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    Shades of Green at Walt Disney World

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Shades of Green at Walt Disney World Information: Rooms, Pools, Dining, and More

Shades of Green at Walt Disney World Overview

Originally owned by Disney, Shades of Green was called The Golf Resort when it opened in 1973 and renamed The Disney Inn in 1986. In 1994 Disney reached an agreement with the U.S. Army Family and

Shades of Green Hotel map

Shades of Green is open to active and retired US servicemembers (including reservists) and their families, among other qualifying groups. Civilians may accompany eligible military personnel as their guests. (For details, see -green/eligi bility.) If you’re planning a holiday visit or a long weekend here, we recommend booking as early as possible—up to seven months in advance. Guests at Shades of Green are eligible for Disney’s Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours.

Shades of Green consists of one three-story and one five-story building nestled among three golf courses that are open to Disney guests. At 455 square feet each, the 586 guest rooms at Shades of Green are larger than those at the Grand Floridian.

On its Frequently Asked Questions page, the website states that “Shades of Green would be comparable to the Disney Deluxe Resorts.” While the rooms are certainly large, nicely appointed, and immaculately maintained, not to mention a great value for those who qualify to stay here, they’re indistinguishable from the rooms at any number of decent midpriced hotels. There’s no discernible theming or “wow” factor. The dining options are fine but not amazing. Service, on the other hand, is superb—definitely up to the Deluxe standard.

Standard rooms have two queen-size beds, a single sleeper sofa, a minifridge, a table and two chairs, and a TV. Junior suites sleep six with three queen beds, one in the living area. Family suites sleep eight with three queen sleeper sofas and a king bed; these suites also have two bathrooms. All rooms have a patio or balcony.

A military mom from Loganville, Georgia, wishes we loved Shades of Green as much as she does:

We loved our stay at Shades of Green. I know it’s only for military personnel, but I feel like you could say a little more about it. The rooms are huge. The pools are fantastic. Kids 4 and younger eat for less than $4, and the buffet is better than a typical chain—when I can feed my family of five for about $60, that’s pretty awesome. They have fun themed nights all week and occasional kids’ activities too.

Another mom, this one from Plainfield, Indiana, makes the case for exploring all of your lodging options:

While it’s true that SOG is often a good deal, military families should still do some comparison shopping. Room rates are tiered based on rank—the higher your rank, the higher the rate. Definitely check into military rates at Disney properties, and also check out the Armed Forces Vacation Club for condos near WDW [see for participating Orlando-area properties]. We rented a two-bedroom, twobath condo with a full kitchen and pool for seven nights, and it cost us less than two nights at a Disney hotel.

How Shades of Green Compares to Other Disney Resorts

Shades of Green isn't run by Disney, and its service is less sugarcoated than at Disney-run resorts. Shades of Green guests CANNOT park for free at theme parks. The resort offers its accommodations at rates based on a service member’s rank, as well as attraction tickets to the theme parks. For rates and other information, call (888) 593-2242 or see

Shades of Green's exterior.

Where To Check-In, Get Theme Park Tickets, and Make Dining Reservations

A security gate guards the entrance to Shades of Green's grounds. If you arrive by car, you'll need to provide photo ID at the gate; it's not necessary to provide your reservation number or paperwork. A dedicated parking lot across from the lobby serves as temporary parking for those who need it while checking in. Hotel guest parking (there's a garage) at Shades of Green costs $17 per night.

Check-in time at Shades of Green is 3:00 PM, and check-out time is 11:00 AM.

Look for signs pointing you to the Registration/Check-In area. You'll need to provide a government-issued photo ID and credit/debit card when you register.

Walt Disney World Shades of Green's Rooms

At 455 square feet each, the 586 guest rooms at Shades of Green are larger than those at the Grand Floridian. Decor is pleasant though thoroughly unremarkable—pretty much the same as at any midpriced hotel. Most rooms have two queen-size beds, a daybed, and a table and four chairs, as well as a television in an armoire. All rooms have a patio or balcony.

A standard Shades of Green room (images provided Mindy Goldman)

Each Shades of Green room is furnished with the following:

  • Two queen beds
  • Two Dressers with 3 medium-size drawers
  • Day bed
  • Nightstand digital alarm clock
  • Table with four chairs
  • WiFi wireless Internet access
  • Flat-panel TV
  • Mini fridge
  • Coffee Maker
  • Ironing board and iron
  • Hair dryer
  • Digital thermostat
  • In-room safe
  • Tiny bottle shampoo, and bar soap

The mini-fridge is a dorm-style unit that sits under a counter or desk. It's more like a beverage chiller than a refrigerator in that it'll keep drinks cool, but you're not going to freeze popsicles or make ice cubes in it.

Shades of Green's bathrooms aren't big, but they also aren't as small as the ones you'll find in Disney's moderate or value resort rooms. Luckily you won't feel claustrophobic in your room's bathroom. Water pressure in the shower is average - probably less than what you get at home, but still enough to get your hair clean. Eventually. A 1500-watt, wall-mounted hair dryer is provided, but it's not very powerful; bring your own if you've got lots of hair.

A standard Shades of Green bathroom

Walt Disney World Shades of Green Pools

Shades of Green has two pools. The Mill Pond Pool features a tiered waterslide, while the Magnolia Pool has a zero-entry feature as well as a splash-and-play area and hot tubs.

Left: Mil Pond Pool Right: Magnolia Pool.

There is also a smaller pool located on the east side of the resort. This pool is a basic concrete pools with minimal theming, but it does have plenty of lounge chairs and tables around the pool.

Shades of Green's pools range in depth from around 3 feet 6 inches/1.1m to 4 feet 9 inches/1.4m. Pool are open every day, including during winter. The pools are heated to 82°F/28°C throughout the year. We've swum in temperatures as cold as 40°F/4°C; the water was fine, but getting out was a shock. Shades of Green also has a hot tub located near Mil Pond Pool.

Pool hours are at least 10 AM to 10 PM. Both pools will have lifeguards during the pools' operating hours.

You may need to bring your towels from your room to use at the pool - Shades of Green sometimes stocks extra towels poolside, and sometimes they don't. Our advice is to send someone down to the pool to check the towel situation before you go. If you end up using your room towels at the pool, just call Housekeeping when you get back and request more.

Pool toys are permitted in Shades of Green's pools, including "pool noodles," and basic toys that would be appropriate for water use such as rubber duckies and bucket & shovel sets. Some of us will occasionally bring something like a whiffle ball for playing catch in the pool. As long as you’re not disturbing other guests, you’ll be fine. Also note that kids with pool toys become very popular with other kids in the pool who want to play too. If you’re traveling with an only child and want him to have some age cohort interaction during your vacation, a nice strategy is to bring some extra toys. Chances are he’ll make a buddy.

Playgrounds at Shades of Green

A small playground is also available at Shades of Green. The set has a small plastic slide and a couple of sections with a few steps for toddlers to go up and down. Safety seems to be Shades of Green's concern here - there are no swings, and the entire area is covered in a springy, poured rubber surface and sand.

Playground at Shades of Green

Dining at Shades of Green

Restaurants include Mangino’s, an Italian eatery; the Garden Gallery buffet; three quick-service options (Bistro to Go, Express Café, and Java Café); and Evergreen’s, a sports bar and grill. The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, comparable to a convenience store or hotel gift shop, sells Disney merchandise in addition to snacks, soft drinks, alcohol, tobacco, and over-the-counter medicines.

Transportation to and from Shades of Green

Transportation to all theme parks is by bus; a transfer is required to almost all destinations. Walking time to the bus-loading area from the most remote rooms is about 5 minutes. Readers including this Lancaster, Ohio, woman report that bus service is a sore spot:

Please, please, please stress to your readers how awful the transportation system is—there is no direct access to the Magic Kingdom or EPCOT, and the buses that go directly to the other parks run only once an hour. If you want to go back to your room midday, plan for an hour to an hour and a half of travel time there and then back to the park.

Driving Your Own Car Shades of Green is just off of I-4 in Lake Buena Vista. Take I-4 Exit 67 - Epcot/Downtown Disney. Exit onto World Drive. Take World Drive for about 2.1 miles and then turn left onto Floridian Way. Turn left onto Magnolia Palm Drive and Shades of Green will be on your left.

Shades of Green's GPS address and location are:

    Shades of Green at Walt Disney World
    1950 West Magnolia Palm Drive
    Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

    Latitude: 28.414979 North, Longitude: 81.590710 West

From Sanford International Airport It's about a 40-minute drive from Sanford to Shades of Green. If you're not renting a car, be aware that Sanford's airport offers fewer transportation options than Orlando's, and Sanford's options are generally much more expensive. A taxi from Sanford International Airport to Shades of Green will cost between $120 and $150, depending on traffic. Mears Transportation offers 3-passenger towncar service to Shades of Green for around $140 each way, plus tip; 5-passenger SUV service or 10-passenger van is around $190 each way. That means round-trip transportation will run you somewhere between $240 and $380, plus tip, between Sanford and Shades of Green. At those prices, it may be less expensive to rent a car and park it at the hotel.

Getting to the theme parks, water parks and Disney Springs. Shades of Green runs continuous shuttles from the resort to the Transportation and Ticket Center, where guests can transfer to their final destinations. Shades of Green's bus stops sit along the front wall of the lobby. From the Transportation and Ticket Center guests can take a Monorail or Ferry boat to Magic Kingdom and a Monorail to Epcot.

Getting to another hotel from Shades of Green If you've got dining plans at another Disney hotel that is on the Monorail loop (Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower), the cheapest option is to take the bus from Shades of Green to Transportation and Ticket Center, then ride a Monorail from there to your destination hotel. Do the reverse to get back to Shades of Green. While that's free, it can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours each way.

The fastest option, however, is almost always a taxi from Shades of Green to wherever you're going; it's generally not more than a $20, 15-minute cab ride to get to most Disney hotels, and often less. Taxis are available outside the lobby; if a taxi is not already sitting out front, the bell services desk also serves as a taxi stand, and they'll call one for you.

Recreation and Things to Do

Shades of Green's fitness center is located near Manglno's Bistro.

Magnolia Spa is Shades of Green's full-service spa. Massages, body therapies and facials are available. Spa treatments are available 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Walkers, joggers and runners can find a jogging trail at Shades of Green. A jogging path runs from Shades of Green to Disney's Polynesian Resort and Disney's Grand Floridian Resort.

Miscellaneous Shades of Green

Coin-operated washers and dryers are in laundry facilities located on the first floor in the Magnolia Rooms or Palm Rooms building. The machines take quarters, and a change machine is provided. A small selection of soap, fabric softener, and dryer sheets are also sold. A typical wash cycle takes 20 to 30 minutes, and a typical dry cycle takes 40 to 50.

If you lose something during your stay, contact Shades of Green's Lost and Found department by calling (407) 824-3400.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?
Hotel Definitely (+/- since last year)
Shades of Green at Walt Disney World 78% (-14%)
Average for WDW hotels 76% (+0%)
Average for off-site hotels 57% (+0%)

Would you stay at this hotel again?
Hotel Definitely (+/- since last year)
Shades of Green at Walt Disney World 78% (-22%)
Average for WDW hotels 92% (+2%)
Average for off-site hotels 79% (-7%)

Hotel Photos

Good (and Not-So-Good) Rooms at Shades of Green at Walt Disney World

You don’t have to worry much about bad room views or locations at Shades of Green: Except for a small percentage that overlook the entrance road and parking lot, most offer views of the golf courses that surround the hotel or views of the swimming area. Note, however, that a few rooms are located a good ways from the elevators. When you reserve, make your preference known.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths Weaknesses
Large guest rooms No theming to speak of
Discount tickets for military personnel with ID Room decor is nondescript
Quiet setting Limited on-site dining
Views of golf course from guest rooms Limited bus service
Convenient self-parking Daily parking fee
Swimming complex, fitness center No free parking at theme parks
Walking distance to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT monorail