The words “free” and “Walt Disney World” aren’t seen together all that often, and many people assume that the idea is an oxymoron. That’s not the case at all. There are freebies to be found, you just need to know where to look. Here are 18 of our favorites. They are in no particular order. Feel “free” to leave your favorite “freebie” in the comments below, pun intended.
You need to stay hydrated if you plan to spend an entire day under the Florida sun. You can buy bottled water in the theme parks, but you don’t have to. Counter service restaurants will give you ice water for free, all you have to do is ask.
The Walt Disney World resorts have great playgrounds, and there is no charge to use them. Let your kids blow off some steam while you relax for a little while.
16. Parking (sort of)
There is a fee to park at the theme parks. That is waived if you’re staying at a Walt Disney World resort, or if you are an Annual Passholder. If you’re headed to either Disney Springs or one of the two Disney Water Parks, you won’t have to pay for parking. There is however a new addition from Disney with a fee for overnight parking at Walt Disney World Resorts.
15. Disney Springs
You need a ticket to get into the theme parks and the water parks. Disney Springs, on the other hand, is free. Of course there is plenty that you can pay for once you get there, but there is no admission charge and parking is free. You can browse the stores and enjoy the outdoor entertainment without paying a penny.
Who doesn’t love a good movie? Many of the Walt Disney World resorts offer free popular movies under the stars. Often there is a campfire before the movie, which is also free. You don’t need to be staying at a resort to watch the movie. If you want to make an evening of it, head to The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort for Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long. The movie is preceded by a sing along featuring the mischievous chipmunks. Movies and campfires are held weather permitting.
13. Chocolate Square
While at Disney Springs, head to Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. When you walk in the store there will be someone there, handing out chocolate squares. Often it’s the featured flavor.
12. Resort Hopping
Each Walt Disney World resort is unique and amazing. You are more than welcome to check them out. Resort hopping is free. If you’re visiting during the Christmas season you must make plans to visit the deluxe resorts. The decorations would put even Scrooge McDuck into the holiday spirit.
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11. Electrical Water Pageant
The Electrical Water Pageant is a Walt Disney World original, dating back to October 25, 1971. This floating parade is free to enjoy. It takes place several times most nights, weather permitting, in the waters of Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon.
10. Fitness Trails
If you love to start your day with a good run, you’ll be happy to know that you can continue to do just that while at Walt Disney World. There are miles of trails to be found in all the resort areas. The trails are great for walking as well.
9. BoardWalk Street Performers
If you want to watch free live entertainment, head to Disney’s BoardWalk. Each evening from 7:00-10:00, live street performers show off their skills. There are jugglers, magicians, and more. There are three performers each night. If the weather is bad, you can catch them inside.
8. YeHaa Bob Jackson
Another free live performance takes place over at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. Head to the River Roost Lounge and experience YeHaa Bob Jackson’s unique music and comedy act. The show is family friendly, even though it takes place in a lounge. Check ahead of time to see the schedule, because YeHaa Bob’s show is not held every night.
7. Tri-Circle-D Ranch
If you would like to see a few Walt Disney World horses up close, head to Tri-Circle-D Ranch at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. You might be able to see the white ponies that pull Cinderella’s carriage, or some of the Main Street, U.S.A. horses. Watch the blacksmiths and learn how the animals are taken care of. Riding horses and carriage rides cost money, but looking and wandering around the ranch are free.
6. Sample Ice Cream
Ample Hills Creamery is located on Disney’s BoardWalk. It’s the first Ample Hills Creamery outside of New York City, and the ice cream is phenomenal. If you can’t decide which fun flavor you want, ask for samples. The Cast Members will let you try as many flavors as you want without charge. You probably will end up buying something.
5. Live Music
Even if you aren’t staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, you will want to stop by. It is amazing! While there, enjoy the live music. You can listen to Disney classics and show tunes on the piano in the late afternoon, and in the evening it’s jazz from the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra. The music is so relaxing that you might forget that the world’s most popular theme park is a short boat ride away.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will whisk you away to the South Pacific. Leis for the whole family will help to increase that illusion. Ask for free leis at the front desk if you weren’t already given them.
Did you know that you can enjoy Walt Disney World fireworks without entering a theme park? To experience Happily Ever After, head to Disney’s Contemporary Resort. There’s an observation deck where you can see and hear the show. If it’s Epcot Forever that you want to catch, you can see the fireworks portion from the bridge near Disney’s BoardWalk. The fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can be seen those from Disney’s BoardWalk as well.
2. See the Animals
Over 200 animals call Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge home, and you can observe them without cost. You might spot giraffes, zebras, antelopes, and many other species on the savanna. An animal specialist could be on hand to answer your questions. Stop by at night and ask about viewing with night vision goggles.
1. Celebration Buttons
There is always a reason to celebrate if you’re at Walt Disney World! Celebration buttons are free and can help you to show off whatever your occasion is. The buttons include birthday, first visit, and the generic “I’m celebrating”. Stop by guest services or a store and ask for free buttons for you and your whole family.