By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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Category — Military Families at Disney World

Still No Word on Disney Armed Forces Salute Extension

Update July 21, 2014: the Armed Forces Salute has been renewed for another year!

Disney’s Armed Forces Salute–often called the “Military Salute”–is one of the best deals out there, offering really low-priced four day tickets and also steep room rate discounts for eligible families and their friends.

The Armed Forces Salute is not a permanent feature of the landscape, but rather a response to the recession. The past few years, Disney has made it available during the Federal fiscal year, and has announced it before the fiscal year at various dates.  This year, it’s expected to be renewed again, with the announcement sometime in July.

Nothing is certain until–and if–the renewal happens.

I suspect that the timing is at least partially linked to Disney’s setting and announcing its 2015 resort prices–as Disney can’t fully analyze the deal until it knows the basis from which the discounts will be taken, and until 2015 prices are announced, rooms for then can’t be booked at the correct prices (they can be booked at the incorrect prices, then trued up later).

The past two years Disney has announced the prices for the upcoming year the second Wednesday in July.

There’s nothing magical to this–but it’s also true that with much of Disney business issues, the only sensible way to predict things is to predict for this year what they did last year. That would put the 2015 resort price announcement on July 9, and the Armed Forces Salute Announcement after that.

The best way to keep up with this–and everything else military for central Florida–is to check and its blog, and in particular to sign up for its newsletter (add your email to the big blue form on the right side of this page).

Steve of
Run by my friend Steve Bell–that’s him on the right–MilitaryDisneyTips covers the gamut of military-related opportunities at Disney World and the rest of the central Florida theme parks, with a particular focus on available deals.

A tireless advocate for US forces, Steve has built a special relationship with Disney around these issues–and thus is likely to be the first to be notified when–if–the Armed Forces salute is renewed. Sign up for his newsletter and you’ll be among the first to find out what’s happening with the salute!

Steve covers lots of other related stuff, too, and has published a great e-book on Shades of Green.

As you can tell, I think the world of Steve and his contributions.  While we could have added tons of sites and links to our book, we tried to keep The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit as short as possible–but even so, we do refer in it to exactly two other Disney sites: and, because no good guidebook can be complete without those two!

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July 1, 2014   No Comments

Landmark Eligibility Info for Military Discounts

Military Disney Discount Eligibility from Steve BellMy friend Steve Bell, writer of, has published a new Military Discount Finder. (That’s Steve in the white T-shirt, at our joint meet-up at the Magic Kingdom in November.)

This tool helps resolve the most complex part of Disney World (and other Orlando-area) discounts for military folk–who is eligible for what.

Steve and I answer on this site hundreds of questions on this topic–there’s two today–and he gets thousands more on his own site.  His new finder will help people get eligibility questions answered much faster!

If you have military ties, or have friends with military ties, check it out!

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March 24, 2014   1 Comment

Veterans Day 2013

(This is mostly a repeat from last year, as all my favorite vets have stayed the same…)

On this Veterans Day, just a note to thank all of those who have put their lives at risk so that the rest of us can be free.

Dad off the Korean Coast on DE 361
My favorite veteran is my dad, career Navy–that’s him above during the Korean War.

Amy Girl's Dad with 3rd Marine Division Buddies in the Pacific
Next favorite is my wife’s dad–that’s him above, on the right, during World War II. That hand was wounded on Tarawa.

After him, my next favorite is my sister’s husband, who served with the riverine Navy in Vietnam.

Steve from

And another favorite is Steve (above) from, a retired Air Force First Shirt who does a great job keeping military families up to date on great Disney World deals and other important info.

Steve and I will be meeting our fan(s) at the Magic Kingdom on Wednesday.

And all the millions of the rest of you are my favorites too!  Thank you for your service, and God bless! Wherever you are, and whatever you do, my gratitude goes with you.


November 11, 2013   No Comments

Act Today or Tomorrow to Get More than 25% Off on New Shades of Green e-book

Shades of Green eBook Sample PageMy buddy Steve Bell has released a new e-book on Shades of Green, the Armed Forces resort at Walt Disney World.

Shades of Green is not solely for eligible military folk and career retirees.

This is because eligible folk and their spouses can book up to 6 rooms between them most times of the year, one for themselves and five for anyone else they choose.

So if you can do better than being the sixth best friend of a hero, you should be interested in Shades of Green too!

If you use the promo code YFV, you’ll get $4 off the regular price of $14.95! That’s 26.75% off!

But this offer expires midnight eastern time Saturday the 28th of September.

So quit goofing, pilgrim, and get the get the Shades of Green e-book!

(Disclosure: I’m such a fan that I’ve set up an affiliate relationship with Steve, so if you buy the book, he’ll share a bit of pixie dust with me.)

September 27, 2013   2 Comments

New Shades of Green e-book from Steve Bell

Shades of Green eBook Sample PageThe author of and moderator of military family issues on this site, Steve Bell, has released a new e-book on Shades of Green, the Armed Forces resort at Walt Disney World.

(Click the image for a sample page.)

As you can tell if you click the link, I think quite a lot of this e-book!

(Disclosure: I’m such a fan that I’ve set up an affiliate relationship with Steve, so if you buy the book, he’ll share a bit of pixie dust with me.)

For those eligible for it, Shades of Green has one great positive and one great negative.

  • The great positive of Shades of Green is wonderful rooms at much less than half of the price you’d pay for the equivalent Disney-owned rooms.
  • The great negative is an almost complete absence of the fun theming you will find in the Disney resorts.

For me the  negative outweighs the positive for first time family visitors who may never return (see my review here), but many families just don’t agree that it matters given the low-priced wonderful rooms there.

Steve’s e-book deals with this and all of the other issues and opportunities that Shades of Green presents in a really comprehensive and well-illustrated way.

So if you are considering a stay at Shades of Green, but not completely sure, you need to buy this e-book. It will help you make a decision you will be happy with!

Steve Bell is the Military Moderator on this site. And Steve’s Military Disney Tips has always 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 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.

September 22, 2013   2 Comments

Disney World Armed Forces Salute for FY14

Update July 21, 2014: the Armed Forces Salute has been renewed for another year!


Miltary Families at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netAs reported by my friend Steve, Disney World has launched a new version of the Armed Forces Salute for most nights from September 29, 2013 through September 27, 2014.

As in past versions of this offering, there’s two parts–you can use either or both.  One is highly discounted four day tickets, and the other is discounts of 20% to 40% off of Disney World hotels.

There’s a lot of complexities and fine print to this offer (and the fine print varies between Disney World and Disneyland), of which the following are most important for Walt Disney World visitors:

  • The offers, are for active duty members, reservists, National Guard members, and career retirees. Almost all vets who don’t also fit into one of those categories aren’t eligible
  • You can get a maximum of 6 tickets–unless your immediate family–think member, spouse and kids–is larger
  • The member or spouse with proper military ID needs to be there in person to either check in to the room or activate the tickets (both if you are using both)
  • So long as the deal is activated by the right person, the other people benefiting from it can be anyone–your non-military family can use tix which your eligible uncle buys for you, so long as he is at Disney World in person to activate them
  • There are ineligible dates both for the room deal and for the tickets.

You can book the room discounts for eligible dates now, but the tickets won’t be available until mid-August–and of course can’t be used until September 29.

Disney’s similar FY13 deal is still available for use until late September 2013.  See this.

For much more detail on the offers and their specifics and rules, see Steve’s stuff and its links beginning here.

For more on military families at Walt Disney World, see this.

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July 28, 2013   2 Comments