Disney World is most definitely the happiest place on Earth. There’s not way to deny it, because it’s absolutely true. The only problem is, it’s not exactly budget friendly, especially if you’re traveling a long ways to get here. Lucky for us, I’m living in Disney World for my fall semester, and I’ve uncovered the top five things to do at Disney World for free!
Disney World has an amazing opportunity, called the Disney College Program. I’m now a part of the Disney team, and I couldn’t be happier! Now that I live at Disney World, I get to go exploring around all of the things that I never would have thought of otherwise. Did you know you can explore Disney’s more than 25 resorts for free? Or that Disney World has a shopping mall inside that is free to go to? There are so many things to do around Disney World for free. Even on days you can’t spend in the parks, there are many ways to experience the magic of Mickey Mouse. Here are my top five picks for what to do outside of the parks!
1. Visit Celebration
Celebration Florida is one of the prettiest towns I’ve ever visited. It was established in 1994 by Walt Disney World as a utopian oasis from the hustle and bustle of regular urban communities. The town is wonderful to walk through – the scenery is incredible, and it’s chockful of fun activities for every age.
Last week, my sister brought her family and myself to Celebration to explore. Her kids loved the splash pad, and we loved walking around the shops and housing. Visiting celebration is something you should definitely have on your bucket list.
2. Disney Springs
Disney Springs is a great place to spend an entire day! The shopping mall can be found on Disney World property, though parking and exploring the park are completely free. Disney Springs is PACKED with things to do – from seriously delicious restaurants to amazing Disney themed shopping. It even has a carousel and a train ride to entertain the little ones.
We spent one night walking through Disney Springs (which was not enough time to see everything. Seriously. It’s packed with activities) and we passed several free shows going on along the streets. Everywhere you look there’s something to entertain. I highly recommend giving Disney Springs a visit, especially if you have a day free from Park Hopper tickets.
3. Resort Hopping
Before coming to Disney, I had no clue what resort hopping was. Thank goodness my roommates set me straight, because it was my favorite thing we did all week. (Waiting for our admission into the Disney parks would’ve been torture) Disney World has over 20 different resorts to visit outside of the parks, and all of them have a unique theme.
To resort hop for free, I recommend going to Disney Springs to park your car, then catching a bus from there to one of the many resorts. Pro tip: The Grand Floridian, Contemporary and Polynesian resorts by Magic Kingdom all run on the same monorail line, so if you bus to the Magic Kingdom and then catch the monorail, you’ll be set to see all three amazing resorts. All the resorts have amazing things to see and experience – it’s definitely worth giving them a visit.
4. Earn Your Beads
Animal Kingdom Lodge (an Animal Kingdom resort) has amazing activities to participate in. Not only can you see various animals just outside the hotel, but there are various experiences to hit all across the resort property. Pro tip: Most of the employees at Animal Kingdom lodge are originally from Africa, so take a peek at their nametag and ask them about their hometown. It’s so fun to hear what they have to say about where they’re from!
Starting at Kidani or Jambo village, find a cast member/employee of the resort to ask them about earning beads at the resort. You don’t need to be a guest at the resort to take part in earning beads. There are six different tasks you need to complete in order to earn all seven beads. It’s SO fun to do, and you get a free momento to keep! How great is that?
5. Watch the Fireworks
The fireworks at Disney World are unlike any fireworks show you’ve ever seen. Even if you’ll be spending a day in the park, and you’ll have the opportunity to see the fireworks over the castle – seeing it a few extra times is totally worth it.
The Grand Floridian Resort is a great place to watch the Happily Ever After show – not only do you have a great view of the fireworks, but the resort plays the music for the show, so it’s like having a front row seat. My roommates and I watched from the pool area of the Grand Floridian as it overlooks the lake. It was a gorgeous sight, and the show was moving. This is definitely an opportunity you can’t miss while doing Disney World for Free!
I hope you try these activities so you can enjoy the magic of Disney while preserving your bank account. Let me know about your experiences in the comments below! Have a magical day 😉