Whether you’ve arrived a day before your tickets begin, or just want to explore the area a bit, there is plenty to do in Orlando without spending a cent on theme park tickets. If you’re here a little early, or staying a little late, check out these fun options:

Fort Wilderness campfire singalong

Visit a Campfire Singalong at Fort Wilderness–it’s free! Photo courtesy the Walt Disney Company

  1. Play outside: Unless you visit Orlando in the height of summer, you can find plenty of things to do outdoors. You can rent a bike (or bring your own), rent a boat, or simply take a walk and explore your resort. Disney’s Fort Wildenerness offers bike, boat and even horse rentals, so you can spend the entire day just exploring the campground.
  2. Have a cookout: Speaking of Fort Wilderness, the campground has a free campfire movie, cookout and singalong each evening. Bring your own marshmallows to roast over the fire, or pick up a handy s’more’s kit from the campsite Chuck Wagon. There is a different Disney or Pixar film each night, and Chip and Dale will drop in for a visit and sing a long before the movie begins.
  3. Get a massage: Leave all the stress and discomfort of traveling behind, and get ready to hit the theme parks with a refreshing massage. Many of Orlando’s best resorts have an onsite spa, and you don;t have to be a guest to book an appointment. Consider booking a pampering afternoon at the Grand Floridian Spa, at Relache at the Gaylord Palms or at the Waldorf-Astoria Spa, and then hit the parks with a fresh attitude.
  4. Get a preview: If you are heading to Disney World, hop aboard a monorail or water taxi and get a preview of the parks. You don’t need a ticket to ride, and can get an idea of where everything is without having to rush around.
  5. Take a dip: Whether you’ve just checked in to a resort or have arrived at the doorstep of a luxury vacation home, de-stress and cool off with a dip in the pool. Taking a swim can help everyone wind down after a busy travel day, and may help antsy kids burn off some excess energy as well.

By Samantha McNesby for Orlando Vacation