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Wondering about things to do during a free day in Walt Disney World? This could be your travel or arrival day to the resort or maybe you just want to take a break in between park hopping days. We explore options on how to fill a non-park Disney World day. Here are some things to do during a free day in Walt Disney World. Watch our travel day video here.
Park entry fees are not required.
Formerly known as Downtown Disney, Disney Springs is the shopping and entertainment hub of the resort. This area has undergone transformation which added more interesting activities and even dining options. This part of Walt Disney World does not need admission. You can easily kill 2-3 hours in here depending on what interests you.
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Walk around Boardwalk and enjoy the beautifully themed place that is reminiscent of Coney Island. Take in the atmosphere, watch street performers, try some treats and watch boats come and go. Rent a surrey for 2-4 people for around $25 and bicycle around the pier and visit the Yacht and Beach Club resorts. While you’re in Beach Club, conquer a Kitchen Sink!
The Kitchen Sink is an ice cream treat that can feed 4 people according to the menu. It’s loaded with scoops of Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Cookies and Cream, and Mint Chocolate Chips smothered in every topping they have. You can also have the ice cream changed to different versions such as Chocolate Lovers or Neapolitan. From the looks of it, a family of 6 can share it. It sells for $32.00 in Beaches & Cream. It does not qualify for a snack credit from the Disney Dining Plan.
Go Mini Golfing
If you booked Magic Your Way packages, you should also receive complimentary vouchers to hit the tee, the mini version. You should redeem your vouchers before 4 PM. Otherwise, you can still putt your way until 11:00 PM by paying around $14 per adult (10+) or $12 per child (3-9 years).
There are 2 Mini Golf courses in Walt Disney World: Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland. Fantasia Gardens in Walt Disney Swan is geared towards better skilled players with its sand traps, bunkers and water hazards and slopes. Winter Summerland by Walt Disney Blizzard Beach Water Park is more themed with fun decor and is less challenging than Fantasia Gardens.
Bargain Hunt at the Warehouse
Use the time to shop for your vacation tokens. Aside from the number of stores available in the resort, you can also spend time shopping at the Disney Outlet Stores. Buy them cheaper up to 70% off but with the same Disney magic. Click here to see Disney Park merchandise in their regular retail prices.
There are 2 Disney Character Warehouses nearby: Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets, which is across the Disney Springs entrance, and Orlando International Premium Outlets, which is much closer to Universal Studios Orlando. Both stay opened until 11 PM.
I prefer to do this on any free day except for our last day so I can pack them into our luggage before airline check in. Do this too unless you are okay with buying extra bags to pack your goodies.
Explore Local Scene
Why not explore the local Orlando scenery? For a 5-10 minute drive, you can check out the stores or even the branches of your favorite shopping chains.
If you were looking into saving money from buying food in the parks, this is the perfect time to head to the groceries if you haven’t ordered or shipped ahead your care package. Stores like Target allow you to order online and pick up in a store of your choice.
We intend to do this to sight see as well as buy kid-friendly snacks and cereals for our toddler that is otherwise expensive when ordered from the restaurants. For a $9.00 Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich, I could buy a loaf of bread and a whole jar of peanut butter and whole jar of jelly from the store.
There is also a small community town 10 minutes away from Walt Disney World Resort called Celebration. It was master-planned by the Disney company and it has amenities there such as playgrounds, stores and restaurants. You might also like to peek around the residences in there during open houses. Learn more about Celebration, Florida here.
Tour Disney Resorts
If you’re staying in a non-Disney resort, you can still get access to the Disney resorts by taking the bus from Disney Springs to the resorts. You can also take the monorail. If you prefer to drive in with your car, you can try to ask a FREE 3-hour parking permit from the gate attendant.
If you’re a Disney Resort guest, you can either tour your resort or scout around other resort hotels you are hoping to stay in the future. Explore the amenities. Swim. Take pictures! Look for Hidden Mickeys!
Complimentary movie screenings are also available to Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests. These are usually held by the campfires, poolside or woodlands. Check with the front desk for schedules.
Because this activity almost does not cost you a thing to even free, this is easily one of our favorite things to do during a free day in Walt Disney World.
Watch the Fireworks or the Electrical Water Pageant
You don’t have to be in the parks to witness and enjoy the fireworks! As I suggested, you can stop by the Disney resorts. Some suggestions to view the fireworks are at the Polynesian Resort beach front, Narcossee’s in Grand Floridian Resort, California Grill in Contemporary Resort, and the promenade at the Boardwalk.
Shortly after, you can watch the Electrical Water Pageant which is a 15 minute outdoor show on the water. It features illuminated sea horses and King Neptune. You can see them pass by the Polynesian Village Resort, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and the Contemporary Resort. Check with the front desk for schedules!
There are plenty of available things to do during a free day in Walt Disney World! Most are free to do while others need an extra fee. Whatever you end up doing with your family, just remember that you are there to enjoy the moment. Make happy memories!
What are your favorite things to do during a free day in Walt Disney World? Share your experience in the comments below.