Last Updated on March 30, 2023 by Happily Ever Park Hoppers
How does Shades of Green compare to Disney Resort Hotels?
Staying at Shades of Green comes with a ton of perks and allows Military families to experience the magic of Walt Disney World at a fraction of the cost. But how does Shades of Green actually compare to Disney Resort Hotels?
Shades of Green is by far one of my favorite places to stay. Not just when visiting Walt Disney World but anywhere. It really has become my family’s “home away from home”. But if you’re here trying to decide if staying at Shades of Green is the right choice for you and your family, I promise to be as unbiased as possible.
One, if not THE, selling factor to staying at Shades of Green is the price. Staying at Shades of Green is much cheaper than 90% of the Disney Resort Hotels. Now that Disney has changed their Military Room Discount, the savings that Military families can take advantage of at Disney Resort Hotels are a lot less than in years past. There are also more restrictions on resort and room availability. Also, the Military Room Discount is only available to Active Duty or Retired Service Members. So staying at Shades of Green is a great way for Veterans who Honorably Served, to plan their Walt Disney World vacations at a significantly lower cost.
Depending on what category you fall into for the room rates at Shades of Green and what type of discount you receive from Disney, the savings you receive is going to vary. If you’re looking for a full breakdown of how much money you can save by staying at Shades of Green, click the link below for all the details.
The next big selling factor in staying at Shades of Green is the rooms. When pricing out the Disney Resort Hotels, generally speaking, Shades of Green is most comparable to the Value Resorts. However, the Value Resort rooms are much, much smaller than the Standard Rooms at Shades of Green. The Standard rooms at Shades of Green have 2 Queen beds, a single sleeper sofa, and can accommodate up to 5 people. They also have ample storage for any size family, a small dining table, and a completely separate bathroom (Value & Moderate Resorts have a vanity area separated by a curtain).
The Standard Room at Shades of Green is 450 square feet
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Disney Value Resorts
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort – 260 square feet
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort – 260 square feet
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort – 260 square feet
- Disney’s Pop Century resort – 260 square feet
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – 277 square feet
Disney Moderate Resorts
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort – 300 square feet
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – 314 square feet
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter- 314 square feet
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside – 314 square feet
Disney Deluxe Resorts
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – 344 square feet
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – 344 square feet
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn- 370 square feet
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort- 380 square feet
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort- 380 square feet
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort – 394 square feet
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – 415 square feet
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort – 440 square feet
As you can see, the rooms closest in size to the Standard Room at Shades of Green are the Disney Deluxe Resorts. All of the Disney Deluxe Resorts can accommodate 5 people except for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. However, almost all of the Disney Resort Hotels have a King Bed option whereas Shades of Green does not have any King Bed Standard Rooms.
What do Disney Resort Hotels have that Shades of Green Doesn’t have?
Shades of Green is often touted as a “Deluxe Resort”. Partly because of the size of the Standard rooms, location, and other resort amenities. But if you’ve actually stayed at a Disney Deluxe Resort, that verbiage might be a little misleading. Don’t get me wrong. Shades of Green is a beautiful resort, with comfortable beds, updated rooms, and great food options; but a Disney Deluxe Resort it is not. What sets the Disney Deluxe Resorts apart from Shades of Green is that magical Disney feel. Shades of Green doesn’t have the unique/fun theming that the Disney Resort Hotels have. And other than the Mickey statue in the lobby, you probably wouldn’t even know it was on Disney property.
Other than the missing Disney feeling, the only thing you won’t get at Shades of Green is the ability to use a MagicBand to pay for food and merchandise purchases. Magicbands used to be free for Disney Resort Guests, now they are not. But, if you stay at a Disney Resort Hotel, you can use your MagicBand to pay for meals or any other purchases. If and when the Disney Dining Plan comes back; which is also only for Disney Resort Guests, MagicBands can be used to redeem Dining Credits. But! Know that at most Quick Service restaurants in the parks and at the Disney Resort Hotels, Mobile Order is the only way to order and purchase food (and is available to everyone😉). And almost all of the Quick Service locations and shops accept ApplePay or GooglePay. So you can use your phone or Apple Watch to pay for things or scan into the parks just like you would with a MagicBand.
You Get All The Same Perks
One of the BIG reasons to stay at a Disney Resort Hotel is for all the benefits. But, when you stay at Shades of Green, you get all the same perks!
Advantages to staying “On Property” include things like extra time in the parks, extended dining reservation windows, earlier Individual Lightning Lane booking timeframes.
A recently added perk is the new Extended Evening Hours benefit; which is only for Disney Deluxe Resort Guests AS WELL AS Shades of Green Guests! So if you are comparing Shades of Green to a Value or Moderate Resort, know that you can’t take advantage of the Extended Evening Hours as a Value or Moderate Resort Guest. Nonetheless, Value & Moderate Resort Guests (along with Deluxe and Shades of Green guests) do get to utilize the Early Theme Park Entry benefit.
What does Shades of Green have that Disney Resort Hotels don’t have?
For my family, one of the things we appreciate about Shades of Green is the other guests. I know that might seem like a strange thing to like about a hotel, but anyone that I’ve ever talked to about staying at Shades of Green or while we’re there can say the same thing.
Being at Shades of Green and among other Service Members and their families, there is that mutual respect and consideration for others. Not that staying at a Disney Resort Hotel means those guests aren’t respectful and courteous of others. But there is just something to be said about your fellow guests all sharing a common bond, and there’s this feeling that former Shades of Green guests can all agree they felt.
Shades of Green also has an AAFES Exchange IN the resort. Having stayed at Disney Resort Hotels, I can tell you how beneficial it is to have an Exchange in the resort. Where we can buy things like water, energy drinks, snacks, and whatever else we needed at that time and pay the exact same price as we would on base.
Shades of Green also has a Spa! Shades of Green is one of the few resorts on all of Disney property that has an actual Spa. And if you have ever been to Walt Disney World before, then you know how sore your feet will be by the end of your trip!
Almost every trip that my family has taken, my husband and I have gotten a massage at the Magnolia Spa. Not only is it so convenient to have a Spa in the resort, but the prices are so incredibly reasonable AND you’re on vacation, after all, you should pamper yourself a little!
For more reason WHY you should stay at Shades of Green, click the link below if you haven’t already been convinced.
All in all, whether you stay at Shades of Green or a Disney Resort Hotel, you are still going to have a magical vacation. While my family loves staying at Shades of Green, we also love experiencing new Disney Resort Hotels and fully immersing ourselves in the “Disney Bubble”. And if I’m being 100% honest, calling Shades of Green a “Deluxe” resort is a bit of a stretch. Not saying that is isn’t a great resort, because it is. But if you book your vacation at Shades of Green thinking you’re going to be walking in to the Four Seasons, you are going to be disappointed… and I promised to be honest!
The biggest draw to staying at Shades of Green is the VALUE. It is a fantastic, comfortable, affordable option when planning your Walt Disney World vacation. Disney is expensive enough, staying at Shades of Green makes your Walt Disney World vacation that much more do-able when you don’t have to fork out 2-3x the price. My family, just like so many other families love staying at Shades of Green because it’s more than “just a place to sleep” AND you get to be at Disney the same time.
Spreading magic one post at a timeKristin