Are you looking for tips on how to have a Walt Disney World Vacation for Military Families? I’ve got covered!
Disney World is said to be the “most magical place on earth.” However, magical can also be a synonym for expensive, especially for a military family on a tight budget! To help ease the burden of costs, Disney World has put some amazing programs in place to help active and retired members of the United States military afford an amazing Walt Disney World vacation!
Walt Disney World Vacation For Military Families
Throughout Clay’s time on Active Duty, we have been blessed enough to take our family to both Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida. We made these trips to both parks on multiple occasions. Clay has since retired, but we’re currently planning another trip to Disney World in 2021 after COVID! What I’m about to share with you are probably the best-kept secrets that aren’t secrets. Having said that, I’m going to share my non-secret secrets with you to help save your family money while making the most of your vacation and making memories that will last a lifetime.
Discounted Tickets for Walt Disney World Vacation for Military Families
The first thing you need to know is that your tickets will be significantly discounted, as long as you purchase them through Disney and not a third-party.
For 2020, the pricing is as follows:
- 4-day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper option = $265 each (plus tax)
- 5-day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper option = $283 each (plus tax)
- 6-day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper option = $301 each (plus tax)
- 4-day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More options = $315 each (plus tax)
- 5-day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More options = $333 each (plus tax)
- 6-day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More options = $351 each (plus tax)
Currently, Disney has a promotion for a 4-Park Magic Ticket for non-military that costs $89 per day ($356 total) for each ticket. Even with this promotion, you’re saving almost $100 per ticket! A regular priced 1-day ticket is $109 + tax. Again, you’re saving over $200 with the military promotional tickets!
Shades of Green Resort
An affordably priced resort exclusively for military families, Shades of Green offers free yoga, several dining facilities, on-site golf, the Magnolia Grand spa, and a large horseshoe-shaped pool with water slide.
Shades of Green is one of only 3 non-Disney owned resorts located on Disney property. It was built and financed by Service Members’ own funds and now operates on a self-sustaining basis. Your room rate is based on your rank and current status. You will need to bring a valid military ID (or DoD ID) and current Leave and Earnings Statement for the staff to accurately determine your room rate.
If Shades of Green isn’t quite magical enough for you – there is the option to get a 30-40% discount at Disney-owned Resorts, even the Deluxe resorts! One of the resorts that offer a military discount is the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. I also need to mention here that you may want to check with the Armed Forces Vacation Club when making room reservations. They can generally get you some hefty discounts for your stay and it’s always worth it to ask for what discounts you might qualify for and/or receive!
Keep in mind that Disney does not offer military discounts on food. You may want to opt to stay at a Disney resort for access to the Disney Dining plan depending on your budget.
While you won’t find any military discounts on dining in the parks, Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) has some great discounts for both active and retired military and their family, as described here. There are some awesome discounts at restaurants like the Rainforest Cafe and even the Ghiradelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop!
Be sure to always ask if the restaurant (or any other shop) you are visiting offers any military discounts. You’ll never know until you ask!
Daily Flag Retreat
A can’t miss event right down Main Street from Cinderella’s Castle, the daily flag retreat in town square happens each day at 5 pm.
After the pledge of allegiance, the American flag is lowered while a philharmonic band plays the Star-Spangled Banner. The flag is then folded and presented to a guest veteran while the crowd sings God Bless America. While Disney used to involve multiple volunteers, they have since used Members of the Color Guard to care for the flag. A procession down Main Street occurs shortly after and then the guest veteran receives a certificate and pin to mark the special ceremony.
If you’d like to be considered to participate in the event, stop by guest services early in the morning to let them know your desire to be selected. Only one veteran is chosen.
So there you have it. If this is your first trip or 6th trip, I hope you can find ways to take advantage of the discounts offered by Walt Disney World for Military Families! Remember, it never hurts to ask what sorts of discounts the store, restaurant, or other places you visiting offers!
Do you have any tips you would add for planning an amazing Walt Disney World vacation for military families? Comment below and let me know!
Disclaimer- This post was written before COVID-19 hit. Please check the theme park for the most current policies, procedures and discounts.