Ever wondered “Where do military stay at Disney?” The answer is Shades of Green, Walt Disney World’s very own military resort. Owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, Shades of Green is an official Armed Forces Recreation Center and an absolutely gorgeous golf resort just a short bus and Monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom. So, if you’re a past or current service member or you know someone who is, read on for all the perks and prices for this relaxing military resort.
Disney World Shades of Green During Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. Needless to say, it has also changed the guest experience for those staying at Shades of Green at Disney World. Several changes have been temporarily put in place to help ensure the safety of all guests and staff. These include:
Increased cleaning frequency in public spaces
Increased disinfecting protocols between guest arrivals
Decreased housekeeping to light service on request
Increased cleaning of staff areas
Hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the property
Limited room amenities
No mail services
No yoga classes
In addition to the above pandemic-related modifications, Shades of Green management also requests that hotel guests take the following measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases:
Sanitize your hands frequently, especially any time you enter the hotel
For all guests 6+ years of age, wear a mask in any shared indoor spaces and on the bus
Stay and your room and notify the front desk if you experience any flu-like symptoms
Pay for any purchases with a credit card or charge them to your room
Observe social distancing guidelines of 6 feet or more
Keep elevators to only 1 family at a time
Use express checkout on the last day of your stay
Staying at the Shades of Green Disney Resort
Located in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area, Shades of Green is conveniently situated in the heart of the magic yet feels worlds away from the crowds and general Disney-ness of the rest of the Walt Disney World Resort. As this is primarily a military resort, Disney touches like over-the-top theming and lots of characters are (largely) conspicuously missing, although you will find a few nods to Disney around the lobby area.
Noticeably as absent are children. Although kids are welcomed here, Shades of Green has the feel of a dignified, country club-style golf resort. Along with feeling physically secluded from the rest of Disney World, it also has a decidedly more mature vibe when it comes to clientele. In fact, back when Shades of Green was owned by Disney, it was actually known as the Golf Resort – and then The Disney Inn in hopes of drawing in a broader range of guests.
Shades of Green Disney Rooms & Suites
For service members with large families, Shades of Green is an absolute dream, boasting the biggest standard rooms on Disney property along with some of the cheapest room rates (win!). The sprawling rooms and suites are warm, welcoming, and thoughtfully appointed with panoramic views of lush gardens and golf course greens. You’re even likely to spot a flock of turkeys wandering through in the morning hours. However, if you’re hoping for a sprinkle of visual pixie dust, you’ll have to bring it yourself as guestrooms are completely free of anything Disney related.
In general, all rooms at Shades of Green come with the following amenities: a sleeper sofa, mini-fridge, iron, ironing board, flat-screen LCD TV, high-speed Wi-Fi, coffee maker, hairdryer, and in-room safe. Along with separate bedrooms, Shades of Green suites also include a microwave perfect for warming up a bottle or midnight snack.
Shades of Green Standard Room
Comes with two queen beds and a single sleeper sofa
Sleeps up to 5
Shades of Green Poolside Room
Comes with two queen beds and a single sleeper sofa
Sleeps up to 5
Located next to one of the two pools
Shades of Green Junior Suite
3 queen beds
Sleeps up to 6
Shades of Green Garden Suite
1 king bed and 2 queen sleeper sofas
Sleeps up to 6
Shades of Green Family Suite
1 king bed and 3 queen sleeper sofas
Sleeps up to 8
Shades of Green Palm Suite
4 queen beds
Sleeps up to 10
Shades of Green Magnolia Suite
4 queen beds and 2 single sleeper sofas
Sleeps up to 10
2 and a half bathrooms
Disney Shades of Green Prices
For those wondering “How much is Shades of Green per night?”, the answer is surprisingly straightforward. Unlike other Disney World resorts, Shades of Green prices depend on your pay grade or status in the military at the time of check-in, not whether you visit during the slow or busy seasons.
As befitting their lesser pay grades, lower-ranking service members, specifically those as E1-E6, pay the lowest room rates while officers, civilians working for the Department of Defense, foreign military members, and those protected under the Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act pay the highest room rates. If you’re looking for additional savings, Shades of Green monthly specials are also offered some months during the year.
Even with the massive rooms, contemporary furnishings, and thoughtful amenities, this military resort at Disney World also happens to be one of the most affordable Disney hotels. In fact, rooms at Shades of Green tend to be priced like the value resorts at Disney World. For example, clocking in at 260 square feet, Disney’s Pop Century Resort averages around $165 per night, while for between $139 to $179 depending on pay grade, guests could get 190 more square feet by staying in a standard room at Shades of Green.
Below are the room rates for each room type, with the first set of rates valid until September 30, 2021 and the second range of rates being for October 1 to September 30, 2022:
Standard Room: $139 to $179, $154 to $194
Poolside Room: $149 to $189, $154 to $194
Junior Suite: $319, $349
Garden Suite: $349, $379
Family Suite: $$349, $379
Palm Suite: $469, $519
Magnolia Suite: $469, $569
Disney World Shades of Green Resort Amenities
The room rates may be similar to what you’d find at Disney’s value resorts, but when it comes to amenities, Shades of Green is closer to Disney World’s deluxe resorts. With several dining options, a ticket office with military discounts, and a decent slate of recreational offerings (a round of Shades of Green golf, anyone?), this military resort is well worth the price of admission.
Restaurants at Shades of Green
Looking for somewhere to eat while staying at Shades of Green? Although there are plenty of delicious restaurants located throughout the Magic Kingdom Resort Area and the rest of Disney World, there are also some tempting Shades of Green dining options if you’re hoping to stay closer to your room.
Bistro to Go
Open for dinner; Takeout or room service only offering favorites like pizzas, sandwiches, pasta, wings, and more
Open for lunch and dinner; Sports bar next to the Mill Pond Pool serving gastropub classics like burgers, brats, sandwiches, nachos, salads, and pizzas
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; A quick-service restaurant serving dishes like muffins and pastries in the morning and sandwiches, personal pizzas, and meat platters in the evening
Open for breakfast and dinner; Buffet-style restaurant offering all-you-can-eat portions of everything from waffles and omelets to make-your-own pizzas and sundaes
Open all day; A Counter-service location serving Starbucks coffee, Tazo teas, and a selection of sweet treats like house-made pastries and ice cream
Open for breakfast and dinner; table-service restaurant dishing up AM favorites like eggs benedict and corned beef for breakfast and Italian-inspired classics pasta and steak at dinnertime
Recreational Activities at Shades of Green
Of course, most people going to Disney World plan on spending a lot of time in the parks. But if you’re anything like us, you also love finding things to do outside the theme parks and taking some time to relax away from the crowds. Fortunately, there are plenty of things to enjoy around Shades of Green, especially for adults.
The resort’s name may be an ode to the service members traveling there on vacation, but it’s also a nod to one of the main recreational offerings at Shades of Green: Golf. Of the four Disney golf courses, three of them can be found at Shades of Green including the Palm, Magnolia, and Oak Trail courses.
If you’re looking for a real Disney workout, get your sweat on at the fitness center, tennis courts, or a yoga class before melting the stress and all those theme park steps away at the onsite Magnolia Spa. For more family-friendly thrills and chills, don’t miss the Shades of Green pools. The Mill Pond Pool even touts a 3-stories-tall waterslide. Kids will also love playing around in the arcade or on the playground as well as dressing up during a Princess or Pirate Makeover.
Shades of Green Tickets
Without a doubt, one of the biggest benefits of staying at Shades of Green is the Attraction Tickets Sales Office. If you’re staying at this Disney World military resort, chances are good that you’ll be exploring the Orlando area. The ticket counter at Shades of Green is your one-stop shop for tickets to many Central Florida attractions. Best of all, by buying Shades of Green military tickets instead of getting them at the gate, you’ll save up to 12% and pay zero tax.
Shades of Green Disney tickets are actual resort tickets, not ticket vouchers. So, keep in mind that you will need to make a theme park reservation once you’ve made your purchase. Shades of Green Universal tickets are first-come, first-enter. While you can buy your parks once you’ve arrived at the hotel, you can also place an order request online.
Complimentary Shades of Green Disney World Transportation
Similar to other resorts at Disney World, transportation is provided in and around the Central Florida resort. However, the Shades of Green bus schedule is decidedly less robust, with buses only running to the Transportation & Ticket Center and Animal Kingdom Theme Park. You will need to use the Disney bus system to go to the other theme parks, resorts, or areas like Disney Springs.
If desired, you can also walk across the street to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and the neighboring Transportation & Ticket Center if you’d rather not wait for the bus. Those that prefer to not take the free hotel transportation are also welcome to drive to the theme parks; although as parking isn’t free for guests staying at Shades of Green, you should expect to pay if you choose to drive.
Shades of Green Hotel FAQs
Want to know more about Shades of Green, Disney World’s military resort? Read on for answers to some commonly asked questions.
Is Shades of Green only for military members?
Yes, but… (More on the “but” in a bit.) You must fall under one of the eligible categories in order to be able to stay at Shades of Green and will be asked to show a valid ID when checking in to confirm eligibility. These include:
Current members of the armed forces and their families
Other members of the uniformed services
Retired military members and their families
Service members that have separated from the military and their families
Former/surviving spouses of military members and their families
Those under the Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018
Other supporters (employees, foreign military personnel) of the Department of Defense
U.S. DoD civilians and family members
Families eligible for the Survivors’ Family Program
Here’s where that “but” comes into place. If you fall into one of the eligible categories above, you are also able to sponsor up to three additional rooms. So, should you know someone who works for the military and happens to be going on a vacation to Disney World, you could get them to sponsor your room. Just keep in mind that you would be there as their guest and they would need to accompany you at check-in or when buying attraction tickets. Click here for the most up-to-date information on who can make Shades of Green reservations.
Does Shades of Green get Extra Magic Hours/Early Theme Park Entry?
Yes! While we are sad that Extra Magic Hours won’t be returning, we are happy to share that Shades of Green resort guests will have access to Early Theme Park Entry when it debuts on October 1, 2021. This covetable perk will allow guests staying at applicable Disney World resorts to enter any of the theme parks 30 minutes prior to non-resort guests on any given day.
Can Disney travel agents book Shades of Green?
Nope! As Shades of Green is operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, not Disney, travel agents are unable to book guestrooms. So, if you’re interested in making Shades of Green reservations, you can either use their website or contact their reservations office by calling (888) 593-2242.
Well, that concludes our tour around the Shades of Green military resort at Walt Disney World. As long as you fit the qualifications, this comfortable, spacious hotel is a serene retreat with a location and room rates that are hard to beat.
So, if you’re a former or current service member – or you know someone who is – and you’re looking for a vacation the whole family can enjoy, we highly recommend you give Shades of Green a try. While you’re there, make the most of your time at Walt Disney World with our 1-day plans for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
Have you ever stayed at Shades of Green? What do you love about the resort? Would you stay there again? Let us know in the comments!