Planning a Disney World vacation is a big undertaking!
One of the biggest decisions price wise that you’ll have to make during your Walt Disney World vacation planning will be where to stay.
(Updated March 2020)
There are many factors which will influence your decision. Factors such as: ambience, being immersed in the Disney experience 24/7, convenience/Disney benefits, transportation, and most of all, price.
This post will mostly focus on price, but I’ll explain some of these other factors as we go along as some of them do affect your final price.
Price Comparison Charts
I’ve put together these price comparison charts to give you a good visual representation of how Shades of Green’s rates compare to Disney’s Moderate and Value Resorts.
The charts are based upon Shades of Green’s standard rates. While Shades of Green does offer discounted rates and packages at various times of the year, I have not taken these into account because once released, Shades of Green constantly changes the dates, offerings, and prices of their discounts and cancels them, all with no notice!
The charts below are based upon:
- Disney’s 2020 Armed Forces Salute discounted rates*. The Salute discounts are:
- Disney Value Resorts – Up to 30% Off Rack Rates
- Disney Moderate Resorts – Up to 35% Off Rack Rates
- Shades of Green’s FY 2020 and FY 2021 rates
- Standard Rooms at both Resorts
*Note, starting in 2018 the Disney Armed Forces Salute room discount rates are not a set 30 or 35 percent off. They are “up to” the 30 or 35 percent off. This means that depending on your dates you might receive a lower discount amount; the only way to know what your price will be is to call (or have your Travel Agent do it for you).
The chart shows how much Disney’s prices fluctuate during the week and emphasizes that Monday through Wednesday night stays are preferred for the best savings at Walt Disney World’s Resorts.
While Shades of Green’s standard prices are the same every day of the year, Disney’s pricing year is divided into many different price seasons.
You will see that the Disney prices go way up during Spring Break when the Armed Forces Salute is not available and on 19 December when the 2020 Armed Forces Salute ends.
Disney rates shown are plus tax with the full Disney Armed Forces Salute room discount applied. there is no tax on Shades of Green’s rates.
Shades of Green’s rates go up on 1 October with the next fiscal year’s rates.
Daily Rate Chart
This chart illustrates how Disney’s rates fluctuate not only by season, but by day as well. Friday and Saturday nights are almost always the most expensive and Thursday and Sunday are at an intermediate rate much of the year. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and sometimes Thursday and Sunday are the cheapest.
This chart is most applicable to shorter stays. You can see the spikes in Disney prices for the higher priced days of the week and high plateaus when the Salute discounts are not available.
Shades of Green’s Category 1 – Shades of Green is cheaper than the Disney values except mid-week during about a third of the year. For the Moderates Shades is always cheaper.
Shades of Green’s Category 2 – Shades of Green is cheaper than the Values only on weekends and when Salute discounts are not available. For the Moderates Cat 2 is cheaper except mid-week in January and February.
Shades of Green’s Category 3 – Disney Values are almost always cheaper. Disney Moderates are more expensive except mid-week in January and February.
Weekly Rate Chart
On this chart I show the average room price for a Sunday to Saturday stay. This is how Disney will show your room price, averaged for your stay length. This smooths out the spikes and averages the weekly highs and lows.
This chart is more applicable for those with longer stays at Disney World.
Disney’s Moderates are more expensive than all Shades categories except Category 3 in January and February. Category 2 is just slightly less in February.
Disney’s Values are cheaper than Categories 2 and 3 about half of the year and only occasionally for Category 1.
Other Factors That Affect Price and Scheduling
For those flying to their Disney World Vacation, Disney provides free transportation via their Magical Express from Orlando International Airport to your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel.
Those staying at Shades of Green must obtain their own transportation at their own cost.
For those driving to their Disney World Vacation, Parking is not free!
Walt Disney World Resorts charge a nightly parking fee. This fee is based upon the resort category:
- Value Resorts $15 per night
- Moderate Resorts $20 per night
- Deluxe and Disney Vacation Club Resorts $25 per night
- The Fort Wilderness campground is still free
- Valet parking at all resorts that offer it is $33 per night
Those staying at Shades of Green will pay $11 per night to park their car at Shades of Green and $16 for valet parking.
Theme Park Parking
Theme park Parking is free for Walt Disney World Resort Guests.
Those staying at Shades of Green will pay $25 per day to park at Disney World’s parks. You can take both Shades’ and or Disney’s free transportation service instead of driving to the parks though.
You’ll need to factor these extra costs into your overall Shades of Green cost estimate if applicable.
Disney Amenities – Scheduling
Advance FastPass Plus Reservations – Both Walt Disney World Resorts and Shades of Green Guests may make advance FastPass Plus reservations 60 days prior to check in.
Extra Magic Hours – Both WDW Resorts and Shades are eligible.
Package delivery to your resort from the theme parks and Downtown Disney – Both WDW Resorts and Shades are eligible.
Charge to your room privileges – Disney resort guests at all Disney locations, Shades of Green guests, only at Shades of Green.
Magic Bands – Shades Guests will not receive free magic Bands (only Disney Resort guests do). You may buy your own from the Disney Store or a WDW giftshop after arrival. Shades guests may then use their bands for their theme park admission, FastPass Plus returns, and PhotoPass but not for room key or room charges.
The Resorts quoted are standard view rooms (the cheapest) at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Pop Century Resort.
Price quotes for Disney resorts were obtained from the disneyworld.com website, the applicable maximum Disney Armed Forces Salute discount was subtracted, and then hotel taxes added back in (12.5%.
The Moderates are fairly similar in price, with about $10-30 a night variance. The Fort Wilderness Cabins which also fall under the Moderate Discounts are quite a bit more.
The Value Resorts have three different price levels, the All Stars are the cheapest, followed by Pop Century, and then Art of Animation Suites. The Art of Animation Little Mermaid rooms are not eligible for the Disney Armed Forces Salute room discounts.
Wrapping It Up
These charts are not meant to be used to figure your actual costs, rather as a visual guide to how Disney World’s fluctuating resort prices relate to Shades of Green’s constant rates at different times of the year.
They also just show the cost for the room, no extra charges.
You will need to do a cost comparison including all charges for your dates to see what will be cheaper for you.
See our posts on how the 3 Disney Resort categories compare to Shades of Green in all respects:
- Shades of Green – Disney Value Resort Comparison
- Shades of Green – Disney Moderate Resort Comparison
- Shades of Green – Disney Deluxe Resort Comparison
You can see what other military families think about Shades of Green in our Shades of Green Survey Results.
Call Disney or my recommend travel agent, Ears of Experience for a Disney Resort quote or for more information.
Kudos to my friend Dave from yourfirstvisit.net for the inspiration for these charts. His numerous, fantastic and very through ones cover many aspects of non-military discounted prices and better yet, both crowds and when to go to Disney World.
If you are planning a Disney World Vacation, when will it be? Let us know in the comments section below!
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? Get Our Email Newsletter See Our Great Disney Discount and Planning Info:
- Disney Veteran & Military Discount Eligibility Guide
- The Military Family’s Walt Disney World Comprehensive Vacation Planning and Preparation Guide
- Military Disney Tips Disney Packing Checklist
- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
- Resorts/Hotel Overview Page
- Dining Overview Page
- Transportation Overview Page
- Technology Overview Page
- Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort
Military Disney Tips' Recommended Disney Travel Agent
Ears of Experience Disney Only Travel Agency. Military family owned and operated! They know all the ins and outs of Disney military discounts!