We get a lot of questions about Walt Disney World’s Shades of Green Resort (SoG) so today I wanted to take a few moments to share those questions, and their answers in hopes of helping military travelers.
What is Shades of Green?
Shades of Green is a Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) operated by the U.S. Army in support of all branches of the U.S. military and is a part of MWR. SoG is a tax-free facility. SoG was originally “Disney’s Golf Resort”, which was renamed “The Disney Inn” in 1986 to help increase visitor numbers. In 1994 the military leased the hotel and in 1996 purchased it in full renaming it “Shades of Green”. Disney owns the land under the hotel still. SoG is located across from the Polynesian. SoG requires guests present DOD ID at the property’s entrance gate. Guests can only reserve three rooms at a time, and room rate is based on “military rank or civilian grade at the time of check-in. If you are a retired military member, your rate will be based on the rank achieved at the time of your retirement.”
Who qualifies to stay at Shades of Green?
SoG has a rather long list of exactly who is eligible to stay at their hotel on their website that also lists the ID required to enter the property and as well as be presented at check in, but the short version is this:
- Members on active duty, Reserve, and National Guard, Cadets and Midshipmen of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine Academies.
- Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps.
- Armed Forces Retirees and their Family Members
- Honorably discharged veterans with 100 percent Service-connected disability.
- Not yet remarried Retiree and Widow spouses.
- Military personnel of foreign nations and their family members when assigned or attached to a U.S. military unit or installation or on U.S. Travel Orders.
- U.S. employees of firms under contract to Department of Defense working in the Pacific Region outside the U.S. on Department of Defense Government orders.
Can non retiree veterans stay at Shades of Green?
SoG offers a “Salute our Veterans” special every September and January. Guests wishing to use this offer will need to present a copy of their DD214 at check-in. Room Rates are based upon verification of DD214 at the time of check-in. Veterans are given access to the ITT ticket desk in SoG during this time, but the 4-day AFS tickets are excluded from the ITT accessible option during those months for those staying there as part of the “SoV” special.
What Disney Resort guests perks do SoG guests not qualify for?
SoG resort guests do not qualify for Disney’s Dining Plan, though SoG offers a dining system in their pricing, this is only available in the hotel.
SoG guests also can not use Magic Express, must pay to park at the Disney parks, do not receive Magic Your Way perks, and can not use room charge.
Do SoG guests get Magic Bands?
As SoG is not considered a Disney owned resort, guest of SoG do not receive MagicBands prior to their trip, but they CAN purchase them and attach them to their MDE account.
Does SoG have transportation to the parks?
SoG guests flying into Florida will need to rent a car or pay for a shuttle to the resort as they do not qualify for Disney’s Magical Express shuttle, and SoG does not offer a resort to airport shuttle.
To get to the parks SoG guests can either walk across to the Poly and use the monorail, or use the SoG offered shuttle that runs on a set time schedule to each park. Per the SoG site in regards to their shuttle “Shades of Green buses run throughout the day on a seasonal schedule. ADA options include ramps and lifts for certain designated routes so you can get in on all the fun. Shades of Green provides complimentary transportation to the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks for registered guests. Parking at the theme parks is $14 per day.”
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