There’s no doubt about it. Disney World is EXPENSIVE. You might spend a boatload just traveling, but then add in food, lodging, and park tickets, and you’re looking at a small fortune! Here are 13 ways you can add in some Disney Magic for LESS!
Many guests think they can’t do anything extra on their trip because they’ve already spent so much money. The truth is, Disney has lots of great experiences for guests without stretching your wallets too much further.
Most of these attractions are a fun, inexpensive way to enhance your vacation. Some don’t even require you to have a park ticket!
Here are 13 great experiences for $20 or less. Some are even free!
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Chip ’n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long
Join Chip ’n’ Dale for a nightly campfire celebration, located at the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Here you can sing songs and roast marshmallows over the campfire. Anyone can attend, not just guests of Fort Wilderness.
S’mores kits are available for purchase from The Chuck Wagon for $9.99. If you’d rather, you can purchase a bag of marshmallows for $4.99 and a marshmallow roasting stick for $0.59 instead.
Cost: Free! S’mores for an additional fee.
Additionally, many other resorts offer complimentary campfires all across Walt Disney World. You don’t even have to be a guest at the resort to enjoy this experience!
Currently, the following resorts host evening campfires:
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort Spa
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Check the recreation guides for the specific resort for times.
While you’re there, stay for a movie! Many resorts also feature Movies Under the Stars, a complimentary outdoor screening of a popular movie.
Show off your skills at the fun themed Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf, located at Walt Disney World Swan Hotel. This mini golf course is themed after Disney’s Fantasia and is a lot of fun.
Alternately, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park hosts another mini golf course, Winter Summerland Miniature Golf. You can join Santa and his elves at their summer retreat at this fun themed mini golf course.
Cost: Adults (10 and older) $14, Children (3-9) $12
Kayak and Canoe Rentals
At the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, you can enjoy your own boating adventure by renting kayaks or canoes. You can explore with your vessel on the scenic streams and ponds at the resort.
Cost: $13 per hour
Electrical Water Pageant and Fireworks
You don’t have to have a park ticket in order to experience Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks show or even a magical water parade! Each evening, the Electrical Water Pageant sails across the Seven Seas Lagoon.
You can easily view this water parade from the resort grounds of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, or Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
Guests love to catch this show from the beach at the Polynesian in particular.
Afterward, stick around for fireworks! You can see the Happily Ever After fireworks spectacular from your viewing spot along the shore.
Character Locator has the show schedule as well as the time the parade can be seen from each resort.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is expensive! That’s no reason your kids should have to miss out on the magic!
Stop into any of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations and ask the fairy godmothers in training for pixie dust. They will apply pixie dust to your little one’s head (and yours too, if you ask!) and say a little rhyme. It’s a magical experience indeed.
Be warned-the pixie dust (glitter) will stay in your hair for a LONG time!
Did you know The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort hosts Trip-Circle-D Ranch? Saddle up-this ranch offers pony rides for guests age 2 and older, under 80 pounds, and no taller than 48 inches. Afterward, you may even get to visit Cinderella’s Ponies!
Cost: $8 per guest
Visit Disney’s Boardwalk
There is so much to do along Disney’s Boardwalk, you won’t know where to start! Located in the Epcot Resort area, the Boardwalk stretches 1/4 mile and boasts shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.
There are performers up and down the boardwalk, delicious snacks, midway games, and more! The performers are a lot of fun to watch. There is truly something for everyone here!
Cost: Free, unless you choose to pay for food or entertainment
Ride the Transportation
Disney has a lot of complimentary transportation that any guest is free to use, including guests staying offsite!
Spend the day on the monorail loop and check out the different resorts. Or, try the Skyliner out for fun and soar between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, with some resort stops along the way!
You can even ride on the water. There are water taxis and ferries available as well. You can see a whole different side of Disney without even stepping foot in the parks!
Disney Face Painting
Ok, this is not just any face painting. Disney takes it to a whole new level!
Face painting is available in all four theme parks and Disney Springs. You will find many different looks and price ranges. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to feel special.
KtP Writer, Susan, wants us to know that face painting is not just for kids! Check out her experience from Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party here.
Cost: Prices range from $12-$18
Aerophile at Disney Springs
Lift off and experience the thrill of viewing Walt Disney World from above! Aerophile is the world’s largest hand-painted helium balloon.
Board the balloon and ascend 400 feet in the air. You’ll enjoy a breathtaking view from above!
On this adventure, you’ll be in the air for 8 exhilarating minutes!
Tickets are first-come, first-served. The balloon will not fly if winds exceed 22 mph or in inclement weather.
Cost: $20 for adults 10 and older; $15 for children 3-9
Find Hidden Mickeys
A Hidden Mickey is a representation of Mickey Mouse that has been placed into the design of different areas of Walt Disney World. One of my family’s favorite past times is to hunt for hidden Mickeys all over Disney World!
To assist you in the hunt, pick up a copy of the Hidden Mickey guide. They sell it in many shops around Disney World and online as well.
How many can you find?
Cost: Free! The book retails for $11.99
Pressed pennies are a fantastic way to take home an inexpensive souvenir from Walt Disney World, and they are as fun to make as they are to collect!
There are pressed penny machines in locations all over Disney World. They’re simple to make. You’ll need a penny. They say pennies from before 1982 work best. Clean them up prior and you’ll have a shiny souvenir. Just insert it into the machine, use the crank and produce a special treat!
Pirate Tip: Subscribe to Character Locator for a comprehensive list of where all of the Pressed Penny machines are located in Disney World!
Cost: $0.51 (2 quarters and the penny you are pressing)
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is an interactive scavenger hunt where you can battle Disney Villains before their plan to take over the Magic Kingdom becomes a reality!
All you need to do to play is to stop by the Firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A. and sign up. You’ll receive your Sorcerer Key Card, a map, and spell cards.
You’ll have to study the clues to locate Magic Portals around the park. These can be a ton of fun to play and the cards make great keepsakes from your trip!
Cost: Free, with park admission!
So many great, inexpensive experiences to choose from! Which one are you looking forward to trying on your next Disney trip? Sound off on Kenny the Pirate’s Facebook Page or join our crew and continue the discussion.