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Important News for Military Families Considering an Orlando Vacation

By Dave Shute

My friend Steve at has published recently a couple of important news items for military families:

  • He’s broken the story that families can now use the 4 day Disney World Military Salute tickets back to back for a trip longer than 4 days. See this.
  • He’s also recently posted on a new Universal Orlando military deal–the first since Harry Potter opened.  See this.

Thanks, Steve, for writing about these!



1 Steve From { 11.06.12 at 5:25 pm }

Thanks for the links Dave!

Seems there are some growing pains with the Disney news. The Disney call center and the WDW ticket phone number seem to be on a different page. I’ve got a call in to Disney.

Kudos to Universal for finally bringing a Military Salute back!

2 Dave { 11.07.12 at 7:25 am }

Steve…why am I not surprised?

3 Lana { 11.15.12 at 10:19 am }

Help! My husband is retired military and we are currently in Naples, Fl. We are not here permanently. We have rented a house and are having our two sons and their families come during different times in December. There are no military bases around here. First, I don’t know where to go to purchase the 6 discount tickets alloted. Secondly, once I do find them, would I be able to use one ticket with one family and the second ticket at a different time with the second family? There are a total of nine between the two families. So one family will not have use of the tickets. What is the best way to find deals for the second family, as we will most likely have to pay for them.

4 Dave { 11.15.12 at 3:08 pm }

Hi Lana! I’m gonna ask an expert to weigh in, so check back here later as well, but you can buy the Salute tickets at Shades of Green in WDW, and Shades also has lower priced “regular” tickets available for the second family.

It may be–I’m not sure, hence the expert–that you have to activate all 6 tickets at once. If so, then they may expire 14 days after you activate them. Is that close enough in time for both visits?

5 Steve From { 11.15.12 at 6:18 pm }

Hi There Lana,

Dave asked to to help out…

Homestaed and MacDill Air Force Bases are out of your way, so as Dave suggested you can buy your Armed Forces Salute (AFS) tickets at Shades of Green on Disney World property (with no sales tax added).

An oddity to the contract between Shades and Disney is that Shades will tell you that if you want 6 AFS tickets you need to buy them all at once. Disney ticket booths (where you can also buy these tickets (plus sales tax) do not have this rule).

The AFS tickets are valid until 28 Sept 2013, no 14 day expiration after activation. You will be able to use these on the two different trips.

Dave also mentioned the regular military discounted Magic Your Way tickets. These are in no way as good a deal as the AFS tickets, only 4-8% off depending on length and options. These must be purchased at Shades (or a base ticket office) Disney does not sell them.

Here is a link to Shades’ prices: The AFS tickets are for all ages, but you’ll see that the regular mil discount tickets are for adults and kids. So if you have to buy 3 tickets, the kids ones would be cheaper.

Let me know here or via my site if you have ANY more Questions.


6 Dave { 11.16.12 at 4:39 pm }

Thanks, Steve!

7 sarah { 12.04.12 at 9:49 pm }

We are planning a Disney World trip in Jan 2013. We plan to stay at shades of green, buy the AFS tickets, but what about food. I know a travel agent told me if I booked with her I could get a “meal plan” with one snack, one stand up meal and one sit down meal for a great discount. Is anything like that where we can eat at the parks available to military families? Also, is tax charges at SOG resturants?

8 Dave { 12.05.12 at 8:03 am }

Sarah the only plan I know about like what you describe is only available to those who stay at a WDW hotel, and thus is not available at to Shades. I am pretty sure that dining there is tax free…

9 Brittany Hyde { 04.20.13 at 2:25 pm }

We are thinking about taking a family trip to Disney world possibly in October when my husband returns from deployment. What would our ticket options be since the promotional tickets end in September?

10 Dave { 04.21.13 at 8:03 am }

Brittany, Steve at thinks that there’s a great chance the deal will be extended/renewed. Otherwise you can find minor ticket discounts, and also save taxes, at base ITT operations…

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11 Steve From - Military Moderator { 04.21.13 at 10:07 am }

Morning Brittany,

Dave is right, there is a very good chance they Disney will renew the Armed Forces Salute. I’m in constant contact with them on this and other important subjects for military families. I continue to emphasize to them our need for them to announce earlier. They’ve told me they do understand this and we may get an earlier announcement this year 9Last year it was on 8 August).

If for some reason they don’t renew as Dave said there will still be the regular military discounts for Disney that we always had before the Disney Armed Forces Salute, which are available at your Base Ticket Office, the Orlando ITT, or Shades of Green.

Brittany, if you’ll sign-up for my newsletter, it will be the first public announcement made of a AFS renewal this year (prior to Disney’s press release).

In the mean time fingers grossed.

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