We’re not gonna lie to ya — Disney World can get really expensive! Between tickets, hotels, merchandise, and food (not to mention the upcoming Disney Genie+ service), it’s easy to drop lots of money during your Disney vacation.
But one thing you may not know is that there are actually some free things to get and do around the Disney parks as well!
We’re taking a look at eight completely free things at Disney World!
Let’s see what we can find without dropping a dime at the Disney World parks!
Stickers and Celebration Buttons
You can get celebration buttons to commemorate big events from a lot of different spots in Disney World! There are buttons for birthdays, engagements, and 1st visits to Disney, plus you can customize yours by writing the occasion on it in sharpie! To get one of these buttons, just ask a Cast Member at a store, hotel front desk, or Guest Relations spot; most of these places have them!
When you’re walking around the parks with your button, you’ll find a lot of Cast Members celebrating with you! Be prepared for a TON of “Happy Birthday!”s when you’re wearing the birthday button! 🙂
You can also get stickers from a lot of stores and hotel desks, and sometimes cast members just have them in their pockets! Go ahead and ask a cast member, and you might get a Disney sticker! (You gotta earn this Galactic Hero sticker, but you’re likely to see Mickey stickers for free from Cast Members!)
This can be really fun for kids, and you can see how many Disney stickers you can collect during your trip!
Play Disney Parks App
The Play Disney Parks App is a separate app from My Disney Experience. With the Play app, you can find different interactive experiences in the parks, play Disney-themed games while you wait in line, test your skills with Disney trivia, and more!
One of the coolest features of the app is the Star Wars: Datapad. You can use this in Galaxy’s Edge (the Star Wars land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios) to interact with droids, go on scavenger hunts, and decrypt communications! When Galactic Starcruiser opens next year, the Datapad will be used “onboard” as well.
If you’re looking for a Disney-themed distraction while you wait for rides or you want to participate in the immersive worlds of Star Wars, the Play app is a great option!
Movie nights (and other resort activities)
You don’t even need to go into the parks to enjoy a whole bunch of fun activities at Disney World! Most resorts offer things like Movies Under the Stars (nighttime Disney movie screenings), scavenger hunts, playgrounds, and of course the pools!
Most Disney World Resorts have movie nights where they play a Disney movie on a big screen for guests to enjoy! Check with the front desk to see what movies are playing during your stay.
There are pools at every Disney World resort, so if you’re staying on-property, this is a great built-in activity! The pools are often themed, like the flower-shaped Hippy Dippy pool at Disney’s Pop Century Resort or the Lost City of Cibola pool at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort!
At some resorts, there are also poolside activities, like a limbo competition or trivia games!
Most resorts also have playgrounds, like Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts. These are great if you’re vacationing with little ones who would love the slides and swings almost as much as (or maybe even more than) they love the parks!
You might find a scavenger hunt at your resort, too! Ask at the front desk if there’s one going on, and you might find yourself hunting down spots around the resort to win a prize!
Wherever you’re staying in Disney World, there are probably activities around the resort. Ask the front desk when you check in about what’s going on that might be fun for you and your group!
Look for Cast Members dressed in the Wilderness Explorer uniform, and they can tell you how to complete the task needed for each badge. You can get a Wilderness Explorer handbook from the headquarters, which is on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island. There are also handbooks available from Wilderness Explorer leader locations in each of the lands in Animal Kingdom!
There’s not a prize for collecting all the badges, except that you’ll be an official member of the Wilderness Explorers! Caw! Caw! Roar!
Finding Dory’s Friends Scavenger Hunt
In EPCOT, there’s a free scavenger hunt that’s led by our favorite forgetful fish, Dory! It’s the Finding Dory’s Friends Scavenger Hunt that leads you through the Seas Pavilion in Future World at EPCOT!
You’ll follow the clues and collect stickers along the way of Dory’s friends in the pavilion!
This is a cute way to explore a really underrated part of EPCOT — the huge aquarium!
Park Maps and Festival Booklets
For a free souvenir, you can pick up a park map in each park! These are free and can be super helpful during your trip and then fun mementos to have later on.
Festivals, like the International Food & Wine Festival in EPCOT, also have maps and Festival Passports that you can get for free!
You could circle the rides and attractions you went on and note the food you tried to make them like little vacation journals!
Tour Disney World Resorts
A lot of Disney World Resorts are just really cool to see and have some awesome amenities that you can enjoy even if you’re not staying there! Although you can’t use pools at resorts you’re not staying at, you can check out other cool things like the beaches at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, the horses at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, or the lively Boardwalk at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn!
Some resorts also offer guided tours that walk you around the resort so that you can learn more about its history and background! Most tours aren’t running now since Disney is still in the process of reopening, but we’re hoping to see them back again soon!
There are a lot of spots in Disney World where you can enjoy live music! You’ll often see it walking along the Boardwalk at evening time at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, and we’re hoping the jazz will be back soon at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — French Quarter if you go to Scat Cat’s Club!
Another sure-fire place to hear some live music is Disney Springs, where you’ll find all kinds just by walking along near the shops and restaurants! EPCOT also has live music in the World Showcase sometimes, like one of our favorites, the Jammitors!
Now you’re prepared with a few free activities to sprinkle in to your Disney vacation! Keep following AllEars for more Disney World planning tips!
What’s your favorite free activity at Disney World? Tell us about it in the comments!