Aerial view of Downtown Disney

As wonderful as Disney Magic is, most people accept that the pixie dust comes at a price – and it’s not cheap. While you’re sure to pay a pretty penny for a day at one of the Walt Disney World theme parks, there is one place where you can get a healthy dose of Disney without dropping a dime.

Disney Springs is the dining and shopping mecca of Walt Disney World. As such, it does make it tempting to pull out the wallet and buy, buy, buy. If you head in with a smart plan and careful agenda, however, you can enjoy a filling taste of Disney absolutely free. Here’s how you do it.

10. Visit the LEGO Imagination Center

Image: Disney 

The LEGO Imagination Center is a dream come true for kids who know how to get creative with these little building blocks. This store has building tables both inside and out with deep reservoirs of LEGO and Duplo blocks. Central to the outdoor building area is a massive LEGO race track. Small stations around the track are stocked with pieces so kids can build their own cars. Once they’ve fashioned the perfect vehicle, they can race down one of two ramps side-by-side with other builders.

9. Check Out the Waterside Stage Entertainment

Image: Disney 

The Waterside Stage, located across from the World of Disney Store and just a stone’s throw from the LEGO Imagination Center, plays host to a variety of free performances. You can dance along with a Disney DJ, watch middle and high school band, orchestra, or dance performances, and even catch some celebrities. Sharky and Bones of Jake and the Neverland Pirates have graced this very stage in all their piratey glory.

A signboard will let you know who’s on for the evening and provide show times. If the stage is empty, the bleachers still make a nice place to stop for a snack or some people watching.

8. Stop at Ghirardelli

Image: Disney 

The Ghirardelli store at Disney Springs has two sides. If you’re approaching from the Waterside Stage, the first door you approach is the one you want. This leads to a tiny chocolate shop with all the classic Ghirardelli favorites. At first peek, this little store may look too crowded to bother with, but it’s well worth a little tour of the cramped quarters for the free chocolate waiting just inside.

The complimentary square is usually milk chocolate with a caramel center, but sometimes you’ll find a seasonal specialty. If you have a sweet tooth, this is one free treat you can’t miss.

7. Pop into Basin

Image: Disney

Just behind Ghirardelli, you’ll find Basin, the luxurious bath store. Stop by the deep sinks in the center to wash that chocolate off your hands first. Once you’re nice and clean, you can get to the sampling. Try some soaps and scrubs at the sinks. Moisturize with a heavenly lotion or thick body butter. Add a sweet touch of scent with a dab of solid perfumes. For pampering samples, it doesn’t get any better than this stop.

6. Peruse Disney’s Pin Traders

Image: Disney

If you have some Disney pins on hand, you may be able to score a few great finds at Disney’s Pin Traders. This circular store will have you browsing in circles for at least two laps if you’re a real pin lover. The massive pin trading board offers an excellent opportunity to swap out your own tired pins for some new pieces, without having to buy anything new.



we were there in july and it was there

We were there this past weekend and noticed that the bench that featured the Winnie the Pooh characters has been removed. This was a favorite photo spot throughout the years. Are they putting it somewhere else? Or, is this the end of our tradition?

In reply to by lahervas (not verified)

I was just there 2 weeks ago and the Winnie the Pooh photo spot was there.

So glad that you wrote that the Winnie the Pooh photo spot has returned. We were so upset in May to see it removed. Guess it was being refurbished! Now, we can continue the photo tradition.

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