Allow me to preface this post by stating that our stay at Shades of Green was short, and we did not have the opportunity to enjoy all of the amenities the resort has to offer. This review is based on our experience with our resort room and SoG transportation during our stay in August 2018.
If you are unfamiliar with Shades of Green, it is a military exclusive resort located near Magic Kingdom. While it is on the Walt Disney World property, it is not owned or operated by Disney. It is a Department of Defense (DOD) facility, and entry to the property is much like that on a military base. Make sure you have your government issued ID with you as well as your SoG ID when going to and from the parks!
We had a two night stay in a standard room (5112) with two queen beds and a balcony. I’ve heard in the past that Shades of Green has some of the largest rooms on the Walt Disney World property, and I can certainly attest to that after our stay in August. We’ve stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, as well as the Grand Floridian and this was by far the largest room we’ve stayed in on property.
Before I get into my review, let me inform you that I’m that individual who immediately disinfects every surface in the room upon entering. Adrian and I caught a nasty bug on our first cross country move back in 2006. We suspect it was from our room in Wyoming. I’ll just say that whatever we caught was nasty enough that he no longer complains about my OCD when it comes to germs in public places. Even he will disinfect items in our resort rooms now.
Now that I’ve established that I’m a germaphobe, I will say that this room had the level of cleanliness that I have come to expect when staying at one of Disney’s deluxe resorts. I still don’t want to take a black light to the room, but everything appeared clean with the exception of the hard water stain in the bathtub. I never use the in-room coffee makers as I do not know how and if they are being cleaned, so I cannot tell you how well the one in our room worked. I prefer to pay for an overpriced Starbucks in the theme park rather than take my chances with the resort room coffee maker.
You’ll see in the room tour video that the bathroom has been partially updated. The vanity and sink hardware appear to have been installed within the last few years while the shower looks like it was tiled back in the 1990s.
We found the queen beds comfortable, and we slept quite well (might have just been exhaustion). We did not try the sleeper sofa, but there is one for those with large families. You can easily sleep 6 people in this room and still have room for a Pack ‘n Play.
For me, the highlight of the room was the balcony with a view. This was probably the nicest view I’ve had while staying in a standard room, and I wish we had enough time to sit and enjoy it. One of my favorite things to do while staying at Disney World is to sit out on the balcony with Lil’ Man. I have my cup of coffee while he enjoys a healthy snack.
If you are accustomed to Disney’s transportation then you will most likely find the transportation services at Shades of Green lacking. Adrian and I found ourselves cracking many jokes about “government efficiency” when it came to the busses. Be sure to check the bus schedule when planning your day as it may be faster for you to walk over to the Poly and use Disney’s transportation.
Remember, as guests of SoG, you have access to all of Disney’s transportation as well as Extra Magic Hours. Know that if you are heading over to Magic Kingdom, the SoG bus will only take you to the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). You’ll need to plan for extra travel time between waiting for the SoG bus, going through security at the TTC, and then waiting for another mode of transportation to get to the Magic Kingdom.
Also, adults must show their military/government issued ID AND resort ID before they are allowed to board the bus. We witnessed a family being refused entry by the bus driver because one of the adults in their party forgot the resort ID.
Would we Stay at SoG Again?
Shades of Green is an excellent alternative for our family when we do not have (or wish to use) our Disney Vacation Club points. It is near our home resort, the Poly, which gives us easy access to some of our favorite restaurants as well as Disney’s transportation. The room rate can’t be beat. We paid $155 a night (no taxes) and we had a weekend stay. Had I committed to booking our stay a few days earlier, we could have booked at $135 a night. When I inquired about cash reservations at various Disney deluxe resorts under both our DVC and military discounts, we were looking at paying around $300+ a night. The overall savings we receive at SoG is worth a few inconveniences when it comes to their transportation services.