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Working Out in Walt Disney World

Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you have to neglect taking care of yourself.

Working Out in Disney World

Here are some ways to burn calories and build muscle while you are visiting the “Most Magical Place on Earth.”

Vacations should be relaxing and fun.  For us, a Walt Disney World vacation is always just that.  That said, over the last several years there have been trips where either Lisa or myself has been interested in maintaining some level of activity during our trip.

In some cases, we had been watching our calories and losing weight and didn’t want to lose that momentum.  This summer, our trip was during my training for my first-ever marathon.

Gyms/Fitness Centers

Sturdy Branches Fitness Center at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Disney Deluxe Resorts have 24 hour fitness centers

If you regularly go to the gym at home, a number of Walt Disney World Resorts have fitness centers you can use while you are visiting.  While the fitness centers are mainly amenities of the Deluxe Resorts, they can also be used by guests 14 or older staying at other resorts for a charge.

Making time to get in a workout is not easy when you’ve got full days planned at the parks for most of your trip.  If you’re already getting up early and/or staying out late, you may not be motivated to get up even earlier or stay up even later just to get in a workout.

As an alternative, you can get a little creative and incorporate some of your home workout routine into your vacation.  After all, you’ll probably find yourself standing in line on more than one occasion.  Doing a few squats, calf raises, or a few reps of lifting your kids or bags while waiting in line can really add up throughout the day.

Speaking of which, when you’re not standing in line you’ll be doing plenty of…


Jackson and Bella walk toward Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
You won’t notice how much walking you are doing with all the magic around you

With approximately 40 square miles of property, there’s a lot of ground to cover during your stay at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Between hitting the parks and wandering around your Resort, you’ll do plenty of walking while enjoying your vacation.

This last trip, Lisa was wearing a FitBit that tracked our walking and there wasn’t a single day under 8 miles!! On one day we topped 10 miles!!!  That’s why one of our best tips for anyone planning a Walt Disney World vacation is to bring comfortable, broken-in shoes!!

If you’re taking a more laid-back trip with a lot of downtime.  Getting out on the many paths around the Resorts can help get in some miles and burn some calories.  Just watch out for the people who might be…



New Balance Running Trail at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Running Trails offer a place to walk, run, or ride for some exercise

It doesn’t have to be a runDisney weekend to run at Disney.  I’m not talking about rope drop sprint or the occasional mad dash for an attraction, character, or dining reservation. Running is a very popular way to exercise, and there are several jogging trails throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.  Just be sure to account for the humidity and take it easy and hydrate!

I mentioned earlier that our summer trip was right in the middle of my training for the upcoming New York City Marathon.  I went into the trip thinking I would be able to make use of the running trails at the Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Campground. Unfortunately, our schedule didn’t take that into account and I was just too tired from all the walking we did each day.

But, I did get a workout with the kids when we went…



James and Bella take a dip in the pool at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Disney Resort pools are a great way to cool off

Pack your suit and hit the Resort pool.  It’s Florida and it’s a good bet the weather is warmer than it was at home, so start your day with a an early morning dip, or take a mid-afternoon break from the heat to cool off.  It’s a fun way for the whole family to exercise, and some of Disney’s pools are incredibly themed and not to be missed!

I love getting into the pool during vacation.  It really helps my sore muscles to just soak in the water.  But of course, the kids won’t let me do that for too long!  That’s where the workout comes in!

After the pool, a great way to dry off is to rent some wheels and go…


Bike Crossing Sign at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Guests can rent bicycles for leisurely rides around the Resort

Bicycle rentals are available at select resorts and provide a way to get some exercise and have a little fun.  Surrey-style bicycles are available for families to share, or children and adults can ride separately.  Child seats are also available so your littlest family members can enjoy a scenic bike ride too!

Renting bikes is a great way to explore your Resort grounds.  A lot of times, we’re just doing the same old trek from our room to the lobby or bus stop and back.  Taking a ride around the Resort is fun and a nice change of scenery.

If you want some great scenery, consider going…


Jet skis on Bay Lake at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Water craft can be rented at Sammy Duvall’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Photo: Disney

One of my favorite off-the-beaten-path things to do in Walt Disney World is to rent a boat and get out on one of Disney’s beautiful lakes.  It’s certainly less taxing on your body to go with a motorized boat, but you can opt for a canoe or kayak from the campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground for more of a workout.

If being pulled by a boat is more your speed, then head to Sammy Duvall’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and get a wet and wild ride doing some Wake Boarding or Waterskiing.

If water activities are not your thing, you can opt for some friendly competition playing…


Sometimes a little friendly competition is what it takes to motivate you.  I know that works for me.  Walt Disney World offers guests the opportunity to get their game on with Golf courses, and Tennis, Volleyball, and Basketball Courts.  You can even visit Splitsville in Disney Springs to get in some bowling.

If competition doesn’t motivate you, maybe some music can!  If so, there are plenty of opportunities to go…


Lisa and Bella dance outside the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's BoardWalk
You don’t need music to dance at Walt Disney World

The most formal place to get your dance on is the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney’s BoardWalk.  But, you can feel free to shake that body anywhere.  All around the Resorts and Theme Parks there is music to be found.  Whether it’s a live band, a DJ hosting a dance party, or an interactive parade that invites you to join in, there’s always a reason to dance at Walt Disney World!

What is your favorite way to burn off the calories from those Mickey Bars?

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