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.
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.
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’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’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 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 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 Overall Dining Experience – 3.80
Express Café Value – 3.60
Express Café Food Quality – 4.13
Java Café Overall Dining Experience – 4.26
Java Café Value – 4.00
Java Café Food Quality – 4.27
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 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 Attraction Ticket Sales Office
- Shades of Green’s Discounted Ticket Types
- Shades of Green Ticket Prices
- Pre-Purchase Your Theme Park Tickets
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.
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.
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
Used the special package. Would have preferred a massage and pedicure package.
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’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’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
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!
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:
- 10 Best Things About Shades of Green
- How Do Disney World Resorts Compare To Shades of Green In Price?
- Shades of Green – Disney Value Resort Comparison
- Shades of Green – Disney Moderate Resort Comparison
- Shades of Green – Disney Deluxe Resort Comparison
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:
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
- Shades of Green
- Military Members Review and Rate Shades of Green
- Shades of Green Rooms
- Shades of Green Room Rates
- Disney Tickets at Shades of Green
- Links to Everything Shades of Green
- Shades of Green Blog Tour
- Magic Bands for Shades of Green Guests
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.
Hi there, I’m so excited to be able to finally announce that the 2018 version of The Essential Guide to Shades of Green has been released.
This book is ideal for those planning a Shades of Green vacation who have either been to Walt Disney World before, or think they have enough info on WDW from other sources, but are still looking for more info on WDW’s military resort.
Planning a Disney World Vacation is challenging to say the least. With all you have to think about, you don’t want to have to worry that your accommodations won’t be what you expect. The Essential Guide to Shades of Green 2018 will show you everything you need to know! The first time my family stayed at Shades of Green, we had no idea what to expect. What the rooms, restaurants, or amenities would be like.
I put together the Essential Guide to Shades of Green so that your will know prior to going, just what the resort is like.
The Essential Guide to Shades of Green 2018
It is all spruced up and ready for 2018.
The Essential Guide to Shades of Green organizes all of the information that you’ll need into logically arranged sections.
- Shades of Green Resort Overview
- Room Rates (for FY18 & 19)
- All about Shades of Green
- Military Tickets Sales
- AAFES Store
- The History of Shades of Green
Just like last year’s edition, The Essential Guide to Shades of Green 2018 is available in Digital PDF format, Amazon Kindle, and Print Versions.
For More Info See: shadesofgreenguide.com
If you think you’ll need the full information: Shades of Green, All the available Military Discounts, and all about Walt Disney World, then perhaps the much more comprehensive Walt Disney World for Military Families is for you! [Read more…]
I recently stayed in one of the newly remodeled Standard Guest Rooms in Shades of Green’s Palm Wing.
I know lots of people are curious about the renovated rooms, so I though I’d give you a look.
Fresh New Look
The renovation included all items in the main area of the guest rooms. Nothing was done in the vanity/bath areas.
As I stepped into the room it had a brand new room smell, clean and a little like new carpet.
I immediately noticed the vinyl simulated wood flooring in the entryway, which tied in nicely with the new brown carpet.
Gone were the four sconces which flanked the beds, to be replaced with a new table lamp. All the lighting has been redone, with the addition of a new ceiling lamp over the small table, another table lamp, and a new standing lamp.
Many readers ask me about the status of Walt Disney World’s Magic Bands and FastPass Plus at the Shades of Green Resort.
- Does Shades of Green provide Magic Bands for free?
- How can I get a Magic Band?
- Can I link my Shades of Green reservation to my My Disney Experience account?
- Can I use a Magic Band when I stay at Shades of Green?
- Will a Magic Band Open my Shades of Green room?
- Can I use my Magic Band for FastPass Plus when I stay at Shades of Green?
- Can I use my Magic Band for Charging when I stay at Shades of Green?
- How many days prior to my Shades of Green vacation can I make my FastPass Plus reservations?
This post will answer all of those questions and more!
What Are Magic Bands?
Disney World’s Magic Bands are just one part of WDW’s My Magic Plus program. Granted they are the most visible as the device which guests use for many of their needs while on a Walt Disney World vacation, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes as well.
A Magic Band is a plastic and rubber bracelet, which come in several customizable colors with a Mickey Mouse icon where the face would be if it were a watch. There are also many different custom designs. There is a small RFID transmitter installed in the band, which interacts with various Disney systems on property. They are provided for free, by Disney to all Disney Resort guests.
Magic Bands can:
- Be used as your Disney Resort Room Key
- Be used as your park ticket
- Be used for your FastPass Plus return time redemption
- Be used to charge items to your Disney Resort room
- Act as your Disney Resort Access (Parking, Pools, Club Level, etc.)
- Be used as your PhotoPass/Memory Maker Token
Shades of Green is the Armed Forces Recreation Center located right on Walt Disney property.
It is a fantastic, first class resort located right in the middle of all the the magic.
Walt Disney World offers military discounted rooms with the Disney Armed Forces Salute. But the Disney Armed Forces Salute room discount is not a guaranteed always available across the board offer. A limited number of rooms are discounted based upon the availability at each individual resort on that date.
The more rooms that are booked the fewer military discounted rooms are offered, until finally none are.
If you missed out on making a Disney resort reservation for your dates using the military discount, Shades of Green would be a great alternative for you!
The Shades of Green Resort was originally owned and operated by the Walt Disney World Company under various names. Since 1994 it has been operated as an Armed Forces Recreation Center, open only to a very special clientele.
Shades is a DoD facility and as such has strict ID requirements.
Shades of Green is dedicated to serving the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services community, their families, other eligible Department of Defense employees, and those they sponsor.
The Shades of Green Resort is a wonderfully spacious hotel. Remodeled and expanded in 2004 it has 586 of the largest standard resort rooms on Walt Disney World property, plus eleven family suites. [Read more…]