Military families make a lot of sacrifices for our nation’s freedom. Between long-term separations, constant moving, and always living in the unknown for Uncle Sam, military families need family bonding time more than most. As an Army wife myself, I can say that there is no bonding better than a family vacation to Walt Disney World.
In the 12 years that my husband has been in the military, we have spent cumulative YEARS apart. Years, plural. During those times that we separated for deployments, training, exercises, or schools, we love to dive into planning a Disney vacation. We use our trip countdown as a light at the end of the tunnel! Of course, the expense of Disney can add up fast so we put together all the Disney Discounts for Military families.
Disney Supports Our Troops
Did you know that Walt Disney World has great deals for Military families? It’s true that military discounts are the deepest discounts that Disney World offers. There are military discounts on park tickets and hotels.
Disney Military Park Ticket Pricing
First and foremost, to have a Disney World vacation, you need to have park tickets of course! There are a few different types of tickets for Walt Disney World for military members, retirees, and their families. The best ticket is the Military Promotional ticket available in a 4-day and 5-day passes with park hopper. There is also the option to add water parks (PLUS).
|Military Promotional Ticket 2022||Ages 3+||Ages 3+ Genie+|
|4-Day Park Hopper Promotional Ticket||$ 329.00||$ 389.00|
|4-Day Park Hopper Plus Promotional Ticket||$ 359.00||$ 417.00|
|5-Day Park Hopper Promotional Ticket||$ 349.00||$ 424.00|
|5-Day Park Hopper Plus Promotional Ticket||$ 379.00||$ 454.00|
These ticket prices are so good that there are limits. Each service member can purchase up to 6 per calendar year. The spouse can also purchase these tickets, but that 6 limit is for the whole family. These tickets have no black-out dates but will expire the second week of December, always.
So yes if you buy your tickets on December 1st your tickets will expire just two weeks later. So do pay attention to your travel dates when purchasing your tickets.
If you have already used your 6 Military Promotional tickets, then you can still use some discount with the Magic Your Way tickets that are unlimited. To be honest, the ticket prices are almost the same as the gate price, but there is no tax. The discount is about 10%. See the full list of park tickets available to military families here.
How to Buy Discounted Military Disney Tickets
Because of how great the discounts are, you have to do a few steps to get them. If you live on or near a military installation worldwide, check out your ITT office, Travel & Leisure Services, or call your MWR about Disney tickets. They will have to be purchased in person by the service member or their spouse. You will need your Military ID to purchase and they will be assigned to each person in your party. Remember, when you buy most things on base, there’s no tax!
Don’t live near a large installation? No problem! Shades of Green is a special military-only resort at Disney that sells tickets as well. You want to purchase tickets prior to your trip. They have an online order form and have their own verification process. Be sure to do this long before your trip because it can be anywhere from a week to a couple of months before you receive your tickets! It is dependent on how busy they are.
Disney does not sell military park tickets directly.
How to ACTIVATE Your Military TICKETS!
Unless you buy your tickets from Shades of Green, you are going to have to activate them at Guest Services before entering the park. This is the final step to preventing ticket fraud. It sounds intimidating, but it is a really simple process. BE SURE TO HAVE YOUR MILITARY ID WITH YOU! I know, it is the most complicated document to replace if lost, but you must have it to activate your tickets.
Disney Party Tickets Military Discount
Disney World will sell discounted party tickets, like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party through Shades of Green. Ok, they are sort of discounted… Really the discount is that they are tax-free, so they are around $10 cheaper than through Disney. Don’t get me wrong, with a place as expensive as Disney, I like to find savings where I can, but don’t get too excited about this “discount”.
Military Disney Hotel Discounts
A cast member has confirmed that the military discount on resort stays is the steepest discount offered! Discounts vary by resort and time of year, but it hovers around 35%. It is important to know that you are not guaranteed this discount! There are only a select number of rooms at a resort each day available at the military price. Book early!
In order to book a resort stay using a military discount, you have to call the dreaded 407 number and sit on hold for hours… Or! You can use a totally free Disney travel agent to arrange the reservation for you. You are not able to reserve a room with a military discount yourself online. Take a deep breath, you will need to people for this, but the discount is TOTALLY worth it!
Speaking of Hotels… Shades of Green
Shades of Green is an exclusive military resort on Disney property. Disney buses are available for use at this resort, and there is even a Mini Exchange on site. This is a moderate-level resort with value pricing, however, this resort would not be your first choice if budget is your main concern. The All-Star resorts are generally cheaper (and better transportation). The big draw for military families to Shades of Green is the atmosphere. This is a beautiful, tranquil, and fairly quiet resort. You are still in Disney, but not in Disney.
This resort is perfect for a family working through reunification after a long deployment. Enjoy the parks with your family and then come back to this serene resort and decompress. Shades of Green also has great restaurants!
Military Memory Maker
If you have ever been on the fence about purchasing Memory Maker, first of all, don’t be! It is worth every penny, but if you’re military, you get a great discount! While it usually costs $169 for unlimited Photopass photos, with the military discount you pay only $98. To purchase, just go to guest services with your military ID. Service members can only purchase Memory Maker at this promotional price 2 times per calendar year.
Who Qualifies for Military Discounts?
Now that you have read all of the great discounts available to military families, let’s discuss who qualifies for these discounts. According to Disney, “Eligible Service Members” are active or retired members of the US Military, including the National Guard, Reservists, the US Coast Guard, the US Space Force, the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Spouses of Military Service Members also qualify if they are able to present valid and active US Military IDs in the absence of active or retired Military Personnel or Commissioned Corps Members.
Restaurant and Shop Guide with Military Discounts in Disney Springs
No Disney-owned shops or restaurants offer military discounts, however, many places inside Disney Springs do! Companies change discount policies often, so even if you don’t see the restaurant that you want to try on this list, it doesn’t hurt to ask!
- House of Blues – 15%
- AMC Theaters – $3.00 off after 4:00 pm
- AMC Dine-in Theater – $2.50 after 4:00 pm
- Splitsville – 10%
- Raglan Road – 10% (excludes merchandise)
- Cooks of Dublin – 20%
- Paradiso 37 – 15%
- Chef Art Smith Homecomin’ – 10%
- Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC – 15%
- Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop – 20%
- T-Rex – 10%
- Rainforest Cafe – 10%
- Wolfgang Puck Express – 10%
- The Polite Pig – 15%
- Planet Hollywood – 10%
- Vera Bradley – 15%
- Basin – 10%
- Orlando Harley Davidson – 10%
History of the Disney Company with the Military
Did you know that Walt’s brother Roy joined the Navy during World War I, and Walt drove ambulances for the Red Cross? When Walt and Roy were running the Disney Company with some of the most recognizable characters in the world, they created military unit characters, patches, and public information videos about the war all for free. Walt and Roy sought to boost morale for the troops with our favorite angry duck, and many other friends.
Fun fact: the only character to not be used in any military insignia was Bambi.
I am a mother of three that has refused to grow up. Adulting is for the birds, so I go to Disney World every chance I get for that magical escape from reality. I believe that Haunted Mansion is the best ride in all of the Disney Parks, and I am fervently in team Happily Ever After for fireworks spectaculars, (sorry, not sorry, Enchanted). Finally, I hope I never grow tired of skipping down Main Street, USA, and my dream come true would be “friends with” the Fairy Godmother in my old age.