Have you heard about ALL the walking you’re going to be doing at Disney World? Maybe you’re wondering how much to expect so you can properly plan. Or if the estimates (or perhaps you consider them “horror stories”) are true! Or to come up with a proactive pre-Disney movement regime to rise to the occasion. Whatever the reason, in this post, I’m going to answer the question, “How much do you walk on average at Disney World?”
Note: These Disney health posts are some resources I wanted to put together for my health coaching clients. But I figured I’d make them public in case they can help anyone else. Please note that I’m not affiliated with Disney, and Disney did not provide this information. I’m sharing what I’ve gathered from researching online and from my personal experience as a guest.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you. I only recommend products that I love or trust, but please do reach out if you have any questions.
How Much Does the Average Guest Walk at Disney
After reading through some online forums, it looks like (based on the responses I found), most guests walk anywhere between 6-12 miles per day. The responses I saw most frequently were closer to 8-10 miles per day. Phew!
I was shocked to find out that the AVERAGE guest can easily walk 10 miles a day!!!
Disney doesn’t publish much information about how many miles it will take to walk around most parks. But I did find some details about Epcot.
Turns out the loop around the Epcot World Showcase Lagoon is about 1.2 miles according to this Q&A post and answer by panelist Todd on PlanDisney! Now that may not seem like much, but factor in walking from your car to the front gate, from the front gate to the attractions and restaurants, winding through those lines, PLUS the walking back and forth to get to the things you really want throughout the day, and it adds up fast!
So how much did I walk on my trip to Disney last week?
How Much Did I Actually Walk at Disney World? (Apple Watch Stats)
Thanks to wearing my handy-dandy Apple Watch, I can share exact numbers on how far I walked on my recent trip to Disney World last week (this is for the whole day, so it includes before and after our theme park visits, which basically included ramp up and down):
Magic Kingdom Walking Stats:
- 20,541 steps
- 8.4 miles
- Notes: Went with my sister and her family, including a 19 month old we pushed around in a stroller
Epcot Walking Stats:
- 27,581 steps
- 11.2 miles
- Notes: Went with my sister and her husband for an adults-only adventure to enjoy Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival 2021
Animal Kingdom Walking Stats:
- 26,881 steps
- 10.6 miles
- Notes: Went with my sis and her fam including her 19 month old who traveled via stroller (and lots of arm carrying)
So we were pretty aligned to what others are saying.
So why did we walk so much?
Why Is There So Much Walking? Are the Parks That Big?
To understand the answer to the question, “How much do you walk on average at Disney World?”, there are many factors involved based on my experience.
For our visit, we did a fair amount of speed walking and did plenty of walking back and forth to areas we’d already visited earlier. I think most of the walking comes less from the size of the park (though they are big), and more from the back-and-forth walking / revisiting the same areas multiple times. Plus, some of the lines can be deceptively long and winding.
Factors That Can Impact Your Walking Distance
How much you’ll walk will greatly depend on how you visit the park. Factors can include:
- How you got to the park (did you walk from a Disney resort, drive and park in preferred parking, park at the furthest end of standard parking, etc.)
- If you’re trying to see as many attractions as possible or if you were okay seeing your top favorites only
- If you’re seeing attractions/rides as you encounter them or if you’re going back and forth because you’re going to rides with the shortest wait times
- If you could only get Lightning Lane passes at a time you ended up being not close to that area of the park (this happened to us a lot)
- If you take a break (or multiple breaks) during the day
- If you have a sit down meal (breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner)
- If you stay for only part or the whole day
- If you’re park hopping
If you’re anything like me, you may think, “Oh I can just plan this super effectively so I can do everything the first time I’m in each area.” You think you can do it efficiently, but many factors can disrupt this.
What Impacted My 2021 Visit to Disney
The big things that had us upping our walking during our October 2021 trip were:
- Going to rides when it was convenient for our toddler guest vs when it was convenient or would make sense based on order you’d pass if you did a loop around the park (for example we wanted her first ride to be It’s a Small World, which is not near the entrance)
- Going on rides when lines were shorter (which often caused us to jump from area to area and back areas we’d visited)
- Getting Lightning Lane reservations at odd times for popular rides (for example, we booked our Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure virtual queue* for 4:30pm, but we made the booking around 11am – by the time we needed to head over, we were inadvertently on the opposite side of the park #oops)
- We didn’t take breaks (we had single day park passes, and we had to drive from about 20 minutes away off-resort, so there was no going back to the hotel room to rest, plus we didn’t take many breaks during our days at the park either)
*At the time of our visit, the only way to visit the newly revealed Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure ride was via 2 options: Lightning Lane or Virtual Queue – there was no standby line.
How to Manage Your Walking
The best way to manage your walking will be unique to you. Here are some ideas for you to consider:
- Use a device (the Apple Watch is my go-to because of its versatility and pairing with my other Apple devices – not to mention you can use your Apple Watch instead of a MagicBand according to the Disney Parks Blog here) to track your walking so you know how much you’re doing and manage based on that (do note that most devices are not 100% accurate, but they are likely better than having no idea at all and can at least provide an estimate)
- Listen to your body and prioritize your health and well-being
- Try to plan effective routes to avoid back-and-forth, if possible
- Take breaks if you need/want
- Pick your top 3/5/etc attractions/rides you most want to see and prioritize those – let the others be the frosting on the cake so you don’t feel pushed to overdo it
- Divide and conquer – if you’re with a group you can split up to help – for example: near the end of the night, I thought I had a blister on my foot (turns out I just wore a whole into my sock from all the walking) so I walked a shorter distance to secure us a spot for fireworks while one of us walked to the UK Pavilion to grab dessert
- Remind yourself that you (hopefully!) can come back (abundance mindset > scarcity mindset) so you don’t push yourself beyond your comfort level in the name of tackling all the things
What tips would you add to this? Comment below!
Summary – How Much Do You Walk on Average at Disney World?
The average person walks around 10 miles per day at Disney. The amount of walking you can expect to do can vary depending on many factors, including how you get to the park, if you take breaks, and if you’re trying to cram in as many rides / attractions / etc. as you can of it you’re having a more leisurely visit. If you’re mindful, you can take steps to manage your walking to help you enjoy your trip as best as possible.
More Healthy Disney Tips
Thanks for stopping by and reading about the answer to the age old question: How Much Do You Walk on Average at Disney World?
If you like this post, I talk about holistic health here at The Chic Life. Do browse around for more joy-filled healthy living tips and free healthy recipes.
Have you been to Disney? How much did you walk? It will be beneficial for others researching to hear about some different experiences, so I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below. Cheers!