If you’ve never been to Walt Disney World® in Orlando, Florida, whoa boy, you’re missing out big time. But, that’s coming from a die hard fan of “the Parks”, though even this die hard fan can admit that with sky-rocketing ticket prices in the last few years, the most “magical place on earth” is being pushed out of reach for the average Canadian family. When you factor in travel tickets, lodging, park tickets, food, daily allowance & emergency funds, you’re budgeting for at least a few thousand dollars for a family of four.
In February, we’ll be releasing an insiders guide to save you the most money possible if a Disney® vacation is in your near future, so make sure to check back! For now however, we’ll get your brain juices flowing with activities to keep you and your family (or friends) busy.
Though park passes let you enjoy every attraction (show and ride) for free, some families want to get the whole Disney® experience without spending money on a ticket (single or Park Hopper®) to every single park.
After combining our past experiences with the collective genius of Disney® fans everywhere on the internet, we present to you the Top FREE things to do in Walt Disney World®.
1. We weren’t being cute when we said you’ll get covered in pixie dust. Get your hair topped with authentic pixie dust if you stop into either the Castle Couture shop in Fantasy-land or the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom®. The pixie dust is harmless confetti & your little pixie will be glowing all day from this magical experience.
2. Visit the oldest and most historically significant resort hotels on Disney property! Take the monorail from any of them (or the Magic Kingdom®) and tour the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary or Fort Wilderness Resorts.
3. Take a seat by any of the previously mentioned resorts in the evening to watch the of The Electric Water Pageant, a spectacular water show that comes on every night over the lagoon!
4. If you’re lucky enough to have a resort by any of the parks, you can catch any of the nightly fireworks shows from your room or somewhere else on your resorts property.
5. Cut down park time and utilize your hotel’s amenities. Every hotel has multiple and beautiful pool areas, whether it’s the All Star Value resorts, or the 5 star hotels. This is the perfect thing to do if you need downtime. Your kids will gleefully keep busy in the pool all day while you get some much needed R&R. Some families will cut one or more days out of their entire vacation time from visiting parks to just relax. The older your kids are, the more they might also appreciate just lounging by the pool.
6. Check out the Fort Wilderness Campground for a free sing along with marshmallow roasting with lovable chipmunks Chip and Dale.
7. If you’re in Epcot®, make sure to map out the “Fun Stops”, where kids can make free crafts to bring home with them as a souvenir!
8. Hot day? Cool off for free at the free splash pad zone in Downtown Disney®.
9. Use the monorail as much as you can. It’s essentially a free guided tour every time (and it’s nice to sit in air conditioning when it’s 90F outside).
10. Did you know kids under 3 can eat for free at restaurants that are buffet style?
11. Speaking of food, get free samples of candy, candy apples and fudge at the Main Street Confectionery on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom®.
12. Visit the Disney’s Boardwalk and check out the free fun house mirrors!
13. While in Epcot®, make sure to check out “Club Cool” right before you head into the World Showcase. They have free soda tastings from around the world – and it’s unlimited. Beware, some are pretty funky!
14. Do a family scavenger hunt and gather all of the park maps and tip brochures. They make perfect additions for your vacation scrapbook!
15. Are you in Epcot®? Take the “Behind the Seeds” tour and you’ll be offered a sample of free veggies that were grow in The Land pavilion.
16. This one isn’t TOTALLY free, but almost. Use the old pressed coin machines throughout at all the parks. It’s .50 cents but you get unique souvenirs from each park!
17. Button swapping (pin trading) is a free activity (other than buying the pins) so get your bartering game face ready! Cast members and other guests are always looking to swap their collections.
18. Though the tour itself won’t be free, you’ll always get a free gift at the end of any tour you take through out the “World”.
19. Want to learn how to hula? No need to go to Hawaii. Visit the Polynesian resort and get a free lesson!
20. Are you in love with a particular restaurant in the parks or anywhere on Disney® territory? Ask the restaurant for the recipe! You’d be surprised how often this happens, so much so that some restaurants already have pre-printed cards of their most requested recipe ready to go.
21. While visiting Downtown Disney®, make sure to check out the free Lego® zone.
22. All resort campfires are free to use.
23. Many resorts have poolside games, which vary from trivia events, rubber duckie races and more & there are often prizes!
24. Did you know if your room attendant leaves you a towel animal on your bed, you can keep it?!
25. Visit the Animal Kingdom Lodge hotel to check out all of the animal exhibitions for free.
26. There are free colouring sheets, puzzles, mind games and other tactile craft things EVERYWHERE. Keep your eyes open.
27. Are you visiting or a special occasion (or perhaps many at once?) Cast members give out special occasion buttons given for a myriad of events. Make sure to ask when you see them!
28. Want to see a fire eater? You can! Head to Disney’s Boardwalk for a free demonstration.
29. While there, also check out the juggling acts. Super cool.
30. Learn a variety of native chants and dances from such tropical locales at the Polynesian as well.
31. Many of the resorts have free movie nights in the evenings. Check your hotels event listings when you check in.
32. Love “Hidden Mickey’s”? Make a scavenger hunt wherever you are! They are ALL over the resorts and parks.
33. Tour any of the 25+ Disney hotels. Each is completely unique & caters to different tastes! You never know, you might find where you stay next time.
Did we miss any? Let us know your top FREE activity to do while you’re in Disney®!