shades

Shades of Green® on Walt Disney World® Resort is an Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) located in Central Florida.  We get a lot of questions about what the difference is between this resort and staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort.

Shades of Green is on the grounds of Walt Disney World® but it is annexed as a military resort. Therefore, there are many features you get at a Walt Disney World® Resort you do not get when staying at Shades of Green. This can make the value of this resort a little confusing. I have detailed below some of the differences.

1.Complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport and resort.

All Disney property resorts have the Magical Express option which is complimentary shuttle service. Shades of Green® does not have this feature. This is about a $150 savings at a Disney resort based off a family of 4.

2.Parking

Disney resorts do not charge their guests for parking at the resort and they receive complimentary parking at the parks.

Shades of Green charges $7 a day to park at the resort for guests staying there and their guests are required to pay the parking lot fee if the guest drives to the parks. This is currently $20 a day.

3.Transportation to the parks

Disney resorts have continuous buses to all resorts and Disney Springs. Many resorts have boats, as well and three have the monorail as an option. The resort buses to Magic Kingdom pull right up in front by the gate whereas Shades of Green requires you going to the Ticket and transportation center and then taking the monorail.

The Shades of Green buses now pull up to the other three theme parks at the furthest bus stop and require more walking to the Gates as well.

4.Disney Dining plan

Many are confused by the dining plan. Shades of Green® will offer a dining plan from time to time as an option but it is only for their three restaurants whereas the Disney Dining Plan is for over 100 dining venues in the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs and includes such things as character meals! Not only can this save you money but it helps with a budget as it is pre-paid.

5.Themed resorts with Disney amenities

Disney does a great job of theming from Animals with giraffes and zebras out back to Polynesian where you can experience such things as fire dancers and hoola lessons. If your kids enjoy the movies, you can stay at Art of Animation and feel like you are right in the middle of the set of Cars.

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6.Activities at the resorts

Disney resorts feel more like a resort with pool activities and movies under the stars, safaris, horse and buggy rides, and fishing just to name a few. With Disney cast members in all roles at the resorts, it also is a carry over to the Award-winning service people experience in the parks.

 

7.Truly getting away

Military life can be stressful. The Disney resort and discounts offered by Walt Disney World® were created to offer military personnel and their families a little downtime to enjoy each other. However, many of our clients have told us that they enjoy staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort over Shades of green® resort as they truly get away from work. There is typically not “shop talk” at the pool or on the bus when you are staying at a Walt Disney World® resort whereas this can be a very viable conversation at Shades of Green®. Some people like that comradery, others are truly wanting to get away completely.

8.MagicBands

MagicBands are the customizable bands that make a vacation easier than ever. They are used to enter the parks, open the doors at resorts, tap for fast pass access, redemption of dining credits, and to make purchases in the parks. They come in a variety of colors and you can customize them to any name you want that will fit in the character field. These have become an exciting part of the vacation for many. These are complimentary with any stay at a Walt Disney World® Resort. The bands can be purchased in the parks for off-property resort guests to use as ticket and fast pass access. The current cost is $12.99 per band.

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9.Fast pass reservations

As a Walt Disney World® Resort guest you can pre-select three fast passes per day ahead of time, 60 days from your travel date for your entire vacation stay. You will be able to select a time for highly popular attractions so you know the wait for these attractions will be less for you on your vacation. Such attractions as Seven Dwarfs Mine ride, Frozen Ever After or Soarin can have over 2 hour wait times. With this feature, you have the opportunity to bypass those long lines and enjoy more time on attractions. Shades of Green® Resort guests have this option 30 days out along with the general public. Some of these very popular rides will not have fast passes available by this time. Please note, each attraction is subject to availability of fast passes at the time of selection.

10.Dining reservations

Dining is a big part of the Disney experience to many guests. Dining reservations open up 180 days before the travel date. Walt Disney Resort® guests are allowed to book all their dining at one time for their stay. Shades of Green® Resort guests are like other off-property guests and they must do their dining reservations each day at 180 days. If you are checking in 180 days from today, you would be able to do the dining for that day only and then need to go in the next day and it do it for that day. This not is not only time consuming but you may also run into availability issues as things will be filled already.

Shades of Green® Resort can be a great value price-wise but it is important to look at the features offered at a Walt Disney World® Resort hotel to make sure it is truly a value in every aspect. With the discounts military personnel get at the Walt Disney World® Resort and the discounted tickets that can be packaged with it, it is quite a value itself and you get all the features listed above. Contact your Ears of Experience agent today for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I know there is a lot of confusion on the new 2014/2015 military discounts so I thought I would clarify some of it. Below is the actual discount and blackout dates. Then I will go into some of the answers to questions we get often.

2014-2015 Military Ticket Discount Salute Offer

The Disney Armed Forces Salute offers special military tickets. These tickets are for a specified number of days* and come in several varieties.

Qualified individuals may purchase up to a maximum of six** theme park tickets during the period of the Disney Armed Forces Salute. These tickets are non-refundable and any days left on the tickets will expire at the end of the offer period.

Tickets purchased at military resellers and not direct from Disney must be activated prior to first use in person by the military member or spouse***.

At Disney World you have three choices for your tickets.
• Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper Option for $177 each, plus tax.
• Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Water Park Fun and More Option for $177 each, plus tax.
• Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets with Park Hopper and Water Park Fun and More Options for $207 each, plus tax.
Walt Disney World Resort tickets may be used September 28, 2014, through October 3, 2015, except that the tickets may not be used December 22, 2014 – January 2, 2015 and March 29 – April 9, 2015.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets for themselves and up to five additional family members or friends. No more than six Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased by any eligible member of the U.S. military (or spouse) pursuant to this offer. All tickets and options are non-transferable and must be used by October 3, 2015.

Active and retired U.S. military personnel can also take advantage of specially priced rooms at select Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort hotels.* This offer is valid for stays most nights from September 28, 2014, through October 3, 2015, except for:

November 27 – November 29, 2014
December 24 – December 31, 2014
March 30 – April 4, 2015

Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased at participating U.S. military sales outlets ONLY by Eligible Service Members (defined below) or their spouses (but not both), for use by themselves and other family members and friends, as provided herein. These Tickets may not be otherwise transferred, distributed or resold.

“Eligible Service Members” are active or retired members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard, Reservists and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The actual prices charged at the individual U.S. military base ticket offices for Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be less than the prices set forth above.

Participating military sales outlets must require that Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) present valid military identification to purchase Disney Military Promotional Tickets.

Disney 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Walt Disney World Resort are not valid until activated by the Eligible Service Members (or their spouses) at Walt Disney World theme park ticket windows. Tickets and options expire and may not be used after October 3, 2015. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.

Disney 3-Day Military Promotional Tickets for admission to the Disneyland Resort expire and may not be used after October 3, 2015. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.

No more than six (6) Disney Military Promotional Tickets may be purchased and (if applicable) activated by any Eligible Service Member or spouse (regardless of the place of purchase and whether purchased by that person or that person’s spouse). In addition, one of the six (6) Tickets purchased must be used by the Eligible Service Member or his/her spouse.
Each Disney Military Promotional Ticket must be used by the same person on any and all days.

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Minimum length of stay requirements may apply. Valid Military ID will be required upon check-in, and military member (or spouse) must stay in the room. No group rates or other discounts apply. Advance reservations required. Additional per-adult charges apply at the Walt Disney World Resort if there are more than two adults per room. Other restrictions apply.

Answers to some of the more popular questions we get

  • You cannot stack discounts so you cannot get the Free dining promotion and the military discount. You need to choose. Sometimes based off the length of your stay and the ages of those traveling, the free dine might actually be a better option so always run the numbers or work with someone that can.
  • If you are staying 2-5 days, it is best to use the military salute tickets and either not use some days if you are staying shorter or add a one day park ticket.
    • If you want to do five day tickets, it would be $177 plus a one day base ticket=$279
      A five day straight up ticket at Shades of Green with no hopping would be $300, $359 if you had the hopper feature
    • There are other options with the military discount like a six day ticket that tis NOT a Salute ticket but has a military discount is $307 for a base tickets, $365 if you added the hopper feature. If you did he salute tickets of $177 and added a two day base ticket, it would be $371 per person.
      These prices were based off adults pricing (over the age of 9)
  • You need to have tickets attached to your mydisneyexperience account to get your fast passes ahead of time. You can do this by linking the ticket with the number on voucher. Contrary to what has been said, this works. You will need to get these tickets either at a base or by contacting Camp Pendleton and having them shipped. The information is below. You can fast pass 60 days ahead if you are staying on property and the tickets are linked or 30 days ahead if off property and linked. Off property is Shades of Green. You do not have 60 day Fast pass privileges staying at Shades of Green.
  • Camp Pendelton, Oceanside, CA. The Camp Pendleton ITT , the closest military base to Disneyland, can take your order over the phone and mail them to you.
    • They carry all varieties of Disneyland and Disney World tickets both Armed Forces Salute and Regular Military Discounted tickets.
    • There is a $10 FedEx fee.
    • Disney World tickets require a 2 week lead time.
    • Contact the Camp Pendleton ITT Pacific Plaza
      (760) 725-5863
      Mon-Sat: 8:30am-6:30pm
  • You only get six tickets per military member. They are not six for the military member and six for the spouse.
    • You cannot purchase and activate six and use more than one for the same person until the first ticket is used. For example, you cannot purchase and activate 6 for two people that just want to use all of them for a longer stay. You need to use the first one and then go back and activate the next ones.
  • Do not buy the new tickets until they come out.
  • If you have resort accommodations already booked and want to adjust it to the new military promotion, there needs to currently be inventory at that resort and room category. For example, if you have a room at the Contemporary in a Bay lake view but there aren’t any rooms left in their inventory when the new discount comes out, they will not adjust it. You can upgrade to a nicer room or move to another resort. This can be done without rebooking.
  • The discount on the rooms is not off the rates you see online or any current promotion you already have. The discount is off a brochure rate, no one sees online.
    Each military member can book up to three rooms on the military rate including theirs. Everyone can pay with their own forms of payment. The quick service, regular, and deluxe dining plans can be added to the room for a package.

Discover the magic of Walt Disney World® Resorts and parks on a Walt Disney World® Family vacation, and share the joy of Mickey Mouse and company with your kids. Let Ears of Experience plan the perfect Disney trip for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 1-877-80MOUSE. We look forward to sending you on the magical vacation of a lifetime.

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