35 Awesome Resort and Disney magic kingdom hacks
Let’s face it. Disney vacations can be on the pricey side. You want to see all the characters, you want to check out all the VIP events, you want to buy all the souvenirs, you collect pins, you get hungry, and you show off your Disney flair. It all adds up. But did you know about all the fun FREE things and Disney Magic Kingdom hacks? These fun and innovative additions to your trip will complement those that require your credit card perfectly, leaving a smile on everyone’s face including your bank account. Here is our mega list of 35 FREE things to do at the Orlando resorts, parks Disney Magic Kingdom Dining, and Disney magic kingdom hacks.
1 – Wake-Up Call
If you are staying at one of the many resorts, trade in the terrible buzzing alarm clock for a wake-up call from Mickey. Much better than getting scared out of bed. Celebrating a birthday? Let them know for a special call from Goofy!
2 – The Vacation Planner DVD
Before heading to Disney, I recommend either downloading from the website or requesting the Disney planning DVD be posted to you. It contains valuable information to ensure you get as much out of your vacation as possible.
3 – Download the Disney Experience App
This is such an invaluable piece of technology! When entering the parks, make sure you buy the interactive bracelets. Next, synch them to the app and see just how many headaches you will be saved. Through this app you can book dining reservations, buy event tickets, and secure fast passes for your rides and experiences. Trust me. You want this app to exploit the free things to do at Disney World.
4- Special Buttons
As I mentioned in my 100 Things to do at Magic Kingdom post, I highly recommend should you be celebrating a milestone as a pregnancy, engagement, birthday, first visit, family reunion, honeymoon, or other occasion to request one of the celebration buttons to wear for the duration of your holiday. This is one of my favourite Disney magic kingdom hacks. These buttons make you stand out and some experiences will give you exclusive freebies. One in particular that stood out for us was the treat we received at the Big top Souvenir shop.
5 – Supplies from Mousekeeping
If you are staying at the Disney resort, you will definitely be aware of the toiletries supplied. If you want samples for your visit, simply as Mousekeeping to bring them to your room. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, and other beauty products are available.
6 – Room Decor
Many guests, especially around the holidays like to decorate their hotel rooms with streamers, balloons, window clings, and other Disney flair. These products are available from the concierge for all your decorating needs.
7 – Disney Transportation
If you are staying in any of the Disney resorts, you will have access to the Disney fleet of buses, monorails, and ferries. Take advantage of this service as it is free to all registered guests.
8 – World Showcase Passport Stamps
In Epcot World Showcase, it is so much fun to go to each country and have a passport to be stamped. The passport itself costs money and can be purchased in the gift shops nearby, but the stamps, stickers, and other accessories are free at every country booth!
9 – Pamphlets, Maps, Time Schedule
If you are not tech savvy for using the app or you like to collect papers for scrapbooking, than make sure you grab the maps for the four parks, schedules, and other fun guides to keep for your collection.
10 – Driver’s and Pilot Licenses
In Tomorrowland and near the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride you can get your very own driver and pilot license! Ask a staff member for assistance and they will gladly show you how you can get yours no matter what your age. After receiving your paperwork, head to the racing track and go for a drive!
Update 2018: There is now a $5 charge for this one.
11 – Trading Cards
Another one of our great Disney Magic Kingdom Tips! Staff members at various stations have trading cards free of charge. In some areas they are rarer than others. Collect your trading cards from transportation outlets like the bus and ferry, and they can also be collected from the Fire Station and Main Street USA.
12 – Confection Samples
Really unsure what to have for a Disney treat midday? Head to any confectionery and if not busy, they will let you sample things to decide what you would like. Just another great perk from Disney Magic Kingdom Dining!
13 – Character Encounter Pictures
Meeting our favourite characters is such a joy that Disney brings to us. You do not need to purchase the Memory Maker (though we love it and recommend it!), but we do suggest using your Disney Magic Kingdom Fastpass for those that offer them. Request the photographer on site to take a photo with your phone or camera.
14 – Art Sessions with Animators
Want to know exactly how imagineers develop the characters you love? Check out the art classes! They are free and will take you behind the scenes at each stage of the creation. Truly one of the most exciting free things to do at Disney World especially for the creative types.
15 – Pixie Dust
For that little extra sparkle while in the parks head to the barber shop on Main Street USA. Head inside and ask the stylist for hair confetti, or pixie dust. It is free for children, but if adults ask nicely it is possible to get a little too. (one of our Disney Magic Kingdom Tips that is seriously a favourite!)
16 – Fireworks
An added bonus to Disney vacations are the incredible fireworks and they are no extra cost to you! There are several events that incur additional charges, but seeing these world famous performances won’t cost any additional money! Keep an eye out for Tinkerbell as she takes off on her flight each night around the castle.
17 – Parade Viewing
Disney puts on some truly incredible parades for all seasons and times of the year. Seeing these aesthetic extravaganzas is included fully in your admission ticket and won’t cost you anything additional! This is one of the most fun free things to do at Disney World that also captures the essence of the Disney experience.
18 – Campfires
Campfires at Disney Fort Wilderness campground are fun singalongs that are perfect for the family after a full day of rides and sightseeing. You won’t see any of the usual characters but it is a fun and interactive experience.
19 – Disney Vacation Club Presentation
The presentation is free. You don’t need to sign on and you get a thank you gift for taking the time to listen. The only expense is if you sign on the dotted line for a membership! It will be tempting, just sayin’…
20 – Your Favourite Disney Film outside
Staying on the resort? Check out the nightly movie showing outside for free to guests only! You never know – you may get lucky with your favourite playing while you are there!
21 – WIFI
This is huge. The app works throughout all four parks no matter where you thanks to the WIFI. Update your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter on the fly straight after booking your spot for dinner!
22 – Tour the Restaurant after your Meal
A really cool perk is to tour the restaurants here at Disney! Get some behind the scenes information on one of the eatery you just enjoyed your meal and learn a little more about how everything works for Disney Dining.
23 – Exclusive Pin Trading
The pins cost money, but the fun of trading with the staff and other pinners is free. Make sure your pins are in mint condition and stop any staff member you see with pins visible to have a peek and possibly trade. The staff must stop and trade with you the pin that you want! Too much fun for words.
24 – Shopping Delivery
Remember how I mentioned you should reserve your shopping until the end of the day to avoid carrying it around all day? Well, if you really really cannot wait for that one-of-a-kind item, than take advantage of the free delivery service and have your parcels delivered directly to your hotel room.
25 – Disney Springs
This glorious shopping district that lights up around the holidays is free to access and explore. The shops in Disney Springs are not free should you purchase anything, but the actual area in the complex is accessible for free regardless if you are staying in the resort or have park tickets.
26 – Airport Transfer
Disney guests can get a free transfer from the Airport on Mickey’s Magical Express! Just call ahead to ensure they know what airport, terminal, and resort to take you.
27 – Hidden Mickeys
There are hidden Mickeys all over the parks in some of the most obscure places! Why not try and find them all? You can buy a manual like this one to assist, but the Mickeys themselves are free to find!
28 – The Park Opening Ceremonies
This is one of our favourite Disney Magic Kingdom Tips. Before the attractions all open, you have the opportunity to see the opening ceremonies with the scheduled characters and cast members welcoming you for the day. Try to get there and through security as quickly as possible to witness this magical way to start your day.
29 – Pay Your Respects to Mr. Toad
This would appeal more probably to the older crowd in your group who remember his wild ride. Mr Toad’s attraction left Disney World some time ago, but his memory and legacy live on in different tributes. When exiting the Haunted Mansion (you can use a Disney Magic Kingdom Fastpass for this attraction!) do have a look for his grave in the cemetery and in the new Winnie the Pooh ride, check out the painting in the first room of him handing over the deed of the land his ride was on to Owl.
30 – Scavenger Hunts
Create unique and interactive scavenger hunts! You can get guides on how to do this or simply create one on your own. Get your family to locate special effects, locations, and characters for a fun filled day.
31 – Find Easter Eggs
Now I don’t mean chocolate ones, though i’m sure around Easter time this would be a possibility! I am talking about secret Easter eggs of hidden facts or references within films, music, and displays. Since the Disney movies are loaded with them, you can only imagine the number of Easter eggs are in the parks. For example, what does the code of arms represent on Cinderella’s castle?
32 – the Kiss Goodnight
This magical experience happens a half hour after the store closes. This 2-minute spectacle has the park wishing you a good night and safe journey home with the song “When you wish upon a star” sung by Jiminy Cricket. Not many stay for it so if you remember, this is a wonderful little extra. And one of the best free things to do at Disney World that will make your time extra special.
33 – The Party Lines
Check them out on Main Street and in Tomorrowland and enjoy a listen to Mickey’s and other characters’ conversations!
34 – Meet Disney’s Horses
Mornings on Main Street USA guests have the exclusive opportunity to mingle with the gorgeous Disney horses. Learn of their care, conservation, and how they became part of the Disney family. This experience is only available in the mornings in the Magic Kingdom before they head to work on the buggies.
35 – The Flag Ceremony – Raising and Descent
Patriotic? Here is your chance to demonstrate this in front of hundreds of guests. Disney carefully takes down the flag each night with watchers showing their dedication. You can access this mainly in the evening. This is one of the musts in this list of free things to do at Disney World.
I hope that you are able to include even some of the free things to do at Disney World on your next visit! Everything for the most part costs money, but by adding these freebies, it only sweetens the trip even more.
Need help planning your romantic trip to Disney? Check out our itineraries, restaurant reviews, packing tips and more free things to do at Disney World here.
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