free activities to do in Walt Disney World

With the ever-increasing price of Magic Kingdom one-day tickets and crushing inflation, most people are looking for ways to save money at Disney World. In the off-season, a two-day ticket is nearly $250.

Luckily,  there are many free things to do at Walt Disney World, and you can have a magical experience without ever stepping foot in the theme park. There are so many things to do at Disney World besides the parks!

What are the best free activities at Walt Disney World?

Free stuff at Disney World sounds like a misnomer, but it is not! Walt Disney World Orlando offers plenty of options if you want free things to do at Disney. Whether you love trains, pools, or parades- you can find it all free at Disney World. If you’re celebrating your birthday, many restaurants and shops in Disney World that offer a free birthday treat.

Ride the Monorail

The child in all of us loves riding the resort monorail, and this doesn’t cost a dime. You can hop on at the Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Resort, or Grand Floridian. If you’re not staying on property, you can drive to the Ticket and Transportation Center (which has a parking fee) and hop on.

Play in a water wonderland

The Walt Disney World hotel swimming pools are outstanding. Whether it’s the ruins of a temple, a sand-bottomed bubbling brook, or a zero-entry lava pool, you can’t go wrong with staying at a Disney World hotel and taking a pool day. All moderate and deluxe resorts feature water slides, and the value pools are fun-themed. See the top ten best swimming pools at Walt Disney World and notes regarding potential sensory wins and pitfalls. Our personal favorite is at the Beach Club Resort, but the Polynesian is amazing as well. 

Boys swimming top ten free activities Walt Disney world autism
Electrical Water Pageant

The Electrical Water Pageant is a nighttime spectacle that entertains folks around Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake from nine until 10:05 PM. Disney’s Water Parade features fourteen floats that visits the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Fort Wilderness, and Wilderness Lodge. If you’re the nostalgic type, it’s one of the remaining opening day treats. You could go to the Grand Floridian and Polynesian, see the Pageant, wander past the beach and watch the Wishes fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.

Disney’s Boardwalk

Disney’s Boardwalk surrounds a lake and is neighbored by the Yacht & Beach Club and Epcot. It resembles an Atlantic beach town in the 1930s. The old-fashioned atmosphere of this wooden planked floor is fantastic, and they even bring street entertainers in the evenings. Whether fire eaters, jugglers, magicians, or musicians, they offer tremendous performances that vary each night. There are carts that feature fried foods and margaritas along the way. Is Disney’s Boardwalk free? Yes- however, parking may be limited to only guests staying at the resort, those picking up mobile orders, or people with dining reservations.

Disclosure: I may make a small amount of money from any purchase you make from an affiliate. However, I will only give my honest reviews and recommendations.

What activities can you do for free at night at Disney World?

Most of Disney World’s attractions are fireworks- however, there are more things you can see for free. Every Disney resort offers a movie under the stars, and many others offer a bonfire. The monorail and Boardwalk hotels offer nightly fireworks. It depends on your mood, but I always partake!

Fort Wilderness Campground

While somewhat challenging to get to, the campground has a campfire each night (around 8 PM) for free. There is a bonfire sing-a-long, Chip and Dale visit the participants, and then they play a Disney movie for free. You can order marshmallows to your room via Amazon Prime (particularly if you’re getting other food to save money) or buy a s’mores kit.

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They have a free petting zoo if you arrive early. You can also visit the barn where the horses from Main Street live. Small children can enjoy pony rides.

Animal Kingdom Lodge

If you’d prefer to spend the evening on a luxurious savannah with exotic creatures like giraffes, zebras, and gazelles. While wandering the grounds, you can check the animals out for free, and there is often African music or storytelling staff around.

What free activities are at Disney Springs?

We have you covered if you’re looking for free things to do in Disney Springs. This shopping center is full of places to spend cash and has incredible Disney World adventures for free.

Fountains at Disney Springs

My children love to play in the fountains at Disney’s shopping center! There are two splash pads in Disney Springs: one by the entrance to the Art of Disney and the second by the Earl of Sandwich. We dress the kids in swimsuits and bring a towel and a change of clothes. Since our babies often run for the splashpads in Disney Springs anyway, they love it when we turn them loose.

Disney Springs Entertainment

Let’s break it down to the most important part: chocolate! Yes, the Ghiradelli Chocolate store often gives out free samples. We have a lot of fun wandering around, window shopping, people watching, and viewing life shows. You can often see a live bird show by the Rainforest Cafe or a glassblower in Arribas Brothers. Also, watching the giant helium balloon float up and down is entertaining. If all else fails, wash your hands with a free sugar scrub at the shop called Basin.

<<If you’re looking for a unique way to save money on adult beverages in Disney Springs, there is a beverage card that gets you $1 off each alcoholic drink you buy.>>

Lego Store at Disney Springs

Just walking around the exterior of the Lego Store at Disney Springs will wow you. There are full-size statues and massive structures made from Lego blocks. Our little boys love the Lego shop because they play with the free Lego blocks in the giant outdoor building area.

What is the best combination of all activities?

Finally, the boat ride between Disney Springs and Old Key West, Port Orléans, or Saratoga Springs is incredible. Our son has autism and loves the boat rides to the resorts. There are water taxis that depart from the Marketplace dock in Disney Springs. Take the path in Disney Springs that takes you past the Christmas shop and Rainforest Cafe. Keep going towards the lush canal scenery, and hop aboard the water taxi. Once you hit the resorts, be sure to explore. It’s worth the wait!

What are your favorite free activities at Walt Disney World? Do you have any tips for scoring free Disney?

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