Maybe you are a runner… maybe you aren’t, but I still think you should pack your sneakers when you come to Orlando. Beside the obvious reasons for comfortable footwear laid out by Rad Dad, you should get your butt out of bed and run! Before you stop reading this, I want to point out that I am not fast, and what I am proposing is a 2-3 mile warm up to your day with pit stops, of course…
Everything is more fun at Disney, right? Even running! Getting up early and out the resort door before anyone else can have its benefits. Think about how much better prepared your metabolism will be for all the snacks you are going to have later in the day! This is also the time I use to get my Disney game face on and finish planning my day.
If you are in the habit of running, you don’t want to take too long of a break from it, even on vacation. Disney has you covered with New Balance Running trails at every resort.
Most of these trails range from less than a mile to over 2.5 at the most. Also, keep in mind not all Disney resorts have fitness centers, but they do have these trails. The deluxe resorts have fitness centers, but the other resorts categories do not. So, if you are at a value resort and need to work off a Mickey Bar, the trail may be your best bet!
Getting up and out the door while my kids are still sleeping off their Mickey Bar coma allows me to explore the resort ALL ALONE! (Moms, you get me, right?) I have especially enjoyed running around Hourglass Lake between the Pop Century and Art of Animation resorts. There are so many great and distracting things to see along this route. Now, if you strictly stay on the path here you are going to miss out on all the greatness that defines these resorts.
Running through Radiator Springs at Art of Animation? Yes please! I’ll get out of bed for that. This resort’s path along the lake is 1.38 miles, but you can add some distance by running through the resort and checking out the giant characters.
Bonus: if you like to take pictures, the resorts are just starting to wake up around 6:30am -7 am. Yes, there are the families already waiting for the bus to get to rope drop, but that is ok. They are not in your way. Snap all the awesome pictures you want without waiting for the crowds to depart. Go ahead and take a ridiculous selfie with a giant Mr. Potato head, no one is looking (Trust me. I have experience here).
Also, getting up and running or walking along the path allows you to check out all the construction happening at the various resorts. It was neat to see how the new skyliner station is positioned literally in the middle of the lake between Art of Animation and Pop Century. For the record, Building 3 of the 50s era will be the perfect location at Pop to hop on the skyliner in the future.
The resorts are so beautiful and well themed. Running between the Polynesian Village Resort and the Grand Floridian is pure magic. You can see how much goes into the theme when you cross from one property to the next. The background music changes, the foliage changes, and my attitude changes. This is also a great way to preview what pools you want to hit if a property has more than one.
I personally don’t think that it gets much better than a run on Disney property at sunrise. There are typically other runners along the path so you are not alone. They are also super friendly… it’s vacation, right?
You may even get lucky enough to stumble upon a mini Run Disney event at your resort. There are mini runs at most of the resorts on each morning of the week. Usually, the events cost $15 and offer either a medal, pin, or some other prize. Check your resort activity schedule to see if you may have a fun run during your stay.
Now that you got your run in, it’s time to #treatyourself! Here are a few of my top poolside drinks to reward myself with after my run.
At the All Star Movies Resort, hit the Silver Springs pool bar but, grab a friend for this one! The Take Two is a giant concoction made for two. It is similar to a Mai Thai and comes in at $22 but is totally worth it…
At Old Key West, head to the Gurgling Suitcase for a Pink Lemonade — one of my all-time favorite drinks on property!
Or just treat yourself to almost anything at the Polynesian: A Dole Whip from the Pineapple Lanai, or a Tropical Dark and Stormy from Trader Sams are some of my favorites.
Any ZADD Crew runners out there? Let me know if you are running at any Run Disney Events! Who knows maybe we can start a ZADD Crew Running Club!
Big thanks to @dougdoesdisney , @thedisneygrl, and @mickeysphotographer for the use of their pictures in this article.