Thrifty Thursday: Free, Free, Free ~ Disney Cartoons, Parade, Fireworks and Playgrounds!

If you have been touring the resorts and your munchkins are too tired to take another step, you do not have to stop the touring adventure.  It’s time for a cartoon break!  Disney resorts have setup televisions in the lobbies playing Disney Cartoons!  This is entirely a free activity for all lobby guests, not just registered resort guests.  Since you are frugal mouseketeers, I know you have your backpack snacks and drinks tucked away to refresh yours and the little feet and tummies! 

If your resort touring includes after dinner, or supper as we call it in the south, be sure to end the day with The Electrical Water Pageant. This wonderful electrical water parade is visible from the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Ft. Wilderness, and the Contemporary.  If you happen to be at Magic Kingdom boat dock it floats by there too.  The Electrical Water Pageant created for The Polynesian Resort dedication in 1971.  It has remained popular and is a nightly event.  Show times might vary slightly due to nightfall and firework shows, but to help you plan your resort tour finale show times are: 

  • Polynesian Resort, 9:00 p.m.
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, 9:15 p.m.
  • Wilderness Lodge, 9:30 p.m.
  • Fort Wilderness Campground, 9:45 p.m.
  • Contemporary Resort 10:00p.m.

Fireworks are another great way to end up a resort tour.  Magic Kingdom Wishes fireworks can be seen best from the Polynesian resort directly across the Seven Seas Lagoon.  Music is even piped in so you might not be inside the park but you get the ambiance and the sparkles!  In addition, any of the resorts on the monorail actually provide a Wishes view.  If you happen to end up about 9:00 pm at Yacht Club, Boardwalk or Beach club, take a stroll over to the bridge  in front of the Swan & Dolphin to see Epcot’s Illuminations firework show.  Continuing down the walk toward Hollywood Studios will also allow you to catch glimpses of Fantasmic’s fireworks above the show.

Almost all of the resorts host beautiful playgrounds when the parks have closed early for holiday parties, or you just need a break away from the parks.  You can sit back with your favorite book or music while watching the munchkins trek around swings, tunnels, slides and other fun interaction equipment designed for kids 2 to 12 years old.  Please do note:  adult supervision is required at the playgrounds for your children’s safety.  Here’s a list of the resort playground locations:

  • Disney’s Port Orleans Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Resort – French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel

Remember memories are not built on how many dollars you spend, memories are built on the time spent with your family at Disney!

Till next time! ~ Leigh Anne

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Leigh Anne, originally from Mississippi, lives in North Alabama with her husband and a menagerie of furry kids (FIDS), including dogs, cats, exotic birds, fish and a lionhead rabbit. Figment, her African Grey parrot, is named after Disney’s small purple dragon, Figment. She works as a motivational speaker and pastoral counselor. In 1974, Leigh Anne marched with the Enka High Marching Band in the Magic Kingdom daytime parade. Leigh Anne fell in love with Disney while on her Disney honeymoon with her husband in 2002. They have made an annual trip back to Disney to celebrate their anniversary every year since. Since they own a piece of the mouse with their Disney Vacation Club (DVC), some years they go twice! She also plans to be the grandmother that introduces all her grandchildren to Disney World first. She has a great start ~ 2 out of 3 so far! As a DVC member married to the best Disney shopper in the world, Leigh Anne has lots of experience in finding the most frugal way to have the most fun in the parks and resorts! Leigh Anne admits to being spoiled as a DVC member but is always on the lookout to keep their WDW vacations fun and frugal! She blogs at Queen of Hysteria and tweets @la_haygood

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