Update: We’ve got even MORE of our favorite FREE Disney World activities here!
I’m always looking for free or inexpensive things to do (who isn’t?) and believe it or not, there are quite a few ways to add lots of fun to your Disney vacation without spending a dime. Here’s a list of the Frog Family’s favorite FREE Disney activities. Say that five times fast…
1. Visit Downtown Disney
There is no charge to visit Downtown Disney and there are several FREE (or almost free) things to do while you’re there. Tad and Lily love the LEGO Imagination Center where they can dig through the giant tubs of LEGO bricks, create a “masterpiece,” and even race their figures on ramps. Inside the store, there are computers where the kids can play games and design LEGO structures. (FYI: The huge LEGO statues outside the store make for great family photos. Take a look.)
Also located in the Marketplace area of Downtown Disney, you’ll find an old-fashioned carousel and miniature train that your kids can ride for a few bucks ($2 the last time we were there). Take a video tour of Downtown Disney before you go…check it out.
2. Make Your Own Duffy the Disney Bear Souvenir
Located in each country’s pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot® are these convenient little rest areas called KidCot Fun Stops. They’re great for when your little ones (or you) need a break from the crowds and they’re also great for a FREE souvenir. The kids can take their time coloring their own Disney the Duffy Bear souvenir. (We even got Duffy himself to hold the one we made!)
3. Take a Ride on the Monorail
Sometimes it’s the simple things that the kids love the most and riding the monorail is one of those things. It’s FREE, too! When Tad was a toddler, one of his favorite things to do was take the bus from our Disney hotel to Magic Kingdom® Park or Epcot® and ride the monorail for hours. Going through the Disney’s Contemporary Resort lobby was a huge deal for him! (Watch this video for a “virtual” Monorail ride.)
4. Admire Your Disney Disney’s PhotoPass® Service Pictures
Since you’re not obligated to purchase the pictures using Disney’s PhotoPass® Service, whip out your Disney’s PhotoPass® Service card and strike a pose whenever you see one of the Disney’s PhotoPass® Service photographers. You can view them online for FREE for 30 days after your trip.
5. Go for a Boat Ride
If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney World, you’ve probably noticed how much water surrounds the theme park and resort areas. So why not take a FREE boat ride? Here are a few free boat ride ideas:
- From the entrance of Magic Kingdom® Park, you can take a “water taxi” to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (watch the video), Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, Disney’s Polynesian Resort or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
- From Epcot® or Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, you can take a ferryboat to Disney’s Disney’s BoardWalk Entertainment District Inn, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels.
- From Downtown Disney, you can take a ferryboat across the Sassagoula River to Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts, Disney’s Old Key West Resort or Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa.
6. Sample Soft Drinks at Club Cool at Epcot®
Located next to Innoventions® Pavilion West in Future World is Club Cool which offers unlimited, yes unlimited, soft drink samples from around the world. If you’ve ever wanted to try Krest Ginger Ale from Mozambique, Fanta Kolita from Costa Rica, Beverly from Italy, Vegeta Beta from Japan, Kinley Lemon from Israel, Lift Apple from Mexico, Smart Watermelon from China or Mezzo Mix from Germany, here’s your chance to do it for FREE.
7. Explore the Disney Resorts
In my opinion, some of the Disney resorts could be considered ‘theme parks’ themselves. Two of my favorite resorts to explore are Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. (Click those links to watch the videos.) You can take a Disney bus from the theme parks to the resorts or you can drive yourself and get a FREE 3-hour parking permit.
8. Get Your ‘Kids Discovery Club’ Passport Stamped
Tad and Lily love having a “job” or “mission” to complete, and the Kids’ Discovery Clubs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park are perfect for this. At each location (marked with a “K” on the park maps), they participate in a fun and educational activity and then have their FREE passports stamped. (You can pick up a passport at your first Kids’ Discovery Club stop.) Be sure to complete all six for a fun activity book prize.
9. Collect Pressed Coins
While technically not free, it’s a VERY inexpensive way to have some fun and maybe even start a collection. You’ll find Pressed Coin Machines throughout the Disney theme parks and resorts. Insert your pennies and quarters and watch as the machine presses them into an elongated coin. Look closely at your coins; you’ll get a different design from each machine.
10. Spend the Evening at Fort Wilderness
Head over to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground where you can get some fresh air, relax on the beach, take a look at the cute ponies at Tri-Circle D Farm and play on the playground. If you stick around until about 9:30 p.m., you’ll get an awesome view of the Electrical Water Pageant. (Watch the video here.) If you’re a Disney resort guest, you can join Chip ‘n Dale for a FREE campfire sing-along that usually begins around 7 p.m. during the fall/winter season (8 p.m. during the spring/summer season). After the sing-along, you can curl up with a blanket for a Disney movie under the stars.
P.S. You know what else is FREE? Undercover Tourist’s apps! (I couldn’t resist the opportunity for a shameless plug.)
Until next time…