Sure you’ve heard there are a ton of free things to do at Walt Disney World. But are there really? If you’ve ever been to Disney, chances are you saw no free things and the best you can remember is just spending loads of money. We’re hear to tell you that yes, there are in fact “FREE THINGS TO DO” at Walt Disney World. This is especially good news if you’ve just spent your hard-earned cash on this once in a lifetime trip to the most magical place on earth.
- 1 Keeping your Disney Budget Happy
- 2 Play all the Fun Free Disney Games
- 3 Visit Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- 4 Walk the Trails at Disney
- 5 Take a Free Tour
- 6 Visit the Walt Disney World Boardwalk
- 7 Window Shop at Disney Springs
- 8 Watch a Parade, Fireworks or Show
- 9 See a Free Concert
- 10 Take a Drawing Class
- 11 Grab S’mores and Watch a Movie
- 12 Resort Hop the Disney Resorts
- 13 Boat Rides, Monorails and the Disney Skyliner Gondola
- 14 All the Free Things To Do at Disney World
Keeping your Disney Budget Happy
Ok, so chances are you’ll want to make sure you do all the things you already paid for on your Disney Vacation. Things like riding rides, sleeping in that expensive Disney resort bed, and using the Disney Dining Plan, if you got it. But at some point you’re going to want to change things up a bit… and hopefully you can do that for FREE! Here’s our favorite free things to do at Walt Disney World.
Play all the Fun Free Disney Games
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Agent P’s World Showcase at Epcot, and Wilderness Explorers at Animal Kingdom are all great games to play anytime. In Magic Kingdom, you can also play Treasures of the Seven Seas three times in exchange for a FastPass for Pirates of the Caribbean, or search for Hidden Pascals at the Tangled-themed bathrooms. You can also find free passports and stickers at Kidcot in Epcot. And, of course, hunting for Hidden Mickeys is free in all the parks, resorts and Disney Springs. Check out all the fun free Disney Games you can play while on a Walt Disney World Vacation.
Visit Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
We love Wilderness Lodge! The cool air conditioning on a hot day, the throwback cabin-in-the-woods decor and those S’more coffees you can grab at Roaring Fork’s Cafe. If you’re looking for a dose of wilderness, you don’t have to look any further. Hang out to see the Old Faithful geyser; it erupts every hour on the hour. You can also visit a mini-museum located at the Disney Vacation Villas on this property, which showcases Walt Disney’s train collection. Or if you’re in the mood for cozy, head over to the Wilderness Lodge lobby, complete with rocking chairs, and a fireplace or stroll through the giftshop.
While we could find amazing things at every resort to add to the Free list, Wilderness Lodge definitely gives us the most bang for our buck. It’s one of our favorite places to Disney Resort Hop during the day. And if you have the time head to Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds too.
Walk the Trails at Disney
Walt Disney World has trails everywhere. We mostly like the paths that are lazy but still make us feel like we’re going somewhere. Here’s the paths we like best. And we’ll be sure to add to the list as we find them.
Wilderness Lodge to Fort Wilderness Trail
This is a 2.5 mile trail that connects Wilderness Lodge and the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. Perfect for a morning or evening hike, this trail goes through the woods- so we’d also recommend it on super hot days when you just need a shady path at Disney.
Hollywood Studios to Epcot
This path from Hollywood Studios to Epcot connects the two Disney Parks, but also brings you right through the Boardwalk Area of Disney. Allowing for a riverside stroll past the Swan and Dolphin Hotels, through 1920’s Atlantic City themed boardwalk and up to Epcot’s International Gateway.
Grand Floridian to The Polynesian
Connecting the two resorts with several little beaches, the path from the Polynesian to the Grand Floridian means you can avoid the monorail! We love grabbing a coffee at Gasparilla Grill and taking a stroll over to The Polynesian. Perfect for some window shopping, toes in the sand, and a dole whip after lunch. Both resorts offer great views of the Electrical Water Pageant on the lagoon. So if you time your walk in the evening, you’ll be able to see the parade from the path.
Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian
Under construction now, this new path from Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian, allows you to walk even farther to The Polynesian and Shades of Green! The perfect trail to see the sights and get away from the crowds.
Take a Free Tour
Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts offer free garden tours. But you can grab a tour at any resort to get some inside knowledge on the history and extra tips. Some tours require a reservation or run on a schedule, but they remain free, and it’s a great way to scope out your next potential vacation location!
Visit the Walt Disney World Boardwalk
The Disney Boardwalk is home to the Disney Boardwalk Resorts, restaurants, and shops. It is also one of our favorite places to escape the crowds. The Boardwalk most comes to life in the evenings; complete with magicians, jugglers and all sorts of boardwalk entertainment you can watch for free while taking in the atmosphere. We also love the beaches and free movie on the lawn over at Disney’s Beach Club. And if you stay after dark, you can see the Hollywood Studios fireworks from the beach without stepping foot in the park. Check out all our favorite things to do on The Boardwalk.
Window Shop at Disney Springs
If hopping over to Disney Springs by car, parking is FREE, generally because it’s just a big shopping center. But you can also visit Disney Springs for free by ferry boat from the Port Orleans Resorts. You can check out all the shops and restaurants on the site here. Once there, you can window shop, play with Legos for free at the Lego Store, grab a free chocolate sample from Ghirardelli, and enjoy live music on most evenings. If you’re visiting during late November or December, walk through the Christmas Tree Trail for free to get ideas for your own Disney-inspired trees.
Watch a Parade, Fireworks or Show
Surely you have to be inside the parks to take advantage of these things, right? Not really. The Electrical Water Pageant takes place on the Seven Seas Lagoon, and we think it’s best viewed from the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Resort – no resort reservation required. Fireworks can be seen from many places throughout the Disney parks, but a great view can be had from the Monorail’s Ticket and Transportation Center, or from the Contemporary Resort’s fourth floor public balcony. If in the parks be sure to take advantage of these experiences.
Magic Kingdom Parades and Shows
- Festival of Fantasy Parade
- Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire
- Happily Ever After Fireworks
- Epcot Forever, soon to be Harmonius
Hollywood Studios Shows
- Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
Animal Kingdom Shows
- Festival of the Lion King
- Awakenings on the Tree of Life
See a Free Concert
Head to Port Orleans and stroll the Sassagoula River. Free concerts at Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter are given every Friday and Saturday night. And if you’re at either resort, you can hop on the ferry over to Disney Springs to make a night of it, all for free. You can also grab free concerts over at the American Gardens Theater in Epcot. Performers fill the stage nightly at many of Epcot’s festivals and throughout the summer.
Take a Drawing Class
Want to get the drawing skills of a master? Head to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort for a free drawing class anytime from 9am-4pm. Classes happen every 30 minutes. These classes are given by the artists on property, and teach you a thing or two about animation. Afterwards, stroll the grounds at Art of Animation and Pop Century Resort. These perfectly themed resorts are known for their amazing photo opportunities.
Grab S’mores and Watch a Movie
If you’re staying at any Disney resort, you can grab s’mores at many of the resorts and watch a movie on the lawn afterwards. At Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can roast your s’more over the fire and watch the animals roam the Savannah. In fact there are tons of things to do at Animal Kingdom Lodge Activities for free. Just check out the Animal Kingdom Lodge recreation calendar.
Resort Hop the Disney Resorts
You can Resort Hop at Disney World via some good old Disney Transportation and take in the sights. Especially if you’re looking to get out of the heat and away from the crowds. You can jump on the monorail and visit each of the monorail resorts. Or try out the skyliner to visit the Disney Skyliner Gondola Resorts. Be sure to check out the pools, the balconies, the gift shops and the restaurants. We love Caribbean Beach Resort for some island time and Sebastian’s Bistro.
Boat Rides, Monorails and the Disney Skyliner Gondola
If you’re landlocked and don’t get to experience the joys of boating, grab a ride on the ferries to and from Port Orleans to Disney Springs. Or head to any of the monorail resorts from Magic Kingdom. If you’re more about being up high, you can also ride on the monorails or check out the skyliner gondolas. All without paying any extra dimes.
All the Free Things To Do at Disney World
If you’re trying to make the most of your Walt Disney World vacation, be sure to check out these free, fun ideas next time you visit. You’ll get the opportunity to see more, do more and learn more without going over budget. What are your favorite free things to do at Disney? Let us know and we’ll add it to the list!