11 responses

  1. Dave
    March 26, 2021

    Yup, as noted many places in this review…

    Reply

  2. Wilhelmine
    March 25, 2021

    The Shades buses leave something to be desired, but the Polynesian is within walking distance to use Disney World buses or monorail.

    Reply

  3. PegP
    January 25, 2020

    We’ve been to Disney several times, and I can honestly say that my kids haven’t judged their resorts based on Disney theming. They get that at the parks. All they really look at are the pools. And unless you’re staying at Art of Animation, the Value Resorts pools are nothing special, and even AoA doesn’t have a slide.

    The other way that Shades of Green surpasses the values, even for first-time visitors, is the location. When you have small children, those packed-to-the-brim Disney buses can get very trying when you’re at resorts that are far from the park.

    Not everyone wants to be completed submersed in Disney 24/7 while at Disney, even first-time visitors. Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have stayed at Art of Animation on our first trip. You’re the farthest from Magic Kingdom, there’s no table restaurants, plain pools, and small rooms (REALLY small rooms), and double beds (or worse yet, Murphy beds). Unless money was a real object, I would never recommend a Value Resort to a first time visitor. So, and this is merely my opinion, I think Shades of Green beats any value (and most moderates) hands down, even for those going for the first, and possibly only, time.

    Reply

    • Dave
      January 26, 2020

      Peg, thanks for your very thoughtful comments. If you use different criteria for sorting, you will certainly get different answers. It’s for that reason that 1) i am so explicit on what my criteria are, and 2) I have such detailed reviews of all the relevant hotels, for those who don’t care what my criteria are!

      I do disagree specifically on one point. The location of Shades, from a convenience point of view, matters less than the quality of its bus service. In my experience, the Shades buses start too late, end too early, have too infrequent service, and because of the focus on TTC rather than the MK and Epcot lots, force a two-step process that the Disney resorts don’t.

      Reply

  4. Andrea
    July 8, 2015

    I’m helping a friend plan her trip for Jan 10-14, 2016. She was looking at staying at SOG. Since that is a low crowd week, do you think she would be able to get FP+ for SDMT and Anna & Elsa at 30 days out? This is her first visit, so I sent her your review and recommended she do a split stay at a WDW resort, as you suggest.

    Reply

    • Dave
      July 9, 2015

      Andrea, no on Anna and Elsa, perhaps on SDMT.

      Reply

  5. Steve From MilitaryDisneyTips.com – YourFirstVisit.net Military Moderator
    March 24, 2015

    Perspective…

    Everyone has one, and they are usually different!

    Everyone also has different vacation and touring thoughts and objectives.

    YourFirstVisit is a site expressly for first time WDW visitors, who might never return. Dave’s perspective as a reviewer is solely aimed at those individuals, though others can pick up info too.

    Yes, Shades is a hidden gem, especially for Category 1 guests and it was all we had in the way of a military room discount prior to the Disney Armed Forces Salute.

    My perspective is that of a WDW addict and the Disney Armed Forces Salutes, since 2009 have allowed me to stay at a wide variety of WDW resorts at a huge savings.

    Shades holds a special place in my heart as the first on property, multi-night vacation my young family had back in 2000, made possible by the low cost. But I’d rather have the Disney experience and Shades could be a resort located anywhere in the world, there is no way to know that you are at WDW. I only stay at Shades (while the Salutes continue) for reviews and to keep up with changes.

    Others bring a wide variety of perspectives to their WDW vacations, which fortunately all of the magic at WDW can accommodate.

    Reply

  6. Michael Randall
    March 24, 2015

    I think your review is spot on for first time visitors, particularly for those with younger children. I have stayed at both SOG and the Value Resorts and think you have made many great points for the first trip. For those of us fortunate enough to get to return often, there are definitely times when SOG wins hands down. As one who has never grown up, the Value Resorts at Disney are much more appealing to us kids and should be experienced at least once. 🙂

    Reply

    • Dave
      March 24, 2015

      Thanks Michael–and I edited your comment!

      Reply

  7. brian
    March 24, 2015

    flat out disagree!!! 🙂 SOG is truly a hidden gem for military…. been staying there for years…. yes I have stayed at GF, Contemporary, AKL and upcoming WL. I wont stay anywhere but a deluxe! So very one-sided

    Reply

    • Dave
      March 24, 2015

      Brian, please give me specifics where I’m wrong on the facts or one-sided in my judgement and I’ll gladly revise!!

      Resort assessments on this site are aimed at first-time visitors who may never return, and have always been driven by 1. kid appeal compared to options, and 2. convenience compared to options.

      Obviously other people use different criteria, which is why my reviews get so long!

      Reply

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