It’s that time of year again! Disney has released their Armed Forces Salute for 2019! Woohoo! On behalf of all eligible people everywhere – thank you, Disney! I’ve written blog posts on previous offers, but details change a little each year, so this is the 2019 update to those previous posts. I need to point out that Disney has not announced an Armed Forces Salute for Disneyland as of yet, so stay tuned on that one, hopefully. Here are answers to some questions you may have about the Walt Disney World salute.
1. Who Is Eligible? – Any active duty or retired Service member, National Guardsman, Reservist, or Coast Guardsman is eligible. Foreign military assigned to U.S. military bases (with a U.S. ID card) in the United States are eligible, as are 100% disabled members with an ID card that says “DAV/PRIM”. 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 unremarried 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 2019 salute begins on January 1, 2019 and ends on December 19, 2019. Tickets will expire on December 19, 2019 even if there are days left on the ticket.
3. How Many Tickets Can I Buy? – Each eligible member can buy 6 tickets at Disney World during the promotion’s time period. If a member cannot be present, their spouse with a valid ID card can purchase the tickets. 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 both 4-day and 5-day tickets for Disney World, and you can choose Park Hopper, or Park Hopper Plus tickets. Park Hopper tickets allow guests to visit different theme parks on the same day without using another day of admission. Park Hopper Plus tickets allow guests to both park hop and visit Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Wide World of Sports, play nine holes at Disney’s Oak Trail, or play miniature golf before 4 p.m. at Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course or Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course. The discount is significant; they’re a little under half price of a similar full-price ticket. The 4-day Park Hopper ticket is $241 and the 4-day Park Hopper Plus ticket is $291. The 5-day Park Hopper ticket is $257 and the 5-day Park Hopper Plus ticket is $307. These tickets are not like typical Disney tickets in that they do not expire 14 days after the first use. The 2019 tickets will expire on December 19, 2019. You can use 2 days in May and 2 days a month later if you like. The prices do not include tax, which you will pay if you purchase them in person at Walt Disney World.
5. Where Can I Buy Tickets? – The first place I would suggest buying tickets is your local ITT (Information, Tickets, and Tours) on base. If you purchase them on base, you can get them early enough to book FastPass selections before you leave. 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 your FastPass window opens. 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 at Disney World, or at any ticket window at Disney World.
6. 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. Everyone needs to be there for 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.
7. Does FastPass+ Work with Military Tickets? – Absolutely! Military tickets work the same as any other tickets. As soon as you purchase your ticket, link them to your My Disney Experience account. Like all other tickets, if you are staying at a Disney resort, you can book FastPasses at 60 days; if you are staying offsite, you can book FastPasses at 30 days. Your tickets do not need to be activated to book FastPasses or to link them to your account. Likewise, do not think that because you have linked your tickets and booked FastPasses that they are activated. You must still activate your tickets in person at one of the above locations before their first use.
8. Are There Any Room Discounts Available? – Yes, there are! The Armed Forces Salute room discounts at Disney World are great. There must be an eligible member in one of the rooms, and the number of rooms that are offered is limited. The discounts range from 30-40%. Availability goes quickly at popular times, so I’d recommend booking as soon as possible! The Disney Dining Plan can be added to the room discount as well if you like, but it is not discounted beyond the normal Disney price. Be aware that the room discounts are blocked out from April 14 through 25.
9. Are There Any Other Discounts at Walt Disney World? – Yes! From January 1, 2019 to December 19, 2019, eligible members can also purchase Memory Maker for only $98! That’s a great deal!
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 fairly regularly. Heather posts a good list of them in her weekly DCL updates. 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.
Do you have any questions about the Armed Forces Salute? 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-obiligation quote on your next vacation!