Whether you have park tickets or not, there are countless free things to do at Walt Disney World. When visiting Central Florida, you can still have the magical Disney experience even if you’re not a Disney resort guest. Here are several fun things you can do at the parks and beyond that won’t break the bank.
I am asked all the time about budget options and money saving tips for trips to Disney World. I thought I would give you a rundown on some of the best options.
Nothing is more welcomed on a hot, Florida afternoon than an ice-cold beverage. At Club Cool in EPCOT’s Future World, you’ll find the Coca-Cola beverage station. Take your taste buds on a trip around the world sampling beverages from various countries. Some of the free offerings include flavors like Fanta Pineapple from Greece, Inca Cola (the only caffeinated option) from Peru. Club Cool also sells an extensive collection of Coca-Cola merchandise and is an air-conditioned spot to catch your breath and get refreshed.
A fun free thing to do when visiting Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland is the Treasure of the Seven Seas: A Pirates Adventure experience. Visitors help Captain Jack Sparrow fight off enemies like the Royal Navy in this interactive scavenger hunt adventure. To get started, just head to The Crow’s Nest and pick up your talisman. This will help you read the secret treasure map. During the game, you’ll navigate the map through the park and complete missions periodically throughout your day’s visit to the Magic Kingdom.
While there is no fee to participate, you will need a Magic Kingdom park ticket for the day you choose to play. After successful completion of each raid, players receive a treasure finder card; collect all five to receive a final signed card from Capt. Jack Sparrow. This is a fun way to add some magic to your Disney vacation, especially when kids need some downtime or a break in the day.
Also included in the cost of your daily park ticket, is access to another interactive game at the Magic Kingdom. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom lets guests become Merlin’s apprentice using magic spells from playing cards you pick up at the Main Street Fire House. Using a game map, locate the portals hidden in each of the lands. Guests stand on the portal while holding a particular card up to the game area to defeat Disney villains.
When attending a hard-ticket event like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, be sure to collect the commemorative Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom card for those events.
While there is a small cost associated with attending a sing-along campfire at Walt Disney World, attending the event is a fun and free event for all Disney Resort guests. Fort Wilderness offers a sing-along campfire every night at 7 p.m. in the Fall and Winter. Guests can purchase food like pizza and hot dogs or S’mores kits. Interact with Chip and Dale, get autographs signed and watch an outdoor movie. Beach Club Resort at the Grand Floridian as well as Port-Orleans Riverside both offer similar sing-along campfire events on the beach or at the fishing hole, respectively.
Disney Visa cardholders have access to various promotions and specials throughout the year. The customizable credit card also offers cardholders access to a rewards system and discounts on experiences within the parks. Disney Visa users can also receive a free character meet and greet at both Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. Located at EPCOT’s Innoventions hall, guests can meet and have a special photo taken with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. At Hollywood Studios, cardholders can meet Kylo Ren and Chewbacca. Free 5″x7″ photos of the encounter will be uploaded to the cardholders PhotoPass.
In the Boardwalk and Yacht and Beach Club area you can have a great view of the Epcot fireworks and you don’t even need a park ticket!
While not directly located at Walt Disney World, The Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve is a fun, free thing to do when visiting the area. A forty-minute drive from Lake Buena Vista, the nature preserve is home to native plants and animals. Consider hiking the 2.5-mile nature trail and get away from the hustle and bustle of the theme park.
Walt Disney World is made up of several man-made lakes dotted throughout the property where guests can take advantage of free boat transportation. This is a fun, free thing to do when visiting Disney if you’re looking to get off your feet for a while, explore various parts of Walt Disney World or just get your bearings on arrival day. If you’re shopping at Disney Springs (which is accessible by bus from most resorts) consider a ferry ride to Port Orleans or Old Key West. This route meanders along the Sassagoula River and is particularly enjoyable after a long afternoon of shopping. Crescent Lake transverses EPCOT, the Disney Boardwalk as well as Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Swan and Dolphin Hotels.
One of the most memorable free things to do at Walt Disney World is the daily art class at The Art of Animation Resort. What could be better than an art lesson from an actual Disney animator? Each day complimentary drawing lessons are held at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. The activity is available to all Disney guests, not just the ones staying at Art of Animation making this class a great way to incorporate a fun Disney experience and come home with a hand-made souvenir.
Disney World has so much to offer. You won’t run out of things to do.
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