Checking in with ticket the first day

This is our first trip to Disney World, and I just wanted to ask about how we check in on the first day. We each have Magic Bands, and our tickets are pre-purchased through the military MWR system. We have gone to My Disney and registered the paper ticket voucher, and reserved the various parks for each day of our five day visit.

On the first day into the park, is there anything else we need to do? Or do we just walk in and wave the Magic Band at a turnstile? Does the original paper ticket need to be scanned? Is there a ticket window for that? We are going to Disney Springs the day before to poke around, is there a ticket window there where we can deal with the paper ticket ahead of time? Once the ticket is scanned, do we just wave the Magic Band at the turnstiles for the rest of the week for admittance? So many question marks. Sorry. Thanks, Craig

If you’ve linked the paper tickets to My Disney Experience and your magic bands are also linked to it, all you need to do is tap your band at the entrance. Caveat - I don’t have any knowledge of military tickets so there might be some requirement there I’m not aware of.

1 Like

Just make sure to take the paper ticket with you the first day, just in case there is a problem. But you should be able to just tap in with the magic band and head on your merry way.


Be sure to bring your military ID with you. As well as your paper tickets.

If your ticket is a regular military discount ticket you may not need to do anything else.

If your ticket is an Armed Forces Salute ticket, that ticket(s) will need to be activated at any Guest Services at the 4 parks or at Disney Springs.

Last September some of our group had the AFS tickets which our local military ticket office had in stock. These are heavy paper.

Some of our group had regular military discount tickets which had to be sent away for and were, I think, plastic. These were already activated.

I linked them all to Magic Bands. It is possible to link an unactivated ticket to a Magic Band.

We have gone the evening of our arrival - non-park day - to Guest Services at Disney Springs to activate tickets. On another trip we went to GS at Magic Kingdom since we were eating supper in the MK area.

Guest Services might be kinda busy in the morning. With the parks at lower capacity and if it were a weekday, I might simply activate the morning of our first park day. I’d be less invested in being in say MK or Epcot as early as possible. If Hollywood Studios were up first tho I might activate the night before if DS were open, or if my resort were in the MK area and it was still open.

After our first morning, I don’t bring the actual tickets with me. Nor my military ID.

Hope you have a magical trip!


Hey @janamelia has all the details down! But I would carry your mil-ID since many places will give you a 10% military discount, if you ask. It’s been awhile but the mil disc. was mainly at Disney Springs, but anything off is worth it.

Can I ask out of curiosity? Are you AD? My son that is AD Army isn’t allowed to travel to FL for leave; he listed off all the banned states, due to C-19. He’s on leave now returning from overseas and he can’t come to see us. I think this is the list of banned states: FL, TX, CA, NY, TN… there’s more can’t remember the rest. Thx


Lotsa trips - plenty of mistakes . . . learning opportunities! :blush:

1 Like

Oh…just remembered we activated our tickets at a ticket window not guest services… less of line that way.

1 Like

If you have the Armed Forces Salute tickets they have to be activated prior to park entry. You’ll need the military ID and everyone in your group will have to be there at Guest Services to activate. My dad is retired military so when we go with him, we all have to go to Guest Services. He shows his military ID and they asked a bunch of questions. I think we may have had to give DOBs as well. I can’t remember if they asked for ID’s from my mom, me, or my husband. Kids didn’t have IDs so I know they didn’t. It took about 15 minutes to activate the tickets even though they were linked on MDE. We activated the day before our first park day. We used the Guest Services/Ticket Window at TTC after eating at 1900 Park Fare. Definitely activate tickets before the first park day to save time.


If you buy your tickets from Shades of Green they are already activated and as along as they are linked in MDE you just tap at the turnstiles. As others have recommended, I always bring the paper tickets on the first day and DH always carries his military ID anyway.

Disney Military Tips has a lot of great military-specific info, if you haven’t found his website yet.


We still had to go to the ticket window/guest services before using them at turn-style for the first time. I would go to gs/tw the first day to be safe so you are not turned away at turn-s

1 Like

Thank you for the excellent info. We have dinner reservations at Disney Springs on Sunday, so we will go early and stop by Guest Services.


No, we are not AD. My wife is a retired Army Reservist (and such a stud).


Thank you for the tips - very helpful

No, I had not seen that web site, but will look tonight. Thx

I know that’s still true at Disneyland, but we’ve never had an issue at DisneyWorld. Maybe something changed? I always viewed it as the big plus to buying through Shades of Green, as their process can be a little…slow compared to going through a busy ITT office (one that keeps tickets on hand).

1 Like


Oh yes, to the SoG ticket office instead of ITT!!! Maybe we’ve always had family with us and had an extra step. You’re right about DL being different process than WDW though.

1 Like

I think we did buy tickets at one time at Shades of Green that were activated.
I think - hazy memory - that there was a software upgrade at Disney that made activating at Guest Services necessary. I have a hazy memory but this is within our last few trips, so within 5 years.

We also started buying about 75 days out from the local military ticket office to be ready for 60 day fast passes.


We were there in 2019 on Armed Forces Salute tickets from Shades and didn’t have to activate them or go to Guest Services. Maybe other ticket types?

1 Like

Yes, if you go through SoG they are activated, but I can’t remember if I still have to go to GS when I have family members with us.