One prospect of Disney vacations that people may not be too thrilled about is all the walking. Yes, Disney parks are HUGE, and you’ll be on your feet standing in line for the majority of the day. If you aren’t used to standing on your feet all day, this can be a big undertaking! No one wants to be miserable on vacation because their feet hurt!
When it comes down to it, it’s about balance. You don’t have to simply stick to walking tons of steps to prepare for Disney. It’s about tackling the parks in a SMART way as well.
There are a TON of ways to make sure you don’t overdo it on your Disney vacation. I already touched base on some of these ways to avoid burnout while at Disney. Additionally, you can do some of the prep work at home before you get there! If you know what you’re getting yourself in to, it’s easier to enjoy yourself and not worry about your sore feet. Here are my tips to get yourself in tip top shape for Disney parks!
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Work On Your Steps
I’m not saying you have to physically train like you’re going to be running a marathon, but you DO need to get up and start walking more to be prepared for all the walking at Disney. I EASILY clock at least 15,000 steps on days that I do the parks from open to close – sometimes more! For more, it’s not that big of a deal, because I work in an environment where I usually hit between 8,000 – 10,000 steps a day just from doing my job!
So if you haven’t already, get a Fitbit or utilize a smartwatch to start tracking your fitness! Wear it and see what your normal activity level is for a few days to get an idea of what your “base” is. Then, start working on improving it! Here are some tips you can use to help you achieve that:
- Go for longer walks. Get out in your neighborhood and make a goal to walk for at least 20 minutes. After a week of that, increase your walk time by 10 minutes each week.
- Head to the treadmill at your local gym if walking outside is not an option. You don’t need to RUN, but even walking on the treadmill will help you!
- Once you determine what your average number of steps are per day, try to increase your average steps by 1,000 each week! Little changes such as taking the stairs or simply getting up and taking more walking breaks during the work day will help!
Plan Your Days Strategically
When you’re selecting your Fastpass+ rides or making reservations for dining, make sure you plan accordingly. It makes NO sense to book a restaurant at Hollywood Studios if you are spending the day at Epcot. Additionally, spread out your Fastpass+ selections if you can. This lets you make your way through the park at a slower pace. If you book a Fastpass for Space Mountain and then one for Splash Mountain immediately after, you’ll be running back and forth across the park!
So when you’re making plans, follow the steps below:
- Look up the maps and layout of each park, and make sure you mark which rides and attractions you want to experience. Research the dining options at each park, and be familiar with the hours of operation (for example, Magic Kingdom is usually open much later than the other parks. We use this info to sometimes split parks – for example, Hollywood Studios in the morning and then Magic Kingdom after a break at the hotel!) Come up with a rough schedule of your trip, making sure you get all the experiences you want.
- Select your dining reservations 180 days before your trip. This will help you determine what days you’ll be at which parks
- Use this knowledge to make Fastpass+ selections when the window opens 60 days before your arrival.
Wear Appropriate Shoes
I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH! If you’re not wearing the best shoes for walking, your feet are going to HURT, and you’re going to blister and be miserable. Wearing good shoes is the key to making sure you don’t burn out at Disney. Additionally, you might seriously hurt yourself if you try and walk so much on terrible shoes with no support.
Make sure you pack a few pairs of shoes, just in case you accidentally damage a pair. Also, it may be nice to bring an extra pair in a backpack to the parks. No one likes walking around in wet shoes after Splash Mountain!
Training for Disney is really not rocket science. Simply see what your normal amount of steps are, and try to slowly increase it. Prepare yourself by making sure you have an attack plan for each park – so you don’t overextend yourself and walk across the park multiple times. Take breaks when needed. Most importantly – have FUN!
What are some of your best tips for surviving Disney fatigue? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to sign up for my email list for updates whenever I post new content!