Waves of Honor Veterans Promotion | SeaWorld & Busch Gardens

Since 2005, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment (which includes the SeaWorld Parks in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio, as well as Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Tampa, and Sesame Place) has offered free admission to active duty US service members and up to three direct dependents. This offer can be used once per calendar year under their Waves of Honor promotion, but Veterans have often been excluded from the promotion, or when available, it has been a 50% discount for the veteran and up to three direct dependents. (updated on April 22, 2024)

2024 Waves of Honor Veterans Promotion SeaWorld and Busch Gardens

But recently, SeaWorld announced an awesome limited-time-only offer for their Waves of Honor promotion, and this one is exclusively for Veterans!! Right now, veterans are eligible to reserve their FREE single-day admission (PLUS three FREE tickets for dependents!), and they can be used through July 7, 2024, at SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, or Sesame Place.

To take advantage of this offer, visit the Waves of Honor website and select a park. When reserving tickets online, you must verify your Veteran status through GovX or ID.me (depending on the park) and show your Military ID or proof of service at the gate when you arrive.

Seaworld Busch Gardens Waves of Honor Veterans Promo for 2022 - great way to beat the summer heat!

This limited-time Veterans promotion is a great way to beat the summer heat, especially if you’re planning to be in Orlando in the next couple of months! Even though a lot of SeaWorld Orlando is outdoors, you can cool off by sitting in the splash zone during the Shamu or dolphin shows or brave the chilly temps and venture into Antarctica to see the penguins. Plus, you can check out the brand new coaster, Pipeline: The Surf Coaster, that opened last year, or the brand new Penguin Trek coaster set to open this spring.

Waves of Honor Veterans Promo Details

  • This offer is open to retired and honorably separated US military officers and enlisted personnel. Active duty service members are eligible for four free tickets year-round through the Active Duty Waves of Honor Promo.
  • Tickets must be reserved online by May 12,2024 and redeemed at the park by July 7, 2024. This offer is not available at the gate.
  • Currently, there are not any black-out dates listed, but it’s always a good idea to double-check.
  • If you need more than 4 tickets, you can purchase up to 6 additional guest tickets at 50% off, and those are available year-round.
  • Looking for more to do in Orlando? Check out these posts:

Universal Studios Military Freedom Pass | Renewed for 2024!

Universal renewed this popular military offering again for 2024 (details below!)! New in 2021, Universal Studios Orlando rolled out an AMAZING ticket offer for military members and their families. Like Disney, Universal has offered special discounted tickets for military families for over a decade, but this year, with the advent of the “Military Freedom Pass” Universal has really upped the game. (updated 12/11/2023)

 

Normal Universal Military tickets (which are still available) are good for a set number of days/visits. The Military Freedom Pass is good for (nearly) unlimited entry into the parks for the rest of 2023 AND (almost) every single day of 2024. It’s like a Universal Annual Pass, just without the dining, merchandise, and parking discounts. With a sale this unprecedented, you know I had to buy tickets – so expect to see a lot more Universal content this year!

Diagon Alley Universal military freedom military ticket offer 2022

Military Freedom Pass Pricing

There are two options for the Universal Freedom Pass in 2024 – a 2-park option and a 3-park option.

  • 2-Park Universal Military Freedom Pass
    • $210 per adult; $205 per child ages 3-9
    • Valid at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure
    • Valid from 11/16/2023 to 12/20/2024 – BLOCKOUT DATES – 12/25/23 – 1/2/24 AND 03/25/24 – 3/31/24
  • 3-Park Universal Military Freedom Pass
    • $245 per adult; $240 per child ages 3-9
    • Valid at Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay
    • Valid from 11/16/2023 to 12/20/2024 – BLOCKOUT DATES – 12/25/23 – 1/2/24 AND 03/25/24 – 3/31/24

3 teen boys wearing masks in front of Hogwarts

Military Freedom Pass Universal Studios Eligibility

  • Active or Retired US Military (including National Guard, Reserve, US Coast Guard)
  • Spouses of Eligible Service Members
  • DOD Civilians with a valid ID
  • 100% Disabled Veterans

Like all offers, tickets must be used by the same person on all days, and tickets are not transferable. Maximum of (6) tickets per qualifying Military ID. Unlike Disney offers, Universal allows the service member and the spouse to each purchase six tickets as long as they each have a US Military ID.

Tickets are available at Base Ticket Offices or from Shades of Green. They are NOT AVAILABLE at the Universal ticket windows. We picked up our tickets from Shades of Green the day we arrived in Orlando and then activated them at the Universal Studios Ticket Window on our first USO park day. Easy-peasy!! If you’re looking for regular (non-military) Universal tickets, I definitely recommend getting them through Undercover Tourist to save a bit (affiliate link).

Universal Orlando Resort also has 2024 military discounts at their hotels.

  • 40% off stays at Cabana Bay and Aventura
  • Up to 35% off stays at other Universal Resorts

We like staying at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort (either Surfside or Dockside) because they have 2-bedroom suites that sleep six without using a sofa bed, so there’s plenty of room for the whole fam! So let me know: are you a military family, and will you be getting a Universal Studios Freedom Pass for 2024??

Universal's Endless Summer Surfside 2 bedroom suite universal freedom pass military

Looking to plan your Universal Studios Orlando trip? Check out these posts:

Disney Military Salute Tickets | 2024

Did you know that eligible service members get amazing ticket deals at WDW and Disneyland? For more than a decade, Disney has offered fantastic discounts to those that serve our country, and while the prices have most definitely gone up every year, the Disney Miltary Salute Tickets are still the absolute BEST prices you’ll find on Walt Disney World or Disneyland tickets.

This post contains affiliate links, and we may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you!) if you purchase when you click on the links. Thank you for supporting Love Dwells Here!!

Let’s get the fine print out of the way. In order to purchase these tickets, you must be an “Eligible Service Member”: active or retired US military, including active/retired National Guard, Reservists, US Coast Guard, US Space Force, Commissioned Corps of PHS, and the Commissioned Corps of NOAA. Spouses and Unremarried Widows are able to use their service member’s discounts, but no more than 6 tickets may be purchased by the service member or spouse. A valid ID is required to purchase tickets. If you don’t qualify for the military tickets, we always recommend booking through Undercover Tourist as they often offer savings over the gate price.

2024 WDW Military Salute Tickets

The 2024 Military Salute tickets are valid for admission from January 1, 2024, through December 20, 2024, but this year, there are some blockout dates. Tickets cannot be used from March 24 – April 6, 2024, or November 24 – 30, 2024. As usual, tickets are limited to 6 per Eligible Service Member/spouse.

Unlike traditional Disney tickets, Military Salute tickets don’t expire until December 20, 2024, so you can use your days however you want during the year. We typically break the days up and use them throughout the year rather than during one big trip. Plus, Memory Maker is available for $98.

Tickets are available at a WDW ticket booth (where tax will be added), your local ITT, or at Shades of Green (and they’re tax-free!). We always order ours from Shades of Green (SOG) because they come already activated – so you can skip waiting in line on your first day to activate – and they’re a bit cheaper!

4-Day WDW Disney Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $369 plus tax (gate) OR $365 Shades of Green
  • Park Hopper Plus: $399 plus tax OR $395 Shades of Green

5-Day WDW Disney Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $389 plus tax OR $385 Shades of Green
  • Park Hopper Plus: $419 plus tax OR $415 Shades of Green

6-Day WDW Disney Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $409 plus tax OR $405 Shades of Green
  • Park Hopper Plus: $439 plus tax OR $435 Shades of Green

Disneyland 4th of July fireworks

2024 Disneyland Military Salute Tickets

The Military Salute tickets are valid for admission from January 2, 2024, through December 13, 2024, with no block-out dates. Just like at WDW, tickets are limited to 6 per Eligible Service Member/spouse. Disneyland Military Salute tickets don’t expire until December 13, 2024, so you can use your days however you want throughout the year. This offer is only available through US military base ticket offices – we’ve found Camp Pendleton to be the easiest option and they’ll mail the tickets right to your house!

3-Day Disneyland Military Salute Tickets 2024

  • Park Hopper: $269
  • Park Hopper with Disney Genie+ Service: $359

4-Day Disneyland Military Salute Tickets 2024

  • Park Hopper: $315
  • Park Hopper with Disney Genie+ Service: $435

2024 Disney Military Resort Discounts

Resort discounts at WDW and Disneyland are a great way to stay at the new resort you’ve been wanting to try or to save some money at your fave. In the past, resort discounts were a set percentage discount of the regular price of the room, but now they’re on a sliding scale. Just like in 2023, availability has been limited compared to years prior. Currently, those discounts are UP TO 30% off at Values, UP TO 35% off at Moderates, and UP TO 40% off at Deluxe resorts.

Walt Disney World

  • US military members can SAVE at most WDW resorts between January 1, 2024, and December 20, 2024
  • You must call 407-939-7830 to book (or to apply the discount to your current reservation)
  • This offer is VERY limited, and availability will go fast!
  • The Villas at Grand Floridian, Campsites at Fort Wilderness, Pop Century, and Caribbean Beach Resort are all excluded, as well as some specific room categories at other resorts.

Disneyland

  • US military members can SAVE at all three Disneyland resorts between now and December 13, 2024.
  • You must call 833-618-0536 to book (or to apply the discount to your current reservation)
  • Like at WDW, this offer is limited, and availability will go fast!

So tell me, are you planning a 2024 Disney trip to take advantage of this year’s Disney Military Salute tickets and resort deals??

Are you looking for more military discounts? Check out these posts:

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party | 2023

Always a favorite, the beloved Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is back again for 2023!!! The Halloween fun at Walt Disney World starts in just 3(!) short months, and while it’s not imperative that you buy tickets immediately, it’s a great idea to start planning your trip. Check out our favorite “Not So Scary” tips and tricks so that you’re prepared for all the thrills and chills that the Magic Kingdom has to offer. (updated May 10, 2023)

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2023

This post contains affiliate links, and we may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you!) if you purchase when you click on the links. Thank you for supporting Love Dwells Here!!

MICKEY’S NOT SO SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is a hard ticket event that runs on select nights from August 11 – November 1, 2023, and guests can enter the park as early as 4pm! There’s something for everyone, with 38 available dates and pre-tax ticket prices ranging from $109 to $199 (depending on the date). Tickets are on sale now!

August: 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29

September: 1, 4, 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29

October: 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29, 31

November: 1

2023 NOT SO SCARY MILITARY TICKETS??

Will there be military tickets for Not So Scary this year?? Typically, military discounts are offered for hard ticket events at Walt Disney World, but the announcement often comes later than the official event announcement.

In a surprising move, WDW is offering military discounts for most nights of the party this year (everything except for Halloween). However, they’re nowhere near the discounts available in the past. In order to take advantage of these discounts, which are only available to active, reserve, retired, and 100% disabled (with DAVPRM code) military members, the ID holder/spouse must purchase tickets in person at Shades of Green or via email at tickets@shadesofgreenresort.zendesk.com. All tickets purchased at Shades of Green, whether they’re party tickets, Military Salute tickets, Stars and Stripes tickets, or MYW tickets, are tax-free. And now for the pricing; like regular party tickets, pricing is dependent on the party date:

Adult $105/Child (3-9) $95: 8/15, 8/18, 8/22, 8/25, 8/29

Adult $115/Child (3-9) $105: 9/1, 9/4, 9/8, 9/10, 9/12, 9/15, 9/17

Adult $144/Child (3-9) $134: 8/11, 9/19, 9/22, 9/24, 9/26, 9/28, 9/29

Adult $164/Child (3-9) $154: 10/3, 10/5, 10/9, 10/10, 10/12, 10/15, 10/17, 10/19, 10/22, 10/24, 10/26

Adult $184/ Child (3-9) $174: 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27

Adult $193/ Child (3-9) $183: 10/29, 11/1

MICKEY’S NOT SO SCARY OFFERINGS

The fan-favorite fireworks and the “Boo to You” parade will both be back! This definitely isn’t the scaled-back Disney After Hours BOO BASH of the pandemic, but rather the full Mickey’s Not So Scary of previous years. There will be:

  • The Boo to You parade features villains, ghouls, and other characters and happens twice per night! The Headless Horseman will be kicking off the parade, but will Maleficent take to the streets again??
  • Character sightings around the park
  • Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular with everyone’s three favorite witches!
  • The Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks hosted by Jack Skellington
  • Performances by the Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet in Frontierland
  • Treat stops with lots of candy!
  • Costumes are allowed for all guests
  • Over 20 attractions, including a Halloween twist at Mad Tea Party, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and Space Mountain. Plus, TRON Lightcycle / Run will be available with virtual queue access.
  • Guests can enter the park as early as 4pm and DO NOT NEED a separate Disney park reservation

Will you be attending MNSSHP this year? We try to go to MNSSHP every year for one of the early September parties, and we’re hoping to continue that tradition again this year!

Things to Do in Washington DC with Kids

Washington DC is one of our favorite long-weekend getaways since it’s only about six hours from our house. There are SO MANY different things to do in Washington DC with Kids – and a lot of it is free! – so we never get tired of going! We make it a point to see or do something new when we’re in town, but we always make time for some of our favorites.

Washington DC with Kids

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

gravestones at Arlington National Cemetary

The largest military cemetery in the US, Arlington National Cemetery, is the final resting place for more than 400,000 service members and their families. As a military family, ANC is very near and dear to our hearts. While many would balk at the idea of taking small children there, we found it to be the perfect opportunity to talk about our country’s history as well as discuss (and practice!) how we show respect for the deceased. ANC conducts roughly 30 funerals on a typical weekday, so it is imperative that you’re quiet and respectful throughout the cemetery. Some areas, like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, require silence which we practiced many times, well in advance.

We’ve explored ANC on foot, making sure to see both the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the JFK Gravesite and eternal flame, but next time we’re there, I plan to do one of the Arlington National Cemetery Tours for a more comprehensive experience. Now that Jacob is buried at Arlington, I foresee many visits in our future.

kids at Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery

Consider volunteering with Wreaths Across America if you have the time and are visiting on the third Saturday in December (December 17, 2022, for this year). This fantastic organization ensures that a wreath is placed on each and every gravestone at Arlington and 2500 other military cemeteries around the country. Their mission statement: “REMEMBER our fallen US veterans. HONOR those who serve. TEACH your children the value of freedom.” is near and dear to our family. Volunteers of all ages are welcome and highly needed! Registration, which is required, starts around Veteran’s Day on their website.

rows of graves with wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery Washington DC

Arlington National Cemetary is a beautiful place year-round, but there’s something extra special about it during the holidays. I can only imagine what it looks like with a fresh blanket of snow.

TOUR THE MEMORIALS IN WASHINGTON DC WITH KIDS

kids at Jefferson Memorial at night

Washington DC is FULL of monuments and memorials like the Washington Monument and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. While you can definitely see many of the most popular ones on foot, a guided tour offers far more information and saves your feet! We did the DC at Dusk tour through USA Guided Tours on one of our last visits, and it was phenomenal! Over the course of three hours, we saw many of the highlights of Washington DC on our combination bus/walking tour and learned so much about the local history from our guide.

smiling girl touring memorials in Washington DC

While not nearly as popular (crowded) as the other memorials, the FDR Memorial is one of my favorites. It’s on the western shore of the Tidal Basin and leads you through FDR’s four terms in office. Twenty-two quotations from during his presidency are engraved in the granite walls of the memorial.

Washington Monument and cherry blossoms

And if you time your visit just right (late March, early April), you’ll be treated to gorgeous, pink cherry blossoms throughout the city. The best place to see them is at the tidal basin near the Jefferson, FDR, and MLK memorials.

FORD’S THEATRE HISTORIC SITE

Lincoln video at Ford's Theatre

Ford’s Theatre is an absolutely exceptional stop in Washington DC – I’m honestly not sure why it took so long for us to visit. A small museum goes through Lincoln’s presidency, the Civil War and then culminates with his assassination. Right now, museum tours are self-guided, and advanced $3 timed tickets are required.

We were all shocked to see the size of the gun that John Wilkes Booth used to assassinate President Lincoln. And yes, that’s the actual gun! He picked a small gun because it was easy to conceal, but that meant that he only had one chance to kill Lincoln. Kids can hear stories about history over and over, but sometimes it doesn’t stick until they SEE it. And seeing the gun that assassinated a president is something they’ll remember forever.

kids at Ford's Theatre next to the Lincoln assassination box

Thanks to Ford’s Theatre for hosting us. We received complimentary tickets, but all opinions are honest and my own.

After the museum, you can walk into the theatre and see the Presidential Box where Lincoln was sitting when John Wilkes Booth assassinated him. Park rangers are available to answer questions and provide historical information about the theatre. And if you have time, did you know that you can still see live performances at Ford’s Theatre? We saw A Christmas Carol while we were in town, and it was an excellent addition to our holiday trip!

US CAPITOL

smiling kids on the steps of the US Capitol

Seeing the US Capitol up close, or even better yet, from the inside, is such a great way to expose kids to the interworkings of our government. Free tours run throughout the day, nearly 365 days a year, and while advance reservations are recommended, same-day passes are often available. However, we recommend contacting the office of your representative or senator because you can usually get a more private, staff-led tour.

SMITHSONIAN MUSEUMS IN WASHINGTON DC WITH KIDS

Spirit of St Louis at the Air & Space Museum Washington DC with Kids

With 16 museums and the National Zoo in Washington DC (11 of which are on the National Mall), there’s a Smithsonian for everyone! The National Air and Space Museum (pictured) and the National Museum of American History are two of our faves! While we love going back to our favorites, we also try and visit a new (to us!) Smithsonian Museum every time we’re in town.

THE WHITE HOUSE

White House Washington DC with Kids

Nothing screams “Washington DC” quite like seeing the White House! We’ve never been able to coordinate one of our visits with doing a White House tour but it’s definitely on our bucket list. Tour requests need to be submitted through the office of your representative or senators 21-90 days in advance of your trip though right now they’re not currently offered.

THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT

smiling kids outside the Washington Monument

The Washington Monument, part of the US National Park Service, deserves its own place on this list. Like the other monuments and memorials in Washington DC, you can walk up to and around the Washington Monument for free, but the best views are from the top of the 555-foot tower!

view of Lincoln Memorial from the Washington Monument

Tickets are required to ride the elevator to the top of the Washington Monument. To get tickets, you need to have a Recreation.gov account and head to the Washington Monument ticket page. The $1 tickets are released one day in advance, at 10am Eastern Time. In peak season, these go very quickly, so make sure you’re online right at 10am to make your reservation. If your party is larger than 6, you’ll need multiple Recreation.gov accounts in order to get enough tickets.

WASHINGTON HARBOUR

Ice skating at Washington Harbour

A huge thanks to the Washington Harbour Ice Rink for hosting us. We received complimentary tickets but all opinions are honest and my own.

The Washington Harbour in Georgetown is a great collection of shops and restaurants nestled along the Potomac waterfront, and from November-March, they have the largest outdoor ice skating rink in Washington DC! They’re open daily although specific hours vary depending on the day so make sure to check ahead of time. Skate rental is available and they have the cutest penguin skate aids for the littlest ones in your group! We had a blast skating around and it was a great change of pace from the usual museums/tours that we do in DC.

RIDE THE METRO IN WASHINGTON DC WITH KIDS

riding the metro Washington DC with Kids

Our kids LOOOOOVE using the metro/subway when we’re on vacation since we don’t have access to one here. In fact, they often comment that it’s their favorite part of our trip and I think they would be perfectly content to spend a day just riding around town and not actually “doing” anything.

There are six lines running through the Washington DC area (including Virginia and Maryland) and 91 different stations. You can check schedules and fares online as well as utilize their trip planner to ensure that you’re taking the most efficient route.

Washington DC is a great family destination for kids of all ages because there is so much to do! We’ve been multiple times with our kids, at just about every age range possible and while we’ve done a lot, we still have SO MUCH to see!!

Have you been to Washington DC before?? What’s your favorite thing to see??

2022 Disney Military Salute Tickets

It’s that magical time of year again – the 2022 Disney Military Salute Tickets were announced! For more than a decade, Disney has offered fantastic discounts to those that serve our country, and while the prices have most definitely gone up every year, these are still the absolute best prices you’ll find on Walt Disney World or Disneyland tickets.

2022 Disney Military Salute Ticket Offer + Resorts

This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you!) if you choose to purchase when you click on the links. Thank you for supporting Love Dwells Here!!

First things first, in order to purchase these tickets you must be an “Eligible Service Member”: active or retired US military (including active/retired National Guard, Reservists, US Coast Guard, US Space Force, Commissioned Corps of PHS, and the Commissioned Corps of NOAA). Spouses and Unremarried Widows are able to use their service member’s discounts. A valid ID is required to purchase tickets. If you don’t qualify for the military tickets, we always recommend booking through Undercover Tourist as they often offer savings over the gate price.

2022 WDW Military Salute Tickets

The Military Salute tickets are valid for admission from January 1, 2022, through December 16, 2022, with NO blockout dates. As usual, tickets are limited to 6 per Eligible Service Member/spouse. Unlike traditional Disney tickets, Military Salute tickets don’t expire until December 16, 2022, so you can use your days however you want throughout the year. We typically break the days up and use them throughout the year. Plus, Memory Maker is available for $98.

Tickets are available at a WDW ticket booth (where tax will be added), your local ITT, or at Shades of Green (and they’re tax-free!). We always order ours from Shades of Green (SOG) because they come already activated – so you can skip waiting in line on your first day to activate – and they’re a bit cheaper!

4-Day WDW Disney Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $329 plus tax (gate) OR $323 Shades of Green
  • Park Hopper Plus: $359 plus tax OR $353 Shades of Green
  • Park Hopper and Disney Genie+ Service: $389 plus tax OR $382 Shades of Green
  • Park Hopper Plue and Disney Genie+ Service: $419 plus tax OR $412 Shades of Green

5-Day WDW Disney Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $349 plus tax OR $343 Shades of Green
  • Park Hopper Plus: $379 plus tax OR $372 Shades of Green
  • Park Hopper and Disney Genie+ Service: $424 plus tax OR $416 Shades of Green
  • Park Hopper Plue and Disney Genie+ Service: $454 plus tax OR $446 Shades of Green

Disneyland 4th of July fireworks

2022 Disneyland Military Salute Tickets

The Military Salute tickets are valid for admission from July 6, 2021, through December 16, 2022. These tickets are blocked out from: December 17-31, 2021, and April 9-17, 2022. Just like at WDW, tickets are limited to 6 per Eligible Service Member/spouse and Military Salute tickets don’t expire until December 16, 2022, so you can use your days however you want throughout the year. Plus, the Disney PhotoPass Collection is available for $49.

3-Day Disneyland Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $225 plus tax

4-Day Disneyland Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $260 plus tax

2022 Military Resort Discounts

Resort discounts at WDW and Disneyland are a great way to stay at the new resort you’ve been wanting to try or to save some money at your fave. In the past, resort discounts were a set percentage off of the regular price of the room, but now they’re on a sliding scale. For 2022, we’ve found availability to be less than in years prior. Currently, those discounts are UP TO 30% off at Values, UP TO 35% off at Moderates, and UP TO 40% off at Deluxe resorts.

Walt Disney World

  • US military members can SAVE at most WDW resorts between January 1, 2022, and December 16, 2022
  • You must call 407-939-7830 to book (or to apply the discount to your current reservation)
  • This offer is VERY limited and availability will go fast!
  • The Villas at Grand Floridian, Campsites at Fort Wilderness, Pop Century, and Caribbean Beach Resort are all excluded as well as some specific room categories at other resorts.

Disneyland

  • US military members can SAVE at all three Disneyland resorts between now and December 16, 2022.
  • You must call 800-372-6820 to book (or to apply the discount to your current reservation)
  • Like at WDW, this offer is limited and availability will go fast!

So tell me, are you planning a 2022 Disney trip to take advantage of the new military deals?

Looking for more military discounts? Check out these posts:

National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, FL

The National Naval Aviation Museum is a must-do when you’re in the Pensacola area. It’s one of the most-visited museums in Florida, and for a good reason! Plus, it’s the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum with almost 350,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space.

This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you!) if you choose to purchase when you click on the links. Thank you for supporting Love Dwells Here!

Kids at National Museum of Naval Aviation with F-14A Tomcat

As the National Naval Aviation Museum is located on the Naval Air Station Pensacola, it can sometimes be difficult to gain entry. Since December 2019, access to the installation has only been available to DOD ID cardholders and Veterans with a Veteran Health ID Card (VHIC)- so essentially, you need to know someone with a military ID in order to visit the museum. DOD ID cardholders can escort up to 15 guests (in up to 2 vehicles) to tour the museum.

Inside the expansive National Naval Aviation Museum

The indoor area of the National Naval Aviation Museum is HUGE, and there’s SO MUCH to see! We’ve visited the museum several times, and I still find something new every time we’re there. We keep coming back since there’s so much to see and do in Pensacola.

P-40B Tomahawk fighter with the shark mouth

The P-40B Tomahawk fighter with the shark mouth belonged to a group called the Flying Tigers – contract pilots paid by the Chinese government to fight the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. The “Yellow Peril” N3N suspended from the ceiling is the airplane that former President George Bush used for naval aviation training in April 1943

National Naval Aviation Museum with kids

One of my favorite things about this museum is how hands-on the exhibits are. Like most kids, mine are wayyyy more engaged when they can listen to the information and interact with it instead of just reading it on a display.

Interactive displays at the National Naval Aviation Museum

The National Naval Aviation Museum goes above and beyond with displays that the kids (or grown-ups!) in your group can actually be a part of, making it easier to understand and retain the historical information.

National Naval Aviation Museum with kids Pensacola

I don’t think they would like flying on military aircraft with seats like these – but they’re a fun photo opp!

SBD-2 Dauntless National Naval Aviation Museum NAS Pensacola

This SBD-2 Dauntless is one of the most historically significant aircraft in the museum. After surviving Pearl Harbor in 1941, it attacked Japanese shipping in New Guinea (flying from the USS Lexington) and then participated in the Battle of Midway in 1942. With over 200 bullet holes in the fuselage, a wounded gunner, and only one wheel on the landing gear working, this little fighter was still running.

SBD-2 Dauntless National Naval Aviation Museum NAS Pensacola

In 1943, this SBD-2 Dauntless dive-bomber was assigned to the Carrier Qualification Training Unit and subsequently crashed into Lake Michigan. In the early 1990s, the museum began recovering aircraft from the bottom of the lake, and after 70,000 hours of work, the SBD Dauntless is on display at the National Naval Aviation Museum.

“This warbird is the most historically significant Navy combat aircraft ever placed on display- the only known survivor of the Battle of Midway (the most important battle in the history of naval aviation) and one of the few naval aircraft anywhere to have seen the face of battle firsthand.” – sign at the National Naval Aviation Museum.

Make sure to catch the short History Channel film about Naval Aviation training in the Great Lakes – even the kids really enjoyed it!

Japanese zero in the National Naval Aviation Museum

Like me, Nick is a HUGE World War II buff and took the time to read all about the famous WWII aircraft, including the Japanese A6M2 Zero. The one on display was assembled using pieces from a number of wrecked aircraft on Ballele Island.

five kids aboard Marine One NAS Pensacola

Pretending to be “presidential” inside Marine One. This VH-3A Sea King helicopter served as Marine One for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Cockpit trainer National Naval Aviation Museum

Cockpit trainers are plentiful throughout the museum so that you can climb inside and see what it’s like to be a Naval Aviator. While the trainers don’t move and there’s no simulation aspect, you can still move the control stick and flip switches. The cockpit trainers are currently closed for the safety of all visitors. The museum does have motion-based flight simulators available for an additional fee. All flight simulators are temporarily closed.

Blue Angels

The four A-4 Skyhawks are flying in the famous diamond formation of the Blue Angels. When they’re actually in the air, the pilots only leave about 36 inches between the airplanes, which is a craaaazy sight to see! The A-4 Skyhawk was the primary Naval Aviation attack plane in Vietnam.

Blue Angels flight practice NAS Pensacola

The world-famous Blue Angels are based out of NAS Pensacola, and DOD ID cardholders + their guests can watch them practice seasonally at the National Aviation Museum.

BLUE ANGELS 2021 PRACTICE SCHEDULE

April |  6 ∙ 7 ∙ 13 ∙ 14 ∙ 20 ∙ 21 ∙ 27 ∙ 28

May | 4 ∙ 5 ∙ 11 ∙ 12 ∙ 18 ∙19

(Check here for scheduling updates) Access to the flight line behind the museum opens at 930am and the Blue Angels are scheduled to take to the skies at 1030am for a 55-minute show. Masking and social-distancing requirements are in effect on the flight line.

Blue Angels in flight National Naval Aviation Museum

The spectacular aerial feats of the Blue Angels are definitely a must-see if you’re going to be in the Pensacola area in the summer months. The outside viewing area is on the Museum Flight Line just north of the National Naval Aviation Museum and has plenty of parking, open bleacher seating for 1000, and concessions and merchandise are available.

Have you seen the Blue Angels in the skies over Pensacola?? Or at an air show somewhere else??

Tips for Visiting the National Naval Aviation Museum

  • The National Naval Aviation Museum is FREE to visit!
  • You need to be either a DOD ID cardholder or a guest of one to get onto NAS Pensacola, where the museum is located. MASKS ARE REQUIRED
  • The National Naval Aviation Museum is currently open from 10am-4pm Tuesday – Sunday.
    • Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
  • Cockpit trainers and flight simulators are currently closed.
  • Guided tours and Flight Line Trolley tours have also been temporarily suspended.
  • The Giant Screen Theater ($7) has movies starting at 1030am – the last movie showing is at 330pm
    • The Magic of Flight (40 minutes) | 1030am ∙ 1pm
    • Apollo 11: The First Steps Edition (48 minutes) | 12pm ∙ 230pm
    • Aircraft Carrier (25 minutes) | 1130am ∙ 2pm∙ 330pm

2020 Disney Military Salute Discounts

Today is the day that so many in the military community have been waiting for– the 2020 Disney Military discounts were announced! For the past decade, Disney has offered fantastic discounts to those that serve our country, and while the prices certainly have gone up each and every year, these discounts are why our family is able to afford to go as often as we do. And NEW for this year, you can get a 6-Day ticket for Walt Disney World!! (updated on June 12, 2020)

2020 Disney Military Salute Update:

Disney has been strangely quiet as to what is happening with the 2020 Military Salute tickets. Unlike regular tickets, the days on the Military Salute tickets can be used throughout the whole year (from January 1- December 18) so there are MANY people that have purchased these tickets and used one or more days but still have availability- my family included! While some ITT’s were offering to refund tickets (and others were closed so there was no way to get a refund), the only word from Disney was that completely unused tickets could be applied towards the purchase of 2021 tickets.

However, today I noticed in My Disney Experience that the kids’ Military Salute tickets have been updated to an expiration date of 09/26/2021. It seems that Disney is rolling out the updates over the course of the day as not ALL of our tickets show the updated expiration date yet. Thank you, Disney, for doing the right thing and ensuring that our military families have a little more time to use their Disney tickets!

2020 Disney Military Salute Discounts

First things first, in order to purchase these tickets you must be an “Eligible Service Member”: active or retired US military (including active/retired National Guard, Reservists, US Coast Guard, Commissioned Corps of PHS and the Commissioned Corps of NOAA). Spouses and Unremarried Widows are able to use their spouse’s discounts. Valid ID is required to purchase and you can either get your tickets at Shades of Green (only WDW tickets but it’s tax-free!), your local ITT, or at the parks.

2020 WDW Military Salute Tickets

The Military Salute tickets are valid for admission from January 1, 2020 through December 18, 2020 with NO blockout dates. As usual, tickets are limited to 6 per Eligible Service Member/spouse. Unlike traditional Disney tickets, Military Salute tickets don’t expire until December 18, 2020, so you can use your days however you want throughout the year. Plus, Memory Maker is available for $98.

6-Day Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $301 plus tax
  • Park Hopper Plus: $351 plus tax

5-Day Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $283 plus tax
  • Park Hopper Plus: $333 plus tax

4-Day Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $265 plus tax
  • Park Hopper Plus: $315 plus tax

Disneyland 4th of July fireworks

2020 Disneyland Military Salute Tickets

The Military Salute tickets are valid for admission from January 1, 2020 through December 18, 2020 and the ONLY blockout date is April 12, 2020 (Easter Sunday). Just like at WDW, tickets are limited to 6 per Eligible Service Member/spouse and Military Salute tickets don’t expire until December 18, 2020, so you can use your days however you want throughout the year. Plus, the Disney PhotoPass Collection is available for $49.

4-Day Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $204 plus tax

3-Day Military Salute Tickets

  • Park Hopper: $184 plus tax

2020 Military Resort Discounts

The resort discounts at WDW and Disneyland are a great way to try out the deluxe resorts or even to save some money on your value stay! In years prior, resort discounts were a set percentage off of the rack rate but now they’re done on a sliding scale. Currently, those discounts are UP TO 30% off at Values, UP TO 35% off at Moderates, and UP TO 40% off at Deluxe resorts.

Walt Disney World

  • US military members can SAVE at most WDW resorts between January 1, 2020, and December 18, 2020 (blockout from April 5-18, 2020).
  • You must call 407-939-7825 to book (or to apply the discount to your current reservation)
  • This offer is limited and availability will go fast!

Disneyland

  • US military members can SAVE at all three Disneyland resorts between January 1, 2020, and December 17, 2020 (NO BLOCKOUTS!).
  • You must call 800-642-5392 to book (or to apply the discount to your current reservation)
  • Like at WDW, this offer is limited and availability will go fast!

So tell me, are you planning a 2020 Disney trip to take advantage of the new military deals?

‘Happy’ Memorial Day from an Army Widow

Memorial Day is upon us once again; it has new significance for our family this year because it’s our first since Jacob died. Its been a really weird week for me- lots of memories, and just feeling off. . . And I finally realized that while Memorial Day weekend was always a hard one for Jacob to get through, it didn’t affect me the same way. . . until now. Going from “wife” to “widow” changes things.

difference between memorial day and veterans day

As a military family, Memorial Day has always been a somewhat reverent occasion in our house. Sure, we “celebrate” with a backyard barbecue every year, but we also reflect on the real reason for the holiday. Both Jacob and I have been to (or planned) more than our share of military funerals, and that certainly makes the holiday more real and reinforces the fact that it’s not just a long weekend to kick-start summer or a weekend with great sales.

It used to really bother Jacob when people would wish him “Happy Memorial Day” because it was not a day for him, nor is it a “happy” occasion. We went to great lengths to ensure that our children know the difference between the various military holidays because while they all honor our military, they each celebrate a very specific population.

Difference Between the Military Holidays

us army soldier in a humvee

Armed Forces Day: Celebrated on the third Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day honors those that are currently serving. For this one, it’s definitely appropriate to say “Thank you for your service” or “Happy Armed Forces Day”.

us soldiers raid

Veterans Day: November 11th is the day to celebrate the living that served our country over the years. “Happy Veterans Day, thank you for your service,” is a completely acceptable (and appreciated!) greeting/comment for those that have served.

vietnam veterans memorial and washington monument

Memorial Day: The last Monday in May, this is a day to remember and honor every man and woman that died for our freedom, especially those that died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. It’s a day about sacrifice, service, and remembrance. It’s not about current or former service members, it’s about those that didn’t make it home, and to a degree, those that made it home, but later died from their injuries incurred while in service.

But how do you explain Memorial Day to the person that has never been handed a folded flag? Or explain it to the wife who has never said “See you later” to her husband and watched him leave for a warzone on the other side of the world? Or to the person that has never dealt with the after-effects of that war? Or explain it to a family that isn’t trying to survive now that their service member isn’t here anymore?

army widow being handed a folded american flag

In a lot of ways, I don’t think you CAN effectively explain it. There’s not a way to explain how hearing Taps, which used to lull me to sleep when we lived on-post, now makes me feel like I can’t breathe and I will forever associate it with Jacob’s funeral. Or how seeing someone in uniform makes me both immensely proud and makes my heart ache for their family because I know what their future could hold. There’s not really a way to explain the gut-wrenching pain that you feel when your loved one gives their life for their country. There’s not a way to explain the immense sacrifice that our military families make on a daily basis, knowing that the ultimate sacrifice could be around the next corner.

While Jacob didn’t die AT war, he died because of this war. Even though his death came five years after his medical retirement, it was service-connected. His death was a direct result of injuries sustained while he was in the Army. And because of that, this Memorial Day is the first where we will honor him. . . honor his memory. . . honor his sacrifice.

memorial day american soldier

It’s completely okay to have a barbecue and enjoy the three-day weekend because part of remembering the sacrifice of our fallen service members is remembering what they liked to do before they died for their country. They loved spending time surrounded by family, and most likely, having a barbecue on a long weekend. So this Memorial Day weekend, we’ll be having a barbecue with our family, but we’ll also be remembering.

And just a piece of advice from a surviving spouse, please don’t say “Happy Memorial Day” because that “happy” has an unexpected sting. It’s a hard time of year for many people- active duty, veterans, and surviving families alike. It’s a time of remembrance and grief, a reminder of those who did not make it home- and the guilt associated with that for those that did. A reminder that our lives are forever changed.

arlington national cemetery

And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. ~ Lee Greenwood

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