Walt Disney World offers United States Military Salute ticket and resort room discounts for members of the U.S. armed forces. This post shares 2023 dates & details of the deals, commentary about savings, info & recommendations, and history of the company’s support for the military.
It’s well documented that Walt Disney was distinctly patriotic. He attempted to join the Army in 1918 but was rejected for being too young. He instead forged the birth date on his application for the Red Cross Ambulance Corps and spent a year in France during World War I. During the war, Walt’s brother Roy was a petty officer in the U.S. Navy and his other two older brothers, Ray and Herbert, served in the Army. Walt also strongly supported the U.S. military throughout his career, right up until his death.
Throughout the Walt Disney Family Museum (we highly recommend all fans visit), Walt Disney’s patriotism is reinforced repeatedly. Not just in a way that is convenient for the sake of his public image, either. Walt also expressed envy to pivotal members of his studio who went to serve during World War II, devoted over 90% of the Walt Disney Studios’ wartime output to publicity campaigns, and embarked on a Latin America Goodwill Tour. Suffice to say, Walt Disney walked the walk.
Many veterans have made significant contributions to the Walt Disney Company throughout its 100-year history, including Disney Legends Admiral Joe Fowler and General Joe Potter. These two were central to the creation of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and like Walt Disney’s patriotism, the work ethic instilled in both via the military is well documented.
In fact, they arguably set the tone for the early years of Walt Disney World and how things just got done. We’ve attended a number of D23 presentations where those who worked for Admiral Joe or General Joe share amusing anecdotes of how they ran a tight ship. Construction of the Florida Project and the early days of Walt Disney World seem to reflect a certain military sensibility–one that’s dramatically different from today’s approach.
More recently, the Walt Disney Company has been named by Forbes as one of the Best Employers for Veterans. In part, this is thanks to the Heroes Work Here company-wide initiative to hire, train and support returning veterans that began back in 2012.
Heroes Work Here reflects the long history of respect and appreciation Disney has for the U.S. Armed Services. The Walt Disney Company recognizes the commitment and dedication it takes to serve, and values the leadership skills and sense of purpose the military has instilled in you. Just thought it would be worthwhile to briefly reflect on that before delving into the details of the deals.
There’s a lot of pessimism and valid negativity about recent decisions by the company, and I’ll admit to my own skepticism about how it uses Walt Disney as a marketing mascot. However, when it comes to the military, the company has strong bona fides, and even the seemingly tallest of tales about Walt Disney’s patriotism are actually true. He was the real deal–one of a kind.
Anyway, here are details & pricing for Walt Disney World’s 2023 Armed Forces Salute discounted tickets:
5-Day Disney Military Salute Ticket
With the Park Hopper Option: $369 plus tax
With the Park Hopper Plus Option: $399 plus tax
Purchase now through December 11, 2023.
4-Day Disney Military Salute Ticket
With the Park Hopper Option: $349 plus tax
With the Park Hopper Plus Option: $379 plus tax
Purchase now through December 12, 2023.
Receive admission for 4 or 5 days, valid for visits this year through December 15, 2023, subject to the following blockout dates: April 2, 2023 through April 15, 2023 and November 19, 2023 through November 25, 2023.
You can also purchase PhotoPass Memory Maker for a special price of $98 through December 15, 2023.
A couple of new developments for 2023 is the removal of the Genie+ add-on for the Military Salute Tickets. Previously, this could be purchased for the duration of the tickets at a flat-rate charge. However, this option has been retired for all tickets and Genie+ now uses date-based pricing that ranges from $16 to $31 per day.
The other notable change is the addition of blockout dates around Spring Break and Thanksgiving, in addition to the ticket deal ending before the peak weeks of Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2023. To the best of our recollection, it’s been a while since these tickets had blockout dates. Unlike Florida resident rates and pretty much all other deals, the Military Salute Tickets often have not had blockouts.
We’re a bit surprised that there aren’t more blockout dates. The week of Presidents’ Day, Orange County’s Spring Break, and a few other date might’ve made sense. However, it makes sense that Disney would want to offer its best and least-restricted discounts to members of the military.
Note that in addition to a valid ticket, a theme park reservation via the Disney Park Pass system for the same park on the same date is required for each person in your party ages 3 and up. Reservations are limited and subject to availability.
This is a frequently-offered discount, extended every year since (at least) 2009. These tickets may be used by themselves, family members (including spouses) or friends. These tickets are by far the cheapest that Disney offers, so if you qualify, jump on this deal.
This is a great price for a 4-day or 5-day park ticket. If you’re eligible for these tickets, buy them, as they are without a doubt the best deal you’ll be able to find. I would highly recommend adding on the Park Hopper option, but probably not the “Plus” unless you already know that you’ll want or need that for your trip.
Next up, the Armed Forces Salute room-only discounts at Walt Disney World. These are valid most nights this year through December 15, 2023. Military personnel (active or retired) receive better room-only discounts than the general public, Floridians, or Annual Passholders. Call (407) 939-7830 for rates and to book.
Precise percentage savings is not published online, and varies by season, resort popularity, and room category. Typically, the Disney Dining Plan is not included with these discounts, but may be added at full price. (Obviously not relevant in the immediate future, but we still believe it’ll return at some point this year.)
This offer is for active or retired US military personnel, including active or retired members of the National Guard, Reservists, the US Coast Guard, the US Space Force, 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 US Military IDs in the absence of active or retired Military Personnel or Commissioned Corps Members.
Here are other important details from Walt Disney World:
The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited.
Length of stay requirements may apply.
Valid military ID will be required upon check-in and the military member (or spouse) must stay in the room.
May not be combined with any other discount or promotion.
Additional per-adult charges may apply if there are more than 2 adults per room.
Advance reservations required.
Offer excludes the following Disney Resort hotels: The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
Offer excludes the following room types: 3-bedroom villas and suites in Moderate and Deluxe Resort hotels, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
Valid admission and a park reservation are required to enjoy theme parks and special events, and are not included in this offer.
Even with these excellent savings, you might instead check out our review of the excellent Shades of Green Resort. My father is retired military (CW4, Huey and Black Hawk instructor pilot), and we usually stayed at Shades of Green when I was growing up. We’ve stayed there again in the last few years, and it was looking great thanks to its last overhaul.
My parents have stayed there even more recently, and my dad still loves it–preferring to stay there for the camaraderie and since (how to put this delicately…) children tend to be more disciplined there, and he has some strong opinions on that.
Shades of Green is located in the Magic Kingdom area, and is within walking distance of Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Since Shades of Green used to be a Disney-owned Deluxe Resort, its rooms are significantly larger than Value or Moderate Resorts.
Additionally, the food is much more reasonable since Shades of Green pricing is based upon military-ranking. All in all, it’s a great hotel with an excellent location, but possibly not for everyone–especially those who want their Walt Disney World vacation to be all-Disney, all the time. Conversely, if you want a reprieve from the characters and everything else, Shades of Green is great.
Ultimately, it’s good to see Walt Disney World renew the Military Salute ticket and room discounts for 2023. I’m glad that Walt Disney World continues to offer these excellent offers for military members. It’s deserved, appropriate, and generates goodwill among not just members of the military–but also those in the general public who appreciate the fact that the Walt Disney Company continues to live up to its historic legacy of honoring service.
I hate how “what would Walt think?” commentary is used to criticize the company’s decisions that people personally dislike. It’s impossible to say how a visionary thinker like Walt Disney would evolve over time, and a fool’s errand to try. With that said, I’m pretty sure Walt Disney would want his parks and resorts to continue honoring the Armed Forces community!
Do you have any thoughts on Walt Disney World’s 2023 Military Salute ticket or resort discounts? If you’ve called to price out a room, anything worthwhile to report in terms of availability, rate, etc? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!