Disney Parks trips can be expensive! Between a hotel room, dining, and park tickets, your Disney budget can disappear quickly. We’ve brought you some money-saving tips before, like resort discounts and special sales, but did you know that some things at Walt Disney World are completely free?
Knowing about these free items can help you save money on your trip while also taking advantage of some of the unique experiences Disney World has to offer.
Cups of Ice Water
You can get a free cup of ice water at any Quick Service location — just head up to the counter and ask for it! You don’t need to order any food, either. Tell the Cast Member at the door you’re just swinging by for some water, and they’ll usually let you in.
If your Quick Service spot is extra busy, you may be directed to a quieter location instead. You can also find these water cups at some — but not all — outdoor carts. It’s a great way to stay cool in the summer without breaking the bank on a water bottle every time you’re thirsty!
Stickers and Celebration Buttons
There’s a free way to commemorate a special occasion in Disney World! Most merchandise locations, resort front desks, and park Guest Relations windows have celebration buttons for birthdays, anniversaries, first visits, and more. Just head up to the counter and ask! You can celebrate something as small as eating your favorite snack or as big as an engagement. You can also write whatever you want on these buttons in Sharpie.
Some locations also have stickers at the checkout counter — or sometimes, Cast Members just carry them in their pockets! It’s hit or miss if you’ll be able to grab some free Disney-themed stickers, but it never hurts to ask.
If you score 999,999 on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, be sure to ask a Cast Member for a Galactic Hero sticker so you can show off how you saved the galaxy!
My Disney Experience App
The My Disney Experience app is an easy — and free — way to manage your Disney vacation! And as the parks limit contact with Cast Members to encourage physical distancing, it’s even more important now than ever. You can order food, check wait times, make Advance Dining Reservations, and more.
If you’re staying at a Disney resort, you can get free transportation to the parks and Disney Springs! Disney offers buses, boats, Monorails, and the Skyliner to get from place to place. Different resorts offer different forms of this complimentary transportation, but you’ll always have a way to get around!
Until the end of 2021, you can also get free transportation from Orlando International Airport to your Disney resort! While Disney’s Magical Express is being discontinued in 2022, you can take advantage of this convenient way to travel to Disney until then.
Kidcot Fun Stops
EPCOT offers kids a unique opportunity to learn about each country they visit in the World Showcase! You’ll start with a Ziploc bag “suitcase” and pick up a traveler’s card from the Kidcot Fun Stop in each country you visit. The card will have a trivia fact on it. Sometimes you’ll even get a sticker, too!
There’s a Cast Member at each country’s booth to discuss that country’s culture & history. This interactive and completely free activity is a great way to spend an afternoon exploring World Showcase.
Wilderness Explorers is similar to Kidcot Fun Stops — but in Disney’s Animal Kingdom! In this self-guided activity, kids can practice animal observation or learn important wilderness skills. They can even earn a badge on Kilimanjaro Safaris!
Once you earn all 31 badges and complete your Handbook, you can officially call yourself a Wilderness Explorer!
Resort Scavenger Hunt
For another fun self-guided activity, try your hand at a resort scavenger hunt! Select resorts — including Disney’s Art of Animation, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort — offer these fun and free adventures.
You can pick up a sheet with clues at the front desk, and return once you’re finished to claim a prize! This is a great activity for a relaxing day at the resorts — or anytime you just need a break from the parks.
If you buy something in the parks and don’t want to carry it around all day, you can send it to the front of the park or back to your Disney resort for free! Just ask the Cast Member at the register. They’ll bag up all your items and give you a confirmation slip. When you’re ready to pick up your items, head to the designated in-park pick up spot or to your hotel gift shop, and present that confirmation slip.
You can ask a Cast Member to deliver any items you’ve bought in the parks — you don’t have to have purchased it at that particular store! Note: Since reopening, Disney World has not yet reinstated Package Pick-Up to the resorts, so for now, you’ll only be able to send them to the front of the park or have items shipped home.
Play Disney Parks App
Play Disney Parks is a free app that can help make wait times feel a little less long! Some Disney attractions have a mini-game that you can play on the app while you wait in line. There’s also park-wide trivia and special badges you can earn by experiencing attractions.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has a special section on the app with quests to complete around the land. Interact with what’s around you to earn credits and complete challenges!
Access to Disney Springs
Disney Springs offers shopping, dining, and entertainment just minutes away from the parks and resorts. That Disney transportation we told you about will get you there for free!
You don’t need any kind of ticket to walk around, shop, or dine here! There’s so much to do that you could spend an entire day wandering around or visit for just a few hours after a day in the parks.
Taking advantage of these free extras can really enhance your Walt Disney World vacation. Whether you try all 10 or just one or two, we hope these tips helped you!
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Have you tried any of these free activities before? Let us know in the comments!