It’s here! Disney has extended their military discount (formerly known as the Armed Forces Salute) once more! With the extended closure of the parks that happened, Disney extended the expiration dates of 2020 tickets into 2021 a while ago. And today they announced even more information for 2021! Here are some things you should know.
**FYI, there is an update to this post on February 9, 2021. You can see it here.**
1. Who is Eligible? – Any active duty or retired Service member, National Guardsman, Reservist, or Coast Guardsman is eligible. Foreign military assigned to US military bases (with a US ID card) in the United States are eligible, as are 100% disabled members with an ID card that says “DAV/PRIM”. Retired and active members of the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS) and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are also eligible. If the eligible member is not present, their spouse (or un-remarried widow) is eligible. Even within these rules there are complicated situations, so call Disney (or ask in the comments section below) if you still have questions.
2. What are the Dates? – The 2021 promotion for Walt Disney World runs from January 1, 2021 through December 17 of 2021. As mentioned above, all tickets purchased in 2020 will not expire until September 26, 2021! It’s important to know that these tickets are not like typical Disney tickets in that they do not expire 14 days after the first use. You can use 2 days in May and 2 days a month later if you like. Right now, all tickets must be purchased by February 14, 2021. Hopefully that will be extended soon!
3. How Many Tickets Can I Buy? – Each eligible member can buy 6 tickets at Disney World from December 19, 2020 – February 14, 2021. If an eligible member purchases all 6 tickets from December 19 – February 14, they will not be eligible for more tickets if Disney extends the purchase dates in 2021. If the member’s immediate family is larger than 6, Disney will allow them to buy more. Immediate family includes the spouse and dependent children: Not nieces, nephews, grandparents, etc. The tickets for the extra family members must be purchased in person at Disney.
4. How Much are the Disney World Tickets? – There are 4-day, 5-day, and 6-day Park Hopper tickets for Disney World. Park Hopper tickets allow guests to visit different theme parks on the same day without using another day of admission. The discount is significant; they’re a little under half price of a similar full-price ticket. The 4-day Park Hopper ticket is $265, the 5-day Park Hopper ticket is $283 and the 6-day Park Hopper ticket is $301. The prices do not include tax, which you will pay if you purchase them in person at Walt Disney World.
5. Is Disneyland Participating in 2021? – Although 2020 ticket expiration dates were extended earlier this year, no information has been released on extending the promotion for Disneyland yet. I would love a crystal ball for that one!
6. Where Can I Buy Tickets? – The first place I would suggest buying tickets is your local ITT (Information, Tickets and Tours) on base. As a caution, many bases do not keep the tickets in stock, and they must be ordered. I’d recommend ordering them 3 weeks or so before you need them. If you aren’t able to get to a base to purchase them and really want to save sales tax, Shades of Green at Disney World is another option. Shades of Green will let you order the tickets by phone, fax, or email. A third option is to find a base that will let you order them online or by phone. There are a few, like Camp Pendleton, that have allowed this in the past. If you don’t buy your tickets on base, the most convenient option is to buy the tickets at Disney. You can get them at Guest Services in Disney Springs, or at any ticket window at Disney World.
7. How Do I Activate the Tickets? – If you purchase the tickets on base, they must still be activated once you arrive at the parks. Disney will gather information about everyone that will be using the tickets, and a valid ID card must be shown at time of activation. If you buy them at Disney, they are activated at time of purchase. You do not have to use them the day they are activated. To save yourself long lines in the morning, you may want to activate them the night before you use them. You can activate tickets at any park ticket window, the TTC, or Guest Services at any park or Disney Springs.
8. Do Park Reservation Systems Work with Military Tickets? – Absolutely! Military tickets will link the same as any other tickets. As soon as you purchase your ticket, link them to your My Disney Experience account. They will still need activating if you purchased them on base, but they will work for making park reservations.
9. Are There Any Room Discounts Available? – Yes, there are! The 2021 military room discounts at Disney World were released this week. There must be an eligible member in one of the rooms, and the number of rooms that are offered is limited. The discounts are up to 40%. Availability goes quickly at popular times, so I’d recommend booking as soon as possible! There are a few blocked out resorts and room types, but most Disney resorts are included. When and if the Disney Dining Plan returns, it can be added to the room discount as well if you like. It is not discounted beyond the normal Disney price.
10. Are There Any Disney Cruise Discounts? – There are not any standard cruise discounts included with the Armed Forces Salute, but Disney does offer military discounts for cruises regularly. Scott Sanders posts a good list of them, weekly on The Disney Cruise Line Blog. They are offered on sailings that aren’t filling up and are usually announced around 60 days before sail dates, although they can be announced much earlier. The eligible group for these discounts is expanded to include Department of Defense civilian personnel. The offers are valid for one stateroom per military member (or spouse) per sailing.
Bonus – Eligible members can purchase up to two Memory Makers for $98 from December 19, 2020 until February 14, 2021.
Do you have any questions about these discounts? Ask them here!
Tammy Whiting is the owner of Storybook Destinations. Did you know Storybook Destinations offers a complimentary subscription to TouringPlans with qualified Disney and Universal bookings? Click here for a no-obligation quote on your next vacation!