1. Maps & MyDisneyExperience App
“Maps” may not sound like much, however Disney’s maps are really just free souvenirs from your trip! Chances are the cover of the maps will change between your visits, and if you hold onto a couple of them you’ll find yourself with a nice collection. Maps are also helpful if you plan on making a scrapbook of your Disney vacation. If you’re not a map fan, you can also find your way around Walt Disney World with the MyDisneyExperience App. This app doesn’t just serve as a virtual guide, but shows wait times, allows you to make dining reservations, FastPass, and so much more! And the best part – it’s FREE.
Stickers may be given out by cast members around the park. Though there is not one set list of which stickers are available or where you can find them, so while they are free think of them more as an added perk than something you will definitely come by. If you do happen to come across some stickers of your favorite Disney characters though, they can be used for things like decorating scrapbooks and laptops or just to brighten up the kids’ day when they get surprised with them.
Many guests do not realize that water is free at Walt Disney World. Of course bottled water must be purchased, but any guest is welcome to order a cup of water from a quick service restaurant free of charge. Save your cash or dining plan snack credits for something more worthwhile, and stock up on free water when you pass by a quick service restaurant! Worried about the taste of Florida tap water? The water given out at these locations actually comes out of the soda machine, meaning that it goes through the same filters that soda would and should not have the tap water taste that you may dislike.
Not all tours, but some tours of various parts of Walt Disney World are actually offered for free. Many resorts will give you a tour of a room if the room (and an extra cast member) are available to do so. Additionally, you’ve probably seen the signs around Walt Disney World advertising free tours of Disney Vacation Club properties– while the ultimate goal is to sell you the membership, these tours are free and you are welcome to take them if you are just looking to see what these accommodations are all about. Other resorts offer free tours of specific areas, like Animal Kingdom Lodge which offers tours of Boma so guests can learn about all of the African-inspired details that went into designing the restaurant.
And no, I’m not talking about taking a picture of the screen at the end of a ride, or screen-shotting PhotoPass pictures with the watermarks from your phone. You can actually take advantage of Disney’s PhotoPass service by asking a PhotoPass cast member to use your phone or camera instead of theirs. They will be happy to do so, and you’ll be able to get your photos in front of the castle without handing your camera off to a random guest for free.
Disney’s transportation is “free” in the sense that you do not pay for it separately each time you use it– of course in this instance “free” is essentially the same as “built into the price of your resort stay.” However, depending on how often you use the transportation traveling via Disney bus, boat, monorail, or skyliner, it is often cheaper than staying offsite and paying for Uber or taxi service, or renting a car. Keep in mind, Disney resort guests do have to pay for overnight resort parking each night of their stay. The complimentary transportation service however helps knock one thing off the list of items you’ll need extra spending money for.
7. Magical Express
Again included in a Disney resort stay, Disney’s Magical Express can really save some money over paying for transportation between your resort and the Orlando International Airport, particularly if you are traveling with a larger group or have lots of extra luggage. There are affordable shuttle services from the airport to most Orlando area hotels, however they often come with more (or less efficient) stops than what the Magical Express does, so using this service will save you time and money.
Assuming you’ve already purchased a ticket to go to the parks, FastPass is a service that is offered to you free of charge. It may not sound like much in the way of “things you can get for free,” but considering the fact that other theme parks do sometimes charge for a similar service it’s a pretty good deal. In fact, guests sometimes do not look into using FastPass at all because they assume that like other parks it will come at an additional cost.
9. Package pickup
Another helpful service that is complimentary for guests visiting the parks is the option to send your merchandise to package pickup. Without staying at a Disney resort, or if you are checking out the next morning, have your purchases sent to package pickup at the front of the park for you to pick up on your way out. If you are staying at a Disney resort, you can even have your items sent back to your resort gift shop to be picked up there.
10. Celebration buttons
One of the most memorable free souvenirs is a button for whatever you may be celebrating. Pick up a celebration button at guest services or ask about them at your nearest merchandise location free of charge!
Some of Disney’s recreational offerings are free. Disney resorts show movies under the stars free of charge on a nightly basis, and most pool activities for the kids do not come with a fee (the ones that do have a fee typically involve some sort of product, ie: tye dye t-shirts). Additionally guests can walk around resorts they are not staying at free of charge (which can easily fill up a day where you do not want to do a park ticket), and check out everything from the shops and restaurants, and free entertainment, along the Boardwalk or the animals in the savanna by Animal Kingdom Lodge. (Just remember that resort amenities, including pools, are reserved for guests who are staying at the specific resort).