Walt Disney World (WDW) vacations can be expensive, yes. But there are plenty of freebies around, if you know where to look. And, each year, WDW keeps upping the ante in regards to what’s free, especially at Disney Springs. From drinks to play spots, here are the best things that are free at Disney Springs.
Best Free Things at Disney Springs
My family and I visit Walt Disney World as much as we can – and can afford. And, while I like to save money by staying at Disney World Value Resorts, I really like to save by knowing what’s free when I visit. It turns out that Disney Springs has plenty of freebies, but these are my favorites:
Disney Springs Map
Just in case you need it, here’s the link to the official Disney Springs map.
Want more ways to save at Walt Disney World in your life? You got it!
The Best Free Stuff at Disney World
Four Free Interactive Park Games at Disney World that Kids Will Love
11 Super Inexpensive or Free Souvenirs at Walt Disney World
Five Super Cool Free Things for Teens at Walt Disney World
Five Free Ways to Enjoy Halloween at Disney World
Free at Disney Springs: Admission
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? Disney Springs is free to visit! At the time this post was written, Disney Springs and the WDW waterparks are the only places in the WDW Resort that offers free parking. Theme parks and resorts are charging a daily fee.
Disney Springs Hours
As for Disney Springs hours, it opens daily at 10am and closes anywhere from 11pm to 2am depending on day and season. Just to get your bearings, West Side has access to Walt Disney World Resort transportation while the East Side is closest to Disney Springs hotels. As for dining and entertainment, you’ll find both throughout the entire area.
And let’s talk about gift shops: while we’re at it. I find that thew outdoor kiosks have some really fun, unique items so try to pop into a few while making the rounds. There’s no cost to window shop!
Free at Disney Springs: Parking
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. WDW is working on additional garage construction, too, to give even more options for covered parking.
Disability parking is available at the parking garages as well, but the spots are few. You’ll find them closest to the stairs and escalators.
Free at Disney Springs: Wifi
All four Disney World theme parks, along with its resorts, offer free wifi, as does Disney Springs. Connecting is very easy, too.
Free at Disney Springs: 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.
Free at Disney Springs: 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.
Disney Springs Map
If you’re not familiar with the Disney Springs layout, here’s the link to the official Disney Springs map.
Free at Disney Springs: 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 at home and are missing pieces, make a note before you visit. You may just find what you’re looking for in the store!
Free at Disney Springs: Water Play
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.
Click here for 10 easy ways to cool of at Walt Disney World.
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.
Free at Disney Springs 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.
Free at Disney Springs: 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 to your on-property resort, you’ll have to take a motor coach back to a Disney World Resort and hop on a theme park bus.
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 if it’s after 4pm.
Free Things at Disney Springs: Photo Ops
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.
Free at Disney Springs: 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.
Free Things at Disney Springs: Free Ferryboat 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