Every Year in January I start to get questions on when we can expect The Walt Disney Company to announce if they will be offering their popular Disney Military Discount on dates falling after 1 October 2013.
A large part of the time I spend on the site is answering questions people send in, either in the comments here on the blog, on the Military Disney Tips Facebook Page, or directly in emails, and questions about this have started to come in regularly again.
So I decided to do a post to get the word out.
Military Families Want To Know
At this time of year people are naturally looking forward and trying to plan their fall through Christmas vacations for the coming year. Not knowing if they can expect a renewal of these fantastic military discounts on Disney resort rooms and theme park tickets makes it very difficult to budget or even know if they will be able to go at all.
Every year I try to impress on my Disney contacts that we in the military community would appreciate knowing much sooner. But to date that hasn’t had much effect.
Disney Wants To Know
The Walt Disney Company is first and foremost a publicly traded company. Their primary responsibility is to be profitable for their stockholders.
Before deciding to renew or extend any discount offer they need to access their capability to meet their attendance/reservation goals without offering discounts.
Unfortunately this early in the year Disney does not yet know to what extent their resort rooms will be booked in October & December 2013 and certainly not well into 2014 (June, July, August). Making a year long discount offer is a big commitment, so they will wait until they are sure whether or not they will need the boost in the number of bodies a 50% ticket and 30-40% room discount will provide compared to not making the offer.
It is smart business, but frustrating to those waiting to make plans
A History of Disney Armed Forces Salute Renewals
- The 4 January – 24 December 2009 Armed Forces Salute
- Renewed for part of 2010 on 21 December 2009
- The 3 January – 31 July 2010 Armed Forces Salute
- Extended through 31 August 2010
- Extended through 30 September 2010
- Allowed to expire, then Renewed on 27 October 2010
- The 27 October 2010 – 30 September 2011 Armed Forces Salute
- In April 2011 there was a surprise extension through 30 September 2012
- It was part of the then new White House’s Joining Forces Campaign
- The 1 October 2012 through 28 September 2013 Armed Forces Salute
- Renewed for FY 2013 on 8 August 2012
So you can see that the Disney Armed Forces Salute discounts for military members have been far from constant and guaranteed. But for the most part the announcements have come fairly close the the expiration date.
So What Should You Do?
Go ahead and make your reservation for your desired dates at the best rate you can find now!
Then when there is an announcement from Disney on a new Salute offer you can switch over to the better rate. Disney has been very good about this in the past.
One thing some people ran into this past August though was that if they had a very specific room type (such as a princess room) there were some problems getting the discount on the same type room.
You can do this yourself, or if you use a Disney specializing travel agent like Ears of Experience they can handle getting the reservation switched for you.
“Right now I’m expecting an August renewal, but will encourage Disney to commit earlier.”
UPDATE: I had a meeting with Disney World Media Relations at the beginning of March and did ask that their supervision consider announcing early, or better yet making this a permanent discount!
The best way for you to be informed about a renewal is to sign up for my email newsletter, I will send a notice as soon as I find out about a renewal of the offer.
What If Disney Doesn’t Renew The Offer?
Well sad as that thought might be, we will be back to using just the Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way Tickets and Shades of Green’s Stars and Stripes Passes for theme park entry. For resort discounts Shades of Green and their Overflow Rates will become the best we can get.
But with the economy the way it I’m sure they will renew (for the next 4 years or so)
Disney Armed Forces Salute Renewal Information for October 2013 through 2014
Disney’s 2013 Armed Forces Salute Info on the current program which runs through 28 Sept. 2013
Disney’s Regular Disney Military Discounted Tickets You can use these if the Disney Armed Forces Salute isn’t renewed
Shaes of Green the Military Owned and Opreated Roeost on Disney World property. Low prices based on rank. Not tied to the Disney Salute!
Shaes of Green has discounts that are available past September 2013
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