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Did you know there are plenty of places to go for a run or walk at the Walt Disney World resorts?
Whether you want to get in a long walk or go for a short run, there are tons of options! Let's explore them!
Boardwalk Resort area
Running around the Boardwalk is my favorite for longer distances. It's beautiful, especially in the early morning when there isn't really anyone out and about except for people who want a super early morning cup of coffee or other runners, and you get to (sort of) experience two of the parks along the way - Epcot and Hollywood Studios!
I recommend starting at the Boardwalk Resort area and then you have two choices: left or right. I'd recommend making this decision based on the time of day; for example, if I know the sun will be rising around the time I'm heading to Epcot, I enjoy watching it so I'll plan accordingly. For article's sake, let's say you go right first!
When you head right and follow the path along the lake and over the little bridge, you'll end up at the International Gateway entrance to Epcot, so rather than entering the park you'll want to head back to the Boardwalk. You can pass the Yacht and Beach Club and the Swan and Dolphin; each of these resorts also has their own running paths if you'd like to tack those on for extra mileage, or you can keep heading past the Swan and Dolphin and take the path that leads you to Hollywood Studios.
When you reach Hollywood Studios, again, you'll want to turn around to head back rather than enter the park (unless you bring your Magic Band or ticket and the park is open)! This part of the path gives you a really cool view of the Swan and Dolphin resorts and Tower of Terror. I like starting and stopping at the Boardwalk because once I'm back, I like to treat myself to a nice, fresh cup of coffee from the Boardwalk Bakery afterwords!
Parking options: If you're staying at any of these resorts, you have plenty of parking options given the loops are all connected around the lake. If you're not staying at this resort, I'd recommend parking at Hollywood Studios and having that be your start point (since I get free parking with my Annual Pass, this is what I do).
Polynesian Resort and the Grand Floridian Resort
This route is on the short side - a mile each way - but it is one of my absolute favorites due to the breathtaking sights and sounds. It's best enjoyed at sunrise, in my opinion; I think that's how Walt intended for us to admire the look of the Polynesian Resort since running this trail! However, at night sometimes you get great views of the electrical parade that they do on the Seven Seas Lagoon.
If you're starting at the Polynesian Resort: Start at the Moorea building and go to the right of it. When you turn the corner, you'll see the ferry boats that take you to Magic Kingdom and the bungalows with a view of the Seven Seas Lagoon. You can see Cinderella Castle, the train station, Space Mountain, and Astro Orbiter as you run by the bungalows, and I recommend leaving your headphones behind for this route so you can enjoy the sounds of the Walt Disney World Railroad (yes, you can hear the train whistle!), the ferry boats, and the monorail.
When you reach the pool and boat dock, you're gonna head around the dock and then, once you're on the other side of the pond, take a left to go by the resort and follow the path to the Grand Floridian; if you see the Wedding Pavilion in the near distance, you're in the right spot because you're going to pass it. You'll then head like you're going into the Grand Floridian and going around the back of it so you're back by the Seven Seas Lagoon. You'll pass the pool at the Grand Floridian and then after going up the steps, you'll find your way in the resort near a fountain. If you want, you can turn around here, or you can keep going towards your right to head down to the boat dock for a nice view of Magic Kingdom and the monorail and then turn and go back the way you came.
If you're starting at Grand Floridian: It's basically just reverse from above. Start from the resort, head down towards the pools and once you hit the beach, just follow the path to the Polynesian, passing the Wedding Pavilion on the way. You'll head to the Polynesian's boat dock and go around the pool and then make your way by the bungalows. Head all the way down to the Moorea building and then turn and head back!
Parking options: If you're staying at Grand Floridian or Polynesian, you can stay there. If you aren't, park at Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) and take the walkway to the Polynesian Resort. I like parking at the TTC and counting my walk from my car to the Polynesian walkway as my warm up.
This route gives you a beautiful view of Disney Springs and actually takes you there! There are many ways you can take to tack on mileage so if you want something shorter or longer, you have your pick!
There's a path that's just shy of a mile long that takes you through The Springs and The Paddock areas that is mostly along the water (and beautiful!). This is where you're going to get stellar views of Disney Springs! You can also loop through the different sections of the resort and find new paths. Most roads eventually lead back to Disney Springs if you get lost!
And if you ever do get lost, there are tons of signs around the resort area with a map so you can eventually find your way back!
Parking options: If you aren't staying at Saratoga Springs, you can access the path from Disney Springs. The path near the golf course is tucked behind House of Blues and Cirque du Soleil, closest to the orange garage, but be careful of golfers! The other part (where I recommend starting) is tucked away behind Disney's Days of Christmas. The path there starts near where the "Happy Holidays" statue is behind the store. This side is closest to the lime garage.
Bonus: Every Thursday morning, there's the Derby Dash 5k at Saratoga Springs! Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the fun run starts at 8 a.m. in front of Community Hall. Registration is only $15 - just inquire with the front desk! You don't have to be staying here to participate. There is also a free walking league through the resort area - no registration required - on Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m., meeting in front of City Hall and walking for about 1.75 miles through the resort. Read more about events like this here.
This trail is a 0.9 mile loop around Bay Lake Tower and the South Garden Wing. You can add on some distance if you go by the tennis courts. You could also go from the Contemporary, head towards the Magic Kingdom, and run past the boat launches and monorails down a brick road. This brick road - which you may have seen from above while waiting for a monorail - leads to nowhere so it's a good turn around point, but this is a super busy area between foot and road traffic, so exercise caution (and maybe save it for early mornings).
Parking options: Contemporary Resort if you're staying there, or park at TTC and take a monorail over.
Pop Century and Art of Animation
Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter
Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter have a loop about 1 mile long that connects the two resort grounds! It takes you around a majority of the resort buildings, so no matter where you're staying, you likely have access if you're at one of the Port Orleans hotels. This run has a really pretty view, as it goes around some lakes, and the buildings for this resort are a very pretty, southern style.
Bonus: Every Sunday morning for $15, you can participate in the 1.5 mile Beignet Dash! Registration is at 7:30 a.m. at French Quarter with the fun run beginning at 8 a.m. You get beads, some other freebies, and a coupon for three free beignets. Read more about this here!
Wilderness Lodge & âFORT WILDERNESS CAMPGROUNDS
This is a great trail for nature lovers! There are signs posted throughout that let you know where the bike and jogging trail are, but it weaves through Fort Wilderness and takes you eventually to the Lodge. You can weave different ways depending on the mileage you want to get, and parts of the path are either paved or just nicely packed dirt. And because of the location, you've got a good amount of shade here!
You can start near Tri Circle D Ranch at Fort Wilderness, near the main lobby at Wilderness Lodge (where you'll see some signage), and a path near the bike rental building at the Villas. If you get lost, there are some New Balance maps around!
Old Key West Resort
This designated running path is just shy of a mile and a half long, and it starts over near some of the other sporty resort amenities. You can take a few different routes: Peninsular Road, South Point Road, and/or Old Turtle And Road. If you'd like to scope it out before you run, it's marked on the map for Old Key West as the New Balance Running Trail.
Caribbean Beach Resort & Riviera Resort
Caribbean Beach Resort is a pretty big property, so I highly recommend going here if you want a longer run! This property is gorgeous and covers a lot of ground, and it also connects to smaller-sized Riviera Resort. This also connects to the Skyliner, so if you want to hop on and run elsewhere, the main hub is at Caribbean Beach.
You can cover at least 1.7 miles at Coronado Springs - where they also have their own fun run - whether you're jogging or biking. This path takes you around the lake, but you can also add a little more distance by following some other paths around the resort.
All Star Resorts
Similarly to the Art of Animation and Pop Century Resorts, this is another fun spot to go for a jog because of all the fun little photo opportunities tied in to the resort's theme and different sections of the resort. There's a course that takes you through Sports, Movies, and Music, and you can even take part in the All Stars and Icons fun run! It's about 1.2 miles long.
Jessica is a huge Disney, anime, and Star Wars nerd who channeled that love into motivation to lose 75 lbs.