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Hello friends, here are some tips I learned while booking our family WDW vacation using the wonderful Disney military discount. Some of these tips will apply to all traveller's so take a peek.
First, I am so thankful Disney continues to offer military discounts, and the discount is huge! It ranges from 30-45% off resort rooms and tickets. And Disney discounts all types of rooms at the resorts from value resorts to villas, and from standard rooms all the way up to club level! It's true, I got a quote on a club level room at Grand Floridian at $3800 for 6/nt and the rack rate online was close to $7k! I didn't book it, but it's still amazing that Disney offers a discount to the military on a club level room!
The military discount applies to WDW, Disneyland and Disney Cruise line (select dates) and ends Dec 19th of each year. I do not know if the discount applies to international Disney locations or Adventures by Disney.
Here is what I learned in booking for the military discount (general tips are at the bottom):
1. At WDW the military discount is only for park hopper, no single park options, but that's great to me! For WDW there is a 4 and 5-day hopper ranging from $235-246 if I recall correctly, and you can add the water parks for an additional charge. You may only purchase these at a base ITT office or at Shades of Green Resort in FL.
2. If your trip will cross over Dec 19th, reconsider your dates if your trip won't end on the 20th (ticket good through 19th). However, if you wait until summer, the new pricing will open up and you can buy your 2019 priced tickets good for Dec 19th and beyond, and I believe there is an overlap on the 2019 ticket.
3. In order to get the military discount on rooms you must call a castmember, here is the number (though i had used the regular reservation number and was able to book) 407-939-5684, you cannot book online. Once you have a reservation you can then use MyDisney Experience online or the app to add FP+ and ADRs, link magic bands, etc.
4. Make sure you mention that you're military (applies to active, retired, reserve, Guard) when you call (and thank them for the discount). There are a limited number of rooms and room types available at each resort for the military discount.
5. The military discount also applies to the special parties at Halloween and Christmas on designated nights so ask the cast member what those dates are. However, you may only purchase those at the park the day of the event. An example of the discount is for 2018 MVMCP is $75pp ages 3+ (reg rate is $105).
6. Oh and the discount applies to the memory maker photo package, again, you must pay for that at the park or at the concierge at your Disney hotel.
7. You must bring your military ID! And on your first day, even if you linked your ticket online to your magic band, you will have to go to the ticket counter at the first park you enter to have them do additional magic to get the tickets activated.
General booking tips I learned:
1. Be specific about what you desire from the resort or the room, the cast members are very knowledgable and can help narrow down your options based on your criteria. If you want cheapest rate, tell them; if you want a great pool with the best room price, tell them.
2. Be at your computer when making your reservation to view the hotels.
3. Do your research on the hotels, make a list of ones that appeal to you to help you get started
4. You may hold a reservation for 3 days without providing your credit card, but if you don't call back with your card number you lose the reservation. Of note, your one night deposit is fully refundable up to 7 days prior to reservation date, so if you hear a good deal just book it. They won't tell you there is an option to hold the room without providing credit card.
5. Definitely tell them if you're celebrating an event
6. Provide a room preference, perhaps you know a certain building or floor level, tell the cast member and they'll note that in the reservation (no guarantee you get what you want, but it's worth a try).