Anyone who has ever planned or considered planning a Walt Disney World vacation knows the costs can add up, making a dream vacation almost impossible to budget for. Turn an expensive Walt Disney World vacation into a more affordable one by enjoying some, or all, of the free things to do at the parks and resorts. This can add more excitement to your vacation without adding more costs to the overall expense of visiting the Happiest Place on Earth.
It is always free to walk around the different Disney World resorts. Each resort is themed differently and all are great to explore and take family portraits. Some resorts offer live entertainment in the lobby. An added bonus is that during the holiday season, each resort is decorated with its own holiday theme.
To get from resort to resort, take a bus to Downtown Disney and get on a connecting bus to the resort of your choice. Or, if you prefer, you can drive there, but let the guard know you are eating or shopping at the resort. You do not have to be staying there, but do have to have a reason, such as dining or shopping to be there.
Free activities by resort:
- The BoardWalk offers carnival-style activities, including street performers and can see the high parts of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot.
- Friendship Boats stop at various points on Crescent Lake, including Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Swan and Dolphin, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resorts, Disney’s BoardWalk and Epcot.
- Monorail offers for an enjoyable ride through Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The monorail also stops in front of Magic Kingdom and a second monorail will take you to Epcot and back.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has many savannah viewing areas and African safari guides are there to tell you about the different animals and life in Africa.
- Electrical Water Pageant can be viewed from the shores of the Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Grand Floridian and Disney’s Contemporary.
- Parking free at Downtown Disney and there is so much more to do there than just walk around and spend money shopping. Let’s take a look at what you can do for free at Downtown Disney:
- Make a scavenger hunt for your family to do. Make a list of things to find in the Lego sculptures and in store windows. Start snapping pictures and see who get the most on their list.
- The Lego store has a place where kids can build Lego creations, design their own works of Lego art on a computer and a small playground to play on.
- Free samples are available at Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop.
- The fountains are great in the summer, offers a place for kids and adults to cool off.
- A visit with Santa at during the holidays is free.
- Live entertainment is available throughout DTD including Westside. Times and locations vary, check with a Disney cast member for more details.
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