By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

2017 and 2018 Military Deals and Discounts at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute


Update: the 2018 Armed Forces salute is out! See this.

disney-world-military-familiesMilitary families are eligible, of course, for all Walt Disney World deals and specials available to the general public.

In addition, Walt Disney World often makes special deals available to members of and retirees from the U.S. military, and from related DoD organizations.

The most valuable of these is the Armed Forces Salute.


In addition, Shades of Green, an Armed Forces Recreation Center located near Walt Disney World’s Polynesian resort and nestled among Walt Disney World’s renowned Palm and Magnolia golf course, offers wonderfully low rates for the quality of its rooms.

Shades of Green discounts its already low rates from time to time.

And of course Disney’s general public deals and specials apply to military families as well.

This site recommends Shades of Green for first-time visitors only under a couple of special circumstancesSee this for more on first time family visits and Shades of Green.

Steve Bell is the Military Moderator on this site. And Steve’s Military Disney Tips has for years been the go-to site for military families looking to make the most out of their Disney World vacations.

But like every other website (especially mine), finding exactly what you need to know, in the right order, sometimes isn’t as easy as you’d like it to be.

Walt Disney World for Military Families

So the great news is that Steve has just published a Disney World guidebook for military families.

With entire chapters devoted to the 2016 Armed Forces Salute, to Shades of Green, and to other deals and perks available to military families, I can’t recommend it enough!!

It’s available as a PDF–probably the most convenient format–here, and on here.

This book will be a great help to military families contemplating a Disney World visit in 2016!!


Comments moderated by Steve Bell of Military Disney Tips.

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1 Steve from { 02.11.12 at 12:06 pm }

Hi Brittany,

Reservists are eligible for all Disney military discounts. I’m a reservist myself.

Some of the discounts are: the Disney Armed Forces Salute (which includes 30-40% room discounts), regular military discounted Disney tickets available at Base ticket offices or Shades of Green, and of course Shades of Green the military resort on Disney World property.

Check my site for more info on Shades of Green and the other military discounts, or feel free to email me:


2 Dave { 02.11.12 at 4:36 pm }

Thanks, Steve!!

3 Bill { 09.17.12 at 7:28 pm }


We (total family of four) are going on a trip to DisneyLand. I am retired active duty. We are meeting my in-laws (two) and my wife’s sister (and family – four). We set this up believing we could buy ten tickets (I buy four, spouse buys six) and we could all enjoy a Disneyland vacation. We recently got conflicting guidance, only six tickets per family, not ID Card holder. Will we run into a problem trying to get in?

Thanks for this site!! [also posted on a off-shoot of this page]

4 Dave { 09.17.12 at 8:35 pm }

Bill–more thoughtful response tomorrow–but a key point: when is your planned arrival date and last day of use date?

5 Bill { 09.17.12 at 8:48 pm }

Arrival date is 28 Sep 2012, using on 28, 29 and 30 SEP 2012

6 Dave { 09.18.12 at 7:18 am }

OK Bill, with those dates you fall under the FY 2012 program, which allows over its life 12 tickets. The rules, however, are that you can activate only 6 at a time, and that there has to be 7 days between activation. Some cast members follow these rules, and some don’t so there is a risk that you’ll be able to buy/activate only 6 tickets…

7 Bill { 09.18.12 at 2:42 pm }


My wife believes that if her sister gets four military tickets from a friend or other family member, then I can just accompany her to pick up her tickets at the window. Then of course we would use our six for our family (and her parents).

8 Dave { 09.19.12 at 6:24 am }

Bill, strictly, if the sister gets tickets from someone else who is eligible, then that person needs to be at the gate to activate them, so you are still in the same boat–needing a flexible cast member…

9 Kristi { 10.04.12 at 2:14 pm }

My family of 4 is traveling to WDW November 12, 2012 with my parents (total of 6). My dad’s ID card reads “Department of the Air Force Civilian Identification” Status “RET/CIV”. Will he be able to receive a Military Salute Discount Tickets or any other park admission discounts? We will not be staying on property so we are just looking at the 4 day park tickets.

10 Dave { 10.04.12 at 2:16 pm }
11 will { 11.06.12 at 1:36 pm }

If my dad is active duty, do I get a discount for amusement Parks?

12 Dave { 11.06.12 at 2:40 pm }

Hi Will! He can buy tickets and get rooms at a discount rate. He has to be there in person to activate the tickets.

13 Kristy { 01.08.13 at 7:52 pm }

My brother in law is retired. We will be staying at shades of green 02/12/13 –02/19/13. there will be four adults, 3 kids (16),(14),(12) 4kids (9),(7),(6),(3) ALL the grandkids 🙂 How many tickets will we be able to buy at the military discount price?

14 Dave { 01.09.13 at 8:53 am }

Hi Kristy, you will be able to buy 6 tickets.

15 Kenny { 01.23.13 at 9:59 pm }

I am planning a trip to Disney in the next few months, I am a service connected disabled vet but I only have the white card issued from the VA. Is this the correct card for eligibility?

16 Steve From - Military Moderator { 01.23.13 at 11:54 pm }

Hi Kenny,

In order to qualify for two different types of Disney Discounts you’d need to be a 100% service connected disabled veteran.

If that is the case your VA benefits card is not what you’ll need for proof of eligibility. You’ll need a military issued ID card, either a DD Form 1173 or 2765 these are the tan ID cards. The ID would need to have the DAVPRM (Disabled Veteran Permanent) code on it.

In order to obtain a new military ID you may request a form, DD-1172, which is a letter signed by the Director of your nearest Veterans Affairs Regional Office, that shows you are 100% total and permanently service connected disabled.

Take this letter, and your latest DD Form 214 to the ID Card Office at the nearest military base , where you will be issued your military ID Card. Your spouse, and children age 8 to 21 (or 26 if in college, enrollment proof required) can also be issued their dependent ID Cards, if you show your marriage license and children’s birth certificates.

The two programs you’d be eligible for as a 100% service connected disabled veteran with the DAVPRM code are:

-Disney’s Armed Forces Salute:

-And the ability to stay at and buy tickets at Shades of Green, the military owned and operated resort on WDW property:

If you are not a 100% service connected disabled veteran you are still eligible for stays at Shades of Green during the months of January and September:

Hope this helps, thanks for your service!

17 Dave { 01.24.13 at 10:47 am }

Thanks, Steve!

18 Danny { 01.26.13 at 11:11 am }

hi, i was just wondering whether my girlfriend qualifies as eligible to gain military discount when we visit orlando later this year? ive heard all about shades of green and it mentions military personnel and their families but does that include partners/girlfriends etc?

thanks in advance,


19 Dave { 01.26.13 at 6:13 pm }

Danny, so long as you are eligible and there, you can bring any guests you want!

20 Bob Salm { 02.04.13 at 6:42 pm }

I served in the army reserves from 1967-1973. I was on active duty in 67/68 for 6 months. Do I qualify for the military Disney discounts?

21 Dave { 02.05.13 at 8:33 am }

Bob, they are mostly for career retirees and current active duty. There’s some deals at Shades of Green you are eligible for, though–I’m going to ask this site’s military moderator to weigh in on those.

22 Steve From - Military Moderator { 02.05.13 at 8:38 am }

Hi there Bob,

In your situation there is just one discount available, as Dave said through Shades of Green, the military owned and operated resort on WDW property. It is very limited as it is only available in the months of January and September.

Here is a link to my page on the discount:

23 Jared { 03.01.13 at 10:27 pm }

I’m in the active Marine Corps. Reserve. My base doesn’t have access to Disney World discount tickets. Where can I find a list of bases that sell them?

24 Steve From - Military Moderator { 03.03.13 at 8:27 am }

Hi Jared,

For Disneyland, here are some nearby ITT offices you can use:

Los Angeles AFB ITT Office:

San Diego Area ITTs:

Camp Pendelton, Oceanside, CA:

Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu/Port Hueneme, CA:

I’ve also seen that you can purchase your Disneyland tickets over the phone by contacting: Commander, Navy Region, Southwest at (619) 767-6000. Your tickets will arrive via the U.S. mail within 7 business days. Overnight service is available for a nominal fee.

If you need a base closer to you check the links to all base ticket offices (by service) on my site: (towards the bottom of the page)

Enjoy your trip, Steve

25 Maria { 05.21.13 at 5:18 pm }


My cousin is the active marine corps and he got us Disneyland tickets will we be able to use them? or is it imitate family members only? Also does he have to go with for all 3 days or once he activates them at the gate were ok to come back the other 2 days with out him?

26 Dave { 05.22.13 at 6:23 am }

Hi Maria, he can let anyone use him. I’m not sure if at Disneyland the rules are the same as at Disney World, so I’m gonna ask the site’s military expert to weigh in…

27 Steve From - Military Moderator { 05.22.13 at 8:08 am }

Hi Maria,

It depends on which type of military discounted Disneyland tickets he bought for you. There are two kinds.

There are the Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets, these are the special temporary deal running now, 3-day hopper tickets for $125 (all ages). These have to be used by the military member (they must have one for them selves) and they can use five more for anyone else they want. But the military member must accompany their party during every park entrance.

And then there are the regular slightly military discounted Disneyland tickets (length, options, and price vary/there are adult and child versions). He can buy these at his base and you can use them without him.

So you’ll need to check with him on which kind these are.


28 Ben { 05.31.13 at 8:32 am }

Looking at buying some tickets for this sumer (currently in Afghanistan) when I get back. I saw the military rates, but it is only good for 6 tickets. Since I have 5 kids, we obviously need more tickets, lol. My wife is also active duty, but will be retired by the time we go. Can I buy 6 tickets for myself and the 5 kids and will they allow my wife to purchase a ticket for herself using the military rates? It says only 6 for a military member and spouse, but we are both military members, so could we concieveably buy 12?

29 Steve From - Military Moderator { 06.01.13 at 9:48 am }

Hi Ben,

You actually have the best of both worlds. There are two ways you can do this.

Disney has the “Large Family” exception to the 6 ticket limit. A member with more than 4 children can buy the number they need. But only for themselves, their spouse, and their direct dependents. If you only need 4 days you can do this.

Or with your wife being a retired member she is eligible for her own tickets. Usually 6, but in your family’s case the Large Family rule would apply.

So your family is good for 8 days of tickets if you want them. Even if you only need 6 or 7 days it would still be a deal.

When using the Large Family rule the parent not getting the tickets should use their driver’s license for ID duding the activation process to avoid confusion.

30 Dave { 06.02.13 at 8:08 am }

Thanks, Steve!!!

31 michelle { 06.26.13 at 9:52 am }

I was looking through all the previous questions b4 asking to see if answered already. I was wondering on the military discount 4 park pass limit 6 per retired person in 1 house hold, if tickets are purchased do you have to use all 4 tickets in a certain period of time or could you make a two mini vacations using two park tickets each time ( equal four) does the military retired person or spouse have to be at each Disney park you venture to or can they activate the tickets all at once and they can be used when planned. My uncle is retired Army CWO4 and my aunt wants to send her grandchildren since I am the walt Disney lover I have been asked to take them. How would this work.

32 Steve From - Military Moderator { 06.26.13 at 2:27 pm }

Hi Michelle,

Let’s see… First and most important, your uncle (or aunt) must be with you for the ticket activation process at WDW and have a ticket of their own, in order to use the Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets.

At WDW once the tickets are active they may be used in any way you want. The party does not need to stay together. The tickets can be used at different parks, on different days, and can be used on any day between activation and 28 September 2013 (they do not need to be used all at one time).

I didn’t quite understand what you meant when you mentioned “household” but, a military member/retiree (or spouse) is allowed up to 6 tickets during this offer. They may allow anyone they want to use the other 5 (they must use one).

Hope this answers your questions, Steve

33 Dave { 06.26.13 at 4:27 pm }

Thanks, Steve!!

34 MSgt William Prough USAF retired. { 01.09.14 at 8:56 am }

Dave understand military discount tickets, I think. My question is: (1) Can more than four day park tickets be purchased; 5-day, 6-day, etc.? And (2) Are there any discounts for Fort Wilderness motorhome sites?

35 Steve From - Military Moderator { 01.10.14 at 11:03 pm }

Hi William,

There are no mil discounts on the campground.

The Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets are strictly 4-day, though they can be upgraded to annual or seasonal passes.

For longer stays you’ll need to use back to back Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets (if the 6 limit allows by your party size), the Regular Military Discounted Magic Your Way tickets or a combo.

36 Anonymous { 01.18.14 at 1:17 am }

We have a family of four and were looking to go to the park for 10 days. Since the 4-day ticket is automatically upgraded to a five day ticket, can we buy eight of them if we only use four at a time and then just use them back to back? That’s a huge money saver and would allow us to do more with the kids.

37 Dave { 01.18.14 at 10:15 am }

First, the free ticket day is not the military deal, which is four days only. Just to make sure we are talking about the same thing–it’s a different deal…here:

So assuming we are talking about the same deal–not the military deal–you wouldn’t want to do this. The way Disney prices tickets, the first three days are very expensive, and days after three are very cheap. So two four days tix for one adult will cost almost $600, whereas one nine day ticket for that same adult costs $350. So you’ll save ~$150 by person by buying 9 day tix and getting the tenth day free, rather than getting two sets of 4 day tix with two days free. See this:

Separately, you can’t do it anyway! You can only buy one ticket per person on the room reservation!

38 Andrea { 03.24.14 at 3:09 am }

Hi there, I can’t seem to find any information on visiting Canadian military discounts. Is there anyone who knows whether the deal extends towards your neighbors to the North? I recall as a child my father did receive a military discount but I wasn’t sure if this was still the case now or not. Thanks 🙂

39 Lara Gordon { 03.24.14 at 5:32 am }

Thanks so much Dave, got your comment on what to do. Don’t know what I would do without this site, it has helped so very much!
I have now done our itinerary according to your basic itinerary and that of Josh’s favourite dates. Will just run it by you quickly and if anything glaringly obviously bad do please let me know! Kids are 9,7 an 5 years.
25 Sept: Seaworld, 26 Sept: Discovery Cove, 27 Sept: Busch Gardens, 28 Sept: 10 am House of Blues, arrive at Wilderness Lodge then evening Fantasmic Dining Package; 29 Sept: Epcot by 8.15, Akershus lunch, arvo off and Dinner at 1900 Park Fare; 30 Sept: MK by 8.15am, Chef Mickey Lunch, arvo off and dinner at Whispering Canyon; Oct 1: HS by 8.15am; arvo off; Dinner Crystal Palace: MSEP and WISHES; Oct 2 Rest Day (Downtown Disney); Rainforest cafe for lunch, dinner Hoop de Doo show 6.15pm; Oct 3: MK by 8.15am, lunch Cinderella’s Royal Table, afternoon parade; arvo and evening off; 4 Oct: (Move to AK Lodge) HS by 8.15am, arvo off and dinner at Bouma; 5 Oct MK by 8.15am, arvo off, MNSSHP evening; 6 Oct: sleep in and Typhoon Lagoon; 7 Oct: AK by 8.15am, arvo off; 8 Oct: AK morning and Blizzard Beach arvo; 9 Oct Hire car to Legoland; 10 Oct Car to Universal and Illuminations at Epcot in evening; 11 Oct: Car to Port for Disney Cruise.

Phew! Is this all okay do you think? Have I missed anything too obvious?? Shame I can’t do quite in the order of theme parks you would prefer as doesn’t work in with recommended days doing HS before MK and given we move to AK Lodge in 2nd week I thought would be best to leave AK park till then.

Thanks so much! Trip of a lifetime for us. 🙂

40 Dave { 03.24.14 at 7:54 am }

Andrea, I can’t comment on any discounts sponsored directly from Canada. The deals sponsored by the US DOD apply to non-US folk in some circumstances. See

41 Dave { 03.24.14 at 7:57 am }

Lara this looks great!!! You might honestly be a little over-scheduled–you have a lot of park days!

42 Lara Gordon { 03.25.14 at 12:49 am }

Oh found it, thanks so much Dave for your reply! And yes we may have over-scheduled you are right but given they are half days most of them (returning to resort after lunch or for lunch) I am hoping we will be okay!?!?

43 Dave { 03.25.14 at 7:04 am }

Lara, you have, for example, two early mornings at HS. Because of FastPass+ you can schedule great rides for late in the day. So at least one of those could be a sleep-in day…

44 Lara Gordon { 03.26.14 at 5:06 am }

Oh, great idea!!!! 🙂
The family will love you for that sleep in.

45 Lara Gordon { 03.26.14 at 5:44 am }

Just remembered why we have two early mornings at HS because the boys want to do the Star Wars Jedi training both those days and I think we need to get there early to register them?
Anywhere else you think we could cut back for more time off? (I know you’re probably going to say we should not do two water parks – just don’t like to miss out on anything!)

46 Dave { 03.26.14 at 12:06 pm }

Lara, got you on the Jedis. I think the main things will be to make sure you do what looks like the most fun in the first 2/3 of your trip, so that if you are worn out and need to take more time off, you won’t miss much…

47 Lisa { 03.13.15 at 9:24 am }

My son is active Army National Guard. We were told he could purchase the Military Salute 4 day park hopper tickets to Disney World. My question…if we buy these tickets in advance at his military base and if there were (god forbid) some extenuating circumstances out of our control..say a death or he gets called for deployment … would we be able to get a refund and/or apply the cost of those tickets to general public tickets ?

48 Steve From - Military Moderator { 03.14.15 at 11:44 am }

Hi Lisa,

First your son is definitely eligible for the Disney Armed Forces Salute tickets!

These tickets are explicitly non-refundable. They are also unusable for entry without the military member activating them in person at the Disney parks with the whole party present.

So, should something arise and he is unable to go with you Disney will most likely allow you to use the cost of the tickets towards full price tickets.

If you need to do this I recommend you bring (besides the tickets) the receipt from the base ticket office, a copy back and front of his CAC (military ID), and anything stating why he isn’t able to attend such as deployment orders.

Once there just explain the circumstances. You should have no issue but if you do, ask to speak to a Lead, Supervisor, and Manager in that order (this is the Disney “Chain of Command). If unable to work the situation out there, go to a different ticket area (another park, Downtown Disney Guest Relations, or Disney Quest) to try.

Downtown Disney Guest Relations, or Disney Quest are great spots to do this ahead of time on your arrival day if you are not going directly to the parks!

You do have until 3 October 2015 to use these tickets.

49 Dave { 03.14.15 at 3:31 pm }

Thanks, Steve!!!

50 Gwen { 02.29.16 at 9:21 pm }

My husband is a veteran with the Canadian Military and we are having a hard time finding out if there is a discount for Canadians. We see plenty for US members, I was just wondering if you know of ant discounts. Thanks

51 Dave { 03.01.16 at 6:39 am }

Gwen, not that I am aware of.

52 J { 03.09.16 at 11:18 pm }

Is only a CAC holder eligible for the salute tickets? And not a DD Form 2 holder?

53 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 03.11.16 at 8:45 am }

J- Hopefully this will help answer your question (From Military Disney Tips)
“Eligible Service Members” are:

“Active” i.e. current members of the US military from the Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS), Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Coast Guard. Reserve and Guard DO NOT need to be on active duty orders (or show any active orders)!
Retired members of the Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and and Coast Guard.
100% Permanently Disabled Veterans are also eligible for this offer. Permanently Disabled Veterans must have a military ID with a DAVPRM status.
Spouses of eligible members are able to participate in place of the member without the member being present.
Unremarried spouses of deceased eligible members as defined above.
Active Military Foreign Affiliates with US issued CAC with a blue band are also eligible.
Not eligible are: Unaccompanied non-spouse dependents (children), prior service members who did not retire, foreign military members with out US issued CAC, DoD civilians, and other service connected disabled who are not 100% DAVPRM.

54 Steve From - Military Moderator { 03.12.16 at 10:46 am }

Hi J.

That depends entirely on what type of DD Form 2.

If it is a Retired (blue) or Reserve Retired (red) ID you are eligible.

But if you have one because you are now fulfilling an Inactive Reserve commitment (green) you are not eligible. Those not retired or 100% DAVPRM need to be currently participating.

Hope this clears it up.

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