Things to do at Disney World… For Free!
There are a number of free things to do at Disney World that do not cost a dime! Period!
Downtown Disney is a shopping, eating and entertainment district. It’s totally free with free parking to boot! Browse the shops, have lunch or take in a movie. We love Downtown Disney for arrival or departure day. It’s also perfect to get that one last souvenir without entering a park.
The Boardwalk is an entertainment district loosely based on Atlantic City. Minus the whole gambling thing! There’s a big emphasis on great restaurants, and we can’t think of a better place for date night. There are walking paths around the lake as well as to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Street performers can also be found in the evening. Enter through The Boardwalk Resort.
All transportation through the Walt Disney World is free. So check out some of the resorts, take a friendship boat, or ride the monorail.
Some of the fun is wandering through the resorts finding unique little spots and enjoying the scenery. We like to secretly scope out our next trip…
Pixie Tip: Visit The Animal Kingdom Lodge for an up close and personal look at animals from the savanna.
There is nothing like Disney World at Christmastime. If you are the type to drive through the neighborhood looking for great light decorations, this is exactly for you. All of the resorts have fabulous Christmas decor, however those in the deluxe category have more lights than most small towns. A must is to visit the lobby of these resorts to view the enormous centerpiece Christmas trees. The Grand Floridian has a life-sized gingerbread house made of real gingerbread where baked goods are sold.
Fort Wilderness is also a great place to view Christmas decorations, and some real ingenuity from your fellow guests! Many campers stay the entire season and decorate their sites in over-the-top ways. I have no idea how they do it, but this is a must see!
Wishes Nighttime Spectacular
Wishes Nighttime Spectacular is the amazing fireworks show that takes place at the Magic Kingdom each night. However, it can be viewed at some of the resorts in the Magic Kingdom area, and the music is even piped in! Visit Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge, The Grand Floridian, The Polynesian, or The Contemporary. Simply go to one of these resorts and head down to the beach area. Bring a beach blanket, snack, and bug spray.
Pixie Tip: The Polynesian is often considered to have the best beach for fireworks viewing.
Electrical Water Pageant
You’ve watched Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fireworks from a resort, but wait don’t leave yet! The Electrical Water Pageant is about to begin! View a flotilla of magical lights dance along Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. It starts roughly 15 minutes after Wishes.
Atlantic Dance Hall
For those 21 and up, this can be a great spot to dance the night away! There is no cover charge, and the parking is free at The Boardwalk Resort.
Yehaa (yeehaw) Bob is a singing, piano-playing comedy show full of audience participation featuring the one and only Yehaa Bob. Located at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- Riverside in the River Roost Lounge. Check daily schedules, but whatever you do, don’t arrive late!
Things to Do for Disney Resort Guests
Here are some great free extras while staying at a Disney owned-and-operated resort! It doesn’t matter which resort you stay, these amenities are available for all guests.
Chip and Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long
This is a fantastic treat at Fort Wilderness Resort. Campfires roar and are available for cooking! S’more kits are sold, or bring your own goodies. Yup, you got it Disney will allow outside food like hot dogs and s’mores to be cooked on the campfire. Stop by a grocery store and stock up beforehand. Chip and Dale then put on a stage show where the audience participates by singing along. The evening is topped off by viewing a Disney movie in an outdoor auditorium.
This is the only place where kids can meet and greet a Disney character without paying admission to a park or eating at an expensive character meal.
African Story Telling at The Animal Kingdom Lodge
Sit back in a comfortable rocking chair around a fire pit and listen to fantastic stories from the continent of Africa each evening. Walk the grounds while here and view animals from the savanna too.
Fishing is actually free at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground when you bring your own pole and bait. All the fishing essentials are also available for a small fee.
Most of the resorts have walking trails or paths to take a stroll. However, all are not created equal. One of the most popular trails is between The Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness.
At Fort Wilderness is Tri-Circle-D Ranch, a working blacksmith shop where the horses of Main Street USA are taken care of.
Classic Disney Movies
Many resorts offer movies under the stars each night. Of course these are family-friendly Disney movies, but what else to watch on a Mickey-loving vacation? Generally the movies are shown on an inflatable screen near the beach or pool area. Check at your front desk, or head over to a deluxe-category resort for a great evening outdoors.
Just about all of the Disney resorts have playgrounds. They might be a great way to wear out the kiddos, as if the parks weren’t enough!
Daily Resort Activities
Each resort has activities for little ones including crafts, dance parties, trivia contests and much more. Some activities may have a small charge associated with them. Do ask for the activities guide from the front desk or concierge of your resort, as sometimes they are not automatically handed out.
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