I’m personally a sucker for freebies, so I kept a memory box full of all sorts of things I had collected throughout my passholder year, so when I was asked to write this article about the best free things at Disney World, I jumped at the chance. But because the list would have been super long, I’m breaking it up into all four theme parks and Disney Springs. First on the list: the best free things at Magic Kingdom!
Note: We’ll be writing about the best free things at Disney World for each individual park, so I’ll leave the links to the additional parks below as they go live.
Did you know there are not-so-common free things in the parks? Here are Sand and Snow’s list of the coolest secret free things at Disney World.
Best Free Things at Magic Kingdom: Sorcerer’s of The Magic Kingdom Cards
Starting it off strong with my favorite offering. Upon entrance to the Magic Kingdom, before walking down Main Street, you’ll find the firehouse on the left, across from Mickey’s meeting grounds, where you can start your journey playing Sorcerer’s of The Magic Kingdom, an interactive scavenger hunt throughout the park where you can collect trading cards!
Your data is stored in your magic band or park ticket, and upon starting you’ll receive a map of the kingdom as well as a pack of 5 trading cards with different characters, stats and abilities. There are hundreds to collect, and you can collect 5 new ones every time you visit, giving that you’ve played at least one stop in between, completely free! This is a great activity for kids, or if it’s a busy day with long wait times.
The map will bring you around to different locations all over the lands within The Magic Kingdom where you’ll interact with screens, the cards each having a unique code, and fight villains! I would play it all the time when I visited and constantly got approached by kids and parents asking what I was playing and how they could as well, so it’s a bit of an under the radar activity nowadays.
I’ve collected a binder full of cards in my time, which you can trade with other guests as well as occasional cast members, and don’t forget to pick up your complimentary holiday card if attending one of the Halloween or Christmas parties!
The Pirates of The Caribbean Scavenger Hunt Maps
In the same realm, there is also a scavenger hunt in Adventureland relating to Pirates of The Caribbean called A Pirate’s Adventure. The maps are a great free collectible if you’re a pirates fan, and after completing 2 maps (which should take about 20-30 minutes) and receiving 2 trading cards by completing them, another fun freebie, you get fast passes for the Pirates ride for your whole party!
This is a great pastime during peak hours, and another one not many people really prioritize or know about.
Best Free Things at Magic Kingdom: Celebration Buttons
This is a given for any park goer; the celebration buttons! The four commons, Birthday, Celebrating, 1st Visit and Happily Ever After are available in Magic Kingdom in the building immediately left when entering, right by the firehouse, or at most cast member stands in every park.
You can write in your name on your birthday button, or your reason for celebrating on said button, and they’re completely free! A go-to if your reason for visiting is anything special (which really, every trip is, you always need a celebrating button). There will also be limited ones from time to time, usually to celebrate new movie releases.
Best Free Things at Magic Kingdom: Magic Kingdom Park Maps
This one may be obvious to some, but considering that the Disney World app has everything you need to get around the parks nowadays, paper park maps aren’t really necessary. However they’re a great free souvenir, and an awesome thing to look back on in the future once layouts and seasons have changed.
I would pick one up every time I saw a new design, and have grown quite the collection, from traditional maps to anniversary editions and special event covers. They also tend to have special leaflets and brochures when there are occasions such as new rides opening, the anniversary of a famous ride or park, or an event going on for a limited time.
Smaller (But Still Worth Checking Out) Free Things at Magic Kingdom
That sums up all of the big ticket freebies, but there are some smaller ones as well as the constant slew of seasonal offerings. Participating in the Enchanted Tales with Belle show in Magic Kingdom will get you an exclusive bookmark, and transportation trading cards can be collected from transportation employees if you ask, (the monorail ones are my favorites, I have quite a few).
Also be on the lookout for:
Stickers – seem to be available in every nook and cranny around the parks, of all sorts of designs. They’re normally handed out, usually to children, but I’ve received handfuls of Mickey stickers in my day as well. A lot of the characters have them on hand, and I’ve witnessed The Fairy Godmother pulling them out of her sleeves for little princesses.
The Galactic Hero sticker – if you get a score of 999999 on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Tomorrowland, which I’ve never achieved, sadly.
Speaking of Tomorrowland, I’ve heard that kids can get Disney drivers licenses at Tomorrowland Speedway, which is a fun freebie if your kid is a car fiend.
Seasonal freebies – can’t usually be planned for, like the birthday party invitation I received at Mickey and Minnie’s meet and greet during the 95th birthday year. Sometimes for special anniversaries, the park will give out special celebration buttons. Let’s hope there’s a good one for Magic Kingdom’s 50th anniversary on October 1, 2021!
If you’re going to a character meal and are sporting a birthday button, chances are you’ll receive a cupcake and a birthday card signed by the characters, free of charge, as did I at my Winnie the Pooh breakfast last year.
Best Free Things at Magic Kingdom: Edible Freebies at Magic Kingdom
There are also two distinct edible freebies:
Cups of ice water – this may sound silly, but Florida gets hot! My fave place is at the Starbucks on Main Street where you can get a large cup of water, lid and all, perfect for a hot day. You’ll also find theme anyplace that sells fountain beverages. The cups even have cute Disney designs on them, so you might even get an Instagram photo out of it.
The Confectionary on Main Street USA – it has samples from time to time, but I’ve never managed to catch any. (Karyn interjecting here – we’ve received a bag of freshly-made cotton candy from a castmember simply for being in the Confectionary at the right time. Free samples are Easter eggs of sorts but, when you get one, it makes a park day even better!)
Overall, I’ve built up quite a slew of these freebies, and they’re all great mementos if you’re looking to cut down on your spending, or just want to add to your haul. The Disney experience is limited right now due to the current state of the world, but it’s still the most magical place on earth, so you might as well take advantage of every opportunity you have on your trip.