Five Fun (and Free) Things to do at Disney World
When I plan a trip to Disney World, I’m thinking about more than how to make it as affordable as possible…but also how to get the most value out of the many American dollars that we do spend to have a Disney vacation. Which means, I’m all about finding those little *extras* that may be overlooked….but add so much to an already wonderful and magical vacation experience. Have you done the same thing? Disney details are everywhere, and free fun is too! In fact, in many cases, you don’t even need to pay to go to a park to have an absolutely amazing Disney day! Take a look at five of our favorite, fun, and free things to do at Walt Disney World:
Visit the Disney resorts.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge especially has animal observation areas that are fascinating places to animal watch! Or spend an afternoon or evening at Disney’s Boardwalk, where you will find arcade games and activities just like at the beach (yes, I admit you do have to spend a little here…but not a lot). You can easily spend an entire day of your Disney vacation visiting each of the resorts, and spending practically no money…and having a blast doing it.
Go for a ride.
Ride the monorail. It’s a must do on every vacation we have at Disney World. Enjoy a leisurely boat ride on Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon. Take the train around Magic Kingdom. You can even take a ride on a Segway! While there are several Segway tours, they can be a little pricey. For anyone over a certain height, you can have a lesson for free….along with a photo op….at Epcot’s Innoventions.
Learning Can be Fun. And You Can Get a Souvenir Out of it Too
For an international flavor to your souvenirs, have your children stop at each of the World Showcase countries at Epcot to do the Kidcot fun stop activities. They’re fun, they’re educational and best of all they make great, free souvenirs. Bonus points for taking the time to ask the castmembers in each country about their native land: they love talking about where they come from….and you’ll learn some fascinating things about the rest of the world in the process
Play in Water
Disney is well aware of how hot it can get in Florida….which is why you will find “water fun” pretty much everywhere you go in Walt Disney World. The theme parks have a number of places where pop-up fountains create instant cool: have your kids wear swimsuits under their clothes if you don’t want them getting their clothes soaked. You’ll find lots of hidden *surprise* water opportunities as well, such as those very cool tiki carvings in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom: standing in the right spot can be an adventure all its own!
And of course, no matter whether you are staying on Disney property, or have rented a vacation home, chances are you will have a pool to play in. Use it! You’ll be so glad you did! Spending an afternoon by the pool is a great way to unwind from a hot and busy morning at the theme parks…and chances are you’ll have a pretty good time there as well.
Stop and smell the roses
Don’t rush through your Disney vacation so quickly! Take a few minutes to smell the roses….literally! We have visited Walt Disney World more than a dozen times and on each visit we discover something new to us! Disney World is a truly fascinating place, and if you can take a few minutes each day to appreciate those little details, your trip will be that much more enjoyable. Sit on a bench (OK, you can spend some money on a Dole Whip!) and people-watch. Don’t rush to leave the parks at the end of the evening: wander a bit, relax and enjoy the beauty of Disney at night. Look at the signs. Really look at them: you’ll find some cool, and humorous details when you do! Check out the windows on Main Street USA: they’re all in honor of some very special folks with the Disney company. Disney loves detail, and some of our favorite memories center around exploring gardens, topiaries and such, that sometimes just get passed by in the rush to get to the next ride before the line gets too long.
These are some of our favorite things to do beyond the basic rides, attractions: what are your family’s favorite, fun “freebies”?
Nancy, her husband and college-age daughter live in the Baltimore MD area, but consider Walt Disney World their second “home”. She started her site, The Affordable Mouse, as a way to share ideas about how to plan affordable Disney vacations. Her favorite things at Disney World (in no particular order) are Soarin’, most of the food in World Showcase, Illuminations…and that “Disney magic”.