When You Take a Fitbit To Disney

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lose weight on a Disney vacation
Updated for 2017!
One of the best parts about a Disney vacation is enjoying the food and snacks, but sometimes it’s tough to abandon established workout regimens and daily food goals you’ve been working on maintaining for month, sometimes years. Can you continue healthy eating and exercising on vacation and still relax and have fun? Like aren’t exercise and vacation opposite concepts?! Will you come home from trying to stay in good shape on your trip with regrets you’ve missed out on fun and Disney FOOD?!
America is not a nation in great shape. Niddk.nih.gov reports that more than one-third of adults are considered to be obese. About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese. More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese. Livestrong.com cites Boston Medical Center information indicating that approximately 45 million Americans diet each year and spend $33 billion on weight-loss products in their efforts to love weight and look better.
If you are one of the millions on a diet and exercise plan this year, your time spent on a vacation is a struggle to return home with more souvenirs than extra pounds. There are unlimited diet plans and weight loss products out there, but the one I took to Disney World on our last trip was a Fitbit.

take a Fitbit to Disney World
walking at Disney World

How Does a Fitbit Work?

To sense movements of the user, a Fitbit Tracker uses an accelerometer, which is three-dimensional technology similar to Wii gaming remote controls. The Tracker measures the steps you take, combining that information with user data to calculate distance walked, calories burned, floors climbed, activity duration, and activity intensity. Using OLED display, the Tracker also measures sleep quality by recording periods of restlessness, how long it takes the wearer to fall asleep, and your length of time asleep.

A wireless base station is included in your Fitbit purchase to receive data from the Tracker and also charge the battery. When you connect the Tracker to a computer, the base station will upload data to the Fitbit website. Free for you to use, the website allows you to see an overview of your physical activity, setting and tracking goals, keeping food and activity logs and interacting with friends. You can do of this on your mobile apps. as well.

The battery for most Fitbits lasts 5–7 days, and it can take 1–2 hours to charge. You may need to charge your Fitbit on at least one  night during your vacation.

Read: What You Can NOT Wear to Disney Theme Parks

track miles at Disney World

Are Fitbits Accurate?

Many studies have been completed to determine how accurate Fitbits are. Iowa State University‘s tests determined the bands were at best “reasonably accurate,” with the Fitbit Zip and Fitbit One scoring 10.1% and 10.4% error ratings. The Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center tested the accuracy and reliability of Fitbit devices, including the Fitbit One and Fitbit Flex. Their test results showed that, overall, Fitbit devices worn on the hip accurately measured steps taken within 1 step of 100% accuracy. Devices worn on the wrist, however, were off by an average of 11 steps per minute.

When measuring the number of calories burned Fitbit devices worn on the hip underestimated by an average of 6%, while devices worn on the wrist overestimated calories burned by 21%. Authors concluded that both the Fitbit One and Fitbit Flex devices reliably measured step counts and energy expenditure, with hip-based Fitbit devices being more accurate than wrist-based devices.

Back in 2012, Fitbit released a “Wi-Fi smart scale” called the Fitbit Aria. It recognizes users who are wearing Fitbit trackers and measures weight, BMI = body mass index, and percentage of body fat of the user. The scale can keep track of up to eight individual users and will update information to fitbit.com automatically using Wi-Fi networks. The information is also updated to the mobile apps. So you could return from your trip, and your Fitbit compatible scale will already know the results of your vacation.

Read – A Cheapskate Princess Guide: Walt Disney World MagicBands

Sometimes they go on sale, and many stores will price match lowest prices.

Sometimes they go on sale, and many stores will price match lowest prices.

There are many different styles and options in different price ranges to fit your needs.

There are many different styles and options in different price ranges to fit your needs.

Fitbit on sale

My choice was the Flex, even though there was no clock function. I wanted something very thin and lightweight.

I like how easy to follow the numbers are on the iPhone app.

fitbit Orlando

Fitbit for Disney World trip

Fitbit for moms on vacation

Fitbit on vacation

Read: Disney World Resort Hopping

Fitbit Reviews From Our Readers 

We asked our readers if they wore health tracking devices on Disney vacations.

Pamela, “My daughter and I wore our Fitbits on our last trip in August. We had a competition to see who walked more. I think we walked about 15,000 steps one day.
Erin, “Yes, I did. It’s how I hit my huge mileage day badges!”
Melanie, “I walked over 20,000 steps/day at Disney on our five-day trip. When we went last September, we were walking between 20,000-23,000 steps/day. I couldn’t believe how much we actually walked!”
Stacy,I wore my Fitbit when we went in 2014, and I found it so incredible to see how many steps/miles I did each day. So far I haven’t topped my Disney trip totals!”
Elizabeth, “When I remember, yes. And my friends and family know, so they’ll ask me, ‘How many steps are we at now?’ It’s crazy how much you walk when you have so many things to distract you from the fact that you’re exercising!”
Magan, “We’re here now and have been wearing them. We are definitely getting our steps in!
Dianna, “We walked 11 miles yesterday at Magic Kingdom, before we even left the park. That was day three. We are at it again tomorrow, but it has truly been amazing!”
Heather, “I wore mine in December. We walked between 7-8 miles a day.
Randy offered at tip for Fitbit users based on his personal experience, “On our last trip, I did wear mine. I learned a valuable lesson…bring your charger! Day two of our seven-day trip and I am on Amazon having one delivered next day to our resort.
We also heard from people who use tracking devices other than Fitbits.
Courtney, “My phone automatically tracks steps. When we went in December, we walked between 20,000 and 30,000 steps a day. My feet didn’t speak to me for a week.
Camber, “I wear my Apple Watch.”
Susan, “I’ll be wearing my Up3 @ Disneyland in June. Last trip to WDW in November of 2015, I averaged 15,618 steps/day!”
take a Fitbit to Disneyland
take a Fitbit to Disney

Fitbit Reviews From Run Walk Repeat.com

Julie asked the same question on her Facebook Page. She asked if people wore tracking devices on vacations and how far they walked. Her followers also love technology for tracking their health on vacations. If you’ve ever wondered how many steps you will take during a Disney marathon, their answers will be quite informative. The thought of this many miles makes my feet hurt!
Patty, “The most I walked was a 50,000 step day, and half of those were half marathon. The rest was park time and airport. I’m pretty sure it was a Disneyland weekend.
Ann Marie, “My highest is 37,000, walking in NYC.
Julia, “I usually get 45-49 thousand steps during race weekends at the parks.”
Shoshanah, “My brother wore one on Expo day. We walked 7,000 steps before 8 a.m. going to get food!”
Suzanne, “My highest days? 75,000 with a marathon and 50,000 last summer with no race, but I did run that morning. Maybe bump it down to 35000.”
Peggy, “Two weeks in England, Scotland, and Ireland, we walked no less than 20K per day…at least 8 miles each day! Crazy!
Jessica, “Here’s my numbers from earlier this month. I didn’t exercise any of these days, so this is all park walking. Monday was only three to four hours at Epcot in the afternoon after Chef Mickey’s, and really we went home for breaks too, so it wasn’t too bad.”
Fitbit numbers from Disney vacation
Fitbit wearers joke that once you start wearing a tracking device, you can get a bit compulsive.
Fitbit at Disney World
Vacation may not be the time you want to think about cutting calories and exercising, but many of us don’t want to come back home and try to undo major damage done by crazy eating on Disney property.
It’s just so easy to over-eat on vacation. Using a Fitbit is about the only way  have found to be totally honest with myself on the amounts of calories consumed, while at the same time tracking the number of miles walked. I may eat too much, but I’ve found by tracking my numbers, I didn’t over-eat WAY too much. Unless there was a chocolate covered caramel apple involved, and then all bets are off.

take a Fitbit on vacation

Fitbit for weight loss on vacation

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you lacing up your walking shoes, and checking the battery on your Fitbit.

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Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess


Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


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Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.