I know, I know. Gym on vacation? What are you thinking Nate?! Vacation is the last place anyone wants to think about working out. Vacation is a time to recharge, regroup, and enjoy! I couldn’t agree more, but I have to say a quick vacation workout can do wonders. We’re not talking Crossfit or Orange Theory level of workout. Just something to keep you feeling normal. Believe it or not, Disney World gyms are far better than most hotel gyms. Here are a couple of our favorites.
Disney Gym – Saratoga Springs
The best gym on all of Walt Disney World property is at Saratoga Springs. Totally random, I know! Well, it’s not random when you look at the history of the resort. Back in the late 90’s to early 2000’s, the resort was actually called the Disney Institute. The Disney Institute was a unique idea centered around the concept of guests taking classes while staying at the hotel. Stays at the resort were set for 3 days. Classes ranged from photography to cooking and even included fitness instruction. In 2003, Disney decided to change directions and re-theme the resort to Saratoga Springs and shift it to a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort. Lucky for all of us, they kept the gym!
This gym has the largest selection of weight machines and free weights, along with cardio equipment (in case walking around isn’t enough cardio for you) and ample floor space for resistance and calisthenics. This is unlike most hotel gyms where you’re lucky if you get 3 feet of open area.
Passholder Tip– For all the runners out there. The Saratoga Springs area also has the longest jogging trail on property. It is definitely a fun run, as you loop around the lagoon and through Disney Springs. Interested in RunDisney events, see our post here.
Disney Gym – Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village
It’s all about the view! The gym at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village has a simple half-moon design loaded with windows. There is tons of natural light streaming in and most of the view is into the foliage where you can do some bird spotting. It does face the pool but everything is mostly well hidden so you aren’t just peering at people relaxing – while you’re sweating to the 80s. With Kidani Village being a newer resort, you can tell that Disney is shifting with the times and upping their gym game.
By no means the largest gym, but a solid selection of machines, free weights, and cardio equipment. If you’re looking for a gym with a view, this is the place for you!
Passholder Tip – The newer the resort, usually the better the gym facilities.
Disney Gym – Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower
Once you find this gym you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Can’t lie on this one, this gym is harder to find than a lot of the Hidden Mickeys. Definitely ask one of the cast members (hotel staff) to point you in the right direction, as you’ll need to take a certain elevator to find it. The Contemporary Resort is one of the original hotels at Walt Disney World. It’s the hotel with the monorail running through the middle of it. A true classic. Being an older hotel, hotel gyms were not a priority back in the day. Kudos to Disney for finding a way to add one!
This is definitely a no-frills gym – get-in, get-out type of place, perfect for a Disney gym, as we’re here for the parks! This gym will have everything you need to get in a solid workout, from machines and free weights to cardio equipment. Plus it’s usually quiet, as it’s tucked away.
Passholder Tip – If you’re looking to squeeze in a workout, we recommend doing it in the morning. Once you head to the parks, it’s hard to find the motivation later in the day.
For us, a 30-minute workout a couple of times during vacation is a game-changer. It keeps us feeling fresh and ready to search out all the Hidden Mickeys!