Went on a girls trip for the Princess Half Marathon weekend, to run the races and see DW for the first time. For the duration of our stay we pondered if this "resort" was the red headed step child of Disney Resorts, or was some of the "ways" of the SOG because it was indeed special just for our service members. At the end of our stay I am very sad to report that you indeed get what you pay for, or in this case you get less. As mentioned in previous reviews, even cheaper hotels give free continental breakfast and have a microwave. Do not boast of a microwave and then not have one. Thermostat did not really work at all, and thankfully we came at a time when it was not too hot, though cold was a problem. I can speak well of one of the ladies at the front desk, as she was very pleasant and worked hard to get me my extra room back and was overall the way you would expect a person on Disney Property to serve. Food was pretty good everywhere in the resort, though wait time for dinner to come to table in Manginos was a little long. There were several servers that we really liked. The buses not running more than every hr is crazy, so thank goodness we can walk over to Polynesian to get a boat or monorail. For the race experience, other resorts had things available for runners, like bananas, bagels and other treats. SOG had a café that served bagels only until a certain time and its hidden in bus area. If you don't ask for help then you wont get any that's for sure. The guy that worked it was very nice however and we paid for 6 bagels which he promptly made and we picked up for the following morning. So in these cases there was ways around the inconveniences if you were willing to work them out.
Overall it was ok, but not impressive as it really should be for Disney and for the troops. I chose to add my review primarily because of the final issue- I realized shortly after leaving that I left my precious running bib in the room under a tray to keep it flat. I called hotel several times and left several messages. The front desk refused to do anything for me except transfer me back and forth to housekeeping and lost and found. Not a soul showed even a little concern for my trouble and when I talked to Lost and found I was told to call back and that she wasn't sure she could even help me. I did as was told and of course no answer so I left yet another message. After 2 days of the same thing, I called back again and was told they looked and didn't find anything. That's it? I located the link on the website to report a lost item this morning on my own. That was NEVER mentioned by anyone. I am beyond upset with how this was handled. Having worked in a true resort (Gaylord Opryland) when I was younger, I can tell you that I worked very hard in Guest Services to make sure guests had a great stay and were pleased when they left. SOG made very little effort to do much of anything for us the whole time we were there and luckily we are just pretty self sufficient and able to laugh off the fire alarm going off at 2am for 20 min and having to evacuate the building in our pjs- there was NO apology or anything concerning that incident either. SOG is less than a resort and I have had much better stays at Hampton Inn. I will never stay there again. If you want a real Disney Experience then try any other resort on property, I am more than sure it will be worth the extra $$!
My family loves Shades of Green! We have been 3 times so far and have a wonderful time everytime! You can't beat the prices and the staff is nice and need to stay that way. We have run into a disgruntled employee, I think twice, but that didn't ruin our experience. It has also been clean everytime we have gone. We went in April 2014 and had a horrible experience with a cast member in Downtown Disney right when we arrived. Well that evening we ate at Mangino's, we had a wonderful waitress, and everytime we went back she remembered our kids names. Our service there really helped me relax and enjoy the rest of our trip. Thank you very much for making the prices reasonable, where military can go and enjoy themselves!
Just what the headline reads is what you should expect from Shades of Green. I received an email the other day asking for an opinion of where the military should look for another place to establish a resort. My first thought, why not improve what we have and/or decrease funding to help decrease deficit.
From entering the secure roadway to check-in, the feel of being on a military establishment is surreal. The staff on check-in was ready to be somewhere else. I proposed the question if there were any larger rooms, like a suite, available for my 6 person family and she said that there may be a room. Paused, looked at the co-worker leaning on the counter next to her and quickly proceeded to ensure me that they are all booked, without even looking in the computer or other source. Huh... Presentation of the resort showed improvement since last visit in 2009. Room resembled Holiday Inn's traditional 2 queen bed suite.
Within two hours of being in the room, 1/2 the family had clogged sinuses. The carpet seems to need cleaned. Some items were updated like the tile in the bathroom floor, steel locks in bathroom doors and paint. The bathtub tile had old anchors in the tile below the shower head that would propose future moisture damage. The vent on the wall above the toilet was rigged. It had a bathroom two vent plastic cover using one of the vent sides to cover the hole in the wall. Quite silly to look at.
This Hotel, I mean "Resort" is old and there are a lot of rooms so I'm sure all the rooms are not the same standard. It is the people that make the stay either a good one or a miserable one...with that said, there were some good folks and some other folks that need to find other jobs.
Good luck on your endeavors.
I along with my family have traveled to WDW 15 times, never before staying here. It had in my opinion the best service of any other disney resort I've been to. Beautiful scenery as well! THERE IS ONLY FAMILY'S! This means no loud, craziness like there is at the other hotels(very little at others but none is better then any!) All and all amazing
My family and I have just returned from Walt Disney World where we chose to stay at Shades of Green. I can honestly tell you that "Deluxe" is a far cry from our experience unless you, the reader, finds the following part of a "deluxe" package:
1. No Free WiFi as advertised
2. No Fridge in our room as advertised
3. No hair dryer in our room as advertised
4. Broken Faucet in bath
5. Slimy and nasty dirty, scum rimmed swimming pool (Millpond Pool)
6. Inconveniences with drop off and pick up using bus transportation (distance, cover)
7. Wasp problems on outside room deck and pool area; also in the pool water
8. Non engaged staff and management; bad attitudes, unhappy staff
9. Understaffed in Manginos
10. Staff caring for their own family more than ours at Manginos; kid sleeping under a plastic bag in the seat; kid left unattended for long period of time while staff continued to fret and fuss on this table and missing child all evening long!
11. Front desk Manager needs better training and accommodating attitude when addressing complaints such as ours:
*** Midnight in our room, we are awoken to someone coming into our room with a key card!!! When we made formal complaint, we were told it was an "honest mistake". Think of the variables that could have arisen with that kind of honest mistake!!
12. The gear shift on our car somehow during it's valet parking was broken! I'm sure it was an honest mistake, of course.
The true honest mistake here was our choosing this so called Deluxe Resort. We can not recommend this Resort as we will not be returning.
I arrived at the shades of green on Monday april 15th, I was very upset with just about everything at the hotel except for the appearance. It is a beautiful place but the service and quality is horrible in my opinion. We were never given any information about the hotel, such as children event times, or any type or run down, we didn't even get directions to our room. We walked around aimlessly looking for our room before finally we found it after about 20 minutes of walking around the ground. Then we got to the room and it looked very nice, but then we realized there was no microwave in the room which in other disney resorts there is, I had to walk across the resort to get to the microwave to warm my food, I had to warm it so hot it almost burned my fingers just to ensure it wouldn't be cold by the time i got home. This was disappointing since its supposed to be a deluxe resort. Next I tried to sign onto the WIFI in the room and it kept telling me there were too many people on the server. I have traveled my whole life and not once did I ever have to pay for parking at a hotel, even the cheap Howard Johnson offers free parking. Also cheap hotels offer a complimentary breakfast which is not available at this resort. I thought this was a resort for military personnel shouldn't we be treating them with the best service? The room service took about an hour for a pizza, chicken fingers and fries, after they said 20 minutes. This place was just full of disappointment. I wish I had saved my money and just stayed at a disney resort such as the all stars I would have gotten better service. This resort just doesn't seem deluxe by any means. Oh and to top it off every other hotel I called gave rides to orlando international airport for free except this one and this is deluxe? I will never return to this resort ever and also hope this will help other people in making their decision to not come here.
My husband, teenage son and myself had a wonderful time this past summer. Shades of Green is a wonderful oasis in the hustle and bustle of the Magic Kingdom. It was also nice to see an area that honored the military, both present and past with a great place to stay.
The accommodations are fabulous and service from the staff even better. They truly go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need during your stay. The only thing I was disappointed in was no complimentary bathroom necessary items, ie: shampoo, conditioner, lotion and the such. Only a general soap dispenser. I did expect something a bit more from a luxry resort. I had forgotten those items of mine and had forgotten to pick up some on our way to the resort.
All in all, the stay was great and we will be back again!
1. Close to Magic Kingdom
2. Spacious rooms
3. Inexpensive as compared to other deluxe Disney resorts
4. Beautiful resort and surroundings
The only draw back is that the buses to and from Shades don't run as often as Disney resort buses.
My family has stayed at this resort 3 times. The first 2 in '99 and '00 back before the MAJOR refurbishment. It was incredible, the calm theming, nice pools not to loud and PLENTY of space. The next time we stayed at the resort was after the update early in '09 and it was better than the old (which i thought was perfect). Restaurant and bars were perfect. The lobby was wonderful, bedrooms were super nice. But our room was one of the ones from the older wing hahaha in the back of the hotel, regardless it was nice. And we found all the shortcuts around the place, (example) cut through the bar across from the ice cream area go by the pool up the stairs and the back rooms are right in front of you :), another plus would be the short walking distance to polynesian for a beach, good food and monorail access
Huge resort. Near the Magic Kingdom! You can even hear the Magic Kingdom train in the distance from outside the resort. Walking distance to the Polynesian and Monorail. Large guest rooms.
My family and I have stayed at Shades of Green 5 times. We prefer to stay here because of the proximity to the Magic Kingdom. My family loves the grounds and the very spacious rooms. We've stayed at other Disney resorts and always come back to Shades of Green. The staff is very nice and we love the breakfast they serve. It gets us going and ready for a fun day at any of the Disney parks.
This hotel was PERFECT for our LARGE family we took. 2 queen size beds, plus a single flip over couch! Everything was BRAND NEW. You could even smell the new carpet. HUGE T.V. to watch the weather in the mornings. Heated pool and jacuzzi. We had a pool side room, and we could see the Wishes fireworks from our balcony. We could even hear the music! Very chic bathrooms. The only thing we weren't really too tickled with was paying $5.00 a night for parking in the garage. But other than that.. it was FANTASMIC!!!! (hehehe)
Me and my wife and parents stayed here in September of 2008. My parents gave the stay to us as a gift on us being engaged at the time and for my transitioning from active duty to the reserves after a successful enlistment. I have also stayed at this resort two times prior, once before the rennovation and once during, when we stayed at the contemporary at shades of green prices.
Appearance and decor: 10. Before the rennovation, the resort was nice but kind of dingy. Today, the place looks wonderful! There are waterfalls and well manicured plants and landscapes all around. The little R/C boats were interesting for the kids (we don't have any). Nothing was peeling off the walls and the rooms were very clean and looked great! Most of the art and decorations there have some sort of USA theme to it, though not overpoweringly so. Besides that, I think SOG's theme is more than one. The exterior evokes a little of the mountains (ala Wilderness Lodge), the interior evokes a modern, contemporary type design, Garden Gallery seemed elegant, and some of the grounds were almost tropical. I feel comfortable saying that SOG incorporates design elements from Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, and Wilderness Lodge. But then again, that's just me.
Anemities: 9 There is a little mini-bx/px that sells your basic mouse merch. but also sells OTC medication, painkillers, bandaids, and blister treatments (perfect for your disney vacation). There is also a multi unit internet/gaming kiosk right off the main lobby, which charges a bit of an astronomical price for internet access. There is a coffee stand that sells little snacks and decent coffee. There is also a memoribilia shop nearby the bx/px that sells little disney trinkets and statues and such. Tickets to the park are sold there. Military STAR cards are accepted in the bx (darn on me for paying it off and cancelling my account!). Room anemities included a small table with 2 chairs, a sitting chair, a little mini sofa, and a little refrigerator (which was emptied on our request). Our room had 2 queen beds and was poolside. Wi-fi was available but just as the lobby internet kiosks, it was rather pricey. We did not experience room service but did eat breakfast downstairs in the restaurant (buffet style), which was pretty decent.
Transportation: 8. Shades of Green busses used to be the Disney-owned busses on my first visit there, but now they are run by a different company and look like generic coach busses. The vehicles themselves are not the issue but the nearly 45 minute wait time to get a bus is. When we waited for the bus at MGM, it took at least 2 bus cycles for other locations before ours arrived. By that time we were all hot and a bit cranky from waiting in the sun. We went to the Hoop-dee-do revue and found out that the Shades of Green bus departs as the revue is ending, just about, so we ended up taking the bus to the polynesian and walking back to the resort. The location of the monorail is fantastic, just a brief walk away. We had fun each time we took the walk trying to spot alligators.
Food/dining: 10. During the mornings, I'd sneak out while the wife was sleeping and grab a coffee at the little java stand (they sell hot chocolate too), and come back to sit on my little patio and enjoy the Orlando morning noises and smells (something wonderful about waking up and having coffee at a disney resort). Then when we'd all wake up, we'd go downstairs to The Garden Gallery for buffet breakfast (not normally a buffet guy but it was good), which had your general breakfast foods. I had no complaints about the food or the resturants whatsoever. There is also a little stand at the bus stop that sells bagels and pastries and small things like that, they even sell a boxed lunch/breakfast that you can take with you on the bus to the parks. They had good blueberry muffins for when I didn't eat breakfast at Garden Gallery.
Rooms/room services: 10. Our room was clean and very well furnished and looked almost new. Your basic disney-resort tv channels were there, along with some local and international news channels. Bathrooms were clean and stocked properly with enough towels and toilet paper. As with most resorts, the general coffee maker/hair dryer/soap shampoo and conditioner freebies are provided. Alarm clocks worked fine, as well as Mickey Mouse calling to wake me up in the morning. We were glad that the A/C worked and was able to be turned down low (we like to sleep at about 65-68 degrees.). We did not try room service at all, but the housekeeping staff did their jobs wonderfully.
For the family: 9. Besides having the parks closeby, the only things for the kids to do are swim in the pool, pay to drive the r/c boats, pay to play on the internet, or play in the playground. If I was a little one, I think I might get slightly bored at the hotel (if I wasnt too pooped to care at the end of the day). Adults (and some teens) will enjoy the golf course right at the front door.
All in all: 9.25 (since the only negative I've found is busses). Shades of Green is a fantastic, convieniently located, reasonably priced resort. The pacing of the resort is low key and relaxed, not hectic like at, say... the contemporary. Compared to the other resorts, I'd be comfortable saying that if this resort wasn't exclusive, it'd easily be a Deluxe resort, and priced closer to the polynesian, or the contemporary. You get much much more than what you pay for. Unfortunatley, the SOG bus system is confusing and not timed very well, but it *is* free. If I was paying for the busses, I'd probably complain to management about them. Thankfully, SOG is placed close to both a monorail line and a bus stop for Polynesian. I'll stay at this resort untill I leave the reserves. Good job DoD on giving young families a chance to experience WDW at a reasonable price.
One of the best benefits of being in the Military. I was really surprised at how nice the resort was. Ten minute walk to Polynesian for monorail and a parking garage for driving yourself around WDW. I will never even think about staying aywhere else.
We love it at Shades of Green! We've stayed twice and are going back, probably won't stay anywhere else. When all we do is go back to the room and flop in bed for us to spend a lot more to stay at a comparable Disney Resort would be nuts!
The location is excellent, next best thing to being right on the monorail at 1/3 the price! Have never had anything but excellent service. No sales tax on anything!
Shades of Green is a lovely resort, no theming but it is very restful after a day at the parks. Also, if you like golf it's right out your front door. Bus transportation is very good and you can always make the 10-15 walk over to the Polynesian to catch the monorail. Has a daybed for a fifth person and rooms are large. Can't wait for it to reopen!
WELL RUN AND THE PRICE CAN'T BE BEAT. NOT MUCH OF A THEME BUT YOU CAN ALWAYS WALK OVER TO THE POLY FOR THAT.ROOMS ARE NICE BUT AT WDW EVERYONE IS A SLEEP OR ON THE MOVE SO A THEME ISN'T A BIG DEAL!!
Shades of Green, the U.S. Army owned resort at WDW (exclusively operated for U.S. Servicemen and Women, their families and guests) runs what is possibly the best deal in all of WDW. For less than the price of what a room costs in say, All-Star Sports, a soldier can stay in a deluxe room at SOG.
The service is top-notch, and everything sold there is reasonably priced (one catch though.. Disney Dollars are NOT accepted). While you may have to sacrifice on things like theming, the resort is run like the best of the WDW Resorts.
I go there on a regular basis, and that resort is always a favorite of mine.