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Posted by on May 28, 2012

Tips for walking around Walt Disney World or Disneyland

In one day at Walt Disney World the average person walks somewhere between 6 and 13 miles (9.6 – 21 Kilometers) each day!! That’s even hard on the people who walk for daily exercise.

I would bet that at least 3 out of every 5 “3:00pm meltdowns” (both parents and kids have these meltdowns) are due to exhaustion from walking. You may want to opt for a stroller for your kids, but there are a few things that can make your “hoofing it” around WDW or Disneyland a bit more tolerable.

Practice Walks

I recommend in the 3-4 weeks prior to your trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland that you and your family begin doing practice walks around town/neighborhood. Preferably IN THE SHOES you plan to walk around in at Disney. Getting a bit more accustomed to the walk will help you all tremendously.

Pick the RIGHT SHOES

newbalance992YES – Sneakers, Athletic Shoes

I know some of the Europeans are looking at this picture and thinking “no way am I wearing those”! ha-ha but the average American or Canadian sees no problem with them at all. They are comfortable and have a lot of shock absorption capabilities. Considering Walt Disney World and Disneyland are ALL pavement there will be a lot of shock to absorb!

european-sneakersI have always thought that the European sneakers, while stylish, don’t have much support for the feet, but then again, many Europeans do far more walking around their respective cities then Americans ever will in those sneakers and do just fine. So yes, you can wear your sneakers if you want to Winking smile !

flip flops- turquoiseNO – Flip Flops

Some people are goofy enough to wear those no-support flip flops (like those $5.00 ones from Wal-Mart or Old Navy). This seems pretty stupid to me. Odds are flip flops are going to rub sore spots on the balls of your feet and between your toes. Not to mention your arches are going to get really sore.

Wearing-High-Heels-Leads-to-Foot-Pain-Study-Says-2NO – High Heels

I’ve also seen women in high heels. Don’t worry, I’m not the only person out there making fun of you and wondering what in the heck you were thinking. This is Disney World, NOT a fashion show. Wear heels to your meal at California Grille, not around the parks! You look insane. And even if you lie and say your feet don’t hurt we all know that you are lying. Disney is FAR from any fashion world you’ve ever been in. If its normal to walk around in a Goofy hat and Mickey ears then high heels are going to sorely out of place!

Classic Short Ugg Boots 1 NO – Boots

Orlando & Anaheim normally have very mild and even hot temperatures. Usually in between the 70s to the 90s F (20-30 C). Never, is it EVER cold enough to justify having sheep-skin-lined boots. Especially boots like Uggs which have NO support in them and are destined to make your feet sweat and create blisters (not to mention they look stupid with your shorts on). I’ve also seen people in combat boots. Disney is not about fashion… leave that stuff at home and save your feet a lot of pain.

crocsI do think its good to take a pair of “wet shoes” in your backpack. Kali River Rapids is really the only wet ride that your feet can get soaked in, they don’t usually get wet at all on Splash Mountain, but Disneyland has more places to get wet. It’s also good to have them so you can occasionally air-out your feet. Something like crocs, or hiking sandles are fine, but your primary shoes should be sneakers that have some support to them.

Blister Relief

The best way to deal with a blister is to do your best to prevent one in the first place. There are a few things that the Diva family never goes to WDW without.

blister stick#1. Band-aid Friction Block Stick. (buy it at your local supermarket or online here)

I love this stuff. I actually use it all the time. It puts a no-mess invisible shield on the skin. I put it on everybody’s feet before putting on socks. Make sure to put it on the heels, the sides of the feet, between toes, and anywhere your shoes normally rub. Since I started using this I have not had a blister on my foot. Even wearing new heels with no tights at work. We re-apply it to everybody’s feet during our break for our afternoon nap and I keep one in our perfectly packed backpack just in case someone says they feel a rub.

moleskin #2. Moleskin (buy it at your local supermarket or online here)

Moleskin (not actually made out of a mole’s skin by the way) is a self-stick adhesive that you cut to size to cover whatever part of your skin that has a tendency to rub raw. I usually cut some to cover the entire ball of my foot, just in case. Its great to have and really inexpensive.

wicking socks#3. Moister Wicking Socks. (you can find these at any sports store or you can buy these online here)

Moister wicking socks are totally worth it! The socks are made to help pull water away from your feet. Get some for the whole family. The brand doesn’t really matter, as long as its moister wicking.

cushions#4. Band-Aid advanced healing blister cushions (buy at your local supermarket or here).

Just in case you do get a blister (because you haven’t listened to a word I said so far), healing blister cushions ROCK! They do help heal blisters quickly and provide some extra padding while waiting for the skin to heal.

So, before you start taking your first steps towards the MANY miles you’ll be walking around Disney World or Disneyland, no matter how long of a stay you are there be it two days or a week, you should practice some, pick good shoes and socks and make sure you’re prepared to avoid blisters!

Happy “hoofing”!

(Don’t think your kids can make the hike around WDW? Read about renting strollers HERE)

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Kristin is the founder and co-director of Tips from the Disney Diva & Devos. She started writing the blog when she realized there were many people going to Disney World and having a miserable time, and it was all from a lack of planning. She knew that she could help and has assembled the finest writing team she can find !

7 Comments

  1. Hi, I just came across your blog after looking for tips for an upcoming Disneyland trip, and I have to say, your blog is a TREASURE. So many helpful tips that can be applied to DL trips, too! Thank you so, so much!

  2. Oooh, the friction block is a great tip! I wear Crocs almost exclusively (I have to, they’re the only shoes comfortable enough for me to stand and walk all day- normal “sports” shoes leave me crying after a few hours), but they do tend to rub when my feet start to sweat.

    I’ve seen a similar product before, but it was touted for runners (for between the thighs). I never thought to apply it to my feet! Maybe I won’t go through as many bandaids or as much powder this trip. :-)

  3. I am loving your blog! I have been many times now but as we add children to the mix I find the need to plan much more than ever before. I’m finding lots of new tips! Also, I must be one of the crazies- I tend to wear flip flops (without any problem) because I despise wearing wet shoes and it rains DAILY when we visit in late August :-).

  4. I just stumbled on your site, I am not adding your site to my bookmark.

    I wish I had stumbled on your site, Boyfriend’s feet took a beating. We were there this past labor day weekend.

    We got there saturday midafternoon, by saturday night his feet was hurting so much, he wanted me to go back to the hotel and get him at the 15 min parking lot.

    When we got back to the hotel, his feet swelled, and blister was on his pinky toes. We used so much ice on the tub to soak his feet in cold ice water.

    We gave him Advil PM. He was wearing Nike Shox shoes.

    The next day, he was in flip flops, not better but at least his feet was giving room to breath.

    We did hear later on from one of the guests he saw the BF limping that New Balance shoes are the best for long long walks.

  5. I lived in Celebration, Florida for over 10 years and as an annual pass holder I’ve worn flip-flops to all the Disney parks. Wear whatever shoes you are comfortable in. If you wear sneakers to the mall, then wear sneakers. FYI-It DOES get cold enough to wear uggs in Orlando during Dec, Jan, and Feb.

  6. Flat shoes are much healtier for your feet. And in August it too hot to wear shoes and socks. I have some barefoot tevas with Vibram bottoms. The kids have their cars sneakers and cars sandals to switch between. The rub on stuff is a must. It helps with hot spots on the bottoms of your feet if you’re not used to walking in sandals. Last trip I tried sneakers and ended up buying flip flops in Disney. Too expensive. I’m not even packing sneakers this time. I have my jellies for my bday dinner at cindy’s and my tevas!

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