Which museums are free in Orlando, Florida
Here we've rounded up free activities in and around Orlando.
And there are tips and tricks for additional free options in the parks.
Free water in all theme parks and all restaurants
If the water from the water dispensers in the theme parks is too warm for you or if you prefer to drink from a mug, you will receive a mug of cold water (usually also with ice cubes) free of charge at every location that serves open drinks.
You just have to ask in a friendly manner for a ‘Cup of water’.
The good thing about it: You don't have to buy expensive water bottles and carry them around and you get fresh water at every beverage station and in every restaurant.
Works due to a Florida law in all theme parks from Diseney to Seaworld and Universal to Legoland and of course in all restaurants. (As of 2019)
All theme parks have free WiFi with which you can even make WhatsApp calls. Almost all restaurants and shops such as Walmart or shopping centers have their own WiFi. Most of them don't even require registration.
For many, it is even enough to make calls via WhatsApp.
The city of Disney, which comes to life especially in the evening and at night, offers a lot of fun for everyone. Parking is free in the new parking garages, from there bridges lead to the Disney Springs site. Admission is free.
Disney Springs consists of a modern shopping mile, an entertainment mile with small shops for rummaging, bowling alleys, a cinema and Cirque de Soleil, a marketplace with a Legoshop where you can also build for free, a huge Disney shop and unusual restaurants and a restaurant and bar mile. There are numerous indentations here that offer free entertainment all night. Whether saxophonists, rappers, Irish step dancers, storytellers or comedians, there is something new to discover on every corner. You can watch amphibious vehicles slide into the water or food trucks loudly announce their offers.
Many of the indentations even have free seats, so that - if you can resist the shopping and dining options - you can spend a wonderful free evening with lots of live entertainment here.
1486 Buena Vista Dr,
Orlando, FL 32830
Old Town is open all day, but few tourists get lost during the day. Only after dusk, when Old Town is brightly lit, does the little street fill up. You can also spend money here, but most tourists only browse the fun shops like the Voodoo Rock 'N Roll gift store, the AS Seen on TV store, which presents products from the long-term commercials on American television, the groovy store for retro Articles or the Black Market Minerals Shop, which offers necklaces and stones for a few cents, among other things.
Others sit on the benches and enjoy the music from the pubs or the free live entertainment that can be found here at regular intervals.
5770 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy
Magical moments in the Disney resorts
Even if you don't have the over $ 100 entry fee per person per day (plus $ 20 parking per car), you can enjoy many magical moments for free, because the more than two dozen Disney resorts offer a lot of entertainment.
For example, at Fort Wilderness Resort you can simply drive to the barrier and let them know that you want to go to the bonfire. You are already assigned a free parking space and can take the Disney-owned bus to the small western town of Meadow for free, pet animals or visit the playgrounds and / or continue to the campfire. Here marshmallows are roasted over an open fire every evening. You can bring your own marshmallows and sticks or buy them there (marshmallows $ 4, sticks 59 cents each) or just watch.
At the same time there is musical live entertainment, a program for the children and when it gets dark you can take a seat in the stands and enjoy a Disney film on a large open-air screen.
If you want, you can go to the beach and marvel at the parade of lights (Water Pageant) on the water or later the fireworks from Magic Kingdom. Everything is free.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground Entrance,
4510 Fort Wilderness Trail,
Orlando, FL 32830
Free drinks in Epcot
Those visiting the Epcot theme park can try free drinks from all over the world at Club Cool.
Just pull out a mug and you're good to go.
Club Cool is located in the pavilion area to the right of the large fountain.
Sit in front of the attractions
Especially those who are out and about with children and queue up at an attraction for a long time are annoyed when the offspring cannot see much.
That is why you can ask the person who is organizing the entry into the car directly whether you can wait for a front row.
(Can we please wait for a front row?)
Most of the time you wait at the side until this car / boat is full and then you can get in right at the front of the next one. In 10 years of Florida parks an employee has never reacted unfriendly or denied us this request. Because many adults also ask for a front row if they couldn't see some of the attraction the first time or if they want to buy one of the photos that are taken during the journey. In the first row you are guaranteed not to be covered.
On roller coasters, adrenaline junkies often ask for a seat in the back row. So take courage. Doesn't cost anything either. :-))
Try oranges - Eli's Orange World
Opposite Old Town next to the Main Gate Fleamarket is the oversized orange half, which every tourist in Orlando has surely passed before.
There is a souvenir shop in the Orange, but there are free tastings of Floridian oranges available practically all year round in front of the door.
And if you are already there, you can take away lots of coupons for discounted admission to restaurants and attractions free of charge in the newspaper boxes set up here on the street. Almost all coupon books also have a coupon for a free small gift (with no obligation to buy) for the flea markets. With it you go to the office of the respective flea market and get a ballpoint pen or a Florida key ring for free. An ideal opportunity for kids to practice their English.
Free entry and parking.
Eli's Orange World
5395 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy,
Kissimmee, FL 34746
There are three air-conditioned flea markets on West Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy just minutes away from each other. While the flea market across from Old Town mainly sells tourist souvenirs and Disney T-shirts, which are much cheaper than in the theme parks, there is a lot to see at the other two flea markets, from sunglasses to jewelry and lots of curious items, for an afternoon to spend there.
Gate West Flea Market
8546 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy
Maingate at Fleamarket
5407 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy,
Kissimmee, FL 34746
Visitors Flea Market
5811 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy
Brewery tour - Try American beers - Free music entertainment on Friday
German beer is known to be the best, but anyone who wants to take a look behind the scenes of an American brewery can visit http://www.orlandobrewing.com/ from Monday to Saturday at 6 p.m. (but never on the 30th of a month) take a free tour.
You don't need to reserve tickets, because the motto here is: first come, first served. The tour is family-friendly and therefore suitable for anyone with a very good command of English. This is a very small brewery that is proud to brew purely organically according to the German purity law.
Even those who don't speak enough English to take part in the tour should visit the brewery's rustic bar. There are up to two dozen different beers here, and if you can't decide, you can try some samplers for little money. There is also a small chess game to pass the time and you can play darts. There is no obligation to eat in the bar. You can also just grab a plastic cup and use the water dispenser.
There is free music entertainment on Fridays.
If you want to visit the brewery, you should first look at the parking instructions on the http://www.orlandobrewing.com/ page, as parking is prohibited on one side of the street and this can be expensive.
1301 Atlanta Ave,
Orlando, FL 32806
Orlando Brewing website
Celebration is a planned city that was built in 1994 by The Walt Disney Company on a disused Disney lot. The life of the almost 10,000 inhabitants is regulated by a 70-page sample book, so that the visitor encounters a perfectly organized and prepared district that is probably unique in the world. House and garden architectures are just as mandatory as the interior work.
For the visitor, this is a wonderful little town in the style of Main Street in Magic Kingdom with small shops in the theme park style that you won't find anywhere else. A beautifully landscaped lake with wooden bridges and small enchanted wooded areas, a market square with a lighthouse and small cafes: Clebration is probably the most perfect small town outside of the Disney theme parks and is therefore definitely worth seeing.
610 Sycamore St,
Celebration, FL 34747
When you drive through Orlando and the surrounding area, you come across a Cracker Barrel at some point. But there is more to this restaurant than just meals.
There are rocking chairs and wooden benches on the porch. Here you can relax or play checkers, mills or chess for free at one of the tables, depending on which pieces are present on the tables.
And if you haven't made it to the Weasley's Wizard Wheezes joke shop in the Harry Potter world in Universal Studios, you are sure to find it here. In addition to honey and other products, there are curious kitchen items and home accessories to marvel at, and there are some wonderful things for big and small on the toy shelf. Nothing you really need, but a fun free stop in between.
Incidentally, many Cracker Barrels still have a working pay phone, which you can even use to make collect calls to Germany. (For everyone who still knows what that actually is. 🙂)
Address for example:
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
6699 S Semoran Blvd.
Fun Spot is a kind of permanent fair. If you want to ride a carousel or roller coaster, you can book single tickets or day tickets with unlimited rides. The multi-level Go Kar Tracks are particularly popular here.
Especially in the evening, Fun Spot is wonderfully lit and you can take a seat on one of the benches and watch as guests, lying in a sling, let themselves be pulled 90 meters into the air. The guest presses the trigger himself and falls into an oversized swing after a free fall.
Just drop by and watch. Parking and entry are free.
Address Fun Spot on International Drive:
5551 Del Verde Way,
A small fair in the middle of International Drive. The special thing here is the highest slingshot in the world, in which two guests are thrown almost 100 m into the air. For spectators there is an extra grandstand right in front of the slingshot, which is usually full of tourists who look but don't trust themselves or don't want to spend the money 🙂
Parking and entry are free.
4092 Eastgate Drive
Orlando, FL 32839
Windowshopping like the rich - eating at Ikea
Take a look where the super-rich shop. The Millenia Mall in Orlando makes it possible. Prada, Gucci, Louis Vinton, Cartier and countless other shops show their treasures in the shop windows. Without prices, of course.
On the other hand, you can eat cheaply directly across from Bloomingdales, one of the department stores in the mall, because this is where the Ikea furniture store is located.
Depending on what is on offer, there is occasionally free breakfast here on Sundays or free food for children at certain times. If you can't find an offer on the Ikea site, you can get regular food from $ 2 (breakfast), $ 3 (lunch) and $ 4 (dinner).
Tip: Park in front of Bloomingdales, then you can walk over to Ikea.
Parking is free.
4092 Eastgate Drive
Orlando, FL 32839
Dogpark Baldwin Park
If you like dogs and want to get to know the country and its people, visit the Dog Park in Baldwinpark. Especially in the evenings there are dozens of dogs of all races with their owners, as leash is compulsory in Orlando and a dog park is the only place where dogs can really let off steam.
But you don't have to have a dog to visit the park. Parking and entry are free and anyone who asks a dog owner about their dog is guaranteed to start a conversation with them. Baldwin Park with two pavilions, a forest and a lake is the largest and most famous in this area.
2000 S Lakemont Ave,
Winter Park, FL 32789
Harry P. Leu Gardens
Those who have had enough of the noisy tourist centers and the constant sound in the theme and water parks will find absolute peace in Harry P Leu Gardens.
Only the chirping of the crickets and the soft rustling of the wind through the leaves accompany the silence in this enchanted place in the winter park, only a few kilometers from downtown Orlando.
Those who love beautiful gardens should definitely plan a detour to this property that Harry P. Leu and his wife Mary Jane gave to the city of Orlando in 1961. On 50 hectares you will find gardens of all kinds, roses, ferns, palm trees and many other magnificent plants on the site, which is only known from films in the southern states.
Entry usually costs money, but is usually free on the first Monday of each month. You can read more about it on the official website.
1920 N Forest Ave,
Orlando, FL 32803
Ride the bus for free
If you want to take a look at Downtown Olando, the best place to start is at the large bus station, Lynx Central Station. From here there are free buses that go in a kind of loop through downtown and then arrive back at the bus station.
The free buses are easy to find because the top says RIDE FREE. In downtown, many people use the free buses every day, as even small stretches are difficult to cope with in the very hot downtown. So you can just take a look at downtown in well-air-conditioned buses or get off at any of the stops. There are over 70 eateries on the route, where you can snack or eat well.
Lynx Central Station
455 N Garland Ave,
Orlando, FL 32801
Grand Bohemian Gallery
The Grand Bohemian Hotel is a luxury downtown Orlando hotel and houses a gallery of various artists that can change monthly.
Admission is always free and a visit is also worthwhile to take a look at the inside of the hotel.
Several times a month you can meet the artists in person to give feedback on their works of art and to learn more.
Grand Bohemian Gallery
325 S Orange Ave,
Orlando, FL 32801
City Arts Factory
City Arts Factory is a non-profit organization that you can visit for free from Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In a monthly changing exhibition, national and international artists can exhibit their works in order to make them accessible to the public. Many an unknown artist has already been discovered in this gallery.
What is exhibited is always a surprise. In the on-site parking deck, you can park all day for $ 4. The Bohemian Gallery is right next door and the parking lot is also great for exploring downtown on foot or with the free buses. They stop right in front of the door. Address:
City Arts Factory
29 S Orange Ave,
Orlando, FL 32801
Fitness course - country and people
If you don't have a fitness room in the hotel and want to keep fit after the many buffets, you can visit the fitness trail that is set up around Underhill Lake. Only a few meters between the individual stations you can train your stomach, legs, buttocks and you will surely meet many locals who train here very early in the morning or at dusk.
In the evening in the late summer days, it is advisable to apply a mosquito repellent if necessary.
A small free parking lot with a shady pavilion - ideal for a picnic - is at the beginning of the trail.
4355 Lake Underhill Rd,
Orlando, FL 32803
Who doesn't have them at home, the small, practical kitchen helpers from Tupperware.
The Tupperware headquarters is located in Orlando and invites you to visit it free of charge.
There is a gallery with Tupperware from different countries, a small interactive playground with quizzes and more for large and small visitors and a sales room in which you can often buy small Tupperware boxes as key rings or other small souvenirs that are not available in Germany for loved ones at home 1 dollar can purchase.
Parking is free. Admission too.
14901 South Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32837
Spookhill - towards Legoland Winter Haven
Spookhill, about 60 km from Orlando, invites you to a very special experience.
You drive your car up to a white line, put your car in neutral and experience how the car reverses up the hill all by itself.
In fact, it looks spooky from one side when the car moves up the hill on its own. From the other side you can see that it is more of an optical illusion than a real ghost. The free stopover is very popular with Americans, as you can easily find out for yourself on You Tube.
If you miss the little signs on spook hill, just look for the Spookhill Elementary School, which is right next to it.
5th St, Lake Wales,
Lake Eola with market
Lake Eola is one of the most beautiful relaxation parks in Orlando. The path leads around the lake under shady trees. Here you can picnic or just go for a walk and drift off into the new downtown.
There is free parking on Sundays at the corner of E. Central Blvd and N. Eola Drive with direct access to the walkway.
On Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. there is also a well-attended market with various sellers. If you check the website once, you will also find that there is free live entertainment here several times a month during market time.
Lake Eola Park -
Corner of E. Central Blvd.
N. Eola Drive
Free Outdoor Movies - Lake Eola
On the East Lawn, a meadow on Lake Eola, there are regular outdoor films to be seen. Bring blankets and a few snacks, enjoy a current movie in English and meet people.
There are also food trucks to buy food and drink. Which films can be seen and when can be found on the Lake's Movieola website.
The event usually starts at 6 p.m., the film then starts around 8 p.m.
Lake Eola Park, East Lawn
512 East Washington Street
The East Lawn is located on Eola Drive between Washington St. and Central Blvd. next to the playground. If you want to park close by, you have to drive into the underground car park. (depending on the event 10 to 20 dollars with no time limit) Otherwise you can park for free on the other side of the lake and the side streets there and walk around the lake 1/2 times. (approx. 15 minutes)
Plaster and co
Have blisters, sunburn, an abrasion or an itchy mosquito bite?
There is a FIRST AID station in all theme parks in and around Orlando. Here you can get plasters and blister plasters free of charge and for almost all small ailments there are free remedies in addition to a few encouraging words and a friendly smile.
Free in Winter Gardens
Winter Gardens, about 20 minutes from Disney Parks, have some free activities for both locals and American visitors. European tourists are rarely found here. You should plan several hours for a visit:
There is free parking and free entry in Winter Garden in the Splash Garden.
Countless fountains come and go without a certain rhythm and the children or the whole family can really cool off and have fun here.
Don't forget your swimming trunks and towels.
Plant Street Market
The elongated hall with a cozy atmosphere begins with a brewery and adjoining bar. Outside there is seating without compulsory consumption and inside, local products, a butcher, a German bakery, a praline shop, an oxygen bar and more await. Chicken and pizzas are prepared on an open fire in a stone oven and the local suppliers of various products are happy to chat.
Parking and entry free of charge. From here it is best to explore the other attractions on foot, as they are all close together.
Swings and let your mind wander
A few meters further there is a beautiful fountain with several family swings.
Just relax and watch the hustle and bustle in the colorful main street of the small town.
From the fountain it is only a few steps to the Heritage Museum. Here you can find things collected from old times, watch a short film of what the city looked like back then and learn, among other things, what the locomotive was used for in front of the door, which you can also visit.
Children are given a quiz sheet with colorful pictures and try to look for the items shown in the exhibition.
Adults leaf through old yearbooks and marvel at the life of that time.
Small museum with collected objects from the heyday of the railroad. Signs, lights, work tools, train toilets and more.
If you want, you can try a Morse code pair.
The Railway Museum is a minute's walk from the fountain.
Immerse yourself in the old days
A hotel in a kind of colonial style and an ice cream shop from the 30s invite you to travel back in time.
The sellers in the ice cream shop are used to the fact that people don't buy anything, just look, because their shop is one of the attractions of this city.
You can play mills, checkers or chess at the tables for free and those who want to be professionally shaved the old way can stop off at the neighboring Original Barber Shop for a fee.
Free in Winter Park
Winter Park is just a short drive from Orlando. America as seen in many films. A beautiful shopping street with small shops to browse and linger. The farmers market is particularly well known. There are also some free museums:
Farmer’s Market in Winter Park
The Farmers Market, which takes place here every Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., offers all kinds of local produce.
Depending on the season, you can try and buy different flavors of cotton candy, dips, honey, tea, cheese and more. Locals often buy flowers, small trees, or fruit here, and there are stalls selling sandwiches and more that are very popular with the locals. Various art objects are also occasionally sold.
Free parking for up to 4 hours directly at the market.
The Winter Park History Museum
At the end of the small Farmer’s Market is the Winter Park History Museum.
Here you can take a look at the historical inner workings of a house and get an impression of what the city looked like in the early days of the company from an oversized picture.
Children can play with real wooden toys in the playroom and see what a life without Nintendo and Co. looked like.
Only a few meters away from Famers Market is the Historical District with a shopping street, a beautifully landscaped small park and numerous street cafes.
See and be seen is the motto here and so you see many people, especially on weekends, who lead their perfectly styled pedigree dogs through the street.
It is best to leave your car at the Farmers Market parking lot.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum offers free entry once a week from November to April. In addition to changing exhibitions, paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries and American works of art are also impressed by the large collection of Tiffany objects for which the museum is known far beyond the borders of Florida.
Louis Comfort Tiffany windows, lamps, paintings and jewelry and especially the Louis Comfort Tiffany interior of a church from the Colombian World Expo in Chicago in 1893 attracts many visitors to this museum.
Entry is usually $ 5, free for children 14 and under, but free entry for all visitors on Fridays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. November through April.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum and Campus
Take a stroll through the luxury campus of a college for the children of wealthy parents, at Rollins College in Winter Park. At the end of the campus there is the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in the same architectural style, which is run by sponsors and therefore offers free entry.
In addition to a large collection of old masters, there are changing exhibitions of American and European artists. In addition, free guided tours and drawing courses are offered in the exhibition.
Free entry. Free parking spaces along the street.
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