Not everything at Walt Disney World has to cost a ton of money. Sometimes it is just really nice to take a break from the theme parks for a day and enjoy a day at the hotel. You can always find something for free at the resorts while taking some time away from the parks.
While I’m sure the front desk is full of suggestions, I’d like to offer some free Disney World Resort Activites, as well. These tips have been shared with me, to use in this post, by a former cast member (and current Disney enthusiast!) ♥
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Free Disney World Resort Activities
If you need something to do on a lazy vacation day, here are some of my favorite free Disney World resort activities. I’ve also added a few bonus activities at the bottom that are not only at the resort. 🙂
Disney Resort Tours
Tours are a really fun free activity that is sometimes available, depending on the resort you are staying at, but you don’t have to be a get at the hotel to take the tour. Wilderness Lodge has a really fantastic tour of the hotel and architecture. Plus there are many displays to discover and study. At Animal Kingdom Lodge there are also many displays and opportunities for cultural learning, as well as a culinary tour that famously offers free food samples.
Tip: If you plan on touring more than one resort a day, try to pick resorts that are close in proximity to save time.
Example: Bay Lake is bordered by three resorts, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, so those three might be great to see on the same day.
Disney Resorts Movies Under the Stars
The best way to end the night after a big day at the Disney Parks is to settle in at your favorite resort for an outdoor movie experience. We love to do this after we’ve gone too Hollywood Studios for the day (or after a busy day of finding Hidden Mickeys at the Magic Kingdom). Each resort from the Grand Floridian Resort to the Port Orleans Riverside has a different Schedule, so you can research where to be to see the Disney movies you want to view. The viewing areas for the films are often near the pool with the movie projected onto outdoor screens. They sometimes feature Disney Channel movies, Marvel Movies, or even sing-a-longs.
Tip: We love to get Ice Cream to eat while we watch the movie because it’s a fun way to relax and a special treat to end the day.
Swimming at the Disney Resorts
Speaking of poolside, swimming is always a great activity at any of the Walt Disney World resort hotels. The themed pools are so much fun, some of them like Stormalong Bay are incredible. This Beach Club pool has a sand bottom, a lazy river, and a very long water slide. If swimming at the pool isn’t enough, check the pool activity schedule for fun party games to play in the late afternoon.
Disney Resort Hopping
Although one thing you can’t do is use the swimming pools at other resorts, you can still resort hop and enjoy a change of scenery. Resort hopping is a fun and free way to spend a day of sampling different resort themes and getting to know the advantages of some of the other Disney Resort hotels. You can use free transportation such as boats, or monorail, to explore the sites of some of the neighbors. Be sure to check out the contemporary resort and Spring Resort.
Mickey Mouse Cartoons at Disney Resorts
If you really need a day of recuperation, you could just stay in your room all day and rest. One of the best free things about Walt Disney World is that the Mickey Mouse cartoons play all day on the classic cartoons channel. If you have never seen the recent Mickey Mouse cartoons, it is an Emmy winning series starring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and a host of friends, some of which are dug up from the really old Silly Symphonies.
The series shows an acute awareness of the wide array of Disney properties and spins them together. From parks to any point in Disney animation history, there is nothing that has not inspired an aspect of the show. It’s new, it’s classic, and it’s a little edgy, but most importantly… the characters, comedy and cartoon logic are revived and better than ever.
Freebies at Disney Springs
Of course, if you want to do more free things outside of the resort, you can head to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney). You get a little Disney Magic without the theme park ticket. At Disney Springs, they offer live music, shops, fun activities for the kids, restaurants, and more.
Disney Boardwalk is Free
“You do not need a theme park ticket to access and enjoy Disney’s BoardWalk Area – this shopping, dining, and entertainment location is open to all guests. Disney’s BoardWalk, a quarter-mile promenade of exquisite dining, unique shops, and exciting nightlife. Stroll along the water’s edge, play afternoon midway games and discover evening street performers. Evoking turn-of-the-century boardwalks in such coastal cities as Coney Island and Atlantic City, Disney’s BoardWalk is a short stroll to Epcot and a breezy boat ride to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.” – This quote is from Disney Mom’s Panel on Disney’s Website.
While we have never been to Disneyland, we do love to go to Disney at least once a year. I hope today’s tips (given to us by a cast member) helped!