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Here's How Many Miles You Walk During A Day At Disneyland

I took a Fitbit to Disney to find out.

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Leonora Epstein / Thinkstock

A day at Disneyland is guaranteed fun. It's also guaranteed exhaustion...but in the best way possible!

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The last time I went to Disneyland, I remember waking up the next day feeling even more exhausted than when I went to bed. My ENTIRE BODY ached. That NEVER happened as a child...sigh.

I've often wondered just how much exercise you get during a full day there. So, I decided to conduct an experiment. I took my Fitbit (which measures steps, miles, calories, etc.) to Disney to see just how many miles you walk in a day.

I was also interested to see how many calories you burn vs. what you put in (because half the fun of Disneyland is also stuffing your face with treats).
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I was also interested to see how many calories you burn vs. what you put in (because half the fun of Disneyland is also stuffing your face with treats).

  1. For fun, let's conduct an informal poll. How many miles do you think you'd walk during a day at Disneyland?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    1–4 miles
    Correct
    Incorrect
    5–7 miles
    Correct
    Incorrect
    7–10 miles
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Over 10 miles
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For fun, let's conduct an informal poll. How many miles do you think you'd walk during a day at Disneyland?
  1.  
    vote votes
    1–4 miles
  2.  
    vote votes
    5–7 miles
  3.  
    vote votes
    7–10 miles
  4.  
    vote votes
    Over 10 miles
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As for my own prediction, here's what I'm thinking...

OK. Let's start this magical day...

7:30 a.m.: Breakfast at home.

Here's where I attempt to start out the day healthy. I have:—Black coffee—1/3 cup low-fat Fage yogurt with honey—Sprouted wheat bread with flax and peanut butter with honeyEstimated calories: 335

Here's where I attempt to start out the day healthy. I have:

—Black coffee

—1/3 cup low-fat Fage yogurt with honey

—Sprouted wheat bread with flax and peanut butter with honey

Estimated calories: 335

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9:20 a.m.: Arrival at Disneyland. I am wearing these shoes, which I will later find out are not adequate footwear. As a general rule of thumb, sneakers you have owned since your freshman year of college should probably be replaced.

It's worth noting that when we arrive at Disneyland, my Fitbit tells me I've already walked 134 steps. I'll subtract that from the total, but 134 steps isn't that much.

It's worth noting that when we arrive at Disneyland, my Fitbit tells me I've already walked 134 steps. I'll subtract that from the total, but 134 steps isn't that much.

9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.: Jam-packed morning!

The park is relatively quiet so we manage to get a bunch done, first hitting up the Haunted Mansion followed by Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Disneyland Railroad, Splash Mountain, and Indiana Jones (thank you, Fastpass).

The park is relatively quiet so we manage to get a bunch done, first hitting up the Haunted Mansion followed by Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Disneyland Railroad, Splash Mountain, and Indiana Jones (thank you, Fastpass).

12:30 p.m.: First Fitbit check-in.

It's a bit past noon and I've already walked 8,387 steps, which is just over three miles. I've also climbed seven flights of stairs. I'm beginning to feel it.

It's a bit past noon and I've already walked 8,387 steps, which is just over three miles. I've also climbed seven flights of stairs. I'm beginning to feel it.

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12:30–2 p.m.: Head to California Adventure for snacks.

Definitely feeling pretty hungry by now. I pause for a beer (praise to California Adventure for the abundance of alcohol) before heading to Cove Bar for some decidedly unhealthy snacks. An estimated calorie breakdown*:—Racer 5 IPA: 230 —Lobster nachos (I ate less than half): 500—Thai lettuce chicken wraps (had about one-third): 250Estimated calories: 980*I did my best to estimate calories. Disney doesn't provide nutritional information for its foods, so I used sites like My Fitness Pal to look up dishes, taking counts from similar foods at restaurant chains.

Definitely feeling pretty hungry by now. I pause for a beer (praise to California Adventure for the abundance of alcohol) before heading to Cove Bar for some decidedly unhealthy snacks. An estimated calorie breakdown*:

—Racer 5 IPA: 230

—Lobster nachos (I ate less than half): 500

—Thai lettuce chicken wraps (had about one-third): 250

Estimated calories: 980

*I did my best to estimate calories. Disney doesn't provide nutritional information for its foods, so I used sites like My Fitness Pal to look up dishes, taking counts from similar foods at restaurant chains.

2–3 p.m.: Head back to Disneyland, have another treat.

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We walk around California Adventure briefly, hit up The Little Mermaid ride, then head back over to Disneyland. At this point, lines have gotten longer and we're feeling tired, so we stop at the Tiki Room where I have a Dole Whip.

Estimated calories: 180

3:20 p.m.: Second Fitbit check-in.

It's mid-afternoon and I'm gaining on my original estimate of 10 miles. I've walked over six so far!

It's mid-afternoon and I'm gaining on my original estimate of 10 miles. I've walked over six so far!

3:30–5:30 p.m.: Fighting crowds and a few more rides.

The late afternoon consists of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Tarzan's Treehouse (feel the burn climbing those stairs!), and a bit of a time-out — exhaustion is beginning to set in.

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5:30–6:30 p.m.: Dinner at Wine Country Trattoria in California Adventure.

At this point, I'm actually not super starving (too excited?), but I'm also fatigued so I figure it's best to refuel. I have:—Two beef sliders: 350 calories—Four fried risotto balls: 460—Racer IPA beer: 230Estimated calories: 1,040

At this point, I'm actually not super starving (too excited?), but I'm also fatigued so I figure it's best to refuel. I have:

—Two beef sliders: 350 calories

—Four fried risotto balls: 460

—Racer IPA beer: 230

Estimated calories: 1,040

6:30–7:30 p.m.: Radiator Springs Racers and wandering.

We go on Radiator Springs Racers, which is AWESOME, then walk around California Adventure a bit more, contemplating going on Grizzly River Run but ultimately decide against it — too much spinning.

We go on Radiator Springs Racers, which is AWESOME, then walk around California Adventure a bit more, contemplating going on Grizzly River Run but ultimately decide against it — too much spinning.

7:30 p.m.: Third Fitbit check-in.

Wow! At this point I'm gaining on 24,000 steps and am almost at 9.5 miles. My initial 10-mile estimate is definitely going to be off.

Wow! At this point I'm gaining on 24,000 steps and am almost at 9.5 miles. My initial 10-mile estimate is definitely going to be off.

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7:30–9 p.m.: Winding down.

We decide we have one more ride left in us, and the wait for Splash Mountain isn't so bad, so we do that for a second time (yaaaas), then Winnie the Pooh because why not? For our last stop, we peruse Main Street for some souvenir shopping before deciding to call it quits. At this point, my feet are KILLLLLLIIING me. Everything aches. I am old. It is almost my bedtime.

We decide we have one more ride left in us, and the wait for Splash Mountain isn't so bad, so we do that for a second time (yaaaas), then Winnie the Pooh because why not? For our last stop, we peruse Main Street for some souvenir shopping before deciding to call it quits. At this point, my feet are KILLLLLLIIING me. Everything aches. I am old. It is almost my bedtime.

Which brings us to...

9:15 p.m.: THE FINAL TALLY. Are you ready?

Here's what my Fitbit told me once I'd gotten back to the car. I'd walked a total of 11.5 miles. Subtracting those initial 134 steps from the morning, that brought me to a total of 28,828 steps. And 18 flights of stairs! Damn.

So what about food and calories burned? Here are the stats from my Fitbit app for the entire day.

Throughout the day, I'd taken in (eaten) roughly 2,535 calories, and according to my app, I'd burned almost nearly the same amount — 2,485 calories. Not bad!

Throughout the day, I'd taken in (eaten) roughly 2,535 calories, and according to my app, I'd burned almost nearly the same amount — 2,485 calories. Not bad!

In conclusion: A day at Disneyland can be an amazing workout.

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If you choose to eat healthier (as I clearly did not), you can get an insane amount of exercise — 11.5 miles' worth, to be exact! Proof that the "happiest place on earth" can also be healthy if you do it right.

Access to Disneyland and California Adventure was provided gratis to the writer for this post.

 
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