Disney’s Armed Forces Salute is a fantastic discount available to military members. This discount includes both ticket and room discounts.
Here are the Top Ten Things that you need to know about the Military Discounted Tickets with this offer.
(Updated 29 Sept 2018)
See the companion post about Military Discounted Rooms here: Top Ten Things You Need To Know About Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Military Room Discounts
1. The Armed Forces Salute is a Temporary Offer
The Armed Forces Salute is a relatively recent innovation by the Walt Disney Company. The first version of the Salute was first offered in 2002 for a only part of the year, during the travel industry downturn after 9/11. It ended once people started traveling again in bigger numbers.
Military members then had to again be satisfied with the slight Regular Military Discount on Disney Tickets that had always been available through Military Base Ticket Offices (and still are).
The Disney Armed Forces Salute returned again in January 2009 as the 2008 housing crash and general economic downturn came into full swing causing the general public to reduce their vacation spending. The Salute offers have been running, on a year to year basis, since then with a couple of notable breaks.
So if you are considering a Disney vacation within the next couple of years keep in mind that we never know if the Salute will be renewed again or not, especially with the way the economy has taken off since the 2016 election.
The 2019 Salute offer was announced on 27 September 2018. It starts on 1 January 2019 and runs through 19 December 2019.
2. What Type of Tickets are available for the Armed Forces Salute?
There are several different Disney Theme Park Tickets available through the Armed Forces Salute for Disney World and Disneyland.
For Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida, 4-Day or 5-Day Tickets are available.
They come in two different versions.
- Park Hopper Option
- Park Hopper Plus Option
For Disneyland in Anaheim California 3-Day or 4-day Tickets are available.
There is only one version available:
- Park Hopper Option
3. What are these Options?
The Park Hopper Option allows you to visit multiple Disney theme parks on the same day. You can start your day at one park then switch to another (as many times as you want), or even take a break in between.
The Park Hopper Plus Option allows 4 or 5 entrances (to match the 4 and 5 day tickets) to the following Disney World entertainment venues:
- The Water Parks: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach
- General admission into the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
- 9 Holes of Golf at Disney’s Oak Trail 9-Hole Golf Course
- One round of golf a the Mini-Golf Courses: Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course & Disney’s Winter Summerland (prior to 4pm)
See this page for more on the Park Hopper Plus Options
These Plus entrances are separate from the theme park admissions on your ticket. You may use these Plus entrances on the same day or different days than your theme park admissions. You may use one or more Plus entrances per day (same day returns to the same water park does not deduct another entrance).
4. What Dates are the Armed Forces Salute Tickets available for use?
As I mentioned above the current Armed Forces Salute started on 1 January 2018 and runs through 19 December 2018. Next year’s starts in 1 January and also runs through 19 December 2019.
You may not use the expired 2018 offer’s tickets after 19 Dec!!!
Also Disney has what they call blockout dates, dates on which these tickets are not allowed to be used.
At Walt Disney World and Disneyland these dates are:
- None for 2019
At Disneyland the Blockout dates are:
- 14 – 22 April 2019
5. Where can I purchase the Armed Forces Salute Tickets?
Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets can be purchased several places:
- Your Local Base MWR Ticket Office
- Shades of Green, the Military Owned and Operated Resort on Disney World property
- The Orlando ITT
- Via Phone and FedEx from Camp Pendleton or Shades of Green as well as other locations
- Disney Theme Park Ticket Booths and Guest Relations offices
- Disneyland Resort Hotel’s Front Desks (for checked in guests)
Tickets that are purchased at Non-Disney locations (except Shades of Green) will need to be activated at a Disney Park prior to their use for entry.
If you plan to purchase your tickets at a Disney location all members of the party must be present, as the tickets will be activated at that time and all must be present for this process.
A note on sales tax: There is no sales tax charged at military resellers or Disneyland, but you will pay sales tax at any Walt Disney World location.
You cannot buy these tickets online or via phone from Disney, through your travel agent, at Walt Disney World Resorts, or the Disney Store.
6. How many Armed Forces Salute Tickets can I purchase?
During the 2018 Disney Armed Forces Salute offer period, military members or spouses are entitled to purchase up to 6 Armed Forces Salute Tickets per eligible military member.
Then during the 2019 Disney Armed Forces Salute offer period, military members or spouses are entitled to purchase up to 6 Armed Forces Salute Tickets per eligible military member.
Spouses use is in place of not in addition to the member!
One of these tickets must be for the military member or spouse. The other tickets may be for anyone the member wants to purchase them for.
This requires the military member or spouse to physically go to the theme park with their party for the activation process.
Note Disney Pass Holders do not need to have a Salute ticket for themselves, but one of the 6 tickets is “reserved” for the member and cannot be used by others.
What if the military member can’t go to the Disney Park?
Disney does take into consideration that military spouses might want to take the kids on a Disney vacation while the military member is deployed and they make an allowance for this.
Military spouses are allowed to purchase and activate Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets. The spouse activates the tickets in place of the member.
These Salute Tickets cannot be activated without the member or spouse being part of the party!
What if I need more Armed Forces Salute Tickets?
Disney also takes into consideration large families, those with more than 4 children.
Disney has always had an exception to the ticket limit for large families. By “Large Family” Disney means a mom, dad, and their dependent children.
This does not include the member’s adult children (without military IDs), parents, in-laws, siblings, cousins, friends, friend’s kids, etc.
The exception works like this:
For immediate families larger than 6, Disney will make an exception to the 6 ticket rule. For example, if a family has six dependent children.
Families in this situation will be allowed to purchase the number of tickets they need in person directly from Disney.
IMPORTANT: You cannot buy tickets using the Large Family Exception at a Non-Disney location, you will need to purchase your tickets (or at least those above the limit) at the Disney Parks. In fact, most base ticket offices are totally unaware of this and will tell you that you can’t do it.
This exception applies only to a single family unit. Disney’s example is a Dad, Mom, and their dependent (i.e.young) kids. It does not apply to parties consisting of: adult children, grand kids, the member’s or spouse’s parents, cousins, friends, etc.
For those who do not fall within Disney “large family” exception but still need more than 6 tickets, there are still the Regular Military Discount on Disney Tickets.
7. How much do the Armed Forces Salute Tickets cost?
The 2019 Disney World Tickets cost:
- Four-Day Park Hopper Tickets – $241.00
- Four-Day Park Hopper Plus Tickets – $291.00
- Five-Day Park Hopper Tickets – $257.00
- Five-Day Park Hopper Plus Tickets – $307.00
The 2019 Disneyland Tickets cost:
- Three-Day Park Hopper Tickets – $178.00
- Four-Day Park Hopper Tickets – $198.00
These prices are before to tax, so you’ll pay these prices at military sales locations and Disneyland, but tax will be added at Disney World ticket locations.
8. How do I activate the Armed Forces Salute Tickets?
Armed Forces Salute Tickets that were purchased at Non-Disney locations such as Base ITT/ITR offices (except Shades of Green) will need to be activated before you try to use them at a theme park turnstile/tapstyle for entrance.
You can do this at all Disney theme park ticket booths or at Disney Guest Relations locations.
- Transportation and Ticket Center
- Magic Kingdom Entrance
- Epcot Main Entrance
- Epcot International Gateway Entrance
- Disney Hollywood Studios Main Entrance
- Disney Animal Kingdom Main Entrance
- WDW Water Parks Entrances
- Disney Springs Guest Relations Locations
- Disneyland Ticket Booths in the Esplanade between the theme parks
All members of the party will need to be present at the time of activation, including either the military member or their spouse who will be activating the tickets.
Why does Disney require the activation process and that everyone be there? They do this to prevent scalping of these half price tickets…
Tickets purchased at Shades of Green are Pre-Activated and do not require this process!
9. Are there any restrictions on how the Armed Forces Salute Tickets can be used?
Besides the Blockout dates mentioned above and the expiration date there are no restrictions.
You can use all the days of your tickets in a row, sporadically over a longer vacation stay, or here and there throughout the year.
The same applies to the Plus visits, you have until the end of the Salute Offer Period to use them up.
10. What if I need more days than the Armed Forces Salute Tickets offer?
In some cases you may want to spend more days touring the Disney parks than are available on the Armed Forces Salute Tickets.
At Disney World, one idea is to opt for the Plus Option. The Plus visits can be used on non-park days to fill out a longer stay.
Use back-to-bask Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets if you have a small party. One to three people can use 2 or more Salute tickets each for a longer stay
Another option is to buy tickets for the additional days on top of your Armed Forces Salute Tickets. But you should be very careful doing this, depending on the options you select for your regular Military Discounted Disney tickets it becomes more costly to add a second ticket versus just opting for the number of days that you need using the regular military discount instead of the Armed Forces Salute.
11. A Bonus Question – Can I use FastPass Plus and Magic Bands with my Disney Armed Forces Salute Tickets?
Absolutely! Walt Disney World’s Technology is available to those who use military tickets: Disney’s Armed Forces Salute, Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets, and Shades of Green Stars and Stripes Passes.
- Those staying at a Disney resort (including Shades of Green, the Swan & Dolphin, and Disney Springs Resorts) may make FastPass Plus reservations 60 days prior to check in
- Others may do so 30 days prior to the desired FastPass Plus date
What about Magic Bands?
Non Disney Resort Guests (Shades of Green etc.) will need to buy their own if they want to use Magic Bands.
See our WDW Tech Pages for more info: My Magic Plus – What all this New Disney Technology?
Disney's My Magic Plus LinksMy Disney Experience MIlitary Ticket Linking
Disney’s New Tech Intro
All You Need To Know About FastPass+ For the Military Traveler
Military FastPass Plus Ticket Options for Disney World
Waiting On Your Walt Disney World FastPass Plus Window To Open (what you'll see in your account)
Magic Bands for Shades of Green Guests
FastPass Plus for Shades of Green Guests
Memory Maker and PhotoPass
So there you have it
The ten top things that you need to know about Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Tickets, plus one bonus item.
Many of the above items are questions that I’m often asked via email and the ask a question page on this site.
If you have more questions consider buying my Disney Guide Book for Military Families, reading the full Disney Armed Forces Salute Information Page, the Disney Armed Forces Salute FAQ, or checking out our FAQ Friday Posts.
Are there any other questions that you have? Leave them in a comments section below!
- Also See: Top Ten Things You Need To Know About Disney’s Armed Forces Salute Military Room Discounts
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.