All the Places Where You Can Get Free Food and Samples at Walt Disney World
Lou Mongello is one of the world’s leading experts in all things Walt Disney World. With his wildly popular WDW Radio Podcast, he brings listeners “a little bit of Disney magic” to their morning commutes and everyday lives each week. Here, the food-obsessed Mongello—who has eaten his way across all the Disney parks, resorts and properties (in the name of research, of course)—gives PEOPLE his picks for the best places to get free samples and deals on food across the parks and resorts. Scroll through to see all the can’t-miss free eats for your next Disney vacation.
Head to Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop in Disney Springs, and you will be handed a free sample of whichever chocolate square they are featuring that day at the door! BONUS Tip: If you happen to visit Walt Disney World during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Ghirardelli also sponsors an exhibit in the Festival Center where you can also get a free chocolate square sample.
You can enjoy a decadent, free sample of caramel corn at Karmel Kuche at the Germany Pavilion at Epcot. Just head to the far left of the store and politely ask for a caramel corn sample.
As you make your way down Main Street, USA in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, stop by the Main Street Confectionary and be greeted with a friendly smile… and sample of free candy, fudge, cookies, or cotton candy! Pro tip: You can also get samples at the Prairie Outpost and Supply in Frontierland, too.
It can get a little warm in Walt Disney World, but one of the best ways to cool down is with a frozen treat, like one of the 8 frosty flavors of Goofy's Glaciers, a frozen slush drink available in Disney Springs, and Big Top Treats in Storybook Circus in Magic Kingdom. With favors like Goofy’s Glacier Apple, Rootin’ Tootin’ Red, Gawrshly Berry Blue, and Orange You Happy Orange, you might want to sample one first… and you can! For free! Just ask for a free sample before you make your selection.
Want to save some extra money? You don’t need to pack or buy bottled water when you go to Walt Disney World. All quick and counter service restaurants will be happy to give you a free small cup of iced water - all you have to do is ask. (This will save you about $3.00 per bottle.)
A TASTE OF AFRICA
Here’s a fun and delicious twofer: If you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort area (you do not need to be a guest staying at either resort), you can participate in the Culinary Tour of Boma - Flavors of Africa and Jiko - The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and/or the Cultural Tour of Sanaa at Kidani Village At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas. For the Boma and Jiko experience, your 30-minute tour is guided by a cultural representative who shares firsthand knowledge of his or her home country’s culture and customs, as well as information about the design and decor of the restaurants. The tour also shows how the buffets are prepared each day, and and opportunity to select and sample one of the evening’s featured soups, as well as a taste of the legendary Zebra Dome dessert. At Jiko, you can sample the "Tastes of Africa” appetizer, which includes lavash, khobz and naan breads as well as the incredible dips and hummus. The Cultural Tour of Sanaa takes place at Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, shares information about the wonderful artwork adorning the walls, but a presentation by a chef who discusses the art of preparing naan bread and meats in the tandoor clay ovens. And if if couldn’t get any better than that, guests can then taste some of the breads and sauces!
Ample Hills Creamery on Disney’s Boardwalk is a turn-of-the-century take on the ice cream parlor, featuring more than a dozen signature, handcrafted ice cream flavors. Not sure which flavor you’d like to have in a fresh waffle cone? Taste as many (free) mouthwatering samples as you’d like! Bonus Tip: Want some more free ice cream AND a way to save money on future visits to Walt Disney World? Take a Disney vacation Club tour, learn about the benefits and savings of membership, and get some free ice cream, water, soda, or juice at the end of your tour at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.
FREE MEALS...YES, REALLY
Yes, there really is free dining in Walt Disney World! Traditionally, for guests booking vacation packages with non-discounted resort hotels and park tickets (typically in the Fall, but that is subject to change), Walt Disney World has offered the Disney Dining Plan for each member of their party for no additional charge. The plan affords gusted a certain number of meals and snacks on a voucher/credit system. For each night of your stay (depending on your resort and package), each guest receives an allotment of quick service meals, table service (sit-down) meals, and snacks. Certain restrictions apply, but this can often be a great way to save and eat for “free."
SODAS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
In Epcot, check out Club Cool located near Innoventions West in Future World. Here you can sample (for free!) Coca Cola products from around the world. This refreshing area is almost an attraction unto itself! Club Cool provides (free and unlimited) 3 ounce sample cups, which enable you to test out (as often as you’d like) eight flavors of Coke products from around the world. Flavors change from time to time, but often include: Fanta Pineapple (Greece), Fanta Melon Frosty (Thailand), Bibo (South Africa), Vegitabeta (Japan), Sparberry (Zimbabwe), Inca Kola (Peru), Guarana Kuat (Brazil), and everyone’s “favorite” Beverly (Italy). It’s a refreshment center and a social studies lesson all in one!
FIRST CLASS FARE
Complimentary amuse-bouche that is served when you sit in the First Class Lounge at Maria & Enzo’s - When you dine at Maria & Enzo's in Disney Springs, you step back in time and into the golden age of air travel as you dine on authentic Italian cuisine inside this stunning recreation of a 1930's Art Deco air terminal. Select guests may be randomly "upgraded" upon arrival to dine in the lounge. If you do, you will be treated to not just a delightful and delectable experience, but you will also receive a complimentary amuse bouchée as well! And younger "flyers" can also pick up their very own complimentary "wings" pin when they check in!
Visit one of the many Walt Disney World resorts (most are Moderate and Deluxe Resorts, but you don’t have to be a resort guest to participate) that have nighttime campfires, and GET free marshmallows and sticks to roast them on. (I recommend bringing some chocolate and graham crackers to create and share your own s’mores.). You can enjoy your toasted marshmallows while watching a free Disney movie on the large, outdoor screen, and other campfire activities. For example, you can join Chip 'n' Dale for a nightly campfire celebration, including sing-along with a guitar-playing cowboy, photos, followed by a movie under the stars at The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort. You can even purchase a s’mores kit from the nearby Chuckwagon Snack Bar!
HOLIDAY AND FESTIVAL FOOD
During some of the wonderful Epcot International festivals, such as the Festival of the Arts, Flower and Garden Festival, and Food & Wines Festival, there are usually many opportunities to sample and taste a variety of treats and flavors from around the world, including free GoGo Squeez applesauce and Ocean Spray Craisins. During the holidays, there are additional fun and free ways to sample some tasty treats, including Easter Egg hunts at many Walt Disney World Resorts, and free holiday snacks in some resort lobbies, such as candy canes at Disney Yacht and Beach Club resorts, roasted chestnuts at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, and sugar cookies and apple cider at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. You do not have to be a Resort guest to enjoy!