A list of activities to do in Walt Disney World without going into the parks
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Disney World is expensive.
BUT, there are a lot of great activities you can do at Disney World that will not break the bank. So here is my list of free things to do at Disney World, AND cheap things to do at Disney World.
Be sure to also check out my ideas on how to save money at Disney World.
Free and Cheap Things to Do at Walt Disney World Resort
Disney pin trading is a hobby and a lifestyle. Some people are so super into it that they can tell you what year a pin was made, how many were released, how many are in its set, and how valuable it is. Me, I just pick out the ones I like.
While pins themselves are not free, pin trading is, and is also a lot of fun.
Learn all about Disney pin trading.
Disney goes above and beyond when it comes to decorating. Everything has a theme and everything fits the theme.
With that in mind, every resort is a unique experience, and while it may not be free to stay at the Grand Floridian Hotel, it’s 100% free to visit it. Visiting different resorts is definitely an interesting way to fill an afternoon.
If you purchase a Disney mug from the dining hall at any resort, you can refill that mug for free in ANY dining hall at ANY resort for your entire stay.
Learn more about resort hopping at Disney World.
This particular resort has something even more fun than just exploring the lobby. Check out Disney’s Boardwalk Resort for an authentic waterfront boardwalk experience.
It’s a great place to eat dinner and spend the evening playing the carnival games, laughing at the entertainers, or hanging out in the dance hall.
Click here for detailed information on how to get to the Boardwalk Resort.
I mean obviously, if you’re staying at a Disney resort (or even if you’re staying somewhere outside of Disney), there’s a pool. This is Florida. It’s warm. Go swimming. Plus, Disney pools, like everything else Disney, are themed.
Be sure to check out the fun themed decorations at all the other resorts’ pools!
Riding the Monorail
Yes, there are rides IN the parks. But there are also rides OUTSIDE of the parks! Technically, these are all forms of transportation designed to get you TO the parks. But they are also super fun just to ride around. And to get you to those resorts you’re visiting.
If you time it right, you can see the EPCOT or the Magic Kingdom fireworks explode in the window as you pass by.
Riding the Boats
Another form of transportation, and probably the most fun (in my opinion) to do just because, is riding the boats. There are TONS of boats around Disney to ride. Just don’t stick your hands in the water.
Riding the Skyliner
This is my new favorite thing to do at Disney World. It is so fun to ride the Skyliners, and there are a lot of great resorts to see along the route!
Just be wary, if you are afraid of heights, you might not want to do this.
Check out my list of things to know before riding the skyliners.
If you are staying at a Disney resort, they all have special activities to do.
See your particular resort for details, but examples include outdoor movies, roasting marshmallows, yard games such as corn hole, and lots of different art classes.
Some of these activities (like the art classes) cost a little extra, but most of them are completely free if you’re staying at the resort!
There are two mini golf courses at Disney World that make for an inexpensive afternoon when you’re not in the parks. Be sure to watch out for squirting water!
Winter Summerland Miniature Golf
Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf
Click here for detailed information on both mini golf courses and how to get to each one.
Disney Springs is the resort’s shopping district. And entertainment district. And everything you could ever imagine wanting, needing, or … well they have cars you can rent that drive into the water, so I’m pretty sure I never even imagined that…district.
A hot air balloon ride, car-boat things, the Rainforest Café, a HUGE movie theater, every restaurant ever, every Disney product ever, stores upon stores upon stores so you spend lots of money.
Going to Disney Springs is free. What you do there is gonna cost you something. But there is SO MUCH to do! And some really epic experiences, so check it out. It still won’t set you back as much as a trip into the parks (although that’s fun too).
Please Note: The AMC Theater at Disney Springs does not accept Magic Bands as a form of payment. They do accept Disney gift cards.
Watch the Fireworks
The ultimate way to end your day of freebies is to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks. You can see them from any resort around the Magic Kingdom area (this picture is actually from the pool at the Contemporary Resort), but the best tried and true place to go is the Grand Floridian.
Either watch from the deck, or get on the boat and go across the lake as they’re shooting off. If you’re lucky, your boat driver will mysteriously “break down” in the middle of the lake until the fireworks are done. Then he will just as mysteriously get the boat to start working again. Even if you’re driver doesn’t pause, the boat is a great way to watch the fireworks.
More info on how to get to the Grand Floridian (or another Magic Kingdom resort) for prime firework viewing.
So there you have my list of free things to do at Disney World, AND cheap things to do at Disney World!
Any other ideas?
Have any other ideas that you think should be added to the list? Be sure to mention them in the comments below!
Planning a trip to Disney?
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