There’s no question that a trip to Disney is expensive. When you factor in resort rooms, park tickets, dining costs, and souvenirs, it can all add up (and that’s not even including extras like Genie+, PhotoPass, and special events or tours)! Some families save up for years just so they can afford a Disney vacation.
Let’s jump into our list of the BEST free things in Disney World right now. (Whew! Setting the bar high off the get-go, amiright?)
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-a-Long
Campfires around the Disney World resorts are already free — but the BEST campfires happen at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
The campfires HERE have a BONUS cowboy sing-a-long and big ol’ chipmunk hugs from your pals, Chip n Dale. Then, as you roast a marshmallow over the open fire, you can start settling in for the evening to watch an outdoor movie. (There’s truly NOTHIN’ like the great outdoors to ease your soul…)
And since this NEXT point goes hand-in-hand with what I was just talking about…
The one downside to the Chip ‘n’ Dale campfire sing-a-long is the fact that you’ve gotta bring your OWN marshmallows and sticks — or pay for a whole s’mores kit for around $6. BUT the other resorts that offer campfires around property (which is a GREAT deal of ‘em) DO offer free marshmallows to their hotel guests. So roast away!
And NOW for a classic freebie (that’s fun AND tasty… mostly).
International sodas at Club Cool
Right next to EPCOT’s Creations Shop is a little area called Club Cool — where you can try EIGHT different international sodas for FREE. Just grab yourself a little Coca-Cola sample cup and sip away on whichever flavors you wanna try. (Just, uh, be careful when it comes to the Beverly soda. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…)
You think Club Cool is the MAIN free attraction inside EPCOT? Not even close, friends. We’re just getting started.
Kidcot Fun Stops
How oh HOW are you going to keep your kiddos endlessly entertained as you explore ALL of the countries around the World Showcase? Guess it’s Kidcot to the rescue! Each pavilion has a Kidcot Fun Stop where kiddos can collect activity cards — specific to each pavilion’s country — that feature stickers, mini-activities, and fun facts.
But the scavenger hunts don’t stop there!
Finding Dory’s Friends
World Showcase can’t have ALL the fun! When you enter the SeaBase building (which is the same place you’ll exit to after you ride aboard The Seas with Nemo and Friends), track down the kiosk on the first floor of the building to grab a Finding Dory’s Friends interactive booklet.
This booklet contains a self-guided scavenger hunt, along with riddles, puzzles, and — best of all — STICKERS!
Complimentary Refresher Samples
When you’re strolling around The Tea Caddy shop in the UK pavilion, you MIGHT see a table off to the corner holding small plastic cups. On occasion, UK cast members will be handing out samples of some of the Twinings Tea and refreshers they sell in the store. (Which can be tricky-tricky-TRICKY because we ALWAYS wanna buy a few boxes after gulping down the sample.)
The UK pavilion is MORE than just its tea and biscuits, though. You could also learn about your family history there.
Learn About Your Family Crest
Across from The Tea Caddy is The Crown and Crest — a shop that celebrates generations of family names with their Coat of Arms merchandise. In fact, you can learn about YOUR Coat of Arms, too! Just ask the cast member behind the register for help tracking down your family’s name (or locate it in the GIANT book of names in front of the counter).
The cast member can look up your family’s name in their database to find your coat of arms. You’re more than welcome to purchase it as a plaque, a picture, or a mug — BUT even if you DON’T purchase anything, you can still see what your family crest looks like for FREE. And, no, you do NOT have to have a name from the British Isles for this to work. There are last names featured from ALL over the world kept in The Crown and Crest database.
What about the EPCOT festivals? Is there anything FREE you can pick up during those? YES.
At both EPCOT park entrances — as well as the main gift shops — you’ll be able to grab a festival passport. Why is this li’l booklet so important? It’ll not only tell you about all of the offerings the festivals have, but it’ll also include detailed checklists of the different foods that you try at each of the outdoor kitchens. You’ll ALSO be able to check out the food walk challenges on the backside of the booklets (though to participate in these, you WILL need to spend money on each of the snack items listed)
BONUS: Though you can always keep track of where you are around the parks via the virtual maps featured on the My Disney Experience App, you can still grab physical copies of the maps at the entrance of each park, too. These maps can be a fun backdrop for your framed park photos, OR can be used to make your own Disney-themed jewelry once you return home.
LOTS of love (and freebies) over in EPCOT — but it’s time for another park’s turn! How about Hollywood Studios?
A Self-Guided Tour Through Walt Disney’s History
There are extravagant VIP tours that take you behind the scenes of the Disney parks, as well as tell you about how Walt Disney himself got his start from humble beginnings. But if you don’t wanna drop the major cash on a VIP Tour experience, you can always check out the Walt Disney Presents self-guided tour.
Walt Disney Presents tells the story of Walt’s childhood, as well as his growing passion for animation AND theme park development during the course of his life through many-many sketches, models, little TV clips from his Wonderful World of Disney days… you name it.
At the end of the tour, you can also sometimes see glass-case exhibits featuring costumes that’ve appeared in upcoming (or recently released) live-action Disney films. There’s also a theatre where you can watch a short film, Walt Disney’s One Man’s Dream, which goes into even MORE depth about Walt Disney’s budding career. (HOWEVER, if there’s a new Disney film about to be released to a theatre near you, One Man’s Dream MIGHT be replaced to show an EXCLUSIVE 10-15 minute preview of the movie BEFORE it reaches the big screens. And that’s ALSO super neat-o.)
Ready to visit a new imaginary theme park? Let’s just jump right into the next point, then.
It’s the place you’ll see EVERY night. (Every night in your dreams.) (You probably only understood that reference if you’ve seen the newly-animated Mickey Mouse shorts before — specifically, the one where Mickey, Donald, and Goofy visit “Potatoland.”) And now you can visit Potatoland TOO! At the exit of the Mickey Shorts Theater in Hollywood Studios, you’ll walk through a room with a few different photo ops stations. And one of the photo setups happens to be the one, the only, POTATOLAND (with a prop potato on a stool, and all). Dreams really DO come true.
Can Potatoland beat out Magic Kingdom as the most Magical Place on Earth? Uh, no. So let’s jump over to the Magic Kingdom for a bit and check out what free offerings they’ve got in store for us.
Pulling the Sword from the Stone
You can’t pay to be one of the Chosen Ones to pull Excalibur from the Stone in Fantasyland — you just have to be WORTHY of it. Check out the Sword in the Stone close to Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel. Many people have tried to extract the weapon from its rocky domain, but only FEW have proven themselves worthy enough to succeed. (Will YOU be next?)
If the stars don’t align and you DON’T end up getting Excalibur THIS time ‘round, don’t fret. Maybe a little extra “magic” will help cheer ya up! And we know JUST where to find it — for FREE!
Pixie dust isn’t just for children — it’s for children-at-heart, too! Over at Sir Mickey’s gift shop, you’ll find fairy godmother cast members holding special magic wands. If you ask these cast members for a little dose of pixie dust, you’ll get JUST what you asked for! (Don’t forget to make a wish!)
Wanna be part of the shows here in Disney? You very well CAN be — with no prior training necessary!
Become Part of the ACT
There are TWO shows in Disney World that require audience participation to help make them work— and those are Turtle Talk over at EPCOT and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor over at Magic Kingdom. At Turtle Talk, you may be chosen to ask Crush the Turtle any question (within reason, of course) — and he’ll respond in real-time. The same goes for Monsters Inc Laugh Floor. The monsters don’t just need your laughter to power their city — they need your JOKES and ALL-AROUND participation, too.
So be ready to be part of the show at any given time! Keep in mind that not EVERYONE will be chosen to participate in these performances (since there’ll be a LOT of guests and only a limited amount of time for each act). So don’t be disappointed if you’re not chosen every single time you pop in for a show!
Some free souvenirs aren’t simply handouts. Some you have to rightfully EARN.
The Galactic Hero Sticker
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin isn’t your average rooty-tooty-point-and-shooty dark ride. It’s SERIOUS business. (You’re defending the galaxy from the evil emperor ZURG, after all.) So if you’re SKILLED enough to achieve a HIGH SCORE that puts you in the Galactic Hero category of this ride, then you JUST might earn a Galactic Hero sticker that you can show off PROUDLY for the rest of your day in Magic Kingdom.
But why stop at JUST being a Galactic Hero? Why not be a pirate marauder, too?
A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas
If ride lines are getting a little TOO long midday, you can head on over to Adventureland and sign up for A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas. This is a 5–part interactive scavenger hunt where you’ll track down treasures, evade antagonistic scallywags, and learn about secrets you never knew were lurking around this particular region of Magic Kingdom. And after you’ve completed all 5 missions, you’ll earn the GRAND PRIZE — a card signed by Captain Jack Sparrow himself. (No waiting in a meet-and-greet line necessary!)
Galactic Hero AND professional marauder?! What ELSE can we add to your resume? How about…
Honorary Jungle Cruise Skipper
Look out, kiddos! You might be fortunate enough to become an honorary skipper on your next Jungle Cruise adventure! Every now and then, your skipper will choose a lucky guest skipper to give a Jungle Cruise license to. (But, uh, don’t be stealing the steering wheel or anything — it’s all for show. However, the little card that you’ll receive DOES make for a nice free keepsake!)
Can’t leave out Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Let’s head there next! (Because they really do have some of the BEST free offerings around!)
Become a Wilderness Explorer
When your kiddo watched Pixar’s UP for the first time, they were probably inspired by Russel to join the Wilderness Explorers (while you, on the other hand, openly sobbed into your popcorn bowl). Turns out, becoming a Wilderness Explorer is pretty easy! Just head over to the Wilderness Explorers’ headquarters OR one of the Troop Leader locations in Animal Kingdom to get started on collecting badges. There are over 25 badges for kiddos to collect — but each has to be EARNED after completing a Wilderness Challenge. (Needless to say, this activity could lead to HOURS of entertainment)
If this is your first time going to Disney World ever, then we’ve GOTTA fill you in on this free activity. (And if you AREN’T new, stick with us anyways — because this next point will go hand-in-hand with a free SECRET you probably haven’t heard of before.)
Just GO to Disney Springs
The Disney Springs shopping district costs you NOTHING to go and check out, just for the heck of it. You can park in the parking garages for FREE— or grab one of the Disney buses and hitch a ride over— and just window shop the afternoon away. Sure, there are plenty of TEMPTATIONS surrounding you— like food and shops and extra activities— but even just walking around the area and taking in all the sights without spending any cash can still be well worth your time. We could find a seat next to the water and just listen to the Disney Springs techno soundtrack for the rest of the afternoon and be perfectly content.
Okay, here’s the BIG free souvenir Disney Springs is giving out that’s STILL baffling to me. But it seriously has NO strings attached. (Well, maybe just one little string…)
An ACTUAL, AUTHENTIC NECKLACE?
Whoaaa there. Do our eyes DECEIVE us? Is Disney really giving away FREE necklaces? Kind of. Let us explain. To potentially grab a free necklace, pick up a Disney Springs brochure and find the code for your FREE Luxury of Time necklace from Diamonds International. Then, pop into the store — with code in hand — for your FREE Swarovski crystal necklace (that even comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and EVERYTHING) But here’s where the “kind of” comes into play. Due to high demand, these necklaces aren’t always available. BUT it’s always worth swinging by and checking out, JUST in case they’re in stock during your visit!
Need a place to wear your new necklace to? Stick around the Springs — they’ve got some options for you.
Catch a Free Concert
When you visit Disney Springs, you’ll more than likely hear live music or see a live performance happening SOMEWHERE around the shopping district. You can catch live entertainment at the Disney Spring AdventHealth Waterside Stage (in front of the LARGE World of Disney store) and the Waterview Park Stage (near The BOATHOUSE) — but, really, musical acts pop up nearly ANYWHERE around the Springs. I’ve seen a rap battle happen outside the AMC theatre, and REALLY AWESOME violinists serenading shoppers across the way from Amorette’s.
If live entertainment IS happening while you’re busy window shopping, it shouldn’t take long for you to track it down!
There are quite a few Disney Springs restaurants that have their own Rewards Membership Programs. And when you sign UP for those memberships, you might just get some birthday goodies thrown your way! In the past, we’ve seen City Works Eatery and Pour House give out $10 birthday gifts, Earl of Sandwich give out birthday brownies, Sprinkles Cupcakes give out — well — a free cupcake (duh!), and Wetzel’s Pretzels give out — you guessed it — a birthday pretzel. So it’s always worth checking to see if your favorite Disney Springs restaurants have an app or loyalty programs to sign up for, juuuust to see if they’ve got any special discounts, promotions, or freebies to gift you.
And now for a freebie secret where you can enjoy the beeeeeest of both worlds!
Let’s say you really wanna spend the night in a room at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. BUT you also DON’T wanna spend money to stay there for an ENTIRE week. (Because, oh my gosh, it’s SO EXPENSIVE.) You can always choose to do a “split stay,” and spend the FIRST half of your vacation at one of the Disney value resorts, then wrap up with a BANG over at a deluxe resort. If you decide to go the split stay route, let the cast members in the lobby of your first resort know what’s up. That way, they can transfer your luggage over to your SECOND Disney World hotel, free of charge.
Hm? What’s that, I see? Another FREE resort offer I can take advantage of? Don’t mind if I DO!
Speaking of Disney World hotels, if you are a resort guest you can take advantage of FREE overnight parking! This used to be free years ago at all of the Disney resorts, but until early 2023, overnight parking had a set fee per vehicle per night. It’s a small change but can make a big impact on your vacation, especially if you’re staying at a Disney World hotel for a week!
This might also make you want to drive to Disney World instead of taking rideshare or a bus from the airport. Take that into account when planning your next trip!
Meet Roaming Characters
You don’t always have to pay for a park ticket to meet some of Disney’s HOTTEST characters. If you’re lucky, you just might catch Mickey or his pals hanging out around the resorts— just for funsies. These pop-up character appearances started after the 2020 closures— when Disney World wanted to make sure guests still saw characters, even if they couldn’t meet them face-to-face. And that’s when the Caravannin’ Around the World character caravans were born! If you saw one of these colorful caravans parked outside your resort, then you KNEW Mickey and the gang were poppin’ in to say “hi” for the day.
And although we don’t really SEE the colorful caravans out and about like we used to, it seems characters are continuing to show up and hang out with resort guests! Because why not?? So keep your eyes and ears open to figure out WHEN your bestest buddies are gonna be roaming the grounds of the resorts.
Did you CATCH that? There was ANOTHER free activity featured in that point we just mentioned. Have you figured it out yet? Then let’s TALK about it!
Games on the Resort Lawns
Many resorts don’t just have POOLS. They have several OTHER complimentary activities you can participate in, too. Let’s backtrack to the Riviera (since I was already using it as an example before). The courtyard has that Giant Connect Four game, corn hole toss, oversized chess, bocce ball — you name it! You can easily spend an hour or so competing with your group during these outdoor activities.
Some resorts have SPECIFIC complimentary offerings that you can keep forever and ever, amen. Such as…
Polynesian Village Leis
Aloha! When you step through the front doors of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, you JUST might be presented with a fun, floral lei you can wear for the rest of the day.
Just keeping up with those tropical vibes! Halfway there!
If you go up to a Joffrey’s kiosk and ask them for free coffee… the cast members are probably gonna give you a weird look. But you CAN make yourself a cup of complimentary Joffrey’s coffee when you stay in a Disney World hotel room. Each room will have its own little coffee maker — complete with sugar, cream, and stirrers (and, of course, Joffrey’s coffee packets). Making yourself a cup of joe before you head out to the parks can help save you money on a morning java.
Wanna catch a Disney parade without having to pay for a park ticket? The resorts have a rather UNIQUE free alternative for you to keep in mind.
Electrical Water Pageant
The Electrical Water Pageant is a 15 minute performance on the Seven Seas Lagoon — with glowing neon sea creatures and patriotism, all rolled into one nighttime parade.
You’ll be able to catch the show from the shores of any of the Magic Kingdom-area resorts.
Know what? I’m not done talking about scavenger hunts. (And apparently, neither is Disney World.)
50th Anniversary Scavenger Hunt
In honor of Disney’s 50th Anniversary celebration, the monorail resorts currently have a scavenger hunt for their guests. Unlike some Disney World scavenger hunts, this one doesn’t end with a prize. HOWEVER it will help you learn a lot of fun facts about the attractions around Magic Kingdom. (So maybe the REAL prize is the memories we made along the way.)
And speaking of learning new things…
You can learn how to draw a popular animated character from an experienced Disney artist in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, over at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, during the Animation Experience. Check the park schedules ahead of time so you know when classes happen!
You, of course, don’t HAVE to know how to draw a Disney character in order to APPRECIATE them. In fact, you can appreciate them FULLY from the comfort of your hotel!
Movie Under the Stars
Every single Disney World resort — whether it be a value, moderate, or deluxe stay — has a complimentary Movie Under the Stars that families can attend each night. The film featured changes evening-by-evening, so you never know what you’ll be watching next!
Night or day, Disney can help you find SOME way, shape, or form to just relax a little.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club, and Disney’s Polynesian Village… These are just a FEW of the resorts that have warm-and-sandy beachside lounging. Though you won’t be able to get into the water (seriously — don’t even try. It’s illegal and dangerous), you CAN always grab one of the beachside’s lounge chairs, hammocks, or bench swings and just… well… chill out for a little bit. (Or a LOT a bit. It’s YOUR vacation, after all.)
Little do you know, these beachsides provide MORE than just a midday cat nap.
Disney World is KNOWN for their over-the-top nighttime spectaculars… so how on EARTH will you be able to get away with watching them without a park ticket purchase? If you’re currently lounging on a beachside featured at one of the monorail resorts, just STAY PUT. Because once the sun sets and the Magic Kingdom show begins, you’ll be able to see the fireworks shoot off from the comfort of your lounge chair.
Mm. This is nice. Let’s keep the relaxing vibes going.
Let’s become ONE with your Disney World hotel. Several Disney World resorts offer free Sunrise Yoga classes on select days throughout the week. When you’re looking into the specific offerings for YOUR resort on the Disney World website, check the recreation section of the page and see if yoga is listed as one of the many activities.
In some cases, there may be Zumba and Pilates classes offered, too! (Oh, and did we mention mats and towels are also provided?) Classes are first come, first served, and VERY limited — so make sure you get to your yoga session with plenty of time to spare! (Which, unfortunately, means a pretty early wake up call…)
Ooh — now we’re CHEATING a bit with this next one (but we won’t tell if YOU don’t tell, k? K.)
Animal Spotting Guides
Whether you’re staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or just swinging on by for a visit (and a nice meal), you can pick up an Animal Spotting Guide at the front desk to help you identify the different animals hanging out on the resort’s personal savanna. If you’re staying in a room at Animal Kingdom Lodge, there should be a spotting guide on the table, ready and waiting for you. (But, again, if you don’t see one, you can always pick one up in the lobby). And even if you DON’T pick one of these spotting guides up, you can STILL watch the African animals out those GIANT windows of the resort.
Next up on the list — a free activity that your kiddo will talk about for AGES to come.
Pause that Marco Polo game! Disney’s got some OTHER poolside activities for you — like trivia games, Bingo, water balloon tosses… you name it! Once again, pool activities will vary between resorts AND change up daily — so check your resort’s featured schedule of activities listed inside the lobby (OR ask a cast member at the front desk about the resort’s updated itinerary).
Here’s one of the BIGGEST freebies Walt Disney World has of them ALL.
Free Entry for Kiddos
If your kiddo is under the age of three, then you do NOT have to pay for their park ticket. That’s right — toddlers and babies get to enjoy the parks for free! The same goes for all-you-care-to-enjoy restaurants around property. You don’t have to worry about paying for your tiny tyke — they can just share from anyone’s plate at the table for a whopping total of $0.
Whether you’re a kid, a teen, or an adult — EVERYONE can experience the overwhelming BOREDOM that might strike when you’re waiting in a forever-long line for a Disney ride. Which is why this NEXT point is so important.
Play Disney App
Disney World has two main apps that are totally free to download. The first is the My Disney Experience app — which helps you plan out your park day — and the second is the Play Disney app. Now, the Play Disney App has select games specific for the queue you’re waiting in. So you can answer trivia questions in line for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, help Hondo Ohnaka with missions before you ride Smuggler’s Run, and play multiplayer mini-games as you pass the time before Toy Story Mania.
But WAIT. There’s MORE.
Play Disney App (Part Two)
With the hype surrounding the latest MagicBand+ technology, you might be wanting to purchase a new band yourself, just so you can go on immersive missions around Galaxy’s Edge. But the Star Wars Data Pad — which can ALSO be found on the Play Disney App — gives you a similar opportunity to interact with different things around Galaxy’s Edge. With the data pad, you can also go on (different) missions, as well as collect cargo, translate Aurebesh, hack into droid technology, and just cause controlled chaos — in general — around the planet of Bantu.
But if you’re REALLY trying to avoid those super-duper long ride lines, then THIS free strategy might become your trusty steed.
The free version of Disney Genie can be a SUPER underrated feature (Since Disney Genie+ tends to capture the spotlight). But there’s more to the complimentary planning tool than you may realize. Much like the AccuWeather app can tell you about the hourly weather forecast, the free version of Disney Genie has a forecast, too. But THIS hourly forecast is for ride and attraction wait times throughout the day. Now, much like a REGULAR weather forecast, Disney Genie isn’t always 100% accurate — BUT it does give you a better idea about when rides will be at their lowest and highest wait times throughout the day. And if this is your first ever Disney trip — or even if you just want to add a little more VARIETY to your upcoming vacation — Disney Genie can ALSO create an itinerary for you and your group, featuring your dining, ride, and experience preferences.
Now, even though this service CAN be super useful, it’s important to still do your research ahead of time and not rely solely on Disney Genie to guide you through each and every park. Because SOMETIMES those choices it adds to the mix are rather… interesting. (No, Disney Genie, I do NOT want to dine at Coral Reef in EPCOT. Stop adding that to my PLANS.)
Ooh — okay — here’s kinda a controversial point! (Let’s see if YOU find it worth the $0 price tag.)
Use Single Rider
Paying for Lightning Lanes through Disney Genie + can add up QUICKLY. If ONLY there were other options out there we could rely on instead! Admittedly, I’m hyping up those Single Rider lines a little too much. After all, they’re limited to only a handful of rides, AND sometimes they can still get rather lengthy. HOWEVER, if you’re at a ride that has that single rider option available, and the queue is looking rather intense, there’s a good chance that you can significantly lower your wait time by choosing the single rider line over the standard line. And it won’t cost you a cent extra.
BONUS: Rider Swap is also a FREE service that you can use to help everybody in your group ride ALL the thrill rides in ALL the parks — even if you’ve got a tiny tyke in your party that someone’s gonna have to look after while everyone else rides the first time ‘round. Just ask a cast member at the front of the attraction about Rider Swap BEFORE you jump in line, and they’ll get you all set up!
Making memories doesn’t always have to be EXPENSIVE. Sometimes, a captured moment can be truly… priceless. (Bleh. That sounded cheesy. Lemme explain that in more human terms.)
Cast Member Photos
If you want a professional photo from your Disney World trip, your best bet is to purchase the PhotoPass Memory Maker add-on (OR to purchase single copies of your favorite PhotoPass photos). HOWEVER, if you just want a PhotoPass photographer to take your picture for FREE, you can ask them to take a picture of your group on your phone. And it’ll cost ya nothing! There may be some cases where PhotoPass photographers won’t be able to do this for you, so be aware that these guidelines could vary depending on the PhotoPass location.
Cast members really DO make a park day 1000 times better. And, if you’re lucky, they may even put on a free show for you when you LEAST expect it.
Catch an Art Show
There are SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS you can watch talented artists design things around Disney World. You can see glassblowing demonstrations at the Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers shop (in both Disney Springs AND Magic Kingdom), live sketch artists at the Art of Disney store in Disney Springs, painting performances during EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts… and that’s only a FEW of the MANY ways you can be “wow”ed by the endless creativity from cast members. (Seriously, it’s like MAGIC.) And while SOME cast members are hired to keep the parks look spick-and-span, they ALSO like to “WOW” us with art, too. Water art, to be exact! We’ve seen characters like Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale, and Goofy pop up on the Disney World grounds — just out of the blue! But they don’t last long! (This IS water art, after all.) So keep your eyes peeled for the impromptu masterpieces, compliments of Disney’s talented cast members!
Time for a freebie CLASSIC! (Truly — have you even BEEN to Disney World if you haven’t gotten one of THESE before?)
Birthdays. Anniversaries. Honeymoons. Graduations. ANY special event that you might be traveling for can be emphasized with a good ol’ Disney celebration button for you to display proudly on your clothes all day long. Buttons can be picked up from the front lobby of your resort, or at various Disney theme park locations (like guests relations OR select merchandise shops). Now make sure to keep that button fastened to ya ALL DAY LONG. Because you NEVER know when a little extra “pixie dust” will be thrown your way. (And by “pixie dust” we mean “potentially free desserts at table service restaurants.”)
WHEW. All that walking around sure makes you break a sweat. If ONLY there was a way to cool down that didn’t cost anything extra… Oh WAIT. There IS.
Let’s say you wanna cool down, but you don’t really wanna commit to a full-on pool day. Disney World has SO MANY splash pads scattered around the property!
You can find splash pads outside Earl of Sandwich at Disney Springs, or at the Casey Jr. Splash N Soak Station at Magic Kingdom, or even out on the grounds of SEVERAL Disney World resorts. Splash pads are abundant here — so jump on in, the water’s fine!
This might shock you, but Disney World isn’t always SCORCHING hot. So what free experiences can you expect when the temperatures start to cool?
Select Holiday Activities
You might be excited that the Magic Kingdom holiday parties are back in FULL SWING, but you don’t HAVE to pay for this after-hours event to still get in the holly-jolly spirit on Disney property. There are SO many FREE Christmas activities to explore around the holidays— like admiring the GIANT gingerbread house inside the Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort lobby and taking a walk around the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll.
And if you’re planning on being in EPCOT around the holiday season, you can also experience the Festival of the Holidays — which won’t cost you a full extra park ticket on top of what you’re already paying! You’ll be able to listen to different holiday storytellers describe festive traditions from around the globe, as well as see the Candlelight Processional over at the American Adventure Pavilion — which features a celebrity narrator AND a full-on choir and orchestra to pull the whole thing off. (And BOY do they pull it off.)
Sometimes, the free things at Disney World might actually help you MAKE money.
If you’re someone who works remotely (or if you don’t wanna keep using your data on vacation), there are several places around Disney World with access to free Wi-Fi — and that includes ALL of the resorts, each of the parks, the Disney Springs shopping district, and EVEN the Disney buses. So you don’t have to worry about staying disconnected or not being able to send out an important work email while you’re on vacation (though, it must be said, some WiFi signals around property are WAY stronger than others. We always seem to find better Disney Springs WiFi near Amorette’s Patisserie area)
Alright. That’s enough work for ONE vacation. Let’s get back to the FUN.
Wait, we said FUN! Is Disney transportation REALLY all that fun?! It CAN be! The Disney Skyliner, Boats, and Monorail aren’t just a nifty way to get around the parks — BUT they can be a nice, easy-going ride with GREAT scenic views. And as far as the Disney buses are concerned? Listen. we know they can be a pain, but we’re still glad that they’re an option to get us from Point A to Point B. (And a FREE option, at that.)
And THAT’S the perfect segue into our NEXT point…
Cast members around Disney’s complimentary transportation services — such as the Monorail, Skyliner, buses, and boats — might have collectible transportation trading cards for you to pick up. All you’ve gotta do is ask about them! (Let’s see if YOU can collect them all!)
There are SOME Disney World collections that are downright IMPOSSIBLE to collect all of. Including…
Tracking Down Hidden Mickeys!
Of COURSE you’ve gotta try out THIS resort-wide activity at least ONCE! It’s, like, the Disney LAW! Disney Imagineers have created the biggest scavenger hunt by adding secret Mickey shapes to the decor, architecture, and greenery around the entire Disney World property. Some are more obvious, and some require you to have a pretty keen eye for detail. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge even has a whole scavenger hunt dedicated to tracking down some of their most POPULAR (and sneaky) Hidden Mickeys around the resort.
Ask a cast member in the lobby for a Hidden Mickey guide — then get to searching! Be sure to keep track of how many YOU find on your trip — and let us know which hidden Mickey turns out to be your all-time favorite!
Don’t roll your eyes at this next point. It just might be the most important freebie YET.
Do NOT take Disney’s free water for granted. Trust me, you’re gonna NEED it. If you purchase a bottle of water for each of your meals, you’re looking at spending an extra $4-$5 for EACH drink. Every. Single. Day. HOWEVER, many quick services and sit-down restaurants offer free water cups upon request. And if you bring a refillable water bottle with you, there are also designated water refill stations located in several areas around the parks.
Yay yay YAY! Now you’ve got FIFTY FREE Disney World things that you can tell your friends and family about! (And they’re gonna LOVE you for it.)
Drop us your email at Disneyfoodblog.com/50FREETHINGS for this entire list to make your life 10-times easier.
So as we head into a new year, there are plenty of new opportunities to cut costs and save money with these FREEBIES! As always, we’ll continue to share new ideas for ways to save on your future Disney World trips!
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WE KNOW DISNEY.
YOU CAN, TOO.
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How are you planning to save money on your 2023 Disney trips? Let us know in the comments!
I was asking the bus driver on my last trip if they had transportation cards and they said no but gave me a wooden bus token. That was super cool. (the back (or front) says Disney Transport, and the opposite side has a tire design with a mickey in the middle)
Don Andrews says
None of those are free after you have spent $$$$$ going to the Parks.