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Disney Military Benefits [Theme Park, Hotel, Cruise Discounts]

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Carissa Rawson
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Carissa Rawson

Senior Content Contributor

268 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 51U.S. States Visited: 36

Carissa served in the U.S. Air Force where she developed her love for travel and new cultures. She started her own blog and eventually joined The Points Guy. Since then, she’s contributed to Business ...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Disney has a well-established reputation for honoring those who serve our country and their loved ones. However, navigating the landscape of Disney’s military discounts can be challenging if you’re unsure where to start. Disney has special offers on park tickets, resort stays, and cruises. We’ll dig in to discover how Disney salutes our country’s dedicated service members — and, if you’re eligible, how to access these perks.

Military Discounts for Disney Theme Park Tickets

Walt Disney World’s Disney Military Salute Ticket and Disneyland’s Disney Military Promotional Park Hopper Ticket programs have been extended through 2024. These generously discounted programs have been renewed yearly since 2009, but every year, we wait on the edge of our seats to see if they will be renewed because they’re such a popular discount.

You need to meet specific criteria to be eligible. There are slight variations in each park’s requirements, so double-check the links we provide for specifics, but here’s the meat of it:

Eligible Service Member Requirements

To qualify for the discounted ticket, you must meet at least 1 of these requirements:

  • Active or retired U.S. military personnel, including active or retired members of the U.S. National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Military Reserves, and U.S. Department of Defense
  • Honorably discharged veteran with 100% permanent and total (P&T) service-connected disability
  • Active or retired Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS) or Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • A spouse of an eligible service member with an active and valid military ID
  • Military personnel of foreign nations and their family members, when assigned or attached to a U.S. military unit or installation
  • Widowed and non-remarried spouse of personnel who died while on active duty or while in retired status
  • Non-remarried former spouse who was married to military personnel while on active duty for at least 20 years

Ticket Requirements

These tickets are fairly flexible, though there are some requirements of which you’ll need to be aware:

  • The eligible service member or their spouse must be present in the party on the day of activation
  • The same person must use each ticket for the duration of the ticket
  • Tickets are non-transferable
  • The discount cannot be combined with any other offer
  • There is a maximum of 6 passes per eligible service member or their spouse (but not both)
  • Tickets must be purchased at a U.S. military base ticket office

This last requirement means each family can purchase a maximum of 6 passes at Walt Disney World and a further 6 passes at Disneyland Resort. The exception is if both spouses are on active duty or retired military who fall into the categories above.

Hot Tip:

If you have a larger immediate family, such as a spouse and 5 children, Disney will generally make an exception to allow all of you access to a discounted ticket.

One of the most exciting aspects of the discounted tickets, discount aside, is that they do not need to be used consecutively and don’t expire 14 days after first use like standard tickets do.

If you decide to go for a day trip in April but have always wanted to see the magic of Disney during the holidays, that’s completely doable. It’s like a mini-annual pass.

Walt Disney World — Disney Military Salute Ticket

With the Disney Military Salute Ticket (also known as the Armed Forces Salute Ticket), you can save up to 40% on your visit to Walt Disney World, with your most significant savings occurring during the busiest times of the year. The discount is significant thanks to the tiered pricing that standard tickets incur based on demand. Disney Military Salute Tickets don’t have this issue; the ticket price is the same no matter when you visit.

Here’s an example of the price difference you can experience between tickets:

SCROLL FOR MORE
 Disney Military Salute Ticket With Park HopperStandard Ticket With Park HopperDisney Military Salute Ticket With Park Hopper PlusStandard Ticket With Park Hopper Plus
4 Days$369$456.15$399$566.15
5 Days$389$582.59$419$602.59
6 Days$409$598.94$439$618.94

As you can see, there’s a huge difference in how much you’ll need to pay with the military ticket versus a regular ticket.

Hot Tip:

Disney credit cardholders get special park perks, such as discounts on dining and merchandise.

Where Can You Visit With Disney Military Salute Tickets?

There are 2 types of Disney Military Salute Tickets available to service members. The least expensive tickets still include park hopping abilities, which means you can visit multiple Walt Disney World theme parks on the same day.

The Disney Military Salute Ticket With Park Hopper Plus, meanwhile, also provides admission each day to one of the following attractions (based on the length of your ticket):

  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach
  • ESPN World Wide Sports Complex
  • Mini golf courses

Disney Military Salute Ticket Blackout Dates

The blackout dates for Disney Military Salute Tickets change each year. Here are the blackout dates for 2024:

  • March 24, 2024, to April 6, 2024
  • November 24, 2024, to November 30, 2024

Walt Disney World’s military tickets for 2024 expire on December 20, 2024.

Disneyland Resort — Disney Military Promotional Park Hopper Ticket

Disneyland also offers military discount tickets at significantly discounted prices. Here’s what you can expect to pay.

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 Disney Military Promotional Park Hopper TicketStandard Park Hopper TicketDisney Military Promotional Park Hopper Ticket With Genie+Standard Park Hopper Ticket With Genie+
3 Days$269$460$359$550
4 Days$315$515$435$635

Unlike Walt Disney World, these tickets don’t have any blackout dates. However, you must use up all your days by December 13, 2024, or the remainder will be forfeited.

For those who are unfamiliar, Genie+ is the paid version of Disneyland’s old FASTPASS system, which allows you to make ride reservations and skip the general queues.

Standard Military Discounted Tickets

If you aren’t active duty military, retired, or a 100% P&T disabled veteran, you won’t qualify for the Walt Disney World’s Disney Military Salute Ticket or Disneyland’s Disney Military Promotional Park Hopper Ticket. In that case, you may be entitled to a standard military discount ticket.

Unfortunately, the discount is not as steep, and, depending on when you’re going, may just shave a few dollars off the ticket price. Still, it’s better than nothing if you’re considering the regular military discount because you have a party larger than 6 of non-immediate family or friends.

Like the specialty Disney military tickets, you must purchase this ticket type in advance from your MRW office, other eligible base ticketing offices, or Shades of Green, the military-owned Walt Disney World hotel.

Bottom Line:

Disney offers theme park discounts for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, though the ticket price will depend on your military status.

Military Discounts at Disney Hotels

Walt Disney World Resort

The Walt Disney World Resort has more than 25 hotels available for guests. As you can imagine, it’s a sprawling complex.

Those with the same eligibility requirements for Disney Military Salute Tickets can also score deals on Walt Disney World Resort hotel stays.

To book rooms at discounted rates, call 407-939-7830. Note that the longest period you’ll be able to stay is 14 nights. There are also restrictions on which room types and resorts are eligible for this offer.

Shades of Green

Although it is owned by the Department of Defense (DoD), Shades of Green is considered a Walt Disney World Resort hotel due to its location within the grounds. Not everyone is eligible to stay here, though thanks to the Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018, many more veterans are now allowed access.

Shades of Green is considered a moderate Disney hotel, but it’s an upgraded version. The rooms are larger than those in other moderate hotels, and the amenities resemble those of a Deluxe Resort.

If you’re eligible to stay here, Shades of Green may be the best value for your money. The price for the standard room, which can sleep up to 5 people, starts at $174 per night for E1 to E6 active military personnel — the price increases for other tiers, including officers and veterans.

Shades of Green pricing
Pretty inexpensive! Image Credit: Shades of Green
Hot Tip:

Disneyland Resort

Even without a dedicated military hotel like Shades of Green, Disneyland does offer military discounts on hotel and resort stays. To book this offer, call 833-618-0536.

From what we can tell, because the inventory is constantly fluctuating, so are the prices. If you have the freedom of price and time of year, it’s best to call and ask what will give you the best value and try to base your trip around that.

For example, we checked out a 2-night stay at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa in mid-August. Standard rooms, which are the least expensive, were going for $683 per night before taxes.

Disney Grand Californian pricing
Image Credit: Disney

However, when we called to ask for the military discount, we were quoted $614 per night. That’s a decent chunk of change, especially during the summer season.

Hot Tip:

Use your Disney® Premier Visa® Card or your Disney® Visa® Card to pay for your stay and get promotional 0% financing for 6 months!

Military Discounts at Disney Cruise Line

We’d be remiss not to include discounts available for Disney Cruise Line! Eligibility requirements are similar to those who qualify for the Disney Military Salute Ticket or Disneyland’s Disney Military Promotional Park Hopper Ticket, including active duty, retirees, and those who are 100% P&T disabled.

Only 50 rooms per cruise are available with the military discount, so they sell out quickly. Be sure to check frequently to see which cruises are being offered with a discount, and call 800-951-3532 to make reservations as soon as they are available.

Beyond this, you’re only entitled to 1 discounted room per sailing, so if you travel in a large group, you’ll want to consider the cost of a second room.

Although Disney Cruise Line sailings tend to be more expensive than other cruise lines, they’re also high-quality and a lot of fun. The military discount you can receive can also significantly drop the cost.

For example, you can book a 12-night cruise in a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah for $9,744 with a military discount. That’s a lot, but who wouldn’t love to visit Norway and Iceland?

Disney Cruise Line military discount cruise
Image Credit: Disney Cruise Line

That same cruise for regular guests, however, is $14,242.

Disney Cruise Line full price
Image Credit: Disney Cruise Line

That’s a savings of $4,498 or nearly 32%!

Final Thoughts

Disney is a world of its own. So many of us go there to escape the stressors of everyday life and immerse ourselves in the dreamlike wonder of being a kid again. What better gift to our military personnel than to make that magic accessible to those who need it most and their respective families?

From park tickets to hotel discounts and even special rates on cruises, Disney does service members proud by offering significant savings to those who are eligible.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much of a discount does military get at Disneyland?

Eligible members of the military, as well as retirees and those with a 100% permanent and total disability are entitled to special perks at Disney. This includes a savings of up to 40% on theme park tickets and similar discount on hotels.

Who qualifies for military salute tickets?

To qualify for the discounted ticket, you must meet at least 1 of these requirements:
  • Active or retired U.S. military personnel, including active or retired members of the U.S. National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Military Reserves, and U.S. Department of Defense
  • Honorably discharged veteran with 100% permanent and total (P&T) service-connected disability
  • Active or retired Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS) or Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • A spouse of an eligible service member with an active and valid military ID
  • Military personnel of foreign nations and their family members, when assigned or attached to a U.S. military unit or installation
  • Widowed and non-remarried spouse of personnel who died while on active duty or while in retired status
  • Non-remarried former spouse who was married to military personnel while on active duty for at least 20 years

Does military park for free at Disney?

Military members don’t get free parking at Disney theme parks. However, those who are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel are able to park for free at the theme parks.

 

Is there a military discount at Disney?

Yes! If you’re serving or have served, Disney offers discounts to you. Check out our article for more info.

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About Carissa Rawson

Carissa served in the U.S. Air Force where she developed her love for travel and new cultures. She started her own blog and eventually joined The Points Guy. Since then, she’s contributed to Business Insider, Forbes, and more.

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