Should all military veterans be eligible for Disney’s Armed Forces Salute?

Can non-retired veterans get a Disney military discount?

Image va.gov

Should non-retired military veterans, those who for whatever reason decided not to make the military a career, be eligible for Disney’s Armed Forces Salute?

The question of eligibility for Disney military discounts for non-retired vets is one that I get on a regular basis. This past summer I started to get quite a few of this question prompting an update of my Non-Retired Veterans now eligible for stays at Shades of Green Resort on Disney Property page.

Over the past 2 weeks I started receiving numerous emails on the subject again. Just a couple of days ago a thread topic on the disboards message board asked the question “Should all military veterans be eligible for Disney’s Armed Forces Salute?” several posters replied with some comments and then the thread devolved into an argument which the moderators deleted.

I wanted to get a feel for what my readers thought so I’ve decided to start a poll.

I can see both sides of this and I’ll do my best to outline each as well as add some of my thoughts below.

The Question

The Disney Company extends military discounts to current service members as well as retired (20 year veterans) members but not to those who served for a period less than 20 years and separated prior to retirement.

Do you think that the Disney Company should extend their military discounts to all who served honorably?

Please continue reading before you vote!

Honor Those Who Served

Many who email me ask that Disney honor their service, which while not over 20 years was faithfully and honorably discharged. With our country having been at war for the last 10 years, so many who served their terms and separated are combat veterans. Plus there are still many Viet Nam Vets out there. They risked their lives for our country and feel slighted that they are not eligible for these discounts.

These individual’s service is no different than any young troop today who is on their first enlistment. They are eligible for Disney military discounts, even though they might get out of the military in a couple months without serving 20 years.

You Left The Company

On the other side those who didn’t get out and have continued to serve, deployment after deployment and those who have served 20, 25, 30+ years might feel that those who left the military shouldn’t be eligible for the same discount that they are.

Individuals who have left the military are no longer eligible to use the PX/BX/NEX, commissary, or use military medical care why would they be eligible for other military benefits/discounts.

I’m coming up on 31 years of service, with many combat missions under my belt. Should someone who served just 4 years and then moved on be eligible for the same discount as me?

What is a veteran?

What does the word veteran mean?

It comes from Latin: veteranus, from veteranus, adjective, old, of long experience & from veter-, vetus old

  • An old soldier of long service
  • Person of long experience

Do we misuse the word in America to mean a former member of the armed forces?

Disney’s Bottom Line

Many emails I receive wonder why Disney honors one group of veterans and not another.

I’ve stated many times before, in emails, in the newsletter and here on the blog, that Disney’s offering their Armed Forces Salute was and is purely a financial decision. Disney’s current round of Salutes started in January 2009. Just after the huge slow down of the American economy. The purpose of the discount is to get bodies into the Disney resorts and theme parks.

For those new to the military it might seem as if there has always been an Armed Forces Salute, but not so. The last Salute was in 2002 during the travel industry crash in the aftermath of 9/11.

Prior to that Disney offered 1 free ticket after Desert Storm in the 90′s.

Corporate Deal

At the heart of the Armed Forces Salute is a contract. A contract between Disney and the DoD. Disney looks on this just like they do any other contract. For instance like the one Disney would negotiate with XYZ Corp for reciprocal discounts, where XYZ Corp employees get a discount at Disney and Disney employees get a discount on XYZ’s products. Disney does this all the time, they give their castmembers a list of where they are eligible for discounts.

These contracts state what the discounts are and who is eligible plus any other stipulations. Believe me an employee who worked at XYZ Corp and quit would no longer be eligible for Disney Discounts, while the contract might say that retirees are eligible. This is exactly how Disney looks at it.

For each of these separate Armed Forces Salutes from 2009 till now Disney has negotiated with the military on the terms and eligibility. That’s what held up the FY11 AFS until 24 October 2010, the contract wasn’t signed. I don’t know if any money is involved, but Disney has agreed to offer reduced tickets and rooms to the specified individuals in the contract.

It’s Disney’s Offer

As the entity making the offer should Disney not have the right to decide what they offer and to whom?

Anheuser-Busch’s Here’s to the Heroes offer for SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks is only for current members, retired members are excluded from their offer.


 
Poll Closed

Now What?

If you think Disney needs to change their policy there are things you can do.

Numbers Talk! What Veteran’s Organization do you belong to? VFW, American Legion, AMVETS?

If you don’t belong, join one (or more), as a veteran these large organizations advocate for you on so many fronts. Contact their State and Federal leadership and ask that they contact Disney and the DoD to request they change the eligibility requirements.

Call Disney and respectfully request that Disney change their policy yourself.

1-407-824-2222.

wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com

Walt Disney World Guest Relations
PO Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

Your Thoughts

What are your thoughts on this? I’d love to get a discussion going in the comments section below.

As I mentioned the disboards discussion was deleted as people started bickering back and forth. Please be polite and respectful when replying.

I manually approve all comments and do edit as necessary for clarity and readability and won’t approve comments that aren’t appropriate.

Thanks from MDT

Above all I want to say that no matter what, I appreciate your service to our nation!

We all do out part in our own way, that’s one of the things that makes this country great.

More on Military Discounts

2012 Disney Armed Forces Salute

Disney Armed Forces Salute FAQ

Shades of Green the Military Hotel on Disney World property

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts Military Discount

Anheuser-Busch’s Here’s to the Heroes

Universal Studios Military Vacation Packages

Disney World Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels offer Military Discounts

Military Discounted Hotels – Military Deals in the Central Florida Area

Non-Retired Veterans now eligible for stays at Shades of Green Resort on Disney World Property

Non-US Military Members Eligible To Stay At Shades Of Green

 


 
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Comments

  1. michelle says

    i think that disney should change it to support all who have served no matter what they got out for except dishonor discharge they put there lifes on the line for this country just so we can be free

  2. Steve says

    Another great point point which Destiney made on the FaceBook page, is that there are those who want to continue to serve, but are being forced out due to down sizing. This is a point I hadn’t even considered when writing this post.

  3. Ava says

    Please remember that veteran and retired are not synonymous. What Wikipedia defines a veteran and what qualifies you as a veteran with The United States Department of Veterans Affairs are two different things. I agree with Disney. As a veteran myself, I see people leave service after many tours and many wars without a retirement check, due to unfortunate circumstances. I am happy for everyone who deserves and receives the discount. I choose not to worry about the undeserving. I say thank you to all who are brave enough to fight, no matter the duration of service. Please remember that veteran and retired are not synonymous.

  4. Latisha says

    I believe, as a vet of active duty Air Force, and a current Air Force reservist that veterans should be included in the salute. However, maybe it should be a slightly different package, or similar to what Shades of Green now offers Vets, which are stays at the resort only during certain time periods. I don’t believe in “being entitled” to anything, but I do believe in honoring all of those men and women who serve our country honorably. A gesture of appreciation for your service as a Vet would be a great opportunity for Disney to show their support for all men and women who have ever worn the uniform.

    • Barbara Clinansmith says

      Latisha thank you for your service to our country. As the wife of a Vietnam vet I am a bit defensive because they were often dishonored when they came home from serving their country to the best of their ability. I agree that all military should be included if the military is being honored and also that the discount should be different. Their are still Korean War vets who would enjoy Disney as well and on fixed incomes every little bit of a savings counts.

  5. Dan says

    I fully believe that the discount not just that of Disney but of all companys should be extended to all armed forces veterans, retirees, active duty, reservist. And only those who served honorably. All serviceman are fully deserving of at least that. These people give up their freedom to serve their country and defend it. I dont think people fully understand what the military personal has sacrificed for this country so that civilians can continue with their way of life. People need to take a long hard look at what they have and why they have it!!! All this bickering over a discount at a theme park is ridiculous!!! If it wasn’t for our military there wouldnt even be a Disney!!!!

    • Steve says

      Dan, thanks for your comment.

      You are very correct that the general population takes for granted the freedoms that those who serve provide. It’s been a common theme through history.

      I agree, I’d love for more companies to offer across the board military discounts.

      But something to ponder, do we as service members not protect their right to decide if and how to offer discounts? Just as we protect the right of others to disrespect us.

      I haven’t voted in this poll, but I fall amongst the undecided. I do have very mixed feelings on this.

      I think all who served should be recognized.

      But then there is the part of me that says “But I’ve served for 31 years, not just for 4.”

      Those who have served for a short term often mention that it was dangerous as a reason for their entitlement for a discount. and I think to myself, well it was dangerous for me too… for 31 years

  6. Dave Conley says

    I recently retired after 22 years of active duty service and I have seen many military discounts come and go over the years. The Disney Salute discounts have been among the most generous that I can recall and my family and I have been fortunate to use them a couple of times. With regard to extending the discount program to all who have ever served, I feel that this would be a mistake and a financial burden for Disney. Those who served for a period of time and then moved on to another career (for whatever reason) are not eligible to use most base services (BX/PX/Commissary/etc), nor are they able to utilize Shades of Green year round.

    I don’t belive that Disney is discriminating against veterans who did not retire, just as I don’t feel that local restants who provide discounts to uniformed police officers but not others are discriminating. Every business has the right to offer a discount to whomever they please – and to attach stipulations to it. Maybe the cop has to be in uniform to get the discount…just like Disney is only discounting to AD and RET. There are discounts everywhere that we don’t all qualify for – its life and its business.

    In the spirit of compromise, it would be great if Disney could offer a discount program for ALL veterans that mirrors the timeframe that Shades of Green is available to ALL veterans – this would be a good compromise and a great way to market this benefit for both entities. (Keep in mind, this SOG program is also reletively new) The SOG program is usually during the slower season, so this would be a good way to generate business for SOG and Disney.

    Compromise seems possible, but it is truly up to Disney to decide what is right for them. As consumers, we can only accept and be thankful for generous companies who decide celebrate military service through discount programs.

    • Steve says

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for your service. I just retired too, 31 for me.

      You bring up some very good points!

      One of the things that we as military members served for is freedom. It’s easy to get wrapped up and forget that Disney (and any other company) has the right to extend discounts as they please.

      Those who got out as you said are not eligible for other “official” benefits, so why this one?

      The idea of a compromise or different package is intriguing, Latisha mentioned something similar above. Perhaps only half the discount offered to active/reserve/retired, or only during the lowest attendance months.

      One thing though, Disney is not loosing any money with this deal for the military. They use this offer to fill resort rooms that would go unfilled and bring more bodies into the theme parks. Universal terminated their offer when Harry Potter began filling their parks.

  7. carla butcher says

    I am an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran. I served 2 tours and am now 90% disabled but am not able to take advantage of these discount programs. I wanted to make the military a life long career. Sad, I risk my life but can’t even buy my kids discount passes to disneyland. How fair is that?

  8. Dawn Henderson says

    As the mother of a former Marine, I know firsthand what the men and women in the armed services sacrifice for our country. My son, a veteran of the USMC, was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His unit was the first unit to enter Iraq. He served honorably and is now a Police Officer, so he is still a public servant. His unit was up for re-deployment to Iraq when it came time for him to re-enlist. He chose not to do so because his daughter had just been born and he did not want to leave her.

    It is my opinion that anyone who actually served in combat in a war zone deserves the utmost respect and the same discount as retirees who may not have actually seen combat. I am in no way trying to diminish the service of those who did not serve in combat because they were willing to make that sacrifice if the occasion arose. However,

    I do believe that any person retired or otherwise who served in an actual combat zone, deserves some type of discount all year round not just two months out of the year. It doesn’t have to be the same discount as retired and active duty, but they do deserve something.

    • Steve says

      Hi Dawn,

      Thanks for your comments, and your son’s service.

      You bring up some very good points about those who have seen direct combat deserving the utmost respect. They absolutely do!

      But just to bring up other points of view: We’ve been at war for over 10 years now, everyone in the military has served in combat zones. Granted not in direct combat with the enemy, but those who do so have made a choice to do just that. How would Disney verify who has and who hasn’t been in actual combat?

      I know firsthand the tug at the heart that tells you to stay with your family. No fault to anyone who heeds that call, but there are those who continue to serve even with a family for 10, 20, 30+ years.

      Make no mistake I salute your son for his service and respect his decision to separate from the military! It was the right decision for him.

      I keep my own opinions on this topic to myself, I really see all sides and have mixed feelings. My goal in writing this post was to spark conversation from all sides and hopefully get those with a strong opinion towards change to contact Disney and/or their veterans’ organizations to ask for the change they desire.

      Also realize that for Disney this Salute is just another corporate discount that they are offering. They would not offer their General Electric discount to someone who quit GE, while current and retired GE employees would qualify. And once they no longer need the extra bodies this offer brings into the parks and resorts they will end these temporary discounts just like Universal did in 2010.

      Thanks for commenting Dawn

      Anyone who’d like should contact Disney to advocate their opinion at:

      wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com

      Walt Disney World Guest Relations
      PO Box 10040
      Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

  9. Heather says

    As a former soldier and wife of a soldier with over 20 years service I am disgusted by the “me” mantality. Why me, why not me, why why why…we can’t alway get what we want.

  10. Stephanie says

    I think that all honorable discharged vets should be considered for this discount. My husband served in the Navy until he had a motorcycle accident which broke his back. If it were up to him he would have stayed and served till he retired. He still receives all of his medical treatment from the VA and still receives benefits from the Government, yet he does not qualify for a discount because he is not 100% disabled. I am so proud you have served as many years as you have, my father is a retired col from the Army as well. However, I think there are many vets that is they were able to serve to retirement they would have if their circumstances would have allowed them to.

    • Steve says

      Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks for the comment!

      You bring up a very good point. There are many who want to continue their career but for various reasons are unable to do so.

      Let Disney know how you feel about this!

      You mentioned that you husband is not 100%, but that isn’t a requirement for this discount. For this particular one it is Permanently Disabled with a DAVPRM code.

      See this post for more on the various discounts available for disabled veterans and the requirements for each: Disney Military Discounts – A Confusing Topic For Disabled Veterans

  11. says

    Discount should be for all VETs…It was very sad to see my husband who served in Vietnam, take off his uniform as he left the SF Presido in 1969. Thanks to all who served our country !!!
    Does anyone know if you can have a friend who is active buy tickets and enter park even if they are not with you ? One friend is serving in the Navy and she thought you could…replies would be appreciated
    Kathy White

    • Steve says

      Hi Kathy,

      First thanks for your husband’s service!

      There are two different types of military discounted Disney tickets that are available currently.

      The 4-day Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets ($138/$165) are a fantastic offer that has been going since 2009 and they are very restrictive. There are restrictions on the number of tickets allowed and also that the military member or spouse must be there at Disney to activate the tickets, and must have one for themselves. Currently the last day these tickets will be able to be used is 30 Sept. 2012, unless Disney offers a new discount.

      Disney makes this special offer so the member can go with family and/or friends before or after a deployment to spend time together in the parks, or so the spouse can take the kids while the member is deployed.

      The other type of tickets are the regular military discounted Disney Magic Your Way tickets. These are slightly discounted tickets (4%-8% based on length and options) just like you could buy at Disney’s ticket windows at the parks. These can be purchased at Base Ticket Offices and Shades of Green. If these are purchased on base there is a very important consideration. When Disney sends these tickets to base ticket offices there are two different kinds that they could send. Those that are ready for use and those that need to be exchanged at the parks. In order to use these by yourself you’ll need the kind that is ready for use, as the other kind requires a military ID for the exchange.

      Also there is another discount you should be aware of for non-retired veterans.

  12. Lisa says

    I must agree with Dawn. I am a combat veteran. After my enlistment expired, I chose not to reenlist in order to have and raise my children. My oldest son is now a Marine and my youngest son hopes to follow in his brother’s footsteps when he is old enough to do so.

    My husband is also combat veteran. Currently he is on active duty stateside. He works with many soldiers who are going on 20 years of service or more without ever having been in a combat zone. Thankfully my son has not seen combat as of yet, but he too is active duty and qualifies for the Military Salute discount.

    While I am not looking for a handout (I will get the discount through my husband’s eligibility), it disheartens me that my service is not seen as valuable as others –especially those who have not seen combat, or who may later choose to not make the military a career.

    To address the question of how Disney would know if someone served in a combat zone, it would be quite easy. I am also the Senior Vice Commander of my local VFW. Before I joined the VFW, I submitted my DD-214 for review. The VFW then determined that I was eligible to become a regular member based on where I was stationed wartime. So, there is definitely a way to determine who served in active combat areas.

    Also, I don’t mean to offend, but I disagree with Steve’s “General Electric” comparison. To compare being under fire to working at GE is a disparate analogy. No one applies at GE with the understanding that they may be ordered to leave their loved ones behind and enter an environment where their lives are in danger 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are no coffee breaks in combat.

    Again, I must reiterate that I believe that if Disney chooses to offer a discount, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s ok, too. I’ll still make return trips regardless of the corporation’s financial decisions. I am just disappointed that my experiences don’t qualify me for a “Disney Salute”.

    • Steve says

      Hi Dawn,

      Thanks for your family’s generational service.

      My family is the same, My father and uncles served in WWII, I served for 31 years, and my son did too for his 6 and he is now using his post 9/11 GI Bill.

      Good point about the DD-214, but who creates the list of what locations would be and wouldn’t be eligible? Anyone left off would feel the same way you do now.

      And just to be clear the GE reference is not my POV, I was trying to explain how I feel this offer is viewed by the corporation that offers it. It wasn’t to weigh the merit of who deserves a discount, it was to show how corporations view discounts in general. Disney has deals with many other corporations and they are for current and sometimes retired employees of those corporations.

      Why don’t you bring it up with your State and National VFW Leadership? Their job is to advocate for you. Also Disney’s contact info is above.

      Thanks for sharing!

  13. Erica says

    My husband served in Iraq and was deployed 3 times in his 6 year career as a US Army Ranger! He was in direct fire on many occasions, lost several of his friend 2 of who died in his arms (He has PTSD but with therapy its completely under control) On his last deployment while chasing a sniper across rooftops with his squad, he jumped across one roof to another roof and went through the roof, falling 2 stories and shattered his ankle.

    Long story short the military screwed his ankle up even more with too many shots of different medications in his ankle and he had to honorably discharged due to not being able to run. He just had his 6th ankle surgery to try to fix his fused ankle. He has worked for the VA at both a clinic, a veterans center for mental therapy, and now back to a clinic.

    He has helped MANY MANY veterans understand and get benefits that they never knew they are entitled too (medical, school, etc). And guess what because he could no longer serve in the active military due to be wounded in combat, he does not get the benefit of being “retired” in the military and because he refuses to be 100% disabled he doesn’t get further benefits of using the PX, etc.

    I think if a soldier is honorably discharged from service (especially if they are wounded or have no choice) he or she should also be eligible for this discount with the Disney Company!! ALOT of these soldiers are leaving these wars as combat veterans and a good chunk of them also has some form of PTSD from what they saw and experienced. Give them the opportunity to be in the Happiest Place on Earth for a change, I’m sure they and their families would appreciate it! I know mine would!

    • Steve says

      I totally agree Erica. But as I’ve now come to find out it is the military, not Disney who sets who is allowed to get military discounts from Disney.

  14. Karen Rodriguez says

    My husband served in the USMC Res. for almost 12 years and was active/deployed for one year during the first Gulf War. Currently, he’s a Police Officer at a University in Baltimore. It’s deeply disappointing to discover his military service is not valued enough to deserve the same benefits as an active duty or retired service member.

  15. Tawny Grubaugh says

    My husband served 4 years in the US Army and was in the Desert Storm war. He in now a prison guard. He still puts his life on the line for this country and what bothers me is the fact that, Disney gives a better discount to Florida residents than those who have and are still serving this country. No my husband my not be active anymore, but he did fight for this country in the war and still does his part in protecting us. I feel that as long as they served this country as well as those who still do, that includes firefighters, police officers and prison guards. These men and women who have and still do put their lives on the line for this great nation should get a discount.
    I am not saying they should get things handed to them, but Disney could give them a limited time line on getting Discounts on Disney tickets (say a 2 month time period each year). Everyone knows that if you buy even a base ticket say in December of 3013 (and don’t use it) it will still be good until November 2014, it is just after the first use that they need to be used up within 14 days.
    I understand it is Disney’s decision, and we really love Disney World. I feel Disney should return some of that love. Disney could also look at the bright side of this, their sales would go up considerably if they would decide to give such a discount. Thank you for developing this sight.

    • Natasha says

      Tawny,
      I agree with you. My husband also served in Desert Storm. He may have only served 4 years but he gave up alot of freedoms that we all have for those 4 years to protect our country. He was a soldier in combat and his daily experiences over there are not anything that we can imagine or relate too. He may not have given 20 years of service but his dedication, commitment to fight for our country with HIS LIFE on the line is the same that any 20 year veteran or retiree has. They served for our country in a selfless manner. Yes the time may not have been as long as others but that commitment and sacrifice is so strong and their love for our country. Each soldier has their own underlying circumstances on why they separate from the armed forces and that is their own respectful decisions. I hope Disney keeps revisiting the policies and Shades of Green opens up the discount for all other Honorably Discharged veterans even if they are not 20yr retirees.

      • Steve says

        Hi Natasha,

        Thanks for the comment!

        I do see your point and I agree there should be some sort of discount for those who served yet didn’t retire.

        But I hope you’ll see my point that While I appreciate your husband’s service, I don’t equate it to my 31 years of service, 18 of which were in a hazardous career field in combat zones all around the world, and 12 of which we’ve been at war.

        While it would be nice for Shades to fully open up to non-retired, in months other than Sept/Jan they do sell out now in the other months. Allowing non-retired all year would have the effect of blocking out those who did make it a career and retire.

  16. Harriet Degou says

    My husband served for his country in Vietnam. He served in over 100 combat assaults was awarded a purple Heart and a Bronze Star of Valor and many others too numerous to list. He had agent orange dropped on him. Watched his buddies die on a daily basis. I could go on with stories of what he experienced. Following his service he became a police office and served honorably for 35 years and rose through the ranks. He did it all for his country. So you are telling me then someone who is currently active and/or served 20 years deserves a discount but he doesn’t. I don’t care what your MOS was or is. All those who served for our country and sacrificed deserve a discount. Again the Vietnam Veteran get’s spit on! SHAME!!!

  17. Tawny Grubaugh says

    Wow! I just read the post of the fact that it is not Disney who decides this but the Military themselves?! Unbelievable! How could they make such a choice knowing what a lot of these men and women did for them? Is there anyone we can call to convince them that all vets should get these discounts? Thank you

    • Steve says

      I recommend working with your elected representatives and the national leadership of the various veteran’r organizations, like the VFW, American Legion, and AMVETS.

  18. F.Shepard says

    As a disabled veteran who served during peacetime and for much less that 20 years, I exited honorably for medical reasons, but I very much appreciate any and all recognition for the time I did spend. I do not, however, feel I deserve the same benefits of those who served until retirement, fought during wars or have been severely injured as a result of going to war. I do believe it’s fair to recognize all who have served, but perhaps things such as discounts and such can be shared according to veteran’s status. Give the greatest (or even make it free) especially to those who served during wars or who are retired, then a lesser amount all others. I’d be very happy getting 25, 15 or even 10% off my admission to Disney or other places. I enjoy the 10% some retailers offer all military and veterans. Thing is, few advertise it. Quite often, you have to ask if it’s offered. Thank you to those who do.

  19. John Clark says

    So my basic understanding is that unless you are retired or serving on active duty you do not qualify for the discount. I actually went to Disney last month and ran into this issue when I was advised that my service-connected VA ID card didn’t qualify for this discount. I didn’t see the point in arguing because I would rather take that discussion up with those that make decisions and not those that sell tickets! In my opinion all veterans should qualify. From my perspective, I served 4 years and was injured while on active duty so I was unable to pursue a career in the Armed Forces. I’d say that for Disney and those who make decisions about these discounts should be ashamed to categorize those who served proudly but may have been injured and therefore couldn’t make a career out of the Military. I agree with your point that a soldier could utilize the discount and only serve one enlistment. I appreciate you providing the necessary information to contact Disney about this request. Do you also have a contact for the same issue with Sea World?

  20. Ken says

    This shouldn’t even be a question. A person should not be judged on the amount of time they served to be classified. If they feel the need to classify veteran status per the us gov docs then do so, but there view of a veteran is insulting. I have 4 years served and chose to separate after my first enlistment. Those that want to say that the people serving to retirement deserve more or earn more are wrong. My 4 years consisted of 4 deployments to 3 different engagements. Not to say that those that have not been deployed should get anything less. Every person in the armed forces puts the same stake up, their lives for what they believe in. At any given time that stake can be lost. it should not matter how long, but that you did and you did it honorably. Disney should rethink there def… It is pretty insulting to see armed forces members classified so broadly. Think on this…..Once a Marine, Always a Marine…..

  21. says

    I served 8 years active/reserve. Got out due to closure of squadron, base, and career field. Started out with career in mind, should have sought a medical discharge but did honorable completion… certainly still a patriot. Currently I work for a coupon company. Naturally, I have an opinion on military discounts and discounts in general.

    Every patron (of a business) deserves a the same, best/competitive price. Seldom is that the case in the US. Most discounts today are for loyalty to a band, or for a contractual agreement (i.e, a workplace or maybe marketing info). Now, I’m not made of money but I may spend up simply because no one gets to brand me, and my personal information is just that, personal. Today, I salute an citizen who tells a info-sucking conglomerate NO to phone numbers, promo codes, and votes with their money.

    As for this Disneyland discount itself, I can barely afford one day at full price, so that’s how its gonna be. I would love that deal for my family, and I totally understand that a AD who is currently making a fraction what any similarly yoked/skilled civilian is today needs that discount way worse. Just as much so would a retired vet whose life earnings are trumped by 1-1o years of some civilian paychecks.

    Not to start other debates, but here are a few loose thoughts in the ammo can: Whatever a veteran is or isn’t, a veteran doesn’t haggle amusement parks for handouts. Why on earth should a southern californian have access to that awesome pass? All respect for LE/FD’s, but when a cop gets coffee for free at starbucks everyday, does anyone feel like they need fire insurance? Aren’t we all people? Oh, and when are our schools moving to the lotto system?

  22. says

    As a former Navy Reservist with 10 years of service, three of them on active duty and two naval tours in Vietnam (one in the Gulf of Tonkin and one in-country), I appreciate any recognition and benefits given to military veterans. However, I don’t expect to be rewarded with the same level of benefits as those who are retired with 20 years of service, or 100% disabled, or even discharged for service-connected medical reasons. Discounts are great, but guys and gals who made the military their career and/or suffered service-connected injuries or illnesses usually deserve the extra recognition and/or benefits, in my opinion.

  23. Jenn says

    I in no way would ever want to compare ones sacrifice to another. My husband is a veteran and served for 8 years. He wanted to make a life long career but unfortunately broke his back (not military related). I think we all try to raise our children to be grateful and honor those who have served and fought for our lives and our freedoms no matter how large or small their time in duty. We are blessed to have so many willing Americans and I’m grateful for everyone of them.

    Now looking at it from another side. Disney is a business. It’s not free to enter with a military discount. They still make a decent amount off of the tickets. Not to mention the price of food and souveniers. Like you stated above its just another way to bring people in and make more money so why not allow all military vets. I did see you said it’s the military decision on how it works. If that’s the case I think that’s a shame. I don’t think there’s a way to say one soldier is more deserving than another. It’s a discount for an amusement park, not a special award or honor.

    Thank you to every member of the service and their sacrifices. I know it comes at a price!

    • Steve says

      Hi Jenn,

      thanks for you great comment.

      I actually just had a conversation with my Disney rep this week and he did confirm it is the military who sets the Disney Armed Forces Salute eligibility in their partnership. They essentially limit it to those who currently have authorization to go on base and use those benefits.

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