A Walt Disney World vacation means lots and lots of walking and by lots I mean 5+ miles a day. Your feet will need some TLC and I’m here to help.
Before Leaving Home
To get the most out of your Walt Disney World vacation, you plan your dining, lodging, and create a plan of attack for hitting the parks. Planning to take care of your tired dogs should be no exception.
Plan on wearing comfortable, well broken-in footwear on your trip. It sounds obvious but every trip I see people wearing awesome, but very impractical, shoes that put my sensible sneakers to shame. After a brief moment of envy, I know that my sensible sneakers will get my feet through the trip without protest.
If water rides such as Kali River Rapids are part of your touring plan, pack some quick-drying footwear such as flip flops to slip-on before the ride. A quick change into your dry walking shoes after the ride and you’ve avoided the issues of wet footwear rubbing against your feet.
Create a Touring Plan
A touring plan is a list of attractions and shows you plan on seeing at Walt Disney World along with the order you plan on crossing attractions off your list. Depending on your group and your touring philosophy, this touring plan can be a loose collection of attractions and the general time of day you plan to visit or it can be a precise list planned in 15-minute increments, updated with a little help from Lines or another attraction wait time app. Touring plans are designed to save you time waiting in line but they can also save your feet. Being familiar with the park layout, the location of the attractions you want to visit, and show times will save a lot of aimless and unnecessary walking trying to get to your next attraction.
That’s right – start training for your Disney World vacation a few weeks before your trip. Daily family walks are a great way to reconnect with loved ones, talk about your upcoming trip, and help prepare your feet for the workout they’ll soon be put through.
Pick up some moleskin or Band-Aids before the trip and throw them into your suitcase.
When you check-in, request a room near resort transportation (some resorts have multiple bus stops) or the main building where food options are located; it can be a quite a hike to the Disney transportation stops and dining from rooms in some resorts.
Hitch a Ride
Disney transportation (monorail, boats and ferries, and buses) will take you wherever you need to go at the Walt Disney World Resort. Sometimes taking Disney transportation will take longer than a walking option though. For example, Friendship boats run between the Boardwalk-area resorts and Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios. Unless you time it just right, it’s often quicker to walk than to take the boats. Let your feet make the decision.
In Magic Kingdom, hop on the Walt Disney World Railroad or Main Street Vehicles to get from Point A to Point B and rest tired feet while taking the scenic route at the same time.
In the Parks
Get Where You’re Going Before the Parades
Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom each have an afternoon parade. Starting about 30 min before the parade until shortly after it ends it can be very difficult to navigate the parks. Sections of the park are roped off to create the parade route and crowds build. If you’re not planning to watch the parade, make sure you’re in the section of the park you want to be in during the parades to avoid long walks around the parade route.
Plan a Sit-Down Meal
Give your feet some relief by planning to eat while sitting down and not on-the-move. You don’t have to dine at a table-service restaurant to sit down, quick-service restaurants offer nearby seating. Even if you select a grab-and-go snack, find a nearby bench to eat and do some people-watching while giving your dogs some much needed rest.
Take a Break
There’s no better way to take care of your feet than taking some breaks during the day. Nancy shares her favorites. Here are some of mine.
Magic Kingdom: Mickey’s PhilharMagic; Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover; Carousel of Progress
Epcot: Ellen’s Energy Adventures; World Showcase Players
Animal Kingdom: Festival of the Lion King; Flights of Wonder
Don’t Rush Home
At the end of the night, there will be long lines waiting for Disney transportation. Long lines mean lots of standing on feet screaming for a rest. Sit on a bench and watch the crowds streaming by for a while as the parks clear out at park closing. When the crowds have thinned, make your way to the exit and hop on your ride home with less wait.
A Disney World vacation can be hard on your feet but with some planning and rest strategies, they’ll hold up well during your trip.
- Finding Peace and Quiet at Walt Disney World (chipandco.com)
- Disney World Quick Tips – Enjoy Some Of The ‘Lesser’ Attractions (chipandco.com)