What are the things to do at Disney World for free?
We get asked this question quite often from our associates. It’s a straight forward question with a deep routed reason. Ticket prices have just gone up at Walt Disney World as they have at Universal. So that expensive vacation has just got more expensive. So again, what can you do for free? Before we bite in the to question we’ll talk about the fact there are a million and one lists sharing this sort of stuff, but ours is different. We will NOT talk about the free napkin souvenirs or a free ride of the monorail. We’re talking real activities with a reason to spend your hard earned time.
10. Camp Fire Stories
Campfires offer a relaxing wind down at the end of a busy day at the resort. There are many locations at Walt Disney World that feature campfires.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
At each resort cast members are armed with complimentary marshmallows and toasting sticks. So you and your family can cosy up in front of the glowing embers and create your molten sweet snack to chomp on for FREE. Each resort also offers a different activity to go along side. After the fires are roaring the entertainment can begin. Guests can join in with sing-a-longs, story telling or movies under the stars. It is recommended to bring a blanket to sit on to make sure you get comfortable.
9. FREE Guided Tours Around The Resorts.
One of the many things we love about Disney World is the additional tours you can partake in. While many in park tours can set you back a few dollars, there are resort based tours for FREE. While you may have to book to be included in the tour, the experience is complimentary.
- BoardWalk Ballyhoo – Cruise down and around Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, and learn all about the classic era of Atlantic City from which it came. Starting off in the glory days of radio, guests are walked through the resort examining all the hidden details of the Boardwalk. Find out what inspired Disney’s imagineers to create this masterpiece. The tour is usually Wednesday to Saturday starting at the Belle Vue Lounge. Guests should arrive by 8:45am for a 9:00am start. Tour Lasts 45 Minutes.
- Wonders of the Lodge – Discover the back story and artefacts hidden around Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Inspired by the National Parks and Rail Road hotels the Wilderness Lodges has many stories to tell. Including the hidden jewell in the crown, The Carolwood Pacific Room. With in the room are 2 carriages that used to be part of Walt Disney’s own miniature rail road (The Carolwood Pacific).
- The tour is usually Wednesday to Saturday starting at the Large Lobby Fireplace. Guests should arrive by 8:45am for a 9:00am start. Tour Lasts 1 hour.
- Sanaa Cultural Tour – Visit the lone table service restaurant at Kidani Village and learn about it’s history and back story. Learn a little swahili and talk to one of the chefs as they demonstrate the use of a tandoor oven. The tour is held daily starting at the Sanaa Podium. Tour starts at 4.00pm. Tour Lasts 20 Minutes.
- The Culinary Tour at Animal Kingdom Lodge – Guests are shown african artefacts and influences throughout Boma and Jiko. During the tour you will get to try some of the food on offer. Usually ending up with a Zebra Dome from Boma. Many say these are the ultimate in desert chocolate pieces! Jiko is a more exclusive dining location and provides a more upmarket offering. In Jiko the tour usually includes a sampling for breads and hummus. The tour is held daily starting at the Boma Podium. Tour starts at 4.00pm. Tour Lasts 30 Minutes.
There are a few other tours that are FREE, but you need a park admission ticket. The resort tours are open to anyone and totally free, you don;t need to be staying in that resort to join in.
8. Explore the Ranch.
At the Tri-Circle-D Ranch to through the stables to see Cinderella’s Ponies and the majestic horses of Main Street, U.S.A.. Watch the blacksmith make horseshoes and put them to horses’ hooves. Discover the Dragon Calliope—the horse-drawn musical instrument that Walt Disney purchased for the Mickey Mouse Club Circus Parade at Disneyland Park in the 1950s. There are many differnt variety of breeds that live at Tri-Circle-D Ranch, including Appaloosas, Arabians, Belgians, Clydesdales, paint horses, Percherons, quarter horses, and Shetland ponies.
7. Collect Transportation Trading Cards.
One of the lesser known collectable are the transportation cards. We stumbled upon on them by accident one year. The Cast member that was monitoring bus activity handed use 4 different ones. Admittedly it is more suited to bus spotters and people with a fascination of transport, but adds a nice FREE souvenir.
6. Grab Some Cracker Jacks.
Arrive at the Magic Kingdom Early and get to Casey’s Corner before it’s opening time. When the time is right, the best Hot Dog bar in Walt Disney World starts serving guests with a flare. Guests are treated with a version of “Take me out to the Ball Game”, closely followed up by being ambushed with bags of Cracker Jacks. These are free and very tasty. Something for nothing and it’s not often you can say that.
5. Get Free Legos.
Visit your local LEGO Store on the first Tuesday of every month and you can learn how to build a cool mini model, and take it home – for free! Quantities are limited and offer is good while supplies last only. A new model will be available every month and will be specially themed to that month – ask a Store Associate for details. These models are not for sale and cannot be purchased. One free per child. This event is open to children ages 6 to 14 only.
4. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
As you enter the Magic Kingdom and race through for your first ride… Bah! you’ve missed it. Situated in the Firehouse at the beginning of Main Street is the recruitment station. Merlin is looking for fellow sorcerers to help protect the kingdom.
This is a FREE trading card / video style game. Each park guest that has used a ticket to get in can play. Simply visit the station show you park ticket and you will receive 1 pack of cards per day, 1 key card for the game, a map and a quick guide on how to play. You will be shown a location to travel to where you have to use your cards to defeat Disney Villains via video screen secretly hidden through out the park.
As it is 1 pack of cards per guest, use all the guests tickets in your party (every time you visit the park)
3. Get a FREE Drink.
There is unlimited refreshments at the water fountains through out the park. Some are warmer than others, but you will find a cold one soon. Next!
Only joking, visit Club Cool, Epcot for unlimited FREE soda. Technically there is a limit and that is choice. Club Cool is sponsored by Coca Cola and this is their showcase for their products around the world. Different cultures like different tastes and drinks and here you can sample them.
- Italy – Beverly – Beverly, with its bitter flavor, is a popular non-alcoholic aperitif that is a traditional part of Italian Refreshment culture
- Greece – Fanta Pineapple – Fanta has 90 distinct flavors around the world. This one caffeine-free and features a sweet pineapple taste.
- Thailand – Fanta Melon Frosty – Fanta is the number one soft drink in Thailand. With a fun Melon flavor.
- Japan – Vegitabeta – Originally launched in 1992, Vegibeta is a non carbonated beverage with apricot and passion fruit flavors.
- South Africa – Bibo – fruit flavored lime juice featuring characters like Johnny Orange, Taka Strawberry and Paolo Peach.
- Zimbabwe – Sparberry – raspberry flavored cream soda, launched in Africa in 1955.
- Peru – Inca Kola – The taste of Peru has an unusually sweet fruity flavor some say is liquid bubblegum.
- Brazil – Guarana Kuat – guarana berry flavored soft drink, launched in Brazil in 1997.
These drinks are available at self serve fountains, via a small paper cup. There is no limit on it’s consumption. One of the best tricks / experiences for first timers is their first drink of Beverly. It has a tonic like taste that is similar to licking aftershave!
2. Experience Night Vision at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
During selected times on a night time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge guests are invited to experience the savanna view with Night Vision. See what the animal s get up to when they think they can’t be seen. For the latest information on this activity check the activities board by the hotel entrance lobby.
1. Yeeha Bob Jackson.
Without Question, Yehaa Bob Jackson is our favourite thing to do! OK Entertainment to watch. Bob is based at the River Roost Lounge at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside. His enthusiastic piano playing, singing and unique style make this a must. As it is in a bar it would only be polite to purchase drinks or snacks, but it is not forced upon you. Also make sure you get here early to grab a seat. The Venue fills up quickly.
The official Disney website suggest that Bob performs for 30 minutes with 30 minutes break and repeat from 8:30pm. Our experience seems to be that once Bob gets started there is hardly any chance of him finishing till Midnight! It is one of those magical finds tucked away in Walt Disney World.
What is your favorite FREE activity to do at Walt Disney World? Have you tried any of the above? Which would you recommend to others?