We train for Disney. Yep, just like a runner trains for a marathon, that’s what I meant. They say that you walk an average of 8 miles a day while you are on vacation at WDW. A couple of months before leaving for Disney, I start walking with the kids. Over the years, I started making charts to give the kids rewards for walking. But this year, I planned it out and got more creative than ever with it. First, the kids and I figured out how many miles it was from our house to Disney. For every mile we walked, I said it would count as 10 miles. With those as the rules, we “walked to Disney” in the 2 months and a week before our trip. At first, we started out easy with a mile a day for the first week or 2. Every other week or so, we would add another mile a day. We also found that walking 3 or 4 days a week worked best for us, and let the kids save their energy on days that we had dance and soccer. We didn’t walk those days. By the last couple of weeks, we were walking 5 miles. We walked around the mall on chilly days, and often walked around our neighborhood, using Map My Walk to figure out mileage. Other days, we would walk to the track and walk. I usually brought coins to give to the kids for each time around, both as incentive but mostly as a way to keep track of how many times we went around the track!
This was how we kept track! I found this piece of super thin, scrap board in my basement, and it was just like using a dry erase board. I drew a map-ish route down the board, from our state to Florida, and separated the route with “mile markers” for all the miles we would need to travel. The kids helped me decorate it with stickers for each of the states we would pass through. This really gave us incentive as the kids took turns filling in the road. It was always more exciting if you got to be the one who filled in the road as you passed over into a new state!
We completed all the miles we needed just a few days before we left on our trip. It totally worked! Our kids never complained of fatigue on the trip. We would be leaving the park at the end of the day, and my 5 year old would be passing adults on the path from the MK to the Contemporary. He was literally running circles around us! You spend so much time and money planning for this vacation, why not make sure your kids will physically be able to enjoy it?!