One of the perks of being stationed at Kings Bay is that you are 2.5-3 hours from Orlando and the multiple amusement parks there! As it would take multiple posts to barely scratch the surface of all the things to see and do around Disney World, this post will focus mostly on how to get discounted tickets and travel to Disney World.
As COVID is still circulating, please remember to take precautions if visiting the parks. If an active duty (AD) member is also traveling, they should check with their command regarding any COVID-related restrictions surrounding the parks.
Firstly, let’s identify all the parks. Disney World is a large park complex which consists of four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. Disney World also contains the ESPN World of Sports Complex, waterparks Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, and shopping area Disney Springs. Within Disney World, there are multiple places to stay, including locations that are steps from the parks or hotels near Disney Springs that you can take transportation to/from the parks.
There are many options to purchase discounted Disney World Tickets for AD military members and their families. One way to purchase tickets is through any local Tickets & Travel (ITT) office. Tickets purchased through the ITT office can be purchased as packs with multi-day and multi-park admission.
Tickets can also be purchased through Shades of Green, a military resort located in Disney World. Military members or their spouses can purchase up to six promotional military tickets per calendar year.
If you are a Florida Resident, you can purchase discounted Disney World Tickets through various resident promotions which take place throughout the year. For information on discounted Florida Resident tickets, click here.
Due to COVID precautions, you are now required to make park reservations for the day you want to visit the parks. It is recommended that you check the Reservation Calendar before purchasing tickets. Just having a ticket does not guarantee you admittance to a park, you need to purchase a ticket and then make a reservation for the date AND park you want to visit. A reservation can be made through My Disney Experience once tickets have been purchased. You will need to make an account in My Disney Experience in order to link tickets and reservations.
This is the order of operations I follow when making a reservation:
- Check Reservation Calendar for dates and park availability
- Purchase tickets and link them to My Disney Experience App
- Make park reservation through My Disney Experience App
Because Disney sometimes opens up additional reservation blocks, sometimes things open up and there is more park availability. If you have yourself set on a park that does not have availability on the date you want, you might check the park calendar a few times over the course of a few weeks. But I would not recommend purchasing tickets until there is availability for the park(s) on the date(s) that you want.
Where to Stay
While you can definitely travel to the parks and back in one day, it can make for a more pleasant experience to spend a night or two down at the parks. There are lots of options for all types of budgets in the Orlando area. You can stay at a Disney Resort, Shades of Green, or at a hotel off property. There are many hotels in the Disney Springs area that provide transportation to/from the parks from the hotel property. Parking at the parks costs money, but parking at Disney Springs is free. For this reason, many people stay at a hotel close to Disney Springs and take bus transportation to/from the parks.
Have you been to the parks? What was your experience like? Stay tuned for another article on ticket purchase for Universal Studios.