Disney Officials have confirmed to me that the current Disney Armed Forces Salute will definitely end on 30 September 2012!
Disney’s Armed Forces Salutes History
The current Armed Forces Salute began on 24 October 2010 and it was originally scheduled to run through 1 October 2011. Then on 18 April 2011 Disney announced that it would be extended through 30 September 2012, with very little change. The ticket prices and room discounts remained the same, what changed was the number of discount tickets that military members were eligible for (12 for the 2-year period vs. the original 6).
This was the first time in the history of Disney’s Armed Forces Salutes that they had tried an extension. Previously the offers had ended and then a new offer would start, hopefully with no break. There was a 23-day break in October 2010.
Why This Offer Has To End
As mentioned above this was the first extension of a Disney Military Salute. The extension locked Disney into two years of offering the theme park tickets at the same price. Regular gate prices have been increased 2 times since October 2010. The AFS tickets are still at the 2010 rate.
Each time the Salute offers have ended and then been renewed in the past Disney had been able to evaluate and change as necessary the offer details. Details such as the number of days offered on the AFS tickets and the price.
Salute Offers Only Recent
Many military families have only experienced these great discounts the last couple of years and are under the impression that this is a constant offer by the Disney Company. But the Armed Forces Salutes are a somewhat recent benefit, which started in January 2009. Disney did also offer an Armed Forces Salute in 2002 during the post September 11, 2001 travel downturn. Other than this brief period the military has had to be satisfied with the regular Disney Military Discounts.
Recently a reader told me that the Disney Call Center said that they “have no plans at this time to make another Military Salute Offer.”
All is not lost.
The same Disney Official has in the past assured me that they are working towards making a new offer. In my most recent communication with him he said that he expects that we will have an answer one way or another “well in advance” of this offer’s end date.
While what the call center said is true at this time, I am hopeful that Disney will make another offer.
It takes time to work through making an offer like this. Disney has to evaluate their reservations into the coming year, decide if there is a need to attract more people to their resorts, the room discounts to offer, the length and price point for theme park tickets, and then they need to enter into negotiations with the military on the resale policies for Base ITT Offices and Shades of Green. This process is what caused the 23-day gap back in 2010, the contracts hadn’t been signed.
Look at the general public discounts being offered, they haven’t stopped. Disney is on record as saying that they want to wean the public off of the steep discounts that they’ve had to offer during this economic downturn, but they’ve yet to start…
If general public discounts were ending I’d be worried about the Armed Forces Salute too.
So, continue to be patient, I think we’ll know by the end of the month or the first week in August.
What if there is no renewal?
Well then unfortunately it’s back to the way thing used to be…
Shades of Green suddenly becomes way more attractive, hopefully they’ll bring back their overflow rates at Disney Hotels, and we’ll have to get up to speed on all the general public discounts.
I recently did a couple of blog posts on this topic, check them out:
Share your thoughts on the Armed Forces Salute in the comments below!
Did you enjoy this post? If you’d like more like it, please share it through your favorite social media by clicking the buttons below to let me know.