We all know a vacation to Walt Disney World Resort can cost an arm and a leg. If you will be visiting the area for several days, it’s only natural to try to find some additional things to do around the Orlando area that can help the big pinch on your wallet that comes along with visiting the happiest place on earth. There are so many opportunities around the Orlando area that are super inexpensive that can add to your vacation.
10 Cheap (or Free) Things To Do Around WDW
1 – Everyone’s kids love LEGOS. Building, taking apart and re-building LEGOS is a major part of everyone’s childhood. Stepping on LEGOS is a major part of every parent’s adventure too! Visiting LEGOLAND in Florida can set you back almost as much as a day at one of the WDW parks but never fear – your kids can get their LEGO fix for free at Disney Springs. There is free transportation to Disney Springs from any of the on-site Disney resorts and a HUGE (over 4,400 square feet) LEGO Imagination Center where your kids get to build, play in LEGOS, and take pictures with giant LEGO creations.
2 – If you will have a car while staying at Walt Disney World, a short 30 minute drive will have you at Black Hammock Adventures. This location offers a free wildlife exhibit, home to alligators, exotic birds, snakes and more. For just a few dollars you can purchase gator food to feed some of the smaller alligators. There is a restaurant and gift shop. You can also take an air-boat ride (a little pricier – around $25 per person) so stick to the free wildlife exhibit and maybe a light lunch.
3 – If you really have your heart set on a boat ride, you can take a Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park. Less then 10 minutes from Orlando, this pontoon boat ride takes you through lakes and canals. A knowledgeable captain will point out the wildlife and mansions that make Winter Park one of Orlando’s most charming suburbs. On any given tour, you may see large cranes swooping waterside to snag a large fish or a lazy alligator languishing on a nearby bank. An occasional water skier or racing shell full of crew members from the areas private liberal arts college, Rollins, are also enjoyable sideshows for passengers. Cost is $7 for kids 2 to 11 and $13 for adults.
4 – Each year, thousands of tourists who visit Orlando go to Lake Wales, Florida, to see if the old Indian Legend of Spook Hill is true. A sign marks the spot where you should stop your car, put it in neutral, and watch as your car rolls uphill.
5 – Lake Eola is a favorite local park in downtown Orlando where you can picnic, feed the swans, or watch the fountain light show in the evening. The park often hosts free concerts, movies, and a Sunday farmers’ market.
6 – Walk the streets of the picture-perfect town of Celebration. The community, conceived by Disney, is a blend of historic-themed architecture and modern technology. Admire the architecture, from neo-traditional to the Philip Johnson-designed welcome center, and let the kids play in the interactive fountain. Stop by the farmers market at Lakeside Park. Visitors can even see (fake) snow falling in the winter months.
7 – Just south of the Orlando International Airport is Old Town, a unique amusement park and shopping area. Old Town comes to life on Saturdays with a vintage-car parade starting at 1 p.m. On Wednesday evenings, The Dukes, a ‘50s and ‘60s cover band, play doo-wop hits and lead the crowd in the Stroll, the line dance made famous on American Bandstand. Visitors must buy tickets for the amusement rides, but admission to Old Town, and its concerts and car shows, is free.
8 – Twenty minutes east of Orlando in Titusville is Fort Christmas Historical Park, a full-size replica of Fort Christmas, originally built for the Second Seminole Indian War (1835-1842). The Fort has several historical structures and many pioneer demonstrations (like musket and cannon firings) and craft fairs throughout the year. Closed Mondays and holidays.
Traveling without the kids and looking for a little inexpensive activity outside the theme parks?
9 – Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, which sits on 80 breathtaking acres just north of Orlando, offers free tours, tastings and many free festivals and events.
10 – The Orlando Brewing Company near downtown Orlando is the only organic brewery and tap room in the Southeast and one of only 10 in the United States. Each weekend, there are free brewery tours, free Wi-Fi and free live entertainment.