A family vacation to Disney World requires a lot more spare change than what’s sitting in the “rainy day” jar. By the time flights, hotels, rental cars, and other necessities are booked, a couple of thousand dollars can easily vanish without a trace. Gulp! But when the young ‘uns are moaning about the only place on earth they have any desire in going to, what’s a parent to do? They somehow magically find the loot.
Many visitors to Disney World don’t realize there are ways to help reduce their expenses, and certainly, every cent saved will help lessen the financial sting, won’t it? It may surprise you to learn that not everything at Disney cost money. Yes. Some things are absolutely free, but it helps to know about them in advance, and now you will.
1 Magical Pixie Dust
Have you ever wanted to fly? Pixie dust is a magical powder that when sprinkled on someone gives them the ability to soar through the air. Some say the power of the dust is fueled by happy thoughts. Peter Pan is known for sprinkling the dust on his helpers as they flew over the treetops in search of Wendy who had been captured by the notorious Captain Hook.
At the Magic Kingdom’s Town Square Theater there will be a line waiting to see Tinkerbell. Hop in it. You’ll end up at Pixie Hollow where you’ll receive a generous dousing of Pixie Dust. Not to be concerned though, it’s actually just hair glitter. Cast members at the Castle Couture shop also carry the dust to sprinkle on unsuspecting visitors. As a fair warning, it may take several shampoos to wash all of the pixie dust out. As another fair warning, flying is all a state of mind… don’t try it.
2 Club Cool is… Cool
Florida gets hot. Very hot. During the steamiest part of the day is the ideal time to visit Club Cool. Located in Future World at Epcot, Club Cool is on the pathway leading to the major rides and attractions so, in their excitement, lots of people stroll on past it, oblivious to what awaits them should they top for a few moments.
The world is a huge place and every portion of it has their own unique and delicious type of soft drink. Visitors can find unusual flavors bottled by Coca-Cola and offered around the world. The best part of all? They’re free to sample.
3 A Pirate’s Adventure
X marks the spot. Pirates of yesteryear were known for burying their treasures in discrete places where some of them to this day remain buried. Intricate maps showing the exact locations were carefully sketched out so the gold and silver could later be retrieved. Wouldn’t it be awesome to find one of those maps? Even if you never found the treasure, just having the map itself would give a person bragging rights.
Now you can have your own map, and who knows, you might even find some treasure. Located just outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride visitors can embark on an interactive treasure hunt, complete with their own printed map. They make excellent souvenirs and will serve as a reminder of the awesome vacation for years to come.
4 Become a Certified Card Carrying Jedi Warrior
in the 40 odd years since the first “Star Wars” movie was released in 1977, yes, 1977, original fans have remained loyal and younger people have been continually added to the fandom. Anyone between the ages of four and 12 can live out their fantasies by learning to master a lightsaber for taking on the dark forces of evil. Once they have mastered the skill the kids will then show off their new found talent for their parents in a show of fierce bravery.
Kids who participate will receive an official Jedi Warrior certificate for mounting in a frame when they return home so they’ll have proof of their accomplishment to show off to their friends. Fast passes won’t work for this free event as it is strictly on a first come first serve basis.
At just about any event or at any attraction, a bottle of plain old H20 can cost as much as $5, but when someone has a powerful thirst what else are they to do? Spend $25 for a family of five for a simple drink? No. Not at Disney World anyway. Any kiosk on the property will gladly hand a cup of ice cold water to any weary visitor who asks. But only if you know.
6 Character Art
What child doesn’t like to draw? Even if their talent perhaps lies in other areas, they still enjoy trying to impress their parents with their sketches. Did you know that kids can get a free drawing lesson when their family visits Disney World? Turning them into another Picasso is not guaranteed, but they’ll have a wonderful time learning to sketch their favorite Disney characters.
The drawing is theirs to keep and it makes a great souvenir. If a child is lucky enough the instructor may give them one of their own sketches. The instructor’s sketch might look better but it’ll never compare to the priceless drawing your child will make. The classes are held at the Disney Art of Animation resort. You don’t have to stay at the hotel to participate!
7 Wilderness Explorer Badges
Kids will receive a free booklet when they enter the scavenger adventure at the Animal Kingdom. The booklet has pictures of animals which they can spot while on safari. Each animal is listed with some information pertaining to their habitats and etc. They’ll receive explorer badges each time they spot a particular animal. It’s great fun and the kids are left with a lasting treasure.
8 How About a Lei?
While these are far more popular with bachelorette groups and the likes, kids also enjoy having a brightly colored lei strung around their neck. They’re free at the Disney’s Polynesian Resort but you won’t get one unless you ask. Shhh… It’s a secret. Real flowers are not used so the lei can become a keepsake.
9 Buttons and Pins
People go to Disney to celebrate different occasions. Birthdays, anniversaries, honeymoons, you name it. Because of this you now get a special pin or button which specifically spells out why you are there. If you’re a first-time visitor there is even a button for that. They’re cool to wear and they don’t cost a cent. Hint: Cast members look for first-time visitor buttons.
Enjoy your trip to Disney World and don’t forget to take full advantage of the freebies. The most fun you’ve ever had is waiting for you and your family.