Thursday, August 8, 2013

Military Disney Trips - Shades of Green or On Property?

As a member of the U.S. Army, I have many opportunities for discounts that much of the general public doesn't have.  We have been lucky enough to have been offered constant ticket and hotel discounts for the past several years and I have been taking advantage of them - and convincing others to do so - for as long as possible.  I am well aware this discounts may go away, so I want to take advantage of them while I can!
For a full overview of the discounts available for the military, check out Military Disney Tips.

Disney Military Discounts 

At both Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort, park tickets and resorts are heavily discounted for military.  Disney Cruise Line often offers last minute discounts as well - harder to plan, but a great way to jump on them if you've got leave in the next month or so.

Disney Ticket Discounts:

  • A 4 day WDW Park Hopper for October, 2013-September 30, 2014 is only $169.  A limited number of these is allowed per service member.
  • A 3 day Disneyland Park Hopper is $129.

Disney Resort Discounts

  • At WDW, Deluxe resorts are 40% off 
  • Moderate Resorts are 35% off
  • Value Resorts are 30% off (higher than in past years)
  • Shades of Green is a military owned and operated resort ON WDW property - it's discounts are based on rank.
  • Disneyland Resort discounts are up to 40% off

Shades of Green

Located behind Disney's Polynesian Resort, the Shades of Green opened as the Disney Golf Resort in 1973.  In 1994, it was leased by the U.S. Government to become a military resort.  Shades of Green considers itself a "deluxe" resort.  The rooms are on the larger size, 400 square feet, and have double sinks in the bathroom.  Room rates are based on rank:
  • E-1 to E-5  -$95 and up (depending on room size)
  • E-6 to E-9, O-1 to O-3, WO1- WO- 3 - $123 and up
  • O-4 to O-10, WO 4-5 - $133 and up
veterans, foreign military, etc... apply into these categories.

With prices like those offered at Shades of Green, why look anywhere else?

With the Military Discount, the rates at Shades of Green are comparable to Disney Moderate Resorts and make the Deluxe resorts more affordable.

Let's price out rooms for an E-6 (hey, that's me!)
I could pay: 
  • $123 a night at the Shades of Green for a standard room.
  • OR for a steal - 543.20 for 4 nights plus breakfast
  • And pay for a rental car $30 per day 
  • And then $5 per day AT the hotel
    • Avoid these fees by paying for a taxi  $61 each way
  • Take free SoG transportation to the WDW parks or walk to the monorail at the Polynesian.
    • Buses are on a seasonal schedule.  Whatever that means.
    • 15 minute walk to the Poly/monorail.  Might not be that exciting after a long day of walking!
  • Park at the Disney Resorts for $15/day like an off property guest
  • Everything in the SOG is tax free
I could pay:
  • $112 per night at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter
  • That's $453 for 4 nights - no meals included
  • Avoid rental car and parking fees by taking advantage of the Magical Express
    • Savings of at least $200 in transportation
    • If driving - park for free at resort and theme parks
  • Take free WDW transportation - buses run approximately every 20 minutes to parks and resort. Boats available from POR to Downtown Disney
It really is a toss up when it comes down to fees - but for my money, I'd rather have the full Disney experience. 

I'm training to become a WDW Guru - Travel Agent.  Contact me if you would like a quote to compare for yourself!


  1. This was interesting to read. I always wondered if the military discount was a good deal or not.

  2. Louise Briana MikusAugust 8, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    dont forget the dining plan staying on property... even with that added on it is cheaper to stay at disney while they offer a military discount