Starting back in 2018 Disney changed the way they allocate Disney Armed Forces Salute Room Discounts.
In the past, from 2009 through 2017, the Disney Armed Forces Salute resort hotel room discounts had always been a set percentage off of the standard rack room rate.
Back then if the discount for your desired resort, room type, and dates was available you would receive 30 percent off at Disney Value Resorts, 35 percent off at Disney Moderate Resorts, and 40 percent off at Disney Deluxe and DVC Resorts.
When we say available in the previous sentence, what we mean is that the military discount was based upon availability by date, resort, and room type. Disney offered the discount when rooms needed to be filled, as available room inventory reached an undisclosed amount, the discount would not be offered. For example on your desired dates a Standard room at Pop Century might not be eligible for the discount but a Preferred would be, or there might be nothing for your dates at Pop but there would be at All-Star Movies, or you might have to change dates to get the discount at all.
But starting with the 2018 Disney Armed Forces Salute there was a big change, actually the first change ever for this part of the program.
When the 2018 Disney Armed Forces Salute was released it quickly became apparent that things were not as they used to be. Members of the military community were reporting receiving discounts lower than they expected. There were many reports of 5 to 10 percent less than the 30/35/40 percent of past Salutes. There were even reports of both well lower than that or in a couple instances even slightly higher than the old discount percentages.
This continues through today!
Instead of publishing a set percentage off for each room category (30% Value, 35% Moderate, & 40% Deluxe), Disney is silent on the discount percentage. But in effect the Salute discount is now “Up To” those old percentages off. Meaning the old set amount off is not guaranteed if the discount is available for your dates/resort/room category; instead you might get a lesser amount off.
In the past as we mentioned, Disney offered the full discount until an undisclosed set level of bookings were reached, by date, resort, & room category; then the discount was no longer offered for those specific variables.
Now Disney will offer the full discount when bookings are low by date, resort, & room category; but as room availability decreases, so will the discount percentage offered until finally the cutoff is reached and the discount is no longer offered at all by date, resort, & room category.
Experts feel that this is the way all Disney room discounts are headed and that this is a test case on a smaller audience. If you’ve received a lesser discount than you expected and don’t like this new system let Disney know how you feel about these variable discount amounts, See my Contact Disney Page. You never know it might help.
Greatly Reduced Availability
In 2022 and even more so in 2023 I am hearing from readers that they are having a much harder time being able to get a Salute discount for their desired dates!
This is partly due to Disney delaying the salute announcement of the 2022 & 2023 Disney Armed Forces Salutes until November, reducing the rooms that are available due to the general public making reservations during all that time.
It could also be due to Disney reducing the amount of rooms available for this discount overall. And overall less room availability due to continued staffing shortages.
If you are having trouble obtaining a Salute discount or receive a low percentage off, you can check for general public discounts that might be available/better.
Disney General Public Room Discounts
See our full Disney Armed Forces Salute info page.
See How to make reservations using the Disney Armed Forces Salute
How about you, What discounts have you received from Disney on rooms?
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.
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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:
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- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
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I’ve found when booking rooms at Walt Disney World under the new anyone’s-guess discount program that the preferred rooms are always a lower discount. The moderate rooms will be 35% if you have to walk a lot to get anywhere, but only 30% if you chose a preferred room. Same with the special rooms like the Princess rooms at Port Orleans Riverside, they’re at the lower discount. It works the same at the Value resorts, too. I don’t know about the Deluxe and Deluxe Villas, because I rent the DVC points if I’m going to stay in one of those.
Availability is a bit bizarre, too. When we went in Nov/Dec, I wanted a Value room for the weekend. I couldn’t get a military discount at all if we stayed Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. But I did get one (same resort) when I booked it for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So for three days there wasn’t a discount, but for four there was.
Keith Elliott says
As always apprecaite your information updates. Getting ready for our 2023 WDW trip any guess on when/if Disney will announce the Saltute Discount?
Thanks! Since switching to calendar year Salutes in 2015, Disney has released the following yerar’s Salute in late September. Since the 2020 shutdown that has not been the case. It’s unknown if they will get back on schedule this year or not.
Keith Elliott says
Thanks Steve, Appreciate it
Can you tell me more about how it works to book more than one room on the salute room discount? If a family is bringing other family with them who are not military (like grandparents) would this be a valid use of the discount? It seems that reading the terms on Disney’s website that the service member or spouse needs to be staying in the room. I’m confused. Have used the discount multiple times myself, but trying to book my first stay with extended family coming along.
Thank you for your input! Love your site!
Hi there Jenny,
Thanks so much!
I have done multiple rooms on several trips. It’s really easy.
Disney isn’t always the clearest on their military discount wording. The member or spouse has to be in one of the rooms. What they are trying to say is you can’t let someone use your discount if you aren’t going.
You can use the additional rooms for anyone you’d like, family or friends (we’ve done both).
You can do 3 rooms at WDW, or 2 rooms at the Disneyland Resort. All technically need to be at the same resort and check in on the same day, though I’ve personally found these 2 not to be true at WDW (DLR would hold you to both I believe, as they are more strict on lodging rules). Check out days may be different.
When booking you’ll call (or your travel agent will) to make all the reservations. You’ll need your guest’s credit card info if they are paying for their room. Or you could pay the deposit and they can pay you back, if you do this you should not use online check in as the remainder of the bill will be charged to the card you made the reservation with most likely on your arrival morning.
When booking at WDW, I was told all guests had to be at the same resort. We tried booking a Ft. Wilderness campsite (which isn’t discounted) and a cabin, and was told the military member had to be in the cabin to get the discount, since they were considered “different resorts.” Maybe this is a change for 2021 bookings.
Hi there Wendy,
Knowledge or lack there o is very spotty with Disney cast members. Definitely call back. Or just make separate reservations.
Ashlynn Kaiser says
Hi Steve, Could you tell me who we call to access the room discount for our stay?
Hi Ashlynn, You bet.
I’ve got the phone numbers for Disney reservations on this post:
I talked with Disney today and the max room discount is 35% vice 40% from years previous. Just an FYI.
Thanks for sharing Jack
Sorry Steve, I specifically asked about a 2 bedroom villa at Wilderness Lodge during the 2nd week of June 2021.
That could be the reason Jack, they have already begun to throttle that resort back for those dates and the room type you asked for…
Readers might find this helpful. I was quoted 30% off list price for Art of Animation Family Suite, 30% off for Fort Wilderness Cabins and 25% off Beach Club Standard Room today when I called an October 2021 booking.
Thanks for all the great info
Hi there Holly,
Thanks for sharing the intel!
I was able to book a Copper Creek Studio for less than a Garden Wing room the Contemporary due to the different discounts being offered at each resort. I was looking for the absolute lowest price that I could find on a Magic Kingdom area room based on initial rack rates. If looking for a good price, explore outside what might seem obvious. There might just be a deal lurking.
Thanks for sharing the great advise.
I was hoping to plan a get-away for my daughter and I in November. After chatting with a cast member and putting in several dates at different resorts, I asked what the rate of the discount was. Evidently, it’s a standard 15% on value, 20% on moderate and 25% for deluxe – then decreases from there, depending on availability. I asked if she was certain about the rates because I could be flexible with both my resort selection and travel dates, but after checking with her manager she assured me that those were the top discounts being offered for the Salute program.
I was slightly disappointed when I heard this. Normally it’s a substantial savings but at the moment, they’re offering the same 20% discount to the general public. If anyone has gotten a better discount this year, please let me know how you did it….
Thanks so much for sending in the intel! I always urge people to be extremely cautious in taking anything Disney’s cast relates to them about the company’s military discounts as they are often wrong. They receive zero training, as evidenced by their having to put their heads together to figure out an explanation.
It may very well be that currently (or for Nov) those are the max percentages, but that could be driven by how full they are already, not an actual max.
Since Disney switched to the variable percentage in 2012, percentages have been all over the place. Some folks (very few) have even received better than the old 30,35,40%. Personally I’ve received 45%. It just depends on how booked they are already.
But sadly, sometimes the general public discount might be the better choice, if available.