Shades of Green is an Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC), located within the Walt Disney World Resort property. As the only AFRC resort in the United States, this is a popular destination, and the resort has more than 500 rooms that can each accommodate at least five guests. There are rooms that are ADA compliant for those with accessibility requirements, and there are a couple of suites for larger parties.
As we pulled up to the beautiful flag lined entrance, the gate guard checked to make sure our name was on the list, and you must have your military ID to show him. We pulled up to the front of the resort, and a valet came over to see if he could help us. He explained that there was a parking garage available for $5 per day, or we could use the valet for $5 each time we needed them to get our car. We opted for the garage, which was a multilevel facility with ample parking.
The lobby is beautiful and simple, with comfortable furnishings and a nice fireplace. The registration desk is in an alcove just off of the lobby, which is kind of nice, because you are removed from some of the noise and busyness of the lobby.
The room, on the Magnolia side of the resort, was easily as big as a room at the Grand Floridian (and a check when I got home shows the Shades of Green standard room is actually 40 square feet larger than a room at the Grand Floridian). It’s not fancy, but there were two queen sized beds with comfortable mattresses and a convertible sofa for a fifth person. Not a fan of the color scheme, but they are definitely aiming for a tropical feel.
The bathroom was very generous, although I wish they had separated the toilet from the shower, which I think works better for families. There was a definite lack of toiletries – one small bottle of shampoo, no conditioner or lotion, and a small bar of soap on the sink and in the shower – but I always bring my own, so it didn’t impact our stay very much.
One of the pools was open during our stay, and it was a zero entry pool with lots of seating, tables and umbrellas, and room to move around without bumping into people. The Mickey pool was being renovated during our stay, but just near the pool was a small play area. Not huge, but it was cute.
The people here were all very friendly and really helpful, from the valet and the front desk people to the store clerks and the room service attendant. The resort is laid out so it’s easy to find everything – even for the directionally challenged.
We used the room service option for dinner once during our stay, and the food was delicious. I had the very best steak I’ve had in ages, and the calamari was just delicious. The portions are not huge, but sufficient.
Overall, our experience was great. This was kind of a no-frills resort – but the comfort and quality were certainly there. We paid $95 a room for the night, and taking that into consideration, this was a huge bargain for what we got. We would totally stay here again.