Military Members Review and Rate Shades of Green

Military members who have never stayed at Shades of Green before often wonder what the military only resort at Walt Disney World is really like.

The Shades of Green Resort is the Armed Forces Recreation Center Resort located right on Walt Disney World property. Here you will find very affordable military room rates for your Disney vacation.

Shades of Green Review - Review

Here at MDT we ask those returning from their WDW vacation to take our Post Vacation Surveys. In this post we will reveal the results of our ongoing Shades of Green survey.

Readers are asked to rate Shades of Green on a 1 to 5 scale in many areas. As usual 5 is the best score. In each area we also offer the ability to leave comments.

Questions are asked about the overall stay, rooms, pools, dining, transportation, and other services and amenities.

We hope this post aids you in your decision making process!

We’ll keep the post updated as results come in!

Ok, let’s get on to the good stuff.

The Results

Again ratings are on a 1 to 5 system, 5 of course being best. We’ll share how all aspects of Shades of Green stack up and share some of the comments we’ve received through the survey.

If you haven’t taken the Shades of Green Post Vacation Survey, please do so.

Shades of Green Review - Rooms

Shades of Green’s Rooms

Overall Room Satisfaction – 4.88

Cleanliness of Room – 4.69

Room Size and Layout – 5.00

Quietness of Room – 4.46

Comfort of Beds and Pillows – 4.85


Room were wonderful. Big and spacious. Great having the separate sink area from toilet/shower area. Balcony and view were top notch! Plenty of usable furniture. Safe was good to have as I brought extra cash!

After staying at other WDW resorts, Shades is our hands-down favorite. The room size is great for our family of 5, and the trundle bed fits everyone in our family more than other trundles at WDW (i.e. Caribbean Beach).

We loved our location by the pool!! Our cleaning lady was super sweet too, I wish I remembered her name room 236

Constantly heard adults and children yelling in the hallway. Several nights children playing in the halls, running and yelling.

Loud kids and teens running the hallways, esp late at night, but you get used to it (they have had a long day at the parks! 🙂 ), We enjoy staying at SOG because of how nice the rooms are.

Need a pull out couch bed for a full size bed

Decor is getting dated. Furniture is chipped and bath tub needs retiling and updating.

7 SOG visits in 7 yrs! The only Disney Hotel that competes with the SOG is the Yacht and Beach Club at 3 times the price.

Sog is the only place we stay in Orlando even if we don’t do the Disney parks. It’s a beautiful resort and great value. Palm rooms are beautifully redone.

Note:  The Magnolia Wing is undergoing Renovation in 2018 in phases, the Palm Wing was fully renovated in 2015.


Shades of Green Review - Pools

Shades of Green’s Pools

Size and Layout of the Mill Pond (Mickey) Pool Area – 4.79

Crowd Level of the Mill Pond Pool Area – 4.79

Cleanliness of the Mill Pond Pool Area – 4.92

Size and Layout of the Magnolia Pool Area – 4.92

Crowd Level of the Magnolia Pool Area – 4.54

Cleanliness of the Magnolia Pool Area – 4.70


Very surprised there was a lifeguard at the Magnolia Pool. Really enjoyed the hot tub and temp of the pool. Great having towels there.

We tend to use the pools at “off times,” so do not experience crowding. We love grabbing a pizza at Evergreens and snacking by the Mickey Pool.

Wish they had extended late hours after parks closed for adults

Great life guards – always friendly and knowledgeable.. Need to reign-in the older kids throwing balls as hard as possible at polo nets.

Loved the pool and splash pad. Noise was NOT a problem as I have heard some people concerned about.

Loved the pool. Wish we could bring towels back to the room.

Love the pools. It would be nice to be able to use the pools later at your own risk.


Shades of Green Review - Dining

Shades of Green Dining

Overall Dining Experience at Shades of Green – 4.00


Manginos Overall Dining Experience – 4.50

Manginos Value – 4.00

Manginos Food Quality – 3.91

Special Dining Events  (i.e. Steak and Seafood Mondays, Prime Rib Night, New England Clambake)

Special Dining Events Overall Dining Experience – 4.00

Special Dining Events Value – 4.00

Special Dining Events Food Quality – 3.33

Garden Gallery

Garden Gallery Overall Dining Experience – 4.31

Garden Gallery Value – 4.50

Garden Gallery Food Quality – 4.14


Evergreens Sports Bar Overall Dining Experience – 4.27

Evergreens Sports Bar Value – 3.93

Evergreens Sports Bar Food Quality – 4.15

Express Café 

Express Café Overall Dining Experience – 3.80

Express Café Value – 3.60

Express Café Food Quality – 4.13

Java Café

Java Café Overall Dining Experience – 4.26

Java Café Value – 4.00

Java Café Food Quality – 4.27

Dining Comments:

Breakfast was good, only ate there once though. Java Cafe coffee was quick, and nice to have in the lobby.

Shrimp was over cooked at Magnolias and more syrup choices would have been nicer and the Java Cafe

Garden Gallery overwhelmed by shear numbers, but always do a great job.

Overall pretty good

We have stayed at SOG 7 times now and did not enjoy Manginos twice, so have not returned (cold food, slow service). Have done Gallery once, Our favorite is Evergreens, it’s light, simple and relaxing. Miss the old crew at Express, they were fun to talk to, but did enjoy the new update and service was good.

Time before last visit we used the sunrise breakfast/room pkg & loved it. Food was good & nice value. This time we just wanted to grab & go from the Starbucks & downstairs service. Both ok.

The to go ordering was a mess. I didn’t like how we could only order certain things off of the menu. For example, we loved the mozzarella sticks from Mangino’s but we could not order them to go?!?

The Java Cafe in the lobby is nice to have there but needs to be open later. And the price of the items need to be lower. Coffee was too expensive as well as the ice cream. Maybe you need to consider taking the Star$$$bucks, out and getting someone else to run it. The employees were very nice.

Staff are great. Food quality has gobe down over the last 7 years.


Shades of Green Review - Ticket Office

Shades of Green Ticket Office

Overall Experience – 4.79


Great service. Nice people! Always answered my questions within 24 hours.

Like all of Disney, we plan to go at off times. They have always been very helpful and efficient!

Pre-order and emailing ticket scans are great. (except they lost my hard-ticket and took almost 30 min to re-issue and trf all my fast passes. Ist time ever having them make a mistake.

We did our tickets online, and used the form to get our passes in advance to take advantage of MDE and magic bands. This is a GREAT service.. I highly recommend it, and promote the ticket service to military friends not staying at SOG (unless they get a better deal through Disney Promotions).

We were NOT told when we purchased the 4 ticket that we bought they need to be used by December 17. Therefore ewe lost 2 days on 2 of our tickets and lost 1 day on 2 tickets. We should have been told there was an expiration date for the tickets., because we purchased them so close to the date of expiration. We lost $ on them.


Shades of Green Review - Transportation

Shades of Green’s Bus System

Overall Satisfaction – 4.00

Convenience – 3.81


We loved all the bus drivers, all friendly and funny. They should run more often after parks close to make the busses less crowded

I think they should run the buses more frequently. Also, some of the bus stops were way away from main buses. Bus drivers were always nice. Also…needed more buses at park closing.

Depending on your time of arrival to the bus location, if you timed it right, there is minimal wait.

Buses were very prompt.

They need more pick up and drop off times.

Love the system with the schedule.


Shades of Green Review - AAFES Store


Overall Experience – 4.58

Prices – 4.25

Item Selection – 4.00


Great selection on Disney items, and nice selection of food/non grocery items

Very nice remodel since last visit. It was usually closed when we left for the day and when we got back, but one morning we had a few moments.

A nice satellite store which carries supplies tailored to visiting the parks (esp water) for adults and families. Good prices.

Did not sell swim diapers, which are required for the pool. They kept telling me to come back yet never got them.

Nice & convenient. A good overall selection of items

I thought the merchandise was a little pricey

The prices are a bit expensive. I had hoped they would be a bit cheaper.

Out of stock on diapers we needed.

Wish had few more items like case of water.

Could have more Disney souvenirs.


Magnolia Spa

Overall Experience – 4.14

Value – 4.33

Children’s Makeover Value – 5.00

Children’s Makeover Satisfaction – 5.00


Everyone was friendly and welcoming. The Massage therapist, I think her name was Kim…she seems cranky and annoyed that we were there. More like just doing her job for $$ not customer happiness

Tried to get a princess makeover but they didn’t have an early enough opening. Book that a ways in advance.

They need to remodel.

Made an appointment when arrived they couldn’t find the appointment or any appointment

Incredible value

Used the special package. Would have preferred a massage and pedicure package.


Shades of Green's Gym

Shades of Green’s Gym

Overall Gym Rating – 4.00


Very big resort, it could be bigger to accommodate everyone

Good selection of equipment, Always clean and accessible.


Shades of Green Review - Parking

Shades of Green’s Parking

Value – 3.13

Appropriateness of the $7 nightly fee – 1.22


The garage spaces are very small. I worry about my car getting dinged the entire time. Most people drive their big suv or van on vacation.


Shades of Green Review - Staff

Shades of Green’s Staff

Check In Process – 4.64

Check Out Process – 4.80

Accessibility, Friendliness, & Knowledge – 4.46


Maintenance/housekeeping/bus drivers./bellhops…..everyone was great. EXCEPT..When I would call, before we arrived, 50/50 on getting someone that wasn’t rushed, and/or nice. Same with front desk staff while there. Some were not very nice, others were great. PLUS..Would have someone tell me a “policy” then someone tell me the exact opposite later. There is a management/training issue with front desk/reservations.

Everyone was great! Loved our bellhop!!

Always courteous with knowledgeable answers about Disney and surrounding area.

Some were clueless, some said one thing, next person said the opposite

In all the years we have stayed at SOG, we have never had any issues with the front desk, check-in, housekeeping. They make for a great experience (for us). Why we keep returning. The front desk was very helpful in having our tickets ready in our arrival pkg, a major plus.

Not overly friendly or helpful

Everyone we came into contact with was very friendly & helpful

I had ordered a birthday cake (made by SOG) to be picked up at check-in. When I checked in, no one was able to locate it and I had to make several trips back to the desk/speak with a manager before it was found.

Not very helpful in the evening.

Pleasant helpful staff.

Staff is always, always, always great!

Wonderful freindky knowledgeable staff

Shades of Green Review - Atmosphere

Overall Experience

Overall Satisfaction with Shades of Green – 4.76

Would You Stay At Shades of Green Again – 100% Yes

How Likely Are You to Recommend Shades of Green to a Friend or Coworker – 4.91


Shades of Green is a WONDERFUL place to stay! Am extremely grateful for having it available!

We stay at SOG several times a year. The smell of the fireplace and waffle cones upon entering will be forever etched in our children’s memories! It feels like our secret place at Disney.

Have stayed here numerous times (9-10). A tremendous value. Hmm… $150 a night on Disney!! 700+ across the road. Maybe offer a shuttle over to the Polynesian. Later P/U at Universal.

Was impressed with the updated front entrance security (including inbound walking ID check). Our next trip we plan to do a night or 2 at a resort hotel but end our trip at SOG.

Would like to be able to use magic band and get our fast passes 60 days out. (Note FastPasses are now available 60-Days out)

It is a nice motel for the price, I would not do the dining package ever again, food was not great and same thing every day. Does not have a Disney feel.

The location is perfect! We didn’t mind the walk to the Poly to get the monorail. The bus system could be more organized, maybe having guest line up per destination. We had 2 motorized scooters so we always felt we had to rush to the bus once it arrived.

Regarding the parking, if there was a choice of where to park, I wouldn’t mind the fee. But since we had no choice but to park in the garage, I feel that the fee should be included in the room charge.

The transportation needs to be revamped. A ride from and back to the airport would be nice. Not all military families can afford a rental. Please consider at least a coffee pot and or hot water in the lobby for late night visitors from the park. There is no place to get a cup of coffee! All said we do appreciate Shades of Green resort, there are just amenities that should be added to accommodate guests. We did not eat in the hotel because mostly the staff was so cranky and quite frankly the food was EXPENSIVE! Try to get a simple cup of coffee in the evening the look at you like you have 4 heads! Mangos clearly didn’t want to sell you a cup of coffee and when it was closing time they wouldn’t even give you the time of day!

Shipping packages to the room was a nightmare. They do not pickup their mail on Saturdays! If you ship, do not uses USPS (as it is not delivered to the resort and will result in delays). The package we shipped didn’t get to us (because of schedule) until just before we left.

Everything about Shades we love. Dining awesome & great value. Friendly staff, rooms beautiful, big,clean . Can’t say enough about Shades. Recommend to anyone. We will never stay at a Disney resort over Shades.

Will definitely stay again. Have recommended & will continue recommending to others. We love Shades.

Just a little room updating is needed. Otherwise great stay!

MDT Thoughts

So there you have it, this is what your military brethren think of their stay at Shades of Green.

As with all surveys, you’ll find those who had a fantastic time and rave about it, and others on the other end of the scale.

Military Disney Tips feels that if you don’t mind the lack of Disney themeing, Shades of Green can be a great cost saving decision for your Disney vacation (depending on other discounts available and time of year).

Do your research and you’ll be able to make the best decision for your family’s individual needs and desires.

These other posts may help:

Now over to You

Have you stayed at Shades of Green? Please take our Shades of Green Survey and leave a comment below!

Take our other Surveys:

Walt Disney World Resort Survey

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween and Very Merry Christmas Parties Survey

Information on Shades of Green the Military Hotel on Disney World property

See all the current Shades of Green Discounts and Packages

A Special Note on Shades of Green Discounts: Something to be aware of is that Shades constantly changes the dates and discounts offered of their specials and packages.

Shades of Green Links

Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? See our:

Learn about the Disney Armed Forces Salute the best military discount that there is for Disney. For where to stay see our Resorts/Hotel Overview Page. Disney doesn’t discount dining for the military, but there are a few places on property that do, see the Dining Overview Page to learn where plus more dining info. You can also learn about Transportation Options. Be sure to check out our Technology Overview to learn about Magic Bands and My Disney Experience to see how they work with military tickets. Walt Disney World visitors might be interested in staying at Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort.

Steve Recommends

Do you want all of your Disney Planning information in one place, organized in a step-by-step logical manner with an emphasis on Military Discounts and offers? I've written 3 Guidebooks just for the Military Community:

Walt Disney World for Military Families - Available in Print, Kindle, and Digital PDF Download

The Essential Guide to Shades of Green - Available in Print, Kindle, and Digital PDF Download

Disneyland for Military Families - Available in Print, Kindle, and Digital PDF Download

Here are my recommendations for products and services I've reviewed that can improve your Disney planning. This is a short list since it only includes my top picks.

Ears of Experience - My recommended Travel Agent, Fee Free, Disney Only, Military Family Owned

Need a Little Extra Help Planning your Disney Vacation? Check Out Ears of Experience's Concierge Service

Military Disney Tips Negotiated Military Discounts

Orlando Shuttle Service - $15 off basic round trip pricing to ANY Orlando resort use MDT15

Amusement Park Rentals - 10% Military Discount on Strollers and Scooters Use 10MILITARY at checkout

Other Planning Resources

My Disney Experience - The Official Disney iPhone App (Free iTunes Download)

Buy Your Magic Bands at the Disney Store

Best Ever First Timers WDW Book The Easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit The premier website for first time visitors to Walt Disney World!

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World The Ultimate WDW Guide! - The website of the Unofficial Guide - Crowd Forecasts, Pre-made Touring Plan, plus lots of detailed info

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