“The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment.” ~ Judd Gregg
Disney has been recognizing that commitment since January of 2009 with their incredible Armed Forces Salute to Service packages at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Though this offer is not guaranteed year to year, an abundance of military families have been honored to vacation alongside the most magical characters imaginable because of it.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Does my family qualify?
“Eligible Service Members” are active or retired members of the U.S. Military including the National Guard, Reservists, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS), and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Spouses of Military Service Members also qualify if they are able to present valid and active U.S. Military IDs in the absence of Military Personnel or Commissioned Corps Members.
2. Where do I purchase my tickets?
Tickets can be purchased at any participating MWR or Travel/Leisure building on your closest military instillation.
3. Where do I activate my tickets?
Tickets are activated at the turnstile/gate entrance of the park in which you purchased tickets for. For a more detailed summary of this please see the post: 10 Things you need to know about salute to service park tickets.
4. How many tickets can I purchase?
Each qualifying family (spouse AND military member count as a family) qualify for 6 tickets.
5. Can I get more than 6?
In the event that your immediate family size is larger than 6 you may acquire the appropriate number needed. For example: Military member + spouse + 5 kids = 7 tickets needed. This is allowed.
6. Can I buy my friends and family tickets?
You can purchase tickets for your family and friends in the event that you are also attending with the group and it does not exceed 6.
7. Do I have to be present to activate the tickets?
Absolutely, 100% yes! The tickets are not valid unless the qualifying purchaser whom purchased the tickets is present to activate them.
8. What if I’m not near a military base?
Camp Pendelton in Oceanside, California, will accept telephone transactions and will Fed Ex the tickets to you.
9. What if my spouse/I deploy or our leave dates get changed?
Disney does offer insurance (through a respected travel agent like Jen Novak) and if the room is moved or canceled within 5 days, a full refund will be issued. Just as well if there is a dining package ordered with the room you must give 30 days for a full refund.
10. Can I get a refund?
Yes! As long as it is within the guidelines of acceptable time. Please see #9
11. What if I want to go to Universal as well?
There are military rate Universal tickets as well and this does not count towards your allotted Disney salute to service park ticket package limitations.
12. Does Disney cruise offer military discounted rates?
Absolutely! These rates are fantastic and go quickly. They are offered on everything from the traditional Bahama/Caribbean cruises all the way to Norwegian cruises. See Jen Novak to book!