The Top 6 Free Activities for Your Disney World Vacation

family posing with Minnie Mouse
Credit: Disney

Whether you have school-age kiddos with classmates who just rode Expedition Everest on their first Disney trip, a partner who’s clocked 47 Haunted Mansion rides, or want to see what all the Disney magic is for yourself, planning a Disney World vacation can come with some financial pressure.

“The Most Magical Place on Earth” is considered by some to be one of the priciest places on the planet, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to drain your bank account the minute you purchase your tickets.

Disney’s intricate details in its Resorts, Parks, and experiences are an attraction in their own right. It’s easy to lose yourself window-shopping on Main Street, U.S.A., or wandering around Disney Springs. Simple hacks like booking a Value Resort or opting for the Disney Dining Plan can be easier on your wallet, and there are plenty more ways to spend an itinerary day (almost) free of charge.

Here are the top six free things to do at Disney World with family, friends, or solo.


Disney Springs

Credit: Disney Springs Resort Hotels

Related: Dining at Walt Disney World On a Budget

1. Disney Springs

Want to spare the Park ticket prices for a day of your Walt Disney World vacation? Head to Disney’s shopping and dining capital: Disney Springs, formerly Downtown Disney. You don’t need tickets for the Springs, and you’ll find plenty of budget-friendly dining options there, like Chicken Guy! and Earl of Sandwich. Browse magnificent Lego Mickey sculptures, check out fun fountains, and jam out to free music (offered on weekends).

2. Resort Hop

Each Walt Disney World Resort is themed to the nines, and a day (or two) could be spent touring each Resort’s tiny touches. Gazing at the geysers at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, listening to the grand piano player at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, and snapping photos of giraffes grazing around Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge are all free activities that are fun for any Guest. You might catch a glimpse of a hula dancer if you stop by Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and there’s a good chance you could snag a photo with a character heading home from Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Anywhere you go, you’re guaranteed to experience the Disney magic.

3. Hit the Pool

Whether on a budget or not, a pool day at your Disney Resort or offsite accommodations is a welcome break for your feet. Hanging by the pool allows you and your Disney crew to reset, recharge, and soak in the Central Florida sun. If you’re staying at a wallet-friendly Disney Resort like the Art of Animation Resort, you can swim next to Finding Nemo’s friends (that are fish, not food).


Credit: Disney

4. Head to EPCOT

EPCOT is ideal if you’re locked into a Disney Park day and want to do it on a dime. You can sample free sodas from around the world at Club Cool and tour EPCOT’s World Showcase with Quick Service food on the go. Exploring any of the shops at World Showcase is a free thing that still offers delivers the Disney experience down to the details.

5. Search for Hidden Mickeys

Everyone’s favorite mouse is imprinted in almost every corner of Disney’s Parks, Resorts, shopping areas, and more. Pack up a Hidden Mickey Guide Book and make the Mickey Mouse search a friendly competition. You could spend a day scavenging for mouse ears without spending outside of your budget.

6. Watch the Fireworks

Disney’s premier fireworks shows—Disney Enchantment at Magic Kingdom and Harmonious in EPCOT—can be viewed in or outside the Parks. You don’t have to spring for a Park-hopping ticket to enjoy Disney’s signature fireworks shows. You can grab a stellar seat at any of the following spots: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, the fourth-floor deck at the Contemporary, the Boardwalk, and the Dahlia Lounge at Coronado Springs.


Credit: Disney Dining

Related: Disney Wedding Bride Spends $5k Catering Budget on Mickey and Minnie

Even a luxury Disney location could benefit from freebies like these. Planning a Disney Vacation strategically can take some weight off your budget and increase your odds of becoming a lifelong Disney enthusiast.

About Kaitlin Morelli

A Disney World Guest since before she could walk, Kaitlin is a Jersey girl and former Virginia Tech Hokie. When she's not listening to the 'Moana' soundtrack on repeat with her baby daughter, she's writing, singing, and strumming the ukulele. Kaitlin is passionate about finding the best Disney Park tips n' tricks and moments when pop culture and Disney collide. She's looking forward to eventually taking her first Disney trip with her favorite fan in the making: her daughter.

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