If you have an active duty, reserve or retired military veteran in your family like I do, then you have no doubt searched for discounts at Disney. Luckily, Disney does a great job of honoring our military service men and women at the parks. Below I will break down all the discounts, tips and tricks my family has uncovered over the years and hopefully help you take advantage of your hard earned military benefits at Disney!
Disney’s Military Salute Tickets
Disney’s main Military discount program is through their discounted tickets with the Military Salute Tickets. These are 4 and 5 day park hopper or park hopper plus (includes waterparks) tickets available to active duty, reserve and retired military personnel. These tickets are priced as follows:
- 4 day park hopper $349 (vs $616.63 for average guest)
- 4 day park hopper plus $379 (vs $636.63 for average guest)
- 5 day park hopper $369 (vs $669.69 for average guest)
- 5 day park hopper plus $399 (vs $689.69 for average guest)
These are the prices as of January 1st, 2023 through December 15th, 2023 and it is noted on the Disney website that they could be cheaper at on base locations but will never be more. As you can see by comparison it really is a significant discount. You can also purchase 1 day tickets at a slight discount but it is not as significant as the 4 and 5 day tickets.
Where & How Do I Get Military Salute Tickets?
Active duty, reserve and retired military personnel and their spouses can purchase these tickets on military installations where recreation and entertainment can be booked, ours was on MCAS Cherry Point at the Travel and Leisure shop. Tickets can also be purchased day of at any ticket counter in the parks, although I do not recommend this as you may not be able to get the park reservations you want when you get your tickets last minute.
You will have to show your military ID to purchase the tickets.
How Do I Use My Military Salute Tickets?
You can use these tickets just like a regular park ticket. You can link them into your My Disney Experience app where they then will be linked to any Magic Bands you have linked to your account and you can attach them to the people in your party.
From there you can make your park reservations for the days you plan to use your tickets!
The military member or spouse will need to show ID at Guest Relations on the first day of your trip in order to activate the tickets. You will not have to do this everyday, just the first time you are using the tickets, after that it’s just like any other ticket to scan into the parks!
Are There Any Restrictions?
There are a few dates that are blacked out for these tickets but not many. Those dates are:
- April 2-15
- November 19-25
- December 16-31
Other than those dates, you can use your tickets anytime between January 1-December 15th, 2023.
The only other restriction on the Military Salute program is that each military member or spouse can only purchase up to 6 tickets within one year.
Special Ticketed Events
These tickets must be purchased through the Shades of Green ticket office in advance or in person by filling out a form and submitting it with proper identification. Something that I discovered on one of our trips is that even on sold out nights, military tickets may still be available!
Due to the fact that you sometimes have no choice but to get them day of, you can go to the ticket office at Magic Kingdom with your valid military ID and purchase your party tickets while supplies last. There is no guarantee they will not be sold out of the military tickets, but even if the regular tickets are sold out you may still be able to get some!
Prices for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party range from $146-$176 for adults and $136-$166 for children 9 and under, depending on the night. Compared to $149-$199 for adults and $139-$189 for children 9 and under, it may not be a huge discount but every little bit helps!
Prices for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party range from $106.25-$205 for adults and $96.75-$185 for children 9 and under, depending on the night. Compared to $109-$199 for adults and $99-$189 for children 9 and under, again not a huge savings but some savings is better than none!
These prices are what was charged for 2022 so they could change for 2023, we will update when new pricing is announced.
Hotel and Resort Discounts
So what about the hotels and resorts on Disney property? Well, they have discounts there as well and even an entire resort that is for military and their families exclusively! Let’s dive in!
Shades of Green Resort
This is a beautiful resort that is walking distance to Magic Kingdom! Shades of Green is located right by the monorail loop resorts and has sidewalks that you can take to those resorts. It is owned and operated by the DOD and just located on Disney property, not owned by Disney. It is considered an Armed Forces Recreation Center and is dedicated to offering service men and women a low cost, high quality option for their Disney Vacation.
Rooms and Prices
Room prices vary based on military rank and status and range from $163/night for a standard room all the way up to $669/night for a suite that sleeps 10 people! Obviously these rates are exceptionally lower than the deluxe Disney resorts right across the street!
Shades of Green offers a variety of room options. Standard and Pool View rooms that sleep up to 5, Junior and Garden Suites that sleep 6, Family Suites that sleep 8 and the Palm and Magnolia Suites that sleep 10 people.
The rooms are beautifully decorated and feel very Florida!
Shades of Green offers everything you would expect from a deluxe resort! They have two pools, the Mill Pond Pool and the Magnolia Pool. Both are heated year round and have lifeguards and life jackets available for guests. The Mill Pond Pool has a splash pad and water slide and you may even see Mickey there!
There are also playgrounds, an arcade, pool tables, bus service to the parks, the Magnolia Spa and a fitness center for guests to enjoy. Shades of Green is even right between two PGA golf courses!
This resort even has it’s own version of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique that is significantly cheaper. Located inside the Magnolia Spa, a princess makeover is only $35 and a Pirate Club experience is only $20. They even tell you to take your receipt to the exchange shop for an exclusive discount on a princess dress!
For shopping, there is an Exchange by the Ticket Sales Office where you can get odds and ends you may need as well as tax free souvenirs at a fraction of the cost you will find in the parks!
There are lots of dining options at Shades of Green as well. The quick service/buffet restaurant Garden Gallery offers quick meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mangino’s is a table service restaurant serving classic steaks and old world Italian dishes for dinner only. Evergreens is located right next to the Mill Pond Pool and serves gastropub favorites, cold beers on tap and is open for lunch and dinner. Finally you have the Express Cafe and Java Coffee where you can grab and go pastries and sandwiches along with Starbucks Coffee. Express Cafe is only open for breakfast and lunch, Java Coffee is open all day.
Just like a lot of the Disney resorts, Shades of Green has some special events that go on seasonally. Right now they have everything from a Tree Lighting to meeting Santa for their Winter Wonderland event in the month of December.
They also have special holiday dining packages and a New Years Eve event at Evergreens. Check ShadesofGreen.org for more information on their seasonal offerings.
Disney Resort Hotel Discounts
Active Duty, retired and reservists also receive a discount on Disney Resort Hotel stays! The discounts range from 30-40% depending on the resort. Value resorts receive a lower discount, moderates a bit higher discount and deluxe the highest discount rate. You must have valid military ID at time of check in and can reserve up to three rooms with the discounted rate.
These discounts are subject to availability and sometimes when you call to make a reservation you just have to ask what resorts have a military discount room available. We have had times where the resort we wanted had the discounted room available and others where we had to stay somewhere else to get the discount. Obviously the busier the time of year, the more likely to have to compromise on where you’re staying to get the discount.
Discounts on Dining, Merchandise and Entertainment
Discounts on things like Dining, Merchandise and Entertainment are all going to be found in Disney Springs for military personnel. I will break it down into lists but just always ask your server or check out person if they offer a military discount when in Disney Springs because you just never know!
- House of Blues
- AMC Dine In Theatre
- Raglan Road
- Cooks of Dubin
- Paradiso 37
- Erin Mckennas Bakery
- Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop
- Rain Forest Cafe
- Polite Pig
- Cirque De Soliel
- AMC Theatre
- House of Blues
- Vera Bradley
- Orlando Harley Davidson
In closing, although no discount could ever be enough for what our men and women in uniform sacrifice for our freedom and country, it is nice that Disney recognizes these amazing individuals in this way. My family has certainly taken advantage of most if not all of these discounts over the years thanks to my husbands service and it made it possible for us to come here on vacations.
I hope this helps you if you too have a service member in your family or travel party. And if you are ever in Magic Kingdom at 5pm, they chose a veteran each day to be honored during the flag retreat. It is a great ceremony that happens everyday with the Main Street Band and Disney Color guard where the Pledge of Allegiance is said and the National anthem is sung. It’s something we try to catch each time we are there! It happens daily at 5pm right outside the train station on Main Street.
Thank you to all of our service men and women, past and present!