Specializing in Disney destinations

Disney On The Cheap – 10 Free Things at Disney

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Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 12.09.06 AMYes, you CAN still go to Disney on a budget! In fact, there are fun things you can do for FREE to bring even more magic to your vacation.

  • Remember, if the kiddos are thirsty, ICE water is free in the parks. Be sure to ask for ice water, not bottled water. Also, you are welcome to bring in your own drinks and snacks, just know that they are subject to inspection.
  • Transportation: You can get to any of the resorts by driving, or hopping on a Disney bus. Disney’s BoardWalk – The Boardwalk is behind the resort, and you can stroll through for free. Because the Boardwalk is right next to EPCOT, you can catch part of the 9:00 fireworks show over the trees from the bridge near the back entrance of the park. You can also watch the street performers, engage in hula hooping, OR purchase snacks or rent surrey bikes… lots of options, but it’s a great place to people watch!
  • Downtown Disney: Check out the stores – some of the things inside are animatronic or interactive. Also, there are interactive fountains for play, and a Lego store with thousands of Legos outside to play with, AND a small structure outside too.
  • Take a ride! Ride the monorail around the track and check out each of the hotel stops on the track. You can go inside any of them and sight-see. Try a boat ride from the Magic Kingdom, Ft. Wilderness, Contemporary, or even to resorts like from EPCOT to Boardwalk. You can also cruise back and forth from Downtown Disney to Port Orleans – Riverside.
  • Once you get to Riverside, you can go cane pole fishing for under $5 per hour, or $9 per day per pole. (Ask for the family special pricing.) You can also rent watercraft if you like.
  • Drive to Downtown Disney and take a Disney bus to Fort Wilderness Campground. Once there, you’ll need to take another bus going to the purple trail, and you can go to Chip & Dale’s Campfire Sing Along. It starts about 7:30 at night, and has a movie following. You can also make smores at the campfire. Smores ingredients can be purchased onsite OR brought in.
  • You can also watch the fireworks at Magic Kingdom from the Ticket and Transportation Center boat dock (the music is piped in) nightly, as well as from the Grand Floridian boat dock.
  • Head to Animal Kingdom Lodge, and stroll around the property. The animals wander around onsite, and you are free to take as many pictures as you like. In fact, you can go to any of the Disney properties and take pictures around the resorts, or eat in any of the restaurants onsite.
  • Parking notes: You can park at the resorts for free (they will issue you a 3-hour pass) if you let them know you are there to take pictures, or to have a snack. Parking at Downtown Disney is also free all day, and you can take a bus to ANY resort from there.
  • Have a Hidden Mickey Scavenger Hunt. A Hidden Mickey is a silhouette of the large circle and ears of Mickey and you can find them just about everywhere you look! Go to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and pick up a self-guided Hidden Mickey Hunt sheet at the front desk. It’s free! Then explore the hotel for Mickey. And while you’re searching, head down to Bay Lake and see the Fire Rock Geyser that erupts on the hour!
  • If you drove in, about 15 -20 minutes south, check out The Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve. There is a 2.5 mile trail where you can observe nature, plants, and animals. It’s open from 9 am – 5 pm daily November through March, and open Monday through Friday the remainder of the year (excluding holidays). It’s free to visit and walk the trails, but donations are accepted. You can call ahead to verify they are open. (407) 935-0002.

1 Comment

  1. July 18, 2016    

    This list covers things that we feel most reasonable people might feel are free vacation add-ons, and are a little less obvious. If you do Disney on a budget , this list is a great way to give yourself some added fun without breaking the bank!