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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Free stuff around Disney World

English: ' observation balloon ride at Downtow...
English: ' observation balloon ride at Downtown Disney in Orlando, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We can no longer use our annual passes to get into Disney because the expired. Such a bummer. And we just found out that we might be going to Orlando for the New Year. My husband might do the fly by for the Capitol One Bowl game. So, I have begun looking for things to do with our kids that will be fun and won't break the bank! Here is what I have found so far:

You can park for free at any Disney resort, you just have to ask for the 3 hour parking pass!  You can also park at Downtown Disney for free.

Every night, beginning at 9 pm, the Electrical Water Pageant makes it's way around Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. It can be seen from 5 of the resorts. You could go to The Grand Floridian and then walk down to the beach and see the Pageant and the fireworks at Magic Kingdom.

Disney's Boardwalk is located right outside Epcot and modeled after Atlantic City's boardwalk. Every night they play a Disney movie and have a campfire on the beach side. The kids can play in the sand while they watch the movie. Apparently if you are around when they do Illuminations at Epcot, you can see a lot of the fireworks and hear the music. (we will definitely do this, because when we where at Epcot, we could barely see!) Sometimes there is a magician there. You can also take a boat ride.

Fort Wilderness Campground has a bonfire every night (around 8 pm) for free. It starts with a sing-a-long, Chip and Dale come for a meet and greet and then they play a Disney movie for free. You can bring items to make your own s'mores or you can buy it there. They also has a free petting zoo and you can visit the barn where they house the horses they use on Main Street. Small children can enjoy pony rides.

Animal Kingdom Lodge has over 100 grazing animals on property. You can view them for free. There is a place set up for kids to play musical instruments from Africa inside the gift shop.

Downtown Disney is free and there are lots of shops and restaurants. There are full size statues of Disney characters. My kids love the Lego store. They have an area set up where the kids can build and a playground. There are also really large Lego creation around the store. The Ghiradelli Chocolate store is always giving out free samples! My kids also like watching the hot air balloon go up and down.  Most nights there is a family friendly DJ near the toy store.  (He is really good)

The Gaylord Palms – My step mom said this was worth checking out! There is a large atrium with three destinations The Everglades which has REAL alligators, a Spanish Castle with pathways through the everglades and Key West – there is a large boat which is a bar inside the atrium. You do have to pay for parking however.

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