Finding ways to save money at Walt Disney World can not only be an easy way to budget, it’s always on the top of my list. It turns out there’s plenty of freebies, both in the parks and out – and that includes the fifth gate, Disney Springs. From ways to keep hydrated to decadent samples, here’s the best of what’s free at Disney Springs: 2018 edition.
Lately, I’ve heard more and more folks refer to Disney Springs as the “fifth gate”. Translation: each of the four WDW theme parks is considered a gate, making DS its fifth.
The best part? There’s no admission charge. At the time this post was written, Disney Springs is the only place in the WDW Resort that offers free parking. Theme parks and resorts are charging a daily fee.
Thank heavens for free parking at Disney Springs – and double thanks for covered parking garages. Look for signs that read Orange Garage & Lime Garage to find your way. Additionally, each of the garages offers real time parking spot availability, too.
Just in case you need it, here’s the link to the official Disney Springs map.
All four Disney World theme parks, along with its resorts, offer free wifi, as does Disney Springs. Connecting is very easy, too.
Chocolate Samples at Ghirardelli
Every time we’ve visited Ghirardelli, there’s a Disney castmember standing around, giving out free chocolate samples. If you don’t see one, ask a castmember at the front counter.
Glasses of Water and Ice
On super hot, humid days, keeping hydrated is a must. Every place at Disney Springs that sells fountain drinks can give you free glasses of water and ice. All you have to do is ask.
Live Music & Entertainment
Head to the Waterside Stage at Disney Springs and check the times guide for free entertainment. Generally on this stage are school-age children’s choirs and dancers.
You’ll also want to look for live performances from singers and musicians through Disney Springs, too.
Creative Inspiration at The LEGO Store
As a kid, I loved the fact that LEGOS offered so much creative potential. As an adult, I still love hitting The LEGO Store to create. Head to the giant bin and get your creating on.
A cool tidbit about The LEGO Store: if you have LEGO building sets aty home and are missing pieces, make a note before you visit. You may just find what you’re looking for in the store!
Transportation to WDW Resorts
Each of the four WDW theme parks offer one-way, complimentary transportation to Disney Springs beginning at 4pm each day. If you want a ride from DS, you’ll have to take a motor coach back to your Disney World resort. If you want to hit the theme parks, you’ll have to ride back to any resort and then transfer to a theme park bus.
Free Boat Ride
If you’ve got some free time, hop on the resort ferryboat and do the circuit. Not only is the ride a leisurely one, you’ll hit the following resorts on your ride:
- Port Orleans Resort—French Quarter
- Port Orleans Resort—Riverside
- Old Key West Resort
- Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
There are plenty of fun spots to take photos including giant LEGO creations. But, head to the Marketplace and look for the one-of-a-kind virtual photo studio. Using green screens, you won’t know what the backdrops are until you log into your My Disney Experience account and look for yourself.
Another perfect-for-a-hot-day activity, the Magical Water Fountain is located near Once Upon a Toy in The Marketplace. If you plan on letting the kids play their hearts out, remember to bring extra sets of clothes.
Watch A Disney Artist at Art of Disney
My teen LOVES this one. At The Art of Disney, artists specializing in Disney animation often make appearances. While it costs nothing to watch the masters at work, you can purchase pre-made sketches or have one specially created.
At Christmas: Visit Santa & Catch a Holiday Show
While attending a Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is always fun, you don’t have to purchase a ticket to get into the holiday spirit. Santa Claus offers meet and greets and in the past we’ve seen drone air shows. And don’t forget to catch a live show at the Waterside Stage, too.
What’s your favorite Disney Springs freebie? Please let me know in the comment section below!