The agents on the Magical Trips TPI Travel Team make multiple trips each year to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. During our trips we collect information we use to help collect magical memories for our clients.
People often ask us for inexpensive idea's for their non-park days.
Here's a list of 10 FUN Free Things to take advantage of at the Walt Disney World Resort! All of these we personally tested.
1. Disney's Public Transportation System. While visiting Walt Disney World their Transportation System is free. This includes buses, boats, and the monorail! The Monorail will give you a bird eye view of the Magic Kingdom which is extra special and you even go right through the lobby of the Contemporary Resort. Complimentary Parking is available at Disney Springs if you are an offsite guest. The transportation system can bring you directly to any of the amazing Disney Resorts from Disney Springs.
2. Magic Kingdom Fireworks Viewing. The viewing of the Magic Kingdom Fireworks is amazing from the second floor lobby of the Polynesian Resort - they even dim the ligts and play the music throughout the resort. There are also beautiful views from the grounds of the resort too and multiple hammocks around. Looking for a free souvenir from your visit... in the lower lobby of the Polynesian Resort, Cast Members often hand out plastic tropical leis, or they are hanging on a display stand by the children’s Disney cartoon viewing area.
3. See a Movie. Most of the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels offer complimentary outdoor "Under the Stars Movies". Huge screens are blown up for nightly movies outside the resorts. This can depend on weather. At some resorts, you will need to bring a towel or blanket to sit on, and at others, they provide chairs. Call the resort desk for specific information. You can take the bus from Disney Springs to the resort of your choice.
***Take note though movies and entertainment are subject to cancellation or change without notice. For movie schedules, please check with the Front Desk at your Walt Disney World Resort, or call 407- WDW-PLAY.
4. See the Characters. The characters make appearances at select Disney Resorts. Dance with Prince Charming and Cinderella in the lobby of the Grand Floridian daily around 3:30pm. Chip and Dale make an appearance at the nightly sing-a-long camp fire at the Fort Wilderness Campground around 7:30pm. (The Fort Wilderness Campground is also a great place to watch a movie)
***Take note it is best to call the resort desk for confirm these events as times may change. You can take the bus complimentary from Disney Springs or they should give you a complimentary 3 hour parking pass at the resort.
5. Picture Opportunities. If you or your children love the characters from Cars, Little Mermaid, Nemo or Loin King; it's worth a trip over to the Art of Animation Resort to look around. You can take some really neat pictures with some of the larger than live statues! The Cars portion of the resort is so cool!! You can take the bus complimentary from Disney Springs or they should give you a complimentary 3 hour parking pass at the resort.
6. Electrical Water Pageant. This floating parade is visible every night, usually starting at 9pm, from Disney’s Magic Kingdom-area resort hotel docks and beaches. The pageant takes about an hour to move slowly around the lake, stopping at each resort in order: Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness and Contemporary. If watching the fireworks at the Polynesian you can take this in the same night. You can take the bus complimentary from Disney Springs or they should give you a complimentary 3 hour parking pass at the resort.
7. Visit the Savannah. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a favourite resort of mine. Head straight through the hotel lobby outside to the Arusha savanna, where cultural guides will answer all of your questions about the giraffe, zebra and other animals you’ll see. Animal Kingdom Lodge also has seated and covered viewing areas throughout the hotel. Bring binoculars if you have them. Special Tip: Visit early morning or at dusk, when the animals are most active! In the evening they often have camp fires and African Story telling too! You can take the bus complimentary from Disney Springs or they should give you a complimentary 3 hour parking pass at the resort.
8. Disney Springs. I love all the enhancements made to Disney Springs! They have great shopping and restaurants but the entertainment in this area is free and great. On my visit there on Saturday there was a live band, also a lady playing a moving piano! is a shopping area it also offers many neat FREE attractions. If you are there on a hot day the interactive fountains make for a fun way to cool off! The LEGO Imagination Center has a free outdoor play area filled with thousands of LEGO blocks, plus huge LEGO sculptures for you to admire. Parking is complimentary at Disney Springs.
9. Disney Boardwalk Resort Area. This area is a great place for an evening stroll. We love taking in the excitement of the Boardwalk but then taking a leisurely stroll around the lake. They have swings at the Beach Club on the sand which makes for a great break along the way. If you time it right you can be on the Swan and Dolphin Bridge at 9:00pm and watch the Fireworks at EPCOT. You can take the bus complimentary from Disney Springs or they should give you a complimentary 3 hour parking pass at the resort.
10. Hunt for Hidden Mickey's. Disney’s Imaginears have a neat tradition of incorporating "hidden" Mickey Silhouettes into their designs and construction, and it’s FUN to hunt for them. We have a long list that we have found over the years. They are everywhere so keep an eye out! During our last visit to Wilderness Lodge Resort we were actually given instructions on a special self-guided Hidden Mickey hunt. Just stop at the front desk and ask for the paper describing the clues for the hunt. It's a great way to relax and enjoy the resort while looking for Mickey's Head Silhouettes. If you do decide to visit the Wilderness Resort be sure to stop by Fire Rock Geyser down by Bay Lake to see it erupt on the hour! You can also take a boat from this resort to the Magic Kingdom which makes this a fun afternoon break from the park. You can take the bus complimentary from Disney Springs or they should give you a complimentary 3 hour parking pass at the resort.
Looking to plan a Magical Disney Vacation? We have multiple travel advisors on the Magical Trips TPI Team that specialize in Walt Disney World Vacations.
**These are unofficial tips our travel advisors collected during personal trips to the Walt Disney World Resort. We are not associated with Walt Disney World in any way. We also have extensive knowledge on Disney Cruise Vacations, Disneyland California Vacations, Disneyland Paris Vacations, Disney Aulani Vacations and the amazing Adventures by Disney journeys.
17-07-28 - Written by Jaime Murphy - Certified Travel Counsellor.