Free is For Me
Yes, You can find things to do at Walt Disney World Resort for FREE! There is more to Disney than the theme parks. Let’s talk about saving a little money by doing things like watching a movie under the stars, listening to live music, seeing animals out in the open and not having to pay extra for it.
Experience Disney at a slower pace. Take an afternoon or, better yet, an evening to visit Disney’s Boardwalk. Stroll the gorgeous pier and take in the sights. Feast your eyes upon the beauty and feast your taste buds on a treat or two at Boardwalk Bakery. Or just pack a picnic supper and have a unique quiet meal along the water. If you happen to be there on a Saturday evening, you might just see some street musicians or fun juggling acts.
You can find plenty of free things at Disney resorts. Spend a day there and in the evening, just hang out, relax at the pool with the family and watch the Disney “stars” under the stars. Make memories that will last a lifetime without leaving your resort. All Disney resorts show movies at night. They call it “Movies Under the Stars.” Check your resort schedule for the movies offered.
Do you have energetic and curious kids? Just like me, I bet you. Let’s give them something to look for and keep them occupied. You can go on a Scavenger Hunt for free. As you walk around the theme parks and resorts, keep your peepers open for hidden Mickeys. You can find thousands, like the one above found on the ground in Magic Kingdom. I thought it was such a creative way to hide the sewage drainage. Even after you leave Disney, you will continue to see Mickeys wherever you go, even in your blueberries at breakfast.
While in the theme parks, you can “celebrate” for free as well. Ask a Cast Member about Celebration buttons. You’ll receive a button like those above. Fill in what you are celebrating and wear it throughout your trip. Cast Members and even other guests will notice and help you celebrate. While on my honeymoon, our celebration buttons led to free cupcakes and even a free framed photo of us on Splash Mountain. Wear those buttons, they are a free thing at Disney that can lead to even more free things at Disney.
Pro tip: write your name with a sharpie and then put a piece of clear tape over the writing to make it last through your whole vacation.
Another one of my favorite freebies inside the parks is the Wifi! Yes, that is correct, free wifi in the resort theme parks. Thank goodness! Those mobile data bills are killer. Free WiFi
satisfies the teen who needs social media and mom who needs to use the (free) Disney App to plan the next meal or experience.
Pro tip: to save battery in the park, put your phone on Airplane mode while roaming Epcot or eating lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern.
Of course, one needs something to replenish the body (not with the tequila flight). So grab a cup of free water inside any park. Disney always wants you to stay healthy and hydrated. Go up to any stand or counter service location that serves fountain drinks and you can ask for a cup of ice water. Disney doesn’t offer straws or lids, so use the cup to refill your own water bottle.
Pro tip: ask for no ice so you get more water to refill your reusable water bottle you brought in the park.
Among the many free things at Disney is still lots of entertainment. With so many shows and parades currently on hold, one thing not to miss is the Electric Water Pageant. Watch this cute little parade of lighted boats on Bay Lake. Magic abounds even outside of the gates of the parks. If you are staying at one of the resorts on the Bay Lake, you’ll be one of the lucky guest who gets to see this pageant from your own resort. You might have paid a little extra to stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian, Polynesian Resort, Wilderness Lodge, ContemporaryResort, or maybe the Campgrounds at Fort Wilderness, so take advantage of your location by watching this gem right from your resort hotel. Try to catch this magical water pageant in the evenings from 9 to 10pm.
Animals, Animals, Animals
Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom is such an amazing attraction, but did you know you can see animals at Disney in another spot? Use Disney’s free transportation to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Grab a snack at The Mara or order the bread service to go at Sanaa, and then visit the check in desk to ask for an “Animal Viewing Guide.” With your checklist, walk out the back doors of the resort
lobby. There you may see many different animals such as African Warthogs, Gazelles, Giraffes, Ostriches and more. It’s one of my favorite free things at Disney and, bonus, the guide is a free souvenir!
Transportation Can Be Fun
Disney transportation can be fun and relaxing, but best of all it is free to you! Have you ever gotten on the Monorail and thought, “This is the best ride with AC in the park.” Haha. I love taking the Epcot Monorail because you get to see the whole park. It is such a wonderful way to hype up a newbie before actually entering the park. Check with one of the attendants, you can sometimes get a monorail
transportation card as a keepsake.
Not into the monorail? Fly high in the sky on the new Disney’s Skyliner and get a different perspective of the parks and resorts. Don’t worry over lack of AC, the cross ventilation provides adequate air flow, but I would avoid it if you are afraid of heights. The Skyliner is all windows for perfect viewing of the sights. Find the Skyliner stations at Art of Animation/Pop Century Resorts, Caribbean Beach Resort, Riviera Resort and of course at the two parks: Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
Maybe you fancy the waterways. Grab a spot on the next boat out to Wilderness Lodge and then
take a long stroll on their spacious grounds. Cruise the loop around Crescent Lake visiting Epcot,
Boardwalk and resorts near Hollywood Studios without going in the parks. Disney Springs also has a boat ride to Port Orleans/Old Key West and back where you travel the Sassagoula River.
Free Chocolate and more At Disney Springs
Disney Springs is full of shopping and yummy restaurants. Did you know that you can find free stuff here too? We all love chocolate, right?. Stop in at Ghirardelli shop and try a free sample of chocolate.
If you’re not crazy obsessed with chocolate lie I am, just enjoy the live music as you stroll around the shops. Do some window shopping and dream of your next Disney purchase or celebration meal! Take a photo with a Disney Princess all dressed up….or Aurora. Wink. Wink.
Free Things Found
I could go on and on about all the free things at Disney. Do you know what else is free at Disney? The services of travel agent with Kingdom and Cruise Travel. Let me help you plan your next Disney vacation, for free. I know lots of tricks that can help you find more free magical moments and experiences.
Holly is a travel agent with Kingdom and Cruise Travel who specializes in Disney vacations. She loves helping others create fun, new and exciting adventures, but most of all, she is looking forward to assisting you with your next vacation. Let's start planning!