Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide

The MDT Guide to purchasing and using Your Military Disney Tickets

Disney California Adventure Military Ticket

You Are Going To Disney! Great now you’ve got a lot of things to start thinking about.

Theme park tickets are one of the biggest expenses for a Disney vacation. This post is meant to be your end-to-end guide on all things related to Disney’s Military Tickets.

We’ll start on the purchase process, and then cover things that you should be doing once you have the tickets (Like FastPasses), and then we’ll finish up on how to use your tickets.

Let’s jump right in shall we?


Buying Your Disney Military Tickets

Disneyland Military Ticket Booth

Kinds of Disney Military Tickets

Many people are surprised to discover that there are actually several types of Military Disney tickets. There are actually several types, each with their own rules, prices, and pluses and minuses.

When most think of military tickets for Disney they think of the Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets, but Disney military tickets actually fall into 3 types:

  • Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets
  • Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets
  • Shades of Green Stars and Stripes Passes (Walt Disney World Only)

Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets – These are special, highly discounted tickets which are offered for a specific time period and have exclusion dates.

Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets – These are the slightly discounted tickets that have always been offered to the military community by Disney through Base Ticket Offices.

Shades of Green Stars and Stripes Passes – These are special, all-inclusive 2 to 10-day passes offered by Disney World through Shades of Green. These are “Length of Stay” passes available for purchase by members of the military community staying at any resort on Walt Disney World Property.

We have a post to help you decide what type of Military Disney ticket is right for you.

Disney World Ticket Increase For Military

For More Info See:

Disney Armed Forces Salute

Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets

Shades of Green Stars and Stripes Passes

Where, How, and When to Buy Your Disney Military Tickets


Where to Buy Your Disney Military Tickets

You’ll have from 1 to 3 options for buying your Disney tickets depending on the type you want:

  • Base Ticket Offices (including Shades of Green) – In Person
  • Base Ticket Offices (including Shades of Green) – Long Distance
  • Directly from Disney – In Person

Base Ticket Offices – In Person: Your local Base Ticket Office can sell you Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets and Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets. They may not stock all or any varieties of these tickets, so make sure you check on their policies ahead of time and plan to make your purchase far enough in advance of when you need the tickets to allow time to order them (typically 2 weeks).

Shades of Green – In Person: The military only resort at Walt Disney World has a Ticket Office and you may buy all 3 varieties of tickets in person there after arrival, whether you are staying at Shades of Green or not.

Base Ticket Offices – Long Distance: For those who do not live near a Ticket Office or whose local office doesn’t sell what they need (usually Disney World vs. Disneyland), there are Ticket Offices that will ship to you for a fee. The caution above regarding allowing them time to order and in this case ship to you applies here as well.

Shades of Green – Long Distance: Will ship to you all 3 varieties of Disney tickets whether you are staying at Shades of Green or not. They also sell and ship special Disney Halloween and Christmas tickets and many other Orlando area tickets, such as Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, Legoland Florida, etc.)

Directly from Disney – In Person: You also have the option to wait until you arrive to buy your tickets from Disney. Disney will only sell you the Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets; the other 2 varieties are not available from Disney.

Disney Military Ticket Booth

Disney World Ticket Locations:

  • All Theme Park Entrances
  • The Transportation and Ticket Center
  • Disney Springs Guest Relations locations
  • Both Water Parks

Note you will pay State sales tax at Walt Disney World ticket locations!

Disneyland Ticket Locations:

  • The Esplanade between the Theme Park Entrances
  • Disneyland Resort Hotel Front Desks (for registered guests)

You cannot buy Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets from your mall Disney Store, or online/via phone from Disney as part of your room reservation.

For More Info See:

Your Base Ticket Office

Shades of Green’s Ticket Office

Orlando ITT

Buying Military Tickets Long Distance

Military Ticket Overview Page

How to Buy Your Disney Military Tickets

Base Ticket Office Military Tickets

You can purchase your tickets with cash, credit, and debit cards (of course), but I’m often asked if the Star Card or Disney Gift Cards can be used to purchase your tickets.

The Military Star Card – You cannot use the Star Card to purchase Disney tickets. The Star Card is an Exchange product and only valid at Exchange locations. This does not include the Base Ticket Office.

Disney Gift Cards – Neither Base Ticket Offices or Shades of Green accept Disney Gift cards. These gift cards are only valid at Disney locations.

Note – Waiting until arrival to buy your Walt Disney World tickets using a Disney Gift Card will put you at a big disadvantage for FastPass+, instead buy your tickets via another means prior to your trip and use the gift cards for food, merchandise, or Disney Resort Hotels.

When to Buy Your Disney Military Tickets


There are different guidelines based upon where you are going and the tickets that you want.

Disneyland

There is no need to buy your Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets for Disneyland ahead of time. The only reason to do so would be to spread out your costs.

Regular Military Discounted Disneyland tickets can only be purchased from Base Ticket Offices, so you’ll need to buy your tickets prior to your departure.

Walt Disney World

With Disney World’s new FastPass+ system allows you to make attraction reservations up to 60 days in advance of your vacation. You will need to have your tickets in hand prior to making your FastPasses so buying them ahead of time is essential, no matter the type.

Once You Have Your Disney Military Tickets

Ticket Security

Disney tickets are a big investment and you need to take the appropriate safeguards to protect that investment.

There are 2 very important things to do as soon as you have your tickets in hand.

First, after buying your tickets, do not discard your receipt! There are bad situations in which you may need it. Keep it in a safe place, perhaps where you keep your important documents.

If you lose or forget your tickets or they are stolen the receipt may be the only thing that keeps you from having to buy new ones.

Second, take pictures of the back of each of your tickets. Keep the pictures in a couple places (on your phone, your spouse’s phone, your computer, a thumb drive, etc.).

If you lose or forget your tickets or they are stolen these pictures will be the primary way to get new ones.

Then keep your tickets in a safe place, perhaps where you keep your important documents (and ticket receipt).

Disney Military Ticket Back

Don’t lose or forget them

I’ve heard horror stories!

Among them, the family who flew to California to go to Disneyland, only to realize after landing that they’d left their tickets in Hawaii.

Put tickets and ticket receipt on your packing checklist!

For More Info See:

Disney Military Ticket Physical Security

Link Your Tickets

In order to make FastPasses for Walt Disney World, you will need to link your tickets to your My Disney Experience account.

You should do this in advance of the day you will need to make reservations, just in case there are technical issues with linking them.

Linking-Military-Disney-Tickets-for-FastPass

For More Info See:

Linking Military Tickets to My Disney Experience

Make Your Walt Disney World FastPasses


With your tickets linked, you can on the appropriate day make your FastPasses for WDW.

Disney Resort Hotel Guests: 60 days prior to check in. Make FastPasses for your entire stay (up to the number of days on your ticket or 10 days, whichever is less)

Non- Disney Resort Hotel Guests: 30 days prior to the desired date. Make FastPasses day by day 30 days from the desired date (up to the number of days on your ticket).

My Disney Experience Fastpass Plus Screen Shot

For More Info See:

My Magic Plus – What all this New Disney Technology?

All You Need To Know About Disney World FastPass Plus For The Military Traveler

Packing Your Tickets

Do Not pack your tickets (or Magic Bands) in checked baggage or luggage that will be separated from you! Ideally keep them on you in your wallet, which is where you should have the ticket receipt. Magic Bands go on your wrist (as a badge of honor stating that you are on the way to WDW) you will need them to check in for Disney’s Magical Express.

Remember those ticket photos? Two or more people in your party should have copies on their phone. If you have no phones with picture capability, print the pictures out.

Here is another sad story. A large multi-family military party arrived in Orlando and made a supply stop at a local store on their way to WDW. While inside their rental car was broken into and some of the luggage was stolen, including the bags with their tickets. One family was able to get their Base Ticket Office to fax a copy of the receipt and had their tickets replaced, the other family was not so lucky and had to buy new tickets.

Proof of purchase is essential in a bad situation! The ticket number (from the back) is also a huge plus.

For More Info See:

Disney’s Magical Express

Using Your Disney Military Tickets

Ticket Activation

Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets (with the exception of Salute tickets from Shades of Green) have to be activated in person after arrival at Disney prior to use.

At Disneyland you will do this the first time you enter a theme park. Your ID will be checked and the ticket activated as it is scanned. You cannot activate tickets ahead of time at Disneyland.

At Walt Disney World you will need to activate your tickets at a Ticket/Guest Relations Window. You can do this the first day of use or at anytime prior. Many like to do this ahead of time in order to be able to enter the park quickly on their first day.

If you are able I recommend doing this your arrival evening if you will not be going to the parks that day. You could go to Disney Spring have a nice meal and activate your tickets.

Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets may be activated at:

  • All Theme Park Entrances (except the Rainforest Cafe entrance to Animal Kingdom)
  • The Transportation and Ticket Center
  • Disney Springs Guest Relations locations
  • Both Water Parks

Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets (for Disneyland and Disney World), Shades of Green Stars and Stripes Passes, and WDW Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets purchased form Shades of Green do not require activation. Just head to the park entrance on your first day.

Fast Pas Plus and Military Tickets © Disney

For More Info See:

Disney Armed Forces Salute Ticket Activation Guide

Well that’s it for our A to Z Ticket Overview. Be sure to check out the links in this post for more info.

If you can’t find what you need after exploring, just leave your question in the comments below.




Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? See our:

Learn about the Disney Armed Forces Salute the best military discount that there is for Disney. For where to stay see our Resorts/Hotel Overview Page. Disney doesn’t discount dining for the military, but there are a few places on property that do, see the Dining Overview Page to learn where plus more dining info. You can also learn about Transportation Options. Be sure to check out our Technology Overview to learn about Magic Bands and My Disney Experience to see how they work with military tickets. Walt Disney World visitors might be interested in staying at Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort.

See: Top 8 Reasons to Use An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner

Steve Recommends

Do you want all of your Disney Planning information in one place, organized in a step-by-step logical manner with an emphasis on Military Discounts and offers? I've written 3 Guidebooks just for the Military Community:

Walt Disney World for Military Families - Available in Print, Kindle, and Digital PDF Download

The Essential Guide to Shades of Green - Available in Print, Kindle, and Digital PDF Download

Disneyland for Military Families - Available in Print, Kindle, and Digital PDF Download

Here are my recommendations for products and services I've reviewed that can improve your Disney planning. This is a short list since it only includes my top picks.

Ears of Experience - My recommended Travel Agent, Fee Free, Disney Only, Military Family Owned

Need a Little Extra Help Planning your Disney Vacation? Check Out Ears of Experience's Concierge Service

Military Disney Tips Negotiated Military Discounts

Orlando Shuttle Service - $15 off basic round trip pricing to ANY Orlando resort use MDT15

Amusement Park Rentals - 10% Military Discount on Strollers and Scooters Use 10MILITARY at checkout

EzPacking Cube Organization System, Tame Your Suitcase! - MDT Readers get 15% off with MILITARYDISNEY at checkout

Other Planning Resources

My Disney Experience - The Official Disney iPhone App (Free iTunes Download)

Buy Your Magic Bands at the Disney Store

Best Ever First Timers WDW Book The Easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit

YourFirstVisit.net The premier website for first time visitors to Walt Disney World!

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World The Ultimate WDW Guide!

TouringPlans.com - The website of the Unofficial Guide - Crowd Forecasts, Pre-made Touring Plan, plus lots of detailed info

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  1. If I purchase a multi day salute ticket, can I break up the ticket by using some days and then later in year using the remaining days?

    • Absolutely Richard! You have until the end of the offer to use all days on the Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets. for 2017 that is 19 December.

  2. I can’t seem to find the answer to this question: Can Armed Forces Salute ticket holders enjoy extra Magic Hours?

  3. Hi Steve,

    I recently became a Florida resident. I still have two days remaining on my 2017 military salute ticket. I was wondering if I could upgrade it to an annual pass or if I could have only done that prior to the ticket’s first use. Thank you for any insight that you can provide.

    • Hi Janice,

      You can upgrade at any time prior to using the last day (I’ve even done it the day after using up a ticket).

      I just upgraded a 5-Day Salute to a FL Silver (the one I recommend) last week after using 2 days.

      • I forgot to add that it has been more than 14 days since the ticket’s first use. Will they still upgrade to an annual pass, possibly backdating to first day use? Sorry I forgot to add this to my original post. Thank you so much for all of your help!

        • Hey Janice,

          There is no 14 day limit on the Salute tickets, you’ll be all set. Yes the AP will begin on the first day you used the Salute ticket.

  4. Hi Steve,
    I apologize in advance if this is covered somewhere but I could not find it. We are only going to be using 3 our of the 4 days from our passes at Disney World. Can we use that last day at Disneyland as long as its before Dec 16th?

  5. Hi, Steve!

    I just wanted to thank you for running this site! It’s been very helpful. I got the newsletter, and was able to book yesterday! We were lucky too bc the operator we got knew exactly what we were talking about and remarked, Oh, yes, that just came out today.” Lol

    Thanks, again!
    Carolina

  6. I know there is a limit of six Armed Forces Salute tickets per military member. Is this per visit or for the entire year? i.e. Can I go to Disneyland twice in 2018 and purchase six tickets each time? Thank you.

    • HI Debbie, it is for the offer, 6 total from 1 Jan – 19 Dec 2017. Then during the next offer another 6 from 1 Jan – 19 Dec 2018 At Disneyland.

      The Disneyland and Disney World offers are not connected you can also get 6 total from 1 Jan – 19 Dec 2017. And another 6 from 1 Jan – 19 Dec 2018 there.

  7. Steve can I purchase stars and stripes 2 day ticket if staying 4 nights at shades. staying Sunday through wed and will be visiting park Monday and Wed..

    • Hi Sal,

      At Shades they know how long you are staying there and would sell you at least a 3 day S&S. They are technically supposed to be length of stay. That’s the problem with these tickets, you can’t take a day off.

      If you are not staying at Shades they go by what you tell them your length of stay is though.

      But in 2017 the 4-Day Disney Armed Forces Salute Hopper Ticket plus the Water Park Fun and More Option is $246 while the 2-day S&S is $254. So the Salute ticket is a cheaper option that you could potentially use through Dec 19th also.

  8. Thanks for all the great information! I have a question about Disneyland. I purchased the Military Salute tickets on base today and I tried scanning them to add them to my Disneyland app so that I could have them stored on there to purchase the Maxpass and be all set for when we get to the park but it’s not linking them on my app. Can I not do this ahead of time? Thank you!

    • Hi Sally,

      Try calling the My Disney Experience Tech Support phone. If they can’t help you perhaps they can point you in the right direction, 800-848-6413, option #3.

      This may be a quirk of the military tickets and you might have to have it done there. I know those using Salute tickets have used MaxPass.

  9. What ID do they need to check at the gate at Disney to activate? I’d rather not pack my military ID around with me at Disney, but will have my driver’s license.

    • They will need your to see your military ID Maygen. Your drivers license doesn’t prove that you are eligible for the Disney Armed Forces Salute.

  10. Question for you– I would like to purchase more than the 6-ticket limit. For the past two years, the way that I have understood the system is that you can only buy up to 6 Armed Forces Salute tickets per sponsor. After that, you can buy tickets on base at a discount, but they are not as good of a discount as the Armed Forces Salute tickets. Am I correct? I just want to verify, because every year, I have to be super picky on how to use those 6 magical passes, and then once I get beyond those 6 passes, I’m sunk and have to pay close to gate prices (which is sooo expensive!) Thank you for clarifying!
    Also, for the base tickets (NOT the Armed Forces Salute tickets), do you need a military ID for redeeming those at the gate as well?
    -Rachel

    • Hi Rachel,

      Yes you have it right.

      There are 2 different kinds of tickets you are talking about, the Disney Armed Forces Salute and the Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets.

      Six is the limit for the 2017 and 2018 Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets.

      Besides the Salute tickets you may as many Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets as you’d like, No limit, no ID check at the gate.

  11. Hello,
    I just want to make sure, for the regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets, do you have to show a military id at the gate?

  12. Hello,

    I am stationed in Germany and would like to visit Disneyland Paris with my family on 24-25 Dec 2017. Does the “Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets” cover those dates? We are hearing rumors they do because it is Disneyland Paris. Is this true?

    • Hi Thomas,

      The Disney Armed Forces Salute is a stateside offer only!

      There is nothing comparable in Paris as far as I know. Check with your local ticket sales office if you are stationed in Europe, or call Ramstine if you aren’t.

  13. Hi Steve,
    Thank you for this website and all of the info available! I have a question… we are FL residents and veterans.. my husband is retired Army. Can we get a FL resident discount AND military discount on annual passes?
    Thank you!
    Trisha

    • Hi Trisha,

      My pleasure!

      This is a slightly odd topic…

      Because WDW doesn’t give a military discount on APs. But, Florida resellers do offer them with discounts and Shades of Green gets them from one of these resellers. SO you can get them from Shades at a nice discount with no sales tax.

      http://www.militarydisneytips.com/Tickets/WDW-Annual-Pass.html

      This requires payment in full vs the monthly credit card charge WDW offers FL residents.

      One option through Disney, if you want to spread the cost out (without a discount) is to get the 4 or 5 day Salute ticket and then prior to using the last day upgrade to the FL AP of your choice and spread the remainder of the cost out. the AP’s start date would be the first day you used the Salute ticket.

  14. Hello Steve. Thank you for all your time and effort answering everyone’s questions.
    Another question for you, do you know the prices for a one day ticket to Disneyland and how much do they cost?

  15. Hello Steve,

    In the past, I know the Disney Armed Forces Salute was limited to 6. When making reservations the other day, the agent told me that the veteran can get up to six, as well as their spouse. I questioned that policy. I was put on hold so he could speak to a supervisor. He came back and said that was correct. Is this true??

  16. Hi Steve,

    I’m new to trying to figure this out. My husband is retired Army, so I am looking in to the Armed Forces Salute tickets. Can they only be used by him or can I use them, as his spouse? Can he get one for each of us & anyone else in our party?

    We are not going until January 2019. Do you know when they start to publish for next year?

  17. Can military member and spouse purchase 6 tickets each at different MWRs? Will the different MWRs know that military member has already bought 6 tickets? And can each of us activate the tickets at Disneyland? (My husband activates the 6 and I activate the other 6 tickets). These tickets are for extended family.