Top Five Ways to Keep Fit and Trim on a Walt Disney World Vacation

Top 5 Ways to Keep Fit at Walt Disney World

Tips for How to Avoid Gaining Weight on Your Next Disney Vacation

Keeping in shape on a week-long vacation can sometimes be a struggle. We tend to eat more (and less healthy options) than we normally do and it can be challenging to maintain a personal fitness regimen if you have one. Coming home to face the bathroom scale is something many people dread.

A Walt Disney World vacation is no different. In fact, with all of the incredible Disney food and delectable sweet and savoury treats, staying in shape, keeping fit and not gaining weight on a Disney vacation can prove more challenging than at many other destinations.

So if you want to come home and not be afraid to step on the bathroom scale, here is how to give yourself a fighting chance.

The Top 5 Ways To Keep Fit on a Walt Disney World Vacation

Here are my top five tips for how to stay in shape and eat smart on a Walt Disney World vacation.

EAT Sign, Backlot, Disney's Hollywood Studios

Eating your way around Walt Disney World can get the better of your waistline if you don’t plan ahead. Try to avoid doing too much of what this sign advocates at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Backlot.

1. Avoid the Disney Dining Plan

This is easily my number one tip.

The Disney Dining Plan will work against any efforts you may have to only eat when you’re hungry. You can read a lot about the pros and cons of the Disney Dining Plan, but one thing is likely true for most guests on a Disney Dining Plan: you will eat much more than you normally do and as a result you will gain weight on this plan.

In my experience, the vast majority of guests are far better off from a weight management (and a financial) perspective if they avoid purchasing a Disney Dining Plan. When you are on this plan you will feel obligated to eat a restaurant meal three times a day and consume high calorie desserts and snacks at (or after) almost every meal.

Probably not something you normally do.

From a financial perspective, if you book even one premium Dining experience over the course of your stay (which you likely will) you will use double credits from the plan. This means that you will end up having to pay cash for at least a meal or two somewhere along the line anyway — on top of the Disney Dining Plan.

While many have tried, it is impossible to definitively quantify the value of the Disney Dining Plan versus paying cash for meals (despite what you may read elsewhere). I can tell you from experience that it will be precious few guests who come out ahead on this plan. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard variations of this: “it’s our last day and we have 25 snack credits to use up!”

And this kind of statement sums it up on so many levels: health and financial.

So do your body and your wallet a favour and avoid the Disney Dining Plan. And bear in mind that this advice is coming from someone who would otherwise earn commission by up-selling this add-on, so you can trust that I speak from experience and doing what is best by my clients when I say that you will do yourself a favour on all fronts by skipping the Disney Dining Plan.

Bora Bora Bungalow Kitchen, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Disney Vacation Club (DVC) villas come with kitchens that make it much easier for you to eat healthier as a supplement to your meals out. Pictured is the Bora Bora Bungalow Kitchen, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

2. Stay in a Walt Disney World Deluxe Villa

Where you stay can have a direct impact on your food consumption at Walt Disney World. One of the challenges of weight management on vacation is that you have to eat every single meal in a restaurant. This can wreak havoc on your family’s personal fitness and caloric intake as delicious temptations are all around you.

If you are on a particular diet or simply want to keep control over some of your meals, then there is even more reason to consider this option.

One way that you can maintain some control over what and how you eat is to stay in one of Disney’s Deluxe Villas. Deluxe Villas are part of almost all Disney Deluxe Resorts and they are similar to their sister accommodations in terms of fit and finish, with one important difference: they have kitchen or kitchenette facilities.

Preparing your own food for a few meals over the course of your vacation is a great way to maintain a healthy eating style while still splurging on a few key meals at Disney’s best restaurants and indulging in Your favourite Disney treats. It sure beats burgers and fries or high calorie options at every single meal.

Your family will likely enjoy stopping at a grocery store on the way to your Resort and stocking up on their favourite healthy food and drinks — and even a few snacks. Not only will you eat healthier and come out ahead financially, but it’s super convenient to have your own fridge filled with milk, cereal, food and drinks of all kinds. It sure makes it much more efficient to get out of the room more quickly in the morning when you can grab a healthy breakfast of yogurt, cereal, toast or whatever you like in your room and then be on your way ready to go.

You will save time, you will save money on food and you will eat much healthier.

So a Deluxe Villa accommodation is worth considering and I can help you with more information about this Deluxe Disney option.

Disney Running Trail sign

Most Disney Deluxe Resorts have designated running trails.

3. Take Advantage of Disney Running Trails

If you have a regular fitness regimen at home and like to run, you will be happy to learn that many Disney Deluxe Resorts have officially designated and marked running trails. This is a great way not only to keep in shape, but also to see parts of the Resort that you may not otherwise visit.

Depending on where you stay there are short trails, long trails, woodland trails and more. It’s an excellent way to get out and keep fit. You can even have the kids rent bikes and join you in some fun family fitness, Disney style. That’s part of what we did when creating the Great Saratoga Springs Pool Hop Challenge.

Sunrise Yoga at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort

Sunrise Yoga is available at several Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts.

4. Sunrise Yoga to Start Your Disney Day

Do you enjoy yoga? If so, take solace in knowing that there are free sunrise yoga options at some Deluxe Disney Resorts. You won’t have to sacrifice your body and soul while visiting Walt Disney World. You can stay grounded and keep in shape before heading out to enjoy the magic and wonder that is all around you.

At the time of writing, complimentary yoga is available at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. If this is of interest to you, I can provide the most up-to-date information for you when working on your luxury Disney itinerary.

Health Club at Disney Polynesian Village Resort

Complimentary Health Clubs are available to guests at virtually all Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort.

5. Visit a Disney Health Club

Finally, if visiting the gym is something that you love to do, you can make a point of allowing yourself some time in your day to visit one of the health clubs available at most Deluxe Disney Resorts. In fact, I can even ensure that we build time into your itinerary to allow for this. It’s all about time management and setting you up for the best possible Walt Disney World vacation: mind, body and soul.

Main Street Confectionery, Disney's Magic Kingdom

It’s fun to indulge a little on your Disney vacation. The key is to avoid overindulging on a daily basis.

Indulge, but Don’t Over Indulge

Walt Disney World is a magical place filled with an endless variety of scrumptious food and drink options that you’ll want to try. Just as it is with Disney itinerary planning, it is possible to overdo it when it comes to eating at Walt Disney World. However, with a little planning, you can indulge in the deliciousness that is all around you and still come home feeling that you didn’t overindulge (or over spend too much on a dining plan).

All of this will help to make that first step onto the scale when you return home go that much better.

Interested in Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation?

Be sure to read my Guide to Planning A Walt Disney World Vacation and my post on the Five Golden Rules of Walt Disney World Vacation Planning.

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Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist
The Finer Side of Travel™ #LuxuryDisney