Updated for 2016!
In my occasional regrets about Disney vacations, I find the one I have most often is that I did not walk more before we traveled. I am certainly not a couch potato, as I try really hard to walk five miles almost every day. But that’s not enough when you vacation at the Disney parks, and my achy legs and feet remind me of this pre-vacation failure during every trip. Although I now use a Fitbit, I used to wear a pedometer to track my mileage. Our highest day clicked in at 22 miles, and on the occasions when we don’t stay in a park all day, we average about eight miles. And now you know why I always wish I walked more in preparation for our Disney journeys. That’s a lot of walking.
If there is one suggestion I can’t stress enough to people planning Disney trips, it’s to start walking way before you actually arrive.
Can’t believe you will walk that much? We asked our Cheapskate Princess Facebook Fans, many of whom also wear pedometers/Fitbit type technology, how many miles they thought they walked on an average day. We’ll share their mileage, plus their shoe selections, and we added in some reader tips as a bonus.
The 10 Miles a Day Club
Kelley, “I’d venture a guess at 7-10mi per day (9am-midnight), and I wear Sketchers men’s sneakers. (I’m an 11 in women’s shoes.)”
Barbara, “We walk at lease 10 miles a day.”
Susan, “We usually walk about 10 miles on a good day of park hoping without the grand kids. I like to wear my Crocs in the heat and my sneakers, with good arch support, for cooler and rainy days.”
Bridget, “We averaged 10 miles a day. On this last trip, I was in flip-flops or Vibrams. My husband wore Zero shoes and our son wore flip-flops.”
You Can’t Beat Crocs
Yes, we’re talking about Crocs, those shoes that have become somewhat of a joke. I can’t recall a particular shoe being bashed as much as Crocs. Here are a couple of joke examples:
Never judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Unless their shoes are Crocs.
In some cultures, the sudden onset of wound-like patterns on the skin of the top of the feet is called “Croc-mata.”
“Wow, your Crocs are the coolest shoes ever!”
But don’t laugh too soon. We have a HUGE amount of our readers comment on how much they like to wear Crocs to the parks. Not the fake Crocs from Wal-mart, mind you, but the authentic Crocs. And those who do wear them, absolutely love them.
Kimberly, “Pink Mickey Mouse Crocs for me.“
Jordan, “I suggest Crocs. You might want to wear socks with them too. Even though it looks ridiculous, it saves your feet.”
Danielle, “We walk at least five miles, and in none of those shoes! Lol! I wear tennis shoes or Crocs; they are hideous, but my feet stay happy!“
Karey, “I absolutely LOVE my Crocs in the parks! I hated the original designs, but now they came out with SO many cute flip-flops and sandals. I wore them for my eight-day honeymoon in WDW, and no sore feet whatsoever!
Doreen, “I wore Crocs flip-flops and a pair of Crocs gladiator-like sandals for three theme park days, alternating days and they worked out great.”
So if you haven’t checked out Crocs, you might want to. These shoes are obviously being purchased by lots of people, as the town I live in has a Croc store in the outlet mall.
Wendi sent us a photo of the shoes she wears for her 8-10 miles a day Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.
The 10 – 20 Miles a Day Club
Laura, “I know for a fact that we walk between 15 to 18 miles a day in the parks. I prefer Birkenstocks, my husband likes his running shoes, and my five-year-old wears whatever she wants (generally sneakers or crocks) but she also has the option of riding in the stroller.”
May, “I usually wear tennis shoes. We log between 15 to 20 miles a day in the parks.”
Jennifer, “I wore Sketchers Go Walks last trip, and they were great. I alternated between those and my soft moc Birkenstock type sandals; my feet were happy. We are die hards so we are at the parks from rope drop to the ‘Kiss Goodnight.’ We do a lot of walking. My advice is to bring a few pairs of pr-broken in shoes.”
Heather, “I wear Teva Sandles. I have several pairs, and they are very comfortable and sturdy. Some are completely water proof, while others are water-resistant. I wore three pairs on our recent trip, and never got a blister. We walk a LOT at WDW…easily 10-15 miles each day depending on the park. We spent 18 hours in the parks our last day this trip. Mah dogs were barking’!”
You may have walking days where you wish you had someone to push you in a stroller!
Bridget, “We walk 10 to 12 miles per day, and I prefer Nike or Ryka shoes.“
Kerry, “I wear broken-in Rainbows. I take tennis shoes with just in case, but I HATE tennis shoes! I tried Crocs this last time. They were comfy except those bumps in the bottom rub my feet and make my feet burn. We walked at least 12+ miles.”
Krystene, “15 miles in Chuck T’s!” Krystene even sent us a photo of the walking she tracked for the day. Check out the calories she burned!
Krystene said she used an app called RunKeeper, “It’s free, but you can pay for a monthly subscription for it to do fancy stuff. I just use the free version; it even has a pause button. So I pause it when we stop to eat or get on a ride. Also, just a heads up that was at Disneyland on a shorter day (six hours isn’t very long for us). So who knows, you could walk a lot more at WDW.”
Thoughts on Being Wet
It rains a lot in Orlando in the summer. Clouds seem to pop up in the afternoon, which more often than not lead to showers into the early evening. Our family spent 80% of our last summer Disney vacation soaking wet, and then when the sun came out, we burned up in high temperatures, suddenly missing the rain clouds.
Theresa, “We usually wear sneakers, specifically Sketchers for me and New Balance for my hubby. On our last trip though, we brought aqua socks for the wet rides. There’s nothing worse than walking around in soggy socks!”
Mindy, “We wear Teva walking sandals; your feet stay cool, so you get no blisters. You can wear them on wet rides and they dry quickly, unlike sneakers, and they’re as comfy as pillows on our feet. We wore Crocs one trip and suffered with terrible blisters. I think they have to fit a certain way otherwise they rub too much.”
Thoughts on Sandals
Many of our readers suggest flip-flops, which can help out on rainy days.
Suzi, “I wear the Teva Mush wedge. Seven trips now and they have been my best bet every time. I just can’t do sneakers in the rain.” Suzi sent us the picture of her shoes.
Beth, “I wear Flip Flops everywhere.”
Myria, ” I love rope sandals from Nomadic State of Mind. I have worn them all day in parks on both coasts. It’s like walking on air, and they are washable.”
Myria sent us a photo of her rope sandals.
Thoughts on Exposed Toes…
Kay, “I love my New Balance walking shoes with inserts. One thing I will say is nothing annoys me more than someone wearing flip flips or open toed sandals complaining about their toes getting smashed. Seriously?!? You are at a Disney park with thousands of other people all in one spot. There is a good chance you might get a foot stepped on or run over at some point. Wear appropriate shoes, and you will hardly feel it.”
We have written a lot about how important training for your next Disney vacation can be, and I’m not talking about training for one of the Disney marathons. But when you think about it, walking over 13 miles a day is like you just completed a half marathon, so technically, you really could be training for a half marathon.
Don’t let this scare you – people do it every day by the thousands. But you need to be informed, and it pays huge dividends to be physically prepared.
The first thing you can do to prepare is read our two best articles concerning vacation walking.
For more information on the shoes our fans suggest, use this link:
And for more information on walking before a Disney vacation, with tips on how to walk long distances, use this link:
And the next thing for you to do? Get out and walk…
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Give Erin a call at 214-697-7732, or send an e-mail to erin @ destinationsinflorida.com.
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you breaking out your walking shoes, or sandals…
Disney’s Cheapskate Princess