A Disney vacation is a truly magical experience, despite it coming with a pretty big price tag. But not everything comes at a price when visiting Walt Disney World. There are so many fun things that you can collect or earn for free at the Walt Disney World Resort. Here, we let you know about all of those free things that you don’t need to spend a dollar on!
Disney Park Guide Maps
Located at the entrance of each of the Disney theme parks, you will find Guide Maps, available to Guests in various languages. Whilst you may not need a theme park Guide Map, this is a fun thing to collect and look back on through the years to see what has changed as the Disney Parks evolve. Don’t forget there are also Guide Maps available for Disney Springs and the Disney water parks.
If you, by any chance, forget to pick up Guide Maps during your Disney experience, stop by your Disney Resort hotel lobby before leaving on the last day – they always have some there.
When using the different modes of Disney Transportation, be sure to ask Cast Members for a Disney Transportation Card. There are 34 cards to collect featuring favorite Disney characters, as well as trivia and facts. Each card is also numbered to help organize your collection. Disney Transport collectors cards are available from the Disney Monorail, Walt Disney World Buses, Disney Watercraft, Disney Trams used in the parking lots, and Minnie Vans.
Walt Disney World is a great place to visit when celebrating a birthday, graduation, engagement, wedding… The list goes on. So if you are celebrating during your visit, then make sure to pick up a Celebration Button from any Guest Service Desk around the Walt Disney World Resort. There are many to choose from, including:
- Birthday button
- ‘I’m celebrating’ button
- Happily Ever After button
- 1st Visit button
Cast Members at Guest Services can personalize your button for you, or you can pay for special personalization at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Magic Kingdom theme park or Mickey’s Days of Christmas at Disney Springs; it’s $3 for personalization at these locations. Our favorite place to pick up celebration buttons is at the Main Street Chamber of Commerce or outside of City Hall at the top of Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom, near the entrance to the Disney Park.
Wilderness Explorers Badges
Guests of all ages can participate in this fun activity in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, inspired by Up! (2009). There are 31 badges to collect and display in the Wilderness Explorers Handbook. The best place to begin collecting is at the Wilderness Explorers Headquarters, located on the first bridge, where you get your first glimpse of the Tree of Life as you cross over to Discovery Island from Oasis. Collect all of the badges available, and you earn the title of Senior Wilderness Explorer.
Cast Members around the Disney Parks hand out plenty of stickers each day. In most cases, they are classic white stickers featuring Mickey Mouse. But there are also stickers to earn, including:
- Galactic Hero sticker – earned by scoring 999,999 on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Be sure to take a photo of your score, and show it to a Cast Member in the photo store as you exit this Tomorrowland Ride in Magic Kingdom.
- Honorary Custodian sticker – if a Custodial Cast Member sees you helping out, such as picking trash from the floor and putting it in the bin, you may just earn this cool sticker from them.
- Disney Monorail stickers – do you love taking a ride on the Disney Monorail? If so, then be sure to interact with Cast Members when boarding, and you may just get given a pretty neat sticker!
Honorary Jungle Skipper
Be sure to take a ride on the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland, Magic Kingdom, for your chance to be chosen as an honorary Jungle Skipper. Not only do you receive a neat collectible card, but you also get taken to the front of the line and may even help to steer the boat!
EPCOT International Festivals booklets
If your Disney vacation happens to coincide with one of the four EPCOT International Festivals that are held throughout the year, then make sure to collect a Festival Passport. This is your guide to enjoying everything that the Festival offers and even has checkboxes to help you keep a record of the experiences and food booths you visit.
Kidcot Fun Stops
Visit each of the Pavilions around World Showcase in EPCOT to collect the Kidcot Fun Stop postcards and stickers. You’ll also be given a cute Ziploc bag in the style of luggage to keep hold of your souvenirs from your trip around the World Showcase.
Whether you’re dining in one of the restaurants at Disney’s Polynesian Village, visiting the Resort for an hour, or are a Guest staying at the Disney Resort, be sure to stop by the Great Ceremonial House. You’ll likely find Cast Members giving out beautiful Polynesian Lei. There are a few colors to choose from, and make you feel right at home in the Disney Resort when wearing one.
Mardi Gras Beads
If you’re a Guest in Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, your Mousekeeping team may create a little magic in your Guest room by leaving you some Mardi Gras beads. These are fun to wear around this Disney hotel, where every day is like Mardi Gras!
Resort Scavenger Hunts
Plenty of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels have their own scavenger hunts for Guests to take part in. Whether you’re a Guest of the Disney Resort or just visiting for a couple of hours, be sure to stop by the lobby to pick up the Scavenger Hunt Map. Disney hotels that offer a scavenger hunt include Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort; Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort; Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort; Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort; Disney’s Pop Century Resort; Disney’s Art of Animation Resort; Disney’s Wilderness Lodge; and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Free Art Souvenir
When visiting Disney’s Rivera Resort, be sure to take part in the Art Scavenger Hunt around the Disney Resort. Stop by the Disney Vacation Club desk in the lobby to collect your map and stickers. Once complete, return here to receive a cool collectible piece of art to remind you of your fun.
Have you always wanted to be able to draw your favorite Disney character? Then be sure to stop by Disney’s Art of Animation Resort or The Animation Experience at Conservation Station in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Animation classes are led by a Disney animator who will guide you through drawing your very own Disney character. You’ll even sign your work and take it home with you!
Special Events & Tours Extras
Whilst taking part in Disney special events and tours can be a little pricey, they usually come with a free gift. This usually takes the form of a souvenir collectible Disney Trading Pin but may involve other treats too. Christmas Sleigh Rides at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground includes a limited edition trading pin, as well as the Behind the Seeds Tour in EPCOT.
Enchanted Tales with Belle is a magical experience for Guests to enjoy in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom. Some Guests will even be asked to take part in the Disney experience and help to tell a story, earning them a special bookmark as a ‘thank you’ for their help. Whilst this experience is temporarily unavailable, we hope it will return to Fantasyland soon.
A Pirate’s Adventure – Treasure of the Seven Seas
This free activity takes place in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom. Solve the clues and complete the scavenger hunt to collect one of 6 trading cards featuring famous characters from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. We’ve heard that the final card features a particularly special character; we wonder who that could be?!
Finding Dory’s Friends
The Seas with Nemo & Friends in EPCOT is a great place to take a break from the sun and heat, as well as be mesmerized by a whole host of sea creatures. Did you know that there’s also a fun scavenger hunt to take part in during your visit, though? Pick up a booklet as you enter The Seas Pavilion, and get ready to place stickers that match your finds around the Disney attraction to solve a puzzle.
Disney Character autographs
Meeting Disney characters is an essential part of the Disney experience for many guests. Make sure to have your autograph book ready, as character autographs are free and magical to collect.
The Mayor of Main Street, U.S.A. Business Card
Keep your eyes peeled as you enter Magic Kingdom Park and are strolling down Main Street, U.S.A. for the Mayor of Main Street, U.S.A.. He’s usually found wearing a black top hat and a red, white, and blue sash with mayor written in black font. Stop and chat with him, and you’ll hopefully be given his very own business card.
How many of these Disney freebies have you collected or earned? We love that whilst some freebies only really need to be collected once, others change, meaning that there’s always something to seek out when taking a Walt Disney World vacation. Happy collecting during your future Disney vacations!