Free Activities for the Family at Disney World

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Did you know there are FREE Disney World activities? The cost of a Disney vacation can be shocking to some. It doesn’t have to break the bank to visit Disney World. There are many free (or almost free) activities you can do while on a Disney vacation. Add a few of these fun and free activities to your next Disney visit to save money.

Disney Free
Have you found this Hidden Mickey in Disney? photo credit: Jennifer Greene Tween ‘N Teen TravelingMom

My family is a Disney loving bunch – well, minus my husband. We love Disney vacations and we visit at least twice a year. With that said, we can’t always spend the way that families who visit once in a lifetime do. On our days off from the parks I have found great fun to be had at Disney and all for free. I am excited to share something for everyone in the family for free in Disney!

Disney Springs

Disney Springs has just undergone a two year renovation and is bigger and better than ever. While it is home to plenty of shopping and great dining, there are also many things you can do for no cost. We always visit Disney Springs on a non-park day to take a little break.

  • Let the kids play in the interactive fountains. Make sure to bring a change of clothes! This will keep them busy for quite awhile and they will be exhausted after running around
  • In the evenings, the stage in front of the World of Disney hosts free performances including school groups, magicians and DJ’s. You never know who will be out there.
  • Throughout Disney Springs are live performances from a variety of artists, from guitarist to live bands.
  • The Lego Imagination Center has a free 3,000-square-foot play area filled with thousands of LEGO blocks. Let the kids use their imaginations and play! My nephew plays here for an hour at least on each trip.
  • The adults can enjoy a free live show on the outdoor patios at Raglan Road or House of Blues. Kick back, grab a drink and enjoy. I suggest the Baileys Milkshake at Raglan Road.
For adults, House of Blues and Raglan Road outdoor patios offer free live music; kick back, grab a drink and enjoy. I suggest the Baileys twisted shake at Raglan Road. Lego Store Entrance at Disney Springs photo credit: Disney Springs
  • Take a boat from Disney Springs to one of the resorts along the Sassgalouga River and explore Port Orleans Riverside, Port Orleans French Quarter or Old Key West Resort, then just grab a boat back when you want to return to Disney Springs
  • Get free samples of chocolate at the Ghirardelli Store


Disney’s Boardwalk Area 

The Boardwalk Area sits along Crescent Lake and comes alive at night.  There are a few inexpensive or even free things to do here on a beautiful Florida evening. We often visit this area after a day in Epcot or Hollywood Studios, as you can walk or take a boat from those parks.

  • Often there are street performers (jugglers, comedians, fire-eaters, jazz ensembles) in the evenings. Just stroll around and watch them!
  • There are lots of vendors selling inexpensive boardwalk treats such as pizza, corn dogs and pretzels
  •  Try your luck at a carnival games (small cost)
  • Sit and watch the Friendship Boats come and go between the other area resorts and Epcot
  • Watch Illuminations fireworks from the bridge that connects the Boardwalk and Beach Club Resorts walkway
  • Guests 21 and older can visit Jellyrolls or Atlantic Dance Hall for a small cover charge


Disney Resorts

Disney Resorts are a sight to be seen and and it costs you nothing.  There are great photo opportunities at Art of Animation, The Polynesian Beach and The Wilderness Lodge Lobby just to name a few.  As many visits to Disney as I have under my belt I still have not seen every resort – close, but not quite.

TravelingMom Tip: If you are visiting Disney around Easter or Christmas, be sure to visit the resorts for extra Holiday magic throughout – especially The Grand Floridian

  • Free dive in movies at the pool or on the beach in the evenings depending on the resort you are staying at
  • Several of the resorts, including Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge and Grand Floridian, offer free tours that are open to any Disney resort guest. Some of the tours require a reservation, so inquire in advance
  • Free daily pool parties and games all day, take a break from the parks and stay at the resort
  • Watch the Wishes Fireworks from the Grand Floridian boat dock or The Polynesian Beach
  • At Wilderness Lodge, a geyser (kind of a mini version of Old Faithful) spouts on the hour from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The geyser is located at the back of the property, past the pool
  • At Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can walk out to the viewing areas and see the exotic African animals roaming free. Dusk is the best time to see the animals

TravelingMom Tip: Ask the front desk for the night goggles, you can catch some awesome animal interaction

  • Watch the Electrical Water Pageant. This floating parade is visible nightly, starting around 9, from Disney’s Magic Kingdom-area resort hotel docks and beaches. The pageant takes about an hour to move slowly around the lake starting with Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Ft. Wilderness and Contemporary. DON’T MISS THIS! I have been watching this since I was a kid, and it’s just magical.
Disney monorail
Ride the Monorail for free at Disney World. photo credit: Jennifer Greene Tween ‘N Teen TravelingMom


Mouse-ellanous Ideas

  • Ride the Monorail. Take the inner Monorail loop that circles the three Monorail resorts (Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian). You can get off and explore each resort, or just enjoy the ride and the view.

TravelingMom Tip: Babies and Toddlers get cranky mid-day, so put them in the stroller and take them on a monorail ride. The monorails have air conditioning and are large enough that you don’t have to collapse strollers. I would ride while my little ones napped even if they only lasted for 20 minutes.

  • Hidden Mickeys are everywhere in Walt Disney World, sostart a Hidden Mickey challenge for your family and reward the winner of the most hidden Mickeys found a fun prize or treat
  • Go fishing. This is strictly “catch and release.” There are two places to rent cane poles (worms also provided): Port Orleans Riverside (near Ol’ Man Island) or Ft. Wilderness (at the Bike Barn). Cost: about $4 per half-hour per pole, or $9 for a full day per pole. It’s a great inexpensive activity when you need a park break.
  • Visit Tri-Circle D Ranch at Fort Wilderness and see the horses used on Main Street USA. Often times they offer pony rides for the little ones for $5.00

With so many great activities to do for free at Disney you don’t have to be in the parks everyday; or even from open to close. Add a few of these great activities to your next Disney vacation and enjoy a little down time.

Have you participated in any of these free Disney activities? 


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