Vacations to Walt Disney World are magical. The blisters and sore muscles? Not so much. Believe it or not, you can walk over 10 miles at the parks. In fact, on our last trip, Brad and I walked over 13 miles every day. A blister can ruin your day, and you can't just Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo it away. Here's how you can prevent sore feet at Walt Disney World.
Wear the Right Shoes
Comfortable, broken in shoes are the starting point. What exactly is the “right” shoe will vary person to person. I can’t imagine wearing flip flops or clunky sneakers all day. But I’m sure you all wouldn’t want to wear my lace oxfords. The most important thing is to make sure your shoes are broken in an comfortable for you.
Sounds silly, right? Why would you need to practice walking? You’ve been doing that since you were a baby. But do you walk 10 miles every day? Are you on your feet for hours at a time? In our increasingly sedentary world, most of us don’t. If that’s you, go for some long walks before you leave for vacation. Hit the park, the treadmill, or the mall to get moving. Your feet, legs, and overall health will thank you!
Have A Plan
When you get to the parks, know what you’re doing. As much as I love going in with no plan and flying by the seat of my pants, it will help you feet to have at least a rough idea of where you’re going. You don’t want to enter Animal Kingdom, head to Dinoland mindlessly, only to decide you really want to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris, in Africa. Use the many tools at your disposal to avoid unnecessary walking. First, park maps: forget your pride and pick up a park may so you don’t have to wander around blindly. Second, My Disney Experience app: download this free app before you leave home. My Disney Experience app has park maps, wait times, and park hours, plus you can manage you Fastpass+ and dining reservations. Look at wait times before crisscrossing the park for attractions. Finally, Cast Members: when in doubt, ask a Cast Member.
Plan An Off Day
If you’re going to be in Walt Disney World for more than a few days (lucky you!) then it would behoove you to plan a down day. A “down day” can take many different forms. Spend a whole day at your resort (especially if you splurged on a nice hotel, then take time to enjoy it!). Sleep in a don’t go to the parks until after lunch. Have an early dinner, followed by an early bedtime. Go to Disney Springs for a movie or bowling. Go golfing or to the spa. Whatever your version of a restful day, your feet will thank you!
Take a Break
Park days are hard on your feet. Even if you do plan a rest day, you will still need to give your feet and legs a break. I like to plan sit down lunches or early dinners as a way to relax midday and recharge. But I’m also a fan of parking myself somewhere in the park for a while, especially if I can get a snack nearby. It’s fun to nibble and people watch. I’m not above hanging out in a resort lobby! The Deluxe lobbies are beautiful, and guests are welcome to visit, even if they’re not staying in that resort. I’ve fallen asleep in those comfy chairs on more than one occasion. My favorite lobbies for a break are Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk, Beach Club, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian Village.
Staying hydrated is just overall good for you. It’s especially important on a hot summer day when you’re on your feet.
Pamper Tired Feet
At the end of a long park day, your feet will be sore, swollen, and possibly blistered. Brad and I do three things when we get back to the hotel to pamper our feet. First, we lay on the floor and put our feet up on the bed. That helps get some blood out of your feet. Second, we sit on the edge of the tub and soak our feet in cold water. Bonus points if you have the energy to get ice from the ice maker. Lastly, we wear toe separators, the kind you wear to paint your toenails. These really help stretch out the muscles in your feet. Speaking of stretching, doing so before bed and in the morning will really help ease sore legs.
Even if you don’t want to lug around a park bag all day, at least bring some bandaids in your pocket. Put one on as soon as you feel a blister forming. Moleskin is an alternative to bandaids, and I find they stay on a little better. But make sure you cut moleskin into pieces beforehand. I like to cut various sizes; little ones for between toes, and longer ones to wrap around the back of a heel.
If you have exposed feet, for goodness sake, put some sunscreen on them! This should be self explanatory, but feet always seem to be the forgotten body part. Sun burned feet are just as bad as blistered feet!
A Walt Disney World vacation doesn't have to mean blistered, aching feet! Just follow my advice to avoid the pain, and enjoy your trip to the fullest!
Share this post with someone who's planning a Disney vacation, and let us know how you keep your feet feeling fine while in the parks!
Photos: Princess Vans; Mickey Pedicure; Handpainted Toms