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?


Ticket Offers

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.

Room Offers

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.


More Fun

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.

ŸGet 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?

  • bobyetman

    I was one of the ‘veterans of the day’ back in April 2008. My wife called City Hall several days prior to our trip, and they had an open slot they put me in. There were originally two of us, but I remember them adding a third person at the last minute. We had the whole ceremony, complete with band and marching down Main Street. I received a free photo-pass picture of the event, a certificate, and a very special pin.

    • Interesting! I’ve never seen more than one veteran of the day at a single ceremony. Thanks for sharing!

  • That is really neat! Touching that they do this.

    Shades of Green sounds really cool. So it’s right there next to the Polly on the Golf Course?

    • Pretty much! You have to go onto Shades of Green property to access the golf course. Great location!!

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  • Wanda Woman

    Shades of Green started out as a Disney property (the Golf Resort) and supposedly offers the largest regular hotel rooms in the WDW area. Disney even allows SoG guests to take advantage of Magic Hours!

    Wonder Sis is a Navy vet and her husband is an Army retiree, so we’ll be staying at SoG next year for my first ever WDW trip. SQUEEEEEE!

  • Asylim

    This is an excellent way to say thanks to the men and women who serve in the armed forces. They don’t always get the recognition they deserve and many of them would never be able to otherwise afford a trip to Disney.

    Kudos to Disney for doing this.

    Being Canadian I am not aware of any local corporations doing anything remotely similar to this for our Canadian armed forces but anyone (in any country) who serves has my deepest and utmost respect and thanks.

    • Thanks for your thoughts! We love that Disney rewards our armed forces, too!

  • mkcoastie

    Awesome article! I have used both the Salute tickets and the resort discount. My recomendation to any other service men or women out there is use the Discount, not shades of green (at least for now). The discounts offered on the rooms (as well as the salute tickets) may not always be around. The offer has been “renewed” around October for the last couple of years, but WDW may decide at any time to no longer offer this. So use this opertunity to do some once in a lifetime stays at some of Disney’s deluxe level hotels. Thank you all for your support, and thank those of you who are serving!

    • I feel similarly. We LOVE the atmosphere of the Disney resorts, so we tend to use the room discounts. We do stop by SoG for tickets and if we need anything from the AAFES. It is a very nice place to stay, though, and we have done so on a couple of occasions.

  • Lord Alfred

    As Wanda Woman pointed out, Shades of Green started off as a normal Disney resort. First it was called the Golf Resort, and then they changed the name and theme to The Disney Inn. My family and I stayed at this resort a couple of times during the Disney Inn period. It was off the beaten path since there was no monorail access, but the rooms were large and very comfortable, and the price was a bargain compared to the monorail resorts. There was no grand lobby but since the resort is located right next to the golf courses the grounds were very well kept. We enjoyed our stays there and while we were sad that the resort was no longer an option for us when it became Shades of Green, we were very happy that our hard-working military men and women had a place to call their own on WDW property.

    • Thanks for commenting! It’s a great resort, and you should stop in for an ice cream sometime for nostalgia’s sake. 🙂

  • Susan Hughes

    Whenever I’m at Disneyland, I make it a point to observe the flag retreat ceremony in the afternoon. All current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces (and their family members) stand at attention by the flag.
    It’s always very touching to see the small children standing at attention with their military moms and dads. I remember one little girl dressed as a Princess standing amongst a sea of grown men, but proudly saluting during the National Anthem. Brought me to tears.

    • I bet that was a great moment! The retreat is always a special moment, but when our family was involved, it was just amazing! My niece even joined in by leading the Pledge of Allegiance with the Dapper Dans!

  • Tigertail777

    Mom and Dad have never been to WDW, but have been wanting to go for a while. Dad was in the Navy for almost 30 years. We can’t go this year as we just don’t have the money, will there still be any kind of discounts on park tickets and hotels after September? We are tentatively planning on going in early December of next year so mom can see the holiday decorations around the parks, and we can combine what we would normally spend for Christmas towards the trip. They are both starting to get in poor health and I fear this may be their last big vacation they can enjoy before worse health keeps them at home more. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • There are always discounted and tax-free tickets available at Shades of Green, as well as the rooms for retired military (and, of course, active duty). However, there is no confirmation of any extension of the current deal or the introduction of a new promotion for special tickets or military room discounts at Disney owned and operated resort hotels. Keep an eye out this fall, though, as they’re typically announced during September/October.