Top Ten Things You Need To Know About Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Military Discount Tickets

Disney’s Armed Forces Salute is a fantastic discount available to military members. This discount includes both ticket and room discounts.

Here are the Top Ten Things that you need to know about this offer.

 

1. The Armed Forces Salute is a Temporary Offer

The Armed Forces Salute is a relatively recent innovation by the Walt Disney Company. The first version of the Salute was first offered in 2002 for one year only, during the travel industry downturn after 9/11. It ended once people started traveling again.

Military members then had to again be satisfied with the slight Regular Military Discount on Disney Tickets that had always been available through Military Base Ticket Offices.

Disney Armed Forces Salute Ticket

The Disney Armed Forces Salute returned again in January 2009 as the current economic downturn came into full swing and the general public reduced their vacation spending. The AFS has been running since then with a couple of notable breaks.

So if you are considering a Disney vacation within the next couple of years keep in mind that we never know if the Salute will be renewed again or not.

The current salute will end on 28 September 2013 and will be followed by a new separate offer. This post has been edited to conform with the new offer.

2. What Type of Tickets are available for the Armed Forces Salute?

There are several different Disney Theme Park Tickets available through the Armed Forces Salute for Disney World and Disneyland.

For Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida, Four-Day Tickets are available. These are available with three different options.

  • Park Hopper Option
  • Water Park Fun and More Option
  • Park Hopper, plus the Water Park and More Options

For Disneyland in Anaheim California there is a Three-Day Ticket with only one option available.

  • Park Hopper Option

Patriotic Disney - Frontierland - Splash Mountain

3. What are these Options?

The Park Hopper Option allows you to visit multiple Disney theme parks on the same day. You can start your day at one park then switch to another (as many times as you want), or even take a break in between.

The Water Park Fun & More Option allows 4 visits to the following Disney entertainment venues:

  • The Water Parks: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach
  • Disney Quest indoor entertainment area
  • General admission into the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (including 30 minutes of game access at The PlayStation® Pavilion)
  • 9 Holes of Golf at Disney’s Oak Trail 9-Hole Golf Course
  • One round of golf a the Mini-Golf Courses: Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course & Disney’s Winter Summerland (prior to 4pm)

See this page for more on the Water Park Fun and More Option

These WP&M visits are entirely separate for the theme park admissions on your ticket. You may use these WP&M visits on the same day or different days than your theme park admissions. You may use one or more WP&M visits per day.

4. What Dates are the Armed Forces Salute Tickets available for?

As I mentioned above the current Armed Forces Salute ends on 28 September 2013. That is the last day that you may use those tickets.

The new offer starts on 29 September 2013 and runs through 27 September 2014

Blockout Dates

Disney has what they call blockout dates, dates on which these tickets are not allowed to be used. These are no blockout dates remaining for the current offer. The following dates are for the new offer.

At Disney World these dates are:

  • 20- 31 December 2013 (No Theme Park or Water Park Use)
  • 13 – 20 April 2014 (No Theme Park or Water Park Use)
  • 4 July 2014 (No Magic Kingdom Use)

At Disneyland these dates are:

  • 19 – 31 December 2013 (No theme Park Use)
  • 13 – 20 April 2014 (No theme Park Use)
  • 4 July 2014 (No theme Park Use)

5. Where can I purchase the Armed Forces Salute Tickets?

Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets can be purchased at several places:

Buy your Armed Forces Salute Tickets Direct From Disney

Tickets that are purchased at Non-Disney locations will need to be activated at a Disney Park prior to their use for entry.

If you plan to purchase your tickets at a Disney location all members of the party must be present, as they will be activated at that time.

A note on sales tax: There is no sales tax charged at military resellers, but you will pay sales tax at any Disney location.

6. How many Armed Forces Salute Tickets can I purchase?

Durring the current Armed Forces Salute, military members are entitled to purchase up to 6 Armed Forces Salute Tickets.

One of the tickets must be for the military member. The other 5 tickets may be for anyone the member wants to purchase them for. This requires the military member to physically go to the theme park with their party.

What if the military member can’t go to the Disney Park?

Disney does take into consideration that military spouses might want to take the kids on a Disney vacation while the military member is deployed and they make an allowance for this.

Military spouses are allowed to purchase and activate up to 6 of the Armed Forces Salute Tickets during the current offer. The spouse would activate the tickets in place of the member.

What if I need more Armed Forces Salute Tickets?

Disney also takes into consideration large families, those with more than 4 children. Families in this situation will be allowed to purchase the number of tickets they need. You may not be able to do this at a Non-Disney location though, so you may need to purchase your tickets at the Disney Parks.

This exception applies only to a single family unit. Disney’s example is a Dad, Mom, and their dependent kids. It does not apply to parties consisting of: adult children, grand kids, the member’s or spouse’s parents, cousins, friends, etc.

For those who do fall not within Disney “large family” exception but still need more than 6 tickets, there are still the Regular Military Discount on Disney Tickets.

7. How much do the Armed Forces Salute Tickets cost?

The Disney World Tickets cost:

  • Four-Day Park Hopper Tickets – $169.00
  • Four-Day Water Park and More Tickets – $169.00
  • Four-Day Park Hopper Tickets plus the Water Park and More Option – $198.00

The Disneyland Tickets cost:

  • Three-Day Park Hopper Tickets – $129.00

These prices are before to tax, so you’ll pay these prices at military sales locations and tax will be added at Disney locations.

The American Flag flies proudly over Disney World's Epcot

The American Flag flies proudly over Disney World’s Epcot

8. How do I activate the Armed Forces Salute Tickets?

Armed Forces Salute Tickets that were purchased at Non-Disney locations such as Base ITT/ITR offices or Shades of Green will need to be activated before you try to use them at a theme park turnstile for entrance.

You can do this at Disney theme park ticket booths or at Disney Guest Relations locations.

All members of the party will need to be present at the time of activation, including either the military member or their spouse who will be activating the tickets.

Why does Disney require the activation process and that everyone be there? They do this to prevent scalping of these half price tickets…

See this great new post on the activation process

9. Are there any restrictions on how the Armed Forces Salute Tickets can be used?

Besides the Blockout dates mentioned above and the expiration date there are no restrictions.

You can use the 4 days of your tickets 4 days in a row, over a longer vacation stay, or here and there throughout the year.

The same applies to the Water Park & More visits, you’ve got until 27 September 2014 to use them up.

10. What if I need more days than the Armed Forces Salute Tickets offer?

In some cases you may want to spend more days touring the Disney parks than are available on the Armed Forces Salute Tickets.

At Disney World, one idea is to opt for the Water Park & More Option (or add it to you hopper ticket). The WP&M visits can be used on non-park days to fill out a longer stay.

Another option is to buy tickets for the additional days on top of your Armed Forces Salute Tickets. But you should be careful doing this, depending on the options you select for your regular Military Discounted Disney tickets it becomes more costly to add a second ticket versus just opting for the number of days that you need using the regular military discount instead of the Armed Forces Salute.

What about back to back AFS ticket use?

Disney will allow the Back-To-Back of the Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets.

11. A Bonus Question – Does the military member need to stay with their party?

That depends on which location you are visiting.

At Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida

Once the tickets have been activated by the military member (or spouse) the party does not need to stay together. They can tour different parks at different times and even on different days.

At Disneyland in Anaheim California

The military member must enter the parks each and every time with their party and the military ID (or spouses) will be checked. This is no longer the case, after ticket activation the party may use the tickets independently just like at WDW.

So there you have it

The ten top things you need to know about Disney’s Armed Forces Salute, plus one.

Many of the above items are questions that I’m often asked via email and the ask a question page on this site.

Are there any other questions that you have? Leave them in a comment below!
  Did you enjoy this post? If you’d like more like it, please share it through your favorite social media by clicking the buttons below to let me know.


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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.

Military Disney Tips Gear

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

Hidden Mickeys - Kids of all ages will love finding Hidden Mickeys at WDW

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

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

Simple Stroller Rentals - Beats WDW's prices, plus they offer a 10% Military Discount

TouringPlans.com - The website of the Unofficial Guides - Crowd Forecasts, Pre-made Touring Plans, plus lots of other detailed info

My Disney Experience - The Official Disney iPhone App

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Comments

  1. Ken says

    Great! Thanks for your quick response. I think your site and knowledge are very helpful for so many people. I appreciate your huge effort to keep helping the others. Thanks!

  2. Michael says

    So at WDW with the 4 day park hopper ticket, you have 4 days correct? Say we go to all 4 parks Saturday-Tuesday, on Thursday we couldn’t go back to MK for a few hours right cause we used the tickets 4 days already?

  3. Kevin Allen says

    I understand only the 4 day park hopper is available for military and vets at DW. If we only stayed for 2 days this October, what is the latest we can use the other 2 days? The end of the salute period in Sep 2014?

    • Steve says

      Hi Kevin,

      Well, the Disney Armed Forces Salute salute timeframe is 29 Sept 2013 through 27 Sept 2014. The tickets are valid that whole time period.

      But there are also the Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets which are from 1 to 10 days.

      The AFS tickets are actually cheaper than a 2 day regular ticket so would be the way for you to go, but wanted to be sure you were aware of the regular military discount.

  4. Trevor says

    Hi planning to take my family to Florida in 2014 was wondering if the discounts are available to members of the British armed forces?
    If so what discounts are available and on which parks?
    Kind regards

  5. Curtis says

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for all the great information! It is greatly appreciated.
    We are headed down to WDW in January for our wedding. I am active duty and have an Annual Pass. I wanted to buy some of the Armed Forces Salute Tickets for my parents, sister and niece. I know it says that one of the tickets needs to be for the military member, but since I already have an AP does that still apply? I will be with them when they active them at the park.
    Thanks again!

    • Steve says

      Hi Curtis,

      You’ll be all set. Those with passes (annual and others) don’t need their own Disney Armed Forces Salute ticket as they already have a more expensive ticket. I have a FL Seasonal Pass and get AFS tickets for my guests.

      Steve

  6. Rick says

    I want to buy AFS tickets as a wedding present for my niece and her fiance. Can I purchase just the two tickets for them, or do I have to purchase one for me, too? I know that I have to be there when they activate their tickets.

    • Steve says

      Hi Rick,

      If you have any kind of annual pass you don’t need to have a Disney Armed Forces Salute ticket. But if you don’t you’ll need to have one for yourself too.

  7. Natalie says

    Under the top 10 things to know about the Disney Armed Forces Salute you indicate that for Disneyland in Anaheim the military person/spouse must accompany the other members of the family into the park each time and day. I know someone who purchased tickets yesterday at our local base and she was told that is not the case; that the military person must only accompany on the first admission. Can you confirm or clarify this please? Is it also true that the tickets don’t expire until Sept. 2014; thus one could use the 3 days at various times through the year if wanted?

    Thank you,
    Natalie

    • Steve says

      Hi Natalie,

      I can confirm it. This is a very recent change by Disneyland, bringing them into conformity with WDW. The member no longer needs to accompany their guests for every entrance. Just for the ticket activation.

      I just edited the post to reflect this, thanks!!!

      • Alma says

        Hello,
        Thanks so much for your awesome blog! We’re planning to go with my mother (spouse of a retired navy officer) as the member. My question is…on the visits after the first one, can anyone use her ticket? In other words, if we buy a total of 4 (including member), on visits 2-4, can we bring a 5th person instead of the member? I ask because I think my mother would have her fill of Disneyland after just a day. Thanks!

        • Steve says

          Hi Alma,

          Sorry, absolutely not. All Disney ticket whether military discounted or not are non transferable. They use fingerprint scanners to prevent this.

  8. christina says

    Hey, I just wanted to ask if these tickets are also available for soldiers of an european military ( luxembourg) or for people from the governement?I dont know where I can find the answers of my questions so maybe someone knows who or where I could find help? :)) thanks

  9. christina says

    .. I forgot to say that we ( my daughter and I) are going to celebrate my daughters 6th birthday in disneyworld ;)

  10. Peter Shedleski says

    Can you expand on the option of honorably discharged vets (non retired) having access to the AFS deal? Do I have to stay at the SOG resort or another Disney property? I’m visiting in January during the SOG offer, but haven’t chosen a hotel yet. Thanks.

  11. Melanie says

    Hi Steve,

    Your site is SO helpful, thank you! We are planning a trip in Feb with my dad and our kids, he is a retired vet. My questions are these:

    He retired over 30 years ago, does that still count? He was wondering if it was only recent vets.

    My second question is this, we live in Seattle, do you know if there are any ticket offices close by, such as in Fort Lewis? I’ve tried calling a few places, but am having trouble getting to a person. I saw your links to some ticket offices that take orders over the phone, but where are they located? Do you fax your veteran info into them as well as credit card info at the same time or can you talk to someone on the phone who can do it for us?

    thank you, Melanie

  12. Jamie says

    Hi, you have a wonderful site with great information! I wanted to verify that the 4 day park hopper AFS tickets can be used on nonconsecutive days at WDW. I know blackout dates apply, but if I want to use it December 13, 2013 and then again December 15-17, 2013 would that be allowed? Thanks!

    • Steve says

      Hi Jamie, Thanks!!!

      Yes you can do exactly that. You have till 27 Sept. 2014 to use all 4 days and they can be used any way you want, individually or all together.

  13. Wade Edwards says

    Great site!!! If I use 4 of the AFS salute tickets now, can I use the remaining 2 later in 2014? Purchasing 4 now and 2 later? I will use a ticket both times.

    Thanks,

    Wade

  14. says

    As a retired Army officer, I want to buy 6 tickets for the 4 day hopper pass Armed Forces Salute at $169 each. I am not near any base ticket office without traveling 4 hours or more.

    I am not staying at the Shades of Green. How do I buy tickets from the Shades of Green in advance without physically being there at the Shades of Green?

    Thanks.

    • Steve says

      Hi David,

      Unfortunately you can’t. The pre-purchase of tickets (about 2 weeks out) at Shades of Green is only for their guests.

      So you’ll have to but your tickets once you arrive. You have three options. Go by Shades to get them, use the Orlando ITT, or buy them direct from Disney at their ticket booths (with sales tax added).

      Steve

  15. Jill says

    My father-in-law wondered if he could use these discounted tickets he can get to take 4 grandkids to Disneyland one day and 4 different grandkids to Disleyland 2 weeks later. Are the tickets transferable?

    • Steve says

      No, unfortunately they are not Jill. This is Disney’s rule on all their tickets. They prevent it by using fingerprint scanning.

  16. Jen says

    Thank you for providing such a wonderful collection of helpful information.

    I wanted to clarify #10: “At Disney World, one idea is to opt for the Water Park & More Option (or add it to you hopper ticket). The WP&M visits can be used on non-park days to fill out a longer stay.”

    Does this mean you could purchase the AFS Park Hopper with the Water Park & More option and go to the DisneyWorld parks for 4 days and then still have 4 visits available for the water parks, espn, etc… ?

    We will be there 7 days total. It would be great to have 4 days at the park + extra passes for WP&M to use during the remaining time.

    Thanks!

    • Steve says

      Hi Jen,

      Yes that is correct. The WPF&M option visits are totally separate from the theme park days, so yes you could get 8 days out of the single ticket. Keep in mind if you just get the cheaper WPF&M option the theme park days are non-hopping. If you want to hop between parks on the same day you’ll need the more expensive ticket with both options.

    • Steve says

      Hi Dan,

      Well, Disney discounts are for the member and or spouse depending on the offer. I do not believe children have ever been eligible. It may be that some bases would sell them to anyone who had access to the base, which might be what you are thinking.

      But if you are an adult without base access, as I assume, the answer would be no. Your parents can buy them for you though.

  17. Cindy says

    Our trip to Disney World is not until November 2014. When do you normally find out if the offer is being continued? I’m a little worried about hotels filling up if I wait to book until September. Also, how does it work once I am ready to book the hotel? Do I just mention the discount over the phone? Is there a special website to go to book it? Thank you.

  18. Jane says

    Does the purchasing sponsor have to be present to activate the tickets? My husband is active military and we are taking our family of 6 + 2 dependents of another military personnel. However, the other military personnel will not present (he would pre-purchase his children’s ticket at the local base beforehand). Will Disneyland allow all 8 activations?

  19. Kristen says

    Hi my aunt who is an active duty in the military bought the 3-day pass for disneyland in california, she unfortunately has duty the weekend that we were planning to go. Would we still be able to use the ticket? I have a military ID myself since my dad used to be in the military. Do they check for the military ID when they scan the ticket at the gate??

    • Steve says

      Hi Kristen,

      Just to be sure, she bought the 3-Day Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets for $129, not Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets (more expensive)?

      The Disney Armed Forces Salute has very strict rules because of the large discount and the intent for the military member to use these tickets to spend time with family and friends in the Disney parks. The military member must activate all of their tickets at Disneyland in person with their whole party. They must have a ticket for themselves. After activation the tickets may be used separately.

      Can you all go together to activate the tickets prior to the weekend? YOu could use them without her over the weekend without her after that.

      As to your ID it should have been turned in when he left the service, it isn’t still valid is it? Anyway child dependents are not eligible for the Disney Armed Forces Salute.

  20. bias says

    If you have a DD214 HONORABLE DISCHARGE? ARE YOU ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OFFER? WHERE WOULD I PURCHASE THE TICKETS?

  21. Deann says

    I am a retired military spouse and wanted to take a trip to
    DisneyWorld with my sister. Am I able to purchase a ticket for her for the
    AFS? It was recommended by Shades of Green.

    • Steve says

      As long as you have a valid spouse ID Deann, you can purchase for yourself and your sister.

      Have fun.

  22. Roxanne Pattison says

    My son in law is in the national guard, our family is traveling to Disney in March, there will be 7 of us: son in law, myself, his wife and sister along with her husband and two children ( total 7 ) .
    would we all be able to buy the discount 4 day hoppers ? or would 1 need to be excluded ?
    Also .. and this is very important : my son in law, myself and his wife will be going on March 10th and the rest of family can not join us until March 14th , is it possible for us to get all tickets at once and activate the family members who will join us on the 14 when they get there ?
    we need to use 3 tickets on the 10th of march
    AND 4 more on the 14th . please advise ! Thank you !! Roxanne

  23. angela says

    I am looking to go to wdw next month we just purchased the salute the military 4 day hopper pass..Do we have to use it at the different parks or can we alternate wdw with epcot for instance if we want can we go to wdw on Monday and Wednesday and then Epcot Tuesday and Thursday or can we just go to wdw on 4 different days…

    • Steve says

      Hi Angela,

      Good question.

      You can use your tickets at any park you desire, any park any day. So yes you could do the Magic Kingdom on Mon/Wed and Epcot on Tues/Thurs.

      I assumed you meant the Magic Kingdom when you said WDW. Walt Disney World (WDW) is the entire huge resort area which encompasses all 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, resorts, and other entertainment areas.

  24. Judy says

    I purchased 5 Armed Forces Salute tickets for Disney World in February 2014. We are considering going back to Disney World in Spetember 2014. Can we purchase 3 AFS tickets, or are we limited to 6 for the entire promotion?

    Thank you!

  25. Taylor says

    Hi,

    I’m stationed overseas and our ticket office does not sell disney tickets. I’m supposed to be going on leave in a few weeks and surprising my girlfriend with a trip to disneyland. How do I go about buying tickets ahead of time through the disney salutes program? I can buy them at the park itself correct?

  26. Dafnee says

    My son is a military child but dad & I never married can I still purchase a disney ticket with military discount for him?

    • Steve says

      No, unfortunately you can’t Dafnee.

      The discounts are for the member and their spouse in their place. Children are not eligible.

  27. Michelle says

    Hi Steve! Does the military member that purchases the ticket have to be the one to activate them? My husband is in the national guard and our base does not have a travel office. We have friends that are active duty that offered to purchase them for us so that we wouldn’t have to pay taxes in WDW or visit shades of green (we arrive late at night).

    Thank you very much! I love your site – it has been extremely useful!

    • Steve says

      Hi there Michelle,

      Thanks!

      The purchase on base is in no way tied by individual to the activation at Disney.

      All that Disney cares when you go to activate them on property is that you have the exchange certificates (what they call the tickets purchased on base) in your hand and that you are eligible to activate them.

      Also if staying at a Disney resort, this will allow you to link your ticket (vouchers) to your My Disney Experience account and make FastPass Plus reservations 60 days out!

      Have fun!!!

    • Steve says

      Hi Leza,

      Yes there are the Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets, but these are only slightly discounted (4-8% off). The Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets are over 50% off! the four day AFS ticket costs less that a MYW 2 day. If there is any chance you can do 2 or more days this is the way to go.

  28. says

    I had seen where the military and their families could go into disneyland with up to 6 people for free. Can you tell me more about this or where I can find out more? My husband is 100% disabled. Thank you we are planning on June the 9th till the 13th thank you.

    • Steve says

      Hi Pam,

      Unfortunately there is no free offer.

      Back in 2009 Disney had a free ticket for the military member and discounted tickets for family and friends, but that was the last year with anything free.

      What we have now id the Disney Armed Forces Salute, highly discounted tickets and resort rooms. As a 100% Permanently Service Connected Disabled Veteran (he is this right?), he is eligible.

      See this page: http://www.militarydisneytips.com/Disney-Armed-Forces-Salute.html

  29. Megan says

    Hi, we got to California with the intent to have my husband’s grandparents to take us to Disneyland, it ends up that their passes are blacked out for the dates we are here. My wonderful husband neglected to double check before we left, so we did not buy tickets before we left our Army installation. My question is, will we be able to buy military discounted tickets at the disneyland gate?

  30. cindy says

    If we get a 4 day hopper with the water park added for 198. We have to go to the theme parks and the waterparks or whatever all in four days right? Or do we have the option of going to them other days?

  31. Shannon says

    I am planning on going in August to Disneyworld. I have gotten tickets before so that’s not a problem. I was just wondering If I arrive on Tuesday go to the parks Wednesday thru Friday using up 3 days. Relaxing on saturday and then going back on sunday is that acceptable? Can I even do that with the military ticket? I’m used to just going all four days in a row but i know during the summer it can be hot and humid. So that was my main concern. Thanks in advance.

    • Steve says

      Yep Shannon, you sure can. You have till 27 Sept to use all 4 days. We often use the same ticket during a couple trips.

  32. Brian says

    We have purchased the AFS 4 day tickets and we have the vouchers in our possession…. Since we have been looking around at other things to do while we are down there is it possible to upgrade to the WPF&M option at the gate when validating the tickets we have?

    • Steve says

      Yes it sure is Brian, for $29 plus tax each ticket at a Disney Ticket or Guest Services window.

      • Brian says

        Thanks for the quick reply sir….We leave in 2 hours…..lol….Awesome site with unparalleled great information.

  33. serena serrano says

    Hi,

    I was wondering… If my husband is active duty and I am national guard are we both allowed to purchase tickets?

    Thanks.

      • serena serrano says

        That is great! Would you suggest calling for the tickets or both of us going to the ticket base on fort bliss? When I called the ticket office on post to ask that question they seemed confused so I don’t want them to deny both of us being able to purchase tickets.

          • serena serrano says

            Okay, thank you. If for some odd reason they do, I will show them this conversation. But thank you, youhelped a ton!

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