Military Disney Tips Turns Five Years Old Tomorrow!

When Will Disney Renew Their Military Discounts for 2014 (c) DisneyIt has been another fantastic year for Military Disney Tips!

Military Disney Tips has grown from the humblest of beginnings to the large, very successful resource for military families that it is today. While I have put quite a bit of time and effort into the site, it’s 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 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, and the newsletter) has come a certain clout, which has allowed me to advocate to Disney for our community on both discounts and policies. Good things are coming, but more on that as the next year unfolds.

One positive change I was able to get initiated this past year, was a change in the way the Disney World Thanksgiving and Christmas Party military discounts are handled. Many military families used to miss out on this discount, as you had to get your discounted tickets in person and the party could be sold out by the time you arrived at WDW to get them.

 

The Year In Numbers

The past year has seen continued awesome growth for MDT.

Military Disney Tips received over 564,000 visitors and 1,903,000 pageviews during the last 12 months. Up from 242,412 visitors and 765,159 pageviews the previous year.

Our Newsletter has grown to over 4,125 subscribers, an increase of 2400.

Our FaceBook page has grown to over 5,150 followers this year, up over 3800.

 Disney Armed Forces Salute Ticket

What You Want 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 28 September 2013?

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.

Shades of Green has continued to announce discounts past September 2013. This is a good sign of the Disney Armed Forces Salute coming back as Shades makes these offers to compete with the AFS,

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 900 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!

 Get a complimentary room upgrade during the Disney Armed Forces Salute -(C) Disney

My Great Partners

This year will be my 5th year partnering with Ears of Experience, an authorized Disney vacation planner and Veteran Owned Business. I’m so proud that 650 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. Recently I became their Moderator of Military Family Comments. YourFirstvisit.net is a fantastic Disney World site geared towards the first time visitor. A perfect compliment to my site!

This year I started a partnership with Simple Stroller Rental, an independent stroller rental company in the Orlando area. They will deliver your stroller to your resort and pick it up after your vacation is done. Their rates are lower than Disney’s and they offer a Military Discount. So far 50 MDT readers have rented from Simple Stroller Rental

 

Milestones This Year

This year I was featured in Military Times Off Duty Section not once, but twice talking about the Armed Forces Salute.

(You know the Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times, Marine Corps Times newspapers)

In December I was featured on Semper Feisty Radio the blogtalk radio station of USMCLife.com.

And just last month I was featured on MilitaryOneClick.com Where I did 2 guest posts, one on Shades of Green and the other on Armed Forces Recreation Centers

Military Times

Big Stories Of The Year

This year I was really excited to cove Disney’s Heroes Work Here Job Program. I attended the Orlando event, covered the program’s web presence and the one year wrap-up.

I made a special intel gathering trip to Downtown Disney and scoped out all the DTD businesses with military discounts for you.

Two new military theme park discounts popped up this past year:

Legoland - With both a regular and special offer.

Universal - Finally Universal came out with an offer better than the basic military discount, though limited in its timeframe.

 

LEGOLAND Florida Military Discounts

Image courtesy LEGOLAND

Some of your favorite posts this year were

Worldwide Readers

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, Italy, Afghanistan, The Netherlands, Qatar, Kuwait, Guam, Iraq, and Bahrain to name a few.

 

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.

Yourfirstvisit.net Almost 12,000 referred readers, Dave you rock!

Dis Boards

Pinterest

Disney Food Blog Where AJ has allowed me to guest post

Army Wife 101

The Disney Tourist Blog Thanks Tom! 

The Orange County Register

Mouse Planet

USMC Life

WDW Hints

Military One Click Where I recently did 2 guest posts on Shades of Green and the Armed Forces Recreation Centers

WDW Prep School 

Chip and Company

 

Looking Forward

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

 

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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

Follow Military Disney Tips

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