What can I get for free at Disney World? 10 freebies for your next trip
Visiting Walt Disney World is expensive.
Single-day tickets start at $109, and multi-day vacations can run well into the thousands for families. The new Disney Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience will cost more than a mortgage payment when it opens in March. And let’s not even talk about souvenirs.
But there are a few freebies, which can add a little magic without spending extra money.
From educational activities that keep little ones entertained to thirst-quenching drinks that prove particularly helpful on hot days, here are 10 free things every Disney World visitor should know about before going to the parks.
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1. Celebration buttons
These colorful pin-on buttons mark a variety of milestones, including first visits, birthdays, engagements, anniversaries, graduations and more. Many cast members will offer celebratory greetings when the see the buttons. Some guests have even gotten special treats, like free desserts, but that's not guaranteed.
Each button features Disney characters and a place to fill in guests' names or the particular occasion. The buttons can be picked up in most shops as well as at Guest Services in City Hall at Magic Kingdom's Main Street U.S.A.
2. Professionally taken photos
Disney Photo Pass photographers are stationed at prime spots across each park to help guests capture vacation memories. And that's not just for people with Memory Maker photo packages running anywhere from $69 to $199.
Any guest can ask one of these professional photographers to snap a photo on a personal camera or smartphone for free.
3. Art classes
Guests can take a free drawing class from a Disney animator at Animal Kingdom. Each class at The Animation Experience at Conservation Station takes 25 minutes and centers on a specific Disney character.
4. Wilderness Explorer badges
Kids can earn Wilderness Explorer badges just like Russell in the movie "Up." The stickers are earned by completing educational activities at various marked stations around Animal Kingdom. There are 25 self-paced, interactive challenges in all.
5. Learning around the World (Showcase)
Children can collect Kidcot cards at each country around EPCOT's World Showcase. The cards feature cultural facts about each real life destination.
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Many cast members have stickers available to give away to guests by request.
Guests can sample sodas from all around the world at Club Cool Hosted by Coca-Cola at EPCOT. Warning: Beverly is no crowd pleaser, but worth trying once.
8. Ice water
Guests can get free cups of ice and ice water anywhere fountain drinks are sold. That may not seem like much, but water bottles are not cheap and can quickly add up. Also, a cold, refreshing drink can be invaluable on a hot Florida day. Guests who prefer to use their own reusable water bottles may ask for those to be filled instead.
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Complimentary Wi-Fi is available at all Walt Disney World theme parks, hotels and Disney Springs. AT&T is one of the park's official sponsors.
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These scenic modes of transportation are popular for resort hopping and taking in the various offerings at each hotel property.
While overnight guests must pay to park, parking is free for visitors "enjoying select dining, shopping, entertainment and recreation experiences at Disney Resort hotels," according to Disney World's website. Proof of reservations may be required depending on the hotel and time of year.
Parking is also free at Disney Springs.