Tomorrow Military Disney Tips turns six years old!
Military Disney Tips has grown from the humblest of beginnings to the very large and successful resource for military families that it is today. While I have put quite a bit of time and effort into the site, it is you the readers who make the site so successful!
I wanted to take a moment to say thanks to all of you. I’m so appreciative of your interest, support, and contributions. It’s been my pleasure to try to help you in any way that I can to plan for your Disney vacations.
Hang on to your hats, cause this will be a longish post, as I feel we have a lot to brag about this year…
With the growth of the site and its readership (on the site and blog, facebook, Pinterest, and the newsletter) has come a certain clout, which has allowed me to advocate to Disney for our community on both discounts and policies.
One positive change I was able to get initiated was a change in the way the Disney World Halloween and Christmas Party military discounts are handled. Many military families used to miss out on this discount, as you have to get your discounted tickets in person and the party could be sold out by the time you arrived at WDW to get them.
Now WDW allows military members to buy tickets in person, even if the date is sold out! 2014 will be the third year Disney World has made this offer to our community.
The Year In Numbers
The past year has seen continued awesome growth for MDT.
Military Disney Tips received over 802,500 visitors and 3,377,000 pageviews during the last 12 months. Up from 238,500 visitors and 1,475,000 pageviews the previous year.
Our Newsletter has grown to over 7,660 subscribers, an increase of 3535.
Our FaceBook page has grown to over 11,945 followers this year, up over 7820.
What You Wanted To Know
The big question on everyone’s mind right now, as it is every year at this time is, will there be a Disney Armed Forces Salute renewal past 27 September 2014?
I have a really good feeling that we’ll see a renewal, make sure to sign up for my newsletter to get an immediate email announcement about a renewal as soon as I know.
Quite a few of you needed help interpreting or clarifying Disney’s sometimes confusing discounts, especially the Disney Armed Forces Salute as after it was announced last summer they made several changes to it.
I received almost 940 emails this past year, which it was my pleasure to answer. So many of you sent me your very kind thanks and compliments. Thank You!
My Great Partners
This year will be my 6th year partnering with Ears of Experience, an authorized Disney vacation planner and Veteran Owned Business. I’m so proud that 0ver 1790 of you emailed in to ask Amy for help making your Disney reservations this past year.
My partnership with YourFirstvisit.net has grown much stronger over the last year. This has been my first full year as the YFV Moderator of Military Family Comments. Your First Visit is a fantastic Disney World site geared towards the first time visitor. A perfect compliment to my site!
In January of 2013 started a partnership with Simple Stroller Rental, an independent stroller rental company in the Orlando area. They will deliver your rental stroller to your resort and pick it up after your vacation is done. Their rates are much lower than Disney’s and they offer a Military Discount. This past year 160 MDT readers rented from Simple Stroller Rental!
Milestones This Year
I’m so proud to announce that Military Disney Tips was one of 80 Military Entrepreneurs selected for the Inc. 500/5000 Military Entrepreneur Program. Selectees were current military members, retirees and spouses. We all attended a fantastic seminar in Washington DC during the annual Inc. 500/5000 Conference. We each had the opportunity to meet with and be mentored by several CEOs from the Inc. 500/5000 lists.
This year I finally got around to creating the Essential Guide to Shades of Green. An eBook which covers all the ins and outs of WDW’s military resort. I’d been wanting to do this for a couple of years and finally sat down to do it.
In July the Walt Disney Company graciously allowed me to break the news of the 2013-2014 Disney Armed Forces Salute Renewal hours before they made their official press release.
Big Stories Of The Year
This year I was really excited when Disney asked me to to cover the Heroes University event at WDW. During the event Disney shared with other companies the experience they’s gained with their Heroes Work Here program. THis is a huge plus for those in our community attempting to reenter the civilian workforce.
Video content debuted on MDT with our Shades of Green Junior Suite Tour.
In November we held the first ever MDT – YourFirstVisit.net fan meet-up, it was great!
Some of your favorite posts this year were
- Our Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets post.
- Top Ten Things You Need To Know About Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Military Discount Tickets
- How to pre-order Disney World Military Discounted tickets from Shades of Green.
- How to activate your Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets.
- All You Need To Know About Disney World FastPass Plus For The Military Traveler
While most of the site’s readers this year have been Stateside, we also have quite a few readers from overseas locations where our military members are stationed or deployed such as: The UK, Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Italy, Guam, The Netherlands, Qatar, Iraq, and Bahrain to name a few.
MDT Featured on the Web
MDT was lucky enough this past year to either be featured or create content for the following sites:
Military.com asked me to create a Shades of Green post for them. I was more than pleased to do so, check it out!
I had another opportunity to write for Military One CLick. This time on the Hale Koa, the Armed Forces Recreation Center in Hawaii.Drop by to read it, lots of good pics I took!
Shannon from WDW Prep School interviewed me for her great site. I think this is one of the best interviews I’ve done! There were lots of great topics, check it out!
Military Disney Tips was interviewed for Navy Wife Radio – Military Wife Radio. I had so much fun doing the interview. Listen for my Top 10 Tips.
Mentioned in USAA’s Save Big with Disney Armed Forces Salute and SeaWorld Heroes Salute.
Military Disney Tips was quoted on WMAZ Channel 13′s website in their piece on the renewed Disney Armed Forces Salute.
A nice mention of our Facebook page on the USAA Blog in a post by Briana Hartzell in her post on Savvy Summer Savings
Military Disney Tips was featured and quoted in a great post about the renewed Disney Armed Forces Salute on the TouringPlans.com Blog.
I did a guest post on MilitaryBridge.com it is a great overview of all the various Disney Military Discounts for Service Members.
The Rest Of The Web
Because of the one of a kind content found on this site, many sites including other great Disney sites on the net sent visitors our way. I’d like to thank the top referring sites for their support this year.
MouseSavers.com Thanks Mary!
Yourfirstvisit.net Dave, thanks for everything!
The Disney Tourist Blog, Thanks Tom
As you can see it’s been a busy year here at Military Disney Tips and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming year.
It’s been my pleasure to provide content that I think you might find helpful and I’m so glad that the site’s growth shows you are enjoying it.
Stay tuned for info on an Armed Forces Salute announcement and any other military discounts that become available in the next year. I’ll send out an immediate Newsletter Update as soon as I hear something!
Thanks so much, Steve
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.