Preventing Sore Feet and Staying Healthy on Your Walt Disney World Vacation

Updated on January 7, 2019
Lissa Clason profile image

Melissa is a huge Disney Parks fanatic, going at least once a year with her family. She is fascinated by the work of Disney's Imagineers.

You'll want to be able to last through long days in the parks if you want to see beautiful sights like Cinderella's castle at night.
You'll want to be able to last through long days in the parks if you want to see beautiful sights like Cinderella's castle at night.

Walt Disney World is located in bright, sunny Florida, and takes in millions of tourists a year. Many of these tourists experience discomfort on their vacation—from sore feet and sunburns to dehydration—because they were not prepared for how physical a Disney vacation can be.

While you are there, you are out in hot, humid weather, surrounded by large crowds of people, and under pressure to rush in order to see everything. Visitors will walk a lot—sometimes over ten miles a day—and many vacationers are not used to that much physical activity. The parks are also full of people that may be sick, and it is easy for illness to spread in large crowds.

It is important to stay comfortable and make your vacation a true vacation, so here are some tips for those who are planning a trip to Walt Disney World.

What to Pack for a Day at Disney World

Lugging a bunch of unnecessary things around the parks all day can put unnecessary strain on your back. Pack only the essential things for that day so you can be comfortable and have room for the souvenirs you may buy. Travel-size bottles are much easier to carry than a full-size bottle of sunscreen, for example.

Packing lightly will also help you get through security faster, because they don't have to dig through your bag as much. If you have to buy something big, buy it towards the end of the day so you don't have to carry it around all day. Here's what I recommend packing for a day at Disney:

  • Cell phone: to make calls, schedule fastpasses, take pictures, and play special Disney mobile games while you're waiting in line for rides. If you ever run out of battery life in the parks, Disney World has these portable phone chargers called FuelRods for $30, where you can go to one of many vending machines scattered around each park and pick up a new, fully charged charger (you keep the USB cable).
  • Wallet: this is self explanatory. Mickey Mouse demands a lot of cash.
  • Poncho: Florida is notorious for its sudden rainstorms, so you don't want to be caught unaware. Bring a poncho for everyone in the party (make them carry their own if possible).
  • Sunscreen: read my section on the Florida sun below.
  • Medications, diapers, and sanitary supplies.
  • Snack: especially for small children, or if you need to eat frequently but don't want to spend too much on Mickey Mouse ice-cream bars.
  • Autograph books and assorted paraphernalia.
  • Wet wipes or napkins: those ice-cream bars can get messy
  • Makeup: only bring what you need for a touch-up and do most of it back at the hotel. If you're going to wear makeup, keep it light and breathable, and also waterproof.
  • An extra pair of socks: if yours get wet. For small children, an extra set of clothes may also be needed.

Note: Some things are not allowed to be brought into Disney parks.

Go at a pace that's comfortable for you, and remember to take regular breaks. It's okay to kick back and relax every now and then. This is a vacation, not a marathon.
Go at a pace that's comfortable for you, and remember to take regular breaks. It's okay to kick back and relax every now and then. This is a vacation, not a marathon.

How to Prevent Sore Feet at Disney World

When you're going to Disney World, you're going to want to leave your high heels at home. On some days you might walk more than 10 miles in a day, so you should wear comfortable socks and shoes. I recommend moisture-wicking wool socks like the kind you use for hiking, because Florida can get really hot, especially in the summer time, and you are going to sweat.

Make sure your shoes fit well and don't rub or chafe anywhere when you walk, or you will be likely to get blisters. If you really feel like you need to wear sandals, bring a pair that is well-cushioned and fits your feet comfortably. Do not bring brand new shoes; you should break them in for at least a month before your vacation because they will need time to adjust to the shape of your feet. For extra cushioning, you can get some foam or gel inserts for your shoes, just make sure they are not too bulky and you can still fit in them with socks on. There are also blister creams available for you to use if you do end up getting blisters.

Pro Tip: If you think you might be prone to get blisters, bring some moleskin bandages with you, like these bandages from Dr. Scholl's. Moleskin is more durable and more cushioned than regular bandages. To use it, you should cut a hole inside it in the size of your blister and place the bandage around the blister, which gives the blister padding around it and prevents it from popping while also allowing it to breathe.

Walking on concrete or asphalt is recommended, as that is what you will be walking on in the parks.
Walking on concrete or asphalt is recommended, as that is what you will be walking on in the parks.

Practice Walking Before Your Disney Trip

Before you go on your Disney vacation, I would recommend that you practice walking in the shoes you will wear in Disney World for a couple of months before, a little bit to start with and eventually working your way up to a couple of miles a day. This will get your body and your feet in shape for your vacation, and you will be less sore when you actually go. This will also help you find out if you have the right shoes for the job and figure out how much you want to do while you're there.

If you are disabled or think you might have trouble walking long distances, you can rent a mobility scooter, either on property or off. Renting one from a location around Orlando is probably cheaper than renting one in the parks, where you are charged $50 per day plus a $20 deposit, but it depends on what is most convenient for you. If it is hard for you to walk around all day, this might be the better option for you than possibly injuring yourself.

Sometimes a cup of ice-cold water is all you need to stay refreshed.
Sometimes a cup of ice-cold water is all you need to stay refreshed.

Where to Get Free Water in Disney World

Staying hydrated when it's hot out is important, as not doing so could lead to heatstroke and other problems. You will see bottles of water being sold everywhere for $3, but there is a cheaper method to hydrate yourself.

Disney World has a number of quick-service locations in each park where you can pick up a cup of free water; for example, you can get water at Gaston's Tavern in the Magic Kingdom and at Pizzafari in Animal Kingdom. At any Disney Starbucks location, you can also pick up a free water if you wait in line, and it will come in a specially decorated disposable Starbucks cup.

Picking up a free water is easier than carrying around a bunch of bottles in your bag that will sweat and possibly leak all over your stuff. It saves you room and money, making it a very useful tool for vacationers on a budget.

Protect Yourself From the Florida Sunshine

Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and once you are out in that heat for a few hours, you will see why. There is limited shade in the parks too, making the heat feel inescapable at times.

The number one reason people go to First Aid in the parks is because of sunburns. Bring plenty of waterproof, high SPF sunscreen with you (at least 70), because you may end up with burns in places you didn't know you had. Be sure to get your face, neck, and shoulders especially, as that's where the sun is going to hit you hardest. Make sure your sunscreen is not expired, and also keep your bottle safe from being punctured because it's really hard to clean up a huge mess in your backpack when you're inside the parks (unfortunately, I know this from experience).

A hat and sunglasses are recommended to help protect the top of your head and your eyes, but don't wear them on rides or they could fly off! For sunglasses, make sure they offer UVA and UVB protection and cover your entire eye area. 10% of skin cancers occur around the eyes, so you’ll want to keep that area safe.

How to Avoid Getting Sick in Disney World

Thousands of people enter the parks every day, and some of those people come in sick, trying not to miss out on the vacation they scheduled months beforehand. Getting sick at Disney World is really miserable, so here are a few tips to prevent yourself from catching something:

  • Avoid touching railings in line, and bring sanitizing wipes to wipe down handlebars on rides.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
  • When eating at restaurants, wipe down the table before sitting down, as sometimes there are no employees to clean them.
  • If you know you have a sensitive stomach, you can bring your own food, as long as it doesn't need to be heated up. If it is necessary, special dietary requests, like food allergies or intolerances, can also be addressed by Disney restaurants.
  • Vitamins, particularly Vitamin C, can help to prevent you from getting sick, as they give you the nutrients that theme-park food may lack. You can start taking a multivitamin a few weeks before your trip and stick to it throughout your vacation. Consult your doctor before you do this, though, as I am not a doctor.
  • Vacation is fun and it feels like the party never ends, but make sure you get a full night of sleep too, to take the edge off of your soreness and keep your immune system up.
  • Allergy medicine is something that you might want to bring, as the trees in Florida are probably different from what you're used to and they give off a lot of pollen. If you are prone to allergy attacks, bringing some medicine from home is much cheaper than buying medicine from Disney World.

In Conclusion

A trip to Walt Disney World can be surprisingly strenuous physically, but if you come prepared, you will experience less discomfort and be more able to enjoy your vacation. How do you keep yourself in good physical condition during a trip to Disney World? Let me know in the comments!

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Melissa Clason

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)