Did you know that the U.S. Armed Forces has a resort at Walt Disney World? The Shades of Green Military Resort is located between the world-famous Palm and Magnolia golf courses across from the outer bands of the Polynesian Resort. This resort proved to be an excellent choice on a recent stay to Walt Disney World. From the lobby, the rooms, the family technology center, and the restaurants, to the grounds, the pools, the fitness center and the playground, Shades of Green is comfortable and is a beautiful place to stay on your next visit to the Walt Disney World.
Upon arrival, you must show a military/government ID to the guard at the entrance kiosk. As you drive along the entrance road you will notice the American flags displayed from all of the light poles along the way. The front entrance of the resort is absolutely breath-taking with its waterfalls, large rock formations, and small pond. These features highlight the front of the building and the porte-cochere where vehicles can pull in for registration parking and valet parking. To the left of the building is the parking garage.
As you enter the lobby you will immediately notice the stone fireplace, the lovely seating areas, the exposed wood beams and the glorious chandeliers. There are fresh flowers on tables and the entire lobby area is very clean. There is an amazing photo-op, with a life-size mickey mouse statue, at one end of the lobby. There is a children’s sitting area complete with child-size chairs and a television showing Disney movies. The reception desk is lovely and the check-in process was quick and easy. You will be required to show your military/government ID during check-in. Off the lobby is a beautiful outdoor seating deck, with a large stone fireplace, and a lovely view of some of the outdoor grounds.
The standard rooms are well-appointed with two queen size beds and a pull-out style sleep sofa. There is a dresser, flat screen television, and a table with two chairs. Most of the rooms have recently been updated with new flooring, furniture and televisions. Each room has either a patio or a balcony with two chairs and a small table. I found the beds to be very comfortable and they do provide a good nights sleep. The sleep-sofa is a standard style and fine for children to sleep on. The bathroom is nice, and larger than most you will find on property, with tiled floors, double sinks and glass-enclosed shower. Standard rooms offer 480 square feet of space. Suites vary in size and sleep from four people in the Garden Suite up to fourteen people in the Palm Suite.
There is a Family Technology Center located near the shops and the ticketing desk. You can purchase military tickets to the Disney Parks and other area attractions at the ticketing desk. There are tables and chairs, televisions, and computers in the Family Technology Center. Your children can watch the Disney Channel while you access the computers.
The three restaurants on the grounds of Shades of Green Resort are Evergreens, Manginos, and Garden Gallery. Evergreens is located by the main pool and offers pub style food for lunch and dinner. Along with having a bite to eat, you can play a game of pool or enjoy the arcade while relaxing with a drink from the bar. Manginos is a sit-down restaurant with a full menu. This location also offers great all-you-can-eat nights for dinner such as New England Clam Bake or Prime Rib. Prices for the all-you-can-eat nights range from $22 to $30. Menu items offer appetizers, entrees and desserts. Garden Gallery is a buffet-style restaurant offering breakfast and dinner. Adults pay $13.95 for the breakfast buffet and$17.95 for the dinner buffet. Children ages 5-11 are $5.95 for either meal. Each night features a fun family night theme such as Carnival or Chef Noah’s Wings.
There is a nice fitness center on-site and the walkways and paths provide a nice area for a walk or a run early in the morning.
If you are looking for a quick grab-and-go option, stop by the Express Cafe located beneath the main lobby where you exit for the Shades of Green bus transportation area. Here you can pick up a pastry, coffee, sandwich, chips and other quick-serve items. The busses run about every 20-30 minutes depending on the park you are traveling to. Transportation is provided for all four parks, the two water parks, and Disney Springs. If you want to travel to Magic Kingdom I highly recommend the walkway from the Shades of Green to the Polynesian where you can catch the resort monorail. The pathway between the two resorts is paved, easy to walk, and provides some really nice views as well.
The grounds of Shades of Green Resort offer a tranquil setting with lush greenery, stone and wood walkways, ponds, pools, wild turkeys, a wedding gazebo, and a playground. The resort also borders the world-famous Palm and Magnolia golf courses. The wood walkways create a path for walking over the ponds. The ponds have many beautiful fish providing for a peaceful area to sit on one of the benches and take in your surroundings. The stone walkways move you along the grounds between the ponds, the wedding gazebo, and the buildings. You will notice the wild turkeys that make themselves at home along the grass between the buildings and one of the walkways.
The wedding gazebo has a brick walkway leading up to the gazebo. You can purchase a brick for this walkway for $75 with three lines and up to twenty characters per line online at www.shadesofgreen.org/brickorderform. The beautiful grounds surrounding the gazebo offer a spectacular background for wedding pictures. Even if you are not there for a wedding, the grounds provide a spectacular background for family pictures and selfies alike.
The main pool area is very inviting. It offers a good size pool with a water slide, poolside games, and live music on occasion. If you are unable to find seating in the fenced pool area, there is additional table and chairs outside of the fencing. This main pool area also offers a really great children’s play area with splash pad, water-dumping bucket, and child-size water slides. The children’s area has its own fenced area and is separated from the main pool. You will notice the lovely water wheel feature near the main pool. This entire area provides some nice photo-ops as well.
Located across from the main pool area is the playground. Here the children can climb and explore to their heart’s content amongst some large shade trees and a soft padded fall zone surrounding the climbing structure. There are chairs and a wall surrounding the playground offering places for you to sit while your children play.
Room rates fall under three categories and are based on military rank. Military personnel on active duty, Veterans who are retired or disabled, Department of Defense Civilians, Widows/Widowers, and Medal of Honor recipients qualify. For a complete list of eligibility and rates go to www.shadesofgreen.org.
I have been to Walt Disney World Resort many times and this recent stay at Shades of Green Resort was definitely the most restful visit I have ever had. From the room size and the grounds, to the views and the amenities, Shades of Green is a very comfortable place to stay. While there is plenty to do at this resort, the tranquil surroundings provide for some much-needed rest and relaxation. The first time I stayed at this resort was many years ago when my husband was on leave from an overseas tour of duty. A lot has changed at the resort as it has doubled in size since that first trip. The key factors that have remained the same are that this resort continues to offer a location where you can get away from it all, spend quality time with your family, and head to the Walt Disney World Parks to be in the midst of the action. I strongly recommend a stay here if you qualify.
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