Instructables
Picture of Best FREE Things to do at Walt Disney World
Imagine this scenario. You may have gone through this same scenario yourself (although not necessary as extreme)...

You are going on a trip to Orlando, Florida with your family of four. Your main destination here is Walt Disney World. Your lifelong dream of being able to hug Mickey Mouse, show off your Pooh tattoo to the "real" Winnie the Pooh, and to get punched by Tigger will finally come true. You are extremely happy about your trip. You plan on spending two weeks on Disney property without leaving. For weeks before you leave, you dream happy thoughts about your trip every morning as you eat your breakfast consisting of mouse-shaped waffles and drink your Disney brand coffee.

Then one day you get the travel information that you ordered from Disney's website. Your dreams are suddenly squashed like Jiminy Cricket under Pinocchio's wooden foot. Your happy thoughts fly out the window as you realize that Mickey Mouse really doesn't care about you, all the rat really cares about is your money.

A one day ticket into one of Walt Disney World's four major parks is $75.62 each (last time I checked). That means that if you and your family go into one of the major theme parks for one day, it would cost you $302.48. So if you spend your entire two week Walt Disney World vacation at the theme parks without planning and buying a new ticket every day, it will cost you $4234.72 in admission tickets alone. There are several discounts available to lower this high price such as multi-day tickets, park hopper passes, Florida resident tickets, and even annual passes if you're going to enter the parks enough, but despite any savings, your vacation will still be expensive regardless. Be sure to research the different ticket deals before you go on your vacation to get the best deal. Then add in the cost of getting to Orlando, transportation, a place to stay, food, parking fees, and everything else, you realize that Mickey Mouse doesn't just care about your money. He loves your money. You know you can't afford it, but due to your unhealthy Disney obsession, you plan on making your pilgrimage to the happiest place on earth regardless...

Perhaps you are not as obsessed as the person described above but are still planning a Walt Disney World vacation. Disney will charge you the same amount of money, regardless of your sanity and level of obsession, and a visit can get very expensive. And that is why this Instructable may be helpful to you. In this Instructable, I will show you a few of my favorite things to do at Walt Disney World that are completely free. This way, your Disney vacation won't hurt your wallet quite as much and you can put your money towards better things. Like the gas required to get to Disney...
 
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I read alot of comments but they were from 6 years ago. I'm getting ready to take my 4 daughters to Orlando for a week and wet are leaving Halloween night. By the time I got our passes the Mickey's nit so scarey Halloween party was sold out. I was told that downtown Disney doesn't do any trick or treating anymore. Is this true? My girls def want to go trick ir treating still. Does anyone know of a place in Orlando that does trick or treating or any neighborhoods?

Hey Giiirrll!!

I'm going on Tuesday to Disney :) We might see eachother there xx If you hear of anywhere to go trick or treating it would be fab! (i thought downtown disney still did it x)

how I miss disney :, ( I lived and work there for a year and that was one of the most awesome times in my life
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nof-z8 months ago

not really "free" but worth knowing: I was at disney world with my band and choir, and we had a clinic, so my mom got us some fastpasses for when we got back. we came back a little later than we thought we would, so we went to guest services, and told them our plight. they gave use these passes that were good for any ride with a fast pass option, for any time. so just so you all know, if you have a small issue like this, and talk to the cast members nicely, then you will usually get an upgrade from what you have. but the key word in this in NICE.

Silver_Kate10 months ago
Not sure anyone does this any more but if you are driving down pack your own emergency kit. Dramamine, antacids, band aids, anti-diariah. Anything you get from the hotel or from the local area is going to be marked up. From pads, to flip flops to an aspirin. A suitcase of basics will cyoa. Also with a baby toddler you can bring a bag of snacks almost anywhere. With a dr's note (if they have allergies) you can take them anywhere. If you have a baby or toddler and they are still on formula take at least a gal of water that is from home, even if you use bottled water all of it is bottled regionally. (Honestly a run to a drug store for just a few things could run you over the price of a park ticket.)
razordu303 years ago
Wait a second! Is this a way to get free parking at Disney? Like, can I "visit" a hotel, take the monorail, and avoid the $10 or whatever it is now fee? I mean, at $10 a car a day, 2 cars of families for 5 days is $100.
Galonii razordu3010 months ago
it now cost $17 to park at Disney world, park at Down town Disney, ride the bus to a hotel, then catch another bus to the park of your choosing. Do the same in reverse after the park closes, Down town Disney and the Boardwalk close at like 230am
woofboy111 (author)  razordu303 years ago
:-)
Galonii10 months ago
Tickets to the parks are now $91 and some change before tax
wanna beco1 year ago
This is a great write up, and I love your pictures. Thank you so much for this informative write up. And even though you didn't "make" anything, I know your research and information was very time consuming to acquire. good work!
geco4ever5 years ago
the best thing about living in florida is residents get a discount on hotels and theme parks :P. its like $40 a ticket
i wish it was 40
The "Tree House Hotels" you're refering too are the "Tree House Villas" that were actually for the International College Program students. They've since been shut down, and there's no word on what they're doing with them at this time.
woofboy111 (author)  americangeiko6 years ago
Last I heard, the Treehouses are currently being rebuilt/renovated/improved. Read about them Here
The tree house villas are now the animal kingdom villas
I thought the Treehouse Villas were being opened for the Disney Time Share members....
They are not the animal kingdom villas. They are still the Tree House Villas. They have been completely remodeled and are now open. They are part of the Saratoga Springs Disney Vacation Club resort.
yes...the animal kingdom lodge villas are for the non timeshare owners and timeshare owners
mary.parry2 years ago
If you are in downtown disney near where many of the buses leave then check out the water fountain pavement which squirts jets randomly into the air. I was able to relax here while the kids had fun with the water - no cost.
Does anyone have any recommendations for the best deal with doing the time share thing ?
Babeehonee4 years ago

So I have a couple ways to save on a short vacation to Disney!

If you are like me and been to Disney quite a few times, you know what to see and what is most important on your list.  I have a timeshare and go every April for one to two weeks.  Take advantage of the FREE passes that Disney has been giving away.  Last year i went to Magic Kingdon for free on my birthday.  This year it is Give A Day, Get A Day.  I live in MA and i gave an HOUR at a build a bear last week bought a $20 dollar bear and donated it and received TWO one day tickets to one Theme Park.  I did just about NOTHING and received my voucher on the Disney Site.

Another way to save some money is from early Sept thru beginning of OCT they have MICKEYS NOT SO SCARY HALLOWEEN at the Magic Kingdom on select nights.  Now the ticket is just about half the price, it says the event is from 7pm to 12am, but they start letting you in at like 2pm, I HAVE DONE THIS FOUR TIMES so i know they let you in.  You get to take your kids trick or treating throughout the Magic Kingdom, and all of the Characters are dressed in Halloween Costumes and they have a special parade each night.  Now i took my kids for Halloween 09 and when i decided to go on this mini-vacation Halloween night was sold out.  Downtown Disney had trick or treating FOR FREE on Halloween NIGHT, it was very crowded, but my kids (9 and 2) had a blast, the characters were not there but on top of 26 trick or treat stations, a lot of the stores gave away candy and other things in your trick or treat bags.  So then the following night NOV 1st we went to the trick or treat at Magic Kingdom and because Halloween was over it was also about $10 cheaper per ticket to get in, but like i said we went to the park at about 3pm and had no problem entering.  We stayed at the All-Star Movies resort for 4 nights for $300.  If i had booked this vacation when i was going to back before mid-Sept i would have recieved ALL DINNING FREE too, but i decided to drive there two weeks b4 Halloween.  PS if you have a lil one over 3 they dont check, tell them that your kid is two, i didnt pay for my son til his was 6, he was petite but still.  They make so much money they are worried about one kid...  LOL

There are deals, Disney DOESNT broadcast them freely, but look under Special Offers and if it say stay 5-nights or more, check anyways even it its if for 2 or 3 nights.  Also, u only have to buy a 1-day pass for Disney to be able to get the dinning plan even though when you look at it they automatically put in a pass for everyday you are staying there.

I have been going to Disney every year since 1992 and i was a teenager and now i bring my kids 1 or more times a year and know alot.  Feel free to ask questions, i may not know everything, but i do know alot.  I am a single mom and i am always looking for a deal.

 

Please help anyone who has an idea to help me get cheap city passes for Disney I'm going for seven nights
babysaving2 years ago
This is a really helpful list. I was reminded when reading this that I have had the privilege in the last 10 years of going to Disneyland parks 4 times and Disneyworld parks 4 times - ALL for FREE. How? Hosting a family that paid for my ticket, the year it was free on your birthday, twice from a friend who worked at Disney, Craigslist, someone handing me a ticket outside the parks, my work paid for it, my friend's work party at Christmas. Would I bank on this for a family vacation? No. But having others in your family know that this is the gift that you want is a great way to go. Even saving every birthday gift or Christmas gift for a year towards it or putting allowance money towards it. I have never had excess to do expensive family vacations, but have somehow been tremendously blessed to benefit as though I do. And I do all the above free things mentioned here when I get there! As well stay outside the parks in a VRBO property, house swap or shared with another friend who wants to split a place.
tyarton2 years ago
As for fireworks from the contemporary resort, you can hear the music because its pumped from stereos on the roof aimed at the guests who have dinner reservations at the California Grill located there. Its a very expensive place to eat but with the suggestion listed above you can hear it better the closer you can get to the top of the hotel.
cmiller403 years ago
You all forgot one free thing we enjoy!!!! We always take a trip to Port Orleans Riverside and see Piano Bob Jackson play at night. He is a great show, involves the kids and loves everyone. Bob is entertaining and a great bonus. The show is free and so is the seating. If you want food and drink obviously that is an expense at Disney prices, but BOB is worth whatever you decide to spend! We LOVE BOB! Tell him the Miller's from Alabama said HI!
Interesting....
jodij5 years ago
THANKS FOR YOU GREAT REVIEWS OF FREE STUFF...EVERYONE IS TRYING TO KEEP THEIR KIDS ENTERTAINED WHILE NOT DECLARING BANKRUPCY!
s_ksmith jodij3 years ago
Amen to Jodij, this is my first trip to Disney and I am taking my grandson who will be turning 7 on July 24. Looking for more free stuff to do in Orlando!!
samwfc123 years ago
some free things to do at disney is:
go around the parks (not inside) on the boat rides
go around in your car and try to see all the fireworks ex. mk to epcot
during christmas time at the boradwalk go inside the hotel and there is a gingerbread house with 11 hidden mickeys you have to find
Go to fort wilderness and look for deer
go thorgh evey street (except the ones for cast members only) and try to find hidden mickeys
At fort wilderness around christmas go and look how people decorated their camp ground ( been there thousands of times...one plays movies for you :))
go to all the disney hotels and trade pins they have special ones for each hotel theme

add to this list please thank you!
Madame JG3 years ago
I havent read all of the comments, so maybe mine are already here and these are repeats.... But being the thrifty cheapskate I am, I have been searching multiple sites to find more ideas. (also a WDW Virgin, I dont know where any of this stuff is, so FREE MAPS for planning would be a GREAT bit of info)

Here are a few ideas I haven't noticed on your original site:
-walking the gardens in the garden tour.
-Fort Wilderness Campfire
-Electic water paegant
-hidden mickey hunt, appearantly you can ask for a list of them to find, and some places give you a free gift if you find them!
-Fort Wilderness petting farm
-Beach?? (not quite sure what one it means?)
DIYmaker965 years ago
They have one of these in Atlanta at the World Of Coca Cola museum. Sadly, there is admission.
You have to pay to get in the park but the cola in the place is free
woofboy111 (author)  DIYmaker965 years ago
Technically Epcot has admission too. I'm sure Epcot's admission is more than what Atlanta charges too.
Last time I was at the atlanta world, admission was about $10-15. Not bad! Also you get a glass bottle of coke. 
lego6064 years ago
 I believe that they suspended the "ride in the front" thing after the crash.
Tumunga4 years ago
Sometimes things that are too good to be true are just plumb good and true...

My family and I fell for one of the so-called timeshare "scams". We got a brochure in the mail in May of 2000, giving away 4 free tickets to disney, and 4 days-3 nights in an Orlando hotel. Well, we bit, and called it up to reserve a sales pitch session in August 2000. At the end of June, we got a phone call from the place asking us for a small fee of $25, we could stay 3 extra nights in the hotel. I thought if we do get what we're promised for $25, it would be a good deal, so I sent them the money. I hate getting scammed.

August rolled around, we packed the kids up, and headed to Disney. We got to the sales office (I was suprised it was actually there), they gave us a voucher for the hotel (6 nights), and scheduled us for a sales pitch the next day.

After a nice night at the Days Inn West Gate ( I love that pool) we went to the condos. We had already swore to each other we would not be buying anything. After we dropped the kids off at the complimentary daycare, the pitch began. Not a hard sell at all. We went on a tour of a lovely timeshare, and if I were rich, I would have bought it. Anyway, it turns out that Florida law at the time would only allow them to keep us there for 90 minutes. That's it. After they tried, we pled "no", they gave us our kids back, 4 tickets to Disney, and that was that.

6 nights lounging at a pool, taking in the sights, and a day at Disney with the kids, all for $25 bucks and 90 minutes of our time. Not bad...not bad at all.
Wasagi4 years ago
Fantastic! I' going to assume that you've been to Disney a bucnh of times. The only problem for me would be getting to Disney, though, I could keep entertained for at least a day for free! 

Great Job!
eneergcam5 years ago
im sure someone else has said something, or you have already told us, but one of the steps is covered up by a picture. Great instructale by the way!
minimidget5 years ago
You can actually get free drinks at Disney world! all you have to do is ask for a free sample of a drink, and they'll pour you a small, no charge! It'll save you buckets of cash.
Or theres this thing called.... WATER! *gasp* If you ask for ice water, they'll pour it into a cup and it will be free of charge!
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