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

Why is this?

Disney allows military resellers (Base ITT/ITR Offices and Shades of Green) 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.

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 current Salute 29 Sep 2012-27 Sept 2014 you are allowed a total of 6 tickets.

When the military member (or spouse) activates the tickets, Disney gathers information on the military member (non-privacy act), which they tie to the tickets in their system. This is what tracks the number of tickets that you have active at any one time.

Once the tickets have been activated the party does not need to stay together. They can go to different parks, at different times, on different days. In the circumstance you asked about the member could spend a day to two and leave whir their friends continued to use the tickets, or not even use the ticket.

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 mil IDs. 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.”

Disney will enter some information into their system which the service member or spouse must provide. This is:  The service member’s name, birth date, base where assigned, and an e-mail address. Disney will look at everyone’s ID and tie his or her name to a specific ticket. They will have everyone sign the back of their ticket so that they won’t be mixed up. The first time you use the ticket in turnstile 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.

Why so complicated?

Disney does this to prevent scalping. Sad but true, but these special 4-day military (3-day for Disneyland) salute tickets cost between the price of a 1-day and 2-day regular military discount ticket. That leave 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
    • Magic Kingdom – Guest Relations Window or the Transportation and Ticket Center
    • Epcot – Main Entrance or International Gateway
    • Hollywood Studios
    • Animal Kingdom
  • Both Water Parks
    • Typhoon Lagoon
    • Blizzard Beach
  • Downtown Disney Shopping Area
    • Disney Quest
    • DTD Guest Relations

Disneyland Locations:

  • Disneyland Armed Forces Salute tickets can be taken directly to the park turnstiles.

Your salute tickets can not be activated at your Disney resort hotel!

When can you activate your tickets?

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. I recommend that you activate them the day or evening before you want to use them. For instance on your day of arrival, you could take a fun trip to Downtown Disney for dinner, some shopping and a movie or show. (DTD 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 get this done!

Disney’s Key To The World

Many readers ask if their Disney Armed Forces Salute theme park tickets can be added to their Key to the World (Room Key) as regular theme park tickets can. Unfortunately the answer is no.

It’s Easy if you know how

I do get a lot of questions on this. SoI hope this clear up any confusion on the subject of ticket activations!

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Steve Recommends
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.

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The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World - Best WDW Planning book in my opinion

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Ears of Experience - My recommended Travel Agent, Fee Free, Disney Only, Military Family Owned The premier website for first time visitors to Walt Disney World!

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  1. Jennifer says

    Our tickets say that they’re etickets and can be taken directly to the turnstiles. Do we still have to activate them?

    • Steve says

      Hi Jennifer,

      Are they Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets or regular mil discounted Disney tickets? Disney World or Disneyland?

      Regular mil tickets don’t need to be activated.

      Armed Forces Salute tickets have to for WDW, and just learned from a reader on Facebook that at DL you now can go straight to the turnstile w/out activation.

    • Kenneth Cox says

      Good Evening Steve,

      First, I would like to say thank you. It is awesome you keep us all informed about this special military offer. The question that I have this evening is, I still have my Armed Forces Salute tickets from 1 Oct. 2012 – 28 Sept. 2013. Would it be anyway to use these tickets in September of 2014? My family was unable to attend Disney this year, due to medical reasons. The tickets were never activated. Please let me know if there is any possibility to use the tickets, and not loose the money. Or do I need to contact the Disney ticket office for clarification?

      Thank you

      • Steve says

        Hi there Kenneth,

        Well Disney’s policy is that the tickets expire on 28 Sept. and are non-refundable. My only thought is to take them with you and try to get them to apply what you paid towards the new ones, since you never activated them. I imagine you’ll have to go through several layers of management.

  2. Melanie says

    Where is Downtown Disney can the tickets be activated? That would save much time the next morning arriving at the park.

    • Steve says

      Melanie that is a super idea! We do that too sometimes.

      You can activate them at the Disney Quest ticket window in the West Side and at the DTD Guest Services counter in the Matketplace between Arribas Brothers and Team Mickey.

  3. Amanda says

    We are going with family the first week of July. My husband’s uncle is the military member who purchased these for us. So, we do not have to use one day of our park hopper pass to activate the card correct? We could activate one day and still have four different days to enter parks? (Activate Saturday, and still go Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday into the parks for example) And once the activation is completed we do not all have to go to the same park each time, right?

    • Steve says

      Right on all counts Amanda.

      The activation process does not subtract a day from the ticket. You could activate a ticket tomorrow and first start using the park entrances on it next month.

      At WDW the party does not have to be with the member, you can go to different parks, even use the tickets on different days. At Disneyland in California the whole party has to enter the park together every single time and they check the member’s ID.

      • Amanda says

        Thanks so much Steve for sharing all of your wonderful info with us! I appreciate it!

    • Karen says

      Steve –
      Quick question…. My brother is in the military and I am planning on taking my 3 nieces to WDW. He wants to purchase the Salute To The Troops tickets for us to use. My concern is that he will not be with us on the trip. I am concerned that he needs to be with us to activate the tickets. Is this true?

  4. Eric says

    I’ve tried searching and couldn’t find the answer to my question so here goes: How does the spouse activate the tickets and what information does he/she need? Thank you


    • Steve says

      Hi Eric,

      Good question

      With their dependent ID Card (DD Form 1173) which must show a relationship of either “Spouse” or “Unremarried Widow.” And they will need to provide the service member’s name, birth date, base where assigned, and an e-mail address (the same info a member must provide).

      I’ll add this to the post

      • Sharon says

        Why are fingerprints taken? What is the reason for fingerprinting? Will this be during the activation of the id card? Will the children also have to be fingerprinted?

        • Steve says

          Hi Sharon,

          It is to prevent the transferring of tickets between people. All Disney tickets are non-transferable. It also helps deter ticket theft.

          First, it isn’t fingerprinting in the traditional sense. No messy ink and big cards. It is like briefly setting one finger on the face of s iPad.

          Disney’s finger scanners scan one fingertip for its fingerprint information but does not store the entire fingerprint image, but only numerical information about certain points.

          The data on the scans is kept independent of all of any other system and will be purged 30 days after the ticket expires or when the computer determines that it is fully used up. Disney has been doing this for all tickets since around 2006. Prior to that they used a scanner which measured the length of your first two fingers.

          This isn’t done on activation rather each time you enter a park. You will hold your ticket up to a scanner and then set your finger on the scanner. This shows you have a valid ticket and it belongs to you.

          Yes, the kids will do this too, they will think it’s fun.

  5. Jill says

    Your site has been so helpful! My Mother, who is a (retired) military spouse, has been buying the Salute tickets for several years so that she and my brother and his boys can go to WDW with my husband and I. (We live in FL and have passes.) All this time we did not know that the WP&M option included the ESPN complex, the Oak Trail Golf Course or the mini golf! We also did not know that we could buy the tickets at Shades of Green, which saves a trip to the base in Tampa. Thank you for that info!!
    I do have a question about activation. On the “Top Ten Things To Know About Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Military Discount Tickets” page it says that the first use of the ticket must be on the same day of activation. But on this page it says that it does not have to be used on the same day that you activate it. Which one is true? It makes a big difference on how early we have to get to the park before it opens if activation and first use have to be the same day. :)
    Again, thanks so much. Your bookmarked now!

    • Steve says

      Hi Jill,

      I’m so glad the site has been helpful to your family!

      The additions to the WPF&M are only about a year or two old, so are “recent”additions to the ticket.

      And I apologize for the confusion, Disney changed the AFS offer several times after releasing it (at my prompting).

      They always seem to come up with goofy new rules that make no sense and then I have to spend a couple months getting them straightened out… This year I’ve offered to QC the offer before they release it, we’ll see.

      You can activate them anytime prior to use! The same day is not required.

  6. Erin says

    You mentioned the need to provide an email address to activate the tickets. My husband was formally in the military and I still have a non-expired ID would we just provide a general email address along with the other info?


    • Steve says

      Well Erin,

      The Disney Armed Forces Salute is for current and retired members of the military. Those who separate are not eligible. Wasn’t your husband required to turn in your ID when he separated?

      If he’s with you they’ll want him to activate the tickets, the spouse can do it if the member can’t go.

  7. Lisa says

    Hi, Steve,

    This is a great blog–can’t believe I haven’t found it before. Love the idea of activating tickets at Downtown Disney the night before–thanks for that tip!

    This is a little off topic, but I was wondering if you can split up the 4 days on the Armed Forces Salute. Or do they have to be four consecutive days? We’ll be there a week and thought about doing two days early in the week and two days late in the week–skipping a couple of days in the middle.

    Thanks for your advice!

    • Steve says

      Hey Lisa,

      Thanks! Glad you’ve found us.

      You can use the Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets any way you want as long as it is by 28 Sept 2013. My wife’s has 2 days on it right now, we used the first two last Nov.


  8. Jessica M says

    Hi There!
    I was wondering if it matters whose email is provided? I dont specifically recall giving an email address when i purchased the tickets, so do I give mine that I likely used when i purchased (if I gave them that one, lol) the tickets or my husbands active duty .mil email address?

    Are there any food discounts for military in the park by chance? I noticed that they consider a 10 year old an adult now but mine barely eats a thing unfortunately :(

    Thank You!

  9. Jerry says

    I tried to search in an effort not to ask a question that has already been answered, so if someone has, please forgive the duplication. I am the members’ spouse. Two years agos when at WDW I purchased the Armed Forces Salute tickets for both my kids, but not one for myself as I was not going to the parks. We are again returning to WDW next month and I want to buy the tickets again just for my kids, I still do not wish to go to the parks. I was wondering if that can still be done without a problem?

    On another note, my husband has passed away since the last time I purchased the tickets and I have recently obtained my new ID. I read in another post that the relationship status must be “spouse or “unmarried widow”. When I obtained the new ID my relationship status is listed as “DB”. While still on base I asked what those letters meant and was told the “DB” (Dept. of Defense beneficiary) was now used in place of the “unmarried widow” abbreviation, but meant the same thing. While new to me, I am assuming WDW is aware of the abbreviation and I won’t have any problems with the identification on my ID when purchasing the tickets? Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Steve says

      Hi Jerry,

      Well… With the Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets either the member or spouse is required to purchase and activate a ticket for themselves. The person who let you get tickets for just your kids was being kind as you said you had no interest. That may or may not happen again this year, so be prepared to buy one for yourself too. It will still be less than 2 regular priced tickets for just them.

      Here is a quote from a contact of mine who works in WDW tickets.

      “If the service member is not available the spouse or unremarried widow may purchase and/or activate up to five Tickets for family and guests…Note that the Dependent ID Card (DD Form 1173) must show a relationship of either “Spouse” or “Unremarried Widow” to be able to activate the tickets. No other relationship can purchase tickets or have previously purchased tickets activated.”

      I’ve not heard of the DB code, could you get something in writing from the base which says this had replaced Unremarried Widow in case there is a question?

      • Jerry says

        Thank you for such a quick response. Yes, I agree, if I am required to purchase a ticket for myself we would still be saving substantial money.

        I did go to a government website for CAC card eligibility and the “DB” is a valid relationship code, but also lists the unmarried widow code as well. I read on a non-government website that the DB code was introduced some years ago and is often used in the case of widow status when sensitivity is a concern. Because it is an unofficial website, it’s hard to know whether that is accurate information or someone’s interpretation. I will check with the base tomorrow and get clarification as I am indeed an unmarried widow.

        Thanks again for all the information and your time in investigating my questions. :-) This is a most helpful website!

        • Jerry says

          I wanted to give an update on my trip to the CAC office on Base.
          CAC personnel confirmed the “URW” abbreviation had been replaced with the “DB” abbreviation for widows sometime between late 2007 or 2008. I have copied the link to the list of DEERS RAPIDS CAC Support Office FAQ’s that gives the explanation:

          The list of FAQ’s are quite lengthy, with the answer for this question near the end, so I copied the actual verbiage for this question:

          “Will un-remarried widows still show on their ID Cards as URW?

          No, there has been a change. ID cards will no longer reflect the Un-remarried Widow status (URW), but will be noted as Department of Defense Beneficiary (DB) the correct annotation given by RAPIDS is now a Department of Defense Beneficiary (DB). In 2007 the actual change of terms URW to DB was recommended through a change request from the Marines and the Army through the Joint Casualty Board, submitted and voted on by the JUSPAC and submitted to Defense Management Data Center (DMDC) for change due to sensitivity over the term “Un-remarried Widow”. Apparently widows did not like to be reminded of their loss. . DMDC was made aware of the concern around the same time the service Project Officers were made aware by the request from their Casualty Office counterparts. Reason for the change came from widows who happened to be members of the Blue Star organization.”

          When Base personnel pulled up my record in the office, the “URW” abbreviation was listed in my actual record, however not in the area that prints on the card. (They even printed a “test” card to further assure me that the “DB” was the correct abbreviation code as listed on my current card.) They seemed surprised that the change was not a more known fact…interesting. I plan to bring the documentation they provided to me when I go. It would be beneficial if this information would be made more public with regard to companies that provide these kinds of offers.

          • Steve says

            Thanks for the update Jerry!

            Please let us know how the process works at Disney, if you have any issues or have to show the paperwork.

            Thanks, Steve

          • Jerry says

            Back from our WDW trip and happy to report there were no problems/questions with my ID and the “DB” code. I was not asked to show any other documentation. I did ask to speak with a person in supervision at the guest relations area where I purchased the tickets. The supervisor told me that he had been informed of the “DB” in place of “URW” code change sometime ago. He said he couldn’t be exact on when, but thought it had been at least two or three years ago. He said they are consistently being updated in training meetings regarding info pertinent to the military specials, but the information on the Disney website may not always reflect all those kind of details.

          • Steve says

            Jerry, thanks so much for checking back!

            I made sure as I was coordinating today’s Disney Armed Forces Salute renewal that I passed on th Disney management the change to “DB”, but seems like they were already goo to go.

            Glad you had a good trip, Steve

          • Steve says

            No they don’t Abraham, certain information from the service member’s ID will be entered into their system (Name, Birth Date, base where assigned and e-mail address).

  10. Jean says

    Hi Steve,
    I haven’t seen this questions before. If I purchase six Armed Forces Salute ticket and validate only four (one of which will be the military member), can we validate the remaining two the following week? The military member with one of the original tickets would be there to show ID then as well. Do all tickets that were purchased together have to validated on the same day?
    Thanks, Jean

    • Steve says

      Hi Jean,

      You can do that. They don’t all have to be activated at once. You can do multiple activations (within the limit of 6 tickets.

      HAve fun

  11. Bryan says


    I don’t think you answered this question yet. Maybe you did and I missed it.

    I want a military friend to purchase 6 of the Salute Tickets, but he will not be with us. My father in law, who is military, will meet us at Disney.

    Can we purchase the tickets from our friend & activate them through my father in law? I don’t want to spend $900 & get down there & realize that our friend had to activate them!

    • Steve says

      Hi Bryan,

      The two transactions are totally separate. When a military member presents tickets to be activated it doesn’t matter where they came from or if they purchased them. They ask for nothing but the tickets and a military ID.

      But you have to remember that your father in law must activate one of the 6 tickets for himself.

  12. Amy says

    Hi Steve,
    My best friend, who is the Military member was suppose to come on our vacation with us. He is leaving to be deployed at the end of month and because of this he found out he has mandatory drill to attend and other mandatory things to do… He is able to come to activate the tickets but he will not be able to go to the parks. We have 6 tickets purchased. He would heave been one of the 6. If he is there to activate it, does one of the tickets have to go to him or can someone else use the ticket he was going to use so the ticket does not go to waste?

    • Steve says

      Hi Amy,

      Per Disney’s rules one of the tickets must be for him.

      At Disney World: Once the tickets are active he won’t need to be with you. But at Disneyland He’d have to enter the parks with you each time.

  13. Marie says


    We have a larger family with five children. With my spouse and I, we have a total of seven people going to WDW. My husband and I both have military IDs. Will he be able to purchase 6 tickets with his ID and the can I purchase a single ticket with mine?

    • Steve says

      Hi Marie,

      Are you military too or a dependent?

      If you are military you are each eligible for 6 tickets on your own.

      But Disney does have a “large family” exception to the 6 ticket rule. A husband and wife who have 5 or more dependent children can get the number of tickets they need for the family. SO this will take care of you if you are not military also.

      If you are both military you would each be eligible for 7 using this rule (if the one not using their tickets at the time shows a drivers license for ID).

  14. Julie says

    My husband and I will be traveling to Disney World in Sept with three young adults. We are wanting to get the Kids the military 4 day tickets and my husband and I will be purchasing military annual passes because we will be staying longer than the kids. Do you think there will be a problem since we will not be getting one of the 4 day tickets to activate theirs? Thanks in advance.

    • Steve says

      Hi Julie,

      No problem at all> WDW does allow this as the APs are more expensive. I have a FL Seasonal pass and get the AFS tickets for my wife, who doesn’t go as much…

  15. Bridget says

    I thought I had the answer but now I’m not sure. So we are going to wdw and my brother in law is an active member. He will arrive on wed morning and wants to activate his ticket then. The rest of the family will arrive on thurs morning. No military members. Can he get tickets for the group or just him/his wife since they will be there at a different time? Also can be get some with waterparks and park hoppers and some with just park hoppers or do they all need to be the same type?

    • Steve says

      Hi Bridget,

      Getting different types is just fine.

      What I recommend on the activation is he try to activate them all when he does his. They may or may not do it, be sure he tells them the rest are coming the next day.

      If they won’t activate the rest without you there, there should be no problem doing so once you are there.

  16. Gina says

    My husband and I both have active duty ID cards- but he just separated and is starting in the inactive reserves with no ID card. Both of our active duty (service member and spouse) ID cards are still unexpired since he just separated from Active Duty. What can we do to ensure that we don’t run into any problems using the Military Salute room discount and activating and using our tickets? Will the information be double checked with the Army? Since we don’t have a reserve ID to use we could use the unexpired Active Duty ID’s to present at the hotel at check in and to activate the tickets but I don’t want to get in trouble.

    • Steve says

      Hi Gina,

      A valid ID will suffice for check in and tickets, so you won’t have any problems.

      I’m just very confused as to why you still have active ID cards. The day I got off active duty and switched to the Reserves (even though it would be a month before I checked into my new reserve unit) I went be the ID office before leaving base and switched cards.

  17. Caleb says

    I noticed you sais that the Military Tickets do NOT work with the Key to the World Card. What about with the MagicBands? We were selected to use these at the end September 2013.

    • Steve says

      Hi Caleb,

      As of right now I do not believe you’ll be able to link your Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets to the bands ahead of time. The issue is if you buy tickets ahead of time on base, these are not usable tickets, they’ll be exchanged once at Disney, so linking those ticket numbers will do you no good. Once you have activated your tickets at Disney you can link them, but that’s kind of late for FP+.

      I have specifically queried WDW on this exact situation and they have emphatically said that those who buy their tickets on base will not be excluded form the FP+ and whole next gen upgrades (upon full implementation). But they have provided no specifics yet…

      Please. please, please, attempt to contact WDW (407-WDISNEY, your resort front desk, WDW Guest Relations) and ask them how you as a mil member with Disney Armed Forces Salute exchange certificates in hand (or that you intend to buy once on property) can actually use this new technology to pre-plan your vacation and use FP+. And share the whole experience with all of us here.

      Thanks Steve

      • Jessica says

        Hi Caleb & Steve!
        I called Disney last week because I was upset to find out that even though our hotel is booked (POR) I was only able to use FP+ for one day. The CM was extremely helpful, but told me that once I purchase tickets (we are doing the 4 day hopper) then we will be able to use the FP+. There was no way for us to be “allowed” to use FP for additional days even though we are unable to purchase tickets until we arrive in Disney. We are getting magic bands too, so hopefully they can be put on there. Caleb, you didn’t mention if it was the 4 day hopper on sale or the armed forces salute.

        • Steve says

          I have the same issue for my vacation too Jessica.

          We will be using the magic bands. I have a FL Seasonal Pass and could go to MDE now and reserve FP+ for just e for our whole vacation. But the other three will be using the AFS tickets so I can’t do it for them.

          Disney says they are working on a fix…

  18. Kaitlin says

    Hi! I was wondering if we have to use these tickets on 4 consecutive days, or just anytime until they expire? Thank you!

    • Steve says

      You can use them any time before they expire Kaitlin. You do not have to use them consecutively.

      The current Salute ends on 28 Sept 2013. The next Salute starts the day after and runs through 27 Sept 2014. Tickets from the current offer are not valid for the next one.

      • Kaitlin says

        I have another question for you! My Husband and I will be staying at Shades of Green for 8 days.. Can we buy 4 of these tickets for just the two of us, or are we only allowed one set per person during a certain amount of time? Also, would we be able to buy two of the 4 day park hopper tickets and two of the water parks fun and more tickets? Could they all be activated together or would we have to activate one set and then when we’re done with those activate the other set? I’m trying to figure out the best way to do this! Thank you so much!!

        • Kaitlin says

          “Also, would we be able to buy two of the 4 day park hopper tickets and two of the water parks fun and more tickets?”

          I’m sorry, I meant the 4 day park hopper and the 4 day Park Hopper, plus the Water Park and More Options..

        • Steve says

          Hi Kaitlin,

          Yep, you can use them back to back, get both kinds and activate them all at once! Sweet isn’t it?

          Have fun!

  19. Carol says

    2 of the 4 days we would be in the park would be 12/30 and 12/31…so I guess it would not be cost effective to buy the AFS tickets if ALL the THEME parks are blacked out those days….Correct ? What are “magic bands “

  20. says

    if you go to Magic Kingdom can you get the tickets activated there? Or do you have to go to TTC? Since it was in parenthesis, I wasn’t sure if you MK option was only TTC. Thanks!

    • Steve says

      Hi Rosie,

      You can go direct to the Guest Services window at the MK main entrance!

      Thanks, I edited it to make it a little clearer.


  21. Mary Ann says

    My husband is retired from active military service and we are planning a Disney World trip for our family which includes a son and family who do not have military ID’s. Since this trip is our gift to them, can we purchase a total of six Armed Forces Salute passes for us and this family? The retired service member will be present to activate these tickets.

  22. Jessica says

    Hi Steve,
    My husband and I bought two of the 4 day military salute tickets in December but only used one day. We are getting ready to leave for another Disney vacation and are wanting to buy 6 tickets (two for us, four for other family members). I know in the past you were allowed to buy more tickets throughout the year as long as only 6 were activated at one time. Is this still the policy or will we only be allowed to purchase 4 tickets when we arrive? Thanks so much!

    • Steve says

      Hi Jessica,

      You didn’t mention when your vacation is and right now that matters.

      The Disney Armed Forces Salute which is currently ongoing, and under which you bought your 4 tickets ends on 28 Sept 2013.

      If your vacation falls within that timeframe, you’ll be allowed 2 more tickets. You’ll have 3 days left on 4 tickets and 4 days on the new 2.

      The new offer starts the day after on 29 Sept. You’ll be able to buy 6 then.

      The two offers are mutually exclusive and you cannot use one offer’s tickets during the other.

      Have fun! Steve

  23. Jennifer says

    Thanks for this helpful blog, Steve. Once purchased, do you know if you can link the Salute the Military tickets to your reservation on My Disney Experience for planning purposes?

    • Steve says

      Hi Jennifer,

      That is the big issue right now. Tickets you buy on base ate not the actually tickets you’ll use in the parks as they are exchanged during the activation process at Disney.

      We know for sure that once active you can link the tickets, which is what people are doing during the current beta test.

      Disney has said they are aware of the issue and will work it.

      • Dorothy says

        You said that “Tickets you buy on base ate not the actually tickets you’ll use in the parks as they are exchanged during the activation process at Disney.” This has never been the case in the four times I’ve used them. We got plastic cards on base, took them to Guest Services and activated them, signed the backs of them, and used them to enter the parks and to get fastpasses. They won’t work until they are activated, but the cards we got were never exchanged for something else. (In fact, I was able to link the last ones I got to My Disney Experience before going to Disney, and I typed in the number on the back of the cards I had gotten on base months before. It said online that the ticket was a four-day military salute park-hopper, so the actual ticket number is actually on those cards, too, even before it is activated.)

        • Steve says


          THat was the process since 2009.

          But, over the summer WDW switched over from the paper (or RW&B AFS plastic ticket) to the new RFID green plastic tickets for everyone. Disney briefed me that the RFID tickets would not be sold at Base Ticket Offices, rather they will sell the old paper exchange certificates which will be exchanged for RFID tickets during the activation process on property.

          The question on everyone’s mind is will any FP+ reservations made against the exchange certificates survive the activation process.

  24. Dorothy says

    Hi, Steve — great site! I am planning on another visit in January, so was just reading what you have here. Wonderful info! I just am posting so you know — I used My Disney Experience in August to prepare for my trip in mid-September. It asked me to type in the ticket info, which I did from the Salute tickets I had purchased back in March. It knew immediately that these were military salute four day park hoppers. I was impressed! I got three Fastpass+ rides for each day online. Then I went to Ireland for three weeks and when my husband at home got letters about Magic Bands, I just figured we wouldn’t be able to use them since I didn’t have time to think about that in Ireland. When we got to Art of Animation, though, we had Magic Bands, and they did show the military tickets on them, plus the resort, of course (we didn’t do the meal plan, but the Magic Bands would have had that, too). My concern was that the Magic Bands might be active to get into a park without me having to activate them with my military ID card. However, I didn’t try to enter a park. I went to Guest Services to activate things like I think should be done. And the Cast Member did activate the tickets, and also the Magic Bands, so although they do show the tickets, you still have to activate it (which I was very happy about). The Magic Bands worked like magic, too! I know they are still in the early stages, but we had no problem using them on our trip — and you can wear them while you’re swimming, too! And they had the Fastpass+ things on them, too. Just thought you’d like to know my experience.

    • Steve says

      Hi Dorothy,

      Thanks for posting your experience.

      The tickets are identified in the system as to what type and length, options etc by their ticket number.

      I just want to be sure I understand, you said you made FP+ reservations on unactivated tickets and they carried over through the activation process?

      What type of tickets die you get on base oht old plastic red white and blue ones or the paper ones they use now?

      • Dorothy says

        Hi again, Steve! I didn’t know that they moved to paper vouchers that then are exchanged for RFID green cards. That makes sense! I had the old plastic red, white and blue ones that I got in March of 2013. And yes, you’re correct — I typed in the ticket numbers on the back of those plastic cards, associated one for me and one for my DD, and used My Disney Experience online to select three Fastpass+ things for each day. When I actually got to Disney World and activated the tickets and also the Magic Bands (the CM needed to actually do something to both objects), and the Fastpass+ features I had selected were still there and worked with the Magic Band without any trouble at all. I guess when we go in January, we’ll be doing the new paper voucher thing, so we’ll see if I can then even select any Fastpass+ things as I am not sure how that would work if you don’t have an actual ticket number. I will be reading this blog and seeing what others post. Thanks again!

        • Steve says

          Thanks Dorothy,

          to clarify the paper vouchers are the thin cardboardy tickets like they used to issue at the gates a Magic Your Way Tickets.

          Like the one pictured on this post:

          THey do have a number on them and people have linked them, but we need to find out if the FP+ will cary over. This ticket voucher (paper ticket) system is what they have always used for annual passes purchased elsewhere i.e. Shades,

          • Steve says

            Hi Andrea,

            Yes we’ve now had numerous reports from readers that the Disney Armed Forces Salute exchange vouchers (Plastic green tickets) purchased on base can be used for FP+ reservations and they will carry over to the actual tickets upon activation.

  25. Shanda says

    I see that you addressed a similar question in June, but I wanted to confirm that it has not changed with the 2013-2014 offer. My father plans to purchase 6 military promotional tickets for a vacation with 9 family members (3 of whom will have regular tickets). Unfortunately all 9 of us will not be together more than 2 days of our overlapping vacations. Can he activate 4 of the military tickets when my brother arrives and the additional 2 when my family arrives days later?


  26. Tammy says

    Hi, I am a 100% disabled veteran with an ID card. I assume that I am eligible to buy these tickets as well? I do have MWR, commissary and Exchange on my card as well.

      • Chad says

        You indicated that a 100% disabled veteran would be able to purchase the Salute to Military tickets, but in your general posting it requires DAVPRM. I have looked at the past Shades of Green pdfs on thesubject where it clearly stated DAVPRM only, but the latest information just identified 100% disabled veterans with ID. Can you confirm that DAVTMP 100% would be eligible? Thanks for the great site and service.

        • Steve says

          Hi there Chad,

          There isn’t any eligibility information on this page so I’m not sure which pages you are referring to. Could you please send me links so I can check them.

          But a 100% DAVPRM is required for purchasing Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets.

          Any chance to get the temp upgraded to a permanent?

          • Chad says

            Thanks Steve for the quick response. My comment was to confirm your response to Tammy that she as a 100% disabled Veteran with base privileges would be able to use the Salute. On the eligibility page it states 100% Service Connected Disabled with the DAVPRM code on their military issued ID. When I contacted Disney about the ID requirements they referred me to the Shades of Green. On the Shades of Green website they do not specify DAVPRM as a requirement for 100% disabled Veterans. Disabled Veterans rated less than 100% but are I/U are eligible for a DoD ID card. So are there two seperate eligibility requirements here? One for 100% and the second for less than 100% but I/U with a DoD ID (DAVPRM). Unfortunately I have been DAVTMP for 13 years so I don’t think I couldget the rating made permanenet by the expiration. Thank you so much for your assistance.


          • Steve says

            Got ya Chad,

            One thing I’ve learned in the years of doing this site, is that most Disney castmambers, especially at the call center, don’t know very much about military discounts. One reason I started the site.

            I’m surprised (sort of) that they told you to call Shades, guess it was that castmember’s easy button. Usually what happens is the call center worker does the equivalent of a google search on their network and quote you whatever document pops up, it might be years old, or they go off what they “remember” or were told by someone else.

            We are talking about 2 different systems here, the Disney Armed Forces Salute eligibility and Shades of Green eligibility (which they quoted to you). Shades eligibility is different in many significant ways from Disney’s. For the Salute it is indeed a requirement for Disney to activate it, that the ID has DAVPRM.

            Other ticket sales at Shades go by their eligibility though.

            Hope that is clearer, let me know!


          • Chad says

            Thanks Steve. The SOG website: only states 100% Disabled Veterans with a United States Uniformed Services Identification Card (DD 1173), as a requirement for the Salute ticket package. I would hate to buy these tickets and then have an issue getting them activated. It seems like Disney is hands off except for the activation which is to prevent scalping. It would be nice for Disney to come out with specifics on these offers. I appreciate your service to our country and to continue to help spread the word to the military fraternity.

  27. says


    I tried to find the answer before asking so I apologize if you’ve already covered it.

    My ID expires January 3rd. I’m planning on going January 1st (checking into Shades of Green and activating my tickets that day)…so it shouldn’t be any issue using the tickets past the 3rd as long as I activate them before that, right?

    • Steve says

      Yep, no problem with the tickets (no ID checks after activation). IDK if Shades will clue in on the expiration being prior to departure (if that is the case).

  28. Gina says

    I purchased tickets for my family to go, but we may not able to go at this time. Could another military family use them?

    • Steve says

      Hi Gina,

      Yes you can give them to anyone who eligible, it is only after they are activated that they become nontransferable.

  29. Amanda says


    My father purchased the Disney Salute Tickets, we are all going in January and we have the tickets that need to be exchanged when we arrive for the actual tickets. My question is when we go to exchange the tickets can they link them to our magic bands? I am sure you have said this somewhere, but it would help if you could get back to me on this so I am not so confused.. lol.

    Thank you so much,

    • Steve says

      Hi Amanda,

      No Problem!

      So to be sure, you are staying at a Disney resort and they have emailed you that you will be testing Magic Bands?

      Do you have a My Disney Experience account?

      When you login to MDE, link your resort reservation with your conformation number by clicking on Link Existing Reservations and Tickets.

      You can also then link your Salute Tickets and begin making FP+ reservations.

  30. Melissa says


    What number did folks use on the green tickets they got on base? I tried the number under the barcode, and it is telling me it is not valid. I didn’t get a plastic card, but rather a thin cardboard “exchange certificate”. Anyone else having this problem?
    Mine is not a Salute Ticket, but says “Exchange Certificate” on it. Please Help!!

    • Melissa says

      Ok so I answered my own question, and thought I would post to help others, its all about the MOBILE APP!! If you download the mobile app you can SCAN the barcode on your exchange certificate and Voila! Tickets are linked up easy peasy.

      Thanks for a great website by the way

  31. Michele says

    What a great site! My brother in law is a veteran and also lives in orlando. Can he purchase five tickets for us and then activate them for us without buying a ticket for himself? After he activates are they each in someone’s name? Or do we have to buy him a ticket and not have him use it? Thanks for all your answers in advance!!

    • Steve says

      Hi Michele,

      Thanks so much!

      First, Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Tickets have many rules and are very restrictive. This is because of what a great deal they are.

      Second, the purpose of the tickets is for the military member to spend time with family or friends in the Disney parks.

      So, for your questions, your brother in law must have a ticket for himself, he can then buy 5 more for whoever he wants. He and the whole party must go together to WDW to activate the tickets. You may then use the tickets without him, his will remain valid through 27 Sept 2014. When the tickets are activated each person’s name is associated with the ticket (adults need picture IDs). During the first park entrance each person’s fingerprint is also associated with the ticket. These measures are to prevent scalping and ticket sharing.

      Hope this clears it up

      p.s. even if you pay for his, you will still be saving a huge amount (the most possible).

    • Steve says

      Oh, Michele in rereading I noticed you used the term veteran. Did your BIL retire from the military after 20 years of service? That is required. Just serving a couple years and quitting doesn’t count. Veteran is usually the term those who didn’t retire use to refer to themselves.

  32. Ted Cardwell says

    I have a small question. We are taking the grand kids to Disney in February and buying the military discount tickets. Our son is deployed and meeting us in Orlando to spend the time with the kids at Disney. We are wanting to buy the tickets here at Fort Benning. Does the same serviceman that purchases the tickets in Fort Benning have to be the same serviceman that activates them? We want his friend who is also Army to purchase them here and him activate them when we meet up with him in Orlando. Thanks Ted

    • Steve says

      Hi Ted,

      There is no connection between the purchase on base and the activation at Disney. The only thing that matters is that an eligible person activate them, it doesn’t have to be the person who bought them.

      Alternately, your son can buy them at Shades of Green or direct from Disney (plus tax) once he arrives.

  33. Tiffany says

    Hello. My family and I went to Disney with my brother in November. He’s military and bought salute tickets for us and his family. We used two days on our 4 day ticket and we’re thinking about using the rest in the summer. I thought I read somewhere that we can upgrade the tickets to water park fun and more at the gate. My brother will not be with us this summer. Can we upgrade the tickets without him?

  34. Ron Donahue says

    Hi Steve, Great Information.

    My question. I purchased 2 Disney Armed Forces Salute 4 Day Park Hopper theme park tickets on December 6, 2013 for my wife and I. I understand we are allowed 6 total. That would leave 4. We are planning returning in March. Will I be able to purchase 2 more for my wife and I again?

    • Steve says

      Yes you sure will Ron. The limit of 6 tickets is for the entire offer period (through 27 Sept. 2014).

  35. Meagan says

    Hi Steve– your site has been an excellent resource!

    I have a question regarding the 4-day salute Park Hopper passes. We have a party of four adults, and we are planning to stay 6 nights in September (before the Salute expiration date). We want to be in the parks as many days possible (i.e. more than the 4-day passes would allow). Essentially, we want 6-day passes instead of 4-day passes.

    Will we be able to purchase the allowed maximum of six 4-day salute passes (which would give us 24 tickets, so to speak), but split up the passes upon activation so that each member of our party will have 6-day tickets? Or will each member need to purchase a 4-day salute pass PLUS a regular 2-day pass in order to have 6 days of park hopping tickets each?

    I hope this question isn’t as confusing to you as it is to me!
    Thanks in advance,

    • Steve says

      Hi Meagan,

      Good question!

      Every Disney ticket, no matter what type is non transferable. So tickets can not be shared, they use fingerprint scans at the point of entry to prevent this. On first use you scan your print and it is associated in the system with the ticket you used for entry. Each following entry the ticket will not work without the same fingerprint.

      There are a few options for your situation. They will all take a combination of Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets and Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets (available from many base ticket offices and Shades of Green). I’ll use Shades prices, base’s are w/in a dollar. Here they are from most expensive to the cheapest.

      - Buy 6 Disney Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way hoppers – $2106
      - Buy 4 Disney Disney Armed Forces Salute hoppers and 4 Military Magic Your Way 2-day hoppers – $1680
      - Buy 6 Disney Disney Armed Forces Salute hoppers and 2 Military Magic Your Way 2-day hoppers – $1516
      - Buy 4 Disney Disney Armed Forces Salute hoppers and 4 Military Magic Your Way 2-day basic (no hopping those days) – $1436
      - Buy 6 Disney Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way basic – $1434
      - Buy 6 Disney Disney Armed Forces Salute hoppers and 2 Military Magic Your Way 2-day basic – $1394

      The Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets may be used back to back by the same person, while doing so would give you 8 days it is cheaper that combining with a 2 day. Those who might come back should use these, they are good till 27 Sept 2014.

      Combos with non hoppers would require a days where you stayed in one park, at least for those with non hoppers.

      Here is a link to Shades Prices

  36. Scott says

    Hello Steve,

    We are planning a trip for 2 adults this summer. I have recieved my Military Salute voutures and scanned them into my phone using the iPhone App from disney and had them matched to our names. Will these tickets still need to be activated when I arrive?

    • Steve says

      Hey Scott,

      Yes they still will. This is Disney’s chance to verify that you are entitled to use the discount tickets.

  37. Marie says

    My son is active in the military and deployed. Can my grandchild, who is his dependent use her military dependent ID to activate the passes since her dad, my son is unable to go with us?

    • Steve says

      Hi Marie,

      Unfortunately not. The Disney Armed Forces Salute discount tickets are for the member or spouse, children are not eligible.

      Do you live near a base and have access to go on it because of her?

      You could go by the ticket office and see it they will sell her the Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets. More expensive, but still a little off.

  38. sheryle says

    Hi I’m the grandparent of twins. My daughter is in Afghanistan and I have the twins (4 yrs.) id cards. Can I use them to get use into the Magic Kingdom park with a military discount?

    • Steve says

      Hi Sheryle,

      There are two different types of military discounted tickets for Disney. There is the Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets and the Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets.

      Disney Armed Forces Salute is a special program which allows military members to spend time with family and friends in Disney’s parks. Because of it’s purpose and large discount there are many rules, one of which is that the military member or their spouse must be part of the party and have a ticket for themselves. Per Disney’s rules the member must activate the tickets at WDW with the whole party present. The tickets may then be used individually. So this would not work for your situation.

      The Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets are slightly discounted tickets sold by Military Base Ticket Offices and Shades of Green. These are not restricted. These are 1-10 day tickets with all the regular options you’d find at a Disney ticket booth. Normally the member buys these, but since you have the kids I assume you were given paperwork to access military bases with them. You could go by the base ticket office to see if they will sell you these using the girl’s IDs.

      Here is a link to the price list at Shades of Green (the military hotel at WDW) prices on base would be within a dollar:

  39. Christine says

    Hi Steve,

    I took a trip to Disney World in June of 2013 & took advantage of the Disney Salute’s theme park tickets. They were great.

    Can I purchase the Disney Salute Tickets again in May of 2014?

    Thank you

    • Steve says

      Yes Christine, you sure can. The current Disney Armed Forces Salute timeframe is 29 Sept 2013 to 27 Sept 2014. So with your last trip falling in the previous Salute, you are eligible for 6 Salute tickets during this one

  40. Johnetta says

    Quick question – that I don’t think I’ve seen answered on here before (or at least as best I could tell scanning thru everything…)
    We are planning a trip to Disney World next year with my best friend’s sister, who is active duty Air Force. We were originally planning for her to purchase military tickets for all 4 of us but I have a concern. Some of the sites I read state in the policy that half of your party has to qualify for the military discount (ie: in our case she could only get one of us in on the military ticket because none of the rest of us are active duty or retired military) but other sites don’t say anything about this in their policy, they just state that the military member has to be present.
    If she were to purchase 4-day passes for us (her plus 3 guests) do you think we would have any problems getting in? I know this is probably a premature question, since it appears that Disney updates their Salute to the Military each September and we’re not planning to go until March 2015, but I’m just trying to think ahead…
    Thanks in advance for any info you can offer!

    • Steve says

      Hey there Johnetta,

      That is totally untrue. The military member must activate a ticket for themselves, the other 5 can be used y whoever they like. There is no ratio of qualified to unqualified.

      I hope you all have a great time when you do go!

      btw, that is a new one, never heard it before.

      • Johnetta says

        Well…leave it to me to come up with the strange rumor of the day!! LOL!

        Thanks for the quick response and the confirmation. We are definitely looking forward to visiting Mickey again – and taking a friend for their first Disney experience…now if they’ll just hurry up & announce the next military promotion so we can get those tickets purchase for next March!

  41. Brooke Swanson says

    How many tickets can a service-member actuate at one time?

    For example: My husband (active) buys 6 AND his brother (active) buys 3. Can my husband activate ALL 9 at Disneyland?

    Also: Why the need at DL for a service member ID at very entrance?? We have a variety of ages going and it seems crazy that my husband would have to be with each person every time they park-hopped or came back from a nap!

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