Some Unique Free Activities You Can Do at Disney World

There are secret scavenger hunts in the theme parks and resorts.

The “Tangled” area in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland has hidden chameleons.

Tarah Chieffi

Many of Disney’s resort hotels have free scavenger hunts that change throughout the year. They’re often themed to holidays and special events.

You can get a clue sheet from an employee or at guest services, and you even get a small prize for successfully completing your hunt.

If you already have tickets to the theme parks, there’s also a scavenger hunt in the highly decorated “Tangled” bathroom area in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland.

There are 10 hidden chameleons, and Disney created a scavenger-hunt guide to help guests find them all.

There are plenty of spots where you can watch the nightly Electrical Water Pageant.

a float in the electrical water pageant at disney world

The Electrical Water Pageant sails through the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake every night.

Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World

Most Disney World parades take place inside the theme parks, but the Electrical Water Pageant sails through the waterways between Magic Kingdom and the surrounding resort hotels.

During the show, colorful, twinkling sea creatures cruise along to familiar Disney tunes before transforming into American flags and stars for the grand finale.

Weather permitting, the pageant runs nightly, and the best viewing spots are along the shores of the Magic Kingdom hotels.

The on-site resort hotels have pool parties and outdoor games.

kids playing limbo on a beach at Polynesian resort disney world

My kids played limbo during our stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

Tarah Chieffi

If you’re staying at one of Disney World’s on-site hotels with kids, you may as well take advantage of the free children’s activities.

You can pick up a recreation calendar from the front desk to find out what’s on the schedule at the resorts, but you can typically find activities like hula-hooping contests, Disney trivia, and dance parties.

The employees in charge of the activities are friendly and engaging, and they always come up with creative things for kids to do.

Some resorts also show movies under the stars in the evenings.

movie screen set up on a beach at Polynesian resort disney world

The resorts have inflatable screens where they show movies under the stars.

Tarah Chieffi

If you’re ready to wind down for the day but aren’t quite ready for bed, some of the Disney resorts screen free movies under the stars.

The films range from Disney classics to new releases, and around Halloween and Christmas, they may be appropriately themed.

Some resorts use the poolside or beachfront area for movie screenings, and others use gardens or woodland areas.

The schedule varies from resort to resort, so check with the front desk to find out which films are showing and when.

A hidden-Mickey hunt can add an element of friendly competition to your vacation.

hidden mickey made of shrubs in epcot's living with the land greenhouse

Luckily, some of the hidden Mickeys are easier to find than others.

Tarah Chieffi

There are hundreds of hidden Mickeys (a trio of things in the shape of the iconic mouse’s head) all around Disney World’s property, including at the theme parks, resort hotels, golf courses, and water parks.

Some are large and easy to spot, but others are so expertly camouflaged that most visitors miss them completely.

If you want to get really serious about your search, you can take along a guidebook that will point you in the right direction.

Take a ride on the Skyliner for a bird’s-eye view of Disney World.

two gondolas from disney's skyliner flying past epcot ball

You get a great view of the World Showcase when the Skyliner travels past Epcot.

David Roark/Walt Disney World

The Disney Skyliner is the newest way to get around Walt Disney World.

The gondola system connects Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century Resort, and Riviera Resort to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

You can use the Skyliner purely for transportation purposes, but you can also take a leisurely ride for a bird’s-eye view of the property.

Disney Springs hosts free outdoor concerts.

manmade river at disney springs in orlando florida

There are spots around Disney Springs to catch live local music.

Tarah Chieffi

Disney Springs is the property’s dining, shopping, and entertainment complex, and it’s completely free to visit and walk around. 

There are also various spots where you can see live musical acts most days of the week.

From local and regional bands on the Waterside Stage to Irish dancing and music at Raglan Road, Disney Springs always has something going on.

You can stroll back in time along Disney’s turn-of-the-century BoardWalk.

the boardwalk sign at disney's boardwalk resort

The BoardWalk area has dining, shopping, games, and more.

Tarah Chieffi

Disney’s BoardWalk is a throwback to early-1900s beachfront promenades in East Coast destinations like Coney Island and Atlantic City.

Situated between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, the BoardWalk has a quarter-mile of dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities.

Visit at night when the entire area is bathed in the golden glow of strung-up lights for an especially nostalgic vibe. 

Disney animators offer free art lessons, and you can take your masterpiece home.

two disney guests drawing characters during the animation experience

You’ll be surprised at what you can create when you have a Disney animator helping.

Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World

If your artistic prowess never advanced past stick figures, a free drawing lesson from a skilled Disney animator may push you to the next level.

Although the experience is only “free” if you already have a ticket to Animal Kingdom, you don’t have to pay extra for the 25-minute Animation Experience that’s held multiple times throughout the day.

You can even take your drawing home as a souvenir.

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