You plan and plan for your Walt Disney World vacation and most of the focus is on the theme parks; which rides you’ll go on first, which ones you’ll fastpass, where you’ll eat. But there is more to a Walt Disney World vacation than just the theme parks. Some of my favorite things to do can be found outside the theme parks. The good news is that most of these are at low or no cost to you.
1) See the animals on the Animal Kingdom Lodge savannahs. Both the original hotel (Jambo House) and Disney Vacation Club addition (Kidani Village) have their own savannahs with dozens of animals to enjoy. Disney has “safari guides” on hand to help explain the behaviors of the animals you are seeing.
2) Take a Hotel Tour. You don’t have to be a guest to take these free resort tours. The “Wonders of the Lodge” tour is an art and architecture tour at Wilderness Lodge and is offered at 9 am on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
3) See the Electrical Water Pageant. While the MSEP is heading to California, you can see a floating version of the parade each night from any of the resorts at the Seven Seas Lagoon or Bay Lake. The show begins at 9pm at the Pollynesian Resort then heads to the Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness, Contemporary, and sometimes even Magic Kingdom itself.
4) Ride the Monorail. You don’t have to have a theme park ticket to board the monorail. Take the resort loop and tour the three resort hotels along the line or zip over to EPCOT and actually get a preview of EPCOT from above.
5) Listen to music. During the evening hours you’ll enjoy listening to a mix of ragtime, Dixie, and traditional jazz tunes of the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra. Shows start at 4pm with the last show at 9pm. If you want something a little more wacky, catch Yehaa Bob as he plays the piano and sings in a wacky style at the River Roost Lounge at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. Bob typically performs Wednesday – Saturday from 8:30 to 11:45pm. But check his website for his latest schedule.
What are your favorite non-theme park free things to do at Walt Disney World?
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The Chip n Dale campfire singalong and movie is amazing and free! Only completely free character meet I know about.
During the Holidays, tour Fort Wilderness. Many of the travel trailer spots are decorated for Christmas.
Yehaa Bob is a must for our family. We went multiple nights in a row this past February! Would recommend it to anyone.
The Boardwalk really comes to life with street performers and yummy, no-so-good-for-you foods every night. Walk around, take in the sights and sounds (music from the 20’s and 30’s), and enjoy some free Disney Magic at the Boardwalk.