10 {Free} Must Sees at Walt Disney World

While it’s true that with Destination Disney can be a costly undertaking, so, too, can it be done economically.  Yes, really.  If you have go in with a budget and stick to it, you’ll find that Walt Disney World–and its plethora of entertainment opportunities–can be had on a dime.  Okay, maybe not a dime.  But doable nonetheless.  Here are some freebies to occupy your time in and out of the parks.

*Each of these must sees are either 100% free, or included with your park admission.*

10. Visit Animal Kingdom Lodge

A visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is definitely a worthy activity.  The resort itself is breathtakingly beautiful, but what’s more is that you can walk out to the viewing area and get a bit of a zoo experience.  For free!   We’ve done this during multiple trips and have seen giraffes, zebras, and various horned antelope type creatures.  We like to make dinner reservations at either Boma or Jiko and save this activity for after-meal fun.  I can’t say for sure whether they still do this or not, but in the past, we’ve been loaned night-vision goggles by the Cast Members at Jiko.  It definitey makes for an adventurous {free!} activity.

9. Ride the Monorail

Everybody thinks of rides when they think of Walt Disney World.  But…some people overlook the quintessential ride: the monorail.  On my family’s first visit to WDW we took a spin on the Epcot monorail the first morning of our trip.  It was a non-park day for us, yet we got a sneak peek inside Epcot aboard the monorail.  Did you know that the Epcot monorail actually crosses into the park?  It does.  And, because it drops guests off outside of the park gates, you don’t need park admission to ride!

8. Club Cool (Epcot)

My girls LOVE this place.  Admittedly, the draw of it is sort of lost on me but I included it nonetheless because it is a pretty fun concept.  Club Cool is sponsored by Coke.  It offers free tastes of Coke products that are sold around the world.  Some of the offerings are downright nasty, but others (China, Germany) are, um, okay I guess.  I’m not a huge fan of syrupy sodas, so I may not be a fair judge when it comes to Club Cool’s offerings.  That said, if you stop in at Club Cool, your kids will think you’re, well, pretty cool.

7. Fountains

There’s just something about spraying water that attracts kids, right?  Such is true of the fountains located at Downtown Disney.  They’re practically a stand alone destination, though I’m sure that the nearby Lego store and Ghirardelli soda fountain are close contenders.   If you go, be sure to take a change of clothes so that you can pick up lunch somewhere nearby once the kids have had their splashy fun.

6. Fireworks and Parades

Disney does entertainment like nobody else on Earth.  Their colorful explosions in the sky are set to musical scores that give life to possibilities you never imagined existed.  And when their most beloved characters march down Main Street–or whisk by on a float–you find yourself transported to a Neverland of your own making.  Never–not a single time–have I walked away from one of Disney’s fireworks diplays or parades feeling as though I’ve wasted my time.  I venture to guess that you won’t either.

5. Japan’s Candy Lady (Miyuki)

We LOVE her.  LOVE her.  The quirky candy lady in Japan is a MUST SEE for us every time we visit.  Her show is a demonstration of her mad skillz as a candy artist.  She uses this pliable candy stuff to form intricate works of {candy} art based on requests from her live audience.  As she works, she chants this catchy candy phrase that will leave you imitating her for days.  Weeks maybe.  She is an amazing artist.  You simply MUST see to believe.

4.  FASTPASS

This is a sneaky one, but it’s such a valuable park tool that I couldn’t overlook it.  Disney’s FASTPASS is a free service that allows you to “save a spot in line” by printing out a ticket that gives you a return time to come back and ride later, without having to wait in the {usually significantly longer} standby line.  Together with a smart touring plan, FASTPASS affords WDW guests the ability to experience more attractions in less time.  And since time is money at WDW, FASTPASS is one valuable service!

3. World Showcase Puppet

Often times, parents are more interested in touring the World Showcase than their little people counterparts.  But Disney has gone to great lengths to ensure a good time is had by all in the World Showcase.  Simply stop by the KidCot station in any of the World Showcase countries and request your free Duffy cut-out (an unadorned teddy bear on a stick).  As you make your way through the World Showcase, be sure to stop by each country’s KidCot station for an international stamp.  While you’re there, your kids can use the provided markers to color his or her Duffy bear.  Some countries feature a little “extra” embellishment (ie. in China, the Cast Member will write your child’s name in Chinese characters).  Once you’ve completed your world tour, your little guy (or gal) will have a fun (and totally free) souvenir!

*Photo credit: MousePlanet.com*

2. Disney’s Boardwalk

Evening entertainment on Disney’s Boardwalk is a big draw if you’re looking for low-key family fun.  Ranging from magic to comedy to juggling, the acts are always a hit with guests young and old.  We like to pick up an ice cream cone or a package of salt water taffy and wander our way around the Boardwalk, stopping to enjoy the free acts along the way.  While we’re there, we almost always rent a surrey bike, though they’re not free.  At around $30 per half hour, we find them to be a great bang for our buck.

1. YeeHa Bob

Oh wow.  This guy is a RIOT.  YeeHa Bob is the resident piano man at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort.  His act takes place in a lounge, though it is 100% family friendly.  On our two most recent visits we took the whole family there for a knee-slappin’ good time.  YeeHa Bob performs a wide variety of classic songs that range from YMCA to the Hokie Pokie.  He calls the kids up on stage to sing and dance and parade around the room.  While cocktails are served, so, too, are sodas and virgin drinks.  My 4 y/o is probably one of YeeHa Bob’s biggest fans, if that tells you anything about the appropriateness of his show.

Click HERE to see the Top 10 First Timer Must Sees at Disney World

What is your favorite {free} thing to do at Walt Disney World?

23 Replies to “10 {Free} Must Sees at Walt Disney World”

  1. Would love to see the picture of the Japanese candy lady….

    Sounds like fun, we haven’t been in a long time.

    1. Hmmm. Not sure why the picture isn’t showing up for you. If you click over to suchthespot.com you should be able to see it fine!

  2. I had tried that, wasn’t sure what was up. I can see it fine now though. Very cool.

  3. I just told Torri the other day that I want you to plan a trip to Disney World for me. She said you’d love to. So after I win the lottery (’cause free options are good, but we still have to get there, and eat, and sleep somewhere other than the ground outside the park), I’m callin’ you, girl.

    1. Torri was right; I would love to help you plan the detz! Give me a holler when the time comes. :)

      And PS. Thanks for helping look after Torri at winter camp!

  4. We just got back from our Disney trip yesterday. It was so.much.fun. We are total Disney geeks, but for some reason, I have not run across Club Cool at Epcot. Where is it? I’m a Coke addict (the drinking kind of Coke!)

    Also, the new theme “Let the Memories Begin” includes a projection show on the Castle right before the fireworks. They literally change the castle before your eyes. It’s amazing. They also project pictures of people taken at the park that day. We saw it from a variety of places, but our favorite place to view it was in front of the Crystal Palace.

    Thanks again for your Disney tips!

  5. Wow Jayce is almost as big as grandma how the heck is she holding him? She s amazing we are so lucky to have the grandparents we do I miss you sis love ya guys… btw did you guys get a dog

    1. She’s not holding him…he’s standing on a ledge behind her. ;)
      We did get a dog. Mowgli. There’s a picture of him a few posts back. Love you too!

  6. Such an awesome post….great info!

    I thought they had done away with KidCot stations! Good to know for our trip in 6 days!!!! We, too, are excited about seeing YeeHaw Bob for the first time with the kids this trip as we are staying our last night at PO!

  7. You should definitely get into planning trips. We have yet to make our first trip to WDW as a family…can’t wait to take the kids and hope to do it right.

  8. I’m so glad you posted the free things! We are on a very tight budget so this list is exactly our style. :)

    P.S. I love the parades too. Pure magic…and they always seem perfectly flawless (no one ever misses a step or a tune).

  9. Miss you! Hope all is well with you! Haven’t posted since 3/1 and just checking on you!

    1. All is well. Thanks for checking in with me! I’m working very hard on my second novel, so the blog suffers. :( I hope to get a post up this weekend.

      1. Awsome on the 2nd novel…will we see the 1st one? Good luck and yes, we do miss you and your posts!

  10. For a free souvenir, go to the Art of Animation in Hollywood Studios. A Disney artist will teach you how to draw a classic Disney character. It’s fun and you get to keep your picture.

  11. I was wondering if February is a good month to go I seen somewhere where they say they shut the rides down is this true?

    1. It is only half true, Mindy. February is a great time of the year to visit WDW if you’re looking to avoid heavy crowds. The drawback is that there will likely be more operational closures of attractions (rides) during the slow time of year. That said, you will still be able to experience a ton of rides–they don’t close all of them!!

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