Where Can You Walk at Disney World?

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I grew up in Maine, where the punchline to a popular joke was “You Can’t Get There From Here.” At Disney World, you can always get there, but you usually can’t get there from here if you’re walking.

Yes, I know, when you’re at Walt Disney World, you’ll be doing nothing but walking. Many folks have worn pedometers during their Disney vacations and they inevitably learn that walking 5, 7, 10 or more miles per day at Disney World is the norm rather than the exception. Repeat Disney guests understand that nearly all their walking will be done within their resort or within the theme parks; it’s nearly a mile to walk around the World Showcase at Epcot. However, new Disney visitors may be confused that walking between theme parks or between resorts is often not possible. “But the Grand Floridian is right next to the Magic Kingdom, of course I can walk there.” Um, no.

The most walking options occur in the Epcot resorts area.
The most walking options occur in the Epcot resorts area.

Most of the time, you won’t be walking from park to park or from resort to resort, because you can’t. Even if you had the inclination and energy to hoof it, there are few sidewalks or safe paths to travel. For example, the Wilderness Lodge and the Polynesian Resort are about 3/4 of a mile apart as the crow flies. Most healthy adults could walk this in 15 minutes or less. But while the distance is not odious, there are no safe walking paths, making the trip all but impossible on foot, particularly in the dark. Instead, if you want to go from the Wilderness Lodge to the Poly, you’ll have to drive or take a cab or, if you want to use Disney’s free transportation system, you’ll end up taking a boat to the Magic Kingdom or the Contemporary Resort and then transferring to the monorail for a ride to the Poly. What could be a quick trip to a nearby hotel for a celebratory lapu lapu, ends up being an annoying slog.

For guest who like to walk, and who want to plan their stay based on the number of places at Walt Disney World that are accessible on foot, here’s guide to the parks and resorts at Disney World, with a listing of places can be safely reached by walking. In all cases, distances are approximate, measured via Google Earth, starting and ending at the main ticket gate for theme parks and at the main check-in lobby for resorts. (For Epcot, walking distances are from the World Showcase gate.) At larger resorts, your distance to the end point may vary by up to half a mile depending on your room location.

ANIMAL KINGDOM

There are no other parks or resorts from which you can reach the Animal Kingdom on foot.

From DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

  • To EPCOT: There are paved, lighted walkways. Directly from DHS to EPCOT’s World Showcase entrance is approximately 1.25 miles, using the route that passes the BOARDWALK.
  • To the BOARDWALK Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From DHS to the BOARDWALK is approximately .8 miles.
  • To the DOLPHIN Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From DHS to the DOLPHIN is approximately .9 miles.
  • To the SWAN Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From DHS to the SWAN is approximately .8 miles.
  • To the YACHT CLUB Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From DHS to the YACHT CLUB is approximately 1 mile.
  • To the BEACH CLUB Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From DHS to the BEACH CLUB is approximately 1.1 miles.

From EPCOT

  • To DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS: There are paved, lighted walkways. Directly from EPCOT’s World Showcase entrance to DHS is approximately 1.25 miles, using the route that passes the BOARDWALK.
  • To the BOARDWALK Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From EPCOT to the BOARDWALK is approximately .3 miles.
  • To the DOLPHIN Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From EPCOT to the DOLPHIN is approximately .7 miles.
  • To the SWAN Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From EPCOT to the SWAN is approximately .7 miles.
  • To the YACHT CLUB Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From EPCOT to the YACHT CLUB is approximately .4 miles.
  • To the BEACH CLUB Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From EPCOT to the BEACH CLUB is approximately .3 miles.

From MAGIC KINGDOM

The Magic Kingdom is approximately .5 miles from the CONTEMPORARY RESORT on foot. There is a paved, lighted walkway for much of the route. Some of your route will be over a paved, lighted parking lot.

From DOWNTOWN DISNEY

The Downtown Disney Marketplace area is approximately .3 miles from the Congress Park section of SARATOGA SPRINGS Resort. The most distant area of the Carousel section of SARATOGA SPRINGS is approximately .75 miles from Downtown Disney West Side. There are paved walkways.

Downtown Disney West Side is approximately 1.5 miles from OLD KEY WEST Resort. There are pathways, but no lighting in sections. Guests are discouraged from walking at night.

From: ALL STAR MOVIES, ALL STAR MUSIC, and ALL STAR SPORTS Resorts

There are no theme parks or other resorts which can be reached from the ALL STAR Resorts on foot. The three All Star Resorts can all be walk to from each other. The farthest point at All Star Sports is approximately .75 miles from the farthest point at All Star Movies. There are walkways, but the some of the walk will likely be through parking lot areas.

From ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE

There are no theme parks or other resorts which can be reached from the ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE on foot. There are two sub-resorts within the Animal Kingdom Lodge: JAMBO HOUSE and KIDANI VILLAGE. There are different restaurants and shopping opportunities at the two sections. The walk between Jambo House and Kidani Village is approximately .3 miles.

From ART OF ANIMATION RESORT

There are no theme parks which can be reached from the Art of Animation on foot. You can walk to the POP CENTURY Resort, approximately .3 miles away, via paved, lighted walkway.

From BEACH CLUB RESORT and Villas

  • To DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS: There are paved, lighted walkways. Directly from the BEACH CLUB to DHS is approximately 1.1 miles, using the route that passes the YACHT CLUB.
  • To EPCOT: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the BEACH CLUB to the World Showcase entrance to EPCOT is approximately .3 miles.
  • To the BOARDWALK Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the BEACH CLUB to the BOARDWALK is approximately .4 miles.
  • To the DOLPHIN Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the BEACH CLUB to the DOLPHIN is approximately .5 miles.
  • To the SWAN Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the BEACH CLUB to the SWAN is approximately .5 miles.
  • To the YACHT CLUB Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From BEACH CLUB to the YACHT CLUB is approximately .1 miles.

From BOARDWALK RESORT and Villas

  • To DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS: There are paved, lighted walkways. Directly from the BOARDWALK to DHS is approximately .9 miles.
  • To EPCOT: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the BOARDWALK to the World Showcase entrance to EPCOT is approximately .3 miles.
  • To the DOLPHIN Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the BOARDWALK to the DOLPHIN is approximately .4 miles.
  • To the SWAN Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the BOARDWALK to the SWAN is approximately .4 miles.
  • To the YACHT CLUB Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From BOARDWALK to the YACHT CLUB is approximately .5 miles, using the route that passes the Swan/Dolphin.
  • To the BEACH CLUB Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the BOARDWALK to the BEACH CLUB is approximately .4 miles, using the route that passes Epcot.

From CARIBBEAN BEACH RESORT

There are no theme parks or other resorts which can be reached from the CARIBBEAN BEACH RESORT on foot. There are rooms at one end of Caribbean Beach which are as much as a .8 mile walk from other rooms at the same resort.

From CONTEMPORARY RESORT and Bay Lake Tower

The CONTEMPORARY RESORT is approximately .5 miles from the MAGIC KINGDOM on foot. There is a paved, lighted walkway for much of the route. Some of your route will be over a paved, lighted parking lot.

From CORONADO SPRINGS RESORT

There are no theme parks or other resorts which can be reached from the CORONADO SPRINGS Resort on foot. There are rooms at one end of Coronado Springs which are as much as a .5 mile walk from other rooms at the same resort.

From DOLPHIN RESORT

  • To DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS: There are paved, lighted walkways. Directly from the DOLPHIN to DHS is approximately .8 miles.
  • To EPCOT: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the DOLPHIN to the World Showcase entrance to EPCOT is approximately .7 miles.
  • To the BOARDWALK Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the DOLPHIN to the BOARDWALK is approximately .4 miles.
  • To the SWAN Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the DOLPHIN to the SWAN is approximately .1 miles.
  • To the YACHT CLUB Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From DOLPHIN to the YACHT CLUB is approximately .4 miles, using the route that passes the Swan/Dolphin.
  • To the BEACH CLUB Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the DOLPHIN to the BEACH CLUB is approximately .5 miles.

From FORT WILDERNESS RESORT and Campground

There is a walking trail to the WILDERNESS LODGE. From the FORT WILDERNESS Marina, the WILDERNESS LODGE is approximately 1 mile away on foot. From the FORT WILDERNESS Front Gate, the WILDERNESS LODGE is approximately 2.4 miles on foot.

From GRAND FLORIDIAN RESORT and Villas

There are no theme parks or from which you can reach the GRAND FLORIDIAN on foot. There is a walking trail to the POLYNESIAN RESORT, approximately .4 miles away on foot. From the Polynesian, you can reach the Transportation and Ticket Center monorail station.

From OLD KEY WEST RESORT

There are no theme parks from which you can reach OLD KEY WEST on foot.

Downtown Disney West Side is approximately 1.5 miles from OLD KEY WEST Resort on foot. There are pathways, but no lighting in sections. Guests are discouraged from walking at night.

SARATOGA SPRINGS RESORT is approximately 1.25 miles from OLD KEY WEST Resort on foot. There are pathways, but no lighting in sections. Guests are discouraged from walking at night.

From POLYNESIAN VILLAGE RESORT

There are no theme parks from which you can reach the POLYNESIAN VILLAGE RESORT on foot. There is a walking path to the GRAND FLORIDIAN RESORT, approximately .4 miles away on foot. You can also walk from the POLYNESIAN VILLAGE RESORT to the TRANSPORTATION AND TICKET CENTER, approximately .1 miles away.

From POP CENTURY RESORT

There are no theme parks which can be reached from the Pop Century Resort on foot. You can walk to the ART OF ANIMATION Resort, approximately .3 miles away, via paved, lighted walkway.

PORT ORLEANS FRENCH QUARTER and PORT ORLEANS RIVERSIDE Resorts

There are no theme parks or other resorts which can be reached from the PORT ORLEANS RESORTS on foot. The two PORT ORLEANS RESORTS can be reached from each other. The check in area at FRENCH QUARTER is approximately .5 miles from the check in area at RIVERSIDE. The most distant rooms at FRENCH QUARTER are approximately .8 miles from the most distant rooms at RIVERSIDE. There are paved, lighted walkways.

From SARATOGA SPRINGS RESORT

The DOWNTOWN DISNEY Marketplace area is approximately .3 miles from the Congress Park section of SARATOGA SPRINGS Resort. The most distant area of the Carousel section of SARATOGA SPRINGS is approximately .75 miles from DOWNTOWN DISNEY West Side. There are paved walkways.

SARATOGA SPRINGS RESORT is approximately 1.25 miles from OLD KEY WEST Resort on foot. There are pathways, but no lighting in sections. Guests are discouraged from walking at night.

The center of the TREEHOUSE VILLAS section of SARATOGA SPRINGS is approximately .5 miles from the food court, on foot.

From SWAN RESORT

  • To DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS: There are paved, lighted walkways. Directly from the SWAN to DHS is approximately .8 miles.
  • To EPCOT: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the SWAN to the World Showcase entrance to EPCOT is approximately .7 miles.
  • To the BOARDWALK Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the SWAN to the BOARDWALK is approximately .4 miles.
  • To the DOLPHIN Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the SWAN to the DOLPHIN is approximately .1 miles.
  • To the YACHT CLUB Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From DOLPHIN to the YACHT CLUB is approximately .4 miles.
  • To the BEACH CLUB Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the SWAN to the BEACH CLUB is approximately .5 miles.

From WILDERNESS LODGE and Villas

There is a walking trail to FORT WILDERNESS. From the FORT WILDERNESS Marina, the WILDERNESS LODGE is approximately 1 mile away on foot. From the FORT WILDERNESS Front Gate, the WILDERNESS LODGE is approximately 2.4 miles on foot.

From YACHT CLUB RESORT

  • To DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS: There are paved, lighted walkways. Directly from the YACHT CLUB to DHS is approximately 1 miles.
  • To EPCOT: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the YACHT CLUB to the World Showcase entrance to EPCOT is approximately .4 miles.
  • To the BOARDWALK Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the YACHT CLUB to the BOARDWALK is approximately .5 miles, using the route that passes the Swan/Dolphin.
  • To the DOLPHIN Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the YACHT CLUB to the DOLPHIN is approximately .4 miles.
  • To the SWAN Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the SWAN to the YACHT CLUB is approximately .4 miles.
  • To the BEACH CLUB Resort: There are paved, lighted walkways. From the YACHT CLUB to the BEACH CLUB is approximately .1 miles.

Of course if you can’t get there from here on foot, there’s always the extensive system of monorails, buses, and boats. Or a car. What’s your preferred method of transportation at Disney World? Where do you like to walk? Let us know in the comments below.

EDITED correct error about walking between the Grand Floridian and Polynesian.

Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel at DisneyWorldMoms.com, a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obession - Broadway theater. Erin can be reached on Twitter @MsErinFoster.

23 thoughts on “Where Can You Walk at Disney World?

  • February 4, 2015 at 6:24 am
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    You can walk from Grand Floridian along a path by the lagoon to the Polynesian resort and Transportation Ticket Center. I do it all the time.

  • February 4, 2015 at 6:32 am
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    There are crosswalks and a sidewalk along Buena Vista Drive that connect the All-Star Resorts, McDonald’s, Blizzard Beach/Winter Summerland, and Coronado Springs Resort. It’s about 1.5 miles from the All-Start Resort entrance to the Coronado Springs pedestrian entrance, so this is not a short walk, nor is walking along a busy road necessarily pleasant. However, it is safe.

    Personally, I wish Disney connected more of its resorts via pedestrian paths. For example, it would be very easy to connect Pop Century to Caribbean Beach, and Caribbean Beach to the BoardWalk area (and thus to the Epcot-Hollywood Studios path). Alas, I don’t think there’s a lot of demand among guests for the opportunity to do even more walking at Disney World.

  • February 4, 2015 at 6:37 am
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    I think that Disney World is the most car or Disney Transit needed place among their theme parks around the world. It’s still a solo friendly place due to the amount of Transit that’s provided by Disney.

  • February 4, 2015 at 6:43 am
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    Great article! One of the things that has really surprised me about Disney World has been a lack of walking – or cycling – options. Still very surprised that in this day and age there arent walking / cycling trails linking everywhere up, and no cycle parking facilities.

  • February 4, 2015 at 9:32 am
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    For recreational walkers, runners, or cyclists, stay at the Wilderness Lodge, take the walking path to Fort Wilderness, and walk/run/bike the Wilderness Resort either using the sidewalk or the very lightly traveled street. It’s easy to get around, and the whole loop is about an 8k.

  • February 4, 2015 at 10:10 am
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    Really useful article thank you and surprising that there are not more walkways.
    Any other loops to jog round aside from Wilderness Resort as described above?

    • February 4, 2015 at 3:14 pm
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      There’s a good walking/running route around Port Orleans Riverside/French Quarter. I usually walk from FG to the Rvside loop, do the loop twice and return to FQ for my 3.5 mile daily walk. I also do the WL/FW path since we usually stay at WL or POFQ.

  • February 4, 2015 at 10:28 am
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    I too am surprised at how walker unfriendly Disney World is. There are routes to get anywhere but they don’t have sidewalks and in most cases lack shoulders. When I stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge several years ago I ended up doing my running on the grass at the side of the road. There simply were no paths.

    I also stayed at Port Orleans Riverside for the DW Marathon and had hopes of walking to the start – I could see the EPCOT parking from the entrance road. I tried it the day before the race and it turned out to be a long way and not very practical to walk.

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  • February 4, 2015 at 11:18 am
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    On our last trip, we learned the hard way that there is no path from the Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian. There is a lighted path that takes you quite a ways, then ends abruptly with a cul-de-sac. It was humorous and frustrating that they have this well-lit, paved walking path that doesn’t actually go anywhere. I take it there was originally a plan to connect the two that was scrapped.

    • February 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm
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      Looking at online maps, it appears there is a service road across the canal where the path should continue. It also looks like they never built (or maybe removed?) the bridge that would have crossed the canal. Pity that. We’re staying at GF for the first time in two weeks or so and I was hoping that walking to MK was an option with the monorail changes they have planned during our visit. I guess the shuttle boats will still work fine.

      • February 4, 2015 at 7:08 pm
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        There is definitely a service road connecting the 2. The Marathon and 1/2 marathons that do the Epcot to MK route run along the service road.

        • February 5, 2015 at 12:49 pm
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          Dan is referring to a different path, one that’s right along the Seven Seas Lagoon. There indeed is a very nice path to nowhere from Magic Kingdom in the direction of the Grand Floridian, and it ends abruptly at the canal.

          For the runDisney races, exiting Magic Kingdom you’re in a parking lot and roads (that cars use) once you go backstage by Splash Mountain. Alas, that’s not particularly close to the Grand Floridian, it’s not accessible to the public, and there are no sidewalks between there and the Grand Floridian.

  • February 4, 2015 at 12:06 pm
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    Stayed at Polynesian in 2012 & at that time there was a walkway to the Grand Floridian. In fact, on resort maps, it was promoted as a jogging route. My wife & daughter walked to GF to visit the wedding pavilion. Has that been eliminated with the Poly construction?

    • February 4, 2015 at 12:17 pm
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      No, that path is open. It takes you past the Wedding Pavilion, Senses Spa, and the Villas at the Grand Floridian to the main resort.

  • February 4, 2015 at 2:51 pm
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    You’ve hit on the most important thing for me when staying at WDW: location! We are walkers by nature and we love to walk wherever we go. Not only do we like the exercise, but we feel that it gives us control over what we are doing and where and when we are going. For this reason, we stay at the Epcot Resorts: not because we insist on a deluxe hotel, but because for us, the added expense is worth the ability to be able to walk to two different parks. Less traffic, fewer hassles and the convenience of easy park-hopping (we love using the World Showcase as our ‘food court’ after spending the day in a different park) make it all worthwhile.

  • February 4, 2015 at 8:06 pm
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    Our last stay was at Saratoga Springs and we found our initial room assignment was not actually walkable from the main building. The route they gave us took us along a road with no sidewalk where buses flew past at alarming speed. It was terrifying. It didn’t seem to occur to most of the staff we spoke to that people came there without a car.
    Lesson: If you are a walker, make it very clear at check in and ask to have the lighted, off-road path to your room highlighted to be sure there is one.

  • February 5, 2015 at 9:01 am
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    One more locatin to add to the Epcot area is Fantasia mini golf. Just cross the street from the Swan and Dolphin.

  • February 5, 2015 at 9:52 am
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    Is there a strategy behind this lack of accessibility on Disney’s part, or is it just not a priority for development? Any chance we can get a Jim Hill perspective on this?

  • February 5, 2015 at 10:50 am
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    For those of us WDW Fans who live in New Jersey, we have an acquired appreciation for the whole concept of circuitous routes. Case in point, a video of the song, “You Can’t Get There From Here in Jersey.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OfI4qm7sHA

  • February 5, 2015 at 11:11 am
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    We were disappointed by the lack of walking options on our trip last month, too. We have a baby in a stroller, and frankly it would have been so much easier to just wheel him down a path than get him out, fold the stroller, hold him on the bus, and then repeat in reverse, not to mention the time spent waiting for the bus. I’d gladly walk an extra mile to avoid that. It’s so silly too, when you can literally see your destination from your hotel, but instead you have to go on a 30-60 minute journey to get there. Given how frustrated people can get with the bus system, you’d think Disney would happily offload some of that traffic onto walkways.

  • February 9, 2015 at 6:29 pm
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    Ha! We also had a fun time trying to walk between two WDW points – we had driven to Magic Kingdom and were parked pretty far out – so pretty much ‘right across the street’ from the Polynesian lot. So, after dinner at O’Hana, rather than taking the monorail to the TTC and then a tram or walking to our car, we tried to walk from the Poly to the MK parking lot. What a nightmare! I think we had to like, climb a fence, to get to our car which we could see – so near and yet so far. LOL! I don’t think I will try off-roading at Disney again.

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