Tips To Prepare For Walking Walt Disney World

The average guest walks 8-10 miles a day in the heat and sun during a Walt Disney World vacation. That's a lot of miles, and it can be especially hard for people who don't include fitness routines into their daily lives. Not being prepared for the Walt Disney World mileage can put a serious damper of the fun of both kids and adults. This article is all about preparing to go the Disney distance, and make walking Walt Disney World a little easier on everyone in your travel party.

Tips To Prepare For Walking Walt Disney WorldTips To Prepare For Walking Walt Disney World

While many guests find themselves unprepared, I believe that knowledge is power. Let's take look below at the rough distances of one sweep around each of the Walt Disney World Parks. These measurements are roughly the distance of one big loop around each area. That being said, no one just makes a simple loop around a Theme Park. Added to this span you can expect to add in miles from weaving in and out of attraction queues, as well as zig-zaging through the lands. These numbers also don't include the considerable distance you'll walk around your hotel, and through Walt Disney World transportation areas.

  • Magic Kingdom loop is roughly 2.2 Miles
  • EPCOT loop is roughly 2.8 Miles
  • Hollywood Studios loop is roughly 1.40 Miles
  • Animal Kingdom loop is roughly 2.3 Miles
  • and Disney Springs loop is roughly 2 Miles

OK. Now that you know the nature of the beast, let's talk about ways that you can prepare yourself and your family for this long-distance undertaking.

A Walk Once Around World Showcase Lagoon is 1.2 MilesA Walk Once Around World Showcase Lagoon is 1.2 Miles

Plan Ahead & Practice

Start walking at home about 2 months before you leave on vacation. Just head out your door and go for a walk. Speed isn't important here. You want to prepare your body for the distances you will cover on vacation. Start with a 15-minute stroll and work your way up to an hour every other day.

When planning your touring strategy before vacation, be sure to plan breaks into your schedule. Many families return to the hotel for a break in the afternoon, however if you want to stay in the parks that's OK too. Find a spot that you can sit down and have a snack or s drink at strategic times during your day. If you plan that time back to back with a long indoor show (like the American Adventure, or Hall of Presidents) you'll get an extended break from walking along with refreshments and some climate control. By the time you're done you'll be ready to tackle the next half of the park.

Use your Resort Hotel pools to your advantage. Take a soak in the hot tub before stretching out at the end of the night, or hop in the pool so the hydrostatic pressure can help reduce stiffness and welling.

Value Pool: Art of Animation Feature PoolValue Pool: Art of Animation Feature Pool

Be A Pro-active Packer

Shoes are important for a vacation like this. Make sure you have good walking shoes that have already been broken in. It's also important to note that taking multiple pairs of shoes and wearing a different one each day can help to prevent hot spots that become blisters.

About those blisters, be sure to pack some blister care in your toiletry bag before you leave home. Take a look at our previous article First Aid For Friction Blisters, Everything You Should Know.

It's worth taking a minute to note that even endurance athletes can run into problems with the distance at Walt Disney World. It seems counter intuitive, but the problem comes from standing still and moving slowly in queues. An athletes body may be well prepared for continual motion, but moving much slower than normal can cause different types of stress on the body. Plan on spending a bit of time each day stretching out muscles that may become stiff.

Be Sure to Break-in Your Walking ShoesBe Sure to Break-in Your Walking Shoes

Keep It Light & Easy

When it comes to traveling with little ones the one thing I can guarantee you is that they are going to get tired and cranky. Even if your young kids have moved out of a stroller at home, you might want to consider bringing it. Your kids will be much more comfortable both mentally and physically in their own stroller. Now, that doesn't mean you shouldn't let them walk during the day, but having that stroller is a bit of security if your kids hit meltdown.

It's not just kids that can have a meltdown when they get tired and have to keep walking. Lots of parents think they can carry their kids through, but the extra weight of a child just makes your miles even harder to traverse. Don't be a hero and carry your kids, save your back and give them their own comfortable space in a stroller.

Speaking of carrying things - big purses, diaper bags, heavy backpacks, and souvenir packages can make the miles you cover feel even further. If you have a stroller for your child later in the day, use it to carry bags while you can. It's also a good idea to use Disney's various package delivery services so that you don't have to haul them around too. When you make a purchase at a Disney Shop as the cast member about package delivery to the front of the park, to your hotel, or mailing it back home.

Make It Easy On Yourself, Bring Your StrollerMake It Easy On Yourself, Bring Your Stroller

Accept Limitations

There's one more category I want to talk about when walking Disney Parks, and that's people with mobility impairment. That might mean grandma and grandpa, but it might also be someone recovering from illness or injury. Consider renting a wheelchair or scooter for use during vacation. Over the years I have heard many a guest relations cast member recommend this option for guests that feel they may struggle with walking distance and time in queues.

I understand better than most how difficult it can be to accept that you need mobility assistance, but if you are going to try it out Disney is the place. If you think someone in your travel party can benefit from a wheelchair or scooter rental, read this post Mobility Assistance Rentals for Walt Disney World Vacations.

Private Scooter Rental Has Become A Popular ChoicePrivate Scooter Rental Has Become A Popular Choice

I hope that you enjoyed this article and consider these tips when planning for your next Walt Disney World vacation. If you have more tips for walking Walt Disney World be sure to share them in the comments!

Jeff wrote on Fri, 09/21/2018 - 22:56:

Jeff's picture

We leverage most of those tips! All great ones. Taking walking breaks is a biggie with me. After a few hours i really need to sit a spell so we will do d our way to a good indoor show and get some foot rest. Muppets, Country Bears, Nemo, whatever can accommodate a crown with minimal wait and quick walk in/stand by.

I also like to change socks mid-day. It just feels refreshing on my feets! I may also run them under cool bathtub water for extra goodness.

Kristen K. wrote on Sat, 09/22/2018 - 14:02:

Kristen K.'s picture

Oh! Great extra tips. I like the cool foot bath idea a lot.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. If you have a Gravatar account associated with the e-mail address you provide, it will be used to display your avatar.

More information about formatting options