Skip to content

Lou’s Email Inbox – A December Stay at Shades of Green Resort

“Hi Lou… My extended family and I will be spending Christmas week 2016 at Walt Disney World and will be staying at Shades of Green (my brother and his wife are both former members of the military). I’m curious if you have any experience with this resort? I know it’s not run by Disney, so I’m wondering how things like Magic Bands, ADR’s, Fast Pass+ reservations, etc. might work? Since we’re going at Christmas, I know the parks will be crowded and I want to be sure we’re able to take advantage of as many of the planning ‘tools’ that we can to maximize our time. Thanks Lou. Love the podcast.”

-Matthew Hiester

Hi Matthew, my name is Joshua. I am one of the writers for the WDW Radio Blog. Lou asked me to answer this question for you, as I have some experience at the Shades of Green Resort. As a member of the military, I have stayed at Shades of Green Resort a few times, both before and after the advent of MagicBandsShades of Green Resort can be an incredible value compared to other resorts on property for those eligible, depending on how you plan to visit.

Guests staying at Shades of Green will not automatically receive MagicBands. Since the resort uses its own key card system, the only thing you would need a MagicBand for is theme park tickets.  If your party is planning to purchase tickets from the discounted ticket desk at Shades of Green Resort or a local base ticket office, you will receive an RFID transmitter card as your ticket.  If you already have MagicBands from a previous visit to Walt Disney World, or if you choose to purchase MagicBands from the Disney Store, you will be able to link your tickets to the MagicBands using your My Disney Experience account. Even if you choose not to purchase MagicBands, you should still link your tickets to your My Disney Experience account, as doing so will allow you to make Fastpass+ selections 30 days prior to each day that you plan to visit the parks. Guests staying at Shades of Green Resort will be able to make Advance Dining Reservations 180 days prior to each resort reservation.

If you have any more questions about Shades of Green Resort or your upcoming trip, please feel free to contact me via Twitter or email (see my bio below).


(Photo from the author’s personal collection.)

Joshua Shusterman is United States Marine and has been stationed in both North Carolina and Hawaii.  He is an avid Disney fan, and has taken several trips to Walt Disney World as well as Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, and Disneyland Resort.  He has extensively researched military discount programs and offers from The Walt Disney Company, and loves to spread the word to his fellow service members.  He can be reached on Twitter @JLShusterman or email at JLShusterman@Gmail.com.