Where To Run At Walt Disney World

by on September 24, 2013 19 Comments

Filed under: Resorts, Walt Disney World (FL)

Many guests visit Walt Disney World for runDisney ‘racecations’ throughout the year, whether it’s for the Walt Disney World Marathon, Princess Half Marathon, Expedition Everest Challenge, Tower of Terror 10-Miler, or Wine and Dine Half Marathon, but sometimes schedules don’t match up or you have other vacation priorities and the need arises to run while on your regularly scheduled vacation. Aside from logging treadmill miles, what’s a runner on vacation to do?

At the Jingle Jungle 5K, 2012.

At the Jingle Jungle 5K, 2012.

Fortunately, there are a plethora of options – especially if you are staying on property at the Walt Disney World Resort. While your run might not include the requisite character greeting opportunities of a race, it will surely provide a magical start to your morning and planned activities.

Each of the following recommendations include approximate mileage and terrain considerations and can supplemented with additional loops or out-and-backs on sidewalks and walkways within the confines of the resort area. Maps may be requested upon arrival at resort front desks – the following images below have been complied from a variety of sources.

Please exercise caution when utilizing shared spaces with maintenance vehicles and be courteous to fellow pedestrians. As in any other physical activity, please consult your physician before beginning a fitness routine.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort Area

Disney’s All Star Resorts (Music, Movies & Sports)

Distance: 1.5 miles

Terrain: Paved

Suggestions: Add loops around the buildings and theming of the resort to get in some extra miles. If you’re someone that likes a leisurely run, do a photo scavenger hunt of fun sights along the way.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Distance: 0.16 around Uzima Pool, apx 0.5 miles between Kidani Village and Jambo House

Terrain: Paved

Suggestions: Although the distance options are not plentiful at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the spread-out nature of the resort lends to great indoor walking opportunities.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Distance: 1 mile around entire walkway, .75 along Lago Dorado

Terrain: Paved

Suggestions: Mix up loops and enjoy running over bridges and taking in water views. There are also many plaza areas tucked away along the route that can add fun and mileage.

Epcot Resort Area

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn (and Villas), Beach Club Resort (and Villas), and the Yacht Club

Distance: 7/8 mile – 3 miles, depending on course

Terrain: Paved, along with boardwalk surface (slippery when wet!)

Suggestions: Quiet mornings are the best time to log some mileage in this area! You can run around Crescent Lake, up and over bridges, and even down the canal area toward Hollywood Studios to your east, or toward the entrance to Epcot‘s International Gateway to the northeast.

Disney’s Caribbean Beach

Distance: 1.2 miles on main path

Terrain: Paved, paver stones and boardwalk surface (watch your step!)

Suggestions: Exploring the Caribbean Beach area can be quite an adventure! Enjoy the water views, fort details and island feel.

Magic Kingdom Resort Area

Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground / Wilderness Lodge (and Villas)

Distance: many options, from 2.5 miles (and shorter) to much higher, with added loops.

Terrain: Part paved, part gravel.

Suggestions: The Ft Wilderness /Wilderness Lodge area is, as one might guess, very wooded – bug spray and/or protective eyewear ir recommended in case of high insect areas. As in other paths that make contact with roadways, be mindful of others who share your paths.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort (and Bay Lake Tower)

Distance: .89 miles on confines of property

Terrain: Paved / paver stones

Suggestions: Depending on time of day, the out-and-back distance to the Magic Kingdom entrance and boat launches (about 0.5 mile one-way) can add some extra magic to your run!

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Distance: 1 mile

Terrain: Paved

Suggestions: Mileage can be included with extra loops around the Grand Floridian, or added on after reaching the Polynesian.

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Distance: 1.5 miles

Terrain: Paved

Suggestions: As with the Grand Floridian route, mix-ins to and fro, and around resorts can add miles. Bonus: kick off your shoes and do some strides on the beach!

Downtown Disney Resort Area

Disney’s Art of Animation and Pop Century Resorts

Distance: 1.1 miles, withmany add-on options

Terrain: Paved

Suggestions: Whether you are staying at Pop Century or the Art of Animation Resort, you are welcome to cross the bridge over Hourglass Lake to enjoy a change of scenery and extra mileage. Take in the larger than life theming of both resorts and immerse yourself into the very different stories being told at each location!

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort (French Quarter and Riverside)

Distance: 1 mile, with many add-on options

Terrain: Paved / paver stones

Suggestions: Take in the gorgeous views of Port Orleans between both sides of the resort.

Disney’s Old Key West

Distance: 1.37 miles

Terrain: Paved

Suggestions: Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Disney’s version of Key West, taking in the views of canals and the fairways of Disney’s Buena Vista Golf Course. Add extra resort loops for mileage! Please note: golf cart paths are not meant for pedestrians.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

Distance: 1.4 miles, with many add-on options

Terrain: Paved

Suggestions: The main path around the resort is easy and marked – to add on some mileage, take the path to the east of the map onto a sidewalk that links the resort to the Downtown Disney area (parallel to Buena Vista Drive). Please note that some areas of Downtown Disney are closed in the early hours (opening times may vary, but are generally around 9:30 AM) and you may need to take sidewalks around the main area. You may also take the sidewalks down Hotel Plaza Blvd (they are lit) for more distance.

Starting (or ending) your Disney day with a run can be a great way to maintain your fitness routine, so next time you’re at Disney, why not check out one of these routes.

Or, if you’ve run at Disney before, did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on September 24, 2013

19 Responses to “Where To Run At Walt Disney World”

  • Thank you so much for this post! I participate in many of the runDisney races, but have found myself “lost” when I want to get in regular runs during non-race trips. I’m staying at one of the All Star resorts next month for a work-related trip, so this information is just what I needed!

  • I HIGHLY recommend running out the backside of Old Key West on the path to Downtown Disney, it’s too boring running inside OKW. You can loop through DTD and exit near Rainforest over to Saratoga Springs, loop through there and out the back to Treehouse Villas, and then cross the canal back to the OKW path and back home. The great thing about running Disney resorts is there is water EVERYWHERE, learn where the quiet pools are at the resorts and work them in to your route, doesn’t hurt to grab a towel for wiping the “Florida sheen” off of you occasionally, dang humidity 😉

  • Thank you for the great information! I am headed to Disneyland in a couple of weeks, do you know where to run in Disneyland?

    • by Kristina Murphy on September 25, 2013, at 7:59 am EST

      Hi, Beth! I run at Disneyland often, where are you staying? When I stay at the Grand Californian, I usually head out of the DTD walkway, and run toward the DL Hotel, do a few loops out there (or add on the sidewalk toward the Mickey & Friends parking structure) or run toward the parks, through security and the park entrances, down the Espenlade, turn right onto Harbor, then right at Katella and back around. The cool thing about DL is that the property is basically contained within a big rectangle (search for DL on Google Maps) so you can make some routes up pretty easily. Businesses and residence surround the area, so it is pretty safe (I’d recommend waiting til it’s light out, however).

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  • I’ll add that the All-Star Resorts are connected to Coronado Springs Resort via roadside sidewalks, with crosswalks at lights where street crossings are required. You go by the McDonald’s and Blizzard Beach. When I’ve stayed at an All-Star Resort, running to Coronado has been a great way to get some extra miles and different scenery.

    I’ve found other ways to run between resorts, but this is one that is safe (you’re on sidewalks or crosswalks the whole time), and you won’t get yelled at by Disney Security.

    • GTK, David! Agree, staying safe is definitely the best priority and most enjoyable way to get your run in at WDW 🙂

  • by Lawrence Dugan on November 25, 2013, at 8:17 am EST

    Ms Murphy I’ll be spending a winter month next year off site with no good option for a daily run. I’ll be close to DWD and would enjoy running on property. Is this allowed?