Shades of Green Resort & Best Tips For Disney World

My daughter was turning six and has experienced three deployments over the course of her little life. We recently wanted to share the Disney Magic with her before the chaos of another PCS. I have always heard that Shades of Green was great but I didn’t realize how nice and convenient the resort would be!

If you find yourself in a similiar position or you’re stationed at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay (only a three hour drive), here’s more on our resort and park experience:

Shades of Green: Know Before You Go

Shades of Green Resort is an Armed Forces Recreation Center Resort owned and operated by the United States Department of Defense (DOD) as part of the military’s MWR. The resort is located near the Magic Kingdom Resort area and offers complimentary shuttle services to the Transportation and Ticket Center, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs.

The resort has 586 guest rooms, most of which are standard guest rooms with over 480 square feet of floor space which are larger than the standard rooms in the Walt Disney World Resort. The resort also has 11 suites that can accommodate up to eight people. Room prices range based on rank and availability. The resort has two lighted tennis courts, two heated swimming pools, a children’s pool, hot tub, fitness center, arcade and laundry facilities. When booking online if you are not able to find the dates that work for you call and speak to an agent. They were extremely helpful and accommodating when we had a last minute schedule change.

Shades of Green also has a variety of restaurants, grab and go eating options, ice cream and coffee shop. We wanted to experience the Magic but stay within our vacation budget. The grab and go options at The Express Café and Java Café were perfect for breakfast as we waited for the shuttle to the parks. We loaded our bag full of water and snacks so we could splurge for signature Mickey shaped treats while at the park.

The resort has an Exchange which offered a variety of souvenirs, toiletry items, drinks, snacks and even umbrella strollers. We ended buying gifts for friends and postcards for pen pals at the Exchange to save and so we didn’t have to carry the items while in the theme park. The resort salon offered princess makeovers and pirate transformations for the littles for a fraction of the price of the Bippity Boppity Boutique at the Magic Kingdom.

Shades of Green is nestled between two world-class PGA golf courses, the Disney’s Palm Golf Course and Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course.  All Military personnel will receive a standard 15% discount off of the standard pricing of tee times. We wished we would have scheduled an extra day for my husband to golf while my daughter and I got to spend more time at the pool and shopping at Disney Springs.

Shades of Green made our first family Disney Vacation truly a dream. I initially was worried that not staying at a “Disney Resort” would take away from the experience and magic but with the money we saved on accommodations we were able to splurge on other experiences at the theme parks.  We enjoyed Birthday Lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant, lots of mickey shaped treats, Dole whips, and turkey legs!

My Best Park Tips

  1. You must make a reservation to Disney Theme parks, so be sure to check park availability before booking your travel.
  2. Bring water (we saved so much $$$ bringing our own water), drinks, snacks, portable phone charger, and sunscreen to the park.
  3. Download the “My Disney Experience” app to make park navigation easier, mobile orders for food and to utilize the Genie pass.
  4. Purchase the Genie pass if you want to ride multiple rides. Select the most popular rides first in order to avoid missing a ride you really want to ride. Continue to refresh the ride if you are able to make a reservation as people do cancel later in the day. With the Genie pass we never stood in line for longer than 10 minutes with helped with our little one’s stamina for a full 8-10 hour day at each theme park (I was shocked)
  5. Stay flexible on the schedule. We planned to do four hours at the park then go back to the hotel to rest, but our daughter was doing great so we just kept going. We took frequent breaks in the shade for snacks and water and avoided being in the a/c for too long so our bodies wouldn’t be in shock when we got back into the heat.

Our Itinerary


  • 5:00 AM: Woke up early and drove to Shades of Green
  • 8:00 AM: Checked in and did all the registration. Our room was not ready but we dropped off our bags to the bell desk and left our number to call when our room was ready
  • 9:00 AM: Took the shuttle to the transportation center to ride the Monorail to Epcot. (With our early wake up time and 2 day park pass I decided to pick Epcot for our first day and Magic Kingdom for our 2nd day)
  • 9:30 AM to 8:00 PM: Epcot
  • 8:30 PM: Showers and take out from The Garden Gallery


  • 8:00: Get dressed and coffee from the Java Café. (Asked for a late check out tomorrow)
  • 8:30: Breakfast sandwiches from the Express Café while waiting for the shuttle to the transportation center to Magic Kingdom
  • 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM: Exploring the Magic Kingdom (Our little one loved Big Thunder Mountain, meeting Rapunzal, and the fireworks show)
  • 10:15 PM: Ride back to Shades of Green

Check Out Day

  • Grabbed breakfast and coffee at the Express Café
  • Packed the room
  • Swam in the pool
  • Bought gifts and souvenirs at The Exchange
  • Checked out of the room
  • Drove to Disney Springs to check out the Lego Store and World of Disney

I hope this makes planning for a magical trip to Disney a little easier. For more Disney tips, be sure to check out our other articles: Disney World for Military Families: Your Guide to Discounts & How To Purchase Tickets, 5 Tips Before You Plan a Trip to Disney Aulani.

I hope you have the best time and follow me on IG for more family fun and foodie finds!

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