Visiting Disney World takes the phrase “a walk in the park” to a whole new level!
There are a lot of things to prepare for before heading to Disney World. You may have spent months planning where to eat, which attractions to hit, and what must-have souvenirs to buy. But in order to REALLY be ready to conquer the parks, you might need to do some physical prep as well! Bust out those pedometers, cause we’re breaking down how many miles you’ll really put on those feet in Disney World!
How Far Will You Walk on an Average Disney World Day?
There are tons of words that could describe Disney World, one of which is HUGE! And given the massive size of the property, navigating around it can be a serious workout!
Most of your walking will probably take place inside the parks, but you can also rack up some serious steps just getting around your hotel. Especially if you’re staying somewhere that’s super spread out like Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
While your mileage may vary (literally!), our reporters walk an average of 20,000-25,000 steps in a day (about 10-12 miles!!).
If they’re park hopping, they tend to hit at least 25,000 steps (about 12 miles), and occasionally they’ll even hit 30,000 steps (about 15 miles) in a single day. We’re getting exhausted just thinking about all that walking!
Keep in mind the parks are LARGE, and to cover most of them, you’ll be racking up those miles too! Just one loop around World Showcase in EPCOT is 1.2 miles! For most people, the super high step count WAY exceeds what they walk on a normal day at home, so prepare accordingly!
Here’s How You Can Prepare for Walking in Disney World!
If you head into your vacation unprepared for that level of physical activity, you might find yourself getting burnt out pretty quickly. That’s why we suggest that you “train” for your Disney World trip at home by going on long walks leading up to your vacation. While you’re building out your training plan, keep in mind that all Disney walkways are concrete, so make sure you’re factoring that detail in and work on walking on sidewalks, not just treadmills or around local track facilities where the ground might be a bit more forgiving.
Be sure to wear the same shoes you plan to wear in the parks so you can break them in and make sure they’ll be comfortable over long distances!
Realistically, you might not be able to work 25,000 steps a day into your schedule for your “training,” but try to get to a point where you can walk at least 5 miles comfortably. Remember, you’ll rarely walk that long uninterrupted. Stops for rides, food, and more will give you little breaks throughout the day.
Here’s where we remind you for the 1000th time to pleeeease make sure you have your shoes — and a backup pair — WELL broken in before your trip! NEVER wear brand new shoes to the parks! Even if it’s the same style you’ve worn before, your park shoes should be broken-in and well-tested. TRUST US. Been there, done that, not going back!
Speaking of those essential broken-in shoes, pack a few pairs in your suitcase. Your shoes may end up getting soaked from the Florida rain (or water rides!), so it’s helpful to have a backup pair to wear while you give the other pair a day to dry out.
Plus, no matter how careful you are, you still might end up with a blister. Sometimes those PERFECT broken-in shoes you wear day in and day out at home just…fail at Disney World. Sometimes walking upwards of 10-15 miles in a day, your feet can move around differently against your shoe than they would on a “normal” day back home. Now those comfy perfect shoes are out to get you and those blisters HURT. If that happens, wearing a different pair of shoes can help avoid putting pressure on the same sore spot on your foot.
You can also pack items like ibuprofen and IcyHot to help counteract any soreness that pops up. Ever heard of shin splints? It’s basically a sharp pain in your shin area when you put pressure on your leg caused by overuse and it can last for days. It’s mega common for Disney World guests unfamiliar with walking so much to wake up the second day, stand up and go “OWW!” Having an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen and ice at the ready (hit up your hotel vending machine!) can be a lifesaver (or leg saver, in this case).
And again, since blisters can sneak up on even the most well-prepared guests, bring moleskin for an extra layer of protection and band-aids to cover any stubborn blisters that still manage to pop up.
A lot of the walking you do in Disney World is unavoidable. But you can help cut down on some unnecessary steps by familiarizing yourself with the layout of the parks ahead of time to avoid backtracking. Trust us, your feet will thank you later!
On a similar note, try to finish everything you want to do in one area before moving on to the next section of the park. Knocking out a land and avoiding backtracking can shave miles off your day!
If you do end up needing to move on, stay close by instead of wandering across the park. For example, if you just got off of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain is next on your list but it’s temporarily down, stick to something in one of the neighboring lands, like Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square or Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland.
We see guests alllll the time head to Space Mountain THEN Splash Mountain on the opposite side of the park THEN all the way back to do the PeopleMover THEN across the park to check out Pirates of the Caribbean. We’re exhausted reading that! That’s SO much extra walking! Pick your route and stick to it!
And keep in mind, it’s not just the walking that can get ya! Standing can also be rough on the body, and you’re likely to be doing a LOT of it around Disney World!
Standing on concrete can be especially tough (plan to do a LOT of it if you want a good fireworks spot!). For a special bonus tip, stop into a Basin store in Disney Springs or the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to buy a bath bomb or two for a soak back at your hotel.
Soaking your feet at the end of a long day can be a nice way to treat your tootsie to their own vacation. You may as well make it fun with a Basin bath bomb or bath salts and treat yo’self! In a pinch, Disney hotel lotion can ease those tired dogs before bed. Slather some on and hit they hay. Your feet will thank you in the morning.
Disney World vacations are packed full of incredible memories, magical moments…and TONS of walking! We’ve learned the hard way that heading to the parks unprepared for that level of physical activity can put a damper on the day. Use these tips to help prepare yourself ahead of time so your trip isn’t derailed by all those extra steps!
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What tips do you have for managing all of the walking in Disney World? Share them in the comments!