If you’re anything like me, vacation is no time to take a break from your fitness regimen; instead, it’s an opportunity to change up your routine and stay fit while at Walt Disney World. Finding ways to balance the culinary indulgences with some physical activity can make your trip even more enjoyable. Despite what the hilariously outdated photo on the official Walt Disney World site may suggest, there are many options for getting fit while visiting. Here are a few of my favorite spots to break a sweat at the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels.
1. Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa Fitness Center: I almost hesitate to share this with all of you because I believe this is probably the best kept fitness secret at Walt Disney World. The fitness center, located directly across from Senses Spa in the Saratoga Springs Resort, is among the best hotel gyms you’ll find anywhere. Significantly larger, and less crowded, than even the typically more expensive Deluxe Resort fitness centers, Saratoga’s fitness center offers the traditional array of cardio equipment, strength training machines, and free weights. However, it also has a large functional training and stretching area, with all the equipment you could possibly need for a full body workout. With the blessing of space, even during crowded early mornings, you’ll never feel cramped. Treat yourself and book a treatment at Senses when you’re done. I believe it’s the best spa on property. You won’t be sorry!
2. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: Sadly, the only moderate hotel with a fitness center is Coronado Springs. However, staying at any of the other moderate or even value resorts does not mean you have to forego your fitness goals during your vacation. Most of the hotels have sizeable jogging trails, and Port Orleans Riverside is no exception. With its size, beauty, and carefully manicured walkways, this property is a runner’s dream. I enjoy just getting lost and exploring the grounds. It’s always a treat to run over wooden bridges, taking a glimpse at the water flowing below as you jog by. Sometimes I find myself running further than I planned, just because I’m enjoying the scenery so much.
3. The Sturdy Branches Health Club at Disney’s Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge Resort: On its own, this fitness center is similar in size and quality to what you’ll find at other Deluxe properties throughout Walt Disney World. However, it possesses an off-the-beaten-path feel to it from the moment you step in. At a location like The Grand Floridian Fitness Center, there is no escaping the feeling that you’re on Disney property. In many ways, that’s a positive quality. However, when I’m working out, it’s a treat to feel that I may be at a resort nestled in a dense wooded forest, and not at a major theme park destination. Add in Sturdy Branches Health Club’s proximity to the pool for a convenient way to cool off after your workout, and this fitness center easily tops all the options in the Magic Kingdom area.
4. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground’s Jogging Trail: If you haven’t checked this out, you really need to on your next trip. The jogging trail connecting Disney’s Wilderness Lodge with Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort runs 2.5 miles and is not only picturesque, like the Port Orleans’ trail, but much of the trail is heavily shaded by trees, making this a comfortable option even in the summer months. If you choose to explore beyond the paved portions of the trail, you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy views of Bay Lake and the Magic Kingdom from a new vantage point. Just remember to bring your bug spray!
Hopefully this list of my favorites will help you choose the best option for you during your stay. What do you all think? Share your favorite workout spots in the comments below!