Free Things to do at Disney World


Walt Disney World vacation is one of the most expensive trips a family can take. But did you know there are lots of free things to do at Disney World without going to the parks? Here is a list of 30+ things that you can do for Free without stepping into the Disney Parks.

  1. A lot of people do not know that Disney World has a BoardWalk. In the evenings, you can often see street performers on the BoardWalk like jugglers, comedians, fire-eaters, etc. for free.
  1. You can take the Friendship boat on the BoardWalk. The Friendship boat is a slow boat that goes to the World Showcase Plaza Morocco and then to Germany.
  1. You can stop by Atlantic Dance Hall on the BoardWalk. It has dancing to DJ-spun Top 40. Cover is free but you have to be 21 and over.
  1. Go to the Grand Floridian to see Cinderella and Prince Charming promenade at 3:30pm through the lobby. You will not be able to do a meet and greet with them put you can take picture of them but not with them.
  1. You can enjoy live music the band and the pianist at the Grand Floridian lobby.

  1. Walk the grounds of the Grand Floridian to the Wedding Pavilion. Check out the beautiful gardens and views. If there isn’t a wedding going on, take a peek at the beautiful pavilion.
  1. Take a ride on the Monorail which circles the Contemporary, Transportation and Ticket Center (at this stop, you can switch to go to Epcot), Polynesian and Grand Floridian.
  1. You can collect transportation cards when you ride the monorail, boat or Disney bus. Ask a Cast Member who operates the bus, boat or monorail for the cards. Most of them do have them but you might encounter some that just ran out.
  1. Enjoy a relaxing boat ride that looks from the Magic Kingdom to Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Ft. Wilderness resort or the boat from the Magic Kingdom to Polynesian and Grand Floridian.

  1. You can enjoy the boat ride down the Sassagoula River from Port Orleans to Disney Springs.
  1. Stop by Ft. Wilderness for Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long. Bring your own marshmallow to roast them on the campfire. You can sign along with a guitar playing cowboy. Chip and Dale will pose for pictures and sign autographs. There are other campfire offer but without a character meet and greet. You can stop by Port Orleans Riverside to the Campfire on de’ Bayou with stories and sing along at the Ol’ Man Island Fishin’ Hole. Check for times because this one is seasonal. Beach Club and Grand Floridian Resort also have campfire sing along on the beach. Please note, if there is a drought, Disney is likely to cancel any fire reality activities at the resorts like campfires.
  1. Enjoy “under the stars” Disney movies at your resort every day usually by the main pool after dusk.
  1. Visit the Firerock Geyser at the Wilderness Lodge. This is a mini geyser inspired by Old Faithful. You can catch the pouts of water on the hour from 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM. The geyser is located at the back of the property a little bit past the pool.
  1. Go on a wilderness walk through the woods from Wilderness Lodge to Ft. Wilderness during the day.
  2. Want to see some animals? Stop by the Ft. Wilderness petting zoo.

  1. Have fun and learn how to do the Hustle at the Pop Century Resort lobby. You will have to check for the times.
  1. Visit the Polynesian Village lobby and learn to hula.

  1. Learn how to draw at the Art of Animation classes. Classes run at 11:00AM, 2:00 and 5:00 PM.
  1. Enjoy poolside games and trivia. You might even win a small prize.
  1. At Ft. Wilderness Resort you can enjoy a beautiful butterfly garden. The butterfly gardens are sections a plants that attract butterflies. At the Ft. Wilderness Resort, there is a garden outside the Outpost. If you are really interested and want more information regarding the butterfly garden, call the gardening hotline at (407) 938-3900.
  1. Visit Pop Century, Art of Animation, the All-Star Movie, Music and Sports resorts to lookand take pictures with the gigantic colorful statues. This makes a great photo opportunity. Imagine take a picture on a giant foosball field or next to the 30 foot Ariel, the Little Mermaid.
  1. See Fireworks without going into the parks. You can view the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beaches at the Polynesian Village, Grand Floridian resorts or the bridge between Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower. While one the beach area, the music is piped in to go along with the fireworks. You can also view Epcot’s Illuminations from the bridge Beach Club Resort right near the BoardWalk.

  1. You can watch the electric water pageant on the beach of Polynesian Village, The Grand Floridian near Narcoossee’s and the marina at the Contemporary Resort and at. The best viewing sport, in my opinion, is at the marina at the Contemporary Resort.
  1. At Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can walk out to the viewing areas and see the African animals roaming free. In the Sunset Savannah you can see Male giraffe, bongo, Impala, Thompsons gazelles, ostrich, ankole cattle, Waterbuck, African crowned cranes, stork and blue cranes. On the Arusha Savannah you can see pelicans, geese, giraffe, ankole cattle, zebra, wildebeest, eland, and gemsbok.

  1. You find musical performances at the Port Orleans Riverside Wednesday – Saturday. There are also musical performances at the Port Orleans French Quarters.
  1. You can go on a resort tour. Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, and Yacht Club offer free tours of their resort. Some might require advance reservations. Anyone can enjoy a resort tour, where you are staying at a Disney World resort property or offsite.
  1. Relish in a culinary tour of the Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurant. The tour focuses on culinary selections and architecture. You might have to call in advance for reservations.

  1. Find the hidden Mickeys at the Disney World Resorts or Disney Springs.
  1. Go Resort hopping! Every Disney resort has a unique theming. It is especially wonderful during Christmas because all the resorts are all decorated differently. During Easter you can find very decorative and elaborate Easter eggs at most resorts.
  1. Visit Disney Springs and go window shopping. Disney Springs has great stores. Also don’t forget to stop by the Vintage Amphicar. It is old vintage looking cars with wheels and you can drive it into the water (a boat). These are just neat to watch. Enjoy the views of the Sassagoula River.
  1. Visit Once Upon A Store at Disney Springs. This is where an adult can be a kids. You can have fun assembling Mr. Potato Head. This is so much fun. There are hands on building stations, great displays and so much to see.
  1. Watch a glass demonstration at Arribas Brothers in Disney Spring. The glass blowers and glass cutters do demonstrations all day. It is a lot of fun to see.
  1. Enjoy live music at Disney Springs from House of Blues, Paradiso 37, Raglan Road and much more. You can watch and hear some performers without having to go in. Sometimes there is a crowd that forms around these areas and for a good reason.
  1. At Disney Springs, children and sometimes adults can play with the interactive water fountains. It is a refreshing and fun to play with the water.

  1. The Lego store at Disney Springs is a big store filled with Legos. Usually on the first Tuesday of the month they have they have Mini Model Build in which children (ages 6-14) can build and take home a free mini model. You can also build your own mini car and race it against other guests. The Lego store holds races to see who built the fastest car.
  1. Visit the T-Rex restaurant. Sometimes they let guest just walk through the inside to see the display of the dinosaurs. While you are there, you can go to the store section and your child can dig for fossils.

  1. If you purchased a Disney MyWay package, you will receive a free voucher to play 1 mini golf game at one of the two Disney mini golf courses.
  1. If you purchased a Disney MyWay package, you will receive a free voucher to play at the resort arcade.

  1. If you are a pin collector and like to trade, you can pin trade with Cast members at the resorts. At the resorts, they have a big board filled with pin that you can trade with.
  1. Visit the Disney Wilderness Preserve. The Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve is about 20 miles south of Orlando. You can enjoy the native plants and animals by hiking a 2 1/2-mile trail. The Preserve is open 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily November through March including weekends. You can find more information by calling (407) 935-0002.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? 

Planning for a Walt Disney World vacation can be easy. I have created a 10 easy step process to help you plan your magical Disney World vacation. This is the same process I use when planning out my Disney World family vacations.  The 10 easy step process is what I consider to be the fundamentals for planning a magical Walt Disney World vacation. By following these 10 easy steps, when your vacation comes around, it will be stress free, enjoyable and magical. Just follow my easy 10 step planning process.


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