North America

Disney/Universal Studios Area

Nearly 80 million people visit one of the Orlando area’s theme parks every year. Orlando is also a very popular convention center site, attracting tens of millions more (the Convention Center is near Universal). So we’ve put together this guide to running in the Disney/Universal Studios area, as well as the convention center area. We also have a separate guide to Orlando. As a geographic layout, the Convention Center is 9 miles southwest of downtown Orlando and the Disney area is about 9 miles southwest of there.

If walking the parks isn’t enough and you have an opportunity to sneak out, there are some decent running options in the Disney area. It does take a little research and planning, as some of the hotels inside and outside the Disney resort are on very busy roads and/or don’t have sidewalks. Working with New Balance, Disney has created and identified more than 16 miles of running/walking trails winding throughout Walt Disney World Resort. Allears.net is a great info resource for Disney in general and has a section on running. We’ve put together some suggestions, including the planned community of Celebration, about 7 miles from Disney and near the ESPN Wide World of Sports attraction.

The Convention Center and the Universal Orlando resort are a few miles apart, and there are tons of hotels in the area. There is some decent running along International Drive.

For additional running options in Orlando, here is our full Orlando profile

Additional site for Disney running

  • All Routes
  • Iconic Routes
  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

The weather in Orlando can be both appealing and unappealing for runners. November through April is generally delightful for running — mild to warm, with the occasional hot snap or cool snap, and drier than summer. May through September is very hot and humid, with little relief, and there can be periods of heavy rain. Plan hydration carefully. And be wary of thunderstorms — an almost daily occurrence in the warmer months.

Orlando Weather

Orlando is a major leisure and business travel (conventions) destination, and there is no shortage of hotels. A quick hotel guide for access to decent running, by area:

  • Downtown: stay near Lake Eola, or near Gaston Edwards Park (Hilton Doubletree), for access to downtown & Orlando Urban Trail run. There are NOT that many hotels near Cady Trail or Baldwin Lake.
  • Disney. See the info on the Disney resorts with jogging trails. Best option is Disney Wilderness Lodge or hotels near there for access to extensive trails there. Another option is to stay near Celebration, toward the southern end of the Disney Resort.
  • Convention Center/Universal. Lots of hotels on International Drive, with good access to running on International Drive.

Downtown

Fleet Feet. Pub runs Wednesdays, meet at Grafitti Junction
Fit2Run. Florida Mall. Group runs Tuesdays 6:45 & lots of other events.
Track Shack. Close to downtown/Gaston Edwards Park. Group Runs Monday 6pm.

Disney/Universal/Convention Center

Fit2Run in Disney Springs is the only dedicated running store in the resort/conv. ctr. area. Group Runs: Tuesdays, Thursdays 7pm in Celebration. Meet at Imperial Food and Wine.

There are several athletic/shoe factory outlet stores in the mall just to the west of Universal Studios.

Orlando Suburbs. See map for some of the other run stores north of Orlando.

Orlando Runner’s Club has group runs at 7:00am on a Sunday morning.

Full run calendar

Run Disney Events. Many of the major running events in Orlando are the RunDisney events. About 5–10 events per year. More info

Disney Marathon. First week in January. The signature annual running event.

Disney Princess Half Marathon. February. Girls/Women only, various other lengths.

Star Wars Half Marathon The Dark Side. Half Marathon starts 5am in the dark.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. November.

Celebration Marathon and Half Marathon. January. Popular.

OUC Half Marathon. December.

Orlando Runner’s Club at 7:00am on a Sunday morning — do it!