Top 10 Free, or Low Cost Disney World Ideas
First evening or last day ideas for Walt Disney World
Most likely you've spent most of the day getting to Walt Disney World. You might feel that using a whole day of theme park tickets for just a few hours would be a waste. Or you've used up your park tickets during your stay and will be leaving for home in the afternoon. Here are some free or low cost things you can do to pass an evening or morning at Disney World.
1. Chill at your Resort Pool - Having just spent all day getting to Walt Disney World or getting ready for a full day going home can drain you. Perhaps you'd just like to spend some time relaxing at your own hotel. Take a dip in the pool or a soak in the hot tub.
2. Have a great meal - You've got to eat anyway so have a meal at one of Disney's great restaurants. In one of the resorts, at Downtown Disney, or the Boardwalk.
Adults: $12.52; children (ages 3-9) $10.39 - There are two mini golf courses: Fantasia Gardens, near Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Winter Summerland, near Blizzard Beach Water Park. Cost: $12.52 adults, $10.39 children (tax included)/ Military Discounted Tickets at Shades of Green: $10.00 adult, $9.00 children.
3. Go to Downtown Disney - Explore the Shops and wonderful dining options located there.
- The Lego Imagination Center has a 3,000-square-foot outdoor play area filled with thousands of LEGO blocks.
- Check out the free magic demonstrations at the Magic Masters shop.
- Visit the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop and enjoy a sundae, they offer a 20% military discount.
4. Rent a boat - Most of Disney's Moderate, Deluxe and Disney Vacation Club resorts have a marina where you can rent various types of watercraft. A kayak, canoe or pedal boat will set you back less than $7.00 for a half-hour rental. A two person sailboat is about $20.00 an hour.
5. Visit Disney's Boardwalk - The Boardwalk is a fabulous entertainment area with lots of dining and entertainment options located out the back door of the Boardwalk Resort. Park at the Boardwalk Resort, tell the Security Host at the gate you're there to walk on the Boardwalk. There are several restaurants along the Boardwalk and roaming street performers (jugglers, comedians, fire-eaters, jazz ensembles, etc.). Located within walking distance are the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts as well as the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. There is a bridge near the Swan and Dolphin that offers a decent view over the trees of the Illuminations show at EPCOT.
6. Fort Wilderness campfire program - Sing around the campfire and watch a free Disney movie. It's open to everyone. Held every evening, at about 7:00 PM in fall and winter and about 8:00 PM in spring and summer, near the Meadow Trading Post. The program starts with a sing-a-long and marshmallow roast. You can bring your own food or buy it from the Chuck Wagon, which sells S'more kits, pizza and hot dogs. Chip and Dale meet the guests and sign autographs. Then a Disney movie is shown on a large outdoor screen. There is some seating on bleachers and benches, or you can lay out a blanket. No reservations necessary.
7. Take a tour of the Disney Resorts - The resorts are so beautiful especially at Christmas. We love to check them out and see which one we'd like to stay at next. While touring you could have a drink in one of their lounges or grab a snack. Be sure to be on the look out for Hidden Mickey's.
8. Tour Disney World's Monorail/Magic Kingdom Resorts (the Contemporary, Polynesian, or Grand Floridian). Park at one of the resorts, just tell the Security Host at the parking lot entrance that you're there to have a drink in their lounge. You can then ride the monorail between the resorts. Here are some ideas for these resorts:
- Contemporary - The fourth floor houses a cocktail lounge as well as dining and shopping options. The California Grill is located on the 24th floor and has superb views of the Magic Kingdom. If you time it right you can have dinner and watch the Wishes fireworks over desert. Watch from your table or go onto the observation deck. The sound track from Wishes is piped in to enhance the show. If you'd just like to see the fireworks you need to get there early, just tell the host at the fourth floor podium that you'd like to have a drink in the California Grill bar. There is a maximum capacity so if they've reached it you won't be able to go up. If they do fill up another viewing option is the fourth floor observation deck located facing the Magic Kingdom. After the Wishes walk out back to the marina to see the Electrical Water Pageant.
- Polynesian - The Lobby area and second floor above house the lounges, dining, and gift offerings. Or have a drink at the pool bar and watch Wishes and Electrical Water Pageant from the sandy beach.
- Grand Floridian - The Lobby area and second floor above house the lounges, dining, and gift offerings. Watch Wishes and Electrical Water Pageant from the sandy beach.
- Ride the shuttle boat from the Contemporary to the Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Campground.
- Wilderness Lodge - Explore the fabulous lobby. The huge fireplace which extends many stories up through the open central lobby area has been constructed to simulate the strata of the Grand Canyon. You can go to each floor to see and read about that particular level. Each level looks just like what you'd see in the real Grand Canyon. There are also display cases on each floor with geologic items to see.
- You can take a 45-minute wagon ride around Fort Wilderness Campground for $8/adult, $5/child (ages 3-9). The rides are offered nightly at 1900 and 2130 and depart from in front of Pioneer Hall. No reservations
9. View the animals at the Animal Kingdom Lodge - During the day or at night with night vision goggles
10. Catch the "Ye Haa" Bob show, late evenings at the River Roost Lounge at Port Orleans Riverside Resort. "Ye Haa" Bob Jackson performs a very popular piano sing-along comedy show with lots of audience participation.