Disney’s Armed Forces Salute is a fantastic discount available to military members. This discount includes both ticket and room discounts.
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.
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.
It is currently scheduled to end on 28 September 2013 and we most likely won’t know until very close to that date if it will be renewed. It might be a good Idea to plan your vacation during a time when you know you’ll have the discount, rather than when you might not.
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 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
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)
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 these tickets for theme park admission or use the Water Park & More visits (if you have that option on your tickets).
- Walt Disney World tickets must be purchased by 25 September 2013
- Disneyland tickets must be purchased by 26 September 2013
Disney has what they call blockout dates, dates on which these tickets are not allowed to be used.
At Disney World these dates are:
- 24 – 31 December 2012 – No theme Park or WP&M Use
- 24 March – 4 April 2013 – No theme Park or WP&M Use
- 4 July 2012 – No Magic Kingdom Use (You may Use them at the other theme parks and use your WP&M Visits)
At Disneyland these dates are:
- 23 December 2012 – 2 January 2013 – No theme Park Use
- 15 – 17 February 2013 – No theme Park Use
- 25 March – 5 April 2013 – No theme Park Use
- 4 July 2013 – 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:
- Your Local Base MWR Ticket Office
The Orlando ITT Office(See the comments below, it seems they are no longer carrying these tickets)
- Shades of Green, the Military Owned and Operated Resort on Disney World property.
- Disney Theme Park Ticket Booths and Guest Relations offices
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 need do fall within Disney “large family” exception to the 6 ticket rule, 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 – $156.00
- Four-Day Water Park and More Tickets – $156.00
- Four-Day Park Hopper Tickets plus the Water Park and More Option – $184.00
The Disneyland Tickets cost:
- Three-Day Park Hopper Tickets – $125.00
These prices are before to tax, so you’ll pay these prices at military sales locations and tax will be added at Disney locations.
8. How do I activate the Armed Forces Salute Tickets?
Armed Forces Salute Tickets that were purchased at Non-Disney locations such as Bast 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.
The first use of the ticket must be on the same day of activation.
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…
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 28 September 2013 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?
It is still unclear whether Disney will allow those who have less than 6 people in their party and want to have 8 days of ticket use to use the Armed Forces Salute Tickets Back-to-Back. While Disney’s official policy is and has been in the past not to allow this, it has been allowed by theme park ticket departments.
UPDATE 10/1/12 Disney has announced that Back-To-Back use will not be allowed, 7 calendar days must separate use of AFS tickets by the same person.
So there you have it
The ten top things you need to know about Disney’s Armed Forces Salute.
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!
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