Whether you’re doing Disney on a budget or just have a day where you don’t want to dish out the money for theme park tickets, there are actually a ton of amazing things that you can do for FREE at Walt Disney World. There’s so many in fact, that whittling down this list to just 10 was quite a challenge! Nevertheless, here’s a share of our favorite FREE Disney offerings that don’t require theme parks tickets or expensive parking!
1. Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long – Hands down one of my family’s favorite Walt Disney World evening activities is paying a visit to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground for an evening of campfire fun with Chip and Dale. There’s a roaring campfire and a guitar-playing cowboy with a repertoire of favorites campfire songs that will have your whole family dancing along. Bring along your own marshmallows and sticks or purchase one of the S’mores kits from the adjacent Chuckwagon Snack Bar. The campfires typically run most nights starting a 7pm but its always good to check with Guest Services at your resort just to make sure.
2. Tri-Circle-D-Ranch – While you’re at Fort Wilderness, be sure to head on up the road to the Tri-Circle-D Ranch. This haven for horse lovers provides guests with a chance to get an up-close look at Cinderella’s beautiful ponies, the Main Street U.S.A horses and if you’re lucky enough you may even be able to watch a blacksmith making horseshoes. The Ranch also houses the Dragon-Calliope. This see-it-to-believe-it musical instrument was designed to be horse-drawn and was purchased by Walt Disney himself by Bradley and Kaye Amusement Park to use in the Mickey Mouse Club Circus Parade at Disneyland Park in the 1950’s. Though the calliope is still used occasionally for special events, sightings are rare.
3. The Electric Water Pageant – If you’ve not had a chance to check out the delightful Electric Water Pageant then its worth squeezing into your next Disney World vacation. This 15-minute production occurs nightly, and makes its way past the Magic Kingdom Resorts. Guests will see a variety of Disney Sea creatures, feel patriotic as the American Flag floats by and dance along to the whimsical soundtrack. Times of the water pageant vary depending on resort. The first guests to catch it are those along the shoreline at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort at around 9:00pm. From there it moves onto the Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness, Disney’s Contemporary Resort and finishes up at Magic Kingdom at 10.35pm.
4. Fireworks – Who says you have to pay for theme park admission in order to enjoy the delightful evening fireworks displays at Walt Disney World? Some of my family’s favorite spots to catch a glimpse of Disney’s amazing pyrotechnic displays are at neighboring resorts. Whether its catching a glimpes of Epcot’s IllumiNations from the bridge between Epcot and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn or enjoying Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from the shoreline at the Polynesian and Grand Floridian, its a great way to take in the beauty of these displays without battling the theme park crowds.
5. Tours – Two of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts offering fantastic FREE tours that teach guests about architecture, food and culture. Over at the recently remodeled Wilderness Lodge Resort, guests can go on the Wonders of the Lodge Tour. The tour is offered Wednesday through Saturday at 9am. The tour embarks from the breathtaking lobby where a Wilderness Lodge Guide shares some lesser known details of this incredible building and its grounds. Disney’s amazing Animal Kingdom Lodge also offers the Disney Designed Tour and the Sanaa Cultural Tour which gives guests some amazing insights into this fantastic resort, the cuisine and culture of Africa as well as the amazing animals on offer. The Tours depart daily at 4:00pm (Sanaa) and 4:30pm for the Disney Designed tour.
6. Enjoy the Animals at Animal Kingdom Lodge – Speaking of Animal Kingdom Lodge, while you’re there, don’t forget to head out to one of the amazing viewing platforms to get a glimpse of the magnificent animals that call these Savannas home. Whether its Zebras, Giraffes, Flamingos, or Kudu, there will usually be a Cast Member nearby to tell you a little bit more about each creature. This resort is definitely an idyllic place to spend a few hours.
7. Hop a Water Taxi – Hopping aboard one of the amazing boats that are part of Disney World’s Transportation can be a lot of fun in itself. Our favorite trip is the water taxi journey to get from Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter Resorts to Disney Springs. The trip offers picturesque views as you glide along the Sassagoula River before reaching Disney’s downtown shopping district. The boats also run well into the evening making it perfect for a nightcap or for those opting to dance the night away.
8. Enjoy a trip on the Monorail – If you’ve got some time to spare, hop aboard one of Disney’s monorail trains for an amazing trip around Walt Disney World. Whether its visiting each monorail resort to tour the gift shops, have a snack or even a glass of wine or if you prefer to check out the view of Future World from the Epcot monorail, taking a FREE day to enjoy the different sights and sounds of Disney using the much-loved form of transportation is a sure win!
9. Art Classes at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Set your inner artist free with these fun drawing classes offered at Art of Animation. The Draw Class is available Thursday through Monday to all guests of the Walt Disney World Resort. The class takes place at the kids room near the front desk at 11 a.m, 2 p.m and 5.pm. There’s no need to register just show up on the day.
10. Free Ghirardelli Samples – I couldn’t let this list draw to a close without at least one freebie for all you Disney-loving foodies! No visit to Disney Springs is complete without a quick stop at Ghirardelli’s Ice Cream Shop. So pop by and sample one of the free tasty treats on offer. But be warned after you try a sample you may be inclined to get out your pocketbook- turning this freebie into a costly little chocolate habit.
We here at Disney Addicts hope you’ll try a handful of our favorite Disney FREE offerings during your next visit to the Mouse.
And speaking of free…if you’re planning a visit to Disney why not fill out our form to receive your FREE quote?
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