Walt Disney World Shades of Green Resort Information for Military
Active duty and retired military, as well as honorably discharged veterans* can stay at the Shades of Green (SOG) resort at Walt Disney World. Though not operated by Disney, this is a beautiful deluxe resort on Disney property, right across the street from Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Rooms are among the most spacious on property, easily sleeping 5 people, and rates (which vary based on your military salary) are very low compared with Disney’s Deluxe resorts. SOG was completely renovated and expanded in 2005.
A stay at Shades of Green provides you with access to Extra Magic Hours. Shades of Green guests do not get free parking at the theme parks, but SOG has its own separate, very good on-site bus transportation that goes to all four theme parks and the Ticket and Transportation Center, where you can connect to the Disney buses or monorails. You can also walk to Disney’s Polynesian Resort in about 15 minutes and take the monorail from there.
Shades of Green guests are treated the same as offsite guests for FastPass+. Learn more about FastPass+, including the most current policies and tips for getting the most out of FastPass+ when staying at a non-Disney hotel.
Regular Disney vacation packages cannot be purchased in association with a SOG stay, but since you qualify for military prices on tickets, just buy your discounted tickets separately. Shades of Green offers its own “packages” that include room, tickets and meals, but the meals must be eaten at SOG restaurants during specified hours, which can be very inconvenient.
*Here’s who qualifies to stay at Shades of Green: active duty personnel including National Guard and reservists; Department of Defense civilian employees; 100% disabled veterans; retired military (20 years or more). In addition, qualified personnel can “sponsor” friends and relatives, since they can book up to three rooms per ID. Also, honorably discharged veterans who served less than 20 years qualify to stay in the months of January and September — see below.
MouseSavers.com reader Linda L of Niceville, FL offers this review of her March 2006 stay at Shades of Green:
The refurbishment is incredible. The resort has a new lobby area and hotel rooms plus a parking garage. Our room was terrific, [located] in the new 5 story section with granite double sinks separate from the shower and toilet area, comfy beds, and attractive room decor. The doors are equipped with doorbell feature and a do not disturb/housekeeping button that lets the folks in the hallway know when they can make up the room. Plenty of space for 5 people in the standard room with 2 Queen beds and a foldover sofabed.
Mangino’s, the SOG Italian restaurant, was delicious, with nothing over $25 on the menu and that was for the lobster and mussel pasta…. The atmosphere was pleasant, with warm Tuscan village colors and decor. The [breakfast] buffet … featured a good selection of breakfast foods, including scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, cereals, fruit, yogurt and Belgian waffles fresh made while you wait. We found the prices to be very affordable ($7.99 for adults, $3.99 for kids). It was nice to have a meal at Disney and not feel like we had to mortgage the house. We did not get to try the other 2 or 3 restaurants in the hotel.
The lobby area has a rustic feel with the largest iron chandeliers I have ever seen. There was a cozy fire in the fireplace, adding even more to the whole experience. [Other amenities include a] nice fitness center, 2 pools, 3 golf courses and remote control boats for the kids. There is also an AAFES store in the SOG for affordable Disney souvenirs, swimwear, batteries, film and food and drink items. The SOG is perfect for the military family to stay in Disney at reasonable rates.
MouseSavers.com reader Gael M has this to add, based on repeated stays at Shades of Green:
It’s worth noting that the rooms all have refrigerators, and there is bedding for 5. The rooms are comparable in size and comforts to deluxe Disney resorts, and I’ve stayed at the Contemporary and Dolphin. There are 2 types of folding beds/couches. One is the traditional kind with thin mattress. The other is a couch that the back flips onto the seat to expose a nice, thick, twin mattress.
There is a guest services office to make your dining and recreation reservations. There is also an ice cream parlor with good ice cream and the best prices on Disney property.
For more info on Shades of Green, including room rates and specials, visit the official SOG website or call SOG at (888) 593-2242. The Reservations Department is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Shades of Green offers a “Salute to Our Veterans” Program, which is designed to give ALL military veterans who served less than 20 years and received an honorable discharge (verified by current DD-214), the opportunity to vacation at Shades of Green during the months of January and September only. (If you are a 100% disabled veteran, see above.) The veterans rate is similar to the rate they charge retired military. Thanks to Megan F for info.
SOG Overflow Rates
If the Shades of Green rooms are full, you can book excellent “overflow” rates at selected Disney resorts. “Overflow” rates are standardized and not tied to rank. Discounts can be up to 40% off rack rates. For more info on SOG “overflow” rates call SOG at (888) 593-2242.