March 30, 2012

What's FREE at Disney World? Quite a bit, actually!

Food, hotel, airfare, and ticket expenses quickly add up! Depending on your choices, a WDW vacation can become very expensive. So what can you get for FREE at Disney World? Here's a list of 10 "Freebies" you can receive, watch or do at Walt Disney World. (There's plenty more... perhaps a "Part 2" post will be made in the future).

Magical Express: Disney's Magical Express is FREE round-trip transportation from the airport to your Disney Resort hotel. They'll handle your bags too, so there's nothing to worry about! As long as you've made your reservations 24 hours in advance, the service is completely complimentary. More info here.

Cup of Water: Yes, a water bottle purchased at the parks is $3+! Pretty steep. But if you walk up to any quick service restaurant, you can ask for a cup of water with ice, and they will give it to you for FREE. (Personally, I recommend you carry your own refillable water bottle in the parks, but this free cup is a good back-up plan should you run out.)

Buttons: Are you celebrating a Birthday, Anniversary, Honeymoon... or something else at WDW? Head to any Guest Relations office at the Parks and ask for a Button specifying your celebration. They'll happily give you a button for FREE! There are 9 buttons available for your choosing.

Tours at the Resorts: These tours are mainly held at the deluxe hotels, but ask the front desk if there are any available at your resort hotel. To name a few, there is a Landscaping Tour held at Disney's Old Key West, a Hidden Mickey tour and Culinary tours at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, a Horticulture tour at Disney's Yacht Club... again just ask Guest Services at your Disney Resort to see about FREE tours or activities offered at your hotel.

Chip and Dale's Campfire Sing-a-long: There is a FREE Campfire Sing-a-long with Chip and Dale at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground. Typically at 7 or 8 PM (just check with any guest services desk). The show lasts about 40 minutes, and Chip and Dale show up to mingle with the guests and sign autographs.  For a small price, you can purchase a mini-smores kit and roast marshmallows over the campfire. This Campfire is free to ALL Disney guests, not just those staying at the Wilderness Resort. (Extra idea: Don't forget to check out Fort Wilderness's petting zoo too!)

Electrical Water Pageant: A nightly display of barges pulling 40-foot-long lighted floats sails around on the Seven Seas Lagoon. You can view this "water parade" from 9 - 10:20 PM from the beaches of the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary or Wilderness Lodge.

Disney Transportation Cards: Disney Transportation Cards are a great example of FREE souvenirs that are available at Walt Disney World. The Transportation Cards are trading-card-sized cards that you can collect while experiencing the various modes of Disney transportation. The best thing about these cards is that you cannot buy them. The operators of the different modes of transportation will give you one for free!  All you have to do is ask.

Hidden Mickey Hunt: Are you a hidden Mickey hunter? Some hotels (such as Animal Kingdom Lodge) will give you a list of hidden Mickey's to find. If you find them all... you just might get a prize!

Some Hidden Mickey's are obvious...


Other Hidden Mickey's aren't so obvious...


Disney Transportation: I hate to have to mention this, but so many first timers just don't figure it out. The monorail, boats, and buses on the WDW Property are all FREE to use to get from point A to point B. You don't have to be staying at a Monorail Resort to ride the Monorail - you can ride it just for fun - the same goes for Boats and Buses. 

Fast Passes: Here's another idea that shouldn't need mentioned, but I've seen wrong information given out about Fast Passes. Fast Passes are FREE to anyone with an admission ticket that has entered the parks.  Simply scan your admission ticket at any FP distribution box and receive a Fast Pass ticket to enter the ride at a later time and move directly to the front of the line!

Enjoy your freebies!
~Terri

3 comments:

  1. Great tips and hints. There were some new ones on here for me I'm excited to check out. Do all modes of transportation do the cards? Buses from resort, Magical Express from the airport, etc?

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  2. Cindi Adkins ChamberlainJuly 25, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    most of the time the monorail workers are out of cards. the last time we were there my 10 year old asked and they were out but someone came running up to us and gave us a whole set! he was soo excited.

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  3. A few of my favorite things to do at Disney are actually free and outside of the parks. I love taking the boats from Downtown Disney to Riverside or from Downtown Disney to Old Key West. Taking tours of the resorts are so fun to me, getting to see all of the themes, details and the grounds of the resorts. Watching Wishes from the beach of the Polynesian is always a treat - the even pipe in the music!


    I had never heard of the transportation cards - those will be on my list for my next trip!

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