Military Discounts: Theme Park Tickets

Lisa Fritscher December 7, 2014 No Comments

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Epcot

Epcot is just one of the four Walt Disney World parks you can visit with a Military Promotional Ticket.

If you or a member of your traveling group are a current military member or retiree, you can take advantage of some fantastic savings on all aspects of your trip. Discounts are almost always extended to the spouse and minor children of a deployed service member, and some are even offered to civilian Department of Defense employees and veterans. These discounts are often significant, so it always pays to ask. When visiting the Central Florida  theme parks, you have a few options for discounted tickets.

Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World regularly provides specially discounted tickets for active duty and retired members of the armed forces, as well as their spouses. The deal changes slightly every year but is generally similar to this, offered in 2014 and 2015: Under the 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets offer, military members or their spouses (but not both) can purchase up to six 4-day park hopper tickets for $177 plus tax each. You can add the Water Park Fun and More option, which includes admission to both Disney water parks and some smaller attractions, for $30 per ticket. The offer runs from August 25, 2014 through September 30, 2015, and all 4 days must be used by October 3, 2015. There are a few black-out dates, during which the tickets are not valid, during Christmas week and spring break. Otherwise, you are free to use the tickets at any time during the promotional period. As of 2014, the same tickets would cost $377 each, or $404 with the Water Park Fun and More option, at regular prices. Note that Disneyland, in California, has a similar offer.

The offer above is limited to active duty and retired military. However, active and retired civilian Department of Defense employees, as well as active duty and retired military members who want tickets for a different length of time, are eligible for slightly discounted tickets at all times. You must purchase them at a military installation (the Shades of Green resort, located on Walt Disney World property, is one option) rather than at a Disney ticket booth or online.

Universal Orlando discounts tickets for the Armed Forces.

Universal Orlando
Slightly discounted Universal Orlando tickets are also sold at military installations including Shades of Green. Ticket options run the gamut from one-day, one-park admission to 4-day park-to-park tickets that also include a day at Wet and Wild. Like the Disney tickets, Universal Orlando tickets are available for civilian DoD employees and retirees as well as active duty and retired military.

From time to time, Universal Orlando offers something similar to Disney’s Military Promotional Tickets. The savings can be substantial, but the tickets are not offered as frequently as Disney’s. Check Universal’s military discount site, for the latest information.

SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa
The parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, which also owns properties around the country including Sesame Place, Aquatica, and Adventure Island, runs an ongoing Waves of Honor program. Although the specifics change from year to year, their 2014 program gives you an idea of what to expect.

Through Waves of Honor, active duty military get one day of free admission per year at SeaWorld or Busch Gardens. Image: Meyermel, Wikimedia Commons.

The Active Duty program provides complimentary admission to an active duty member of the Armed Forces or National Guard, or drilling reservist, and three dependents, for one day each year. You must choose which park to visit and will not be eligible for another free ticket at any of the company’s parks for one year.

The Veteran’s Promotion provides a 50% discount to any of the SeaWorld or Busch Gardens parks, though not Aquatica or Adventure Island. You may purchase up to 6 tickets per person per visit. Those who have already used their Active Duty program tickets for the year are also allowed to use the Veteran’s Promotion savings. Note that in 2014, tickets must be purchased between September 2 and November 11, and used by December 21. This restriction is similar to those in previous years and is likely to remain in the future. All active duty and retired military members and honorably discharged veterans are eligible. For details, see the Waves of Honor website at www.wavesofhonor.com.

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Lisa is a full-time travel writer. She lives in an RV with her disabled father and writes about their experiences. Although she has no children of her own, Lisa loves being an Aunt to her own relatives and the children of all her friends. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Travel Confessions.

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