When some folks think of vacation, they picture an endless stream of piña coladas by the pool. You can certainly make that vision happen at Walt Disney World, but they also have you covered if you want to include some active time as part of your holiday.
Let’s start by saying that a sizable percentage of Disney World visitors walk in excess of seven miles per day as part of their normal course of events: trekking across parking lots, walking from the resort food court back to the room, and of course making laps around the theme parks to take in as many attractions as possible. That could be more than enough exercise for you, especially if you’re pushing a stroller or carrying a load of heavy camera equipment.
But if you’re looking to up your calorie burn, here are some opportunities for exercise at Walt Disney World:
- Swimming: Every Walt Disney World resort hotel has one or more swimming pools. The only Disney-owned hotel pool with marked lap lanes is at Coronado Springs, but you could use any of the pools for other types of water exercise. If you want to swim laps, staying at a nearby non-Disney hotel, notably the Swan, is another good option.
- Golf: There are three 18-hole courses on Disney property (Palm, Magnolia, and Lake Buena Vista) and a 9-hole walking course (Oak Trail).
- Tennis: Tennis courts are available for guest use at the Contemporary, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk, Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, Yacht & Beach Club, and Fort Wilderness. Guests of any Disney hotel are able to use the courts on a first-come, first-served basis. You may use your own equipment or borrow racquets and balls from Disney. DVC members may use equipment free of charge; there are fees for other guests.
- Gyms: There are fitness centers available for guest use at Yacht & Beach Club, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk, Saratoga Springs, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Riviera Resort, Old Key West, Grand Floridian, Coronado Springs, and the Contemporary. Use of the fitness centers are limited to guests of those resorts, with limited exceptions (for example, guests of the Polynesian may use the Grand Floridian fitness center).
- Canoeing: Canoe and kayak rentals are available at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort for a small fee. Anyone may participate regardless of where they are staying.
- Biking: Bicycle rentals are available at Caribbean Beach, Old Key West, Port Orleans French Quarter, Port Orleans Riverside, Saratoga Springs, Wilderness Lodge, and Fort Wilderness resorts for a small fee. Child and adult bikes are available for a small fee. Anyone may rent bikes at the resorts.
- Volleyball: You can play using the volleyball courts at Caribbean Beach, Contemporary, Coronado Springs, Old Key West, Polynesian, Yacht & Beach, and Fort Wilderness resorts. Courts may be used by guests of any WDW resort. Equipment can be borrowed for free by Disney Vacation Club members or for a small fee by other guests.
- Basketball: There are full-size courts at Contemporary, Old Key West, and Saratoga Springs resorts. Half-size courts are located at Animal Kingdom Lodge and Grand Floridian resorts. There are several quarter-size courts at Fort Wilderness. Guests of these resorts may borrow equipment free of charge.
- Running: The formerly robust runDisney race series has been paused due to the pandemic. They have run virtual races, but no word yet on when in-person events might resume. For casual exercise, most of the WDW hotels have jogging trails around the resort, ranging from about a mile to to just over three miles. Stop by the front desk of your hotel for a map.
Are you a fan of exercise while on vacation, or is walking around the parks enough for you? Let us know which of these offerings is your favorite.