You're already paying for an unforgettable Disney vacation, make sure to check out these free things at Disney World during your upcoming trip.
Updated: January 19, 2021 to remove information regarding Disney's Magical Express
A Walt Disney World vacation is unlike any other! Between a new set of Mickey Ears, a refreshing Dole Whip, and light-up bubble wand – your wonderful trip to Disney World can quickly run up a large tab. Here are my favorite free and included things at Disney.
With so many attractions and activities, planning your days at Disney can become overwhelming. Rest assured that whatever you do, see, eat, and drink at WDW will be special and memorable for you and your family!
Fun Free Things at Disney World
Many of these freebies are under the radar or taken for granted, so be sure to remember a few for your upcoming trip!
Fireworks, Parades, and Shows
Something I always miss when we get home from our Disney Vacation – the fireworks! Each park has their own special nighttime spectacular and they're all amazing.
Be sure not to miss the different parades and street shows that happen throughout the day too. I almost skipped out on one, trying to fit as many rides in as possible one time, but I'm so glad we took a moment to experience the popular characters parade down Main Street.
Lastly, the shows!! These are truly not to be missed, the skill and nostalgia make certain shows on par with the best of their rides. Some of my favorites include Festival of the Lion King and Frozen's For the First Time in Forever.
Disney Springs and Disney’s BoardWalk
There's nothing like visiting Disney Springs or Disney's BoardWalk after a day in the parks. Some even spend an afternoon wandering around the quarter-mile promenade of the BoardWalk. It's full of dining, shops, and exciting nightlife.
We typically frequent Disney Springs for dinner, but there's so much more over there! From shopping to entertainment, both spots are equally unique and fun.
We haven't done too many character greetings, but I just had to share this tip. Characters can be found just about anywhere – the parks, resorts, even dining!
Getting an autograph from your favorite Disney character is absolutely free. You just might have to wait in line to grab it.
These are one of my favorite momentos! You can ask a cast member for a celebration button if you're celebrating a birthday, wedding, engagement, anniversary, or even other personal achievements.
They're so fun and often catch other cast member's attention. If you grab a birthday button, be ready for everyone you pass to wish you well.
Unique and Free Experiences
We discovered this 25 minute class on our search for a FastPass+ at Animal Kingdom. It was one of the only options left for a certain time slot, so we grabbed it not knowing what to expect.
This guided illustration experience is fun for everyone, plus it's a nice break from the sun! A Disney animator gives you step-by-step instructions on how to draw a popular Disney character. We got Tick-Tock the Crocodile from Peter Pan!
So you can actually resort hop by taking the busses, monorail, Minnie Van, or rental car to the different hotels... But my new preferred Disney transportation method is the Skyliner!
It's so smooth as you soar above the property. It currently connects Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort, and Art of Animation Resort.
Prior to our most recent trip, we had never heard of the riverboat, and neither had my friend who had an annual pass! This under the radar experience is not to be missed.
The ferry boat service only seats around 30 people on a 20 minute trip to and from Disney Springs, Port Orleans Riverside & French Quarter Resorts, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, and Old Key West Resort.
Once you're over in the French Quarter, be sure to grab a beignet.
More Disney Freebies
As you can tell, there are several "hidden" complimentary things at Disney World, you just have to search a little to find them or make them a priority. Here are a few additional freebies I've discovered during my time at the parks.
If you don't plan on purchasing the Disney PhotoPass, don't worry! You can ask the cast member taking photos to snap a few on your phone. In my experience, the photos are incredible and they take plenty!
Next time you're in line for Flight of Passage or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, whip out your phone for some fun. The Disney Play App has interactive games you can play throughout the parks and while you wait in line.
Lastly, did you know you most counter serve and snack stations around Disney World offer a cup of ice cold water for free if you ask? With the refillable water bottle stations popping up, this tip may not apply in a few years, but it's still good to know for those warm days.
Disney Travel Guides
- Hidden Gems at Walt Disney World
- Disney's Allergy-Friendly Food
- Four Disney Parks in One Day
- Disney Packing List
Did any of these free things surprise you? Did I skip over a major one that everybody needs to know about? Please leave a comment and let me know!