Disney’s 2012-2013 Armed Forces Salute Starts Today With Many Changes!

Disney Renews the Armed Forces Salute for 2012-2013

Today is the first day of the Walt Disney Company’s 2012-2013 Armed Forces Salute and there have been changes

This great temporary offer runs from today through 28 September 2013 and offers fantastic military discounts on both Disney theme park tickets and resort rooms.

This current renewal of the popular discount for another year was just announced recently on 8 August 2012 with some minor changes to the offer which has been evolving since January 2009.

As we say in the military, No battle plan survives first engagement and this is certainly the case with this most current installment of the Armed Forces Salute.

This is a “Boots on the ground” report from Walt Disney World on what’s new as far as eligibility for the offer as well as clarification on many gray areas that have existed in the offer for many years.

Eligibility Changes

While current military members, retirees, and their spouses as well as permanently disabled members with the DAVPRM code on a military ID (DD Form 2765) are all still eligible, the Armed Forces Salute has been extended to the following categories:

  • 100% Disabled Veterans with DD Form 2765
  • Medal of Honor Recipients with DD Form 2765
  • Active Military Foreign Affiliate with US issued CAC (Blue Stripe)

There is still a little bit of gray in the eligibility of disabled veterans. Disney says 100% permanently disabled veterans and then mentions the DAVPRM code. But in past offers they have only mentioned the code and not any percentage.

Good Policy Changes/Clarifications

These are some things that have either changes since the press release or have never been clarified.

  • Spouses can purchase up to 6 total (themselves plus 5) “Salute” tickets. The Active Duty member does not have to be present as long as spouse has valid military ID. In the past it had been only 5 tickets for spouses.
  • Spouses of deceased Active Duty/Retired members who have a valid military ID, can purchase up to 6 AFS tickets if they have not remarried.
  • All 6 AFS tickets allowed during the offer do not have to be purchased at the same time.
  • AFS tickets may be used on different trips i.e. 3 tickets in November and 3 tickets in February.

Bad Policy Changes/Clarifications

More changes and clarification.

  • AFS TIckets may not be used Back-To-Back AFS Ticket use by the same person must be separated by 7 calendar daysi.e. 3 people using 3 tickets for 4 days and then using 3 more tickets the next 4 days. Disney has rescinded this! 2 Nov 2012
  • The first use of the AFS ticket must be on the same day as activation. Was never implemented.
  • Children of divorced parents – The AFS discount is a benefit of the military member, not dependents. If the military member is unable to activate the tickets with the children i.e. deployed they may not receive the benefit with their non-military divorced parent. An eligible military member must be there to activate the tickets.
  • Divorced spouses do not qualify; the benefit remains with the military member.

Note: These on scene reported details do differ from Disney’s initial press release and Military Salute information on disney.go.com, as that was pasted from the press release. You will not find this information anywhere else online.

See this link for full details on 2012-2013 the Armed Forces Salute.

And here is my 2012-2013 Disney Armed Forces Salute FAQ
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Comments

  1. R C Trussell says

    The form, DD2765 is the DoD ID Card issued for 100% Total & Permanent Disabled Vets. If your rated at 100% SERVICE CONNECTED by the Veterans Administration, you must receive the form VA1179, take that to the local ID office of DoD and have the DD2765 issued. CONSIDERABLE numbers of 100% SERVICE CONNECTED DAV’s do not realize they can get their military ID back again, by this process, because the VA or the DoD isnt going to grab your shirt and say “hey go get this”…its in the benefits manual of the VA and its up to YOU to read the manual. There is only ONE way to get this ID Card, and I just explained it. You cant be “totally disabled” with civilian medical problems, it MUST be SERVICE CONNECTED. Hope this helps clarify this “change” in Mouse Policies. Bottom line, you dont have the DAVPRM Code, without being 100% SERVICE CONNECTED in disabilities, and the Code is ON the ID Card, Form DD2765.

    • Squitch says

      Steve or R C – My husband is a 100% service-connected DAV, but his disability is NOT permanent and total. Do you know if he still gets a DAVPRM designation if he applies for the DD2765 ID card? And if he doesn’t get that DAVPRM designation, but he still has a DD2765 card is he still eligible for the Armed Forces Salute ticket package? I have seen so much conflicting information about this, it’s hard to know for sure. Also, we live too far from any other MWR, so we’d have to buy the tickets from Shades of Green once we got to DW, and I’d rather know ahead of time what we’re going to be paying for our tickets.

      • Steve says

        Hi Squitch,

        The DAVPRM code dose go on the DD2765 (I understand in the rank block). But I don’t know if that is automatic with a 100%. Re-reading R C’s comment he seems to indicate that it is.

        Disney’s policies indicate you do need the DAVPRM code on the ID to be eligible. BUt even if he doesn’t get the code I’d ask for the discount and see if they give it to you. Disney uses a ID verification sheet with pictures just like the ones on this page: http://www.cac.mil/uniformed-services-id-card/ and very limited instructions.

      • RC Trussell says

        In order to be issued the VA Form 1179 (which is a letter, signifying you are 100& Total and Permanent disabled) by the Veterans Administration Regional Office in your area, you must be 100% totally and permanently disabled, BY the Veterans Administration.

        No DD2765 (military ID card) is issued without the VA Form 1179, AND your last issued DD214, in your hand.

        Without the DD2765 in hand, Shades of Green is not an option UNLESS you are going for the “open dates” of “all veterans invited” weeks.

        Not sure why you are 100% disabled in rating, but not permanent. Maybe you are, but they havent told you? Did they give you a letter that said you are NOT permantely 100% disabled? Im curious on this one. Hope this helps.

        • Squitch says

          R C & Steve – Thanks for your reply and answers. Essentially, the VA feels that some aspects of my husband’s disability might improve, and they will re-evaluate him in 5 years and re-rate him if they feel that condition. They used to give P&T fairly routinely but they are starting to do that less and less.

          I will call the VA and see what they’ll issue me, based on his status. It wouldn’t be the government unless it was completely confusing and unclear, right?

  2. Wynell says

    When we purchased our 2013 Salute Tickets at Shades of Green, the clerk said: “The tickets must ALL be actived at the same time at the park gate”. He said this policy was new this year. Basically, if you have 6 tickets you cannot go to the gate with a party of 4 and have the other 2 show up later. Once again this information was per the clerk at the ticket counter.

    • Steve says

      Hi Wynell,

      The clerk was partially correct. That is indeed Disney’s policy, but it’s not new. This has always bee the policy. Though sometimes it has been weakly enforced.

      My recommendation is to have those who will not be there when the rest of you are send you photo copies of their ID (Driver’s Licenses) and then when activating explain the situation to the person at the window. They may allow you to activate them all. If not you’ll need to explain the situation once they do get there and hope they will allow you to activate theirs. If not then they “may” allow you to use the value of those tickets towards full price tickets, but that will require a managers permission.

      • karen davis says

        Steve, we are at WDW right now. We went to Shades of Green yesterday and purchased five tickets-the four day tickets for the military. When we went to Epcot today (three of us were present and two would not be joining us until Wednesday) we were told that we could activate our three tickets and when the kids joined us later that we would then activate theirs. I asked them if we could activate them if I had picture ID’s and he said that there was not reason to do that as they will activate it when the kids are with us.

        Hope this helps.

        Karen

  3. Stef says

    Hi, Steve, thanks for the updated info. I had contacted Disney and asked them about back-to-back usage. They said to contact Shades of Green. I received an e-mail from Shades of Green stating that the tickets could be used back-to-back. Does Shades of Green have accurate information? Thanks.

    • Steve says

      Hi Stef,

      We’ve had a discussion going on about this on my facebook page. The short answer is that what Shades said to you is based on the contract MWR has w/ Disney which was signed back in August. It was full of holes which Disney plugged later. This was one of those. So right now I believe that if you try to use back-to-back AFS tickets for the same person you’ll be disappointed.

      I can’t imagine why Disney told you to contact SoG. Shades just resells the tickets, Disney sets the rules.

      This is something that I’m going to try to get to the bottom of and get solved.

      This is the discussion over on FB: http://www.facebook.com/MIlitaryDisneyTips/posts/116173295202405

      • Stef says

        Hi, Steve,

        Thanks for responding. Two or three times that I called Disney regarding the Armed Forces Salute, they told me to call Shades of Green.

        I’m not going until December, so maybe there will be more clarification by then. I think what my family will probably do is just buy the regular discounted military 8-day park hopper. I don’t want to risk buying the AFS tickets and not be able to use them when I get there. Also, now there are four of us traveling instead of three. So I would have to buy the regular discounted ticket for one family member anyway.

  4. Marie says

    Hi Steve,
    Just an update on a military discount on the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party tickets. Was told by Marvella @ 407-WDISNEY that military can purchase up to 5 tickets at the main enterance ticket window in the Magic Kingdom & receive the military discount with ID (cost $41.27 plus tax), even if they are sold out. Was told that they figure the amount of military tickets they would sell on any given “military” night wouldn’t overload the park as they only sell so many of these tickets to begin with. We are going Nov 25 – Dec 2 & plan to see what the weather’s going to be & will get Christmas Party tickets on either Nov 27 or 29. If I think of it I will email you when we get back & let you know if it worked out the way Marvella told me.
    Marie

    • Steve says

      Thanks Marie,

      I hope all goes smooth! They had said the same thing about the Halloween party and several people were turned away on 28 Sept. I contacted the President of Disney Parks about this issue, so hopefully they have it all worked out.

      Have fun!!!

  5. Kevin says

    Disneyland.com states that the military personnel must accompany ticket users for theme park admission. However, everywhere else I have checked online only states that the military personnel need be there only for activation of the tickets. I hope the latter is true. Can anyone clarify? Thanks.

    • Steve says

      Hi Kevin,

      Once the Armed Forces Salute tickets are activated you will not need to stay with your party. The tickets work just like any other ticket in the Disney turnstiles.

  6. Kevin says

    Also, if I get a ticket for myself and use one of the days in the 3-day park hopper… can i gift the second day to a friend of mine? or is that somehow regulated? (photo ID, fingerprints, etc)? Thanks again.

    • Steve says

      But, the tickets are non transferable. Disney is very strict on this as they don’t want these highly discounted tickets (which are given to support the military) scalped. Your name is associated with the ticket and the first time you use it in a turnstile biometric scanners get your fingerprint.

      • Kevin says

        So after the first time you use the ticket and get your fingerprint scanned, they check your fingerprint again for the second and third visits?

  7. Stacey MyCue says

    I am sitting here planning a Disney World Vacation for my family. I am a non-retired Desert Storm Veteran. I am not finding any discounts on Disney tickets for individuals like me more or less anything else. I am very disturbed by this, because I did serve, and I served in a war. There really is not very many benefits at all for Veterans that are not retired or disabled.

    Service is Service. I pledged my life to this country for the 4 years that I was in.
    I own my own company now, and my company gives discounts to all veterans.

    More companies need to recognize/appreciate the non-retired veterans. I am sure that there is a lot of non-retired Veterans that feel the same way I do. We still all stand on Veteran’s Day, and remember our own personal service and sacrifice to this Great Country.

  8. Crystal Johnson says

    I have a question about the 2012-2013 Armed Forces Salute that began on 1 October 2012 and runs through 28 September 2013. I know you can only purchase 6 tickets for the promotion, but is this a new promotion from the previous years? We have been a few times over the last 3 years and have been able to purchase the salute tickets every time because a new promotion started before we left. We are planning on returning the June and getting 6 again.

    • Steve says

      Hey there Crystal,

      Yes it is a totally separate promotion, so you are eligible for 6 tickets again. The prior promotions don’t count!

  9. Nicole says

    We are an active duty military family of 6 traveling to WDW March 20-25. We were planning on going to the parks for 4 days March 21-24. I understand the AFS tickets are blocked out on the 24th. Will they allow us to use them that day if we activate them on the 21st? If not, what is our best option for the 24th? I was thinking the 1 day Magic Your Way ticket. Thanks!

    • Steve says

      Hi Nicole,

      Disney will not allow the Armed Forces Salute tickets to be used in any park (theme or water) on the 24th. The date of activation doesn’t matter. The reason they do this is the parks will be filled to capacity with guests paying full price, so they don’t allow the use of these discounted tickets on blockout dates.

      So, yes your only option if you want to go to the parks that day would be a 1-day MYW, $92Adult/$86Child non-hopper and $128A/$122C for a hopper at Shades of Green.

      http://www.militarydisneytips.com/Tickets/Magic-Your-Way-Tickets.html

      Any chance you can slip the trip a day earlier?

  10. Steven Boyer says

    I’m planning a disney trip to shade of green Feb 24, 2013 and would like know is I can prepurchase WDW Armed Forces Salute 4 day hoppers.

    Thanks
    Steve

    • Steve says

      Hi Steve,

      Shades of Green is supposed to contact you 2 weeks out. The woman at Shades that handles preorders works Sunday – Monday.

      You can call SoG at 407-824-3400 then PRESS “0″ to get the operator and ask to speak directly to a Ms. Weeks in ticket pre-orders at 9am eastern.

      I’ve seen in several other places that people are having trouble with getting their pre-order email lately.

      If yoou still have trouble let me know and I can send you the link to where you can complete the process.

  11. Phil says

    Steve,
    I just got off the phone with a cast member at Disneyland that says that there is still a “6″ day waiting period for the same person to use a second Military Salute ticket and that it was the same last year. I know last year is not true as my wife and I used 2 three day parkhoppers back to back with no problem. Do you know what the real answer is for this year or who I could contact to get the right answer? Thanks for your help.

    • Steve says

      Hi Phil,

      I do not have a contact at Disneyland, mine is in the Media Relations Dept. at WDW. I was told that Disney decided to forget the waiting period between tickets as it was a silly idea.

      I do know of at least one quirk at Disneyland though, the member has to enter the park every day with their guests (though I don’t know how this is controlled) so I don’t know if this is another quirk or the usual misinformation passed out by Disney CMs not in the know. It is the first I’ve heard it at DL.

      There definitely was no waiting period with the last offer!

      If you’d call back 3 more times I’m sure you’ll get 2 more different answers.

      Are you pressed for time? I’ve a busy 6 days coming up, but can try to engage with my contact for you.

      Steve

      • Phil says

        Thanks Steve! We’ve had trouble several times in the past with CMs giving incorrect info, only to call back and finally get the answer we knew was correct. We’re not going to CA until the first week of May so we have time for you to pursue it if you don’t mind.

        • Steve says

          You should hear some of the things I’ve heard from readers that Disney CMs have told them…

          I did forward on the question today. Will update when I hear back.

          Cheers

          • Steve says

            Morning,

            My new contact at DL Media Relations says that there is no waiting period between use of AFS tickets by the same person. ;-)

          • Randy says

            Steve,

            Great site and advice – I’ve been lurking in the background absorbing and have a question. I got a response back from Shades of Green (at DW) when I asked if you could use the tickets back to back and they said you can.

            Looking for secondary confirmation – did your contact in DLMR know if this is the same for DW? I would hate to schedule the trip in anticipation of being able to use them back to back (just myself, wife and son) over 8 days and find out it’s different when I get there. Thanks.

          • Steve says

            Hi Randy,

            Thanks!

            Yes, you’ve been able to use the tickets back to back atWDW since early November.

  12. Christine says

    Hi. Im new tothis site but was reading the questions to see if any pertained to mine.. No luck… So my question is….

    My dad is Retired Army living in Vegas. who wants to buy my husband myself and our daughter tickets to DW for her first visit. Can he thru the base?? WE live in Fl. Does he have to be here and are the prices that good for a day or 2 visit.. We dont need to spend more than 2 days there so are we better off buying them ourselves or (if allowed) having my dad buy them thru the base?
    Thank you…

    • Steve says

      Hi Christine,

      The special Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets are for the purpose of the military member spending time with family and friends in the parks. They can’t be purchased and given away. To keep this from happening Disney requires that the military member be there in person to activate the tickets and use one themselves.

      There are however the Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets. These are only slightly discounted (4-8% off). BUt he could purchase these at his base and send them to you. Prices would be similar to these. He should ensure that the ones he buys are ready for use vs the type which need to be exchanged with an ID at WDW (Disney sends both kinds to bases).

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