The Disney World Workout

The Disney World Workout

I just got back from Disney World.

And if you didn’t know, Disney KNOWS service. The experience can be pricey, but the place is spotless and caters to your every need.

Except one.

And to me, its a big one.

Disney sucks at fitness.

I’ve been to Disney 5 times in the last 6 years, staying in a different on-site resort each time. Some have had small, outdated weight and cardio rooms. The one I went to last had nothing available.

The old as shit Holiday Inn off of highway 70 has a room with a cable machine in it. That’s something.

The place we were staying advertised a “jogging trail.” What this turned out to be was just an existing sidewalk with some faded spray paint that labeled it a New Balance running trail. My wife and I ran this trail and ended up in a random commuter parking lot because there was no identifiable signs that showed where this “trail” was supposed to lead.

I ended up doing in-room workouts (instructional video attached) to get some semblance of a resistance training workout while I was staying there.

4 exercise using on a strength band you can do in a hotel room.

What was interesting, in talking with some other patrons and some Disney cast members, was the thinking of most that the movement around the parks was more than enough exercise for those vacationing there. The 12–17K steps (at most)that most park goers will achieve were viewed as strenuous exercise.

So go ahead, splurge, have that extra Mickey waffle or two. You’ve earned it. You’re exercising!

By the way, the ONE Mickey waffle will cost you about 1800 steps, and that’s one of the most calorie controlled offering on the breakfast menu. And that’s NO SYRUP bud.

Let’s get real.

You won’t see too much of this at Disney World.

This “park” exercise is a series of 4–5 steps in a 45 minute line at about 1/2 mile an hour. Then you navigate crowded pathways inside the park, at a pace to avoid colliding with others, with similar starts and stops, lets say you’re up to 3 miles an hour. At the end of the day you walk to the bus at weary pace, then back to your room. That’s a long day of intermittent slow walking.

Really, this isn’t about Disney at all. Its about the hall pass that many of us give ourselves day after day when rationalizing our activity versus our food intake.

Just because you’re moving RELATIVELY more than you’re used to doesn’t make that movement functional and useable exercise. It’s just giving you a taste of what you should be doing incidentally every day.

Vacation can be a time to relax, but for me (and many others out there) part of relaxing is continuing a fitness routine while on vacation. Slow walking isn’t an exercise routine. It’s life.

The sound of this reality check is harsh, but it’s true. Walking around Disney World shoudn’t be strenuous exercise. Strenuous exercise is strenuous exercise. Doing Disney World is fun.

If you want to have more fun at Disney, exercise more…and maybe put some pressure on the Happiest Place on Earth to include fitness in their list of amazing service offerings.

Matt Pirtle MA CSCS

It’s your turn. Emerge.