Do you do Disney military-style?
No, I don’t mean morphing into a theme park commando. Disney Parks offer some great perks for our women and men currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as retired military. What better day to discuss Disney military-style than our nation’s Independence Day?
Disney is currently offering Salute to the Armed Forces tickets for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Disneyland is offering a 3-day park hopper for $125.00, while Walt Disney World offers a 4-day park hopper for $156.00. When purchased from your base ticket office (if available), these tickets will be tax-free, but you may be charged a shipping/convenience fee. Both tickets are also able to be purchased (and taxed) at official Disney ticket windows. When traveling to Walt Disney World, these tickets may be purchased tax-free at Shades of Green on Walt Disney World property. The tickets purchased on base and at Shades of Green are vouchers that must be activated at a Walt Disney World or Disneyland ticket window. An eligible service member, retiree or spouse may purchase up to six tickets for the duration of the promotion and must provide proper military ID for purchase and accompany the party for activation. The current Salute tickets must be used by September 28, 2013.
Get Park Wise: Shades of Green also offers discounted tickets for other Orlando area attractions. Proper military ID is required for purchase.
Base ticket offices also offer general ticket discounts that are not as generous as the Salute promotion but will still save a few dollars, as well as tax. Shades of Green offers discounted tickets, also.
Disneyland and Walt Disney World both offer room discounts for eligible members of the military/retirees. In our experience, these offers are 40% off rooms across the board, but as with most things Disney, this is absolutely subject to change. Again, proper military ID is required upon check-in.
Shades of Green is an Armed Forces Recreation Center located in Walt Disney World just “across the street” from Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Similar to a deluxe level resort, this hotel offers large rooms, spa access, two pools, several restaurants and beautiful landscaping at moderate prices. Room rates are based on current rank or rank at time of retirement. Rooms here must be booked directly by the travel party or via specialized military travel agents. Shades of Green also offers occasional room and package discounts, as well.
When visiting Walt Disney World, military members may patronize the AAFES store at Shades of Green which offers food items, alcohol, souvenirs and sundries (tax-free, of course!). There are also car rental services, as well as tickets for other area attractions available for use of eligible members.
Get Park Wise: Each of the perks listed may require different military status, so be sure to check official Disney or military sites for specifics.
Both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom host the long-standing tradition of the Main Street Flag Retreat Ceremony. This daily flag lowering features a veteran of the day chosen from among the guests that morning. There is conflicting discussion about how the veteran of the day is selected. I will say that we requested the honor as a surprise for our retired Marine Corps captain, but others have noted they were told the veteran is picked at random. If you’re interested, I always contend that there’s no harm in asking at City Hall, and you can always sport a military symbol to show the Main Street Ops eyes that you may be eligible.
Are you military? Have you been able to take advantage of any of these Disney offerings? What do you recommend to fellow military when traveling to Disney?