Even the biggest Walt Disney World fans will admit that it can be hard not to spend money at the most magical place on earth! Meals, park tickets, souvenirs and all those extras can certainly add up, much more quickly than you anticipate. Which is why we love to seek out free things at WDW! And there are quite a few. You just have to know where to look!
1. Go on Safari
One of our favorite freebies at Walt Disney World occurs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, where you can go on safari without paying a cent – even if you’re not staying at the resort. There are several viewing platforms from which you can check out hundreds of animals on the savanna – ask a concierge for a viewing guide for an even better safari experience. You can even go at night and use the night vision goggles to check out your favorite animals!
2. Lots of LEGOs
Head to the LEGO Imagination Center in Disney Springs to see some truly inspirational, even gargantuan LEGO displays. There are thousands of LEGO blocks of every shapes, size and color here, and you could spend all day building your own creations here, for free! Check the schedule for even more fun – there’s a Monthly Mini Model Build for kids, who can take home a free LEGO model.
3. Movies Under the Stars
There are a ton of great freebies to be enjoyed if you’re staying at a Disney resort – or even if you’re resort hopping! Every single Walt Disney World resort offers free movies under stars, usually offered nightly. So after a long day in the parks, you and your family can sit back and watch your favorite Disney flicks on a massive screen under the stars! At most resorts, the screen is by the main pool, so you can even watch as you enjoy an evening swim. Many resorts also offer evening campfires and marshmallow roasting – also completely free.
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4. Ice Water
Let’s face it, it can get pretty hot racing through a Walt Disney World park on a sunny summer day in Orlando, so it’s important to stay hydrated. But a lot of guests aren’t aware that there’s an alternative to buying expensive bottled water or filling up at the lukewarm, not-so-great-tasting water at park fountains. You can stop at any quick service restaurant that services fountain drinks and ask for ice water – for free! You don’t even have to be buying food there.
5. Art Class
One little-known freebie that is perfect for any budding Disney animators in your party is the free daily art classes offered by Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. You don’t have to be staying at the resort to join in – just show up and enjoy the artistic magic of your instructor! You’ll learn how to draw a Disney character, and be able to take home your drawing.
6. Hop on a Boat
Why take a bus when you can take a boat ride? Walt Disney World offers several different water taxi lines, and they’re all completely free – whether you’re staying on property or not. If you wanted, you could cruise around WDW all day long, enjoying the breeze and the lovely water views. You can cruise around Crescent Lake, visiting Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the Boardwalk resorts, or check out the boat line that connects Magic Kingdom to the surrounding resorts. There’s also a water taxi that meanders along the Sassagoula River, between Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts to Disney Springs.
7. Ride the Skyliner
The Disney Skyliner is the newest form of Disney transportation. It is a gondola-style system which feels more like a ride than a form of transportation! The Skyliner takes guests to and from several areas including Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation Resort, and Pop Century Resort. Pick up a ride at one of the stations and enjoy the ride along with amazing views of the Walt Disney World property.
8. Kidcot Treasures
Think Walt Disney World’s Epcot is just for adults? Think again! Your little ones can discover the world through artistic Kidcot stops offered at every international pavilion, for free. They can draw and color, collect activity cards, talk to cast members from all over the world, create their own keepsake and even take home a souvenir from each country.
9. PhotoPass Photographer Shots
You probably already know that you can have your photo taken at the most iconic spots all around Walt Disney World by hundreds of Disney PhotoPass Photographers. But even if you decide not to purchase Memory Maker or your individual photos, you can still end up with the perfect shot – for free! Simply hand your camera or phone to the PhotoPass Photographer, who will be more than happy to snap a shot with your own device, whether or not you want one taken with theirs!
10. Free Dessert
If you’re celebrating a special event at Walt Disney World, make sure this is noted when you make your bookings online and pick up a special occasion button when you check into your resort. The button lets cast members know you’re celebrating, whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or other milestone event, and you’ll benefit from lots of extra magic! For one, you’ll likely receive a complimentary dessert at almost every sit-down restaurant. Make sure you save room!