Planning and budgeting for a Walt Disney World vacation takes time, and even some effort. While there are plenty of budget friendly ways to take a trip to Disney World, some of the extras can add up quickly!
Dessert parties, fireworks cruises, character dining, specialty dining, souvenirs…. SO. MANY. THINGS!
While Walt Disney World offers plenty of splurges, with the right information, you can find plenty of inexpensive or even free must do’s for your family. I am excited to share those with you today.
Watch a Movie
Did you know there is an amazing, full service AMC Movie Theater at Disney Springs?
Our family was able to see the premier of Toy Story 4 at this theater. The food offerings are fantastic, and the seating is spacious and comfortable. The theater is very luxurious, and it gets you out of the heat and rain of Florida!
Secondly, most of the Walt Disney World Resorts offer movies by the pool. This is the free version of watching a movie, and can be quite fun! The resorts offer movies on their Resort Guides, which you can find at the front desk of each resort.
Sometimes, they bring out popcorn, or a little bit of entertainment. This is a great way to relax after a day in the parks, and even explore a nearby resort. AND…you do not need to be a guest at the resort to enjoy the movies!
Splitsville Luxury Lanes is another fun activity for your family. I feel like this is a great value, since you have fun entertainment and food for everyone.
You can order a few appetizers or main entrees to share, and rent a lane. Before you know it, your family has enjoyed an hour or two of fun without a park ticket!
Splitsville Luxury Lanes is located in Disney Springs, actually not far from the AMC Theater. Sometimes they have live music, dancing, and they do serve sushi!
Go on a Pirate Adventure
A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasure of the Seven Seas in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park is a fun activity for all ages. This is an interactive quest that sends you on a scavenger hunt adventure in Adventureland.
At The Crow’s Nest, you sign up to get your Magic Talisman card and treasure map and you are off! With the RFID enabled magic talisman card, solving a part of the treasure map often sets off something fun nearby!
This is also a great activity to let your older kids enjoy while your little one naps in the stroller.
Collect Pressed Pennies
Pressed penny machines seem to be at most any zoo or amusement park in the US. While they are pretty common, they are ALL OVER Walt Disney World.
In fact, many people plan to press pennies, and arrive at the parks armed with a stash of pennies and quarters to make it happen. The pressed pennies at Walt Disney World are unique to the parks, sometimes attractions, and even restaurants!
Some are even retired each year, and they bring new ones in.
Disney has so many that you can even filter the park maps on My Disney Experience for pressed penny locations!
Find the Hidden Mickeys
This activity could be one that you continue through your entire trip.
There are Hidden Mickeys all over the Disney parks, resorts, restaurants, and everywhere in between. There are even Hidden Mickey guide books you can purchase and check lists you can print off with Hidden Mickeys on them – very much like a scavenger hunt.
Better yet, this activity is free! You can spend hours or days on this activity, make it a challenge with your family members, or pick it up casually as you are touring the parks.
Go Resort Hopping
Walt Disney World has set up their resorts where many are in an area that makes it easy to go from one to the other. And now, with the addition of the Skyliner system, more resorts than ever are connected to each other!
Why resort hop? Why not?! This gives you the opportunity to enjoy some of the table service, quick service, or lounge dining at another resort.
Some resorts, such as Art of Animation and Pop Century, have fun photo props and are worth exploring and visiting their food courts as well! Walt Disney World has recently made it much easier to go from resort to resort, and it is a good way to see some Disney magic without spending a lot of money.
Play Miniature Golf
Walt Disney World is home to two miniature golf courses. Did you know that when you book a Walt Disney World package, they include 4 vouchers for miniature golf if you play before 4PM? How fun!
Why not take advantage of that, and enjoy a morning or afternoon golfing at Fantasia or the Winter Summerland Golf Course? The props at these are SO fun, and it makes for a unique activity outside the parks.
Shop for Inexpensive Souvenirs
One of our favorite cheap souvenirs are character autographs. Walt Disney World sells inexpensive autograph books and pens.
OR, there are tons of fun printables on Pinterest that you can download and make your own. We have even gotten creative and had characters autograph pillowcases, letters of our daughter’s name, and a fun Shutterfly book I put together before one of our trips.
Remember the Pirates Adventure I mentioned above? Part of this experience are some very durable, nice pirate treasure maps that are yours to keep! My boys loved these as a souvenir when they were younger.
Not to mention regular Disney park maps. You can take these home and turn them into a fun craft to remember your trip.
Some other suggestions for cheap souvenirs are Disney pins, Christmas tree ornaments, and bagged Disney snacks to bring home to your family and friends.
The Disney parks are FULL of fun, inexpensive, or even free activities! You don’t have to look far to find them, either. With a little pre-planning, you can add inexpensive fun to your Disney trip!