That’s not a click bait title. There really are plenty of free events for your family on the Walt Disney World property. We will even go one step further and say there are numerous free activities that do not require a theme park ticket. That might sound surprising, but it’s true. Everyone knows Walt Disney World can be expensive so why not take advantage of anything free you can get?
Here are five free events you can attend with your family. There are no strings attached, no park passes necessary, and no hoops to jump through. Only fun, excitement and memories to think about.
1. Chip ‘n Dale Campfire Sing-A-Long
Location: Fort Wilderness Campground
These days meeting a character usually comes with either a long line or a heavy meal price. If meeting characters, and having fun are on the top of your list, check out this great option.
It’s nestled in the Fort Wilderness Campground and takes place every night. The start time of this event changes depending on the season. Make sure to ask the Disney hotline or resort for the start time during your visit. A rough estimate is 7 pm in the colder months, and 8 pm in the warmer months.
This sing-a-long is fantastic for the entire family. There is an outdoor theatre where a singing cowboy sings your family’s favourite songs. There are also two open fire pits that are available to roast marshmallows for s’mores. Most guests will bring their own snacks, but there is also the option of purchasing them at the Chuck Wagon Store. It usually opens about an hour before the sing-a-long starts.
The best part, besides that it’s free, is that Chip and Dale are there to join in the fun. They will sign autographs, greet guests, and take photos with your family. Two iconic characters, and you didn’t have to wait an hour to meet them.
2. Campfires at the Resorts
Location: 18 Official Walt Disney World Resorts
Speaking of campfires, they aren’t just part of the sing-a-long. Your family can experience the great outdoors with free campfire activities all across Walt Disney World Resort.
If you are staying at one of the participating hotels, this activity is fantastic. You don’t have to go far, it’s easy, and if you come from an urban area this might be a unique experience for your kids. You don’t have to go camping to experience the fun.
3. Movies at Night
Location: Numerous Walt Disney World Resort hotels
“Movies Under the Stars” is an amazing way to end a day at the parks. Enjoy a relaxing evening under the stars watching your favourite Disney movies. Depending on which resorts you choose, you can watch a movie on the beach, poolside, or surrounded by woodlands.
Check the movie schedule with the front desk at your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, or call the Disney hotline. Regardless of what kind of film your family is into, we can guarantee it will be playing at one of the resorts. There is something for everyone.
4. The Electrical Water Parade
Location: Shores of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (9 pm), Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (9:15 pm), Disney’s Wilderness Resort and Campground (9:45 pm), Disney’s Contemporary Resort (10:10 pm), Magic Kingdom Park (10:35 pm during extended Theme Park Hours only) These times are approximate.
Disney is known for their park parades. They are simply incredible. The combination of creativity and technology is first rate. They really know how to put on a show, but what if you are not in the parks?
Well, Disney has a free answer to that question and it’s called, “The Electrical Water Pageant“. If you have never seen this show you have to make it a priority on your next visit. It’s pretty amazing regardless of how old you are. It’s one of those Disney moments that make you stop and say “wow”.
It’s a nightly water parade, and it’s incredible. Picture a brightly-lit electrical parade floating through Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon. The more than 50,000 light bulbs bring creatures to life from under the sea. The water parade is set to your favourite Disney music.
Since this is an outdoor show, check with your Disney contact before heading over. It’s only a 15-minute show, but it’s truly worth the time to go see it.
5. Disney Springs
Location: All across the Disney Springs area
If you are looking for free performances, there is no better place than Disney Springs. With free parking, and free outdoor shows every day, it makes for the perfect free activity.
There are dance parties at the Waterside stage, “Front Porch Bar” musicians outside House of Blues, and live music shows at Sunshine Highline. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to entertainment there.
Also, pay attention to the special last minute performers as well. One time I walked by the stage in front of the World of Disney and there must have been hundreds of preteens losing their minds over a Radio Disney star on stage. Disney had only given less than 48 hours notice for that show, and by the sight of those girls, well worth their parents researching schedule changes. The screams of excitement are something I can still hear clearly weeks later.
Those were just five of the numerous free things Disney has to offer. You just have to look a little harder for them.