9 Ways to Have Fun at Disney Without Spending Money

I get it—Disney tickets are expensive! So if you find yourself in Orlando and want some Disney magic (but not the price tag) here are nine things to do around Disney that don’t include going to a park! One of the best things about being on Disney property is that once you’re there, you’ll never have to pay for an Uber to get to somewhere else on property. There are busses, monorails, boats, and now Skyliner routes to get you around free of charge!

  1. 1. Ride the new Skyliner

    The Skyliner connects Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Carribean Beach, Art of Animation, Pop Century, and (in the future) Riviera. It’s definitely a unique view and way to get around town—if you get motion sickness, though, it can be a little freaky since there’s more rocking than the monorail!

  2. 2. Walk around Boardwalk

    If you take the Skyliner to Epcot, you’ll be on the back end of the park near the World Showcase, which means you’re only a short walk away from Boardwalk Resort! Like Disney Springs, they’ve got a lot of street performers and it’s a really fun place to just walk around and take in the atmosphere. If you’re up to it, some ice cream from Ample Hills is always a good choice!

  3. 3. Have some s’mores from Wilderness Lodge!

    Other resorts also do s’mores, but at Wilderness you have a classic Pacific Northwest vibe to go off of that just makes the marshmallows taste better. You’ll have to pay (or bring your own!) if you want graham crackers and chocolate, but the marshmallows are always free! If you’re there on the hour, you can also watch their geyser go off (always fun for little kids, a good Snapchat story for adults). Make sure your transportation is taking you to Wilderness Lodge, not Fort Wilderness (although, if you do end up at Fort on accident there’s a boat that can take you to Wilderness Lodge).

  4. 4. Visit the African Savanna at Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Yes, it’s relatively far away from other resorts, but getting to see giraffes, zebras, and ostriches (oh my!) definitely make up for the few more minutes on the bus. There are good views from lots of different areas in the resort, and the animals are really beautiful. There are often Cast Members around who are knowledgeable about the animals and can answer any questions you have, too! AKL also does s’mores at night! Make sure to head over to the Mara and grab some Zebra Domes for a sweet snack—I don’t even know how to describe them but they are for sure nectar from the gods.

  5. 5. Ride the monorail loop

    Take a bus or boat to the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Contemporary, or Magic Kingdom (if you want to do Epcot, you could, but then you’ll be so close to the Epcot ball and not be able to get a close-up photo—a real tragedy!) There are plenty of things to do and see at each of the resorts here! Each has such a different vibe and great opportunities for Insta photos. The Polynesian has Dole Whips (!!) and yes, I know it’s not free, but honestly it’s so worth it. The Grand Floridian also has a Basin store on its second level where you can wash your hands for free with salt or sugar scrub! The Contemporary has the famous Chef Mickey’s, where you can catch a glimpse of the main mouse himself (even if you’re not eating there)!

  6. 6. Get a free chocolate from the Ghirardelli store at Disney Springs

    In the evenings, workers will hand you a chocolate just for entering the store! I’ve gotten my free chocolate without buying anything else from the store plenty of times.

  7. 7. Wash your hands with sugar or salt scrub at the Basin in Disney Springs

    The Basin store is one of my favorite places to go into at Disney Springs for the heavenly smell alone—but the fact that you can have a luxurious hand wash while you’re in there for free is just a cherry on top! My favorite one to use was the Satsuma Shea Salt Scrub!

  8. 8. Watch a street performer at Disney Springs

    In the evenings, there’s lots of different performers to enjoy as you walk around Springs. Raglan Road Irish Pub has fantastic Irish folk music, the House of Blues almost always has a musician on their Front Porch Bar, the Strolling Piano could be anywhere in Springs (there’s usually a crowd!)... the list goes on!

  9. 9. Watch Magic Kingdom’s Fireworks from a MK resort!

    Check the My Disney Experience app for the time they’re showing Happily Ever After and make sure to arrive to whichever resort you choose about 30 minutes early to get a good viewing spot! If you’re not completely sure, feel free to ask a Cast Member and they’ll point you in the right direction! It’s probably the most magical thing you could do on this list, and you definitely wouldn’t regret it.

Enjoy Disney!