Walt Disney World and “free” in the same sentence? Yes, there are free things to do at Disney World! Many people who have not been to Walt Disney World don’t even know that so much free entertainment exists on Disney property! Our family likes to enjoy these free activities on our arrival day, and one day during our stay. This gives our family a change of scenery and saves us money! Our arrival day doesn’t give us enough time in a park to warrant an extra park day, and our family LOVES seeing what Walt Disney World has to offer outside the parks! I’m Carrie, aka the “Disney Expert” here at Family Friendly Frugality, and today I’m going to share with you Ten Free Things to Do at Walt Disney World!
1. Disney’s Boardwalk Area. I have been going to Disney for the last 8 years, and I didn’t even know about the Boardwalk until about our 3rd trip! Now, it is a “must do” during every trip! We even love it so much we’ve stayed at Disney’s Beach Club Resort which is right along the Boardwalk. This area is especially alive at night with street performers and music. Along the Boardwalk, you’ll see mimes, magicians, and if you time it right, the fireworks portion of Illuminations from EPCOT! There are many great places to eat, a dance hall, and surrey rentals as well.
2. Wishes from the Bay Lake Area. Wishes is the nighttime spectacular show at Magic Kingdom-it’s more than fireworks in my opinion! Once you’ve seen fireworks at Disney World, everything else pales in comparison! Surrounding the gates of Magic Kingdom is Bay Lake. This is home to Disney’s Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, and Grand Floridian Resorts. The Polynesian beach and boat dock at the Grand Floridian are my favorite spots! And, they pipe the soundtrack music so you get the full effect. Just tell them you are there to visit the resort, and your parking is free.
3. Campfire Sing a Long with Chip and Dale. This fantastic and fun experience takes place at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. Chip and Dale join you for a sing along and s’mores! You can purchase a s’mores kit, or you can bring your own s’mores ingredients! After the campfire sing along, they show a Disney movie under the stars!
4. Movies Under the Stars. Speaking of movies under the stars at Ft. Wilderness, most every Disney resort shows movies under the stars during the week. My personal favorite is the Beach Club Resort-the movies are on the beach of the Boardwalk Area. There are chairs, or you can bring your own blanket or towel, and enjoy a movie for FREE!
5. Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant. While you are in the Magic Kingdom resort area for Wishes, you can enjoy the Electrical Water Pageant if you get there around 9PM. This boat light parade floats a route on Bay Lake every night about 9PM.
6. Downtown Disney. Downtown Disney is full of fun props, shops, and entertainment for all of your family! The LEGO store at Downtown Disney has all the building supplies you need to keep your children entertained for awhile. They have building table and buckets of LEGOS out for building everywhere! I also LOVE to pose my kids at Downtown Disney with all the fun props outside the shops. Plus, you can take the boat over to Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter to explore those resorts! There are also fun water spray fountains to run and play in at Downtown Disney.
7. Monorail Resort Ride. Disney’s Grand Floridian, Contemporary, and Polynesian are all on the monorail loop. More specifically, the Resort Monorail Loop will take you through these three fabulous resorts. Anyone on Disney property can ride the monorail for FREE! Just take the Magic Kingdom bus from your resort, and board the monorail at the Magic Kingdom gates! The fun aspect is to stop at these resorts. At the Polynesian you can sometimes catch a free hula lesson, or at the Grand Floridian a big band in the lobby! Plus the beach areas of these resorts are very pretty!
8. Animal Kingdom Lodge Wildlife Preserve. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to a unique wildlife preserve area. Once you enter the lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can walk through to the outside and see the animals. Or, walk around the lodge to the different viewing areas. Not to mention, Animal Kingdom Lodge is GORGEOUS and a fun place to visit!
9. Take a boat ride. Disney is known for it’s three ways of transportation-bus, boat, or monorail. There are boats everywhere! One of our favorites, as mentioned above, is the boat ride from Downtown Disney to the Port Orleans Resorts. Another fun ride is the boat from the Boardwalk area to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you are at Hollywood Studios and need a great ice cream break, head over to Beaches and Cream via boat at the Beach Club Resort. Or, take the boat route from Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
10. Enjoy the pool at YOUR resort. Okay, maybe not 100% free, since you are paying to stay at that resort. BUT, using the resort amenities such as the pool, playgrounds, and other entertainment gives you more bang for your buck. Our family works in one full “no park day” to enjoy the pool, movie nights, and Downtown Disney-not to mention some of the other great fun I’ve shared with you. A Disney resort is part of the vacation experience! Enjoy it!
Are you ready to book your Disney vacation? If so, contact Carrie Hurst at [email protected] or at 937.209.9473 for a FREE, no obligation quote and to get your vacation planning started. All her planning services are FREE, and every reader of Family Friendly Frugality who books with Carrie receives a FREE gift!