Free birthday buttons, kids eat free, free souvenirs and more. All these freebies can be found at Disneyland if you know where to look.

This may shock many because of the fact everything else at Disneyland is so gosh darn expensive.

Here are the top 24 freebies at Disneyland you should consider for your next vacation.

 

1. Get a free button if you’re celebrating a birthday, first Disney visit, or other special occasion.

You can pick up a button at almost any store in either theme park and always at the Guest Relations kiosk just inside both theme parks.

And if you’re staying at a Disney Resort hotel, you’ll get a call from a character wishing you Happy Birthday.

It’s likely you’ll get special perks just for wearing your button around the park. For example, on my son’s birthday, he received a free cupcake when a Cast Member noticed his birthday badge.

 

2. Avoid standing in line a second time with Disney’s free Rider Switch service.

With Rider Switch, one parent can wait with the baby or toddler while the rest of the family enjoys the ride or attraction. Once they’re finished riding, the waiting parent can go on the ride and can bring a second person (even if they just went) without waiting in any lines.

The rides that offer a Rider Switch pass include:

  • Autopia
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Gadget’s Go Coaster
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.

 

3. Skip the longest ride lines with your free FASTPASS.

Instead of waiting in the longest lines, get everyone in your group a FASTPASS when you first arrive.

FASTPASS kiosks are located near the entrance of select rides (the rides with typically long lines). Some of these rides include:

  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Splash Mountain
  • Space Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Fantasmic!
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Buzz Lighyear Astro Blasters
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • It’s a Small World

The FASTPASS is available on a first-come, first-served basis and is not guaranteed.

Take your groups’ park tickets, and insert them in the kiosk to get your FASTPASS for the ride — but remember each person can only have one FastPass ticket at a time. Check the Return Time, and make sure it works for you then insert your admission ticket into the kiosk. You’ll get a FASTPASS receipt with the Return Time window.

Once you have a FASTPASS, you can do whatever you’d like until it’s time for you to ride the ride! Head straight to the front of the line without waiting!

 

4. Trade pins with any Disney Cast Member who’s wearing a lanyard.

There are a few rules to this memorable (and totally free) activity, like it must be a Disney pin, and pins must be in good condition.

 

5. Drive the Mark Twain riverboat.

When the boat is operating, you can ask to be selected as an honorary riverboat captain. You’ll get to steer the boat and take a trip around the river in the pilot’s quarters. You may even receive a certificate for your good driving.

It’s possible that the Cast Members will just select a family with a young child.

 

 

6. Collect free stickers.

Survey takers, street sweepers and Cast Members are some of the few that may hand out free stickers if you ask!

 

7. Get a free souvenir map after taking the Jungle Cruise.

After enjoying the world famous Jungle Cruise, ask one of the Cast Members for a map of the attraction to keep as a free souvenir.

 

8. Play musical chairs with Alice and the Mad Hatter.

This is not your typical musical chairs when the Mad Hatter is involved. What are the rules? Well, according to the Mad Hatter, there are NO RULES!

This activity is a regular event at Refreshment Corner (aka Coke Corner) in Disneyland Park, and if you’re around, you may be chosen to play!

 

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9. Ride the Lilly Belle train.

On select days when the Lilly Belle is up and running (and if you get there early enough), you can ask to reserve a spot on the private Lilly Belle train.

Make your first stop at the train station and ask the Steam Train Cast Member which side to go to for the Lilly Belle. Sometimes, they only do one ride on the Lilly Belle train, so don’t get your hopes up.

 

10. Visit the pet cemetery at the Haunted Mansion.

This little-known tour is only offered if you ask a Cast Member to take you on it. You’ll get a quick tour of the mini-gravestones surrounding the Haunted Mansion’s exterior.

 

11. Get a free birthday dessert at a table service restaurant.

Almost every table service restaurant will celebrate your birthday with a free dessert. Just mention you’re celebrating a birthday when you book your reservations.

 

12. Get free water at any counter-service restaurant within the park.

 

 

13. Memorize the schedule for live bands, firework shows and other entertainment.

Want to watch the beloved fireworks show or a live band or parade? This schedule has all the times for every day that you need to memorize to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

 

14. Get all the character autographs you want.

Bring an autograph book from home, and ask each character you see to sign the book and take a photo with the kids.

 

15. Get free photos when you get the MaxPass.

Get free photos with the unlimited Disney PhotoPass. You can download and share photos from select dining locations, attractions, Character Greetings, Disney PhotoPass Photographers and Magic Shots.

Disney PhotoPass attraction photos are available at these locations.

  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Disney’s PCH Grill in Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
  • Goofy’s Kitchen in The Disneyland Hotel
  • Plaza Inn in Disneyland Park
  • The MaxPass costs $10 per ticket per day, but it’s well worth it. Check out the other benefits here.

 

16. Get a driver’s license in line at Autopia.

You can grab a free driver’s license while in line at Autopia. They are paper and not customized, but it’s a fun and free way to remember your trip.

 

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17. Try bread samples from Boudin Bakery.

Try a free sample of bread when you take the tour in Disney California Adventure. Hours are updated daily, so check out this page to plan your tour!

 

18. Get a chocolate square from Ghirardelli.

When you go to the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate shop in Disney California Adventure, everyone is welcomed with a free sample of chocolate from a Cast Member.

 

19. Draw a Disney character for free at the Animation Academy.

Visit the Animation Academy at Hollywood Land in Disney California Adventure to learn how to draw a Disney character from a Disney artist.

You get to keep your drawing as a keepsake to remember your Disney vacation.

 

20. Snag Mardi Gras beads in New Orleans Square.

When you head to the French Market or in the streets of New Orleans Square, jazz musicians throw out beads just like they do in New Orleans when your kids are dancing around.

 

 

21. Get hats and horns on New Year’s Eve.

If you head to Disneyland on New Years Eve, you’ll get free hats and horns to celebrate.

 

22. Get a Senior Wilderness Explorer Sticker.

When you get to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in Disney California Adventure, ask the Cast Member if your kid can become a Senior Wilderness Explorer — and after completing tasks, they can earn a Senior Wilderness Explorer badge.

 

23. Become a Jedi.

If selected, your kids get to dress up in Jedi robes, and they’ll receive a certificate for completing the Jedi Training Academy.

You have to register to participate in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. Your kids must be between the ages of 4 and 12 years old to participate and must be present at the time of registration.

Register at the kiosk located outside the exit to Star Wars Launch Bay. If you are unable to locate the registration kiosk, ask a Cast Member for help. Registration begins when Disneyland opens. Availability is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

24. Free souvenir check.

If you are staying at any of the Disneyland Resort hotels, you may have your package sent directly to your room. Or you can have the packages held in Disneyland Park at the Stroller Rental area, The Star Trader or Pioneer Mercantile and in Disney California Adventure at Elias and Company.

In order for your purchase to be stored at the park, you must have the receipt for the item purchased, and it can’t be a limited edition run.

 

Do you know of any other Disneyland freebies? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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