This is a guest post from Kevin Mack at Fly High Finance.
Back in July, Steve took some time to figure out the Right Military Discounted Disney Ticket for you.
That article had a great breakdown of many of the tickets and how you can choose the right one for your trip, but there’s one option that may save some of you hundreds of dollars at Walt Disney World.
NOTE: 1NOV15, WDW has totally revamped their Pass Structure. The Florida Seasonal Pass is now called the Florida Resident Silver Pass and it now includes parking! See this page for current prices.
The Florida Resident Seasonal Pass
The Florida resident seasonal pass is good for one year from the date of activation. It costs $350.39 (tax included) for all ages, which is just a few dollars less than 2 Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets. It includes park hopper privileges and you can make FastPass+ reservations up to 30 days in advance (60 with a resort reservation). There are blockout dates that correspond to the busy times of the year: summer, spring break, Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s.
Disney also offers 1, 3 and 4 day tickets at discounted prices for Florida Residents.
So How Do You Get One?
About 1 in 20 people serving in the military is a Floridian. Additionally, tens of thousands of out of state residents are currently stationed in Florida (over 40,000 in Jacksonville alone, for example).
If you fall into either of these two categories then you may be eligible. In order to get Florida Resident pricing you must prove Florida residency in one of two ways.
If you are currently stationed in Florida then you can show picture ID along with a recent (within two months) utility bill or government mail to your Florida address.
If you are a resident of Florida but you were assigned to another state then you can use your Florida driver’s license for as long as it remains valid (if you renew online this can be as long as 14 years).
Each adult who uses a Florida Resident ticket must show ID when activating the ticket (but not on subsequent trips for multi-day tickets, remember this when you get ready to PCS).
You can purchase these at some Florida Base Ticket Offices, Shades of Green, and directly through Disney (with tax added by Disney). One nice feature Disney offers for Florida Residents is monthly payments on your credit card. No fee is added, just make a down payment and the balance is divided into 12 monthly payments. This comes out to about $20 per month per pass.
The Break-Even Point
Now we just need to do the math and figure out when it makes sense to get the Seasonal Pass.
For one day trips with no hopper and no Water Park Fun and More, the Regular Military Discounted, Magic Your Way Ticket is still the best bet. If you want to add hopper and/or Water Park Fun and More then the Florida resident one day ticket is cheaper.
For trips of 2-4 days, nothing has changed. The Military Salute is always the best ticket for trips of this length, whether you add Water Park Fun and More or not.
For a five day trip, combine the Military Salute with a one day ticket using the guidelines above.
Days six through eight is where it gets really interesting. If you want Water Park Fun and More then the back to back Military Salute is your best bet. If you don’t care about water parks then the Florida Resident Seasonal Pass is now the cheapest option.
After day eight, the Florida Resident Seasonal Pass is the way to go. If you want waterparks you can add the Water Park Seasonal Pass and it’s still the cheapest option.
Where’s the Catch?
A deal this great is going to come with some strings attached and you need to know this going in. The whole point of offering a local pass is to drive traffic to the parks during the off-season.
Remember those block-out days I mentioned a few paragraphs ago? They correspond to the major school holidays.
Before you decide on the Seasonal Pass, you’ve got to make sure it fits your travel schedule.
If you do a two-week family vacation in July, you aren’t going to be able to use it. But if you’re stationed nearby and you can make it down for a long weekend a couple times a year then it’s great.
The Bottom Line
I’ve been in Georgia and Alabama for my last two assignments and the Seasonal Pass has worked great for my family. With one kid in preschool we are able to be flexible with our travel and the Seasonal Pass fits our needs perfectly.
If you find yourself in a situation where you can visit Disney World in the off-season and meet the eligibility requirements, the Florida Resident Seasonal Pass will allow you to enjoy the parks for less money and with fewer crowds.
Thanks so much Kevin for this great post! The Florida Resident Seasonal pass can certainly save you money the more days that you are available to go. I myself have a FL Seasonal and I use the monthly payment option.
This MDT Post By: Steve Bell
Steve is the the Military Disney Tips Founder. He a retired U.S. Military Member who's been touring the Disney Parks since 1971! Steve's mission is to help military families with their Disney vacations in every way. Check out Steve's Bio.
Subscribe to Steve's email newsletter to get website updates and news by clicking this link.
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? See Our Great Disney Discount and Planning Info:
- Disney Veteran & Military Discount Eligibility Guide
- The Military Family’s Walt Disney World Comprehensive Vacation Planning and Preparation Guide
- Military Disney Tips Disney Packing Checklist
- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
- Resorts/Hotel Overview Page
- Dining Overview Page
- Transportation Overview Page
- Technology Overview Page
- Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort
Military Disney Tips' Recommended Disney Travel Agent
Ears of Experience Disney Only Travel Agency. Military family owned and operated! They know all the ins and outs of Disney military discounts!
We are military and Florida residents with valid Florida licenses. We have purchased Florida resident seasonal passes for years. We are currently not stationed in Florida.
Yesterday we went to buy our new Florida resident Silver annual passes (essentially what the seasonal pass was.). But we were told we couldn’t buy them. Despite having valid Florida licenses we were told our out of state billing address that showed up when they input our credit card disqualified us.
Anyone else had this problem and know how we can fix this?! We are at Disney World now. We bought regular tickets but would like to upgrade them to FL resident silver passes within the 14 day window if we can figure out how.
Thank you for any help!
Disney’s site (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/florida-residents/validation-requirements/) says this:
Florida Resident Tickets:
Proof of a Florida residential address is required. For each ticket purchased for an adult, you may provide any of the following:
Valid Florida driver’s license
Valid Florida state-issued ID card (must have a Florida address)
Valid Florida-based military ID
It seems a little over the top to pull your billing address.
I’d try again, a couple times while there, try explaining that you are in the military and have bee stationed elsewhere,but are still FL residents.
If all else fails, pay cash the last time you try.
Thank you for your help!
Just wanted to report back that we tried again using cash and it went though without issue. We do have our Florida address on our licenses though we are stationed elsewhere and our billing address to our credit card is that same elsewhere. So we have our FL resident passes now!
Thanks again and if anyone else has the same situation as us consider paying in cash the first time or ensure you have access to enough cash so you can try again.
Oh that is awesome Bethany!
Glad it worked out. I’ll need to mention this above.
Brennen Shea says
If you go on military leave and have to leave the country can Disney freeze your annual pass?
Honestly, I’m not sure. You would have to check with Disney, keeping in mind that someone on the phone most likely will not give you the correct answer.
Since you are posting on the Fl Res pass post I assume you are in Florida, can you go by? The only way to be sure is to go to a ticket or guest relations window!
Hi Steve! Great site and great tips! I have a unique situation and would love any insight you may have. I was a Florida resident for maaaany years and met my husband there. He joined the military and we married in California. I still have my Florida drivers license exp 2019 but never changed my last name on it. I do have a military ID with my married last name. I have visited Disney with my maiden name years ago and in recent years purchased the military discounted tickets using my married name with an out of state address. I am wanting to take advantage of the Disney discovery tickets but am not sure if I am able. I have family who’ve offered to buy the tickets using their Florida billing address. I am just not sure what to expect at the ticket window when they see two different last names and states with the same birthdate. If any of that makes sense. Please help!!
Thank you so much!
This sure is a tricky one, but before I go on I’m curious why you are interested in these tickets as the Disney Armed Forces Salute 4-day is a much better deal. The Discovery Tickets are $297.13 for a non hopper vs $209 for a 4-day Salute Hopper or $224 for a 5-day Salute Hopper.
Disney’s rules do not really accept military and family who live out of state as FL residents. Their thought: if you live out of state more than half the year you are not a FL resident.
They ask for: A valid Florida Driver’s License [my note, I assume names must match barring having a recent marriage license…], a valid Florida State issued ID card (MUST have Florida address)[same thought], or a valid Florida Based Military ID from one of Florida’s Military Bases [though there is no such thing…].
Without one of these you must present one of the following dated within the last 2 months:
Monthly mortgage statement (with a FL mailing address)
Florida vehicle registration or title
Homeowner’s insurance policy or bill
Automobile insurance policy or bill
Mail from a financial institution, including checking, savings, or investment account statement (with a FL mailing address)
Mail from a Federal, State, County or City government agency (with a FL mailing address)
And I assume for all of these I assume they would need to have your name which brings up the different name issue.
Disney has pulled down many of their FL Resident pages in the last month so I got the list elsewhere, but I added the (with a FL mailing address) to the items above from memory as I was a longtime FL resident who moved out of state last year and was researching renewing my FL Silver Pass based on my FL property.
The discovery tickets are $139 for 3 day non-hopper. I was hoping to be able to use these with my unexpired Florida drivers license….?
Also I thought since we are still Florida residents based on my husband’s home state they would allow military to use it, especially since I have the drivers license. Again, thank you for all the efforts that go into your site and your quick response!
Disney does not honor home residency like the military does, if you don’t live there you are not a resident. Your husband (and you really) would need to live more than half the year in FL for Disney to consider you guys FL residents and eligible.
Oops, until now I was not aware of the 3 and 4-day Florida Resident Discovery Tickets. Yes good deal for those eligible!
Does every adult in your party have a valid FL ID?
You will be just fine with your DL and the FL Discovery Ticket, but all other adults would need to have a FL DL of their as well to be eligible for the FL rate. You can’t use your FL residency for the whole party.
Disney would not need to know the other’s relationship to you, re the two separate names.
Hope this cleared it up?
Thanks so much Steve! Yes everyone has Florida ID except the kids. They won’t need anything right?
Yep that’s correct Susan.
I called Disney and asked if they would accept my Husbands LES as proof of residentcy and they said yes they would. But I would like to see that in writing and I don’t see it anywhere. We also have a home in FL so I have a mortgage statement in my name, not his. But we are currently stationed in GA so our drivers licenses are out of state. Hoping to bring these docuemnts along with military id’s to get annual passes. Anyone have experience with this?
IDK about the LES, but the mortgage statement will do the trick! They hardly looked at mine. I live in OH but own property in FL. Got mine at Disney Springs, upgraded a 5-day Disney Armed Forces Salute ticket to a FL Silver Pass.
wendi K phillips says
My question is this: My dad is 100% disabled Army veteran and we are Fl residents.
We are going to purchase our tickets (Silver Pass) at Shades of Green.We received Disney Gift Cards for Christmas.Can we apply these to the purchase of our passes?
No Disney gift cards are not valid at Shades of Green.
You’ll have to decide between getting the mil discount and using the gift cards with Disney, or using the cards towards full price.