There’s nothing more that detracts from the magic more than a painful walk back to your hotel at the end of a long day in the parks. For some, it’s even enough to have them counting pennies to rent an electric cart or even considering taking a day off from the fun. Don’t let that person be you!
Here are some practical tips, some someone whose poor feet average between 12-15 miles each day while in the parks, to make your feet happy before and during your trip.
Training for a Disney Vacation
Okay, okay, I’m not talking about exercise or starting up a full-on training program. This is the simple process of getting your body a little more used to the shock of being on your feet all day and pounding miles of pavement. Take every opportunity to walk longer distances, take the stairs, or even take a stroll in the morning/evening for a little extra exercise. It seems basic, but you’d be surprised at how much a little extra activity can prepare your poor joints and feet for the extra strain you’ll put on them during a Disney vacation.
The Best Shoes to Wear at Disney
I’ve seen everything from wedges and high heels, to flip-flops and sneakers at Disney Parks. There isn’t a “magic” pair of shoes that you can buy that are just perfect for Disney. (Although we certainly wish there was!) The reality is that everyone is quite different in not only their needs during vacation but in the structure of their feet. However, there are some tips we’ve learned along the way that really help.
- Bring multiple pairs of shoes. I always have several pairs of shoes (and insoles) with me for every Disney vacation because there’s nothing worse than soreness, rubbing or a blister and being stuck wearing the same shoes that caused it. Foot fatigue is a very real thing and there’s nothing better than changing up your shoes when you start to feel the pressure. If you plan on buying a new pair of shoes, be sure that you break them in before going, because you may find that they aren’t as comfortable as promised.
- Bring appropriate shoes for the occasion. There are dining venues that will require a more formal dress code. Make sure you check on the website or with the venue directly if you aren’t sure what is appropriate. Locations such as Victoria & Alberts will even contact you ahead of time to discuss the menu and dress code. When I dined at Club 33 in Disneyland, I actually wore a pair of nice wedges, and oddly enough, wore them throughout the park for the day.
- Insoles are awesome. This is personally my favorite pair of insoles to wear and they fit nicely in just about any shoe. I actually put them into my Vans or Chuck Taylors. However, the best tip I can offer here, is just like a new pair of shoes, always spend time breaking in each pair of insoles before taking them along with you.
What Footcare Items to Pack for Disney
There are some things you can pack in your Disney bag that will with both prevention and alleviating common foot issues that are recommended.
- Anti-Chafing Stick or Lotion. You can find these in outdoor stores, pharmacies, or even online, you can use this stick or lotion to keep spots between your toes and heels (and any part of your body honestly) from chafing.
- Blister Band-Aids. Finding a good padded Band-Aid to put over blisters will help protect them from getting worse and popping. Remember to never pop a blister! When you pop a blister you open them up to bacteria and pretty painful infection.
- Epsom Salt. Drop a little salt into a hot tub and soak your feet at the end of the day. You’ll be amazing at how relieving it can be as well as minimizing the fatigue.
Looking for a packing list for Walt Disney World? Check out this guide.
Keeping Happy Feet While at Disney
There’s a lot to see and do no matter which Disney Park you are exploring and it’s hard not to push yourself to the limits to try to see and do everything. You’ll make it a lot further and see more without sore aching feet, so here are a few pro-tips that I always recommend:
- Plan a Rest Day. Disney resorts boast some amazing restaurants, pools, and spas but many never experience them. Planning a “rest” day allows you to give your feet a much-needed break while enjoying the hidden gems of Disney.
- Book Table-Service Dining. Apart from having an incredible meal, most of the table-service (especially the higher-end venues) will take you off your feet (in air-conditioning) for at minimum an hour.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Sit Down. If you feel exhausted, don’t push yourself. Find a place to get some water and have a good rest. Put your feet up or stretch out your feet, ankles, and legs.
Do you have any tips or tricks for happy feet?
Leave a comment below and let us know.