The Shades of Green, once known as the Disney Golf Resort, and formerly known The Disney Inn sits close to the Polynesian Resort. Nestled in the beautiful Disney Golf course The Palm and The Magnolia. The resort provides many of the amenities Walt Disney World resort provides their guests. Such as the use of extra magic hours, proximity to The Magic Kingdom, free transportation to the resort, the theme parks, and Disney Springs. The downside is SOG is not eligible for the Disney Magical Express and free airport transportation to the resort hotels. However, it is possible to walk over the Polynesian and take the monorail over to The Magic Kingdom and Epcot. SOG has a bus that leaves every hour at different times. Two hours will need to be factored in for visiting and returning back to the resort for transportation. However, it is easy to negate this by taking the bus to the Polynesian and walking back to SOG from there. A recent change to SOG is hotel patrons can now book their FastPass sixty days in advance on the My Disney Experience app, much the same as the rest of their resort hotels.
Other military related options you receive at Shades of Green includes no tax on purchases, a small shoppette, and you can purchase Armed Forces Salute Disney Park tickets as well as other discounted attraction tickets there. Room pricing goes by rank and the lower the rank it appears the cheaper it is.
At the time of this review, SOG underwent some remodeling. All the rooms are not completely remodeled, read portions of some rooms were remodeled. Several of the family suites have undergone extensive remodeling, such as replacing carpet with laminate flooring. There are plans to remodel the exterior of SOG as well as the guest lobby. I included a photo of the renovated rooms courtesy of SOG. Renovations will continue until August of 2018, please keep this in mind when considering SOG due to construction noise etc.
This being said we stayed in a standard room on the ground floor that was not yet remodeled. The carpet was green and could stand to be replaced. In general, the furnishings in the room felt dated but clean. The bathrooms could have done with major updating but it was clean and comfortable. Additionally, there is plenty of storage for luggage and things. Compared to the Disney value resorts a standard room is a much better deal for the size room. The standard room comes with a safe, mini fridge, coffee maker, and a small dining table. These are all items, which do not come standard in Disney value resorts.
A few mornings we woke up to turkeys outside our patio window.
SOG includes two pools. The Magnolia pool and the Mill Pond pool, located adjacent to the Magnolia Wing of the Resort. The pools have both undergone renovations and they looked like they would be a lot of fun. At the time we didn’t have children, as such the pools went unused by us. There is a fun newly constructed splash pad at the Mickey Mouse shaped Mill Pond pool. Additionally, for families not looking to swim a playground is in close proximity to the Mill Pond pool. The Magnolia pool is a zero entry pool.
As far as food was concerned we only ate at the breakfast buffet and for a resort at Disney, it was very affordable. It is your standard spread of a hot buffet breakfast. There is also an Express Cafe to pick up snacks, coffee, treats, and sandwiches right next to the bus stop. We purchased snacks there to take into the parks.
Finally, although SOG is on Disney property there is very little Disney theming. Aside from a random patriotic Mickey statue, there are no other indicators you are there. If that is a non-issue, then great! On the other hand, if you are looking for the true Disney experience it would be better to look at the Disney resorts ( which offer military deals).
I would highly recommend staying at SOG however, we won’t stay again simply because we enjoy the full Disney experience and the hotel plays a big part of that.
With all that being said Shades of Green is a great choice to have affordable Disney fun. Once the refurbishment is complete Disney might be a little hard-pressed to entice military families to stay at their resorts. The look of the remodeled rooms are wonderful and for the price and room size, and proximity to WDW, Disney simply can’t compete.
Dina is a coffee loving military spouse and mom to boys. A travel advisor and family travel journalist. She shares her love of travel and helps families plan dream vacations. You can follow Dina’s travels on IG @AllThePlacesWeRoam