Most people don’t think of the word free when they think of their Disney vacation. Believe it or not, there are things that are included with your admission or are free that you can do inside the theme parks. You will need admission to the theme parks to take advantage of the list below. And now here’s the list of free things to do at Disney in the parks:
- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom – each person in your group with a valid theme park admission can stop at the fire station just inside the entrance to the Magic Kingdom and have their MagicBand scanned to receive a free pack of cards to play this game within the park. You can get a new pack every day so stop in to grab yours each day you visit the Magic Kingdom.
- A Pirate’s Adventure – similar to Sorcerers, guests with a valid theme park admission can stop just past the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction to participate in a game to locate pirate treasure hidden in the Magic Kingdom. There are several different maps to choose from for your adventure so you can play multiple times without having the same experience.
- Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure – make a quick stop at one of the carts near the entrance to World Showcase to pick up your phone to begin your adventure. This experience will take you to various countries around World Showcase but you can partake in the entertainment in the countries between missions searching for Agent P. Be sure to return your phone before leaving the park so you’re not charged for keeping it.
- Club Cool – stop in to Club Cool near the large fountain in Epcot to sample Coca Cola varieties from around the world. While the Coke you’re used to isn’t available for free, you just might find a new favorite and save a few bucks not purchasing a soda.
- Kidcot Stations – Each of the countries in World Showcase has a station where kids can color (currently Duffy on a stick) and learn about the country they’re visiting. Cast Members will write the child’s name in their native language on the back of their Kidcot art and stamp the stick. This is a fun memento to take back to school to share.
- International Festival of the Holidays – this is one of my favorite things since I’m a lover of the Christmas holiday season. Many of the countries have their version of our Santa Claus and a performance explaining the traditions in their country during the holidays. Be sure to check the special times guide to make sure you don’t miss the limited performances.
- Candlelight Processional – for those who need a dose of the holiday spirit or love hearing the Christmas story, this freebie is a must do. I don’t think I’ve been able to make it through a performance yet without tears. On select nights a celebrity narrator will tell the Christmas story with a choir and it’s truly magnificent. Seats do fill quickly so if you want to be sure you have a seat, get in line early. There are dining options that include a reserved seating area for the performance but those are included in the price of your meal so not technically free.
- Eat the Beat Concert Series – check out free concerts during the International Food and Wine Festival. Again, some nights seating can fill quickly so plan to wait in line if you want to secure a seat.
- International Flower and Garden Festival – during this festival each spring, in additional to the splendid topiaries Disney has around the park, there are special booths providing information about a variety of gardening topics. In the past there have been freebies like seeds and Crasins too!
- Sunset Seasons Greetings – this is a new holiday experience at Hollywood Studios.
- Jingle bell, jingle BAM! – this is also a new holiday experience at Hollywood Studios.
- Safety Cards – be on the lookout for cute and educational safety cards featuring Timon and Pumba. They belong to a set so work on collecting them over several trips.
- Wilderness Explorer adventure – explore Animal Kingdom and earn your Wilderness Explorer badges throughout the park doing a variety of activities. Pick up your book when you enter the Animal Kingdom and add your badges throughout the day.
- Celebration Buttons – stop at Guest Services and get your free button to celebrate an engagement, wedding, family reunion, birthday, graduation or another special event.
- Collect stickers – Cast Members are always handing out stickers. Most common are Mickey Mouse stickers but occasionally you’ll get lucky and get one that’s a bit more unique.
- Pressed Pennies – located throughout the parks are machines for you to press pennies. While this technically costs fifty one cents, it’s pretty inexpensive.
- Hidden Mickeys – with a keen eye you’ll be able to spot these all over the park. Imagineers include little tributes to Mickey Mouse (and occasionally other characters) in their creations. You could also spend a little money and purchase a Hidden Mickey book to help you locate them but you certainly don’t need to. If you’re having a hard time, simply ask Cast Member and they may be able to point one out that’s nearby for you.
- Medicine – a visit to the first aid station is not on anyone’s plans during their vacation. If you happen to find yourself not feeling well, stop in to the first aid station for some assistance. For simple things like indigestion or a headache, they can give you some over the counter medication to help until you’re able to return to your room.
- Performers – Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios have performers that you can spot in the streets in certain parts of the park. They may sing like the Dapper Dans or just stay in characters like the ones in Hollywood Studios.
- Parades and Shows – make a point to take in some of the top notch entertainment during your vacation! Each of the parks have different experiences, all offer must see entertainment. You might not have time for everything during your trip but taking a break in the air conditioning watching Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom is pretty refreshing on a hot summer day.
- Fireworks – if you’re at the park at the end of the day, don’t miss out on the fireworks displays. Or if you’ve seen them before, skip them and take advantage of the shorter lines for the attractions!
- Baby Care Centers – each park has a spot designated for parents to recharge with the kids, feed them in peace or change diapers without going into one of the public bathrooms.
- Water – you can stop at any of the counter service restaurants and ask for a glass of water. They’ll give you a small glass of water for free with or without a purchase (but they appreciate you making a purchase I’m sure!).
- Pin Trading – you don’t need to purchase pins in the parks to be able to trade them with the Cast Members. Cast Members wearing a lanyard or pouch are required to trade with anyone who has a legitimate Disney pin to trade. Purchase your pins in advance from a reputable seller on eBay (check the seller’s reviews!), Amazon or Disney Store website to get them at the best deal possible to keep this activity as inexpensive as possible.
- FastPass+ – Fastpasses are included in the cost of your park ticket so they might not technically be free, but there’s no extra cost to use them. And so many people don’t use them and spend way too long waiting in line! Make your choices in advance on the My Disney Experience app or Disney website or while you’re in the park using the app or kiosks.
Do you have any other free things to do at Disney in the parks that we missed? Share them in the comments below. And make sure to check out our list of free things to do outside the parks – no park ticket required!