There is so much to see and do at Walt Disney World beyond the four theme parks and two water parks. The good news is many of these activities do not cost any money. Here’s a list of some of our favorite free activities to enjoy at Walt Disney World.
1. Take a Dip in the Pool
Spend some time enjoying your resort’s pool. All Disney resorts offer multiple pools for guests to enjoy and unwind. If your adventurous ones enjoy water slides be sure to check out the Moderate and Deluxe level pools that offer more water features and play areas. Also, Disney Recreation Cast Members are often poolside offering a number of fun games and activities for the whole family.
2. Watch a Movie Under the Stars
Each Disney resort offers Movie Under the Stars for guests to enjoy. Be sure to check the Recreation Calendar at your resort to view the lineup of favorite Disney movies that will be offered throughout your stay. The outdoor movies are often shown near the pool area where chairs will be easily accessible to relax in while watching the movie.
3. Visit Disney Springs
Catch free Disney transportation over to the Disney Springs area where you can do a little bit of shopping or eat at one of the fun restaurants. Your family can also play a game of bowling at the Splitsville Luxury Lanes or let the kids play in the free Disney Springs Splash Pad. For those braver families, you can even experience a (tethered) hot air balloon ride and soar above the festivities for some incredible views.
4. Ride the Monorail
A visit to Walt Disney World doesn’t seem complete without a ride on the monorail. Even if you are not staying at a resort on the monorail system, you can still enjoy this fun experience. If you are dining at one of the resorts on the monorail, be sure to allow for some extra time to take a quick ride around Seven Seas Lagoon. If you are staying at another resort, take a bus over to Magic Kingdom and then hop on the monorail. Feel free to get off at one of the resorts along the way and explore the resort before returning back to Magic Kingdom. From the Transportation Center, you can enjoy a ride on the EPCOT loop and experience some great views of this beautiful park.
5. Play Miniature Golf (yes, it is free with a resort package)
Four rounds of miniature golf are included in every Walt Disney World Package (please note you must book as a package – combining your resort stay and tickets together to receive this benefit). Use the Magical Extras card that you can pick up at check-in to redeem for four rounds of miniature golf at one of Disney’s two courses. Head over to either Disney’s Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland to take advantage of this perk.
6. See Wild Animals Up Close
Head over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, inspired by the traditional African kraal (huts), to see some of the wildlife up close. Walk all the way through the lobby of this beautiful resort and out the back doors where you will see giraffes, zebras, and gazelles, as they frolic around the savannahs, up close.
7. Enjoy a Boat Ride
There are a number of locations throughout Walt Disney World where your family can enjoy a boat ride. The Friendship boats run between EPCOT’s World Showcase and Hollywood Studios with stops along the way at the Beach Club/Yacht Club resorts and Boardwalk Inn. Throughout the day boats run between Disney Springs and the Port Orleans resorts. A number of boats are available to ride from the resorts around Magic Kingdom, including Fort Wilderness Campground.
8. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
A fun, free activity at Walt Disney World is finding Hidden Mickeys. While Hidden Mickeys are located all throughout Disney, a number of resorts actually have a printed Scavenger Hunt for little (and big) guests to enjoy and a number of them even offer a free prize for completing the hunt. We recently had fun finding the 10 Hidden Mickeys at the Wilderness Lodge Resort. Be sure to check with the front desk staff to see if your resort offers a scavenger hunt.
9. Watch the Electrical Water Pageant
Each night you can watch a procession of electrical sea creatures sail across Seven Seas Lagoon to classic Disney tunes. You can enjoy this fun sight from Grand Floridian Resort, the Polynesian Resort, the Contemporary Resort, Fort Wilderness Lodge, and Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. The time of this water parade varies so be sure to check with the resort or your My Disney Experience account for the start time.
10. Do a Little Resort Hopping
That’s right, when you are staying at a Disney World resort you have free transportation and access to other Disney World resorts. You can travel to other resorts on the WDW property, and enjoy the different nuances and environments of the resort of your choosing. You may want to treat the kids to an unforgettable ice cream dessert, which can be found at Disney’s Beach Club. The Club’s Beaches & Cream Soda Shop offers a gigantic ice cream dish, called “The Kitchen Sink”, which is filled with cake, brownie squares, eight scoops of ice cream, fruit, sauces, sprinkles, and so much more! During the Christmas season is a great time to resort hop and enjoy all the beautifully decorated resorts and the life-size Ginger Bread House at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. (Note that the only thing that you cannot do at other resorts, is to swim in other resorts’ swimming pools).
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