When you think about being alone versus being lonely, sometimes you may think that they both have the same meaning, but these are two different concepts.
Although they are both adjectives, they take on a slight purpose and meaning.
And one of the things that I love to express when I am helping you plan that first solo Disney adventure is that you are never alone.
When I say that, I truly mean it because you have your family in the Cast Members.
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But what if you feel lonely?
If you are a person who always feeling lonely, then you will always feel lonely no matter where you are. Even if you are at Disney.
In this article today, I’m going to unpack everything you need to know about the difference between being lonely vs. alone.
Please keep in mind that I am not your license healthcare professional, so I cannot give you a diagnosis.
All I can give you is some of the observations and experiences that I’ve learned along the way traveling to the theme parks by myself for over a decade.
Recommended: The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide
What’s the difference between loneliness and being alone?
So, what is the difference between lonely and alone?
When you think about the essence of being alone, most of the times this trait is given to people who are quite comfortable being by themselves.
They usually have characteristics as being creatives.
“Being alone allows you to drop your “social guard,” thus giving you the freedom to be introspective, to think for yourself. You may be able to make better choices and decisions about who you are and what you want without outside influence. Often, we are swayed by the thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior of those in our immediate sphere. Of course, you may ask others for their advice and opinions, but ultimately, consulting yourself and making up your own mind about what you want to do will lead you into the life that’s best for you.”Dr. Abigail Brenner
Many artists (anyone who loves working on their craft) are introverts and when they are alone, this gives them time to think and recharge.
They, myself included, enjoy the “me time” and after they are done with their me time, they are able to go out there into the world and be themselves because they feel rejuvenated.
Why do introverts like being alone?
As for me, I consider myself an introvert.
I know that may not seem logical because of how much I put myself out there, but for me, I feel that I am an introvert because I value my quiet moments.
This is one of the differences for people who like to be alone.
It’s not that we feel lonely, we just value that time to rejuvenate and to have time to reflect on our life.
That way when we come back out into the world and we have to socialize, we can really give others a good side of ourselves.
This helps us reduce the anxious feeling that we can get as introverts when being out there in the social realm.
Whereas, the extrovert is a friendly person who likes to talk and be around other people in a variety of social settings.
People who like being alone do not feel lonely when traveling by themselves. Matter of fact, sometimes we might get annoyed because it’s like, okay, it’s just way too many people.
But that’s just my personal opinion as an introvert, that’s why we value personal time alone to rejuvenate.
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Now when it comes to loneliness, this is a feeling that you constantly need to be around someone.
You may also feel like you’re lacking some kind of companionship on a regular basis.
If you don’t have companionship, you feel inadequate which makes it really hard for you to be alone.
There’s usually some type of underlying cause that is making you feel this way.
It could be depression, sadness, or it could be some deep-rooted issues from your childhood that you have yet to address.
A key trait to loneliness is that no matter what you do, you always feel lonely.
People who display this trait are usually not happy with their life or their situation. They look to people like friends and others on social media to validate them in some type of way.
They long for something different. And usually loneliness is a state of mind.
Meaning that you could be at the Happiest Place in the World, like Walt Disney World, and you’d still feel alone.
Downside of Loneliness
Loneliness can be soul sucking and draining. It can cause you to be fatigue and you don’t really know how to shake it.
Sometimes people who are constantly feeling lonely don’t even know why.
My goal for you is that if you feel lonely all the time, to really sit back and reflect on the why.
- Why do you feel like you constantly need someone around?
- What does that mean to you?
- Why do you fear being alone?
Because what you don’t want to live life feeling like you need the constant approval of people.
Unfortunately with social media today, this can really affect the personality or the mind state of any person who is battling loneliness.
My challenge for you as someone who may be feeling lonely but still thinking about taking that solo Disney trip is to work on removing the loneliness from your life.
You can do an hour or two where you purposely go someone where by yourself and write what you are feeling at that time.
This can be at a park, at a library, or even at a café.
As you build up the stamina and you start to unpack things, eventually you can work in a full day of no social media.
I’m not trying to have you be a loner out here where you don’t talk to anyone. I’m just trying to get you to be comfortable with yourself.
Things to Do When Traveling Alone to Walt Disney World
Now, when it comes to going to Walt Disney world alone, some people just fear that people will notice that they are alone. But I always say that no one cares about you being alone.
Matter of fact, I know a lot of people look at it as being courageous to take on a park like the Magic Kingdom by yourself.
That’s an act of courage and a lot of times the people who like to be alone, love to try new things to get them out of their comfort zone.
Discovering New Hobbies and Interests
Some of the things that is great to do when you are traveling alone to Disney is to journal or to work on a new hobby such as blogging.
You can also can get into developing your photography skills.
Visiting the parks alone allows you to invest in growing your skills while exploring the Disney parks alone.
You may end up creating a new business or side hustle by working on your hobby during your solo trips.
Another thing that you can do while you are at the parks besides journaling and photography is to start writing.
There are so many areas in the Disney Parks that you can kind of get your creative juices going.
Maybe you’re a poet or perhaps you wanted to write that book that you’ve put off for too long.
Going to a park like Epcot and finding those quiet spots are what I cherish the most on my solo trips.
Relaxing in Epcot By Yourself
Once you find your perfect, peaceful spot, enjoy the quiet time alone to write your best-selling novel.
Benefits of Solo Travel to Disney for Introverts
Another thing about being on these solo trips at Disney is that for people who like to be alone, these trips are where you can really feel safe traveling by yourself.
A lot of times people who are new to solo traveling are already hesitant to make that trek across the country or into another country for fear of the unknown.
Especially when it comes to their safety.
But knowing that you’re going to a place where your safety is going to be in check, you don’t have to worry about that.
Watch Next: 5 BEST Rides at EPCOT You Can’t Miss!
Safety Inside the Disney Bubble
The Disney Bubble is a real thing. Meaning, that once you get to the resort you become engulfed in the world that has been created just for you.
This alleviates the extra stress of trying to plan that solo trip, and you can really just sit there and reflect on your journey alone.
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5 Tips for Visiting Disney on Your Solo Trip
Here are some tips to help you prepare for a solo Disney trip.
1. Start Small with Solo Travel
Before you even get there, just remember that you have to start a little bit small.
You’re going to want to do some small things like dining by yourself, going to the movies alone, or maybe doing a staycation in your city.
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2. Tackle Your Underling Issues with Loneliness
Before coming to any of the Disney parks, you should deal with the underlining condition of loneliness even before you even start to think about traveling solo.
If you have no issues, then cool. Let’s move on to the next tip.
3. Plan Your Day
This tip is essential in reducing the anxiety of going to Walt Disney World alone.
If you have a specific goal for that day, then you’re more likely not to dwell on the fact that you’re traveling alone.
Try making it a day of doing every thrill ride or even a day of tasting an item from each country in Epcot.
4. Research the Parks
Figure out which Disney park sparks your interest the most.
Whether you’re trying to do a day full theatrical shows or a day of animal watching, you can find it all within Walt Disney World.
5. Choose a Lively Hotel or Theme Park Bar to Meet New People
Another simple step to making that solo leap is to choose a great hotel.
Staying at a hip hotel with an active bar area makes it easy to meet new people. You can even do this when you’re on a trip with family.
You can step away for an hour or two, hangout at the bar or hotel lobby, and practice the art of pleasant conversation.
It’s a great step in learning how to travel alone.
Recommended: The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide
My Final Thoughts on Being Alone vs. Lonely
Overall, being alone doesn’t mean that you are lonely.
This is your time to be introspective, to learn about yourself, to learn your values, and a lot of things that make you unique.
And what place to do it?
At one of the most magical places on Earth, which is at the Walt Disney World Resort.
What’s the one thing that’s stopping you from making that solo trip? Please leave your answers in the comment section below. I can’t wait to hear back from you!
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
About the Author
Traveling alone to the parks has changed my life and I want to show how you can create your own solo theme park memories.
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(Original Article Date: March 19, 2020/Updated on February 5, 2024)