Solo Trips to Theme Parks

Editorials and Rants Theme Park Tips

Thinking of Going it Alone?
Are you the type that doesn’t mind eating out alone? Ever go to a movie by yourself because you didn’t know anyone who wanted to see a movie? Then, you might be secure enough to reap the benefits of the Solo Amusement Park Trip. First, I’m assuming that your an enthusiast, or at least some one that’s itching to go to a theme park enough to consider going it alone. Again, this is more of a tip for coaster enthusiasts and serious theme park fans.

I’ve had to go it alone either because I was in a city on business and figured it was the perfect chance to get into a new park or because I didn’t know anyone willing to take a trip and spend the money to go a theme park. There’s no way I’d have been 20-some parks and ridden 130-some roller coasters if I hadn’t taken some solo trips.

Benefits of Going Solo:
-There’s an “I” in Solo Trips!
It’s all about you! No checking on seeing what the group wants to do. In fact “the group” is completely out of the equation. (This is usually a good thing in my mind). Any group larger than say four people is going to split at some point as people like to do different things. Then someone brought the friend to the park that doesn’t ride roller coasters?!?! Someone’s got to stay with her while everyone else rides. Oh and Suzy doesn’t like this coaster so we’ll go ride this and meet you back here at 2. It’s a mess! If you’re like me and want to enjoy the park groups can really stink!

-Move around the park at your own pace.
Want to zip around the park, barely stopping to eat, drink, or go to the bathroom? Would you like to focus on taking some great pictures or chill out and grab a bite to eat. Not a problem.

-Ride things when you want to.
5 rides in a row on Hades? Sure. Why not?

-Single Rider Lines!
Single rider lines are a Godsend for solo trippers or even couples or groups that don’t care if they ride together. Wait times can be decreased by amazing amounts on some attractions. I got hooked up by a single rider line at Six Flags New England on their brand new Mr. Six’s Pandemonium. Also, often B&M roller coasters with 4 across seating will call for single riders to fill in gaps. I can’t count the number of times I’ve cut ahead of a ton of people because the ride ops called for single riders.

Disadvantages of Solo Trips:

-No one to talk to while waiting in lines.
Just try to pick an off day like a weekday or a weekend late in the season or early in the season. Waiting in lines can be even less fun when you’re alone. Although I’ve never tried it, you could bring an mp3 player or hand held video game system to pass the time.

-No one to ride with on “Group Rides”
Some rides lend themselves to groups more than your average roller coaster. Joining other groups and riders is always an option, but you’d have to be comfortable with that. I ride roller coasters almost exclusively only on my trips, so this isn’t an issue for me.

Hear Some Other Opinions
Here’s a link to a CoasterRadio podcast about Solo trips. One of the hosts of the show had qualms about doing it but then described it as liberating, because it really is all about you. He also had a really funny story about something that happened to him at Disney World, but you’ll have to listen to the podcast for that. Hilarious! If you’re on the fence about trying it, give it a shot. You can’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

What’s Your Take?
Anyone want to chime in about solo trips? Think it’s a bad idea? Do you have any stories to share? Leave a comment below.

9 Comments

  1. Left a response on Coasterdom for you.

  2. Nice post Nate. My solo trips often involve flying, driving, mass transit, all-in-one-day crazy trips to new parks. Like Bobby said, I don't know people who like coasters as much as I do and want to fly to Louisville and then drive to Santa Claus, IN. Or drive 7 hours to Dollywood (a name that gets really interesting looks outside of the enthusiast community). For some reason it doesn't sound attractive to them. :)Local trips to Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, and Six Flags America ARE usually group trips. 1) I've already worn out the parks like you did with Dorney. 2) I don't mind doing the "group thing", taking time, etc. 3) I can get my friends and family to drive 1 to 2 hours to one of these nearby parks. But with new parks, I'd actually prefer either going solo or with one other person. If my first trip to Cedar Point was with 5 other people we'd have to do the whole split-up/meet-up game and I'd have to negotiate which coaster/attraction we'd hit next. No thanks. I just want people to consider the solo trip if they're on the fence it can be liberating.

  3. I’m thinking of going solo in April to BGW possibly. I have season passes with my wife and she is going out of town and I was thinking of making the trip. Unfortunately last time when we went she wasn’t feeling well and we left a few hours early. That day was the best I ever had at a theme park tho. It wasn’t too busy and there was no wait for Loch Ness, 5 min wait for Apollo’s chariot if that much. I’m not sure I want to go to a new park without her because we would like to do that together!

  4. In the summer, my job gives us every other Friday off. I put my Coaster schedule out to my friends early to avoid the "Why didn't you invite me?" But the excuses still come up which I expect. I love venturing amusement parks by myself. It is so much easier and as you said, I do what I want when I want it. To entertain myself in line, I help security with line jumpers. It is so funny that some have thought I was undercover working for the park. I also take pictures of fashion disasters. I don't even mind going at it solo.

  5. I consider myself a theme park/rollercoaster junkie, I usually go with my friend who enjoys it just as much. So far I have 73 rollercoasters ridden so far and few parks under my sleeve. When I go with Sean we only ride front row everytime, unless it's a coaster we've done already then we might try the last row. I agree with you that going solo or going with a single person is better, no arguing over rides to on etc. I just got back from a last minute weeked trip to SF New Englend and I cannot wait for my next trip. I have a SF season pass and have 3 different parks down so far this year lol

  6. I have been with my job for quite a while so I get at least four weeks off a year.

    This is more than the average joe and allows for two out-of-state theme park trips.

    There are money and time issues with every family member who would be interested

    in going along. I guess that I could be embarrassed to say that I have ridden over

    250 coasters in 40 parks but only three times did I have someone with me on a long trip. Driving very far by myself is the worse part. I always manage to find someone in line

    that reacts to my shirt or I react to theirs. I also go early or late in the season. Anyway

    having something to do in lines is seldom an issue. I like what you said about cutting ahead of a ton of people because there were single seats available. I have saved myself hours of time taking advantage of that. Also, 85% of my family lives here in Florida

    so trips to WDW, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Universal, Legoland, Fun Spot, and

    Old Town need not be made solo. To a certain extent the fewer people going the better.

    I have always thought that "One is the lonliest number", but two is the perfect number

    for trips like this.

  7. I always feel weird whenever I stand in line by myself on rides. So for me, as much as I like doing things when I want, Id rather have company. Its kinda mixed though.

    • These days so many people have smartphones that they're engrossed in while in the line. If you have one, you could just do some surfing on Web and maybe you won't really have those feelings. I know what you mean, but I'm over it. I'd never get to ride all of the rides I've been on if I didn't go alone. Thanks for the comment.

  8. After reading this post earlier this season, I decided to try solo, and I just did my first 2 solo trips. They were without a doubt my favorite trips EVER! I missed having a friend but it did not matter. I always find people to talk to in line. I always skip a bunch of the line being single, and therefore have more fun not riding alone. It was wonderful catering to myself for a change.
    My 1st solo trip was a mid august Wed at Dorney, a new to me park, and Thursday at Great Adventure, my old home park. Second Solo trip was a late August 3 day trip from Tuesday to Thursday for my 1st time at Cedar Point. I am a new Enthusiast and without solo trips I could not have jumped my coaster count from the low 40's this spring to the low 90's as of today. My wife and I are doing Hershey soon for my first time, so I will break 100 coasters this season. I would have broken 100 at Kennywood on my way home from Cedar Point, But Kennywood closes midweek in mid August. I was sooo bummed i missed it.
    I'm obsessed and driving my wife crazy with too much coaster talk… Does anyone have suggestions which club or clubs I should consider joining. I live near DC. I would like to get some of the benefits, but more important to me would be who has the best/most ERT opportunities.
    Thanks very much!
    DRU

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