If you’re going to Disney World, you WILL do lots of walking. That’s just a fact. However, some of Disney’s theme parks require less walking than others.
As of 2020, Disney’s Hollywood Studios require the least walking. Magic Kingdom is second.
The size and layout are the main reasons. Let’s take a closer look at how much walking you’ll do at Disney World’s theme parks.
How Big are Walt Disney World’s Theme Parks?
As you probably know, there are four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort. These include Magic Kingdom (the oldest and most iconic), Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios (the newest).
In order to determine which Disney theme park requires the least amount of walking – and which theme park requires the most amount of walking – we should first examine the size and total amount of walking paths of each park. This data will give you some perspective on how the resort is laid out.
Acres per Walt Disney World Theme Park
Here’s a breakdown of the size (acreage) of each of the Disney parks.
- Magic Kingdom: 107 acres
- Hollywood Studios: 135 acres
- Epcot: 305 acres
- Animal Kingdom: 580 acres
Walking Distances (Walking Paths) per Walt Disney World Resort Theme Park
Below are we calculate the approximate length of the walkways/sidewalks of each Disney World theme park. In other words, how many miles would you walk if you were to walk down every walkway in each park?
- Hollywood Studios: ~ 2 miles
- Magic Kingdom: ~ 3 miles
- Animal Kingdom: ~ 3 to 3.5 miles
- Epcot: ~ 3.5 miles
As you can see, Magic Kingdom covers the smallest area of land. However, in terms of sidewalks, Hollywood Studios wins out with the fewest miles of the total walkways.
Based on our calculations, Hollywood Studios requires the LEAST amount of walking, and Epcot requires the MOST amount of walking.
Will this be the case for everyone? No, but if you’re not crisscrossing from one side of the park to the other, or looping around and around, then you’ll likely find our conclusions to be accurate.
The best way to avoid walking more than you need to is by checking out the Disney World park maps and planning your route carefully. The most efficient route will be the one that sticks to the path and travels clockwise or counterclockwise around the park’s perimeter. I’d recommend you save the interior walking towards the end of the day.
In case you are wondering, our research shows that the average person walks between 6 and 9 miles during a full day at a Disney World theme park. So make sure your Disney packing list includes comfortable shoes!
Disney World Parks with the LEAST Amount of Walking
You are apt to walk less in these parks:
- Hollywood Studios
Until recently, Hollywood Studios was clearly the easiest park to walk around. Many people refer to it as the “half-day park” because of its smaller size – with fewer rides and attractions – compared to other parks. However, with the addition of Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Hollywood Studios is larger than it was before and certainly worthy of a full day.
Despite its small size, Hollywood Studios still requires miles of walking, but it’s easy walking. The simple layout makes circumnavigating the park a breeze. You probably don’t need to plan a walking route before you go, but it wouldn’t hurt.
- Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom may be the smallest park in terms of acreage, but it’s also Disney’s most crowded park. That makes it a bit of a hectic experience, especially since the walking paths go in every direction.
Once you enter the park, I’d head up Main Street, USA, to the chaotic central hub, then go left towards Adventureland and Frontierland. From there, I’d walk in a clockwise direction and hit each land in order.
You could also go right and start in Tomorrowland and then walk in a counterclockwise direction. But you should strive for efficiency and avoid crisscrossing through the central hub from one land to the next because you could easily end up walking a lot more than you need to.
Disney World Theme Parks with the MOST Amount of Walking
These parks require the most walking.
- Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom is the largest Walt Disney World theme park as far as land goes, but a large portion of that acreage is safari land. In other words, you’ll view much of this land while sitting in a tour bus (Kilimanjaro Safaris) rather than walking it.
Another aspect of Animal Kingdom is the rides: there just aren’t as many here as in Magic Kingdom or Epcot. However, despite these facts, the park is spread out more than the others, and there is still lots of walking to be done!
I’d recommend first heading toward Pandora on the left side and then working your way clockwise through Africa, Asia, Dinoland, Oasis, and saving Discovery Island for last. But if Pandora is really busy, you may want to work your way counterclockwise and finish the day at Pandora.
Also note: your FastPass (and dining) reservations will dictate where you should be situated throughout the day. Plan wisely!
Epcot has the most walking paths (measured by miles) and is the second-largest park by acreage.
The park has two distinct sections: World Showcase and Future World.
The layout of the larger section, World Showcase, is really simple. There’s just a single walking path looping around a lake, so there’s really no reason to walk more than you need to. Future World is a smaller area, but the layout is much more disorganized.
The reason why Epcot requires the most walking is simply that it has the largest guest area of any Disney World park.
I hope this “Which Disney Park has the Least Walking” article has helped you plan your touring plans. Enjoy your Disney trip!