Good Morning! Welcome to my Daily Disney Dish! Today I am going to talk about traveling SOLO to Walt Disney World!
Daily Disney Quote:
Daily Disney Song:
Daily Disney Recipe: The Grapefruit cake at Hollywood Brown Derby and Starring Rolls Cafe in Hollywood Studios. A light, genoise-style cake layered with flavored cream cheese and fresh grapefruit. It may sound odd, but it is to DIE for. It is a favorite among us veteran Disney World visitors.
Ingredients – Grapefruit Cake
- 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs (separated)
- 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Ingredients – Grapefruit Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 six-ounce packages of cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
- 6 to 8 drops yellow food coloring
- 1 one-pound can grapefruit sections (well-drained), reserving 2 tablespoons of juice OR 3 fresh grapefruits, peeled, sectioned, and drained, reserving 2 tablespoons of juice.
Directions – Grapefruit Cake
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into mixing bowl.
- Make a well (figuratively not literally) in center of dry ingredients.
- Add water, oil, egg yolks, grapefruit juice, and lemon rind.
- Beat until smooth.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar separately, until whites are stiff but not dry.
- Gradually fold egg whites into the cake batter, folding gently with a rubber spatula until just blended.
- Do not stir the mixture.
- Pour into an ungreased 10-inch cake pan. Bake at 350º degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched with a finger.
- Invert pan on cake rack until cool. Run spatula around edge of cake.
- Carefully remove from pan.
- With a serrated knife, gently cut layer in half.
Directions – Grapefruit Cream Cheese Frosting
- Let cream cheese soften at room temperature.
- Beat cheese until fluffy.
- Add lemon juice and rind.
- Gradually blend in sugar.
- Beat until well blended.
- Add food coloring.
- Add reserved grapefruit and blend into frosting.
- Divide the frosting evenly into two bowls.
- Roughly chop 2/3 of the grapefruit sections and add them to half the frosting.
- Spread this mixture on the bottom half of cake.
- Top with several grapefruit sections.
- Cover with second layer of cake.
- Frost top and sides.
- Garnish with remaining grapefruit sections.
Traveling solo to Walt Disney World can be a wonderful experience, especially if you visit regularly with your family and friends. I have had the amazing privilege of doing this twice in the past couple of years. I have to admit, when I walked down Main Street by myself, sans hubby and kids, I felt a little lonely and guilty – for about 5 seconds!!! I thought “woo-hoo! I can do whatever I want, and no one is here to say ‘ewe, we don’t want to do that!’ or ‘ewe that’s for girls’ ” And I did- I did whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
If I wanted to go visit princesses, I did. If I wanted to go shopping, I did. If I wanted to sit on a bench with a Grey Goose Lemon Slush at Epcot, I did!!! No one was there to say “oh, come on mom, we don’t want to sit anymore”.
I noticed things I hadn’t before. Little architectural details in the buildings at the parks. The way some of the cast members interact with guests of different ages and abilities. The amazing “hush” that comes over the crowd as the lights go out in Magic Kingdom right before the Wishes Fireworks Show. I just really appreciated my home away from home even more.
I have to admit, there were two things I thought would be strange – it was the first time I ever flew alone, and the first time I ever stayed in a hotel alone. But, that too was a blessing! I didn’t have to “tend” to anyone on the plane. Or wait for hubby’s sprint to the restroom when we got inside the terminal. I didn’t have to share a bed or bathroom in my hotel room! AND, on my last solo trip, I was VERY lucky to be able to stay concierge level at the Yacht Club – which is something I never could have done while spending a week or more at Disney World with my family. It’s just not practical or affordable! My two solo trips were only 4 days long, so I think it was just enough for me to really enjoy my visit, and not so much that I started to miss my family. While I was there for a couple of special events that I was invited to attend, I had a LOT of time to myself. And, admittedly, even though I made some good friends and hung out with them here and there, all the moms in the group were of the same school of thought “Man, I can actually spend some time alone!” No one was pounding on the bathroom door to get in. No one was pulling you in seven directions. It was just FUN.
So, some things that I think a solo traveler can enjoy more than she can if she is with her family:
- Getting a spa treatment at one of the deluxe hotels that have that amenity. Who can relax enough for a massage when you know your kids are running loose in the parks with their dad, eating God knows what, and staying in the sun for too long?!.
- Do some really “girly” things. For me, this was one of the best parts. I have two boys, so I don’t get to do girly things when I visit with my family. So, I went to Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian. It was neat to be a “lady” for a day. I wore a cute little dress, drank tea and ate finger sandwiches and petit fors while listening to soothing almost spa-like music. While this isn’t everyone’s vision of what to do with some spare time, it was really nice to just relax and look out the windows of the garden room. Obviously for dads – this would mean a different activity entirely – He could rent a sea raycer and zoom around Seven Seas Lagoon. He could go to Richard Petty Driving School and drive a race car! He could take in a ball game at the Wide World of Sports Complex.
- Another thing I did while on my own – I got to do two tours: the Keys to the Kingdom Tour at Magic Kingdom. And the Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom. It was SO amazing to have these experiences, and even more so without my family in tow. Don’t get me wrong- I love my family dearly, but it was so incredible to just be “in the moment” without worrying if they were having a good time or having to look back to make sure they weren’t falling behind.
- Go to a restaurant that you wouldn’t normally visit because your family wouldn’t like it. For me, it was Cinderella’s Royal Table. To eat in the Castle was so wonderful. I got to see Prince Charming and Cinderella. I got to have items off a menu that my 11 year old son would NEVER enjoy – thus meaning I would never get to the castle with my family because he wouldn’t eat anything!
- Do some Goofy things that make you feel like a kid, without the kids in tow! Get your picture with Mickey. Wear a tiara all day long. Have a big sloppy ice cream cone while sitting on a bench near the castle, and who cares if you let it drip down your hand – you’re a kid today! Ride Dumbo – well, because it’s Dumbo.
- Ride your favorite ride over, and over, and over again. For me, hands down, it is the Rock n Roller Coaster. I rode it 3 times in a row, and if my tummy hadn’t been screaming for food, I would have gone again.
- EAT JUNK FOOD!!!
- Don’t miss the table service restaurants. It is perfectly fine to dine alone, without feeling alone. Bring a book. Chat up a table of friendly travelers near by. Heck – let those characters come over and give you a hug. They are great at reading body language, and they will figure out how much attention you would or wouldn’t like from them – or even none at all.
- Have a drink, or five. No kids in tow = time for being silly & tipsy! You’re on vacation! With no kids!!!
- Go to bed late, or sleep in!
The options are endless. So, if you have a chance to head down to the Happiest Place on Earth sans family, don’t hesitate! It will open your eyes to a whole new world within the World that we call Disney.
I hope you enjoyed today’s Daily Disney Dish! I may or may not post for a while, since I will be down there in just THREE more days!!! But when I return I promise to share tons of photos and give many reviews of the parks and the cruise. Have a Magical Day!!!