There are secret scavenger hunts in the theme parks and resorts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 check in on the animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Guests who stay in a savanna view room at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge can sit on their balcony and watch animals roam the grounds, but you don’t have to stay at the resort to see the extra guests.
There are various indoor and outdoor spots at Jambo House and Kidani Village where you can view the animals. You can also pick up a wildlife reference guide from the front desk to help you locate and identify the different species.
You can stroll back in time along Disney’s turn-of-the-century BoardWalk.
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.
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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