As we discussed last week, a Disney trip is no small investment, but there are definitely a few reprieves for the wallet. Last time around, I gave you my favorite freebies at Walt Disney World, this time it’s Disneyland Freebies (or if you’re an over-analyzer, “no extra chargies”).


First, a few freebies I received via email and Facebook from Disneyland and Park Wise fans:

1. Souvenir Plate

“When eating at the Pizza Port, as an adult, you can order off the child’s menu… if you wanted spaghetti, they use a Mickey Mouse plastic type plate (2 ears and face)… after eating your meal, wipe it out and take home with you.  Then you can wash it and use it to hold things like office supplies for example… holds paperclips, etc.  You can decorate your walls if you so desire with it too by using tape.” – Donna C.

2. A List of Goodies from Which to Choose

“Disneyland Freebies: ice water, buttons, art, celebration buttons, honorary citizen buttons, fireside storytelling in the Grand Californian lodge, Cars Land buttons at the Cars Land stores.” -Ari M.


3. Over-the-Counter Medication

“The first aid stations have medication and will give them to people who come in and need them for a headache or stomachache.  My sister had a terrible stomachache and was able to get some Tums.” -Kara L.

Get Park Wise: First aid stations provide a variety of meds such as acetaminophen, antacids, etc. and will provide a couple of doses to guests suffering from any ailments that require them. They also offer bandages, cold packs, gauze, etc.  We normally tote a small first aid kit, but I was able to get a small roll of gauze for a minor injury on our last trip.

4. Carbs!

Much like chocolate, free carbs always deserve a mention.  If you’re enjoying California Adventure, stop in for the Boudin Bakery Tour and get a complimentary nosh of their delicious sourdough.  Larger portions (in cute shapes, too!) are, of course, available for purchase at the end of your tour if that sample got your mouth watering.


Oh, and speaking of chocolate…

5. Chocolate

Yes, same story as last week.  Free bites of amazing at Ghiradelli on the West Coast, too!  Again, free chocolate always gets a thumbs up from me!

Get Park Wise: In case you missed it in the comments last week, one of our readers offers up that if you’re not into the sample of the day, you can request something else.  I’ve never tried this myself, but it seems if they have it available, they may oblige.

6. 5×7 Character Photo

Although this offering does have the caveat of having to be a Visa cardholder, you can score a free 5×7 print of your meet and greet at Disney Visa character location inside California Adventure.  The meet and greet usually takes place in the morning and offers cardholders the chance to have a private audience with a Disney character after which you receive a voucher for your free print.

7. Art of the Craft Grand Californian Tour

Similar to the resort tours mentioned last week, Disney’s Grand Californian offers tours of their beautiful resort.  A knowledgeable guide will give you an inside look at the inspiration for the sprawling resort.  The tour is offered several times a week.  Contact the front desk or concierge for details.


What are your favorite Disneyland freebies?

  • jcruise86

    Excellent list, Jessica! Thank you! I look forward to a Grand CA tour. We’ve gotten a couple of photos free with our Disney Visa card.

    • Claybob

      Great list! I’ve gotten the free photo before. I’ve also used my Disney VISA for a discount at various places to eat. I don’t remember if I had to pay with my VISA or just show it? Do you know?

      • I believe officially you’re supposed to use the Visa, but as with most things Disney, it all depends on your cast member.

    • Thanks! We’ve done the free photo at Epcot occasionally. We don’t schedule our day around it, but if we’re in the area, by all means, we’ll go.

  • Marko50

    First Aid will also hold your medical needs for you. In my case, that includes oxygen tanks (you’re welcome) and insulin which needs to be refridgerated. There is paperwork involved and any meds usually have to be in their own separate labeled containers, but I’m thinking “free” as in you don’t have to get a locker for that stuff. If you don’t feel right and you’re a day visitor, it’s also the place for a short laydown.

    • Another good tip to note that I’d never even have thought of since it’s not come up for us or any of my guests yet. Thanks for sharing!

  • ParkerMonroe

    I’m an over-analyzer.


  • MyFriendtheAtom


    • Celebration buttons, Carsland button and citizen buttons are lots of fun to collect!

  • Cory Gross

    I’m also fond of my Jungle Cruise map I got by politely asking for it at the office as we disembarked, and my Mark Twain Riverboat pilot’s certificate, received at the end of our ride in the pilot house (which you can do by asking politely when you board the boat, and they may oblige if they’re able). I did manage to wing a ticket for the Lilly Belle when it was still available for us peons to ride it if we asked politely (notice a theme?) and there was a conductor to spare. Also, Autopia driver’s licences!

    My all-time favourite Disney freebies, however, are the “story papers” given out upon request at rides in the Tokyo Disney Resort. Since the language barrier is an issue, they offer slips of paper printed with important story information in different languages. I got the ones for Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (both of which look like technical schematics), Tower of Terror (which looks like a newspaper clipping), Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage (which looks like a comic strip with the English translation of the song), and was spontaneously given one for the Mark Twain. They’re wonderful little collectables.

    • I’ve had several people mention the cruise maps after this article posted. Must be a fan fave!

  • Nola ron

    Buttons are giving at the turnstiles Birthday, first Visit, anniversary. Also gotten and honorary button from a custodial cast member. Just politely ask. Was there last week for Birthday and every card member saw it and wish me happy Birthday. Was great.

  • amyuilani

    How about tickets? theoretically they’ll be used, but if the entire family gets the FastPass but grandma does not ride, that’s now a little souvenir you can take home. Put it in your scrapbook, or better yet, make an ornament for your tree out of it. Get creative – whip out the glitter and make a frame for a Fantasyland ticket, or if it’s an Adventureland ride, little twigs in your own backyard. If it’s for Radiator Springs, then some checkered paper (with some patience to cut or color every other square, that is). Not only can you do this with FastPass tickets, you can do this for with your admission tickets or any other souvenir cards you pick up around the resort. What a fun way to create a unique gift or preserve a memory. Also, what fun it will be to sit around the table on a rainy afternoon, chatting with the kids about their favorite moments from this trip!

    • I’ve saved many a FastPass that we didn’t end up using. They make a nice little keepsake, don’t they?

  • fnord

    As long as I’ve got a ticket to the parks, my favorite ”free” activity is riding the world famous rides. Tour a hotel? I travel way to far to waste time outside the park.

  • Kurtoon

    My favorite freebie is the Park Maps.
    Even though our family knows where everything is…we still unfold the maps and look and plan our next snack or attraction.
    I even like seeing other families huddled together viewing a map…cause I know they are plotting some great strategy to have fun.
    A couple of years ago my son was taking a German class at the local Beethoven Maennerchor Halle. So it was fun to get the park maps in German as well.
    They come in quite a few different languages…but not Latin.
    When I get ready for the next Disney trip…I will pull out the dedicated Disney bag, backpack or suitcase.
    And sure enough there area park maps and napkins from our last trip.
    I have to unfold the map and reminisce a bit…it’s the law.

    • My little guy LOVES maps! He’s always picking them up as we head into a park.

  • plzstandclear

    The Grand Californian Tour is really worth your while if you have even a passing interest in architecture. Was the highlight of our stay there!

    • Good to hear! Grand Californian is our next DL stay, so we may give it a try.

  • DebG

    Love your articles Jessica. Just so you know, most Ghirardelli stores that sell their packaged candy will give you a free sample,even at the outlet stores.Still I love going into the California Adventure Ghirardelli store. Its beautiful.

    • I’ve never actually been to a Ghiradelli store outside of the Disney locations. Good to know!! 😉 Thanks!

  • SergM12

    I love this list, I’m currently planning a trip to California and this will help a lot. I hope to see more stuff like this for Universal Studios. Love your site.

    • Thanks so much! Hope you can “cash in” on some of these freebies!

  • jjmaneja

    I am always a fan of the Animator’s Studio free drawing class in DCA. You get to listen to an animator teach you how to draw a character, you get to keep the drawing that you make, and if you are lucky, you get to keep the sketch drawn by the animator (sometimes they give it, sometimes they ask).

    Am I the best artist? No way. But I still hang all my artwork to commemorate each trip to DCA.

    • I’m always amazed at how those classes can bring out my inner artist. I couldn’t draw something on my own, but I can follow directions like a champ! And my finished product usually looks like the real deal! Haha!

  • DobbysCloset

    I have a little packet of yellow Mickey-shaped confetti thrown from a parade.

    I look forward to touring the Grand Californian. It has figured mightily in many of my post-apocalyptic Zombie fantasy scenarios, as that would be the place I intend to “hole up” until humanity regains control.

    When the Mission tortilla factory was open I “politely” ate three flour tortillas hot off the conveyor belt. I explained to the young CM after the first one that, as a Gringa, I had never had a fresh tortilla off Mama’s stove and she sweetly indulged me….

    • Kurtoon

      asking for more fresh hot tortillas is a complement!
      Here in San Antonio it is a must.
      Glad you got to savoir the experience !

    • I love the Mickey confetti! We always pick up a little stash when we see it. 🙂

  • pineapplewhipaddict

    You forgot the Jungle Cruise maps! Of course, they are typically reserved for the youngin’s, but the skippers will give them to adults so inclined if they ask politely 🙂