If you've ever planned an epic family vacation you know how quickly the costs can start adding up. This might leave you wondering "is there anything at all I can do for free here"? Well, when it comes to the Walt Disney World Resort, the answer is yes! You will be surprised to know that there are indeed things you can do that are free at Walt Disney World, some of which are incredibly fun but not well known. The great thing is that a lot of these activities don't require an admission ticket and are a great way to experience Walt Disney World outside of the theme parks.
Keep in mind that availability and offerings may change over time, so it's a good idea to check for the latest information.
There are currently more than 30 Walt Disney World Resort hotels (including Disney Vacation Club Villas) on property and each one has it's own unique theme. You could spend days hopping around and checking out the resort hotels. This is especially fun during the Christmas holidays as Walt Disney World does an incredible job of decorating each resort according to it's original theme. During the holiday, it's definitely worth resort hopping, especially to the Deluxe Resorts to take in the splendor of the holiday decorations and festivities.
If you are hotel hopping, be mindful that it is easier to use Disney transportation to get around. Some of the resorts have restricted parking and will not allow you to park unless you are a guest of the resort or have a dining reservation. You can always park at the Ticket & Transportation for a small fee, or you can park at Disney Springs for free and catch a bus from there.
Visit the Animals at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge has savannah viewing areas at both Jambo House and Kidani Village. We love visiting this majestic resort and checking out the exotic animals from the viewing areas. For those of you who like to learn, there's informational signage and cast members willing to provide education about the animals you will see. The viewing area at Jambo House is easy to find, you just walk to the back of the magnificent lobby and you will see the doors leading to the observation deck.
Monorail Resort Tour
My kids love this one. Not only do they get to ride the monorail, they also get to visit the deluxe resorts on the monorail loop. This is one of my favorite activities during the Christmas season and we always set aside time for this. The monorail resorts have spectacular decorations, and the Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is no exception. This one draws huge crowds during the holiday season; my suggestion is to arrive earlier in the day as the crowds build as the day goes on, especially in the evening. If you are visiting Walt Disney World between November and early January, I highly suggested making time for this.
Life-sized Gingerbread House at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa's majestic 40-foot Christmas tree
You can also make a stop at Disney's Contemporary Resort and visit the butterfly garden. This Butterfly Life Cycle House is located between the Contemporary's main tower and Bay Lake. There is also a butterfly garden at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, just outside the Outpost.
Next you can head on over to Wilderness Lodge to see Disney's version of Old Faithful erupt. This miniature Geyser erupts daily on the hour between 7am and 10pm and shoots water 120 feet into the air.
These are just some of the things you can experience while visiting the Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World. Stay tuned for Free Things To Do At Disney: Part 2...coming soon.
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