How to Activate Your Disney Armed Forces Salute Theme Park Tickets

Disney Armed Forces Salute TicketMany people are surprised to find out that Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Tickets need to be activated upon arrival at Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

Just buying them at your Military Base Ticket Office isn’t all that you need to do. These special Disney military tickets won’t work at the theme park entrances or at other Walt Disney World Resort’s other venues unless they are activated first.

You need to activate your tickets to prove eligibility once you arrive at Disney.

Linking your tickets or exchange vouchers to your Walt Disney World My Disney Experience account and making FastPass Plus reservations is a totally separate process and does not activate your tickets! This can be done prior to activation though.

Note Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets sold at Shades of Green are now sold pre-activated and you do not need to follow this procedure, they are ready to go at purchase!

Tickets purchased directly from Disney at Walt Disney World Ticket and Guest Relations locations, Disneyland Ticket and Guest Relations locations, and Disneyland Resort Hotels are also ready for use.

Why is this?

Disney allows military resellers (Base ITT/ITR Ticket Offices) to sell these tickets based upon a contract. But Disney depends on their own ticketing computer to monitor and control the use of these tickets. This prevents the tickets being used in an unauthorized manner.

During each individual Armed Forces Salute offer Disney sets exactly how many of the steeply discounted military tickets that each military member is allowed to use. During the 2016 Disney Armed Forces Salute the limit is 6 tickets.

When the military member (or spouse) activates these tickets, Disney gathers information on the military member (Concerned about privacy?), which they tie to the tickets in their system. This is what tracks the number of tickets that you have activated during the current offer.

Once the tickets have been activated your party does not need to stay together. You can all go to different parks, at different times, on different days, on any day through the end of the offer.

Activating a ticket also allows that ticket to be used on your Magic Band (at WDW) as long as both are linked to the same person in your My Disney Experience account.

Non-Disney Resort guests (Shades of Green guests) can buy Magic Bands ahead of time from the Disney Store.

Military Disney Tickets, there's no free lunch

The Activation Process

When you activate your Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets you’ll need to bring your military ID, or any picture ID for those in your party without military IDs, though young children don’t need them.

Everyone that you are activating a ticket for must be present to have their ticket activated. If the spouse is activating the tickets they must have their dependent ID Card (DD Form 1173) which must show a relationship of either “Spouse” or “Unremarried Widow (which is represented by DB on newer cards)”

If some guests in your party will arrive at a later date, but before you have used up your ticket, you can activate theirs with them after they arrive.

Disney will enter some information into their system which the service member or spouse must provide. This is:  The service member’s name and birth date.

Disney will look at everyone’s ID and then tie his or her name to a specific ticket. They then should have everyone sign the back of their ticket so that they won’t be mixed up. The first time you use the ticket or corresponding Magic Band to enter a park or venue,  the ticket holder’s fingerprint (at Disney Word) or picture (at Disneyland) will also be tied to that ticket.

For WDW If you have already linked your tickets/vouchers to those in your party, be sure to keep track of which belongs to each person as you hand them over to be activated, You should have already pre-marked them.


Why so complicated?

For two reasons:

  1. The intended purpose of these tickets is for the member (or spouse) to spend time in Disney’s parks with family and friends to de-stress, not to give them away to other family, adult children, or friends who are not eligible to use without the member or spouse.
  2. Disney also does this to prevent scalping. Sad but true, but these special 4-day military (3-day for Disneyland) salute tickets are over half off the regular military discount ticket prices. That leaves lots of room for profit should someone try to resell them.

No Free Disney World Tickets For Military

Where can you activate your tickets?

Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets can be activated at the following locations:

Walt Disney World Locations:

  • All four theme park ticket and Guest Relations windows
    • The Transportation and Ticket Center Ticket or Guest Relations windows
    • Magic Kingdom Ticket or Guest Relations windows
    • Epcot – Main Entrance or International Gateway Ticket or Guest Relations windows
    • Hollywood Studios Ticket or Guest Relations windows
    • Animal Kingdom Ticket or Guest Relations windows
  • Both Water Parks
    • Typhoon Lagoon
    • Blizzard Beach
  • Disney Springs Shopping and Entertainment Area (formerly Downtown Disney)
    • Disney Springs Guest Relations locations

Note: All of these locations are not mentioned on the back of the exchange vouchers, but you can activate tickets at all of the above locations!

Disneyland Locations:

  • Disneyland Armed Forces Salute tickets are activated at both theme park entrances during first use.

Special Purchase Notes for Disneyland:

You may buy your tickets directly from your Disneyland Resort Hotel Front Desk (registered guests), or go the theme park Ticket and Guest Relations locations.

When can you activate your tickets?

If you purchased your tickets/vouchers at a base ticket office you’ll activate your tickets in this manner:

At Disney World-

Your Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets can be activated at any time. You can do it ahead of time (I recommend this) you do not have to do it the same day that you plan to use them. Activating them ahead will not use up a day, only entering a park does this.

I recommend that you activate them the day or evening before you want to use them to save time on your first theme park morning.

For instance on your day of arrival, you could take a fun trip to Disney Springs for dinner, some shopping and a movie or show. (Disney Springs Locations with Military Discounts) and while you are there activate your tickets.

Then the next morning, when you are trying to get into the theme park as quickly as possible, you won’t have to wait in a long line to activate your tickets!

At Disneyland-

You cannot activate your tickets ahead of time, doing so would use up a day of use. On your first park day simply proceed to the Ticket and Guest Relations location between the parks if you need to buy your tickets, or right to the turnstiles for a quick ID check and activation if you already have them.

It’s Easy if you know how

I do get a lot of questions on this. So I hope this clears up any confusion on the subject of Disney Armed Forces Salute ticket activation!

Feel Free to ask Questions in the Comments below!

Disney Tickets and Technology Links

Tickets

Disney's Armed Forces Salute Tickets The biggest military discount available on tickets

Regular Disney Military Discount Tickets The permanent Disney Military Discount

Stars and Stripes Passes From Shades of Green at Walt Disney World, are available to any Shades of Green eligible person who is staying anywhere on WDW property.

Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide

What’s the Right Military Discounted Disney Ticket for Me?

WDW's Park Hopper Plus Option Information

Technology

Disney World's new Fast Pass Plus (FP+) system and the Magic Bands are great new benefits that are part of the set of new technologies collectively known as Disney Next Gen or My Magic Plus.

Disney Technology Overview Page

New for 2017 Memory Maker and PhotoPass+ Military Discounts

My Magic Plus - What all this New Disney Technology?

Linking Disney Military Tickets And Fastpass Plus Reservations

Waiting On Your Walt Disney World FastPass Plus Window To Open (what you'll see in your account)

Disney FuelRod Stations are Available at Disney Parks for Recharging Your Devices

Magic Bands for Shades of Green Guests

FastPass Plus for Shades of Green Guests

Memory Maker and PhotoPass

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

Walt Disney World’s FastPass Plus - Creating a Classed Theme Park Society

FastPass Plus – Does It Really Work For Highly Desired Attractions?

Military FastPass Plus Ticket Options for Disney World

Disney World Lines iPhone App - Current Crowds, Recommended Parks, Wait Times, & Fastpass Return Times on your iPhone (Free)

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



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.

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

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

Follow Military Disney Tips

Like our very active Facebook Page - Follow MDT on Twitter  - Follow MDT on Pinterest - Get Steve's Free newsletter


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I bought the military tickets but my id will expire before I can use them, does this mean I can’t activate them once my id expires??

  2. Hi, If my dad is buying the salute tickets on base with his retired military ID, but not traveling to disneyland with us, can my brother activate the tickets with his active duty military ID, if he is also going to disneyland and has bought his own military salute tickets that he purchased in his name??

    • Hi Christine,

      Your brother can activate up to a maximum of 6 tickets that either he or your dad bought. The 6 ticket limit is on the activation (use) not the purchase.

      If you need more than 6, those above the limit would need to be Regular Military Discounted Disney Tickets. Ideally the kids should use these as kids versions of these are cheaper.

  3. I’d like to use my military discount for some friends of mine that are traveling to Florida, however, I will not be going with them but I do live in California. Is it possible for me to buy discounted Disney World tickets on base here in California, then take them to DisneyLAND and have them activated so that when they get to DisneyWORLD, they’ll be good to go?

  4. My brother is purchasing my family family 5 Armed Forces Salute tickets through the online order form at Shades of Green. We are having them shipped to us so we can go ahead and link them to our new Magic bands and get our Fastpasses on them. He is based in Port Canaveral, right outside of Orlando and has an annual pass because he goes a lot with his own family. The lady at SOG told me that the armed forces member needs to be one of the people purchasing an Armed Forces Salute ticket….but he is already an annual passholder….do does he need to buy a ticket too!?

    • Hi Tiffany ,

      No absolutely not!

      If he has an AP he does not need to buy his own Salute ticket.

      I am a passholder and have never bought a Salute ticket when activating the tickets for family and friends. Besides Shades tickets are pre-activated.

  5. Can the tickets be activated on separate days? My husband, 2 kids, and I are getting to disney 2 days prior to my parents who we are planning on purchasing Armed Forces tickets for. We were planning on going to the parks one day prior to their arrival. Would we be able to activate our 4 tickets when we arrive and then activate their tickets the next day when they arrive?

    • Yes Amber, absolutely.

      As long as your ticket is still valid, you can activate tickets for those who join you later.

  6. I want to purchase a ticket at Shades of Green for my daughter. I’ll make the purchase in October, and she’ll be going in early December. Is there anything I need to do, or will her ticket be ready to go in December?

  7. Hello my brother bought the salute tickets he is the one in military and his daughter lost her ticket she is only 11yrs old and used it last night. Her ticket is linked to mydisney experience. What do we do?

    • Hi Sandra,

      Go by any Guest Relations location to get a replacement. It is good that it is linked to MDE!

  8. Hi Steve,
    My husband will be retiring this year and we plan to take our kids to Disney. If we purchase the tickets while he is active duty, can we use them after he retires? Or is it best to just purchase after he retires? I’m just not sure if his ID number will change and if the tickets would still be valid. I’d like to get them ahead just so we have them. Thanks for your help.

    Susan

    • Hi there Susan,

      You can certainly get them ahead of time. The ID number is not any part of the process. When you go after the retirement Disney will just look at his retiree ID to verify eligibility and you’ll be all set.

  9. We purchased our Salute tickets for our family through SOG and received them in the mail this weekend. We bought the 4-day passes. We may end up having extra days to spend in Orlando, and my kids have asked if we can go to the Disney waterparks if we are able to stay an extra couple of days. Is there a way we can add on the water park option to our tickets at a later time if we decide to extend our vacation?

  10. Hello Steve! We will be at DW for 8 days and will be buying salute tickets for 3 people. We are planning to purchase three of the 4 day Salute park hopper and three of the 4 day Salute park hopper w water park to use back to back. My question is how do I add these to MDE? Do I need to activate the one w the water park first if we are doing that in the first 4 days or does it matter? Or can this even be done?? Thank you so much for your help!!

  11. HI there, upon reading this great info I called to confirm that I could activate a day early at Disney springs. The guy on the phone told me, NO, you absolutely must go to one of the 4 parks. He ALSO said the day you activate you MUST go into the park and use a day. I told him that everything I read online said the opposite. He put me on hold forever, came back and confirmed his information. Please, is he wrong??? I’m hoping so!!

    • Hi Renee,

      First please read: http://www.militarydisneytips.com/Tips/Disneys-Call-Center-Very-Often-Wrong-On-Military-Discounts.html

      Calling Disney to ask a question about their military discounts is about as effective as calling Best Buy to ask about Disney’s military discounts.

      The guy and whoever he talked to while you were on hold are totally clueless. Everything he told you is wrong.

      You can indeed activate your Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets ahead of time at Disney Springs or any other Disney World ticket or guest relations location. I have done so many times over the years and tens of thousands of other military members have also over the last 8 years. You absolutely do not have to go into the park to use a day the same day you activate your tickets at Walt Disney World.

  12. Going to Disneyland this Summer, I’m retired and on the east coast and the bases around here only have Disney World tickets.
    The article states you can get them from the Disneyland hotels. Don’t want to get there and NO tickets so is this correct?

  13. Thanks for all your helpful information, this site is great! So, if I purchase my 6 tickets directly from SOG, does the military member and/or spouse still need to be there when the first ticket is activated at the park? I am asking because I am actually going to Disney a twice over the summer and once in the Fall so I was debating buying myself an annual pass instead (I am the military spouse) and using my tickets for my kids and my sister and my husband (the service member). The first trip would be just me and my sister though in June, so would she be able to use her ticket if I buy them now at shades of green even though none of the other 5 tickets would be being used until August?

    • Just to clarify, I (the military spouse) would be with her when she uses her ticket, but I would be using an AP not a military ticket, if that makes sense what I am trying to say 🙂

      • Yes that is allowable. For years I had a Florida Seasonal Pass and those accompanying me would use my Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets.

    • Hi Heather,

      Thanks so much!

      I’m not sure I totally understand the question, so I’ll just ramble…

      Tickets from Shades are pre activated (unless they change things, always query them), ready to use just like any other ticket.

      As a passholder you do not need to have a salute ticket to allow others to accompany you with Salute tickets.

      Here is where I’m fuzzy, you are going with your sister, so whether you have a pass or Salute ticket is not an issue. Just go right to the entry and go in.

      In the Fall (assuming there are 4 of you) the same will happen, take the 4 tickets or your pass and three tickets right to the entry and go on in.

      Did I hit the mark or am I totally off base as to what you needed?

      Just let me know!

      • Yes, the is what I am basically asking, because I have always read that the military member and/or spouse has to be there when the first ticket is used, and I WILL be, but I wouldn’t be using a salute ticket I would be using an AP, so I wanted to make sure the salute ticket I buy for my sister from SOG she will be able to use. I am buying them ahead of time and will be lining it to MDE so it should be ready to go for her, right?

  14. Can you tell me, if I buy a 4-day salute ticket and later decide I want to do the 5-day can I add that extra day? I know I can’t add anything over the 5-day but I didn’t know if I bought the smaller of the two options if I could upgrade my ticket to a 5-day. Thanks!

    • Hi Heather,

      That is a great question that I do not have an answer to. I’ve gotten it a couple times so let me reach out to Disney and see if I can get an answer. Unfortunately they have not been cooperative with answers over the last year.

      But my initial thought on an answer would be no, that isn’t possible.

      I’ll post if I hear back.

  15. Hi Steve. First of all, thanks for all the great information you provide! It has been very helpful. I’m hoping you can help me with the following scenario.

    My wife, son, and I will be traveling to Disney World for eight days this summer. If I understand correctly, we can purchase six four-day Military Salute tickets and use them back-to-back. Can we actually activate all of them at the same time, or do we need to activate and use one set before we actually activate the second set?

    Now suppose my son wants to take a buddy who can secure a ticket from another military member, but that military member will not be traveling with us. Can that military member purchase a Military Salute ticket from Shades of Green for my son’s friend? I realize that I can only activate my family’s six tickets, but since Shades of Green tickets come pre-activated, do you see any issues?

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Kevin,

      Thanks so much!

      You should be able to activate them all at once. Depends on the cast member you are working with. If not just get the second set when it is convenient.

      And I see no issues with the friend’s ticket. His sponsor should (always) verify the ticket will come activated as a change in policy is possible.

  16. I have a family of six so we bought the limit 6 tickets for our family my daughter friend her dad is retired is coming with us her mom will purchase a ticket for her can she use the ticket with her own id or does her parent need to be there

  17. Hi Steve, thank you SO much for all the great info. I think you have answered this in the questions above but I still want to clarify.

    My husband and I are going to Disney World in October. He is stationed at the Pentagon and can buy tickets there. Can we attach them to our My Disney Experience before we go to the parks? So we can get fast passes 60 days before the trip?

    Sorry if this was clear in the post but I just wanted to make sure since I didn’t know this info previous trips and we always had to wait till the day of to get our fast passes and would not get very good ones.

    Thanks again!

  18. If tickets are not “activated” until arrival, does this mean you can’t make Fast Pass reservations ahead of time?

  19. We’ve always activated our tickets on the morning of our first park day but this year we’d like to avoid that and activate them the evening before at Disney Springs like you recommend. My question is will Disney Springs Guest Relations be open as long as the posted Disney Spring hours?

    I’ll be in orlando earlier than everyone else who is flying in. I’m taking my kids and going to do it to kill some time waiting for the rest of our party. But their flights don’t even land until 6 so we’ll be getting theirs activated around 9pm at the earliest. Will this be a problem if Disney SPrings posts that it’s open until midnight? I just worry that guest relations closes up shop before the rest of the joint, you know?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi there Crystal,

      Yes they sure will be open to take care of guests. Great choice, it makes getting to the magic so much faster in the morning!

  20. Do SOG preactivated salute tickets (the ones you can have mailed in advance) still require the military person to be present and show id upon 1st entry to the park?

    • Hi Kristin,

      No. the only ID check at Walt Disney World is during the activation process, not during first use.

      Disneyland however checks the ID both times.

      • Thanks for all the great info btw! This site has been sooo helpful. Another question then… SOG told my dad Disney World would do random ID checks for the “ready to go” tickets. Any insight on that?

        Asking because we (my husband and I) were wanting to go a little earlier and spread out our days more since we have younger kiddos. It would be easier on our family. What that means though is we would not enter on the first day with my dad (the one eligible to get the tickets). They are not able to come earlier with us and because we are using a timeshare we can’t extend the stay past the dates, only before the dates we originally planned. We will be with them for the remainder of the trip. It would just be the first few days, if we did that. We’re having trouble determining if we’d have a hard time getting in.

        • Thanks Kristin,

          I have not heard that before. The tickets once active act like any other ticket and the entry location is physically separated from where you activate them so how would they know where the ticket was activated, Shades or a ticket window. Plus the member is not required to accompany their guests at any time. Using the ticket without them is perfectly alright (except they are really supposed to be there (just not with you)).

          Shades may be saying that to prevent uses outside the rules, which I’m sorry to say yours kind of is. Disney’s intent is that the member accompanies the party on the vacation and the regular Salute ticket activation process enforces this. Shades offering tickets pre-activated like this creates a gray area (and also opens up scalping possibilities).

          I don’t believe you’ll have any problem.

          A little rambley, but trying to lay it all out…

  21. Different question. I am purchasing an AP, as I will be moving. My ex-husband is retired and my son has a military ID. My son in law was just discharged in 2016. We are planning a family vacation. I am a DOD Civilian employee working for the Army. Is there any way my son can purchase the tickets? I have a DOD ID and he has a Dependent ID? AND NO DAD WILL NOT Be JOINING US!!! LOL

    Thank you!

  22. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for all the great info.
    I’m not sure if this was answered or not but does Disneyland ask for 2 forms of ID from the military personnel or just their military ID?

    The reason I ask is because we leave next week and I’m in the middle of a name change and will have my military ID with my old last name while my driver’s license will have my new name.

    Thanks,

    • Hi Frances,

      Just the military ID is needed, so no issues! Any single photo ID for the other adults in your party.

  23. Hi Steve,
    My brother is a Purple Heart Marine and considered 100% disabled. He was honorably discharged due to his injuries while serving overseas at 26 years old(10 years ago). He wants to go to Disney World this fall and plans on buying the Armed Forces Salute tickets on base here in Pennsylvania for himself and 5 other family members(including me, yeah!)
    Before doing so, I want to make sure the activation process will be a smooth transaction … what documents and/or identification will he need to provide Disney’s Guest Relations booth? I would hate to travel all the way to FL without the proper documents and be told he couldn’t activate them. Thanks so much!!

  24. I have a pressing question. My father purchased our military Disney tickets, but is not accompanying us on the trip. I am however going with a military spouse/friend who is a annual pass holder. Is she permitted to activate our tickets at the gate the day we attend the park? She was not the original purchaser of the tickets and will not be purchasing her own ticket again since she is a AP holder? She will be attending with us. We are not breaking any rules? Right…?

    • You will be all set Tiffany. The person who purchases and activates need not be the same person. As an AP holder your friend need not have their own salute ticket. As long as she has not activated any tickets during this offer period she can activate up to 5 salute tickets.

  25. Hello!

    This info is all so helpful- I too spent time on the phone getting wrong information! So I just want to check. We are a large family traveling to Disney World from all different states with 2 military members. We all get in at slightly different times, but are planning on going to the park the first day we all arrive.

    Each military member (Dad and brother) was planning on buying 6 Salute tickets. Would you recommend we go through SOG based on our different arrival times? If so- we call and they process the purchase of “pre-activates” tickets through FedEx (for a fee)?? If we buy through the bases, I’m worried about us coordinating activation.

    Curious to get your thoughts and recommendations- thanks!

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks so much! I’m glad to have helped.

      Yes if two groups of 6 can’t gather for two different activations, the best thing would be to pay the 10 bucks shipping each to get tickets from Shades. So much easier.

      You could do multiple activations as each group arrives, but that will just take up more of your time.

  26. We purchased shades of green tickets for my family (husband military) and my brother (non military). I fed exed there tickets to them. We are staying at same hotel..art of animation, but not going to same parks the first 2 days…my mistake, long story. My question is, can he get in with his family without my husband those first 2 days. I read about activating them the night before at like Disney Springs, but that is not an option for us.

      • Hi Jessica, Yes they should have no problem. Without you or your husband there. Shades should have advised you that your tickets were were activated, but they don’t do that for some reason…

  27. My kids grandparents gave them disney tickets for a gift. The grandmother past away and grandpa cant make it. What can he done about this situation we dont have a military id grandmother and grandpa did. Could he get his money back

  28. Hi Steve! Im in a panic. I purchased my 5 salute tickets from the base. I imputed them into My Disney Experience to be able to do Fast Pass+. We leave next week for our vacation and I realized I can not find the tickets anywhere! What can I do??

    • Oh My Gosh,

      Do you have the receipt? On the plus side you have the tickets linked to each person.

      Your only recourse is to explain what happened at a guest relations window and see if they will activate the tickets based upon the ticket linked in MDE without having the physical ticket (hopefully with the receipt). Be persistent if you are first told no, politely escalate to management.

      I’d be really interested to hear the outcome after you get back!

  29. We bought tickets from Shades of Green but they were mailed to us. Do these come activated or are the tickets only activated if you buy them at the Shades of Green resort?

    • Hi Christie,

      It baffles me as to why Shades is not clear to their customers whether the tickets require activation or not! Awful customer service.

      As far as I know they should be active (unless Shades has changed their policy). I really recommend contacting them and ask for clarification and complain that they should be clear when mailing them.

      • I plan on contacting them first thing tomorrow. They literally sent us the email and then called 48 hours later for payment. I did not even know about ticket activation until reading through this site for tips (which are so helpful, by the way). This is a first trip for us, so I will be sure to update when I find out!

  30. Hi Steve,
    I just wanted to verify that I am reading this correctly about buying pre-activated tickets from Shades of Green. My husband is retired Airforce and we are going in November. So we can order online from Shades of Green and they are pre-activated? So we will be good when we arrive to go straight to the parks? And I can link them to our magic bands before hand as well? We have always bought them at our local ITT office and then activated them onsite but this trip we’ll be getting in later than normal and won’t be able to activate tickets until we hit the first park. So if I am reading it correctly, then getting them from Shades of Green would be better and would avoid this? Just double checking. Thanks for all you do.
    Valerie

    • Hey Valerie,

      Thank you!

      Yes as of this week Shades is still shipping activated tickets. Although they have poor customer service and do not tell you this or explain it, they just fedex the tickets with no explanation.

      During your purchase process I would ask them to verify they are activated (I had another reader have to check after the purchase this week), maybe they will get the hint to let people know what they are buying.

  31. A military friend bought 6 of the Salute passes for Disney World and activated them all earlier this summer, when they used 3 out of the 6 passes. The three remaining passes were activated when the military member visited the park, but not used, as the three intended guests could not attend the trip at the last minute. Are the 3 activated passes able to be used without the military member present (I realize this is not the intended purpose of the pass, but due to unforseen circumstances, the three passes need to be used seoarately)?

    • Hi there Kate,

      Yes the tickets can be used without the member present since they are already activated, of course with the caveat that you put in parentheses, the member or spouse “should” be part of the party .

  32. I emailed shades of green to confirm the tickets they fed ex are activated and received this reply, ”
    We do active the tickets here but the service member or spouse will need to be present on the first day the tickets are used.”

    So is there still an id check to verify? Is there a way for me to tell, upon receipt, if the tickets are activated?

    • Hi C,

      There is no way to tell. You have to take them at their word.

      There is no ID check for activated tickets, they work just like any other ticket. Those Shades sends are no different than a ticket your just showed your ID to activate when buying from Disney. Shades is saying that to cover their buts.

    • For anyone going to Disneyland , just got back June 19-28th. Got my tickets at Paradise Pier Hotel, went to the gate and has long has I was there the 1st time no problem. They snap a picture on there new little device and that was it.

      • Thanks Daniel,

        C was asking about WDW, which has very different procedures for the Disney Armed Forces Salute.

        Great to know that the DLR Hotels are still selling tickets! Were you a guest of the hotel, or did you just walk in?

  33. Ok so I have maybe a complicated question. I want to buy tickets, but to get the pre active ones do I have to buy them directly from Shades of Green over the phone or can I go to my local military post here in Kentucky and get the same ones?

    Also can anyone confirm that they have bought tickets over the phone and when they got to Disney World the tickets were activated and that you don’t need your ID anymore?

    • Hi Al,

      You cannot buy activated tickets anywhere other than Shades of Green (in person or long distance) or a on site Disney location, so not at your base.

      I’ve had numerous reader reports of Shades activated tickets working just fine.

  34. My ex-husband (active military, lives in Iowa) wants to buy tickets for our daughter and her friends to go to Disneyland. She has a dependent ID. Will she be able to get into the park?

  35. We were going to buy our Disneyland Military Salute tickets at the gate the day before we were planning to enter the parks so we could go right to the turnstiles the next day. Will that mean we will lose a day on our pass if we do that?

    • Hi Shai,

      Thanks for the question. I realize I wasn’t as clear as I could have been and have edited the post. You can buy your tickets ahead of time and then on your first park day proceed directly to the turnstiles for the activation.

  36. Yes , i’ve read most of the comments here and my situation is a tad abnormal so if possible to shed some light on it would help.

    My father(retired) is wanting to purchase shades of green pre-activated tickets for himself and his grand kids to attend with their parents, however he is wanting them to attend a day or two ahead of him due to him not being able to walk as much but wants them to not worry about him for the first couple days and enjoy it their way and not slow them down to his pace.. Will there be a problem with the pre activated tickets if he is not present the first day or two. Will they be alright to attend the park with the tickets without him the first two days. Will it be better to attend the first day to get them in the gate and then take a break the second day or do visits have to be consecutive.

    I understand the purpose is to spend with the user however he wants them to get most of their energy out before he joins and has to slow them down.

    • Hi Bryan,

      You’ve done your homework!

      They should not have any trouble using the tickets they way you propose. I’ve never experienced a pre-activated ticket working any differently than one I purchased from Disney directly with my ID. Just take it to the tapstile and enter.

  37. Hey,

    So I’ve been to Disney several times but this time we are going with my brother in law and sister in law, my sister in law is in the reserves and my brother in law is disabled from the army. We will be traveling with my parents in law (2), my brother in law and sister in law and their 3 kids (5), then my husband and I and our 2, but oknly one needs a ticket. My question is can both my sister and law and brother in law each get 6 tickets for all of us or can they just get the 6? Im trying to make sure that we’re all covered and that we don’t have any problems when we get there since I’m the resident expert, ha! Thanks so much for your help!
    Jen

    • Hi Jen

      So to be clear, your BIL is medically separated, not medically retired and drawing retirement pay and in possession of a retired military ID?

      I’m assuming that is the case.

      If so, your SIL is eligible for 6 Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets, he however is not eligible without a military ID.

      For a big party like yours adults should use the Salute tickets to realize the most savings (that covers all the adults right?). Kids 3-9 yrs (and other adults) will need to use the Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way Tickets. These are only slightly discounted. See: http://www.militarydisneytips.com/blog/disney-military-discounts/regular-disney-military-discount-for-walt-disney-world-and-disneyland-tickets/

      For parties with more than 6 adults it would be up to the party whether they pooled the cost of Salute and Regular Military tickets or let those that needed the biggest discount use the Salute tickets.

  38. Hello!

    I am wondering if you ever heard anymore about changing your “already purchased” 4 day hopper salute to the 5 day hopper salute?

    Here is my situation:

    I purchased (3) 4 day park hopper salute tickets from ITT on base. Turns out we want to go 5 days instead. I called ITT and was told that we could change our ticket at the gate and pay the difference in costs. I then called Disney to confirm and was put on hold for quite some time while they figured it out. I was told that I can come to guest relations to change my 4 day park hopper salute to a 5 day park hopper salute and the difference in costs. I hope this information is correct and am just wondering if you have found anything out about this situation? I hope to get some solid information before adding another night to my hotel reservation!

    Thank you!

    • Hi Morgan,

      Yes what you’ve been told is correct. I also reached out to Disney through official channels a while back when I received a few questions similar to yours, and they replied that you can upgrade the 4-Day Salute tickets to 5-day versions for the price difference.

  39. I am an ex spouse of a retired naval reserve Master Chief Gunners Mate. I qualified for all the benefits, medical, commisary, etc because of the length of marriage while he was serving I have my own military I.D. Card allowing me to use Military discounts when available. I recently purchased Disney World tickets at Ft. Knox in KY. Will there be a problem activating them once we get to Florida?

    • Hi Becky,

      That depends on what type of “Disney World tickets” you purchased.

      There are 2 kinds the Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets and the Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way Tickets (see the links for prices to determine what you have if you don’t know):

      Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way Tickets – Slightly discounted tickets that come in 1 to 10 day lengths. You can use these with your ID. These tickets are only about 4 to 8 percent off: (prices)

      If you have these you are fine.

      Disney Armed Forces Salute – Special, highly discounted, limited amount tickets that only come in 4 and 5 day versions. These tickets are 50 percent off. They are non refundable and you cannot use these. The ticket office should not have sold them to you.

      If you have these you are not OK.

      The Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets are one thing that doesn’t transfer in a divorce. There is no provision for that, they are the benefit of the member (or their current spouse in their place, if there is one) per the company that offers the discount (Disney).

      Your using this limited ticket benefit would use up the member’s tickets allotment.

      An ID card must say spouse in order to qualify to activate the tickets. (IDK what IDs say in your situation)

      Having said all this, you have two options, try to return the Salute tickets or roll the dice.

      Return: As I said the Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets are non-refundable, but you might try to get them to let you use them towards the regular military tickets at Ft. Knox. Trying to return non-refundable tickets is always a “challenge” and since they don’t know what they are doing there, they may just tell you that you are fine and refuse to help.

      Using them: If you choose to try to use them or the ticket office will not take them back, you might get lucky and the Disney cast member activating your tickets after arrival might not look too closely at your ID. But if you are turned down you will then have to try to get them to allow you to use the tickets towards full price ones.

      See this post on doing that.

  40. If we buy salute tickets and activate them before the last day 12/21, do we lose the remaining days, or can we still use them for the 4-day length?

  41. Hi Steve!

    Getting a bit of conflicting info, so trying to verify.

    Heading to Disneyland next week with AFS tickets (Mom is retired military), will we be able to convert these to AP’s.

    If so, can we activate & upgrade at the ticket booth? Or will we need to activate by entering a park, then going back to ticket booth to upgrade.

    Two different phone calls took place, 1 CM said OK to update, the other said AFS tickets not eligible to be upgraded to AP’s.

    Any insight you can provide will be appreciated!

    Thank you

    • Hi Nikki,

      First you can upgrade Salute tickets to APs (for the last 9 years).

      Second if your intent is to use towards APs then just go to a ticket booth and exchange them. That should be all that is needed. No need to enter first.

  42. Hi Steve – Thanks for all the great information on this site, it is SO helpful! Had a question – can Military Salute WDW tickets be activated at a WDW resort front desk? I know I have upgraded park tickets (regular park tickets) at a resort front desk before, so I didn’t know if this was considered a Disney ticket window/guest services. Thanks!

  43. My granddaughter is the sole sponsor (her dad died active duty and her mother remarried) she was allowed to buy the Military Salute tickets on base but can she be the one to active them? she is 12 yr old and has a military dependent ID. I usually go with them but they are planning to go this summer and I can’t make it. I am an retired spouse the activated the tickets once their with them.

    • Hi MayLing,

      I’m sorry, no. Non-spouse dependents are not eligible for the Disney Armed Forces Salute. Only the member or spouse in their place is eligible.

      SHe is eligible to buy and use the Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets, is that what they actually sold her and not the Salute tickets?

      See: http://www.militarydisneytips.com/blog/disney-military-discounts/regular-disney-military-discount-for-walt-disney-world-and-disneyland-tickets/

      • Hi Steve, the base sold her the 4 day park hopper salute tickets last time and I activated it when we got there. He mom remarried a civilian and only my granddaughter has a military ID that has AD on it. She has to be the one showing it at the commissary and PX when they go to the base

        • Yes, your grand daughter has privileges on base, but the Disney Armed Forces Salute is totally different.

          Only the member or spouse can buy or use them. In the past (or this time) they should not have soled then to her, but you were able to activate them with your spouse ID.

          Since you are not going these tickets cannot be used. She needs to try to exchange them at the base for the Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets..

          Please email me and we can talk more offline steve (at) militarydisneytips.com