Fitness Disney World

This Fitness Disney World page was designed for those that want to have a healthy and fun trip to the Happiest Place on Earth.

Below you’ll find tips and guidance on running trails, nutrition, walking distances, resort events and some other interesting Disney World facts that will help you stay fit while having the time of your life!

My idea of a vacation used to be sitting on a beach and “vegging out”.

The idea of walking around a massive theme park for hours on-end was not my idea of a vacation…then I was reformed.

Disney World has become one of our family’s favorite vacation spots and I think my wife & I have as much fun as our kids!

If you plan it right, a Disney vacation can also be a healthy and fitness-conscious trip…and that’s coming from a guy that consistently asks for dessert menu ;-).

Fitness Disney World

Fitness Disney World – Walk it Off!

Disney World encompasses 4 major theme parks, 2 huge water parks, and numerous themed resorts and restaurants in a 42 square-mile area…so bring a good pair of walking shoes!

You won’t notice all of the miles that you log each day, because you’ll be consumed with the excitement and scenery of the Disney experience…but those miles add up and are a great form of exercise!

The typical family arrives in the morning at the parks and doesn’t leave until they view one of Disney’s famous evening fireworks displays.

And while the monorail and bus transportation is truly top-notch and will whisk you from park to park, the average person can easily walk over 10 miles a day within the parks...that's approximately 1000 calories burned in walking alone!!

Check out the Fitness Disney World table below for just a few of the walking distances and estimates on the calories that you’ll burn in between.

Please note that these distances are approximate and may vary depending on the route that you take:

Walk (Point 'a' to 'b') Distance (miles) Calories Burned
Contemporary to Magic Kingdom 0.4 40
Boardwalk to MGM Studios 0.9 90
Boardwalk to EPCOT 0.4 40
Magic Kingdom Entrance to Space Mountain 0.5 50
Animal Kingdom Entrance to Safari 0.9 90
Swan to EPCOT 1.0 100
Around World Showcase Lagoon (EPCOT) 1.5 150

Fitness Disney World – Nutrition Facts

Disney World has recently adopted a new set of nutritional guidelines which should help make your dining experience healthier without making it any less enjoyable. Some of these changes include:

  • Elimination of adding trans-fat to their prepared foods by the end of 2007.
  • Kids meals will come with a vegetable & low-fat milk, 100% juice, or water instead of fries & soda.
  • Limiting fat content of snacks and meals to 35% and 30%, respectively.
  • Limiting the added sugar calories of snacks and meals to 25% and 10% of the total, respectively.
  • Limiting the calories from saturated fat of all meals and snack foods to no more than 10% of the total.

Aside from the menu changes above there are a few other small things that you can do to cut back on the calories while still maximizing your vacation fun. Read the tips below to see how…

Fitness Disney World – Health & Fitness Tips

While I’m a firm believer in relaxing and indulging on vacation...I don’t like gaining 5 pounds either. Here are a few ways that you can cut back on calories without cutting out the fun:

  • Watch the dinner rolls!: The majority of calorie intake is usually made up of carbs: sugar, pasta, rice, bread. And while all of that walking may have earned you a piece of cake or bowl of ice cream, don’t spend all of your hard work on a few dinner rolls! Having 3 or 4 dinner rolls can easily add over 1,000 calories to your meal…or the same amount that you burned walking 10 miles! If rolls are your treat…go ahead and enjoy them. If not, have just one…and wait for the main course.
  • Pack water: A few years ago we had a case of water delivered to our room and we packed it with us each morning…this saved us! Aside from being able to have a refreshing drink right in our backpack for a fraction of the cost of a vendor’s soda, we also saved ourselves hundreds of empty calories that we would have had in soda or juice. The calories from soda and juices can really add up, especially when you’re thirsty. Save those drinks for meals and drink water while you’re out and about.
  • Eat Breakfast: By having breakfast, you’re likely to eat less through the day than if you had skipped breakfast. Look for foods that are low in sugar and high in fiber. I usually have oat bran in the morning, so for vacation I packed some home-made oat bran muffins with raisins and walnuts. These were really tasty and left me feeling satisfied into the afternoon. Fruit and whole grains are a great breakfast choice and will help keep you going through the day.
  • Plan Ahead: While some spontaneity can be fun, it can also pose a challenge when it comes to eating. If you’re able to look ahead and plan your meals and snacks, you’ll be able to save yourselffor a special dessert or other treat and still come out on top. I usually don’t count calories on vacation, but I’m still conscious of how the day’s adding up. If you’re able to eat lighter during the day so that you can have dinner, dessert, and a drink later, you’ll have more fun…and be guilt-free! So look ahead and plan your meals and snacks to maximize the fun and minimize the damage.

Fitness Disney World – Running Trails

If after all that walking, you still have a hankering for your morning jog, Disney World has many miles of trails for you to explore. With over 30,000 acres of land, Disney World has some great trails and pedestrian paths nestled in amongst their resorts.

And given the beautiful Florida climate, there’s almost no bad time to go for a jog or a stroll. Check out this Disney World Running Trails page to see a long list of trails by resort.

Fitness Disney World – Gyms & Fitness Centers

Many of Disney’s resort accommodations have some state-of-the-art fitness centers. From nautilus to cardio equipment, these facilities can help you can stick with your routine. Check out the Disney World Fitness Club link for more information.

Fitness Disney World – Health & Fitness Events

The Disney World Marathon has really grown in popularity over the last few years. With a ½ marathon on Saturday (Donald Medal) & the full marathon on Sunday (Mickey Medal), that 2nd weekend in January has become the cornerstone event of a health and fitness weekend.

For those that are goofy enough to do both races, they’ll receive….(you guessed it)….the Goofy Medal! This weekend is also at the start of the Disney Value season, so you may be able to get some good accommodation and ticket deals, too.

Check out the Disney Marathon page for more information on marathon weekend and their other health and fitness expos and events.

Fitness Disney World – Shopping for Fitness Gear?

Whether you’re looking for running clothes, swimming gear, or a new pair of shades, Downtown Disney has many options to chose from. From the Team Mickey Athletic Club to Summer Sands to the Sunglass Icon, you’ll find many choices of Disney fitness items in this shopper’s paradise. See the Downtown Disney page for information.

I hope that the Fitness Disney World sections above were helpful. Disney has over 30,500 acres in sunny Florida to explore...and if you plan it right you can even indulge a little, too ;-)! If you're planning a trip to Disney World soon, I hope that you have a great time!

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