Utlimate Guide to Walt Disney World Fitness Options
If you start to type “how to stay healthy on vacation” into a Google search, chances are good you won’t have to type the full phrase before the computer will seemingly read your mind and autofill completes the phrase for you. And whenever Google autofills, it means you and about a million other people have searched for the same answers.
Vacation should be the most anticipated week(s) of the year, but 7 days and nights spent in restaurant booths instead of yoga classes can lead to the dreaded *cue ominous music* VACATION WEIGHT GAIN. When you’re planning your next Disney vacation and find yourself panicking about your health, follow this guide for everything you’ll need to stay on track with your fitness goals the next time you find yourself at WDW!
Where to Stay
They boast the best pools. The dining options are top notch. Their rooms feature incredible themes and fantastic views. They are located closest to the parks. Yep, I’m talking about Disney’s Deluxe Resort hotels, and if the above list hasn’t yet convinced you to book a room perhaps this final phrase will: they are the only hotels on WDW Resort property with fitness centers.
A Deluxe Resort is, in my opinion, the only way to go if you’re planning a trip. And if you’re planning a trip with a fitness enthusiast in your travel party, a Deluxe resort is the only way to go. As crazy as it sounds, not all Disney Resort Hotels have gyms.
If staying fit is something that’s at the top of your ‘must have’ list, you’ll have to go Deluxe. I love Muscles & Bustles at Disney’s Boardwalk, it’s a great little fitness center that has everything you’ll need to stay in tip top shape while you’re on vacation.
Maybe a Deluxe Resort is slightly out of your price range and you find that your family would be better suited staying in a Moderate or Value Resort hotel. If this is the case, you can still hit your exercise goals without breaking the bank! Running and walking are great ‘no-gym’ ways to stay fit, and Pop Century or Art of Animation Resort should be your choice if you’re a runner looking to log some miles while on vacation.
The lakefront, New Balance sponsored running path connects the two resorts, so no matter which you choose, you’ll have access to the path. The 1.38 mile loop is perfect for novice and veteran runners as the flat, fast trail is easy on joints and provides incredible views of both resorts. If you stay within the next year, you’ll have a birds’ eye view of the new Disney Skyliner construction while you run!
Where to Eat
Lack of gym time isn’t necessarily what derails most folks from their healthy habits while visiting Walt Disney World, especially considering the amount of miles you’ll clock daily simply from walking around, it’s the food! Even at WDW, typical theme park lunches and quick serve meals are not usually nutritionally complete and pizza, fries, and decadent dinners will quickly add on the pounds despite the long days spent walking.
No matter which park you’re visiting though, there is a healthy meal waiting for you…if you know where to go! At Animal Kingdom, go to the Harambe Market and try the grilled sweet corn and the grilled chicken skewer with broccoli. The chicken is grilled and not fried, saving you hundreds of calories without compromising flavor.
My choice at Hollywood Studios would be the Galactic Chicken Salad from the Backlot Express. Chock full of avocado, chicken, wonton, and protein rich black beans, this salad is a really nice option for a hot day.
If you’re in Magic Kingdom, try a caprese flatbread from Pinocchio’s Village Haus for a healthier twist on pizza. My go-to is the fajitas platter from Pecos Bill’s Tall Tale Inn, as it comes with chicken, peppers and onion, and rice. Plus, you can bulk up the meal with some fresh salsa, guacamole, and jalapeno peppers from the unlimited toppings bar!
In Epcot, a great choice is the Ensalada Mexicana in the Mexico Pavilion! The salad comes with a black bean/tomato/corn slaw, but a side of grilled chicken won’t break the bank and is the perfect topper to this crunchy, flavorful salad.
Where to Indulge
No Disney trip is complete without desserts, and you shouldn’t deprive yourself a sweet treat or two when you’re on vacation! Often what makes a meal healthy is all about how you customize! Goofy’s Candy Co. at Disney Springs is a quirky, fun little candy shop. It’s stocked with tons of candies and cookies that are extremely tempting, especially when you’re watching what you eat.
You can still indulge at Goofy’s all while keeping your waistline in check with the create-your-own apple station! You can completely customize a caramel dipped apple with your choice of chocolate and toppings. When I want a light dessert, I always choose the dark chocolate and opt for chopped peanuts as my topping. Heart healthy antioxidants and healthy fats only! Plus a little caramel….
Another delicious light dessert option is one I’ve just recently discovered on a recent visit to Magic Kingdom. Get in some exercise and walk all the way to the back of Fantasyland where you’ll find Big Top Souvenirs. If you can’t find it, look for the huge circus tent!
In addition to carrying great merchandise, the Big Top is also home to one of the best candy counters at Walt Disney World! Here is where you can get your hands, or tongue rather, on a chocolate dipped pineapple skewer. The pineapple’s natural sweet/tart combo with the addition of a thin chocolate shell on the outside makes for a really tasty treat, all without compromising your healthy vacation resolution!
I’m a very health-minded person and can honestly state that staying in shape and sticking to my plan is very important to me, even when I’m visiting Walt Disney World! I recently spoke with a friend who is planning to hit the parks with me in a few weeks and she expressed her concern about ‘theme park food’ and how the offerings at the parks will leave her off track and unhappy.
I assured her of the countless options for exercise, healthy meals, and light desserts that await her at the parks, and I can’t wait to send her this article so she can read all about them! Is staying healthy on vacation something that’s important to you? Which light dessert options are you excited to try? Let me know in the comments below!
Are you planning to book a Disney vacation for you and your family? I’d love to help! I am a proud MickeyTravels Authorized Vacation Planner (Platinum Level) specializing in all Disney destinations. From hotel to FastPass+ reservations, I will help with each and every aspect of your trip. And the best part about my services is that they are completely FREE!
You can find me over on Facebook, or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 800-308-6257. I can’t wait to start planning your dream Disney vacation!