12 free things to do at Disney World – (really free!)

It would be crazy to visit Disney World and not enter any of its theme parks. And with one-day tickets hovering around $100, it’s going to cost you dearly. But if you know where to look, the vast resort offers a number of free activities beyond the parks that can help make your vacation memorable without putting a dent in your travel budget. Here are some wonderful things to do at Disney World, all for nada:

1See Fireworks

You don’t have to be inside the parks to catch the nightly pyrotechnics. Some of the best spots for the Magic Kingdom show are the Ticket and Transportation Center, the beaches at the Polynesian Village or Grand Floridian resorts, or the bridge between Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower. You’d have to spring for dinner at the California Grill atop the Contemporary Resort (and it ain’t cheap), but it’s a great spot to see the fireworks — and hear them via the piped-in soundtrack. For a limited view of Epcot’s Illuminations, go to the beach at the Beach Club Resort or the bridge between Epcot and Disney’s BoardWalk.