Walt Disney World vacations can get expensive – just look at all of the t-shirts that say “Most Expensive Day Ever” when you’re in the parks. Happily, there are plenty of freebies if you know where to find them. But did you know there are Disney World secret free souvenirs? Yep! From pirate treasure to pixie dust, here are my favorite secret free things at Disney World!
Best Secret Free Things at Disney World
When I visit Walt Disney World with my family, we actively hunt out all the freebies. I mean, there’s absolutely no harm in it and if it saves me some cash, I’m all for it. Plus, it’s downright fun! Add in the fact that it’s a great way to budget in extras and it’s a no-brainer for this gal. I love saving money when I visit (it gives me more money to save for my family’s next visit) and why not make the most out of your budgeting dollars, right?
Regarding these secret best free things to do at Disney World, most of them are right-place-right-time kind of find. We’ve seen them on some vacations, then won’t see them, and then will again.
Secret Free Things at Disney World – Pirate Flags
If you love rope drop at Magic Kingdom, and aren’t headed for one of the super popular attractions, try making Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland your first stop. Many mornings the first riders of the day receive cute, Jolly Roger flags to take on the ride and then take home. The first time we noticed the flags at rope drop was probably last year and we’ve seen them randomly on each vacation since.
Did you know about all of the secrets on Main Street U.S.A? There are plenty of fun ones as you walk up and down the street.
Things to Do at Disney World for Free – In-Park Birthday Calls
Getting wake-up calls from Disney characters while staying at a Disney World Resort is a breeze and makes it a great way to add to the free stuff at Disney World on your birthday. All you need to do is talk to the Front Desk or ask a Castmember to help you set them up. But last November I was at Epcot with my teen daughter and we were browsing in Art of Disney.
As we were looking at the gorgeous paintings, a Castmember behind the checkout desk told my daughter the phone was for her. She said hello and on the line was our pal, Goofy, and a happy birthday message to go along with the call.
Yes, she did have a birthday celebration button on (one of our favorite WDW freebies!), but we’d never had it happen before and it was such a pleasant surprise. The look on her face was a combination of surprise, excitement, and pure happiness.
Remember when Walt Disney World used to offer free theme park admission on your birthday? I miss those days. Free tickets were definitely one of the best free things at Disney World. Fingers crossed they come back one day.
Secret Free Things at Disney World – Transportation Cards
I’ve written a couple of times about the transportation cards and how much fun they are to collect, but because people forget about hem, I’m calling them secret. You can feel free to ask any WDW transportation driver if he/she has transportation cards and most times they do.
We like to collect the Monorail cards – they definitely pass time while waiting for the next one to arrive. But, feel free to ask motor coach and boat drivers, too. Each card has details about WDW transportation and a Disney character, too.
HOW ARE THEY PART OF THE BEST SECRET FREE THINGS AT DISNEY WORLD, THEN? IT’S NEVER KNOWING WHICH ONES THE DRIVERS WILL HAVE – OR WHAT CHARACTERS YOU’LL FIND ON THE CARDS – that’s what makes them some of the best secret free stuff at Disney World!
Secret Free Things at Disney World – Pixie Dust at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Did you know you can head to Harmony Barber Shop at Magic Kingdom and get a sprinkling of pixie dust? Also, you can get a first haircut for your toddler there, making it a super special occasion. Just as much fun, but more elusive, is getting pixie dust at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
There a one particular gentleman Castmember that hangs around the Center Stage area of Hollywood Studios (straight up Hollywood Boulevard) that passes out little bags of pixie dust. My suggestion is to always strike up lighthearted conversations with Castmembers – they’re filled with knowledge.
We’ve had the pleasure of chatting with him a couple of times and it’s always fun to take home a cute, pixie dust souvenir. I’ve never asked if he makes them himself or if they’re made for him, but I kind of like not knowing, you know?
Secret Free Things at Disney World – Free Souvenirs – Pirate Coins
Another fun treasure to collect at Pirates of the Caribbean in Magic Kingdom are plastic pirate coins. Yes, they’re plastic. Yes, they’re flimsy. But, ding dang it if they aren’t super cute.
I’d never seen them until this past visit to Walt Disney World in December. Just as we were queuing up for our boat, Castmembers were passing them out to guests waiting in line.
More Free Stuff at Disney World You Need to Know
There are tons of additional free things at Disney World if you know where to look and go, many of which are fan and visitor favorites.
Disney World Free Age Limit
Children under the age of three years old may enter any Walt Disney World park for free, which makes taking the littles to the parks even more cost effective and an easy way to take advantage of the kiddos having an affordable and magical day. Over three and you’ll need either valid Disney World tickets or a Disney World Annual Pass.
Free Things at Disney World – Watch the Electrical Water Pageant
One of my husband’s favorite memories as a child was watching the Electrical Water Pageant as his family was heading out of Magic Kingdom. Traversing the Seven Seas Lagoon, it begins at Fort Wilderness, goes past Grand Floridian Resort, heads to Polynesian Village Resort, and then heads back.
Occurring nightly as long as weather permits, it’s an adorable animated parade that only takes about 15 minutes from beginning to end.
Free Things at Disney World – Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom is “The Most Magical Place on Earth” for good reason. The first theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort, it’s a classic and quintessential Disney vibe. Filled with classic and thrill rides, the park is, hands down, my favorite of all four.
As for Magic Kingdom Freebies, there are plenty. Here are my favorites to be on the watch for:
Celebration Buttons – Why not let everyone know why you’re celebrating? Ask for a button at any sales desk, at Guest Services in Town Square, or simply ask a castmember and they can lead you in the right direction for one.
Stickers – If you’re looking for fun, free souvenirs, all you have to do is keep an eye out for castmembers passing out stickers. You can stick them to your clothes or keep them for a sticker or autograph book. Personally, stickers are one of the best free things at Disney World for me.
Professional Photos – If you want a photo of your entire family with you in it, simply ask a castmember or Disney Photopass photographer to take one on your own device for you. If you don’t want the hassle, you can always consider purchasing a Memory Maker package that’s filled with special photo additions and attraction videos. Of course, it’s not free but it does free up some precious family time.
Water and Ice – This one’s true for any of the theme parks, Disney Springs, and the Disney World Resorts. Anywhere there’s fountain drinks, head on up to the counter and ask for a glass of ice water, or just water if you don’t want it cold. You have ask for as many as you’d like as many times a day as you wish without complaint. In the hotter months, keeping hydrated is a must and I’m not a fan of carry around a water flask so I’ve learned the easy way to down water and not have to carry it around.
Free Things at Disney World – Free at Disney Springs
I’ve written plenty about the best free things at Disney Springs, but here’s a quick recap of my favorites:
Free Boat Rides: Disney World
At Disney Springs, you can hop on free boat transportation, aka a ferryboat, to a few resorts including:
- Port Orleans Resort—French Quarter
- Port Orleans Resort—Riverside
- Old Key West Resort
- Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
It’s totally your choice whether you want to stay on the boat and complete the entire circuit back to Disney Springs or resort hop to take a look around and see what each one looks like in person. Personally, I find this one of the great free things at Disney World and a fun activity – and it really gives me the vibe of the resort as opposed to looking at it through photos. If you have kiddos that adore boats, it’s a fun way to pass some, time, to take a break, and you can essentially call it a free attraction.
Additionally, if you want to enjoy a meal at one of the resorts on the Disney Springs ferryboat circle, this would be a great time to try it. Trust me, there are plenty of amazing restaurants at Disney Springs, but having a meal at one of the resorts, especially one you’re not staying at, is a cool way to ramp up your dining checklist and tick off ones you’ve never tried before.
And if you need to get your bearings before you go, here’s the link to the official Disney Springs map.
Free Admission at Disney Springs
Considering plenty of folks like to call Disney Springs the fifth Disney World gate, knowing that it won’t cost you a cent to visit is a true pleasure. Additionally, you can park in any of its covered garages or open air parking lots for free.
Water Play Areas at Disney Springs – If you’re not used to the hot, humid months that Central Florida provides, taking the kiddos to Disney Springs to play in the water play areas for free is a blessing some days. Just remember to pack extra clothes, swim diapers, and towels before you go so you won’thave to pay premium prices for them in the shops.
Celebration Buttons – Just like every Disney World theme park and resort, all you have to do is ask for a free celebration button and castmembers will happily provide them or direct you to where you can find them. They can be customized with a marker if you’d like and have themes including birthday, weddings, and first visit.
Ghirardelli Chocolate – This is my favorite tasty freebie. Head into the Ghirardelli store near World of Disney and ask for a free sample.
Live Entertainment – If you are ready to take a break from the countless steps you’ve been walking (sometimes the fam and I hit over 10 miles a day), make sure to check for the live entertainment schedule on the My Disney Experience app or on one of the boards at Disney Springs. Many times it’s musical and dance groups that have come to entertain guests, but they’re always adorable to watch. Near and around the restaurants, keep an ear out for local musicians performing live sets. It really does add to the cool ambiance.
Free Disney Stuff by Mail
Ahh, the days of free Disney stuff in the mail. I loved receiving giant maps for each of the theme parks (they had stickers that you could place on your top activities and attractions). But my favorite was receiving a Disney World planning DVD. Watching it, especially when we were going for our first visit, was exhilarating and so much fun – and it helped us to plan each day at Disney.
If you’re a resident of Canada, you’re still able to order a free Disney World planning DVD – here’s the link.