Did you know that there are some things that you can get totally and completely free from Walt Disney World?!
Souvenir shopping at Disney can be so fun, but it can also break your budget quickly (especially when the kids are begging for all the things!). Sprinkling in a few free souvenirs throughout the day will help stretch that budget and allow you to bring home just a little extra Disney magic!
Here are some things that you can get totally free from Walt Disney World!
Vacation Planning DVD
This one is super fun because you can get it before your Walt Disney World (or Disneyland!) vacation even begins! If you go to the Disney planning website, you can either watch the video embedded in the site or request a DVD, which will be mailed to your house.
I love these DVDs because they’re so informative, but also because they really get you excited for your upcoming trip! Little ones love to watch them to become familiar with the rides and choose which ones they most want to do. You can also learn about some extras that Disney has to offer!
These fun little things are available at the front desk of your Disney resort and also at the entrance to each park. You can find ones to help celebrate a birthday, honeymoon, anniversary, and first trip. There’s also one that simply says, “I’m celebrating!” which could be used for anything at all (or to simply celebrate the fact that you’re in Disney World!
Epcot Passport for Kids
Epcot isn’t usually the kids’ favorite park (where are the princesses?! where’s the castle?! [I totally get it!]) but there are several things that Disney has done to make it a little more exciting for the little ones. One of those things is the Epcot passports!
Everyone knows that you need a passport to go from one country to another, right? Well, Disney agrees! You can purchase a passport pack from any shop in Epcot, which includes the passport, a World Showcase button, and stickers for each country. The stickers are images of spots from each country in the World Showcase, so you can easily turn it into a scavenger hunt!
Each country has a Kidcot Fun Stop (though sometimes they aren’t front and center; you have to go exploring and find them!), where cast members (usually from that actual country) will stamp your passport with something relating to their World Showcase country. They will also fill in the date and add something extra that’s specific to their country, like spelling your name in their own language!
If you’re in Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival, there is also a special passport for each of the food kiosks!
This one may take a bit of pre-planning, but you can get characters in the parks to sign objects that you present to them! Disney sells autograph books and special pens, but you could easily bring in a photo mat, hat, pillowcase, or t-shirt for the characters to sign. (They just won’t sign anything that is bring worn, so if you want them to sign a shirt, make sure you’re not wearing it!) Be sure to also bring a Sharpie: preferably one with a click top so they can do it themselves with their big, sometimes furry hands!
All around the parks, you’ll find Disney PhotoPass photographers with their cameras poised and ready to capture moments! Disney sells photo packages called Memory Maker, which include all PhotoPass photog pictures as well as ride photos and magic shots… but did you know that these PhotoPass photographers will happily take a FREE picture with your own device? Simply hand them your smartphone or camera (be sure it has a wrist attachment or a neck strap!) and they’ll take your family’s picture for no charge. These are just as nice as the ones taken with their own cameras… and they’re totally free!
Character Wake Up Calls at Disney Resorts
If you’re staying on property at Walt Disney World, you can request a wake-up call to your resort room! There’s no better way to wake up than with a phone call from Mickey Mouse* himself, and that’s a fact!
*At this time, you can not request calls from a specific character. Mickey Mouse and Stitch seem to be popular wake-up callers recently!
While you can’t request a specific character, all of the wake-up messages are cheerful and chipper and are sure to help you (or your little ones) wake up a little easier during your vacation!
While this certainly doesn’t sound like a super fun souvenir for the kids, being able to retrace your steps through the parks can help you remember a great trip! There are also seasonal park maps that can be fun to collect and remember a special event (like the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival).
Movies Under the Stars
Need a relaxing evening on your Disney World vacation but don’t want to miss out on any Disney magic? Check out Movies Under the Stars! This experience is open to all Walt Disney World Resort guests and can be done at any of the Disney Resorts. According to Build a Better Mouse Trip, Disney’s Fort Wilderness has the most elaborately-themed movie set-up. You can check out their post here for tons more information and details!
Here’s a fun one that you don’t have to work for! Many cast members carry around rolls of stickers to pass out to children, completely free! You just have to ask. (I’ve also gotten class sets of these stickers to pass out to my students with just a little bit of begging!)
It’s super important to stay hydrated while you’re running from ride to ride or character to character, so don’t forget to drink! You can get free ice water from any quick-service food station in any of the parks! Just ask for a cup of ice water (or two, and refill your reusable bottle) and stay hydrated without paying a dime. Florida tap water can sometimes be a little, um, unpleasant, so you may want to consider packing along some flavor enhancers as well! Starbucks will also give you free ice water (and, if you ask nicely, they’ll even sneak you a Trenta sized one)!
BONUS : Pressed Pennies
Disclaimer: these are not free! But… they practically are.
Pressed penny machines are all over the Disney parks, at the resorts, and even at Disney Springs! A pressed penny costs $.51 to make (some are $1.01), and you get to choose your own design (out of 4 options per machine) and usually grind the gears yourself to press the penny! Here’s a pro tip: shine up a handful of pennies and pack them in an M&M Minis container, 2 quarters and a penny, 2 quarters and a penny, 2 quarters and a penny, etc. That way, you’ll never have to dig for pennies or quarters and you’ll have them ready to go when you find a penny machine! Check out Crafty Mama in Me’s post on how to make personalized pressed penny money holders for your kiddos!
So, there you have it- 10 + 1 free (or basically free) things from Walt Disney World! Which is your favorite? I’m personally a big fan of the celebration pins and, of course, the ice water!
If you’re interested in saving money on your upcoming Disney World vacation, check out my post Ways to Drastically Reduce the Cost of a Trip to Disney World! And, as always, if you found this post helpful, share it with a friend! 🙂