People ask me all the time what they should do on their arrival or departure day that doesn’t require a park ticket. Here are some of my favorite free things to do around Walt Disney World that aren’t in the parks!
1. See Fireworks – Did you know that you can watch Magic Kingdom’s Wishes from the beaches at the Polynesian Village or Grand Floridian resorts, or the bridge between Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower? At the Polynesian, you can even grab a Dole Whip at the Pineapple Lanai for an extra treat! You can also catch glimpses of Epcot’s IllumiNations from the beach at the Beach Club Resort or the bridge between Epcot and Disney’s BoardWalk.
2. See the Electrical Water Pageant – Watch this 15-minute nightly light-up water parade from the Magic Kingdom resorts: the Grand Floridian Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, Contemporary Resort, and Wilderness Lodge.
3. See Animals – While you’re visiting the Animal Kingdom Lodge, check out the giraffes and zebras roaming the savannah! Or mosey over to Fort Wilderness to visit the horses that work at the Magic Kingdom. Not to mention the lizards that seem ever-present in Orlando!
4. Catch a Movie – Many Disney World hotels offer free outdoor screenings every night, depending on the weather. Some resorts include campfires with complimentary s’mores. At Fort Wilderness, in addition to s’mores and a movie, sing and dance along with the characters at Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long!
5. Take a Tour – Many of the resorts offer complementary tours! Be sure to check out the food tastings at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Old Faithful at the Wilderness Lodge!
6. Ride a Monorail – My personal favorite mode of transportation at Walt Disney World, the monorail can take you several different places. From the Transportation and Ticket Center, you can catch a ride on the “highway in the sky” to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. But did you know you can also ride the monorail to the Grand Floridian Resort, the Polynesian Village Resort, and the Contemporary resort? Whether you’re visit the parks, heading to a dinner reservation, or just wanting to check out the resorts, the monorail is a great way to go!
7. Ride a Boat – There are a number of free boat rides, with routes including Epcot to Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom to Wilderness Lodge, and Disney Springs to the Port Orleans resorts.
8. Visit Disney Springs – While the shops and restaurants themselves are not free, there is no charge to get into this newly renovated area! With everything from Ghiradelli Chocolate and Rainforest Cafe to the Lego Store and Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, there’s something here for everyone!
9. Visit the Disney Wilderness Preserve – Visit nearby Kissimmee to visit the Disney Wilderness Preserve to see native flora and fauna and hike along the nature trails.
10. Take a Swim – The pools at Disney are themed to the resort and are sure to be a fun way to cool off after a day in the Florida sun! Please note: You must be a resort guest to utilize the pool facilities.
Comment below with your favorite free thing at Walt Disney World!
Never Grow Up!