TAMPA (WFLA) - Visiting Walt Disney World is all about the magic - and what could be more magical than getting something for free?
From sweet treats to soda samples to stickers, trading cards, and more, here's a list of some Disney freebies to look for the next time you're visiting the World.
Treats to Try
-Chocolate Samples - Get a square of that famous San Francisco confection at the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop at Disney Springs
-Scream for Ice Cream - Ample Hills Creamery at Disney's BoardWalk boasts flavors like Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Malty Salty Pretzel Punch, and Nonna D's Oatmeal Lace. And you can try them all for free!
-Caramel Corn - Karamell Kuche in Epcot's Germany pavilion has the most to-die-for caramel corn. They don't offer samples all the time, but it never hurts to ask.
-Birthday Dessert - If you're planning a birthday (or anniversary, or engagement, or...) meal in a Walt Disney World restaurant, be sure to let your server know. You may just get a sweet surprise.
-Club Cool - Right across from the Fountain of Nations in Epcot, Club Cool offers a taste of Coca-Cola products from around the world. And here's a Disney Mom tip: head to the counter in the back where they sell frozen Coke - you can ask for a free sample of that, too!
-Free Refills - Each park has at least one counter-service restaurant with self-service soda fountains, where you can refill your cup as many times as you like during your meal.
-Water, Water Everywhere - Don't spend big bucks for bottled water. Any counter-service dining location will give you a free cup of ice water if you ask.
Fun for Free
-In-Park Games and Activities - At the Magic Kingdom, stop by the Firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A for a free pack of "Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom" cards and follow the directions to play at portals throughout the park. The cards are yours to keep, and you can get a different set on each visit. At Disney's Animal Kingdom, you can earn patches in the Wilderness Explorers game, and at Epcot the kids can color a Duffy the Bear figure at the Kidcot stops.
-Free Apps - Download the My Disney Experience app to help you plan FastPass+ selections, make dining reservations, check showtimes, and find your way around the parks. If you're searching for the perfect souvenir, the Shop Disney Parks app can tell you exactly where to find merchandise in the parks. And the new Play Disney Parks app lets you play attraction-specific games while waiting in line.
-LEGO Playtime - Over at Disney Springs, the LEGO Store has an area chock-full of LEGO building fun. The little ones can sift through bins of bricks and build their dream car, then see how it stacks up against others on a special LEGO race track. But be warned - once they start building, they'll never want to leave.
-Park Maps - My son is a map fanatic, so he always has to grab one for every park, water park, and any other place we visit. The maps are beautiful and a perfect reminder of your magical day.
-Celebration Buttons - Whatever you're celebrating, there's a button for that! Ask for a celebration button at Guest Services, your hotel concierge, or any park gift shop, and you'll receive warm wishes from Cast Members all day.
Transportation Cards/Wild About Safety Cards - Bus drivers, monorail pilots, and boat captains can often give you a free trading card featuring Walt Disney World transportation if you ask. "Wild About Safety" cards featuring Timon and Pumbaa are available at various locations. Check with Cast Members at Guest Services for these.
-Stickers! - Kids love 'em. (Ok, I admit we grown-ups love them, too.) Many Cast Members have a collection of stickers to hand out to little guests, so it probably won't take long before you build up quite a collection.
Kathy Karalekas is a past Panelist on the Disney Parks Moms Panel, an online forum where guests can have their Disney vacation planning questions answered by a group of everyday moms and dads who are seasoned Disney travelers. Currently, Kathy is a contributing writer for the Tampa Bay Moms Blog and appears on MouseLife, a Disney-fan podcast. She's also a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World with her husband and 8-year-old son.
- Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop
- Ample Hills Creamery
- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
- LEGO Store
- Play Disney Parks App
- Disney Parks Moms Panel