Shades of Green Resort located at Walt Disney World is an Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) for eligible personnel including active duty and 100% disabled military members. Renovated in March of 2004, the resort has 586 oversized guest rooms and is ADA friendly. Free bus transportation with ramps or lifts is available to all of the Disney parks.
The resort is large, private and surrounded by two of Walt Disney World’s championship golf courses, the Magnolia and the Palm. You’ll find two heated pools, one in the shape of a Mickey head which is handicap accessible; the other provides the ability to swim laps. To make the resort even more disability friendly, there are “oversized elevators, special transportation options and multiple ramps”. There are wheelchairs available for use on the resort grounds.
Handicap rooms include a walk in shower, shower chair, railings and other options if requested. By calling for reservations, you can make your requests known and they are usually met. You can even request a specific area of the resort (for example a ground floor room), but be aware that specific room requests, such as pool area rooms are more expensive.
The resort personnel are extremely helpful to all guests, but if you are a person with a disability, they will go out of their way to make your stay pleasant. My experience with them has always been top notch. As busy as they are, they have made time to change our room because of the long distance from the room to the parking lot for me. The guests are polite and welcoming as well.
Because of the spaciousness of the resort, I recommend that you make use of one of the wheelchairs, rent one or a scooter, or bring your own. You’ll be surprised at the distance between check-in, your room, the pools, lobby, restaurants, shops, etc. It’s huge! And can easily tire out someone with a medical condition.
Eligibility to stay in Shades of Green is for the following: Members on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard and Merchant Marine Academies, retirees from active duty, Reserves, and National Guard, Honorably discharged veterans with 100 percent Service-connected disability, and others, including current and retired Department of Defense and Coast Guard civilian employees.
Hotel rates are based on military rank and other factors, including if you are retired or 100% disabled. The Shades of Green website offers special rates and offers. For the holidays, for those making reservations online, take 10% off room rates for December 11–15. The Caregiver Special ends November 30th. A standard room is only $69 per night “as a respite for those providing for our country’s wounded and ill Armed Forces members, veterans, and Family Members.”
Located on site as an AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Service), where you can purchase groceries, magazines and Disney souvenirs. All AAFES purchases are tax free for military members, retirees and other personnel. Dining packages are available and the restaurants offer buffet style, regular dining, and snacks. The Magnolia Spa offers massages, manicures and pedicures, children’s services among other relaxing options.
Shades of Green gets an A+ for being disability friendly because of its staff, ADA compliance, eligibility for 100% disabled military members and spacious handicap rooms. Being the only Armed Forces resort located on a Disney property gives it thumbs up as well.
Connie Roberts is a professional blogger who makes it her mission to advocate for people with medical issues. Travel with a disability is not a struggle, but an opportunity to see the world and let others see that it’s possible and a lot of fun. Tweet with her @ConnieFoggles.