Differences Between Shades of Green® Resort and a Walt Disney World® Resort



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.

2.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.

3.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.

4.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.


5.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.


6.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 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, the 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 $14.99 per band.


8.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.

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 The Mouse Experts agent today for more information.









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2 Responses to “Differences Between Shades of Green® Resort and a Walt Disney World® Resort”

  1. Amy Westerman says:

    JWR, thank you for your thoughts. I have stayed at both many times, including Shades of Green for my honeymoon and countless trips with my children. These are simply my thoughts on what sets them apart.

  2. Dana McIlwain says:

    Great comparison. Answered all the questions I had and made my decision a lot easier. Thank you

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