UPDATED JUNE 28TH, 2018
Let’s be honest – a Disney vacation does cost quite a bit. It is not a budget vacation, so when you are spending that much money, you want to make sure you are getting all you can out of it. Your park tickets will provide you with a vast amount of fun with rides, entertainment and characters, but there are some Disney World freebies that a lot of people do not know about. That’s right, there are FREE things at Disney, and unless you know about them, you may just pass them by.
Here is a list of some FREE things at Disney:
1. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (Magic Kingdom)
If you are a fan of scavenger hunts, then this will appeal to you. This is a game that you play throughout the park using spell cards to help defeat the villain. When you enter the Magic Kingdom, you can go to the Fire Station in Town Square to register and get your free cards to start your game. They will give you a pack of cards for each person along with a map that directs you where to begin. You go to your starting point to find the secret screen to reveal the beginning of the adventure. It will direct you through a series of secret locations that you must visit in the park to play. It’s a fun activity if you feel like taking a bit of a break from the rides.
2. Kidcot Stations (Epcot)
Every country in the World Showcase has their own Kidcot station. It’s a great opportunity to stop and take a break while the kids keep busy with a craft activity. At each station you will get a complimentary Duffy cut out. Each station has supplies for your child to color and decorate their Duffy. The Duffy cut out also works great as a fan to help you cool off throughout the rest of your day.
3. Club Cool (Epcot)
This is one of my favorite places to stop. It’s a nice escape from the Florida heat and who doesn’t like free unlimited drinks? At Club Cool, you will find drink dispensers where you can get unlimited sample sizes of sodas from around the world. Try out sodas from Italy, Japan, Peru, Thailand and many more. It’s self-serve, so have as much as you’d like! You will find Club Cool near Innoventions West in Future World.
4. Celebration Buttons (All Parks & Resorts)
If you are celebrating something while on your Disney vacation, then make sure to get a free button. They have themed buttons for birthdays, anniversaries, first visits, but they also have a generic celebration one where you can write on it. Wearing these buttons lets Cast Members know you are celebrating and it might just get you some special attention.
5. Stickers (All Parks & Resorts)
Most all Cast Members carry around Disney stickers with them. They have them so they can hand them out to kids. You can just ask for them and they will often give you more than one. The most frequent one you will see is the Mickey Mouse sticker, but they often give out other themed stickers as well. You can build yourself a little collection for free!
6. Pin Trading (All Parks)
This is free, but only if you already have a starter collection of pins. We already have quite a few pins from previous trips, so now we carry them on a pin lanyard and take the opportunity to trade with cast members as we are touring the parks. You never know what gem of a pin you will find! Just walk up to any cast member, and you will find that they have a small collection of pins to trade. You will even sometimes find pin trading stations in some of the shops. When you trade with a CM, you get to choose which pin you want and which to give away, so it’s a win/win for you!
7. Pixie Dust (Magic Kingdom)
You’ll see many girls walking through the parks with a fancy makeover that they had done at Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique with beautiful sparkles in their hair. While that can cost you a small fortune, did you know you can get the sparkles for free? Some shops in the Magic Kingdom offer free pixie dusting in girls’ hair. We came across it in the boutique that you exit out to from Princess Fairytale Hall. You’ll see a cast member with a wand and all you have to do is ask. Your little one will get sparkly pixie dust, making her feel magical and it won’t cost you a cent!
8. Festival Passport (Epcot)
They host several festivals throughout the year at Epcot. For every festival, you can get a free passport with information about what is available. You’ll find menus for the food booths and a lot of other useful information. You can also ask Cast Members from the country pavilions in World Showcase to sign your passport. They will write you a greeting in your passport in their native language. Here are the different festivals you will find at Epcot throughout the year:
- International Festival of the Arts (mid-January to mid-February)
- Flower & Garden Festival (March to May)
- Food & Wine Festival (September to mid -November)
- International Festival of the Holidays (mid-November to December)
9. Ice Water (All Parks & Resorts)
Florida is hot and you will want to make sure you stay hydrated! If you don’t want to carry around water bottles, then you can get free ice water at any counter service location in the parks. Just walk up and ask a Cast Member, it’s free! For other ways to stay cool in the parks, check out How To Stay Cool in Florida During the Summer Months.
10. Wilderness Explorers (Animal Kingdom)
This activity is based on the movie Up!, where your little ones get to embark on a journey to complete challenges throughout the park. They can pick up their Wilderness Explorer field guide on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island to begin the fun. Each challenge will allow you to earn a sticker badge. A lot of people believe that Animal Kingdom is a half day park, so this activity is something else you can add to the list when you visit.
11. Chocolate Samples (Disney Springs)
At the Ghirardelli store in Disney Springs, you can score some free chocolate. Say what?! Just head over to Ghirardelli, which is located close to World of Disney, and pick up your free sample of chocolate.
12. Drink Refills (Certain Restaurants)
Feeling thirsty? Then there are some restaurants in Disney that allow you free refills. All of these locations have self-serving drink stations:
- Restaurantosaurus in Animal Kingdom
- Sunshine Seasons in Epcot
- Electric Umbrella in Epcot
- Backlot Express in Hollywood Studios
- Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom (lunch and breakfast only)
- Earl of Sandwich in Disney Springs
- Cookes of Dublin in Disney Springs
13. Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure (Epcot)
This is one of our favorite activities to do in the World Showcase. While we love exploring the pavilions, my daughter always loves completing these challenges. There are Agent P locations throughout the World Showcase and you just need to register at one to get your smartphone to begin. You choose which country you want to play in and then let the adventure begin! The smartphone will lead you through a series of tasks that you need to complete to beat the Evil Doofenshmirtz.
14. Electrical Water Pageant (Certain Resorts)
There is a special water parade that runs every night through the Seven Seas lagoon. It’s called the Electrical Water Pageant. If you are staying at a resort that borders this lagoon, then you will be able to watch it. If you are not a guest, you can still visit the resort to watch the pageant.
15. Art Classes (Art of Animation)
A couple of years ago they used to offer free drawing classes at Hollywood Studios, but that has since been discontinued since the opening of Star Wars Launch Bay. Well, good news is that they now offer them at the Art of Animation resort. It is open to any Disney resort guest and the class lasts approximately 30 minutes. Just check the schedule at the Art of Animation.
16. Star Wars Photo Opportunities (Hollywood Studios)
Star Wars is growing at Hollywood Studios, so if you are a fan, this is the park for you. Have you ever wanted to ride on a Speeder Bike? Right across from the Star Tours ride is a replica that you can sit on and take pictures. A must-do for any die hard Star Wars fan!
17. Campfires (Certain Resorts)
Several Disney resorts offer campfires where you can roast marshmallows. That part is free, but if you would like to make S’mores, then there is an extra fee for that. The schedule for this activity varies by resort, you would have to check the Resort Activity Schedule to see when it is being offered. At Fort Wilderness, they even have a campfire where Chip n’ Dale make an appearance!
18. Tomorrowland Dance Party (Magic Kingdom)
Depending on where you are in the park at the end of the day, you can completely miss this opportunity for fun. Head over to Tomorrowland around 5 pm and you will come across a super fun dance party near Buzz’s Space Ranger Spin. This is your chance to dance with characters from The Incredibles and to bust out some awesome dance moves in the park!
19. Concerts (Epcot)
The America Gardens Theatre at Epcot is a great place to enjoy some music. They always have musical acts playing and depending on the time of year, you may just be able to catch your favourite band. During the festivals, they usually have a lineup of bands that play, such as Boyz 2 Men, Hanson, Sugar Ray, Air Supply, Glass Tiger and so many more. Best part is that it is completely free to attend if you are in Epcot!
20. Movies Under the Stars (Resorts)
All of the Disney resorts host Movies Under the Stars. They set up a movie viewing location (usually by the main pool), so that you can enjoy a Disney movie at the end of the day. Some times of year, it is a nightly event, but sometimes there is a set schedule. You’ll just need to check the Resort Activity Schedule to see when they are playing.
21. First Aid (All Parks)
Every park has a First Aid station that is complimentary for every guest to use. At the First Aid station you’ll have access to over the counter medication, thermometer strips, cough drops, packets of tissue, EpiPens, sunscreen, hygiene products and bandages. Each First Aid station has a nurse in case you need medical attention. Here are the locations of the First Aid stations in the parks:
- Magic Kingdom – between Crystal Palace and Casey’s Corner
- Epcot – in the Odyssey Center between Test Track and World Showcase
- Hollywood Studios – in the Guest Relations building at the entrance
- Animal Kingdom – Discovery Island, next to Creature Comforts/Starbucks
- Typhoon Lagoon – behind Leaning Palms
- Blizzard Beach – beside Lottawatta Lodge
22. WiFi (All Parks & Resorts)
So that guests can get good use of the My Disney Experience app, Disney offers free WiFi in all of their parks and resorts. Just log on to the Disney Guest network and your set! The signal can sometimes be a bit weak as you move around, but it gets the job done.
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled when touring the parks. There is much more to Disney World than just rides, shows and characters. There are a lot of little extras, you just need to know where to look! Hopefully, this gives you a bit of a starting point on where to find all the free things at Disney 🙂
Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of 9 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she has now become a travel agent so that she can help other families plan magical vacations. She’ll not only help complete your booking, but she will also help with booking Fastpasses, making dining reservations, booking special experiences…. she helps with all aspects of your trip! You can request a no obligation quote from her today 🙂