Walt Disney World may not be known for freebies, but we think there are actually some pretty nice, complimentary perks to a Disney vacation:
Once you’ve booked a trip to Walt Disney World, expect to receive some mail from the resort. You’ll most likely receive vacation planning brochures, that believe it or not are actually catered to your specific interests, and things the resort offers that you might enjoy.
2. Celebration buttons
If you’re visiting Walt Disney World to celebrate a special occasion, be sure to ask a cast member for a corresponding celebration button. From birthdays and first visit to any sort of celebration, there are plenty of ways to show off what you’re celebrating during your trip.
3. Resort maps
When you check into a Disney resort, you will be given a map of the resort you are staying at. While perhaps not the most exciting piece of free literature you’ll come across during your trip, it is still a nice keepsake to have, and something that can come in quite handy when making a scrapbook.
Occasionally you might come across a cast member giving out stickers to guests. Walt Disney World is full of all different kinds of stickers, from characters, to attraction specific ones, or even Disney vacation club stickers!
While PhotoPass photos themselves are not necessarily free, all of the photos you take during your vacation will probably turn out to be one of your favorite souvenirs. In addition, PhotoPass cast members will happily take your photo for free using your own camera.
6. Park maps
Park maps are one of my favorite freebies, because they are always going to be at Walt Disney World, however they have changed a lot over the years. I always grab an extra map or two to keep in a folder at home, so I can look back at how the parks have changed with each visit.
7. MyDisneyExperience App
Want your park map in digital form? Download the free MyDisneyExperience App on your phone. Not only will this help you navigate the parks but it also allows you to book FastPasses on the go, make dining reservations, Mobile Order, and more.
8. Play Disney Parks App
Another free Disney App is the Play Disney Parks App. This app allows guests to experience a gaming component while they wait in the standby line of certain attractions. Some of the things you do within the app unlock special effects in a ride queue. Fun for both kids and adults, this is a great free way to pass time while in line.
9. Magic bands
Guests staying at Walt Disney World resorts are given complimentary Magic Bands either in the mail before their trip, or upon check in at the resort. Magic Bands are great freebies, because guests who customize them online before their trip are able to choose which color band they want, and they would otherwise cost about $15 to purchase separately.
Water is one thing that I have basically vowed to never pay for while visiting Walt Disney World. Rather than spending money on water bottles, simply ask for cups of water. They are free, available from quick service restaurants, and do not have the strange Florida tap water taste as the water is filtered through the soda machines.
11. Kidcot crafts
Don’t miss the Kidcot fun stops, where kids are able to make their own unique crafts in each country. Not only is this a fun activity to keep kids interested in World Showcase, but they can also take home their completed crafts. Leaving them with a souvenir as well.
12. Drink refills
All table service restaurants at Walt Disney World offer free refills on non-alcoholic beverages, but did you know some quick service locations do too? For free refills on your quick service beverage, be sure to visit the Backlot Express in Hollywood Studios or Restaurantosaurus in Animal Kingdom.
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13. Drawing classes
While the Animation Academy may no longer exist at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests can still learn to draw some of their favorite Disney characters at the Art of Animation resort. The classes are similar to the ones previously offered in Hollywood Studios, and guests are able to take home their artwork as a souvenir.
14. Resort tours
Disney resorts occasionally offer tours, either of the rooms themselves or of various parts of the resorts. If you’re wondering what tours are offered at a resort just check at the front desk. My favorite resort tour is the restaurant tour of Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!
15. Photo for Disney Visa cardholders
Disney Visa cardholders are able to take a photo with characters at exclusive character meet and greets. Check out the Star Wars Launch Bay or Epcot near the Imagination Pavilion for a special meet and greet.
16. Merchandise delivery
Walt Disney World offers complimentary shipping to both the park entrance and various resorts around the property. Rather than carrying your purchases with you, be sure to take advantage of this free and convenient service during your next vacation!
17. Movies under the Stars
This free program allows guests to sit outside at a Disney resort, and watch a Disney film “under the stars,” the schedules for movies vary week by week, so be sure to check with the front desk at the resorts for a more finalized schedule.
18. Disney Springs
In theory, you can go to Disney Springs and spend absolutely nothing… if you like to window shop! Which some guests totally do… while I am not one of them, you can window shop, people watch, and enjoy street entertainment all for free by visiting Disney Springs. And don’t forget that parking at Disney Springs, as well as transportation to this area from a Disney resort is also free…
Use of Disney transportation is complimentary for guests visiting the resort. This means that you can go for a spin on the monorail, take the Skyliner between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and hop on as many buses or boats as your heart desires without spending an extra dime. Just note that the Magical Express service at the airport is limited to guests who are staying at a Disney resort.
20. Fireworks viewing
For a night where you know you will not have a park ticket, consider some alternative locations to view the fireworks. They can actually be seen from outside of the parks at a number of areas– my favorite way to do this is to watch Happily Ever After from the beach of the Polynesian Village Resort.