18 Free Things To Do At Disney World

18 Free Things To Do At Disney World

Marcel Stevens

Marcel Stevens

Marcel has over 12 years in journalism who enjoys writing, jogging, reading and tennis.


I could spend all day watching the zebras and giraffes and it wouldn’t cost me a dime.

Vacations can add up, and while the happiest place on Earth isn’t the cheapest place on Earth, there are still things you can do to soak in the magic without spending an arm and a leg.

And while people go to Disney World for the four theme parks, there are so many other things on Disney property to do and see (some of them don’t even cost a thing). Here are my favorites:


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

1.

Go to Animal Kingdom Lodge and spot the giraffes.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

Staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is probably the closest you can get to staying on a safari. Animals like giraffes, zebras, and gazelles roam the back area of the resort, giving hotel guests a wild view from their balconies. However, there are plenty of places people who aren’t staying at the resort can animal watch. Meanderers can spot animals in a rocking chair through the lobby of the resort, or head around outside to see them (as well as the flamingoes there).

2.

Do a scavenger hunt.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

For Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, each resort has a scavenger hunt reminiscent of the old opening day tickets from the park. Scavenger hunts are available in locations around the resorts or at the front desks.

3.

Watch fireworks.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

You can see Magic Kingdom fireworks (and listen to their music) from Disney’s Grand Floridian, Disney’s Contemporary, and Disney’s Polynesian resorts. You can see Epcot fireworks from Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Topolino Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort.

4.

Listen to live music on the Trader Sam’s patio at the Polynesian Resort.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

Against the background of a waterfall, talented cast members play ukulele while singing along to soft Hawaiian music. Trader Sam’s Terrace even has the same menu as the Grog Grotto inside (and no reservations are required).

5.

Meet the Coca-Cola bear.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

The multi-level Coca-Cola store at Disney Springs has a lot including two floors of merchandise and a rooftop bar. However, the real star of the show is the Coca-Cola bear, available for hugs and cuddles on the second floor intermittently throughout the day.

6.

Watch the Electric Water Pageant.


Disney

If you’re a fan of the Main Street Electric Parade, or you just like things that light up in general, the Electric Water Pageant sails around the Seven Seas lagoon, making the circuit around the three hotels and Magic Kingdom, and also sails over past Disney’s Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge. The lighted figures change between sea serpents, underwater creatures, and other fun characters as it sails along its 15-minute route.

7.

Visit the horses at the Tri-Circle-D ranch.


Disney Parks / Via youtube.com

The Tri-Circle-D ranch is located near Disney’s Fort Wilderness resort and houses Cinderella’s ponies and the horses of Main Street USA. While you can take a stroll through the stables on your own, the ranch also offers pony rides, trail rides, and carriage rides for a cost. Holiday sleigh rides are also usually available in the winter months.

8.

Look for Hidden Mickeys.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

At every park and resort, Disney has a plethora of Hidden Mickeys. Sometimes, they hand out scavenger hunts of where to find them. Other times, a quick google search will help uncover them. In any case, be on the lookout because you never know where you’ll find them!

9.

Check out the glass artist at Arribas Brothers in Disney Springs.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

Entrancing glass artists make Disney and non-Disney-themed figurines, jewelry, and more in the store for purchase.

10.

Wash your hands at Basin.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

Stay with me here. Basin is the bath and body shop at Disney Springs and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, and at both Basin shops, there is a sample sink for you to try their sugar scrubs. It’s so fun to try the sugar scrubs and walk out rubbing your incredibly soft hands on your face. Being there is also such a delight for the nose. While you’re there, it’s probably a good idea to see their fun soaps and smell their bath bombs (some of which are inspired by Disney Parks).

11.

Watch an artist sketch Disney characters at Disney Springs.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

At the Art of Disney store in Disney Springs (which, IMO, is the best store at Disney Springs), you can find paintings and sculptures inspired by characters and the parks. Over in the corner of the store, however, is usually an artist that live-sketches characters that can later be purchased. It is entrancing to watch.

12.

Relax in a hammock at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

Disney’s Caribbean Beach has a huge, well, beach with chairs, hammocks, and benches to soak in the sun. While you’re on the beach, you can also take full advantage of the sand volleyball courts if you feel so inclined.

13.

Walk the Boardwalk Inn and see live entertainment like jugglers, magicians, and more.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

The Boardwalk has lots of live entertainment sprinkled throughout the day that fits in it’s theme of a turn-of-the-century style theme. Performance artists will come out and wow guests strolling with their jump rope skills or sleight of hand.

14.

Visit the T-Rex Cafe Play Zone.


Taetae / Alamy Stock Photo

T-Rex at Disney Springs is a prehistoric-themed Rainforest Café. Giant animatronic dinosaurs and cretaceous creatures move and roar while you dine. While the inside is awesome, the outside of the restaurant has a dig site, which is basically a giant sand pit where kids (or adults, IDC) can uncover fossils.

15.

Ride the Skyliner.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

The Skyliner has five stops: Disney’s Riviera, Art of Animation, and Caribbean Beach Resorts, as well as Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Ride the Skyliner and take in a bird’s eye view of the property while in a shaded cabin in the air.

16.

Ride the Monorail


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

An entire ride around the loop of the Seven Seas Lagoon with stops at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian resorts takes about 15–20 minutes. Make a day of it by hopping off at all of the resorts and walking around. They all have such a unique vibe.

17.

Listen to a concert at Disney Springs.


Bob Collet / Alamy Stock Photo

There are nine different spots at Disney Springs where you can see live music performances. Some of the venues you can walk up to like the AdventHealth Waterside Stage in front of the World of Disney shop that regularly hosts bands and the small stage outside of the Raglan Road restaurant that regularly plays Celtic. Others, like the House of Blues, have live entertainment inside the restaurant.

18.

Finally, park for free at Disney Springs.


Audrey Engvalson / BuzzFeed

Typically, resorts are pretty full to the point that the parking lot is only reserved for guests with resort, dining, or recreation reservations. However, since parking is free at Disney Springs, drop your car off and head to the bus stop, where free Disney buses run all day between Disney Springs and all of Disney’s resorts and theme parks on property.