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Epcot Resort Area Jogging Trail

I love the Epcot resort area.  It’s home to some of the most beautifully themed resorts, fantastic restaurants (Flying Fish Cafe in particular!), and picturesque scenery.  It’s the perfect escape from the parks to relax and grab a drink.  But did you also know that it’s also a great place to run?

I’ve walked this area many times over the past 20 years, but on a recent trip I decided to lace up my running shoes and give it a go.  (Quick confession: I’ve been hesitating to write this post because this is the route that caused my psoas injury.  Yes, I know that’s silly…part of my charm.)  I got up early one morning and drove over to the Beach Club, which is where I started my loop.  The day was just starting and a few bleary-eyed guests were wondering around with their cups of coffee.  There is something extra magical about Disney first thing in the morning…

Crescent Lake...Gorgeous!

I started my run by heading counter clockwise towards the Yacht Club.  The terrain changes here from a concrete path to a wooden boardwalk, which then curves around towards the Dolphin.  This is where you encounter your first hill.  The bridges that go over the waterways are deceptively steep and I was certainly not expecting that.

Yacht Club Boardwalk

Bridge to the Boardwalk, Swan & DHS

Now here is where I got confused.  I haven’t been over in this area for years and I had forgotten which paths went where….there are a lot of them.  Instead of going left into the Boardwalk area, which also has the path to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I stayed right and headed towards the Swan.  Oh and there was another giant bridge here.  Let’s just say I chose poorly…  But I did get some nice pics of the Swan and the Dolphin hotels, so it wasn’t a total loss.

The right way...

Dolphin Hotel

Swalphin Pool & Beach Area

Morning Swans...

Instead of heading back over that hateful bridge, I decided to bear right at a path that went next to the Swan which I figured headed over to the Studios.  I saw 2 other runners go that way, so I knew it couldn’t be that bad.  That was until I saw the path come to an end.  Thankfully those other runners were in front of me, so I could see where to go.  The sidewalk went up and over another over pass (a super steep one I might add), but this time it was E Buena Vista Drive…a very busy road.  I was totally confused and really should have planned this better.

The Boardwalk

The Swan jogging path
Note my guide runners up ahead

The not so fun hill to E Buena Vista Drive
Trust me, it's steeper than it looks

Once I crossed over the waterway, I was FINALLY on the right trail.  This is the primary walking trail that leads from the Epcot resort area to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  There were a few more runners on this side and also some early birds heading to DHS for rope drop.  This side also had a lot more shade since the sun was starting to get strong.  I LOVE this path.  DHS is my favorite park and this give such a wonderful preview.  You can see Tower of Terror looming in the distance and hear the various movie soundtracks faintly in the background.

The RIGHT path!

DHS in the Distance

Getting closer...

Tower of Terror...BEST!

Next time I run this trail, I will definitely remember to bring my Annual Pass so I can pop in and pay a visit to the Hollywood Tower Hotel. 😉  But sadly, I turned back and headed towards the Boardwalk…

Here comes a Friendship Boat

Heading back to the Boardwalk

It looked like they had just washed down the boardwalk when I got back to the Boardwalk Hotel.  I think this is where hurt my leg because it was a little slippery.  It was either that or all of the overpass hills.  Either way, this is where I remember the pain starting.  It wasn’t only the wet boardwalk that made it difficult, the smells coming from the Boardwalk Bakery were SO good that all I wanted to do was stop and get a cinnamon roll!  This area had a much higher energy and was more crowded than the rest of the trail, so keep that in mind when you’re running in this area.

The Boardwalk

Yacht & Beach Club from the Boardwalk

Dolphin from the Boardwalk

I made my way back to the Beach Club and ended up doing 2.3 miles.  This is a little farther than the what is on the trail map, but that’s because I got lost.  There are a lot of walkways in this area, so make sure you look at a map before you head out.  You can get one at any of the front desks of the resorts in this area.

Even though I personally have a bit of a bad association with this trail, I still love it.  It’s absolutely beautiful and offers such varied scenery that you will never get bored on this run.  I will definitely give it another try on a future visit.

Have you ever run the Epcot resort area jogging trail?  Share your experiences!  

5 Responses to Epcot Resort Area Jogging Trail

  1. Last year while visiting Disney I used this path for a 13 mile run/walk. When I was over by DHS I power walked through the park and right unto Rock-n-Roller Coaster then right back to my run. One of my funniest runs ever!

  2. […] the Epcot resort area. Seriously. I have pictures to prove it. Sarah from Running at Disney gives a great rundown of all the spots for the people who do still run on their trips. > I totally love this look at Mickey & Minnie way back when featured on Main […]

  3. […] Walt Disney World has some fantastic areas to run while you are on vacation.  You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your training schedule while in the most magical place on earth!  Almost all of the resort hotels have an area to run and each is very unique.  There will always be something new around the corner to keep your attention.  Two of my favorites are the trail between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge, and the trail around the Epcot Resorts and down to Hollywood Studios. […]

  4. […] we reached the International Gateway, we headed out towards the Boardwalk Resort and around Crescent Lake.  This is a gorgeous area for a morning run, but running around there was bringing back some […]

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