A Disney vacation comes with a cost. However, the magic that is experienced and the memories made in the Walt Disney World Resort are worth the price. But did you know there were free things to enjoy in Lake Buena Vista? Here is all the free stuff that any Guest can enjoy in Walt Disney World.
Visiting a Disney Resort hotel is one of our favorite activities during a Disney vacation. You don’t have to stay in a Walt Disney World Resort to see one. If you plan on stopping by a Disney hotel in the evening, you should stop by the campfire. All Disney Resort hotels host a nightly campfire, usually close to the main Resort pool. Complimentary marshmallows and sticks to toast them on are available for Guests.
Our favorite Disney Resort hotels to stop by the campfire are:
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground – enjoy games between toasting your marshmallows at the Campfire Theatre. If you’re stopping by on Wednesdays through Sundays, you can join in the fun of Chip n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long, at 7 p.m.
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – toast your marshmallows with a view of Magic Kingdom Park from the beautiful beach on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon.
- Disney’s Riviera Resort – we love to toast marshmallows at the Cote d’Azur Campfire and then enjoy lawn games.
Guests can upgrade their marshmallows by purchasing s’mores kits from the Recreation Cast Members who host the Disney campfires. Alternatively, bring your own chocolate and graham crackers.
We love to enjoy the fun at a Disney campfire before an evening by the pool. It’s the perfect way to chill out after a morning of Early Theme Park Entry.
If you celebrate a special occasion during your Disney vacation, pick up a celebration button. Celebration buttons are available from Guest Services in any Disney theme park. In particular, Guests like to stop at City Hall in Magic Kingdom to pick up a Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary button.
To add extra magic to your celebration button, stop by Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square or Mickey’s Days of Christmas in Disney Springs. Buttons can be personalized, starting from $3.
Movies under the Stars
Guests don’t have to visit the AMC Dine-In Theatres in Disney Springs to enjoy a movie. While this is the place to see new films, Walt Disney World Resort Guests can enjoy showings of their favorite Disney movies without leaving their hotel. But you won’t be a Disney hotel Guest? No problem! You can still enjoy the movies under the stars shown in each Disney hotel every evening.
To find out which Disney movies are being shown at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, check the activities calendars displayed in each room. The location of the movies under the stars is also detailed on the activities calendar. Arrive ahead of showtime, and secure your seat on one of the loungers or chairs. Pick up snacks from the quick-service restaurant in the Disney Resort beforehand. If you have a refillable Resort mug, then fill that up, too, so you don’t miss any of the films.
So you’re not staying at a Disney Resort hotel? You can still enjoy movies under the stars. From Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort are easy to access. Meanwhile, Guests can easily access Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. We love to rest our legs and sit on the lawn at the Disney BoardWalk, while watching a film.
If you spend a day in EPCOT, you can quench your thirst in Club Cool, Hosted by Coca-Cola. Find the entrance in the covered walkway between World Celebration and World Discovery. Visiting is your chance to taste Coca-Cola products from around the world at the ‘Coke’tail Bar, free of charge. If you’ve ever heard of the infamous Beverley, this is the place to try it!
There are plenty of scavenger hunts to take part in around the Walt Disney World Resort. Most Disney Resort hotels have a scavenger hunt that you can take part in. All you need to do is stop by the Front Desk or Disney Vacation Club desk, and ask a Cast Member to participate. Once you’ve completed your scavenger hunt, return to the Front Desk, and you’ll receive a reward for your hard work. Goody bags and a limited-edition piece of art are just a few rewards you can receive.
Like a scavenger hunt, Guests can become a Wilderness Explorer in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. Guests earn adventure badges at different stations around the Disney Park.
While most tours offered to Guests in the Walt Disney World Resort come with a fee, there are two tours that Guests can enjoy completely free.
Do you adore Disney’s Wilderness Lodge? This beautiful hotel is one of the many wonders of the Walt Disney World Resort. If you have always wanted to know a little more about the design of the Disney Resort, then you’ll want to take advantage of the free tour that is offered to Guests. The Wonders of the Art & Architecture Tour takes place daily, beginning at 9 a.m. Meet at the fireplace in the Resort Lobby to take part.
Have you ever wondered what being a Disney Vacation Club Member is like? Guests can enjoy free Open House tours at select Disney Vacation Club Resorts, including Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. If you’re considering joining the Disney Vacation Club, book a consultation at any desk around the Walt Disney World Resort. Consultations take place at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.
Guests of any age over three can enjoy a complimentary sprinkle of pixie dust during their Disney vacation. Visit Sir Mickey’s in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom to take advantage of this magical experience. Look out for a Cast Member with a magic wand, and they can give you a ‘pixie dusting’. All it takes is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust!
Guests can enjoy free wifi throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. All you need to do is join the ‘Disney Guest’ or ‘WDW Resort Guest’ wifi networks. Ask your phone to connect to these networks during your Disney vacation automatically. Free wifi is a huge benefit for all Guests, particularly international Guests. It also allows easy access to the My Disney Experience App and Disney Genie. Using wifi while in Airplane Mode is also a great way to preserve your phone battery. You don’t want to miss an opportunity to capture your memories via a camera because your phone runs out of charge.
Disney transportation is a great way to experience more from the Walt Disney World Resort. With watercraft, buses, the Disney monorail, and Disney Skyliner to use, all Guests can experience these extra ‘rides’ during their Disney vacation.
Our favorite ways to experience Disney transportation are:
- traveling up the Sassagoula River from Disney Springs to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
- taking a ride on the Disney Monorail between EPCOT and Magic Kingdom
- using the Disney Skyliner to explore Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Have you taken advantage of these free things in the Walt Disney World Resort? If there are any that you are yet to experience, plan them for your next Disney trip. They will add to your Disney experience!