Friday, October 2, 2009

The Tip Of The Tail

Everyone loves free stuff. Especially when it's free stuff at Walt Disney World. So whenever you can get your hands on it, go for it! Below is a list of my top 10 FREE THINGS to get at WDW!

Animal Candy Sculpture - Japan pavilion, World Showcase, Epcot
Miyuki is an incredibly talented candy artist that has scheduled shows at the Japan pavilion where she makes animal-shaped candy for the guests. Now, not everyone will get one - it takes several minutes for her to create one of her unbelievable creations - which in and of itself is phenomenal. Only a few kids will actually get to keep the dragon, or crane, or octopus, or porcupine that she creates. Remember though, she usually only picks kids who are right in the front row and behaving very well!

Club Cool soda samples - Future World, Epcot
Now, this is not the healthiest thing in the world, but it is fun. Located in Epcot's Future World by the Character Greeting Spot and the Fountain of Nations, this "Club" has free soda samples from around the world for you to try. Watermelon from China, Ginger Ale from Germany, Vegitabeta from Japan, Mezzo Mix from Mexico and others. And I don't care what anyone says...the Beverly is underrated!

Chocolate Squares - Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop, Downtown Disney
It is unbelievable that Ghirardelli does this. A free chocolate square is given to everyone that walks into the Chocolate Shop. You never know which you'll get: peanut butter, caramel, peppermint bark...but you can bet there will be a line. But its worth it. And it's only one square - portion control!

Flower Lai - Polynesian Resort
If you're staying at the Poly (or even if you're not and just looking around the resort), the staff hands out a flower lai to the guests.

Kidcot Masks - World Showcase, Epcot
Some kids MAY find the World Showcase at Epcot boring. I know, hard to believe, but some do. That is why the kidcot stations are a miracle. Tucked away somewhere in each pavilion is a picnic table with a CM or two giving kids who don't want to look at another shop an opportunity to have fun. Each child will receive a mask that can be designed and colored any way they want. The mask also comes with a cutout of something symbolic from that particular country (Viking boat from Norway, toy horse from the American pavilion, etc.). Ask the CM to write a message in their native language on the mask. By the end of the day, some of these masks can be quite the work of art.

Velcro Frogs - Innoventions West, Future World, Epcot
Yes, you read that right: Velcro Frogs. In the Creative Solutions Studios you can construct your very own frog made up of pieces of shaped Veclro. Choose from several accessories to dress him/her up and then take with you. Odd, but free. *Could* occupy your kids' attention for a while. And did I mention it's free?

Gingerbread House shingle samples - Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
I constantly have an internal battle as to which is the better time of year at WDW: fall, with Epcot's Food & Wine Festival and Halloween, or the Holiday season when the parks are all dressed up. It's a great debate, but one thing is for sure: the Grand Floridian goes above and beyond when it comes to Christmas decorations. This includes the massive, life-size Gingerbread House that resides within the lobby. Gingerbread shingles adorn the roof of the building, and you can even buy a whole shingle - sold right there from the Gingerbread House itself. Or, you can simply get a sample of the gingerbread shingle from the CMs who are constantly handing them out. While the sample is small, and many not be worth the trip in and of itself, it's a nice free perk while you take the time to experience the beauty of the Grand Floridian during Christmas season.

Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure - World Showcase, Epcot
Warning - spoilers! Don't read this section if you want a couple of surprises during the KP Adventure....OK, here we go. The KP Adventure has at least 2 free giveways: a free fortune cookie in the China Pavilion, and a free packet of Tea in the UK pavilion. Norway also gives out a card to the participants, which makes a cool take-home souvenir.

Nerf balls from Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It parade - Disney's Hollywood Studios
During this parade at Hollywood Studios, the floats shoot soft nerf-type balls into the crowd, which sends everyone scrambling. And remember that at the exit point of the parade over by Star Tours, they empty out whatever balls they have left over, so if you're in the right spot you grab quite a few.

Free Birthday Dessert at most Table-Service Restaurants
One great perk of celebrating your birthday in WDW is the special attention you're given by the cast members. And one thing they do at most table-service restaurants is give the b-day boy or girl a free dessert. At Boma, it's a piece ofyellow cake with chocolate fudge shell and Mickey head sprinkles. At Tusker House, it's a giant cupcake. Just make sure to tell the reservation agent that you will be celebrating a birthday when you're making ADRs and they will include that info for the restaurant. Also, make sure to tell the server when you arrive that there's a birthday (just in case).

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