New military specials for rooms and tickets. Are they right for you?

Disney has just released new Military Discounts for both rooms and tickets. Once again, this is a great opportunity for those of us with a military member in our family to take advantage of this deal and head to Disney. I price these trips day in and day out and I pride myself on giving people the options that will provide them the best possible value. This, of course, is different for each family. A question we get a lot from our clients is “Isn’t it less expensive to stay at the military resort, Shades of Green?” There are a lot of factors that go into answering this question, and because we look at each family individually, we often find a different answer based on their individual needs.

 The Walt Disney World Military resort discount

 Offer Details*
•Deluxe and Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts – 40% resort discount
•Moderate Resorts and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabins – 35% resort discount
•Value Resorts – 30% resort discount
Disney’s Fort Wilderness campsites excluded

Eligible Military Branches
•Active Duty and Retired with ID

•Army   •Air Force   •Navy   •Marines   •Coast Guard   •National Guard

*Blackout dates of 11/24-11/26/10, 12/26-12/31/10, 4/17/10-4/20/11 apply. All discounts are subject to availability, certain restrictions apply.

A valid Active Duty / Spouse US Military ID will be required at resort check-in to receive the discount.

The Quick Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan, or Disney Deluxe Dining Plan can also be added to make this a complete package.

 •The great thing about this offer is it can be combined with the dining plan. (This cannot be done if you are staying at Shades of Green.) We have a breakdown of savings for the dining plan below. Bottom line: the dining plan is not a necessity, but if you will be eating on property, it is a great option.

•Another perk with the military discount is transportation is complimentary to and from the airport. This is not the case with Shades of Green. If you are staying there, add another cost (typically $120) for transportation. If you are driving in, Shades also charges for parking, whereas Disney does not.

 Don’t get me wrong, Shades of Green can be a great option and I have stayed there several times. But when Disney is offering a 40% discount on a Deluxe and 35% on a moderate, this is the time to take advantage of these prices. Stay at Shades of Green when discounts like this are not available. *There is one exception to this. If you are an annual pass holder, there are higher discounts than the military rate during some seasons of the year. For example, some deluxe properties are offering discounts of 45% vs. 40%. This is a numbers game where someone who knows Disney inside and out needs to run the numbers to make sure you are looking at all your options accurately. In some cases, the difference may mean a savings of $100’s of dollars.

The Walt Disney World Military Ticket discount

(Disney offers a regular military discount 365 days a year; however, this special discount (‘Salute’ to military members) is even better!)*

 Offer Details*

Disney World

Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $138 each

Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Parks Fun and More Option for $138 each, AND

Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Parks Fun and More Options for $165 each

From October 25, 2010 through Sept. 28, 2011 active and retired U.S. military personnel (including National Guard and Reservists) or their spouses can purchase.


Disney Land in Anaheim California

Offer Dates – 3 October 2010 – 1 October 2011

Resort Discounts – 40% off Deluxe Resorts, 35% off Moderates and Fort Wilderness Cabins, and 30% off Value Resorts

With room Blackout dates of 24-26 November and 26-31 December 2010, as well as 17-30 April 2011


*Call us for offer details or visit our website at 

This new discount is a great deal if you are staying for four days, or even up to five days. For five days, you can use the four day hopper and add a one day base ticket to make the total $223 per adult and $214 per child. However, for longer stays, the regular military discounted ticket is a better deal. A ‘Salute’ ticket at $138 plus a two day base ticket would be $306 total, whereas a six day hopper ticket with the regular military discount is only $291. (A child’s would be $289 vs. $267).

So with anything above five days in tickets, you are better off buying the regular military discounted hopper tickets. And if you buy base tickets instead of hoppers, you will save even more! You can still take advantage of the military discounted rooms plus dining. Confused yet? We help all our clients who book their rooms and dining packages figure out the best tickets to purchase.

Dining Plan

Here is an example of three days on the dining plan and what you would pay out of pocket versus what you would save.

The examples below demonstrate the potential savings for a family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 children ages 9 and under on the standard plan, but it will give you a general idea. Please note that Disney’s restaurant pricing can change at any time and gratuities are not included in the dining plan.

Day 1 

   Breakfast – Crystal Palace

  Uses 1 Table service credit per person

  Adult #1 – Buffet 18.99

  Adult #2 – Buffet 18.99

  Child #1 – Child’s Buffet 10.99

  Child #2 – Child’s Buffet 10.99

  Meal Total with tax: $63.86


  Snack – Aloha Isle

  Uses 1 Snack credit per person

  Adult #1 – Pineapple Float (3.99)

  Child #1 – Pineapple Float (3.99)


  Snack – Ice Cream Cart

  Adult #2 – Mickey Bar (2.75)

  Child #2 – Mickey Bar (2.75)

  Snack Total with tax: $14.36


  Dinner – Sunshine Seasons

  Uses 1 Counter Service credit per person

  Adult #1 – Seared Tuna on Mixed Greens (9.29) Choc. Mousse Cake (3.99) iced tea (1.99)

  Adult #2 – Turkey and Monterey on focaccia (8.59) Key Lime Pie ($3.79) drink (2.19)

  Child #1 – Kid’s Sweet and Sour Chicken meal (6.49)

  Child #2 – Kid’s Make your own mini sub meal (6.49)

  Meal Total with tax: $45.60


  Day 1 Totals

  Total meal cost if paid out of pocket: $123.82

  Total paid if using Disney’s Dining Plan: $101.96

  Total saved by using Disney’s Dining Plan: $21.86


Day 2 

  Breakfast – Contempo Café

  Uses 1 Snack credit per person

  Adult Guest #1- Chocolate croissant (2.79)

  Adult Guest #2- Muffin (2.59)

  Child Guest #3- Bagel w/ cream cheese (2.29)

  Child Guest #4- Chocolate Croissant (2.79)

  Meal Total with tax: $11.14


  Lunch – ABC Commissary

  Uses 1 Quick Service credit per person

  Adult Guest #1- Asian salad (6.69) Strawberry Parfait dessert (3.59) drink (2.19)

  Adult Guest #2- Chicken Bleu (8.89) Choc mousse (3.59) iced tea (1.89)

  Child Guest #3- Kid’s Ham and Cheese wrap meal (4.99)

  Child Guest #4- Kid’s Chicken nugget meal (4.99)

  Meal Total with tax: $39.21


  Dinner – Boma

  Uses 1 Table Service credit per person

  Adult #1 –Adult Buffet (28.99)

  Adult #2 –Adult Buffet (28.99)

  Child #1-Child’s Buffet (13.99)

  Child #2 –Child’s Buffet (13.99)

  Meal Total with tax: $91.55


  Day 2 Totals

  Total meals cost if paid out of pocket: $141.90

  Total paid for using Disney’s Dining Plan: $101.96

  Total saved by using Disney’s Dining Plan: $39.94


 Day 3

 Breakfast – in room or quick bite at the resort or Theme Park paid for out of pocket

 Lunch – Flametree Barbecue

Adult #1 – Pork Sandwich (8.49) Key Lime Pie (3.59) Iced Tea (1.89)

Adult #2 – Smoke half chicken (9.49) Key Lime Pie (3.59) Coke(2.19)

Child #1 – Hot dog meal (4.99)

Child #2 – Baked chicken drumstick meal (4.99)

Meal Total with tax: $41.77



Adult#1 – Choc milkshake (3.99)

Child #1 – Choc milkshake (3.99)

Adult #2 – Yogurt parfait (3.79)

Child #2 – 2 breadsticks with marinara (2.39)

Snack Total with tax: 14.16


Dinner – Teppan Edo

Adult #1 – Filet mignon (29.95) chocolate ginger cake (5.50)

Adult #2 – Steak and Shrimp (29.95) chocolate cake (5.50)

Child #1 – Kids Chicken meal (12) soft serve ice cream (4.50)

Child#2 – Kids Shrimp meal (12.50) soft serve ice cream (4.50)

Meals Total with tax: $111.19


Day 3 Totals

Total meals cost if paid out of pocket: $167.12

Total paid for using Disney’s Dining Plan: $101.96

Total saved by using Disney’s Dining Plan: $65.16

For three days, the overall savings if using the dining plan would be $126.28

If you did none of the desserts in the meals, you would still save $82.09


As you can see, there is a benefit to using the Disney Dining Plan; however, since every family is different, let us help you decide if it is best for your family. Call us and let us wade through all of the details and find the best option for rooms and park tickets your family.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® Family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.


 Theme Park Ticket Discounts – Up to six three-Day Park Hopper Tickets for $99.00. 

How to Be a Mouse Ambassador

Do you love Disney and find yourself talking to people about it?

Would you like to make some extra income simply by referring people to an agency that will help your friends, family, and acquaintances book, plan, and enjoy their next vacation to a Disney destination–and do so with less stress?

We all know people who love Disney, travel to Disney, or are even planning a Disney vacation as you read this. Now you can help these people by pointing them to an agency that will truly take care of them.

At Ears of Experience, we will listen to your travel party’s preferences, find them the best prices available, and save them time and money as well. After the sale, we will include itinerary guideline planning, make dining reservations, add tips and tricks to manipulating crowds or the ships, and so much more. We will send them a customized packet of information with tips and tricks that only our clients receive.  If the party has kids, our Kid Expert, Nattie, will write them a letter, which will include her own tips and tricks. This is their vacation, for some a once in a lifetime opportunity; so we want to make sure everyone has fun. We get the kids pumped up by helping plan through our kid’s site. The clients will learn ways to save time and money while on vacation, even before they go. We know the specials and fare codes to reduce costs and we offer our own specials and perks as well to our clients.

We will not charge any more than booking directly with Disney, nor will we charge any service fees. Your referrals will have trust in knowing they are dealing with a reputable company. Their credit cards will even be charged directly to Disney or the hotel vendor we are booking, as there is no third party charging.
For more information, visit our website.

Disney Military Discounts

As some of you know, this is the year for military families to head to Disney, as they now offer an “Armed Forces Salute” special. They are offering a free five day ticket for Active Duty, retirees, or anyone who has been on active orders since January 2008. In addition, those eligible will receive five, five-day tickets for $99 per person, which can be upgraded to include the Park Hopper® Option and/or Water Park Fun & More Option.

Walt Disney World® Armed Forces Salute

Walt Disney World® Armed Forces Salute

What a lot of people don’t realize is they are also offering great Disney hotel discounts. As you can imagine with this military offer, Shades of Green (The on-site Military Disney resort) is extremely full. If they are unable to accommodate you, Shades of Green can then book you at a Disney property hotel in what is called an “overflow rate”. In the past, this was lower than the normal rate at that hotel; however, in this economy, things have changed. According to a Shades of Green reservation agent I recently spoke with, the overflow rate is not as low as Disney’s own military discount. I actually saved $80 per night at the Polynesian Resort in March using Disney vs. the Shades of Green overflow rate!

Deals get even better with Disney’s own specials, which are going on right now. I just booked three nights in June, peak season, at the Port Orleans Riverside for $111 a night! This is not a value resort. It is a moderate resort. That is less than my rate at the Shades of Green! Not to mention, there is free parking, free transportation to and from the airport if you have flown in, AND you can add the dining plan to these rates if you choose. If you tend to eat most of your meals on Disney property, you will save about 20-30% on dining by adding the dining plan. The above mentioned perks to staying at a Disney resort hotel are not applicable when staying at Shades of Green.
I have stayed at Shades for Green six times and I think it is  fantastic resort, especially with all the upgrades. However, I do own a Disney agency now and have to admit, I like the themed resort hotels and the one-stop “Key to the Kingdom”. This is one card that acts as your ticket, your room key, charge card, and even dining card. At the end of the trip, I get one itemized bill and I know what the bottom line is. I am also a budgeter. I like how I can add my dining plan to the package and it is paid for before I leave, so I don’t have any surprise charges once I get home.

So if you are thinking about a Disney vacation this year, take my advice and do it! With the “Armed Forces Salute” tickets, hotel discounts, and available dining plan, there has never been a better time to go. I have been in the industry a long time and this is one deal we military families need to take advantage of. They simply do not offer this to everyone. Also, the Disney hotel discounts were not offered in the last military specials we saw back in 2002. You will save hundreds of dollars booking these discount Disney vacation packages with us.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® family vacation and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-800-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.