Shades of Green (And That’s What You’ll Save) in Orlando

Frequent, free buses take guests to the major destinations–another major perk afforded military personnel and their guests.

Unbelievable–both in dollar savings and quality of accommodations.  That’s what we experienced at Shades of Green, the former Disney Hotel that the government took over years ago and made it into a welcome oasis/hotel for all their active and retired military personnel visiting Disney and the Orlando region.

Know what’s also nice about this place?  Everyone (no matter rank) gets the same accommodations…no special perks for the generals. Everyone from lowly corporal to buck sergeant to a major stays in the same, nicely-appointed rooms comprised of two queen beds, pull-out couch, big bath, sliding doors to balcony or patio (if first floor).

In fact, the lowest rank among service people pay less–which, in my estimation, is inordinately fair. In our case, Husband’s military ID presented upon arrival OK’d all 9 of us accommodations–under his name and via his service. We had, of course, already booked the room, well in advance, but we needed to sign in with our designated military person (a requirement where ID’s are checked against photos, etc.).

Here’s the icing on the cake. When you stay, you can buy the meal plan (we did) which gives two adults (children would cost a little more) two meals a day. Our plan only added $30.00 to your daily tab (for 4 meals.)  So, cost of room and meal plan for 2 adults with 2 meals is an unbelievably low $163.00 ( as contrast, a room at post hotels in same area is $400 per night for just the room).

In addition, staying at Shades of Green allows one to buy significantly-discounted park tickets for Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal KingdomUniversal Studios  is a separate entity but you can still buy your tickets ahead.

In the “positive feature” column of Shades of Green, you get free bus and shuttle service back and forth to the Transportation center (allowing you free access via monorail or ferry) to amusement parks. You can similarly get rides elsewhere to Downtown Disney, a strip of restaurants and shops along a lake, and take the Mears Transport to the airport upon departure (for a modest fee).

Is it a kid-friendly resort?  You betcha.  The first night we arrived to a dessert board of candy apples, cotton candy and all sorts of inducements to eat–following the meal. Kids have chicken nuggets, corn dogs for dinner and fruit loops (for breakfast), fresh fruit, even soy milk for allergic kids.

Adults partake of the usual fare, pumped up one night with carving board of roast turkey, sliced on the spot. In the mornings, a chef prepares specialty omelets to one’s specifications if one doesn’t want the other offerings.

Even if a person wants to skip meals and go downtown, he/she is well ahead in the cost column.

For other amusements (if you’ve got any energy after the Disney and Universal parks), Shades offers two sizeable in-ground swimming pools, a hot tub to soak those aching muscles, and an Arcade which houses those pump-in-the-quarter games, air hockey and pool tables.

There’s a good, old-fashioned ice cream parlor, too, complete with Wurlitzer and red/white upholstered naugahyde booths.

A lovely resort at a lovely price, and they’ve got them in other hot-tourist attraction destinations, too:  Hawaii, Germany, Tokyo, to name a few. Nice to see in a world where almost everything is about the bottom line and money-making.

Shades of Green strongly values the men and women who served our country and strives to provide them this oasis. They achieve their purpose and we as a family couldn’t be happier.

If you’re not aware of this amazing opportunity (for active and retired military personnel and families), do yourself a huge favor and check out Shades of Green.  How much did we save on this trip–on average?  Approximately $2000 for each of our 3 families, so $6000 in all….

With all that money we saved, we’re now considering a future family trip at Shades of Green in Hawaii.  Why not?  An appreciative military and my husband’s service have made it all possible.

“Bon voyage!”…  Their website will give you all the information.  And P.S.  If you didn’t know about this wonderful savings opportunity for military personnel and guests, keep this post as reference for future trips and/or send to others who might benefit (Print and e-mail tabs to the right of my post.)

Photo is of main entryway where impressive stone columns greet the guest upon arrival or after a busy day…Shades of Green, Orlando.


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A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog,, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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