PlanDisney panelist Robyn M. loves to help guests plan a magical vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort, but what she loves even more is helping military families plan their next Disney vacation! Robyn’s husband is a reservist in the U.S. Navy and after many months away from home, he returned from service in early summer only to be surprised by his wife on a 10-day getaway to Walt Disney World Resort! What an amazing way to say “Welcome home!” If you are a military family looking to create magical memories of your own, you may be wondering, “Where do I start?”
Don’t worry, Robyn is here today to share many of her best tips and hints for other military families looking to plan a surprise homecoming or just a Disney vacation for the family. From theme park ticket deals to resort discount information, Robyn has the information! Take it Robyn:
Tickets for the theme park
Promotional tickets for the military theme park can be purchased at the box office of your local base or by email at Shades of green, an Armed Forces recreation center located right at Walt Disney World. These tickets must be activated once you arrive at the Walt Disney World Resort, so be sure to go through customer relations and show your military ID to activate each ticket.
If you are not entering a theme park on the day of your arrival, this is a good time to activate tickets: My family likes to go to Disney Springs and have a meal, or a treat, and activate our tickets at Guest Relationships at Disney. Sources. Otherwise, arrive early on the first day of your theme park, so you can take care of it and not reduce your precious time in the park!
Disney Plan Tip: The entrances to the theme parks with military discount have many different types of media. Check your ticket card or paper change certificate for the ticket ID and sign in to the My Disney Experience mobile app to link a ticket to each guest. There is a barcode scanner in the app to make it even easier! If you can’t get the system to recognize the number, call My Disney Experience Help and a friendly cast member will save the day.
Disney Resorts Collection
When you start looking for a resort, you should call (407) 939-7830 to check the availability of military discounts at Disney Resorts Collection hotel rooms. To maximize availability, be flexible with tourist hotel dates and options. I also recommend that the Disney Resorts Collection website appear when you call, so you can see dinner and recreation options, as well as photos of the resorts available. PlanDisney panelists also have useful tips for choosing the tourist hotel that suits you best.
For those unfamiliar with Shades of Green, it is actually a military-friendly tourist hotel located on the Walt Disney World Resort property, within walking distance of Magic Kingdom Park. With a valid military ID, guests can visit the resort and I recommend that you stop at the local AFFES to shop tax-free. They have snacks and toiletries, but also Disney souvenirs like magnets and autograph books. There I saw the most beautiful military Mickey stuffed animal!
As a military woman, I know we are often planning at the last minute. If you know you’re visiting Walt Disney World, but don’t know your dates, I encourage you to pick up tickets at the base or order them at Shades of Green. This way, when you identify your dates, you can have your tickets linked and make your Disney Park Pass reservations without delay.
Disney Plan Tip: A moving flag removal ceremony takes place every day at Magic Kingdom Park. The ceremony is a tribute: a thank you to the veterans for their service, sacrifice and dedication to protecting our country. Members of the Magic Kingdom Park cast select an active-duty military member or veteran from among the daily visitors to this park to participate in the honor and cannot apply in advance. This Disney Parks blog article shares more information about this patriotic tradition.
Did you know that Memory Maker is currently available to the military at a discounted rate of $ 98? To add Memory Maker, visit Guest Relations and show your military ID. (In fact, I do this while activating our tickets.) For military families, the memories captured in these photos of loved ones are very special, so I consider it a must on my family’s visits.
If you’re celebrating a military milestone, such as before or after deployment, commissioning, or retirement, be sure to pick up celebration buttons at guest services or merchandise locations. My family appreciated that they thanked us for our service, and a PhotoPass photographer even offered us an impromptu family photo shoot after learning that I had a connection to the U.S. Navy with my husband. ”
For more helpful tips and sincere tips for planning your next Disney vacation stop at @planDisneyPanel on Instagram, @planDisney on Twitter, or planDisney.com. We look forward to answering your planning questions.