Father and daughter on Dumbo
  • On Apr 9, 2021
    Kathyrn from CO Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    This is our first family trip to Disney with a 5, 15 and a fun 80yr Grandma. Grandpa (my Dad) passed away during COVID (76), he was an Lt. Col. Staying at Shades of Green, any tips? Bring food? We have 2-3 days, should do Magic Kingdom and a water park?

    Hi Kathyrn! Welcome to planDisney.

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. This has been an unthinkable year for so many; please accept my heartfelt condolences. I’m sending pixie-dusted wishes that your family visit to the Walt Disney World Resort creates beautiful memories and some space to remember and honor the Lieutenant Colonel for all he contributed to the world and your family.

    Shades of Green is a beautifully landscaped resort hotel with a really fun pool that your kiddo and teenager will both love. It’s got a great water slide, so be sure to bring your swim stuff and sunscreen for pool time! I recommend requesting a first-floor room; they come with lovely outdoor seating areas that are perfect for quiet family relaxation time. There is a walking path to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, but the walk is about 15-20 minutes, which may be too much for some in your group. There are also well-scheduled buses; be sure to check the bus schedule near the bus stops so you can plan your outings. Bring your military ID or your Shades of Green Guest ID and a photo ID, as that is needed for the bus, and they take it seriously (the kids will be fine if they don’t have IDs).

    As for dining, there are some great options at Shades of Green. I like to order groceries as my children have preferred brands of string cheese and other snacks, and it’s nice to have snacks to pack in our backpacks when we go into the theme parks, as well as breakfast items. There is an AAFES Exchange in the resort – along with really cute military Mickey souvenirs, they have a good selection of food items and beverages. The Java Café in the lobby makes waffle cones, which taste and smell amazing, and my fellow panelists can’t say enough about how good the gelato there is! Yum!

    My mom is a fun grandma too, and she loves Magic Kingdom Park! Attractions like “it’s a small world” and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, plus lots of opportunities to enjoy special Disney touches like character cavalcades (see a Cast Member for the daily schedule) are what make a magical day for my mom. You’ll want to purchase Memory Maker so you’re able to capture family photos throughout your stay – there is a military discount on this product, which you can purchase by stopping at Guest Relations and showing Grandma’s military ID. 

    For a 2-3 day multigenerational first visit, I would recommend that you visit the four theme parks and save the water park for another trip. The Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival is fun for all ages, with Disney character topiaries, fun scavenger hunts, and so many delicious drinks and treats. My children, my husband, and my parents all love this festival! We’d be happy to share more thoughts on what to do and what parks to plan, so please come back and tell us more about your family’s interests.

    Thank you for asking me this question, Kathyrn. You’ve got a friend in me, so please stop by again if you have more questions as you plan and dream. It's a true honor to help a fellow military family plan a special visit.

    Wishing you a magical vacation,
thumbnail image for Robyn

Meet the Panelist: Robyn, Virginia

Hi there! I'm Robyn, and I am so excited to share my love of all things Disney with you! My proud military family loves going on Disney adventures that include enchanting moments, laughter and happy tears, and all the pineapple and Mickey-shaped snacks we can find. It's my pleasure to help you plan the most magical and unforgettable vacation in the Disney Parks. Learn More About Robyn

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