Sleeping Beauty Castle
  • On Jan 30, 2020
    Diane from AR Asked

    We are a Gold Star Family. My son was KIA in Iraq in 2007. Does Disneyland California offer any discounts to Gold Star Families for park admission? I don’t need hotel accommodations as I have family in Southern California. Thank you, Diane

    Hi Diane!

    While I wish that you were writing to us under different circumstances, I do want to extend a big welcome to, and a warm hug from, the Disney Parks Moms Panel. I am so, so terribly sorry for your loss, Diane. My husband is a Staff Sergeant, and he lost an Airman a few years ago. This is a question that no parent, spouse or child should ever want or need to ask, but I am more than happy to help navigate your options.

    The Military Multi-Day Theme Park Promotional Tickets, Disney Resort Hotel rates, and PhotoPass offers at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort are currently limited to certain U.S. Military Service Members and their Dependent Spouses only.

    There is also a second discounted ticket option that is only sold at Military MWR Ticket Offices. These tickets are available in 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5-day passes, either with or without the additional Park Hopper option. Unlike the multi-day promotional ticket offered directly from Disney, there is no limit on how many of these can be purchased during the year, and better yet these don't have blackout or expiration dates. Price lists for these tickets are usually found on an installation's MWR website, and don't forget that tickets bought on base don't have sales tax.

    Walt Disney said of his beloved theme parks that they'd "never be done changing and growing." And the U.S. Military must think that way too because as I'm sure you've seen, benefits and access to them is always changing. Those with a Gold Star Installation Access Card generally don't qualify for MWR benefits. A brand new act expanding benefits for certain classes of Veterans just went into effect on January 1; however, so far from what I've seen these benefits don't extend to non-spouse Gold Star family members.

    I do still have an idea for you. The discounted tickets sold only on base can be purchased by someone who does have MWR benefits (Active Duty Service Members, Active Reservists, Full Retirees, any of their spouses, etc) and given to anyone else, to use without the purchaser present. I've picked these tickets up a dozen times and given them to my parents, friends, even my dear friend and fellow Moms Panelist Kristin C., all who redeemed said passes without me. In fact, Kristin came with me to a ticket office once, and even paid for her tickets with her own credit card. So you absolutely could purchase these discounted tickets if you had a bit of assistance from someone who does currently hold an Active Military ID; I guarantee you could find someone in the Base/Post Family Readiness Center, Base Chapel, or Survivor Outreach Services who wouldn't mind meeting you at the ticket office to flash their Military ID on your behalf. The only caveat is that Disneyland Resort tickets are usually sold on bases/posts in the western region, so reach out now to those service offices at a base near your SoCal family to find someone willing to help.

    Again I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your son, Diane. I'm excited that you get to soak up some fun with your family in the California sun soon. And if you have any more Disneyland Resort vacation planning or Military questions, I'm all Ears!

    ~Kristen
thumbnail image for Kristen

Meet the Panelist: Kristen, Texas

Hi, I'm Kristen! I am a preschool mom and military wife who loves keeping up with the latest Disney Parks news. Trips to Walt Disney World have always been fun, but now that I'm the parent AND the planner every moment is that much more treasured.  I am so honored and excited to be able to share tips I've picked up, pass on fun factoids I've learned, and help create magical moments for your vacation of a lifetime!  Learn More About Kristen

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