Shannon highlights 15 free and cheap things and 22 unique activities to do at Walt Disney World. Check out the the articles linked below to reference those items and add a few to your next trip to the most magical place on Earth.
Free or Cheap Activities
This is a great park for scavenger hunts. These keep the kids interested in touring the World Showcase.
Festival Scavenger Hunts
These are available during the festivals and have different themes. You can buy them for $10 in a variety of shops in Epcot. You can go around and find the items, add the stickers, and turn them in for a prize.
Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure
DuckTales World Showcase Adventure is a free activity. You can find this within the Play Disney Parks app. You will go to seven different countries with Scrooge to replace stolen artifacts.
KidCot Fun Stops
The KidCot Fun Stops have been around for a long time. There are tables set up in each country staffed by cast members from those countries. This is a great way to explore various pavilions.
Design your own Skeleton
In the Mexico Pavilion, you can design your own Dia De Los Muertos skeleton. There is rarely a line and it’s a great way to entertain children while getting out of the heat or rain. While you’re in there, you can add a ride or some shopping in Mexico.
Magic Kingdom also has a scavenger hunt called A Pirate’s Adventures: Treasures of the Seven Seas. This is a free game that takes place in Adventure Land. You can get the map at the Crow’s Nest and complete the tasks to collect a prize.
Wilderness Explorers is the scavenger hunt at Animal Kingdom. This is a great way to learn and explore the park. There are over 30 experience in this free opportunity. You can pick up your field guide from any of the Wilderness Explorers stops.
This is a great opportunity to learn to sketch a character with a Disney animator. You can do this at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. You can check times for this at My Disney Experience.
Star Wars: Datapad is the free scavenger hunt at Hollywood Studios. You will need to have the Disney Play app on your phone and follow the instructions in Galaxy’s Edge. You will be able to interact with your surroundings in Galaxy’s Edge.
If you have a MagicBand+ you can play Bounty Hunters within in the Disney Play app as well.
Resorts and Beyond
- Movies under the Stars is a free option to watch a Disney animated movie outside on an inflatable screen. You can check the schedule to see when the movies are shown and what is playing.
- Swimming is a wonderful free activity at each resort as well. Each resort has at least one feature pool as well as additional pools. Pool hopping is not available.
- Fort Wilderness has the option for mining for gemstones, which is one of the less expensive options at Fort Wilderness. This is located near the bike barn. You can purchase a bag and will receive a screen to unearth gems.
- Transportation is also a free treat at Disney World. You can take the monorail, skyliner, boats, and more. This can be a fun experience, especially for children.
- Pressed Pennies is another great activity and souvenir you can collect at Disney World. You will find these all around property and do not have to have a penny – just cash or card!
- Looking for hidden Mickeys is a great (and free!) way to experience Walt Disney World. Mickeys are hidden throughout the resorts and parks. Looking for them is a great way to pass the time.
- Getting autographs from characters is another free experience at Disney World. You can also take your photo with them and have that as a keepsake.
Fireworks Dessert Options
- Magic Kingdom – There are a variety of options but we recommend the Garden View option. You can either have the desserts before or after the fireworks. If you want to have a table and chairs, you can do the Seats and Sweets option.
- Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise is an opportunity to watch Magic Kingdom fireworks. This is a cruise option at Seven Seas Lagoon that includes beverages and desserts.
- Celebration at the Top: Sip, Savor, and Sparkle is a celebration at the Contemporary Resort where you can watch the fireworks from California Grill. Cocktails, appetizers, and desserts are included.
Haircut at Magic Kingdom
Harmony Barber Shop is located right inside the main entrance of Magic Kingdom. This is a great memory especially if you wait to get your child’s first haircut here. You can make reservations online.
There are two options to play mini-golf at Disney World: Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland. The cost is $14 for adults and $12 for children. We prefer Winter Summerland.
DiveQuest at the Seas Pavilion
You can dive with fish and other creatures in the Seas Pavilion. You need to be at least 10 years of age and SCUBA certified. Reservations are available to book online.
Interact with Dolphins
With Dolphins in Depth you get a 2 hour experience of learning about dolphins. You can book this reservation online.
Most resorts have a campfire, but only Fort Wilderness has a singalong with characters. This is a free activity but if you want to have smores, you will need to purchase the supplies from the chuckwagon.
You can book an excursion at various resorts. You received everything you need including a guide. Beverages (non-alcoholic) are provided. You can also fish at a dock at Port Orleans Riverside or Fort Wilderness.
Ride a Horse
You can go on a horseback trail, pony ride, holiday sleigh ride, horse drawn excursions, and wagon ride are all available at Fort Wilderness. The horse drawn excursions are also available at Port Orleans Riverside.
Trading pins is a popular activity at Walt Disney World. You can trade with cast members or even other guests. You can buy pins either from Disney or online. Be sure to read this guide on pin trading for more details.
Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
Aerophile in Disney Springs is a tethered balloon at Disney Spring. You can take an 8 minute ride to get the best views!
Build your own Droid
You can have a blast to build a droid at Galaxy’s Edge. Pick your choice of a BB series or R series droid and have an experience building your own droid.
Build your own Lightsaber
At Savi’s Workshop in Galaxy’s Edge you can have the experience of building your own lightsaber. It is expensive but a wonderful experience and very high quality.
You can also build a more kid-friendly lightsaber in the gift shop outside Star Tours. This is much less expensive and more toy-like.
Ride a Car in Water
If you want to ride a car in water you can book an Amphicar Tour at Disney Springs. You can take a 20 minute tour around Lake Buena Vista.
If you love sangria and want to make your own, you can on Saturdays and Sundays at Sangria University at Three Bridges Bar and Grill. Light appetizers and sangria provided.
Cirque de Soleil Show
You can get a ticket for a wonderful show that pairs Cirque de Soleil and Disney. Drawn to Life Presented by Cirque du Soleil & Disney can be found in Disney Springs. We love this show but do not recommend getting the most expensive tickets – you can see better with the less expensive options.
BOOK A PRIVATE TEQUILA TASTING
If you like tequila and want to learn the La Cava Experience is unique and fun. Chips and guacamole are included. You can try several different tequilas including some that aren’t available anywhere else.
You and up to 9 other people can reserve a boat to watch the fireworks at either Epcot or Magic Kingdom. Snacks and drinks are available but if you want alcoholic beverages you will need to purchase and bring those yourself. You can request banners or balloons as well. To reserve a cruise, call 407-WDW-PLAY or (407) 939-7529.
Learn about Seeds
If you love Living with the Land, you can take a 60 minute tour of the fish farm and greenhouses in the Land Pavilion. Behind the Seeds Tour is one of the least expensive tours and we highly recommend it.
Spend some time on the Boardwalk
The Boardwalk has both free and paid opportunities for fun. We like AbracadaBar, Jellyrolls, Atlantic Dance Hall for grown-up entertainment on the Boardwalk.
We like the Surrey Bikes for more family-friendly Boardwalk fun. You can rent bikes that seat 2-4 people on the Boardwalk.
One of the most popular way to run around Disney is to sign up for a runDisney event. There are various events throughout the year.
Decorate a Cake
At Amorette’s Patisserie Cake Decorating Experience, you get to decorate Amorette’s signature Character Dome Cakes for 90 minutes. This experience is for two people. Refreshments are included.
Book a Tour
Tours are what we think Disney does best. Some of our favorites are:
- Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour – this is a 5 hour tour of the Magic Kingdom. See behind the scenes and find out new little-known-facts about the Magic Kingdom
- Wild Africa Trek – This is a tour that I went on recently and it was fantastic. This tour provides you a backstage pass to Kilimanjaro Safaris.
- Savor the Savanna – This tour includes a private viewing area and food and drinks to compliment the scene. Enjoy regional beer and wine while watching the animals of the Savanna.
- Starlight Safari – This is an experience at Animal Kingdom Lodge where you can watch the wildlife come alive at night.
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- Free and cheap things to do with kids at Disney World
- 22 unique things to do at Disney World
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