Over the years I have not found a place where I needed to take better care of my feet than when visiting a Disney Park, and the older I get, the more important it is. So, here are my tips for doing the best you can to get through a Disney vacation with your feet intact. Please note that I am not a medical professional and all I have to offer is my own experience.
1. Wear comfortable shoes – This is one of the most oft-spoken pieces of advice for all of that walking, but I’m going to be a little more specific. You need to wear shoes that are comfortable for you. My brother-in-law wore sneakers on his first day in the parks when he was in college. When he took those sneakers off in the evening, the tops of his toes had sores and blisters, and he was miserable. He’s actually kind of picky about his shoes, and he makes a habit of wearing flip flops whenever possible. So, he spent the rest of the trip in these flimsy flip flops and was a much happier person. My mom wears canvas sneakers with inserts because she has high arches. I prefer to wear running shoes. My favorites have some ice padding and my feet never felt better until I started wearing them in the parks. No matter what, you have to wear what works best for you. Even if the answer is high heels and people think you’re crazy, your feet will thank you.
2. Bring extra shoes and socks – My husband is with me on the sneaker front, but he can be a big baby if his feet get wet. He owns two pairs of socks that we bought in Disney’s Hollywood Studios because it rained and all he did was complain until we found a way to dry his feet. In his case, wet shoes and socks mean blisters on his feet, so I make sure we toss extra pairs of shoes and socks in the bottom of my daughter’s stroller because blisters would open an all new can of worms.
3. Bring moleskin – This is one of those things that I’ve never really had an issue with, but most people are not as lucky as I am. The number one rule about blisters is not to pop them. You’d be revealing skin that’s just not ready to take the pressure and friction involved in walking, not to mention the increased risk of infection. Instead, this is where the moleskin comes in. Using it properly to treat blisters on your feet will make it much easier for you to walk for the rest of your trip. If it doesn’t help, or if you have a really bad blister, all Disney parks have First Aid Stations with some very helpful people to take care of your feet. The Disney Resorts also offer First Aid and have basic first aid supplies in the lobby gift shop.
4. Prepare before you go – I don’t know about you, but I don’t walk upwards of ten miles in a day on a regular basis. I’m pretty sure that the last time I walked that far, I was on a trip to Walt Disney World®. If you don’t at least try to do some walking before you leave, your feet are definitely going to hurt. There’s no guarantee that it’s going to keep your feet from hurting at all, but it certainly can’t hurt.
5. Know your limits – Even walking ahead of time isn’t a guarantee that your feet will be prepared, so plan to take breaks. My family members are Disney Commandos, and we go all day long, usually burning the candle at both ends. Someday, we’ll be forced to take breaks, but for now, we like to feel like we need to get our money’s worth. In order to do that, we need to find ways to take a break during the day without losing time. We have our go-to rides that will give us a break, and we also get the Disney Dining Plan Plus so we have a table service meal that will let us sit down and eat and take a break. If you’re not commandos like us, I’d suggest taking a trip back to your hotel to enjoy the atmosphere, take a nap, or sit by the pool. I suggest anything that gets you off your feet and gives you a chance to relax.
Overall, no matter what works for you, your feet will be your biggest asset or biggest hindrance and the care you give them will make all of the difference.