Disney's Hollywood Studio's Tower of Terror
  • On Feb 4, 2024
    Hannah from VA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Military family staying at Shades of Green. Do we qualify for a dining plan or how much should we plan for a family of 5 with 3 teens. This is also our first time going to Disney ever. Must see things or things most don't know about their first trip?

    Magical Greetings, Hannah! Thank you for sending me your question. From one military family to another, thank you for your family's service!

    I am so excited to hear you're planning your first visit to Walt Disney World Resort, and you have come to the right place to get started. Shades of Green Resort is a wonderful option for military families. The proximity to Disney's Magic Kingdom Park also can't be beat! As guests, you also qualify for Early Magic Hours, and Extended Evening Hours on select nights at select theme parks, which will be awesome for your teens. Riding The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at night is something you'll have to add to your list! The one downside of staying at Shades of Green is that guests here do not qualify for any of the dining plans offered at Walt Disney World. 

    So, what do we do then? I have some suggestions that hopefully can help!

    • Check out the list of restaurants on the Walt Disney World website, and decide what options you and your family want to dine at. Since this is your first visit, I suggest at least one character meal, it is the best way to say hi to characters, and enjoy a great meal. Some of my favorites include Garden Grill Restaurant at EPCOT and Tusker House Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
    • Once you've made your list and taken a look at the menus, you can begin setting aside money for these restaurants, and you can put it on Disney gift cards! Lots of families do this as an option, and it's great to know that your meals (in a way!) are paid for in advance.

    Now, let's get to the fun stuff! As first-timers, I have some suggestions to make your visit memorable. Let's "dig a little deeper!"

    • Pick up the "My First Visit!" buttons at Guest Relations when you visit your first theme park.
    • For a memorable family activity, make an Advanced Dining Reservation at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop at Disney's Beach Club Resort, and attempt the Kitchen Sink Sundae challenge
    • Make sure My Disney Experience is downloaded to your phones, and purchase Disney Genie+ during your stay. Not only is Genie great for creating personalized itineraries, but it also organizes dining reservations and all the Lightning Lane reservations you make, and you can check wait times for attractions. 
    • As a military family, check out the Memory Maker discount. If you purchase Disney Military Salute Tickets, you will need to stop at Guest Relations to "activate" these tickets before entering the theme parks. While you're there, ask about the Memory Maker discount. It is currently $98 for military families, you'll get all the photos you take during your visit, including attraction photos, character meet photos, and any you take throughout the theme parks. 

    Hannah, I hope all of this information helps you with planning a magical visit! Please send me questions at any time before your visit. You've got a friend in me!

    Magic Awaits!

    Frances

thumbnail image for Frances

Meet the Panelist: Frances, North Carolina

Hey ya'll! My name is Frances, I am a mom and military spouse from Texas who currently calls the Tarheel state home. My family and I enjoy visiting the Walt Disney World Resort as often as we can because we love the joy and magic every trip brings us. We consider Walt Disney World to be our "home away from home!" If you are dreaming of adventure in the great wide somewhere, then you have got a friend in me! I enjoy sharing my passion for Disney with everyone I meet! Learn More About Frances

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