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Missed birthdays. Holidays with an empty chair at the table. These things happen in military families. So vacations are always extra special and Disney World trips are the best of all. Here’s how to take advantage of Disney World military discounts, including eligibility, ticket pricing and the best military discount you might not know about!
Military Discounts at Disney Will Save You Money
My husband and I are both retired from the United States Air Force. We know all about juggling to make family time happen. Cancelling a trip because of deployments or duty schedules is part of military life. That definitely isn’t fun and just one of the sacrifices the whole family makes when one of their own is serving in the military.
We are so grateful that Walt Disney World in Florida offers so many opportunities to give back to service members who are planning those magical vacations. I hope this info will make your leisure time a little easier on your bank account.
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How to Save Money at Disney: A Few Things to Know
Eligibility for Disney Military Discounts
The biggest discounts for military are on park tickets and resort hotel rooms. This is limited to active duty military and retired military with valid military ID.
An eligible service member is defined by Disney as “active or retired U.S. military personnel (including active or retired members of the National Guard, Reservists, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).”
Please note this discount is not available to Department of Defense Civil Service workers and contractors.
Check Out Other Discounts Too
The military discount might not always be the best one. Disney routinely offers discounts and specials to the general public, so make sure you are shopping around.
Valid Military ID Required
We know you don’t leave home without it but you’ll need to show your valid military ID to get the discounts mentioned in this article
1. Disney World Theme Park Tickets – Disney Military Promotional Tickets
Walt Disney World theme park tickets can easily be the most expensive part of a Disney vacation. Disney helps make those ticket purchases sting a little bit less for military members.
For 2021 (through 12/17), eligible service members* may purchase 4 or 5 day promotional tickets. Disney Military Promotional Tickets were formerly Disney Armed Forces Salute. These tickets are deeply discounted Disney tickets. An average 5 day Park Hopper Option ticket runs close to $600 so you’ll be saving almost 50%.
Pricing for Disney Military Promotional Ticket
- With the Park Hopper Option: $315 plus tax
- With the Park Hopper Plus Option: $345 plus tax
- With the Park Hopper Option: $296 plus tax
- With the Park Hopper Plus Option: $326 plus tax
Park hopping adds the flexibility to visit more than one park in a day. Currently, park hopping can only take place after 2:00 p.m. Read here for the latest info about visiting Walt Disney World.
Park Hopper Plus includes water parks, mini golf, the NBA Experience and events at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Limitations on purchases apply:
“No more than six (6) Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased and (if applicable) activated by any Eligible Service Member or spouse during the period of December 19, 2020, through December 31, 2021 (e.g., Eligible Service Members or spouses who purchase six (6) Disney Military Promotional Tickets during the period of December 19, 2020 through February 14, 2021 will not be eligible for any other offers of the Disney Military Promotional Tickets in 2021).”
2. Disney Resort Hotels
Disney also offers special savings on resort hotel rooms. The current discounted rates are available for stays at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels for most nights through 12/17 when you book by 12/17/2021.
The following limitations apply:
- Number of rooms allocated may be limited/blackout dates may apply;
- Length of stay requirements may apply;
- May not be combined with other offer or promotion;
- Additional charges may apply if there are more than two adults per room;
- Certain resorts or room categories are excluded.
The discount will vary based on the category of resort selected (Deluxe, Moderate and Value) and the actual property. The typical discount is 30-40% off regular rates.
For the most reliable information, contact the Disney Resort Team at (407)-939-4249. Admission to the parks or special events is not included with a Walt Disney World Resort hotel stay.
3. Memory Maker Military Discount
In my opinion, this is the absolute best Disney military discount. Memory Maker is pre-paying to download all your Photopass photos and videos for one price. This includes posed shots and action shots from the rides. Purchasing pictures individually is a terrible use of your vacation budget. The package price is the best savings and military discounts make this an awesome deal.
Memory Maker is normally $199 ($169 if you purchase in advance) but military members can purchase it for $98 plus tax at any ticket booth. You have to physically go to a ticket booth to get this discount. You cannot do it online or through the My Disney Experience App.
4. Disney Special Event Parties
Neither event happened in 2020 – no big surprise about that. Disney has not officially released any information about dates or ticket prices for 2021. Whether they’ll offer discount tickets for military families remains to be seen.
In the past, these tickets have sold out quickly. There will probably be capacity limits on these type of events this year. Make sure you jump on those tickets early – discounted or not – if you want to go. We’ll be crossing our fingers for discounts for military. We’ll update you when we know more.
5. Shades of Green Resort
This deluxe resort calls Disney property home and is exclusively for military service members. Room prices are based on military rate/rank and date of stay.
One of the most popular advantages of staying at Shades of Green is their large rooms that sleep five or more. There are a few options at Walt Disney World Resort hotels for non-suite rooms that sleep five people but they can be hard to book during peak periods.
The resort offers an Exchange where you can purchase sundries, snack items and Disney souvenirs – hello tax-free shopping. On site dining is also available. The Exchange store is similar to a shoppette you’d see on a military base.
Shades of Green also sells discount Disney World tickets as well as tickets to other Orlando area attractions. You can purchase tickets in advance of your visit. Tickets will be mailed to you and can take up to three weeks to process. You can send an email to [email protected] and they will send you a list of what’s available and the current process for purchasing discount tickets.
Shades of Green Perks
Shades of Green is included in Disney’s Extended Evening Hours. It counts as a Disney resort for the new Genie+ program, enabling guests staying there access to book Lightning Lanes earlier.
Other perks: Shades of Green offers transportation to the theme parks and guests can also pay with their Military Star Card.
6. Disney Springs Discounts
My philosophy with military discounts is simple: If you don’t ask you then you definitely don’t receive. Military discounts are not always posted, so if you don’t see it, ask if there is one. Here are the Disney Springs discounts we know about. If you know of others, please tell us so we can pass along the savings.
- Aerophile (formally Characters in Flight) – This is the big balloon ride in Disney Springs. The regular price is $20 for adults and $15 for kids ages 3-9. The reported discount is $3 off an adult ticket and $2 off a child’s ticket.
- AMC Dine-In Theater – $2.50 off after 4 p.m. One discount per party
Dining at Disney Springs
In addition to the dining in the parks and at the resorts, there are lots of great restaurants at Disney Springs. We recommend reservations for any sit-down restaurant.
- House of Blues – 25% off
- Raglan Road – 10% off
- Cookes of Dublin – 10% off
- Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop – 20% off
- T-Rex Cafe – 10% off
- Rainforest Cafe – 10% off
- The Polite Pig – 15% off
Shopping at Disney Springs
There are not a ton of military discounts for shopping in Disney Springs. You may get a military discount at these Disney Springs stores:
- Orlando Harley Davidson
- Curl by Sammy Duval
P.S. Don’t forget golfing! Disney has four golf courses and they all offer military discounts. More info here.