Where To Find A Free Disney Character Experience at WDW
Disney Vacations are known for being magical…and costly…
But, did you know that there is a Disney World character ‘meet and greet’ experience you can do completely FREE!?
That’s right… no park ticket or even a parking fee is required.
You can meet everyone’s favorite chipmunks, Chip and Dale, completely free at their Campfire Sing-A-Long held every night at Ft. Wilderness.
I have said a few times in past posts that when we first moved to Florida, it took us a while to splurge on Disney tickets…so I was thrilled when I discovered that I could still give my kids a character experience for free.
They enjoyed it so much that we continue to go back, even though we are now annual passholders and can see characters in the parks.
Guests can enjoy roasting marshmallows, a cowboy sing-a-long followed by a Disney movie…and of course, an appearance from Chip and Dale.
The campfire is nestled quite a ways back into the resort, so it takes a little know-how to get to it.
If staying on-site, you can take Disney Transportation to Ft. Wilderness or, if driving, simply let the guard know you are there for the campfire. Parking has never been an issue for us.
If you are driving, follow the signs for the Magic Kingdom. Once you start getting close to the entrance to the Magic Kingdom parking lot, you will see some sings to veer to the right for Fort Wilderness. This will bypass you heading into the Magic Kingdom Parking lot and you will not have to pay for parking at Fort Wilderness.
If you miss the exit and accidentally get to the Magic Kingdom parking gate, just swallow your pride and let you know what happened. Odds are, they will direct you on how to turn around without paying the $20 fee.
If you are a passholder, you could technically park in the parking lot at Magic Kingdom and take a ferry boat to Fort Wilderness. We’ve never tried it, but may give it a chance one day.
Make your way to the bus transportation, which can’t be missed from the parking lot, and hop on a bus headed towards the Meadow Training Post.
There’s a handy-dandy map right there to help you out.
Once at the campsite, you can purchase a smores kit ( $9.99) from the Chuck Wagon…or just bring your own.
Obviously, if you’re flying this could be a challenge. The s’mores kit has two roasting sticks and enough fixin’s for a couple of kids to be happy on smores. But, if you are driving to Disney or have Amazon Prime or Prime Pantry and can ship items to the resort, you can save money by bringing your own.
The campfire lights up at nightly a little before 7:00 P.M. during the cooler months and 8:00 P.M. during the peak season summer months.
There are two pits, so it’s fairly easy for everyone to gather round.
A little while after the campfire lights, the sing-a-long begins. It’s a fun little show led by a Disney entertainer that kids can get into and enjoy.
Chip and Dale make their appearance at this time and make their way around the guests to meet and greet during the sing-a-long.
At the end of the Sing-A-Long, Chip and Dale usually end with a little dance party that the kids love!
After Chip and Dale go off to bed and the sun has set, a Disney film is played on the large projector and guests are free to lounge and enjoy, or continue roasting marshmallows a little while longer.
Note: Just some Florida weather 101, when it’s hot and humid…the bugs love to come out to play. I would suggest having some bug spray on hand as the sun starts to set. We like to use bug repellant bracelets to avoid spraying the icky-smelling stuff around the kids.
But as long as you have something, you’ll be grateful.
To find out what movies are showing each night, Build a Better Mousetrip has a fantastic movie schedule on their site that I use as a resource.
For a free character experience ( the only cost being if you choose to purchase food), it is hands-down the best I found.
It is a great way to spend a non-park evening and the kids love it every time.
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