Hey friends! Last week we shared our favorite Disney Eats plus tips on how to secure those sometimes elusive dining reservations. This time, we are sharing Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line freebies.
Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Freebies
When it comes to planning a Disney Vacation, you spend a lot of time figuring out where you want to eat and what rides to ride–and you might even think it can be a bit pricey. If you take into account what you get for your dollars, though, we agree that it is totally worth it.
But did you know that both Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line also offer free items to guests? They have activities, collectibles, and more for free. You just have to know where to look and who to ask.
Favorite Disney Freebies
There are a lot of freebies to choose from, but we both have our favorites. Ashley loves collecting buttons for special occasions or just because she is celebrating spending time at one of her favorite places on the planet. Her family also enjoys pin trading with Cast Members, playing Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, and getting birthday cards during character dining.
If you are looking for buttons, the Citizens of Main Street U.S.A. may be handing them out in the morning when you visit Magic Kingdom or Disneyland Resort. You can also get them at the Guest Services desk at your Disney Resort or in Town Hall right inside the gates.
Sign up for Sorcerers’ of the Magic Kingdom at the Fire House inside Magic Kingdom. If you attend any of the special parties for Halloween or the Holidays, you will receive a special Sorcerers Card during the event by stopping into the Fire House.
Jana is currently loving the Spira Gift Card available at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Now this one isn’t totally free (free with a caveat). In order to pick up one of these unique metal cards, you need to load it with $100. But if you’re anything like us, spending a $100 at Disney would be no problem. You can use the Spira Gift Card anywhere that takes a traditional Disney Gift Card, such as dining, retail, snacks, etc.
We both love collecting autographs from the characters you meet at Disney. Some may not sign but they give out autograph cards, which are a fun collectible. Characters will sign almost anything from hats to books to picture frame mats.
Disney Parks Freebies
There are some great Disney Parks freebies to be had if you know where to look and who to ask! When exiting your boat at Jungle Cruise, look for a Skipper standing on the docks. Ask them if they have an extra Jungle Cruise Map lying around. You might not always get one but sometimes you may get lucky. ( You can also download one from Disney’s website).
Also at both parks, as Cast Member’s manning the transportation areas for transportation cards. At Walt Disney World, Epcot offers a way for kids to explore the World Showcase in a unique way. Start in Mexico or Canada and get your free Duffy the Bear cutout that you can get stamped, like a passport, in each country. Or you can buy a “Real” passport at one of the gift shops.
At Disneyland, ask for the Indiana Jones Decoder to unlock secrets within the ride. And no matter which coast you are on, Pixie Dust is always free!
We know how hot it can get in the parks and water is always free. Just stop into a Quick Serve location and ask for a cup of water. On really hot days, they usually have them ready to go.
Another fun collectible is Park Maps. The design on the maps change with every season, so most likely each visit (unless you’re local) will mean you can get a new, awesome map! In Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, pick up a Traveler’s Guide, which is like a park map but a little fancier and just for Star Wars.
Other freebies include coasters, the character animation experience in Animal Kingdom, free lei at the Polynesian Resort, and (one of Jana’s favorite’s) the Wilderness Explorer Badges.
Join the Wilderness Explorers at Animal Kingdom. They are located on your right as you walk towards the Tree of Life. Once you have taken the pledge, grab your nice booklet and explore all areas of the park learning about the people, animals, and plants that call it home. Earn a badge for each stop!
Disney Cruise Line Freebies
Ashley is headed out on a Disney Cruise soon and she had to share about the free things you can find on the ships.
Like Disney Parks, the Disney Cruise Line also offers celebration buttons. They are slightly different from the parks’ versions, so don’t think, “Oh I already have one of these.” Also onboard, you can pin trade with Cast Members inside the retail shop and with the officers of the ship on a special Disney pin trading night. Check your onboard navigator for all the details.
Day at sea and tired of the pool? Try out the Midship Detective Agency on the Disney Dream and Fantasy. Use your clues and your brains to figure out whodunit in this shipwide mystery game.
It’s no secret the kid only areas on the ships are ah-mazing! Inside the various clubs for kids, they have the opportunity to interact with characters, create crafts, do cooking lessons, and more. Kids’ clubs are free for children ages 3 and up.
Jana’s family participated in the free Castaway Cay 5K! If you are a runDisney fan, the only way to get this medal is to take a Disney Cruise. Oh, darn right?
This is an easy run that takes place early in the morning after the ship docks in Castaway Cay. Signup for free but spots are limited. Be sure to do this when you board the ship first thing on debarking day.
Related: All The runDisney Tip You Need
Disney Store Freebies
The Disney Store also offers free buttons when it is your birthday plus they will put your name on the screen in the back and the whole store will sing you happy birthday! If you open the store for the day, you receive a special key.
Sign up for Disney Store emails to see when all their free and special events are taking place. Sometimes you make a craft to take home, others you might receive a cool collectible, you never know!
Follow this link to find a Disney Store and events near you.
For more Disney Vacation Tips
Thank you for tuning into this episode of the Geek Girls Universe Podcast. Join us next time as we talk Disney Parks secrets. Whether you are a newbie to planning a Disney Vacation or a veteran like us, we got all the info you need to make your next trip to the house of mouse magical.