15 Fun & Free Things to Do in Orlando at Night

February 11, 2022

When the sun goes down, Orlando heats up. What can you do in the City Beautiful at night without breaking the bank?

Orlando is known for its world-class theme parks such as Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, but these attractions tend to come with a hefty price tag. Looking for free things to do in Orlando at night? You're in luck!

There is safety in numbers, so a bustling theme park city like Orlando is the ideal spot to spend the evening into all hours of the night. Whether you go for the week, a weekend, or a day, one thing is sure: your nights in Orlando will be for the vacation books.

Known for hot weather, cool cypress trees, and anything but mediocre ways to have a good time, Orlando is a Central Florida gem. Here are 15 free things you won’t want to miss when you’re there!

ICON Park

If you want to ride The Wheel at ICON Park in Orlando, you’ll need some cash, but the view is completely free! It’s a mesmerizing light show ready to electrify your night. Conveniently located on International Drive, ICON park also offers free parking and admission 365 days a year!

The Wheel at ICON Park lit up red and white at night in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: ICON Park via Facebook

Disney Springs

While Disney theme parks don’t offer free admission, there are still many free things to do at Walt Disney World. Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney, is completely free to enter! This is the perfect place to get a dose of Disney without shelling out dough for tickets. 

Related Post: The Grown-Up Guide to a Walt Disney World® Vacation for Adults

An exciting atmosphere of nighttime activity is reason enough to visit, but there are ways to fill your time for free, too. The stores are open until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and stay open until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Get your fill of window shopping or check out the LEGO store to play with the colorful blocks for free! 

Pro Tip: Free parking is available at Disney in these garages: Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, and Lime.

Take a free bus ride to ooh and ah at any of the Disney Resorts. Even better, take a water taxi! Hop on at Disney Springs and let the waves carry you to your next destination. The light reflecting on the water at night is a sight to behold!

Ground view of Disney Springs shops at night in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Disney Springs via Facebook

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

Complimentary tours and tasting can be found at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards! Set on a gorgeous 127-acre estate, this winery is the largest in the Sunshine State. Tours run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. Start your evening here before grabbing dinner! 

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Another way to experience the magic of Disney for free is at the Animal Kingdom Lodge! Take a bus and get off at the Jambo House stop. Once you get there, first take a quick trip to the check-in desk and ask about the scavenger hunts. 

The best thing about the Animal Kingdom Lodge, however, is it offers free animal viewing on the trails behind the resort. Giraffes and zebras and ostriches, oh my! Take a walk on the wild side and mingle among your favorite creatures. 

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Walt Disney World®: Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

Photo Alert: Grab some binoculars and hunt for your favorite animal like you’re on a safari. Once you find it, capture it on camera to rack up all the likes! 

Lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom - Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Walt Disney World via Facebook

Popcorn Flicks in the Park

Catch a flick for free! Popcorn Flicks in the Park is typically hosted on the second Thursday of each month. Featuring classic films, this event is for the whole family! Bring a blanket and some snacks, then snuggle in for a night of movie magic under the stars.

Pro Tip: Prepare to be flexible with your movie plans. Movies typically start at 7 p.m. or 8 p.m., but it all depends on sunset. It’s also up to Florida’s temperamental weather. In case it rains, be ready with a backup plan.

Lake Eola Park

Lake Eola Park is teeming with free things to do at night. Gaze at a stunning view of the Orlando skyline aglow against a night sky backdrop. Bask in the nighttime beauty of the lake, dotted with swans and surrounded by sweet-smelling flowers.

Visit on the right night to catch a free concert or show at the Walt Disney Amphitheater. Regardless of what’s going on at the Amphitheater, though, the park offers a show each night! Starting at 8 p.m., the Lincoln E. Allen fountain in the middle of the lake turns into a dazzling light show spectacle.

Magic Kingdom Fireworks

The wonder of the Magic Kingdom theme park is so inescapable, you can experience it beyond the park borders. Fireworks burst like pixie dust over the Magic Kingdom each night and can be seen from miles away.

Watch the sizzles and pops at the Ticket and Transportation Center outside the park for free! Resorts around the area also offer great views, like the Polynesian Village Resort and the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. 

Related Post: Orlando on a Budget: How to Save BIG With a Go City Pass

Pro Tip: Disney parades were formerly a free park experience, but are currently unavailable due to COVID-19. Check Disney’s website for more information and updates.

bright yellow fireworks shooting over the Walt Disney World Cinderella Castle in Orlando, Florida, USAElectrical Water Pageant Show

Beyond the fireworks, there are more Disney spectacles that can be seen from outside the parks! The Electrical Water Pageant, which takes place on the Seven Seas Lagoon, is one such show. Featuring magical sea creatures and some of your favorite Disney songs, don’t miss this maritime display.

Find a spot outside Magic Kingdom, the Wilderness Lodge, or the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to view the pageant as it lights up the night!

Old Town Car Cruises

Weekly car cruises are an Old Town tradition for automobile fanatics. Friday nights are for the muscle cars and Saturday nights are for the classic cars.

Choose your favorite night to take in the sight. Can’t choose? Just show up for both. The cruises are free, after all! Special free events and festivals are held throughout the year, too.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Show

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort hosts a nightly show at the Harbor Piazza. Once sunset hits, the “Musica della Notte” show bursts to life to delight guests with dreamy Italian-inspired music.

Classically trained performers rotate through show themes, including Romantico Night, Classico Night, and Italian Festival Night.

Related Post: Universal Studios vs. Islands of Adventure: An Inside Look at Universal Orlando's Theme Parks

Universal CityWalk

Did you know you can park at Universal Orlando Resort for free after 6 p.m. each night? Once you’re parked, it’s completely free to walk around CityWalk! This entertainment complex is a hub of captivating sights and sounds. Free activities are available, too, such as live DJ sets, dance parties, and splash areas for the kiddos.

Disney's Boardwalk

Promenade across Disney’s BoardWalk in the EPCOT resort area without dropping any cash! Lined with free entertainment (think street performers and activities) at night, walking along the BoardWalk is magical, budget-friendly fun. 

Stroll next to Crescent Lake underneath calming moonlight. If you prefer to keep things a little livelier, the Atlantic Dance Hall is ready for you to bust a move.

Pro Tip: Free parking is limited, so we recommend using Disney’s complimentary transportation to avoid any parking snafus! 

Ground view of Disney's Boardwalk at nights with lots of lights on and the buildings reflections in the water in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Walt Disney World via Facebook

Gardens

The thought of maneuvering through theme park crowds may have you craving a more spacious outing. Luckily, the City Beautiful has a couple of luscious gardens to stroll through. Ah, a breath of fresh air!

Harry P. Leu Gardens stretches across 50 acres. Each acre is filled with botanical artistry. Free entry is available for all on the first Monday of the month throughout the spring and summer months. Check the website to plan your free visit!

Pro Tip: Harry P. Leu Gardens closes at 5 p.m., so take your Secret Garden-inspired walk early in the evening, before heading out to dinner or another free activity!

The Kraft Azalea Garden is another plant life sanctuary in nearby city Winter Park. It’s open until dusk and totally free! Glory beneath a stunning sunset surrounded by a delightful floral aroma.  

Related Post: Current Festivals and Events in Orlando

Art Galleries

If the art scene is more your scene, Orlando is loaded with galleries to leave you inspired. Many local art galleries offer free admission on certain days, including:

Photo Alert: Add another artsy square to your Instagram profile when you pose in front of your favorite piece of art. Just make sure photographs are allowed before you snap one! 

Exterior view of Rollins Museum of Art, a large tan and beige budding with a tower over the entrance and flat roofing with green shrubs along the sidewalk in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Rollins Museum of Art via Facebook

Shopping

When you’re trying to spend your evening on a tight budget, take the opportunity to window shop! Disney Springs offers an impressive portfolio of your favorite stores, and so does the Mall at Millenia. If you’re a true shopaholic, you’ll probably want to opt for another way to spend your free time.

Pro Tip: Most farmers’ markets take place during the day, but we wanted to give some pre-evening plan options to those who like to shop small! Our top picks of Orlando farmers’ markets include:

What Did we Miss?

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