Last Updated on August 25, 2023 by Happily Ever Park Hoppers
Need to Know Tips for Shades of Green guests
Staying at Shades of Green is an amazing value and a fantastic place for your Military family stay during your Walt Disney World vacation. However there are a few important planning details you should know that can make your Shades of Green resort stay much more successful.
Need to Know Tips
Link everyone to your My Disney Experience account
The most important need to know tip for Shades of Green guests, is that it’s very important to make sure you have everyone in your party linked to your My Disney Experience account. Because Shades of Green is not a Disney owned resort, you will have to manually enter in each guest traveling in your party. You will want to make sure you do this long before your visit.
Not only does everyone in your party need a valid theme park ticket and park reservation, but you also want to make sure they are linked to your Shades of Green reservation. When booking your Shades of Green reservation, double-check the number of guests before hitting submit. Reservations default to (1) guest, so if you click submit on your reservation and it only has (1) guest, you will need to call Shades of Green and add the correct number of guests. Why is this important? Because when you link your Shades of Green reservation to your My Disney Experience account, you will not be able to add the rest of your party to your reservation on your My Disney Experience account. This will impact your Individual Lightning Lane selections and/or Early Theme Park Entry & Extended Evening Hours because those guests not on the room reservation won’t show up in your plans.
*Important Note: If you have your Shades of Green reservation linked to your My Disney Experience account and make ANY changes to your reservation after linking it, MAKE SURE you check your My Disney Experience account again in the days following. More often than not, when you make changes to your Shades of Green reservation, it will drop off of your My Disney Experience account and you will need to re-link it.
Advance Dining Reservations
For those who don’t know. Advance Dining Reservations can be made 60 days in advance. For Disney Resort hotel guests, as well as Shades of Green resort guests, reservations can be made for the length of their stay, 60 days from your check-in date (typically beginning at 5:45am EST, with some opening at 6am EST). There are some extremely popular restaurants that will book up immediately. So the extended window is very helpful when trying to reserve those hard-to-get reservations.
To take advantage of the extended window your resort reservation needs to be linked to your My Disney Experience account. The day before your Advance Dining Reservation window opens up, double check that your Shades of Green reservation is still linked (this way you’re not scrambling in the morning if somehow it’s not still linked). Then, the morning of your Advance Dining Reservation window, you’ll see the dates for your entire stay (up to 10 days) show up for you to be able to select those dates.
*Pro Tip: If you are looking to reserve those popular restaurants, start with the last day of your trip and work your way back to the first day. There will be more time slots available later into your vacation than there will be on the very first day.
Another important tidbit, is that even though Shades of Green does have its own bus system, Shades of Green guests can use any form of Disney transportation, including Disney busses. There are several forms of Disney Transportation that include: Monorail, Bus, Boat, Ferry and the Disney Skyliner. Disney transportation is completely free and you can take any form of Disney transportation anywhere.
Many Shades of Green guests use to take the walking path and walk to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to use Disney transportation, but the walking path is NO LONGER accessible. Guests of Shades of Green are still able to visit Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, but they will need to travel via a Shades of Green bus to the Transportation & Ticket Center and either walk from there or take the Resort Monorail to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Shades of Green guests can use all forms of Disney transportation to/from any of the parks or Disney Springs back to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Again, just keep in mind that you WILL NOT be allowed to walk back to Shades of Green directly from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
What about MagicBands?
A popular question amongst first time Shades of Green guests is, “do I still need a MagicBand since I’m staying at Shades of Green?”
And the simple answer is… no. You don’t “need” a MagicBand. Can they still be very convenient and helpful? Yes!
Since Shades of Green isn’t a Disney owned resort, you won’t be able to use your MagicBand to charge things to your room or open your hotel room door. But they can still be very useful in the parks. Many people like the ability to just tap your wrist to scan into the parks, to redeem Lightning Lane selections or for the PhotoPass photos with the Memory Maker.
Ultimately, using a MagicBand is a personal preference. Click on the link below for all the details regarding MagicBands and the new MagicBand+
Shades of Green does have it’s own parking garage that is located next to the Palm Wing. Hourly and Nightly parking rates will apply. The nightly rate is $17 per night.
Again, because Shades of Green is not a Disney owned resort, the Shades of Green parking fee is NOT included in the Standard theme park parking that is included for registered Guests of Disney Resort hotels. In other words. If you choose to drive and park at any of the four theme parks, you will have to pay the standard parking fee of $25 per day or the preferred parking fee of $45-50 per day.
Also, know that you cannot park at a Disney Resort Hotel without a dining reservation. If you are wanting to resort hop and tour the grounds of a Disney Resort Hotel, you should make sure you have a dining reservation or use Disney Transportation to get to that specific resort (if you don’t have a dining reservation). Some resorts may allow you to park for a couple of hours without a dining reservation especially at moderate or value resorts that don’t have Table Service restaurants. But know that it is at the discretion of the Cast Member at the security gate and there is no guarantee you will be allowed to park as a non-registered guest of that resort.
Early Theme Park Entry & Extended Evening Hours
One of the best perks to staying on Disney property is the “extra magic hours” (what it used to be called). Even though Shades of Green isn’t a Disney owned resort, guests of Shades of Green DO get to take advantage of those “extra magic hours”.
With Early Theme Park Entry, Disney Resort hotel Guests AND Shades of Green guests can enter any of the four theme parks, 30 minutes before the posted park opening time, any day of the week! Now, you might be thinking 30 minutes isn’t a long time, but in the first hour or two that the parks are open, this is when you will see the shortest wait times throughout the day. It’s also a great time to take pictures in front of Cinderella Castle without huge crowds of people behind you.
The other benefit Shades of Green guests can take advantage of are the new Extended Evening Hours, which are just for guests of Disney Deluxe Resort or Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts. Even though Shades of Green is such a great value, it is considered at “Deluxe Resort”. Extended Evening Hours take place on certain nights in Magic Kingdom and Epcot (and now on even more select nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). During the Extended Evening Hours, that specific park will be open for an additional TWO hours after the posted park closing!
Extended Evening Hours at Epcot is especially important if your party is attempting to ride the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and obtain a Boarding Group via the Virtual Queue. On the nights of the Epcot Extended Evening Hours, there will be a third opportunity to join a Boarding Group through the Virtual Queue at 6pm.
*Note: You must have a theme park reservation for that day OR have a park hopper ticket and have entered your first park. You DO NOT not need to be park to join the Virtual Queue
Sponsored Guests arriving before Sponsor
The final tip you should know about when staying at Shades of Green is in regards to sponsoring rooms and sponsored guests arriving earlier than the sponsor. Since the sponsor must be present at check-in, sponsored guests will not be able to check-in until the sponsor arrives. Sponsored guest reservations must match the sponsor’s reservation or have an arrival date after, and must depart before or on the same day as your reservation. In other words, sponsored guests reservations can be fewer days than the sponsor’s, but never longer.
If the sponsor and sponsored guests are not traveling together and the sponsored guests will be arriving before the sponsor:
- Make sure you call Shades of Green before your trip and give a Shades of Green reservationist the names of all the adults in the sponsored room(s)
- Send the sponsored guests a copy of their reservation confirmation so they can show it to the gate guard upon arrival
- Sponsored guests can drop off their luggage at the Bell Hop window
- Sponsored guests can dine at any of the dining locations at Shades of Green without the sponsor being present
- Sponsored guests can use the pool without the sponsor being present
I hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop a comment below!
Spreading magic one post at a timeKristin