1. Visit Downtown Disney.
It cost nothing to visit Downtown Disney. There are lots of fun shops to stroll through and plenty of people watching opportunities. (If you visit during the day PLEASE take a hat. I think Downtown Disney has its own microclimate – it often seems degrees hotter than the rest of Orlando.) Don’t miss the snoozing man made from lego or the fantastic magnets at Magnetron Magnetz. Stop in the Art of Disney store – They run a trivia quiz every day and give out prizes if you get them all right!
2. Watch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks
from the beach of the Grand Floridian or Polynesian. You can park at the resorts for a short time for free. Tell the guard you are visiting the hotel coffee shop.
3. Take a free tour of Wilderness Lodge
Check with guest services for times and details. There is also a hidden Mickey hunt (list available from guest services)
4. Watch the Electrical Water Pageant
It takes place each night on Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake – times vary. A long line of barges are transformed into a magical light show. It is short – just a few minutes long but is one of the overlooked treasures of Walt Disney World. It can be seen from the beaches of the Grand Floridian and Polynesian and the Fort Wilderness Marina and Beach.
5. Nature Trails at Fort Wilderness
There are many miles of trails at Fort Wilderness, through pine and cypress woods. All free. You can hire bikes but to walk costs nothing.
6. Visit The Boardwalk
Best in the evening. Just stroll and take in the atmosphere. There’s usually lots of “street entertainment”.
7. Visit the petting farm at Fort Wilderness.
The petting farm is open 7 am to dusk a. There is free day parking at Ft. Wilderness.
8. Take the free garden tour at the Yacht & Beach Club Resort.
Call guest services for times.
9. Take the free lobby tour at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
10 Campfire sing-song and a movie.
Each evening a campfire is held at Fort Wilderness (it is free to WDW Resort Guests) near the Meadow Trading Post. Take your own marshmallows to toast. The campfire is followed by a Disney cartoon feature shown on a large outdoor screen.
— I know I said 10 Free things but I have included one more because #10 is only free to guests staying at a Disney World Hotel!
11 Take a boat ride.
from Dixie Landings to Downtown Disney – it’s especially nice at night. Take a stroll around Downtown Disney and catch the boat back to your car at Dixie Landings.