June 6, 2012

Disney World Military Discount Explained

(photo credit: dcaligari.blogspot.com)

The 2012 Military Room and Ticket Discounts which end at the end of September (explained below) has been extended from October 2012 to September 28th, 2013 with the tickets at a slightly higher price. The four day park hopper tickets will be $156 per person
Block out dates are as follows...
• Nov. 22 – Nov. 24, 2012
• Dec. 23 – Dec. 31, 2012
• Mar. 25 – Apr. 4, 2013

Over the last couple of years, there's been some great discounts at Disney World for military families but with all things Disney, it can appear complicated so I thought I'd break it down in the most simplistic way I can...

There are two separate discounts...one on tickets and one on resort stays. You can have both of those discounts BUT you cannot add another discount like free dining. In fact, with packages (where the tickets, resorts and sometimes a dining plan are bundled) you may only have ONE discount which is why you need to do the numbers to see what discount gives you more for your money. 

The current offer (which is basically the same offer just renewed for the last couple of years) ENDS September 30th, 2012. There is no word yet on whether or not the offer will be extended another year but I'll update this page as soon I know more.

Who is eligible?
Active or retired members of the U.S. Military INCLUDING National Guard, Reservists and U.S. Coast Guard and their spouses may purchase the tickets for themselves, friends and family (more details in the fine print section...)

You must PURCHASE tickets on or before September 27th, 2012.
Also, you must USE all the tickets on or before September 30th, 2012.
The cost is $138 and gives you 4 days of park hopper tickets. The cost is per person 3 years and up regardless of age. To give you an example of the savings...rack rate for an adult 4 day park hopper is normally $313, for a child (3-9 yrs) it's $296 so it can absolutely save you a ton of money.
If you wish to spend some time at one of the two Disney water parks (in addition to the four theme parks), you can upgrade your tickets for $27 each and have up to four days in the water parks in addition to four days worth of park hopper theme park tickets.
You buy your tickets at the ITT...MWR...whatever the morale center is called at your base...post...port...fort...camp...wherever you are at and whatever they call it...that's where you buy them (I know that didn't make sense but really military life doesn't require learning another language, it requires learning five new languages). Because you buy them "on base" it's tax free.
EITHER the service member OR his/her spouse may purchase the tickets (which is great if your service member is otherwise occupied...like deployed and coming home for R&R). 

The fine print...
No more than SIX (6) four day tickets can be purchased, activated and/or used per service member/spouse TOTAL. If you're family is larger than six people 3 years and up, you'll have to buy separate tickets for the additional people. Either the service member or his/her spouse must be present and use one of the 4 day tickets.
As always, with the fine print, feel free to email me for more information, call Disney at 407-WDW-7675 or call your local ITT, MWR office.

Resort Stays
Unless you have a time share, if you're going to use the Disney military discount for tickets, you're going to need a place to stay. Where you should stay is always a big question when planning a trip to Disney and although normally I understand the dilemma, with the military discount, you really can't go wrong staying on property especially combined with the discounted tickets. You'll have access to the dining plans (at full price but still very convenient) as well as all the other great benefits to staying on property...you can go HERE for a breakdown of the on-property/off-property options including the military resort Shades of Green.

There are 3 levels of resorts at Disney...value, moderate and deluxe and offer a wide array of amenities, themes and decor. The military discount on resorts varies also by the level of resort that you choose. 
Value resorts will give you a 30% discount.
Moderate resorts will give you a 35% discount.
Deluxe resorts will give you a 40% discount.

The fine print...
Valid military ID is required at check in. If you arrive on either a Friday or Saturday there may be a minimum length of stay required based on the time of year you are visiting. There is a limited number of rooms set aside for this discount so be sure to book as soon as possible. Each service member/spouse may book up to three rooms per service member at the discounted rate.

Bottom Line
The discounts are great! Especially if it's your first time, you only plan to visit the mouse for a few days and you aren't as interested in the higher priced restaurants. If you're like my husband and I and you prefer a longer trip with several sit down meals, other discounts like the free dining offer that is available from time to time can be a greater discount. It depends first on your length of stay, second on how many people you have with you and lastly on what you want to do for meals. For example, we're going for eight days in September and have a free dining discount because it's the most economical thing for us but I'm hoping that Disney renews the military discount for my marathon weekend in January when I'm only going to be in Orlando for four or five days. 

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have a great trip!-be sure to check out all my other Disney links on the left to help you plan out your adventure.


Morgan Neal said...

Found your blog via mil blogging buddies facebook page! I'm your newest follower! Come say hello and follow back at starsstripesandamilitarylife.blogspot.com


Angie R. said...

Are you allowed to bring your own snacks in Disney parks?

Angie R. said...

Are you allowed to bring your own snacks in Disney parks?

Brianna Renee said...

Absolutely! We bring in small snacks all the time...things like those little peanut butter sandwich crackers are a great way to save some money and keep the little ones going while mom and dad are on rides. We also usually bring a few water bottles because we don't want to pay Disney prices and the fountain tap water doesn't taste very good.

Angie R. said...

Thanks! I am working hard to convince my hubby that we need to go for Fall Break, and any money we can save will make him happier!

Emma Cay said...

Thanks for sharing. I would to learn more about discount tickets for Disney World. I'm not in the military, do you know if there is anyway to get discounts other than the armed forces?