Free Things To Do At the Walt Disney World Resort: Part 2

Contrary to what many people believe, there are a lot of free activities for guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort. There are actually so many free things that I had to break them up into multiple blogs and still didn't cover everything (you can read Part 1 here).

Take a boat ride 
Boats are just one of the many transportation options at the Walt Disney World Resort. You can take a leisurely boat ride around Crescent Lake between Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios (with stops at all of the Boardwalk area resorts), between Magic Kingdom and any of the Magic Kingdom-area resorts, and on the Sassagoula River between Disney Springs and the Port Orleans resorts.  The boat ride on the Sassagoula River is one of our family's favourites and stopping at Port Orleans French Quarter for fresh beignets is a must.

Princess Promenade at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa 
Every afternoon at 3:30pm Cinderella and Prince Charming host a Princess Promenade where guests are invited to join them in a waltz around the hotel lobby. If you or your kids love Princesses, this is a great way to see Cinderella and Prince Charming in the stunning lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  

Complimentary Campfires 
The Walt Disney World Resort hotels have nightly campfires (weather permitting) where guests can gather around the fire and roast marshmallows, followed by Movies Under the Stars (see below). If you happen to be at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground you can join Chip'n' Dale for a Campfire Sing-A-Long while roasting marshmallows and making s'mores (extra fees may apply for s'more kits).

Movies Under the Stars 
Movies under the stars is a free nightly activity at every Walt Disney World Resort hotel, weather permitting. There is a rotating schedule posted at each resort where a different Disney movie is shown nightly.  The movies typically take place in the pool area although some hotels have their own unique viewing area.  This is a great activity for the kids and is such a fun way to end the evening, especially on those relaxing non-theme park days.

Ride the Skyliner Gondolas 
The Skyliner Gondolas are Walt Disney World Resort's newest mode of transportation, and such a fun way to travel. My kids love riding the gondolas, they consider it a ride outside of the parks. It's important to note the Skyliner Gondolas do not run during inclement weather and you may end up waiting for a bus if the weather turns (high winds or thunder and lightning).

Skyliner Gondola at Pop Century/Art of Animation station

The ranch is located at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and is home to more than 90 horses. This is where you will find the horses that are actually used throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, from the parades to the horse drawn carriage rides. The stables are incredible and this is such a fun and relaxing activity when you aren't at the theme parks. For an extra fee, you can also enjoy pony and horseback riding to top off your visit.

Visit the Boardwalk 
The Boardwalk is a hidden gem at the Walt Disney World Resort. Inspired by boardwalks of yesteryear, this is where you will discover talented street performers that are completely free to watch. You can also check out the multitude of dining options and the beautiful deluxe resort hotels. The Boardwalk Resort area is absolutely stunning in the evening as the lights from the surrounding hotels reflect on shimmering Crescent Lake. We love to visit the Boardwalk area hotels during the Christmas holiday season to view the decorations and soak in the Disney Christmas spirit. They are not only decorated with stunning Christmas trees, each hotel hosts own hand-crafted, life-sized gingerbread display. Perhaps the most well-known display at the Boardwalk area resorts is the Gingerbread Carousel at Disney's Beach Club Resort. 

View of the Boardwalk from Disney's Beach Club Resort

Disney Princess -inspired carousel in 2022

Get a Lei at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort 
When you arrive in the lobby at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort you will be welcomed with a lei. This is one that the free things that the kids love to do and it gives them a special little souvenir of their time at this beautiful South Pacific inspired resort. 

Watch the Fireworks 
If you happen to be near one of the theme parks at Fireworks time, you will likely be able to catch part of the show from outside of the theme park gates. You can see some of Epcot's nighttime spectacular from the Boardwalk Resort area and you can find many spots at the deluxe monorail resorts to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks.  My suggestion for the best viewing spot for the Magic Kingdom fireworks is the beach at the Polynesian Village Resort. If you aren't near the Polynesian Village Resort, you can also see the fireworks from the Ticket & Transportation Center, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and California Grill restaurant at the Contemporary Resort (although this one isn't actually free as a dinner reservation is required).

Disney's Electrical Water Pageant 
The water pageant is an electrical water parade that happens nightly on the water surrounding Magic Kingdom and is visible from Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Disney's Wilderness Resort & Campground, Disney's Contemporary Resort, Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This is a slow moving parade so be sure to check the time it is scheduled to pass by your viewing location. If you time it just right, you can catch the water pageant as you are exiting Magic Kingdom for the night, which is actually how I accidentally discovered it many years ago.

Have you ventured out and participated in any of the free activities offered during your Walt Disney World Resort stay? Let me know in the comments what your favourite activity is. 


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