Recently, a Chip Panel Blogger wrote a great article about where to start planning a Disney Vacation as a military family. This article is a great overview of some fantastic options. I wanted to expand on this article from my perspective.
As a member of the U.S. Military for over 7 years now, I have taken full advantage of many of the perks Walt Disney World offers to the U.S. Military. I am regularly asked questions by my coworkers what the best options are and I usually hear everyone say that they stay at the Shades of Green. Why? The assumption that the “military resort” offers the best deals for members of the military and their families.
The first time I looked into the Shades of Green, it was completely booked. When that happens, they have an overflow rate at the Disney resorts, even if they have no official discount. When I was looking, the discount offered from WDW was a better deal than the Shades of Green overflow rate.
As mentioned in the previous article, there is no transportation from the airport, so either a car rental or a cab ride is necessary. If you do rent a car, the cost to park at the Shades of Green is $5 per day and this does not transfer to the parking lots for the theme parks.
Then comes the actual cost of staying at Shades of Green versus staying at a Disney resort. 1st – while I’ve never experienced the SoG first hand, the pictures don’t make me feel like it is as magical and filled with Disney magic – after all, it is not run and operated by Disney. I have coworkers and friends who have stayed and enjoyed it, but when I look at cost, I still see it as Disney vs. Non-Disney.
Let me show you this comparison:
For E6 to-E9, O1 to O3, WO-1 to CW3, a Standard Room runs for $123 per night. More for higher ranks, less for lower ranks.
With Walt Disney Worlds 35% of a moderate resort offer, a night at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort runs for $117 night.
Though the Shades of Green does consider itself a “deluxe” resort, I would choose Disney Magic an extra perk to staying at POR. And, with the 40% discount on Deluxe Resorts, a night in a standard view at the Animal Kingdom Lodge would be $195 per night. That includes parking, Disney’s Magical Express, and full time Disney Magic.
Which would you choose?
- Disney salutes the U.S. Military (chipandco.com)
- Planning a Disney Vacation for Military Families (chipandco.com)