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It’s no secret that a Walt Disney World vacation can dent your wallet, but did you know about all the free Disney stuff? That’s right, there are plenty of freebies at Disney World that you may have missed out on. Be sure to take advantage of all the free stuff Disney has to offer on your next trip.
At most shops across the Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts, cast members have free celebration pins behind the cashier desk. Therefore, all you have to do is ask! Whatever you are celebrating, there will surely be a pin for it. The specialty pins include events like birthdays, anniversaries, honeymoons, and first-time visits. A generic “Celebration” pin can also be customized with a magic marker for whatever you are celebrating! No event is too small, from graduation and getting married to enjoying your first child-free vacation in years. Moreover, Disney World celebration pins are free, fun, and sure to start conversations with other guests while in line for your favorite ride.
Once inside the parks, the character interactions are endless! You might catch Tigger hopping around Magic Kingdom or Chewbacca hanging out near the Millenium Falcon at Hollywood Studios. There are also more personal meet-and-greet experiences available throughout the parks. In Magic Kingdom, for example, you can wait in line at Town Square Theater to meet Mickey Mouse or Princess Fairytale Hall to meet Cinderella and other Disney royalty. Bring a marker and something to sign to any of these one-on-one meetings and get autographs from your Disney favorites.
Tip: Bring a blank picture frame matte with you to the parks and have all the characters sign it. At the end of your trip, you’ll have a priceless souvenir to hang in your home with your favorite Disney picture.
Speaking of pictures, did you know that each Disney World theme park has professional photographers ready to capture magical moments of you and yours? Of course, they all have their professional cameras with them, and you can purchase those photos from them if you’d like. However, you can also hand your cell phone to any of these lovely cast members, and they will happily take pictures on your phone free of charge! Disney cast members are some of the kindest people in this world, and those photographers will get professional-looking shots on whatever cell phone or camera you bring with you.
When you spend 12+ hours walking around in the Florida heat, staying hydrated is crucial. In addition, plastic water bottles in theme parks are EXPENSIVE. Lucky for us, Disney World does not make us compromise our wallets for health and safety. You can ask any quick-service food stop for a free water cup anytime. Each park also has a Starbucks that happily gives you a large cup of ice water. Therefore, this is my free water of choice because you can transfer that into an insulated bottle you brought and have ice water to sip on all day. You’re also allowed to bring your food and drink into the parks with you as long as you follow the park guidelines, so nothing is stopping you from bringing a whole gallon in for yourself!
Your other free refill opportunity does start with purchasing a resort cup. If you are staying in a Walt Disney World resort, this is worth it and should be your first purchase when you get to your resort. With a resort mug, you can get free refills at any quick service stop in the parks and your resort cafeteria for any drink at any time. Unlimited coffee, PowerAid, soda, and any fountain drink you would like, including water.
That’s right, Pixie Dust! There is nothing quite as magical as getting sprinkled with pixie dust in the happiest place on earth. Stop by Sir Mickey’s in Magic Kingdom and ask for pixie dust. A cast member will use their magic wand to sprinkle you with pixie dust and make a little wish. This is great to remember if you are traveling with little ones who may tire out halfway through their Disney day. Take them over to Sir Mickey’s for a free pick-me-up of pixie dust to give them that extra magic energy to make it through the day. Parents can get pixie dust too, but I recommend stopping at Starbucks for your adult pick-me-up.
My Disney Experience App
The free Walt Disney World app is a total game-changer! If you are planning a trip to Disney World and you don’t have the app yet, stop what you are doing and download it immediately. You can link your app to your Disney reservations and see your existing plans, like park tickets, hotel information, and dining reservations. You can also use the app to add to your itinerary! Look up parade times, character meet and greet locations, ride wait times, and fast passes. The app also allows you to place mobile food orders at quick service locations throughout the park.
Tip: Another free app, Play Disney Parks, is a great way to keep the family entertained while waiting in lines throughout the day. It’s especially exciting for Star Wars fans in Galaxy’s Edge, where the app allows you to interact with droids and partake in secret missions.
All the Walt Disney World theme parks and resort hotels have free WiFi available to guests at all times. There is even WiFi available at Disney Springs. This is especially useful if you utilize the My Disney Experience App throughout your day.
Spending a day in Magic Kingdom? Head over to The Crow’s Nest in Adventureland and help Captain Jack Sparrow raid the Treasures of the Seven Seas! There are six enticing missions to choose from, free of charge. Complete them all and retrieve a treasure finder card signed by Captain Jack himself.
Worried the little ones may only make it around the World Showcase with a meltdown? Check out the Kidcot Fun Stops! Each international pavilion at Epcot has a Fun Stop where kids (and adults) can collect activity cards to keep busy and learn about the culture and traditions of each country. Click here for a list of Kidcot Fun Stop locations.
The wilderness must be explored, and what better place to do it than Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Stop by Wilderness Explorers headquarters on your way to Discovery Island and pick up a handbook full of activities to complete throughout your day at the park. Can you earn all 25 badges?
Bonus Freebie: Happiness
You truly cannot put a price on happiness, and a trip to Walt Disney World will unlock a level of happiness you never imagined. Despite the ticket prices and resort stays, there are many ways to stretch that Disney dollar further by trying out all the free Disney things on your next trip.