WDW Magazine - - Helping Hands - BY KATH­LEEN LO­GAN WOLFE

Let’s face it, a fam­ily va­ca­tion to the Walt Dis­ney World Re­sort is ex­pen­sive. How­ever, I still be­lieve that dol­lar for dol­lar it’s a great value for all you can re­ceive.

The key to get­ting the most bang for your Dis­ney buck is to know all that is avail­able to you for that pre­mium va­ca­tion price. There are so many hid­den trea­sures that seem like they should cost extra, but they don’t! That’s right, I’m talk­ing about FREE.

Now sure, you’ve paid a pretty penny to get there and into the parks, but where many other des­ti­na­tions nickel and dime their vis­i­tors, Dis­ney in­cludes a whole slew of extra magic just there wait­ing to be en­joyed. Here is a list of my top 11 free­bies at Dis­ney World:

1. Ice Water: I’m sure many of you have heard by now that you can ask for and re­ceive a cup of ice water at any Counter Ser­vice res­tau­rant. Un­lim­ited.

2. Cola Sam­ples: Club Cool in Ep­cot’s Fu­ture World of­fers un­lim­ited and self-serve tast­ing sam­ples of Coca Cola prod­ucts from around the globe.

3. Caramel Pop­corn: Karamell-küche in Ep­cot’s Ger­many pav­il­ion will sup­ply you with a sam­ple of their de­li­cious Werther’s caramel corn.

4. Draw­ing Class: At the Art of An­i­ma­tion Re­sort, a Dis­ney an­i­ma­tor will teach you how to draw a Dis­ney char­ac­ter. You do not have to be a guest of the re­sort to par­tic­i­pate. Check with re­sort for avail­able times.

5. Tours: Sev­eral of Dis­ney’s Deluxe Re­sorts of­fer FREE guided tours! Last­ing about an hour and of­ten pro­vid­ing a Free tasty bonus, they are a won­der­ful way to learn more about Dis­ney his­tory and Imag­i­neer­ing. Dis­ney’s Board­walk, An­i­mal King­dom Lodge and Wilder­ness Lodge of­fer such tours for any­one, not just guests of the re­sort. Check with the re­sort or on­line for a times sched­ule.

11. Camp­fires & M ar­sh­mal­low Roast­ing: Many Dis­ney re­sorts of­fer nightly camp­fires with com­pli­men­tary marsh­mal­low roast­ing. How­ever, prob­a­bly the best ver­sion of this is the Chip & Dale’s Camp­fire Sing-a-long at the Fort Wilder­ness Re­sort. Meet Chip & Dale, sing songs, roast marsh­mal­lows (small fee here for those-s’mores kits avail­able too) and take in a Dis­ney movie un­der the stars right af­ter!

This doesn’t even cover all of the free items to be found at Dis­ney World, but that’s all part of that un­planned magic I’m al­ways talk­ing about. You just never know what free fun could be wait­ing for you around the next cor­ner!

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