Shades of Green® on Walt Disney World® Resort is an Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) located in Central Florida. We get a lot of questions about what the difference is between this resort and staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort.
Shades of Green is on the grounds of Walt Disney World® but it is annexed as a military resort. Therefore, there are many features you get at a Walt Disney World® Resort you do not get when staying at Shades of Green. This can make the value of this resort a little confusing. I have detailed below some of the differences.
1.Complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport and resort.
All Disney property resorts have the Magical Express option which is complimentary shuttle service. Shades of Green® does not have this feature. This is about a $150 savings at a Disney resort based off a family of 4.
Disney resorts do not charge their guests for parking at the resort and they receive complimentary parking at the parks.
Shades of Green charges $7 a day to park at the resort for guests staying there and their guests are required to pay the parking lot fee if the guest drives to the parks. This is currently $20 a day.
3.Transportation to the parks
Disney resorts have continuous buses to all resorts and Disney Springs. Many resorts have boats, as well and three have the monorail as an option. The resort buses to Magic Kingdom pull right up in front by the gate whereas Shades of Green requires you going to the Ticket and transportation center and then taking the monorail.
The Shades of Green buses now pull up to the other three theme parks at the furthest bus stop and require more walking to the Gates as well.
4.Disney Dining plan
Many are confused by the dining plan. Shades of Green® will offer a dining plan from time to time as an option but it is only for their three restaurants whereas the Disney Dining Plan is for over 100 dining venues in the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs and includes such things as character meals! Not only can this save you money but it helps with a budget as it is pre-paid.
5.Themed resorts with Disney amenities
Disney does a great job of theming from Animals with giraffes and zebras out back to Polynesian where you can experience such things as fire dancers and hoola lessons. If your kids enjoy the movies, you can stay at Art of Animation and feel like you are right in the middle of the set of Cars.
6.Activities at the resorts
Disney resorts feel more like a resort with pool activities and movies under the stars, safaris, horse and buggy rides, and fishing just to name a few. With Disney cast members in all roles at the resorts, it also is a carry over to the Award-winning service people experience in the parks.
7.Truly getting away
Military life can be stressful. The Disney resort and discounts offered by Walt Disney World® were created to offer military personnel and their families a little downtime to enjoy each other. However, many of our clients have told us that they enjoy staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort over Shades of green® resort as they truly get away from work. There is typically not “shop talk” at the pool or on the bus when you are staying at a Walt Disney World® resort whereas this can be a very viable conversation at Shades of Green®. Some people like that comradery, others are truly wanting to get away completely.
MagicBands are the customizable bands that make a vacation easier than ever. They are used to enter the parks, open the doors at resorts, tap for fast pass access, redemption of dining credits, and to make purchases in the parks. They come in a variety of colors and you can customize them to any name you want that will fit in the character field. These have become an exciting part of the vacation for many. These are complimentary with any stay at a Walt Disney World® Resort. The bands can be purchased in the parks for off-property resort guests to use as ticket and fast pass access. The current cost is $12.99 per band.
9.Fast pass reservations
As a Walt Disney World® Resort guest you can pre-select three fast passes per day ahead of time, 60 days from your travel date for your entire vacation stay. You will be able to select a time for highly popular attractions so you know the wait for these attractions will be less for you on your vacation. Such attractions as Seven Dwarfs Mine ride, Frozen Ever After or Soarin can have over 2 hour wait times. With this feature, you have the opportunity to bypass those long lines and enjoy more time on attractions. Shades of Green® Resort guests have this option 30 days out along with the general public. Some of these very popular rides will not have fast passes available by this time. Please note, each attraction is subject to availability of fast passes at the time of selection.
Dining is a big part of the Disney experience to many guests. Dining reservations open up 180 days before the travel date. Walt Disney Resort® guests are allowed to book all their dining at one time for their stay. Shades of Green® Resort guests are like other off-property guests and they must do their dining reservations each day at 180 days. If you are checking in 180 days from today, you would be able to do the dining for that day only and then need to go in the next day and it do it for that day. This not is not only time consuming but you may also run into availability issues as things will be filled already.
Shades of Green® Resort can be a great value price-wise but it is important to look at the features offered at a Walt Disney World® Resort hotel to make sure it is truly a value in every aspect. With the discounts military personnel get at the Walt Disney World® Resort and the discounted tickets that can be packaged with it, it is quite a value itself and you get all the features listed above. Contact your Ears of Experience agent today for more information.