Monday, July 1, 2013

Free and Low Cost Ideas at Disney

 As you well know there is plenty to keep one busy while they are at one of the 4 parks or 2 water parks that are part of Walt Disney World. But what else is there to do? Many people don't know of all the fun that is lurking outside of the parks, and a lot of it is free, or low cost!

 We will start in Downtown Disney, soon to be called Disney Springs. This area is free (including parking). There is so much more to do here than just shopping. Everyone loves the fountain areas and there are 2 different areas where you can jump in the fountains and cool off. Bring a towel and have fun.

 The next area in Downtown Disney is the Lego store.The boys especially love this store. It is wall to wall legos, and you can make cars and race them against one another. Plus there are stands outside filled to the brim with legos. You can stay as long as you like and make whatever you want, plus it's under shade which is nice in the summer time. Don't miss the life-size sculptures made from legos in this area as well.

 The third area is located inside the T-Rex Restaurant. You go inside and take a right and it takes you to a little outside area where you can dig for dino bones. The kids love digging in this area and playing in the water they have there to wash your hands.While inside you can also visit "Build a Dino", which is just like Build a Bear. The kids will love building their own dino to take home. (The cost is similar to Build a Bear.)

 My next favorite place to take the kids to is the Wilderness Campground. If you're driving you can just let them know you want to visit, or eat a meal, and they will let you in for free. You can spend all day at the campground doing free things. They have awesome nature trails for hiking, and you can even go fishing, but the best part happens at night with Chip and Dales sing along. The campground lights 2 big fire pits and you can bring your own sticks and marshmallows, or buy them there, and have a roast. We have brought hot dogs, marshmallows, made s'mores, even popcorn. Then they have a sing along, Chip and Dale come out for some fun, and then they show a Disney movie. For even more free fun, you can go down to the beach and see MK's Wishes fireworks, and the Electrical Water Pageant as it floats by.

 At Animal Kingdom Lodge you are in for another free treat. The lodge is breath taking. There is so much to look at inside, including a beautiful collection of African art. But, once you go out back, it's almost like being on Safari in Africa. There are a lot of animals out on the savanna and plains for you to see and lots of areas to just sit and watch the animals graze. At night, they even have night vision goggles so you can watch the animals. They also have a fire pit both inside and outside and chairs to just sit back and enjoy your surroundings.

 At the Monorail resorts (the Polynesian, Contemporary or Grand Floridian Resorts) you can also sit out on the beach and watch the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom and the Electric Water Pageant.

 All of the hotels have games during the day. Most games are free such as dance games, hula hoop, giant jenga, etc! They also have movies playing at night. They set up a giant screen, usually near the main pool, so you can swim and watch the movie at the same time if you are staying at that hotel.

 One of the most fun things to do throughout all of Disney is to look for Hidden Mickeys. They are located anywhere and everywhere! Keep your eyes peeled, they could be anywhere, including throughout Downtown Disney and the resort areas.

 For a small fee you can go play mini golf at one of the 2 themed mini golf courses (Winter Summerland or the Fantasia Gardens). Another fun and inexpensive thing to do outside of the parks is renting a boat. You can go around and have some fun on the lake. They have big pontoons, as well as tiny watercraft that go really fast. At the campground they have kayaks and canoes if that's more your speed.

 Also something the kids love are the arcades located in just about every hotel.

 And, last but not least is the Boardwalk. This area brought me back to my days living near Atlantic City. At night, it comes to life with jugglers, games of chance, and dancing. The arcade is the best in my opinion. You can go in the stores and see old items from different movies, and pictures. Don't forget to visit the bakery for a yummy treat.

 Not everything at Disney has to cost a lot. As you can see there are many things in and around the Walt Disney Resort that can be done at low or no cost! You can do so many things, much more than I have mentioned here. I have heard that you can stay in Disney for 2 years and still not do everything there is to do, and I think that is true! So go out, have some fun, and make some Disney Memories that will last a lifetime!

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