A Disney-loving mom who loves to share her tips and tricks for visiting the most magical place on earth.
Disney World Can Be an Expensive Family Vacation
Visits to the Magic Kingdom can be truly magical . . . but these family trips can also be very expensive. While there are lots of ways you can save money on your trip, there are also some amazing things you can do and see around Disney World that are absolutely free!
1. Walk the Trail Between the Grand Floridan Hotel to the Polynesian Hotel
This is a gorgeous walk that only takes about 10–15 minutes to complete. But in those 10–15 minutes, you'll walk past Luau Cove, where the Spirit of Aloha show is held, the beautiful stretch of beach that runs in stretches between the two hotels, and have great views of the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella's Castle, and the Contemporary hotel. You'll also pass by the beach pool and Mad Hatter-themed water playground that are always bustling with activity at the Grand Floridian.
Best of all, though, this walk takes you past Disney's Wedding pavilion. Weddings happen at Disney every day, and you never know what you might come across when passing by this beautiful complex.
2. Visit the Lobbies of Different Hotels
When you need a break from the heat, or you need an activity to do while your little ones are asleep in their strollers, this is a great activity! The hotels at Disney are all amazing in their own magical way, and you never know what you might stumble on when you're checking them out.
If you're visiting at a special seasonal time of year, like Christmas or Easter, the decorations in the Disney Hotels are second to none. Several hotels, such as the Contemporary and Grand Floridian, even construct massive gingerbread houses or displays at Christmas!
But even if you're not visiting at a special time of year, it's fun to see the themes of all the different hotels.
3. Watch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks Show From the Seven Seas Lagoon
There is nothing that can compare to the magnificence of the nightly fireworks shows at Disney. While it is fun to see the fireworks from inside the parks, it's also really great to see them from a spot outside the parks, around the Seven Seas Lagoon. In fact, we often prefer to see the fireworks shows this way.
All you have to do is find a spot around the Seven Seas Lagoon and settle in for the show! And one of the best spots is around the docks at the Grand Floridian Hotel. You can get there easily by taking one of the small boats from the Magic Kingdom.
4. Take a Boat Ride Around the Seven Seas Lagoon
Speaking of boats, there are a series of small boats that circle the Seven Seas Lagoon continuously during the day and evening at Disney World. These boats stop at the Magic Kingdom, the Grand Floridian Hotel, and the Polynesian Resort. On a hot day after lots of walking around the parks, it's so refreshing to hop on a boat and take a little ride. Of course, you could always use this mode of transportation to check out the hotels along the route as well!
If you happen to have impeccable timing, you may also be able to see some of the fireworks show while you're on the boat as well!
Please note that strollers have to be folded in order to get on these boats, so this may not be the best activity if your stroller is packed with supplies!
5. Visit Disney Springs
Disney Springs is the giant outdoor shopping mall located on Disney property. You may be wondering why I'm suggesting visiting a shopping mall as a free activity. But, if you can avoid the temptations in the shops, there are some really wonderful things to see and do around Disney Springs.
If you have kids, the Lego Store is a must-see. The lego displays are absolutely unbelievable! And throughout the store there are bins of lego for the kids to play with. In fact, my kids had so much fun just looking at everything, they didn't even ask me to buy them anything!
The Disney Store at Disney Springs is also pretty amazing. It's the biggest Disney Store in the world, and for that fact alone, it merits a visit!
There is also a performance pavilion in the heart of Disney Springs. At multiple times each day, groups from around the country, and even the world, perform on the stage here. We've seen some truly remarkable performances by dance troupes, and singers on this stage. Again, it's a great place to stop and rest your feet after hours of exploring.
I hope you have fun exploring the parks on your next trip to Disney, and that you are able to include some of these great free things to do on your vacation!
© 2019 Nancy
Nancy (author) from Canada on October 27, 2019:
Sometimes the free things are the most fun too!!
Tess from Hawaii on October 25, 2019:
I had no idea that there were free things to do at Disney. It's nice to know that you don't always have to spend a fortune to have a good time.
Liz Westwood from UK on October 25, 2019:
It's good to hear that there are free things to do at Disney. Having had four children I am all for hearing tips about free things to do. This article is a great resource for anyone planning a Disney trip.