One of my favorite things to do on a Walt Disney World Vacation is to see the Magic Kingdom Flag Retreat at least once while I’m there. It’s held every day at 5:00 PM in the Town Square on Main Street USA.
Note (9/14/17): Due to other shows going on in the area the Retreat has had a time change to 5:30. This should last at least through the end of the year. If you intend to view this wonderful ceremony be sure to check in Town Hall for the correct time.
Just recently I spent a few days at WDW and was lucky enough to catch the Retreat twice. I took some new pictures on the first day and did a video on the second. You can see the pictures here and the video is on this page, it’s the top video the other is a Disney promo.
Disney Security members, Main Street Operations personnel, and the Dapper Dans Barber Shop Quartette conduct the ceremony along with a daily special guest. This special guest is a veteran who happens to be touring the Magic Kingdom that day.
New Selection Procedures
When spending time at Disney I’m always working to confirm my facts and tips to keep up to date and this trip I discovered a big change to the Retreat selection process.
In the past it was possible to volunteer to take part in the ceremony You’d just go by City Hall in the morning to do so (first come first served).
But the new procedure is quite different. The veteran participant is selected at random by the Magic Kingdom Entertainment Department. They didn’t share how they make the selection but I have a few thoughts.
In order to make the selection Disney needs to identify a person as being a veteran.
I believe that in order to do this to do this they observe those entering the park looking for those who look the part.
Most likely they will do this first ting in the morning at “Rope Drop.”
Rope drop is the morning park opening, prior to the scheduled park opening people are allowed to travel to and pass through the magic band scanners, but are barred from going further into the park by a rope. Typically Disney Characters (from MK Entertainment) entertain those waiting.
Do You Want To Get Picked?
Here are my thoughts on trying to be selected.
- Arrive in time for rope drop
- Get there early enough to be in front so you can be seen byDisney Castmembers on the other side of the rope
- Wear military distinctive clothing
- Wear tee-shirts and or hats to show you are military
- Service or Unit items (Camo Back Packs)
- SPort a high and tight
- VFW, American Legion, etc. items
- Chat with Disney Castmembers
- At The turnstile, at Rope Drop, walking down Main Street
- They could be in uniform or street clothes with a name tag
- Mention how thankful you are for the Armed Forces Salute
- Just ask a Castmember if they’ve selected someone yet, can’t hurt to try!
Recent reports say that Disney has modified their process and now will choose someone at the front part of Main Street (closest to the railroad station) each morning before 10 am or so.
It’s All Random
Remember it’s random and if all your hard work trying to get noticed hasn’t worked you are still in the Happiest Place On Earth.
Enjoy your day and don’t forget to be in Main Street’s Town Square just before 5:00 PM.
For More on WDW’s Retreat see these pages and posts:
I hope you enjoyed this post, it’s part of the Patriotic Disney Series, check out the rest!
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? See our:
Learn about the Disney Armed Forces Salute the best military discount that there is for Disney. For where to stay see our Resorts/Hotel Overview Page. Disney doesn’t discount dining for the military, but there are a few places on property that do, see the Dining Overview Page to learn where plus more dining info. You can also learn about Transportation Options. Be sure to check out our Technology Overview to learn about Magic Bands and My Disney Experience to see how they work with military tickets. Walt Disney World visitors might be interested in staying at Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort.