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Fitting Fitness into Your Disney Vacations

As we roll into a new year filled with resolutions like getting fit and travelling more often, it can be hard to manage both, but it is possible. Taking a Disney vacation may seem like a potential roadblock when getting on track with fitness, but it doesn’t have to be.

For anyone interested in going to Walt Disney World, you can be sure a day at any of the theme parks will help you log thousands of steps. (I’ve tracked more than 17,000 in one day). If that isn’t enough, most resorts have walking/jogging trails and many of the resorts in the deluxe category have fitness centers.

My husband factors in how well he likes each fitness center when choosing a favorite resort. When fitness and Disney are both a priority in your life, it is good to know what options are available to you.


The fitness centers offer traditional cardiovascular equipment like treadmills, bicycles and elliptical machines. Most have a variety of weight machines and a few even offer free weights for those die-hard lifters. Worried about not having time to work out and still make it to the park for rope drop? Don’t worry, guests have 24/7 access to fitness centers with their Magic Band. You can go before you head out for the day or after you return – even if you close down the park.

Fitness room at Animal Kingdom Lodge

If the resort doesn’t have a fitness center, you can be sure there are areas to burn calories around each property with a morning walk or run. Another alternative could be some laps in one of the pools onsite or even some of your own water aerobic exercises while the family is enjoying the pool.

Running trail at Disney\’s Wilderness Lodge          

Running trail at Disney\’s Pop Century Resort         

Disneyland goers can find a fitness center at any of the three resorts as well as an early morning Get Up & Go Power Walk. This walk, just for guests at Disneyland hotels, is a 2-mile walk held at California Adventure Park before opening. The fitness centers at Disneyland offer cardio equipment, weight machines and free weights.

Disney fans who are avid runners can get the best of both worlds if they plan their Walt Disney World vacation during one of Disney’s themed marathon weekends.

For cruisers, each of Disney Cruise Lines\’ four ships has a fitness center in Senses Spa for breathtaking views while burning calories or lifting weights. There are even group fitness classes as well onboard. The cycle class is popular and bikes are limited, so I recommend signing up in advance. Don’t be discouraged if the sign-up sheet is full – some folks with good intentions may have opted to sleep in and a bike may become available if they don’t show up on time. One thing to note is the fitness centers on Disney Cruise Line are not 24/7, but they open early enough for you to get a workout in before your excursion or before dinner if you’d like. The Navigator will list the times for your cruise.

Another alternative is some laps on the ship’s jogging track or shooting some hoops on the sports deck. If you’re looking to catch some rays as well, there is always treading water in one of the pool (you likely won’t be doing laps onboard).

Finally, if your cruise sails to Castaway Cay, you have the chance to participate in a 5K and soak in some of Disney’s private island while going for a walk or run. You can sign up at the Port Adventures Desk onboard.


With anything, if there’s a will, there is a way. Disney makes it easy for you to balance a healthy lifestyle with a magical vacation. So if a cruise, a trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World is in your future, talk with your Wishdrawals Disney Travel Planner to find the best fit for your fitness needs.



Christin Michaud is a certified Spin instructor and wife to a “can’t miss a workout, even on vacation” husband. Contact Christin with questions about staying fit at Disney or to book your next Disney vacation!


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