Why I Love Disney Part 2: Disney for Runners
This is Part 2 of a two part series! Read about runDisney races here!
A little background here: my family is a Disney family. My parents went to Disney to perform on a trip together when they were in high school in the early 80s, they did their honeymoon there in 1986, and we’ve been several times as a family.
We went in 1995 a year after my brother was born (my only family trip without him) and stayed in the Caribbean Beach, 1997 we went and stayed in the Coronado Springs resort, and we went in 1999 for the Millennium Celebration and stayed in The Dolphin (owned and operated by Sheraton on the Disney property, near Yacht and Beach Club and able to walk to Epcot from there, but no Dining Plan option). Then, in 2007, we went with my high school band (my parents chaperoned and brought Zach) and stayed in All Star Music. They went again with Zach in 2010. I went with my friend Courtney that same spring while in college (we stayed off-property with my aunt and uncle to save money). Then as a family we went again for my graduation in 2013 (we stayed in Port Orleans Riverside) and I went in 2016 with Kate for Wine and Dine and stayed in All Star Sports (my parents were there separately at the same time for their 30th wedding anniversary, they stayed in the Caribbean Beach), and I went solo and stayed with a cast member friend off-property for the Princess Half in 2017.
So yeah. We love Disney. There are of course tons of people who have been more than us, but we love it all the same and when we do our Disney Vacations, we try hard to milk the place for everything it's worth.
Next May, when we head back as a family, I've been looking at places to run and things to do to stay fit (in addition to the MILES you walk just by being in the parks) while I'm there! Park property is beautiful and it only makes sense to take advantage!
We'll be staying at Port Orleans (Riverside) as it is our favorite resort. We love how wooded it is, the river running through it, and the pool! We also love that there is a foldout bed that's about 5' long. A little short, but it works for my 5'5" body. That way everyone has a place to sleep and we don't have to haul along an air mattress. Conveniently, Port Orleans is very runner friendly!
In addition to Riverside (which has a rustic, bayou theme) Port Orleans also has a pesudo-fancy side called French Quarter. It so happens that every Sunday morning, French Quarter runs a Beignet Run! For $15, you get a plastic medal, two beignets, some beads, and a 1.5 mile run around the resort. Kate tipped me in on this and one couple did the run and wrote about it here! You can book the run through the French Quarter front desk and it's open to EVERYONE, not just guests at Port Orleans.
My plans while I'm at Port Orleans is to run the paths between resort buildings, as weather permits. Port Orleans tends to be a very runner friendly resort. I'll basically run loops until I hit 3 miles. One day of the trip, I hope to take advantage of the abundance of stairs and permitting I don't bother other guests, I plan to run the stairs between floors. All of the "motel style" (for lack of a better term) resorts where your door goes directly to the outside have these outdoor stairwells. The main stairs at the All Star resorts are actually perfect for this, as they are encased in decorative statues (like a giant football) so you won't be bothering other guests with your pounding up and down the stairs! Running trails for the resorts can be found here!
While in the parks, I try to stand and resist the urge to sit on a rail or curb (technically this is a park no-no anyway) while waiting in line. I also try to stand and eat snacks as well, rather than lounging on a curb. Same goes for parades and shows! You'll be amazed at how much standing you do, and it keeps you active even during relaxing moments.
I'm not much of a swimmer, but I also highly recommend hitting the pools when they first open before the crowd of families get there to either wade a bit or swim a couple of laps. Just wading through the water is a workout in itself!
General things to consider for runners heading to a theme park vacation:
- Lots of sunscreen! LOTS!
- Disney is a great place for your running clothes to be worn outside of running. They're comfortable, breathe well and are easy to layer. Running clothes will also save you space in your luggage!
- Disney is a great place for you to bust our your retired running shoes to wear around the parks. If you're like me, they're just sitting in your closet anyway, since you're too attached to toss them.
- Bring cheap, replaceable items. I recommend wearing goodr sunglasses, for example, as they're $25 and you won't feel bad if they fly off your head on a ride or you accidentally sit on them or leave them somewhere.
- Remember to relax. Staying in shape and in routine is nice on vacations, which can sometimes be hectic. But remember to take some time to relax!
And that's it! A quick and dirty, simple way to incorporate your running routine in your vacation! This isn't just for Disney, either! You can do it on any vacation!
What do you do to keep up your routine while traveling? Leave a comment below!