FREE is an incredible word isn’t it?! It’s not often you hear “free” mentioned at Walt Disney World, but we are here to share a few of our favorite freebies. Put those MagicBands and wallets away and get ready to enjoy these items that are free at Walt Disney World.
1. Celebration Buttons
Planning your next Disney trip around a birthday? Anniversary? Family reunion? Get a celebration button to wear throughout your trip! You can also get a standard “I’m Celebrating” button to jazz up your outfit or to write in whatever specific event you’re celebrating on your vacation. You can pick up a Celebration Button by asking a Cast Member at any merchandise location, Guest Relations, or the front desk at your resort. And wearing the button makes your trip even more magical as other guests and Cast Members will acknowledge it and celebrate with you!
This may seem like a silly item to add the list, but some guests really think of maps as a “free souvenir.” They’re great for scrapbooking or simply collecting, they change at least once or twice a year, so chances are the maps will be different during your next trip. If you collect maps, it’s fun to look back on them years down the line and see how much the parks have changed and which attractions were new and prominent during your past trips.
Stickers may be more of a ‘magical moment’ for Cast Members to give out on occasion (just because Cast Members do not always have a roll of stickers on them). But if you do see a Cast Member with stickers, feel free to ask for one! There are so many different stickers all around the parks featuring different characters and locations around the Walt Disney World Resort. It’s a little bit more difficult to plan this freebie since, there aren’t set locations to grab stickers, but if you’re out collecting them it never hurts to ask!
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Cups of tap water are free all over the Walt Disney World Resort. You can save some money while touring the theme parks by stopping at a quick service restaurant and asking for a cup of tap water as opposed to buying bottles. At $3+/bottle, those can easily add up for your whole family over the course of a vacation, so sipping free water will be much easier on the wallet. Worried about the taste of “Florida water”? This water is filtered through the soda machines, so while it may not be what you’re used to at home, it’s a huge step up over a fountain or straight from the tap!
Transportation is free for guests staying at Disney resorts and day guests looking to park hop or grab a meal at one of the resorts. You can always hop on the bus, boat, or monorail, without paying for the trip, and if you are staying at a Disney resort you even have free transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport. Disney’s Magical Express picks up and drops off resort guests flying into Orlando, and with this service you can skip baggage claim. Pack all the necessities in your carry on, and let Disney retrieve your bags and deliver them to your room for you, free with your Disney resort reservation.
Many guests do not realize that FastPass+ is included free with their valid theme park admission. Other parks outside of the Walt Disney World Resort that have similar services often charge for them, so when guests come to Disney they assume they will not be able to make FastPass selections if they did not pay for it. Thankfully, FastPass is a free service, and selections can be made 30 days out from your trip if you are staying off-property and 60 days in advance if you will be a Disney resort guest.
7. Children’s Activities
Disney’s resorts host a variety of children’s activities, many of which are totally free. From pool trivia games to Movies Under the Stars, there is lots to do at your resort with the kids without spending any extra cash. Many Disney resorts host campfires, where guests may roast marshmallows around a fire with Children’s Activities Cast Members for free (with a small fee to upgrade to get the toppings to make s’mores). Grab a recreation schedule from the front desk of your resort to see everything that’s happening during your stay.
8. Resort Tours
Most Disney resorts (and hotels in general) will let you see inside a room if a front desk Cast Member is available and a room is unoccupied. This of course varies by availability, as it may not be possible if the desk is busy or rooms are booked, but if you’ve ever been curious about seeing a room at a different resort it never hurts to ask. Check with the resort recreation calendar to see what else is taking place, as additional tours may be offered (like tours of Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge!).
9. Pixie Dust
Want to add a little extra magic to your vacation? The Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street and Castle Couture Gifts in Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom offer complimentary pixie dust. The gift shop is often easier, as the barber shop can fill up with people getting haircuts, but either way you can always walk in and ask to be pixie dusted for a little bit of extra magic on your next trip to the park.
10. Fireworks Viewing
Did you know that you do not need a park ticket to see the fireworks? The beach at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and some balcony overlooks at the Contemporary Resort offer wonderful views of Happily Ever After. If you have select rooms at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts, you may even have a fireworks view of two parks (Epcot and Hollywood Studios). And of course, there are other viewing options for the fireworks outside the parks, though they may not come as cheap– these include dining at California Grill, ‘Ohana, or taking a fireworks cruise.