Purple Castle with Silver Fireworks Burst - Cinderella Castle during Wishes Fireworks

Many people think that a Disney World vacation has to be expensive, but if you know where to find good activities and free amenities, you can really save some money.

Let’s take a look at five free activities at the Disney Resort Hotels.

5. Meet Cinderella at the Princess Promenade

Magic Kingdom is one of the best places to meet Disney Princesses. Guests can meet several of the most popular princesses at the Princess Fairytale Hall, but at $100+ dollars for a park admission ticket, it’s a pricey venture.

Fortunately, some of the Disney Princesses meet and greet guests outside of the parks. Cinderella, one of Disney’s classic princesses appears at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa during the Princess Promenade everyday at 3:30. Prince Charming escorts her down the grand staircase to the lobby where they dance and welcome guests to join.

One of the best parts about this meet and greet is that it feels spontaneous and natural. Plus, the wait times are also much shorter if there’s any wait at all!

It’s totally free to enjoy the Princess Promenade; you don’t even have to be a guest at the Grand Floridian!

Meet Cinderella for free at the Grand Floridian.
Meet Cinderella for free at the Grand Floridian.

4. Drawing Classes

Disney’s Art of Animation is a value resort, but it’s really nice with some great amenities. One of the best is the drawing classes that take place every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 11am, 2pm, and 5pm.

Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was a great place to take drawing classes from the experts, but the attraction closed in 2015.

Classes at Art of Animation are free, and like the Princess Promenade, you don’t have to be a guest at AoA to participate. Any Disney resort hotels guest is welcome.

Attend a free drawing class at Disney's Art Of Animation Resort.
Attend a free drawing class at Disney’s Art Of Animation Resort.

3. Safari

The savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is quite impressive. Sure, you can pay park admission to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but why do that when you can see the animals roaming free at the resort? There’s even a Cast Member posted at the Serengeti to answer questions and share some knowledge.

Since Animal Kingdom is usually dropped from shorter vacation itineraries, you can still see the animals without wasting a park admission. While you’re at the Lodge, you’ll also be able to enjoy the beauty of the African architecture and art.

2. Electrical Water Pageant

The Electrical Water Pageant that runs nightly on the Seven Seas lagoon can be seen from Magic Kingdom and any Magic Kingdom Resort. Since the Main Street Electrical parade has ended, this is the only electrical parade you can see on property now, and it’s outside of the parks so anyone at the resort can enjoy it!

This parade is a Disney classic; it debuted in 1971, and although it doesn’t feature the same floats, it still uses the same concept. As you sit on the beach of Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, or Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, watch for the seahorses to lead the parade starting around 9pm.

1. Watch the Fireworks

The fireworks show in Magic Kingdom can be seen from any of the Magic Kingdom area Resorts. Besides it being free, it’s some of my favorite places to watch the fireworks because there’s very little crowd. Disney’s Polynesian Resort is my favorite place to watch them. You’re directly across from the park, and you have an excellent vantage point. Disney even pipes in the soundtrack!

You can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from outside the park.
You can watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from outside the park.

What’s more, you won’t have to fight the crowds to get out of the park and back to your hotel!

What’s your favorite free activity at Disney World?