Disney World has always had various ways to honor our military. One way they do this is the flag retreat ceremony. It is a unique and longstanding tradition that takes place daily in the Magic Kingdom’s town square at 5 PM.
The ceremony includes a veteran or service member, the honor guard of Walt Disney World security officers, the Main Street Band, and more. The band plays America the Beautiful as the honor guard, band, and selected veteran approach the flag from under the train station. Once they are in place, the Mayor makes announcement and the Pledge of Allegiance is recited. If in the area, your child may be selected to lead the pledge. After the pledge, the band plays the Star Spangled Banner and the flag is taken down. It is folded and presented to the honored veteran. During the folding and handing off, the band leads the crowd in singing God Bless America. They have a brief tribute to the “veteran of the day” followed by the veteran carrying the flag down Main Street USA with the band following, playing a medley of military songs.
To be selected as the veteran that participates in this ceremony, register at guest services the morning you get to the park. Guest service is all the way to left as you enter the Magic Kingdom under the train station. You will need to sign up as early as possible since it is often the first person that signs up. It may be possible to sign up seven days in advance at guest services. If you are staying at a Disney property, your concierge may be able to sign you up. Although veterans are preferred, anyone can request to participate. For being part of the ceremony you receive a pin, certificate and a picture of you at the event.
To see video of this beautiful tradition, check out Disney World’s Blog.
Meagan is our Military Traveling Mom. You can also find her blogging at Mommy Travels. She has a passion for family travel, including maximizing military travel options. For more of Meagan’s adventures find her on facebook Mommy Travels, or follow her on twitter @MommyTravels