Free Sailing Around Walt Disney World
If you’re like me, you’ll agree that each moment of a Walt Disney World Resort vacation should be filled with as much park time as possible. The world-class theme parks are the main draw at Walt Disney World.
Most families plan a week-long Disney vacation but don’t purchase a park ticket for every day of their stay. So what do you do with your free day that won’t cost you a cent? Sail around Walt Disney World…. for free! Read on for a list the top 3 free nautical adventures you and your family can embark upon the next time you visit WDW.
3.) All Aboard for Beignets!
Disney Springs is the go-to Disney hot spot for folks who are looking to spend a non-park day immersed in the Disney magic without having to purchase another day of park tickets. Sure, Disney Springs is known for its extensive shopping and incredible dining offerings, but did you know you could also hop aboard a free boat to Disney’s Port Orleans resorts? Board a boat at the launch next to the Rainforest Café in Disney Springs and take a leisurely cruise. Along your journey, you’ll pass some of Disney’s award-winning golf courses, Saratoga Springs Resort, and Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside before your stop: Disney’s Port Orleans-French Quarter.
Disembark at French Quarter and head to Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory where you’ll find Disney’s world-famous beignets. This is the only location on Disney property that you can try these beignets, served warm with dipping sauces. But if you want the true experience, I recommend the beignet sundae made with your choice of ice cream, warm chocolate sauce, and topped with whipped cream!
2.) Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness
I bet you never knew you could sail around the Mid-West. But you’re at Walt Disney World where everything and anything is possible! For a rootin’ tootin’ good time in the wilderness, spend your free day at Wilderness Lodge! Park, or take a bus, to Magic Kingdom entrance, where you’ll find the boat launch for Wilderness Lodge.
Enjoy a sail aboard a ferry that takes you free-of-charge to Wilderness Lodge. Disembark and explore the brand new pool and DVC cabins that are now open, and take in all of the Disney magic the Imagineers have put into this breathtaking, woodcarved lobby.
Now you’re ready to hop back aboard a boat, destination: The Campsites at Fort Wilderness. Here you can walk around the campsites, and if you’re visiting during the Holidays make sure to go at night when all of the mobile homes’ decorations are shining bright! You can shop at the Meadow Trading Post, and quench your thirst with a drink at Crockett’s Tavern where they’re serving up hearty loaded nachos and wings.
My personal favorite thing to do at Fort Wilderness is visit the horses at Tri-Circle-D Ranch! The stables are home to the horses that work around Walt Disney World. You can stop in, free of charge, and visit the horses that pull carriages down Main Street USA each morning, see the white ponies who pull Cinderella in her regal pumpkin carriage during Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, and marvel at Kahn, the Headless Horseman’s trusted steed who comes out during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!
1.) Seven Seas Lagoon
Clocking in at number one on the list is a day spent sailing around Seven Seas Lagoon. In addition to the Magic Kingdom, three resort hotels lie on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Hop aboard a boat outside of Magic Kingdom entrance and take a short ride to The Grand Floridian. Here, you can take in views of Cinderella Castle, sit and enjoy a cocktail in the gorgeous lobby, and maybe catch a performance by a world-class pianist…they take requests!
Next, jump back on a boat and sail to The Polynesian Village Resort. The Polynesian boasts itself as the only location outside of Adventureland where you can get your hands on a pineapple Dole whip, which if you’ve never had, you must try! Stay until sundown before hopping back on the boat.
Now that the sun has set, Disney’s Electrical Water Pageant will begin to process out onto Seven Seas Lagoon. The boats still run during the pageant, so try to time it perfectly to board a boat to the Contemporary while the pageant is performing! You’ll get a unique vantage point of the pageant from your boat!
Happily Ever After fireworks to make your way to the balcony. You’ll want to get there early so you and your family can secure a great spot for the show. On the balcony, the music from the show will be played, perfectly ending your day on the water!
Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer/musician thrilled to be bringing you all things Disney! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!