Disney World can be an expensive place, so to help keep things on a budget, we’ve created this list of our favorite free activities at Disney World.
There are many hidden gems in each of the Disney parks that are entertaining and free for everyone. Most often, you’ll find these activities have few crowds and are a great way to explore the parks beyond the rides.
These free activities offer an interactive way to slow down and enjoy a different side of the parks. No need to worry about FastPasses, reservations or keeping a schedule. These activities are free and unique to each of the parks.
Now, let’s look at how you can experience some of these free activities around the Disney Parks.
Become a Wilderness Explorer
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, squeeze in some education and tons of fun when you pick up a free Wilderness Explorers guide. In the spirit of Russell from the Disney·Pixar film Up, this free activity is perfect for all ages. It’s particularly great for those with children hoping to learn a bit during their vacation.
You’ll find the Wilderness Explorers headquarters at the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island. You can also stop in to see a friendly Wilderness Explorer Troop Leader in Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia, Dinoland U.S.A. and Pandora – The World of Avatar.
Make your way through the park at your own pace and participate in activities such as:
- Playing the drums in Africa
- Learning about the flamingos on Discovery Island
- Getting your hands dirty digging for fossils
- Learning how veterinarians care for animals
There are more than 25 of these self-guided activities located throughout the park. The helpful park map inside your guidebook will show you the way.
Once you’ve completed an activity at a station, you’ll receive a sticker badge to place in your Wilderness Explorer handbook. You’ll find a knowledgeable Cast Member at each station in the park, ready to answer any questions and guide you through each exercise in the book.
The Wilderness Explorers even have their own motto – “Exploring is a lifelong adventure” – so save your guidebook and earn badges each time you visit the parks. There’s no ‘winner’ and the learning always continue on!
KidCOT Fun Stops
There are so many fun ways to make your way around EPCOT’s World Showcase. The most popular way for kids, families and creative adults to explore the eleven different countries is to stop at the colorful KidCOT Fun Stops.
Located in every international pavilion, you’ll find collector cards at each KidCOT location where you can color, draw and learn. Cast Members will also be there to share stories and information about their native countries. KidCOT Activities Include:
- Learning simple words and phrases in French in the France pavilion
- Discover the origin of Mexico’s flag near the Mexico Folk Art Gallery
- Learn how your name is spelled in Japanese
- Collect stickers and Activity cards from each of the World Showcase Countries
Art supplies can be found at each KidCOT Station with a visible sign up in each country. With kid-sized seating, pull up a stool and start creating your own masterpiece depicting each land. Kids end up having so much fun at these break spots, they won’t even realize they are learning!
Meant to serve as a memento of your time at EPCOT, these eleven activity cards are a great Disney souvenir offered for free – and if your kids need to do a report for school, this is a fun way to make it an educational learning experience during your family vacation too. Take time to relax, maybe pick up a beverage and enjoy the time with your family at the easy to find KidCOT Fun Stops.
In addition to a great learning opportunity, this is also a fun way to explore the countries and let your little ones give their legs a break too from walking! Everyone loves to color, create and interact with Cast Members. And if you are a pin collector/trader, check out the Cast Member’s pin collection while you are there too! You might get lucky and find a rare Disney pin unique to that country.
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Support the Resistance of the First Order
In a first for the Walt Disney World parks, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the first area to incorporate the technology of the Play Disney Parks mobile app into guest experiences, and it’s another one of our favorite totally free activities at Disney World.
Guests can download the mobile app directly to their phone and experience another level of interactive experiences and missions while in the area. Explore the planet of Batuu and translate signs of galactic messages found throughout the land and even unlock hidden containers to make items appear.
An engaging multi-player game called “Outpost Control” allows guests to support the Resistance of the First Order completing new missions and making new discoveries in the land – all right from a mobile device.
Residents of Batuu (aka Cast Members) are available to assist with missions and identify locations incorporated into the mobile app. Residents are a great resource for getting accustomed to the land and the challenges are accessible for both children and adults to participate.
As this land is still relatively new to park-goers, this is an easy and fun way to uncover the mysteries and history of Batuu. And if you’re waiting for that magical FastPass+ time to roll around for the new Smuggler’s Run: Millennium Falcon ride, spend some time getting to know the area and learn the galactic language, all right from your phone. It brings an additional immersive level to this new area.
The Play Disney Parks mobile app is free to download with no additional charges necessary to play and interact. Before you know it, you’ll be discovering droids and interpreting galactic signals.
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
Get ready for an interactive scavenger hunt when you visit Magic Kingdom Park. In Sorecerers of The Magic Kingdom, the evil Hades is ready to turn the park into his summer home. Guests are invited to play this free, role-playing game and become sorcerer apprentices to help stop Hades and other villains from taking over the park and save Merlin’s shattered crystal ball.
When you arrive at the Magic Kingdom, visit the Fire Station on Main Street U.S.A. to pick up Merlin’s mystical map and five complimentary trading cards. Each card features a different spell to help you defeat the villains. There are more than 70 different playing cards with each one featuring a different Disney character and a unique spell that goes along with that character’s personality.
Using Merlin’s map and playing cards, follow magic symbols through the park with hideouts found in Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, and along Main Street, U.S.A. Players will have to decide which cards and spells to use to defeat the bad guys and save the kingdom.
With each hideout taking between 20-30 minutes, players can receive five new cards/spells each day they visit the park. As another additional bonus, during special events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, there are limited edition cards available for players to interact and experience new spells and stories.
Guests are encouraged to exchange trading cards with other players to unlock more of the stories and hidden details created to help defeat the villains from overtaking the park. With so many playing cards available, this experience can potentially be different on every outing to the park. So, choose your spells wisely and trade cards with others to keep the fun going on each visit.
Become a Princess
If you are visiting Magic Kingdom with a little princess in tow, be sure to stop by Sir Mickey’s shop for a complimentary dusting of Pixie Dust. This shop, located just behind Cinderella’s Castle is also the exit for guests at Princess Fairytale Hall.
Cast members are equipped with magic wands, pixie dust and magical spells for children, and adults, to receive a dash of magic atop their heads. There’s no need for an appointment for this free, magical experience. Just stop by the shop anytime during the day and let them know your desire for pixie dust – they’ll have you flying in no time! While it may just be a sprinkle of confetti on your head to most adults, kids will be mesmerized by the experience of knowing they’ve received their own pixie dust. And best of all – it’s yet another one of the many free activities at Disney World!
For those celebrating something while visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, be sure to pick up a complimentary ‘Celebration Button’ at Guest Relations or any indoor merchandise location. Celebration buttons include:
- First Trip to Disney
Thy even have blank buttons to write in any type of personal accomplishments. Share your achievements with everyone during your time in the Disney parks.
Cast Members will write your name and/or celebration on the buttons so everyone throughout the parks can join in celebrating you and wish you a magical day. Every day is a celebration when you are at Walt Disney World and this complimentary celebration button is a fun way to share the magic with everyone. And, with that button, you might get an extra bit of Disney magic as Cast Members often randomly recognize guests celebrating. Anything from a complimentary cupcake or special recognition with special seating for a show – you never know how a Disney Cast Member might choose to join in on your celebration.
Celebration buttons are available at all of the Walt Disney World parks, all Disney resort hotels and also at Guest Relations inside Disney Springs. So, stop by and let them celebrate you with a complimentary button!
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