interact in a fun way with families (50’s Prime Time Cafe, Whispering Canyon) because those places really seem best enjoyed with a group. I was nervous about making a reservation for a Food & Wine meal special event, but was happy to find that I was seated with other solo travelers, so I will certainly partake of those special events again in the future. Every trip, I try new-to-me places to eat and new experiences. And I never feel lonely visiting the World. Disney truly makes everyone feel welcome.

  2. Galloping Gourmond says

    Considering my first ever solo trip for late summer. Just a couple of days… but a little nervous about it. This was a great help.

  3. Marie says

    Going for my second solo trip this September. Last September, I ate in BOG, Akershus, 50’s Prime Time and Yak and Yeti. The wait staff were amazing and the Princesses at Akershus didn’t even blink at the fact I was alone.

    I also went to the After Hours at La Cava, and got seated with a group of 6 and a business traveller. It was a lot of fun and everyone was very friendly – the alcohol may have had something to do with that!

    Honestly, eating at a table service restaurant in WDW is a lot less scary than doing it at home. The staff are so used to it, it’s only the other guests who find it strange! (I did get quizzed by another table in Akershus as to why I was alone.)

  4. Joni says

    I would never have thought I would enjoy going Solo at the parks.
    But Hubby is not a fan and we moved recently so have made no friends that don’t have young family’s or love going as much as I do.
    I have a seasonal ticket and am only about 1 hour and 45 mins. away. So I tried it one day and I love it.
    I eat shop as long as I want, In as many stores as I like. Stop and look at things I never have before. Leave when I want. Sit when I want and eat where I want. I like Beaches and Cream usually I get in right away and sit at the counter. Or I like the Bakery in Epcot or a Pizza in Italy or go to one of the Hotels as they are usually quite at noon. I usually don’t ride the rides when I go alone but I am really liking the whole solo trip. Try it

  5. Claire says

    I have been to the World solo several times. Dining anywhere is,a,treat. You are given the same attention as full parties. I would like to say that on my last solo trip, I ate at Teppanaki Edo on the restaurant side. It was,a last minute decision. What a wonderful experience. I was given a,window seat so that I could people watch or just enjoy the great view of the lagoon. Service was the best I had ever had. It was quiet and relaxing. I would recommend this restaurant to everyone

  6. Ronald Wanders says

    Went on my first ever trip to WDW solo in May this year. :) Solo dining worked really well at all the parks (and several of the Signature restaurants around the resorts).
    Jiko was lovely to do solo, as was Sanaa (killer view included). Though some entries at certain restaurants were just too massive for a single person (Yak & Yeti restaurant and Jiko come to mind for me).

    Even the various character dining restaurants I visited worked out really well.
    At most I was basically assigned a CM to handle the photography side of things while I enjoyed the interaction with the characters. A really nice experience, and very thoughtful on Disney’s part.

    As I was on the Deluxe Dining Plan, I was basically only doing table service locations, and none made any fuss about me dining solo, no bad seating locations or anything. ^_^

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