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Old 03-27-2014, 07:50 AM   #1
allstonsmommy
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SOG Question - Do you feel like you are "away from the magic"?

Hi! We are currently booked for POR in October but SOG rates are significantly lower. We have visited WDW many times but we have never stayed at SOG. I am hoping the military salute is extended but just wondering for those that have stayed at SOG - did you feel like you were "away from the magic" at all?
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:20 AM   #2
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Yes and no - while SoG isn't decorated like the Disney resorts where you KNOW you are at Disney, the location is in the heart of everything. You're a short walk to the Poly and TTC to hop on the monorail, two of the gorgeous golf courses surround the property, and seeing the princes and princesses walking around the resort heading to and from the parks definitely keeps the magic alive through the halls.

I actually like the location of SoG above some of the Disney values and mods because it does allow you to walk to the monorail and provides easy access to lots of dining choices (once at the monorail, you can get to any of the MK area deluxe resorts and all their dining.) This was important to us because we were NOT thrilled with SoG dining - not bad for a meal or two but definitely not the best. But, it gave us a good excuse to hit the other area resorts and enjoy!

That said, we have done the military salute discount last trip and this coming trip because while we enjoyed Shades, we do love Disney Deluxes!!! Still, we'll probably end up doing a split-stay with Dis Mod and SoG this Christmas... so much better value and since we'll be spending those days looking at Christmas decorations, no fuss about FP+!
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:35 AM   #3
allstonsmommy
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Thanks for your insight! I am having such a hard time deciding on a resort. We love the Deluxes too but SOG is such a great rate!
ETA: We are a family of 5 do there's really not a ton of options

Last edited by allstonsmommy; 03-27-2014 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allstonsmommy View Post
Hi! We are currently booked for POR in October but SOG rates are significantly lower. We have visited WDW many times but we have never stayed at SOG. I am hoping the military salute is extended but just wondering for those that have stayed at SOG - did you feel like you were "away from the magic" at all?
yeap..and we LIKE IT that way. far more restful, not nearly as frenetic so the time is actually relaxing and restful. it;s much quieter as well. I don't need the in your face total immersion experience. in fact I need to get away from it outside of the parks.

my only problem with SoG is there is zero quality on site dining options other than the breakfast buffet. it is so bad that we actually no longer stay there. any money we save on the room is spent in wasted time getting to the Poly or DTD to eat.
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:16 AM   #5
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we have stayed at Shades for 3 trips, and really like it. We are also a family of 5, so the bigger rooms are a must for us. For us it is a quieter hotel, but I agree the dining options aren't the best. We usually do room service once or twice, pizza, then plan mostly to eat somewhere else. We take a quick walk to the Poly and hop on the monorail, so never feel like we are out of the "bubble". And the EMH benefits are nice too. But I look at some of the themed resorts and think I would feel overwhelmed immersed 24/7, so the quieter SOG is better for us. (especially with Dh's PTSD he needs a quieter, less crowded place to decompress). I am excited for the pool changes that are planned too, though the kids have always been fine with the reg pool.

Would love to stay at the Poly and the volcano pool one day, the kids ooh and ahh every time we go to catch the monorail, but I think it is being refurbed?

That being said we are planning a split stay over the Christmas holiday this year, starting at SOG and then moving to the Contemporary. Hoping the 60 day fast pass booking, Theme Park View for fireworks and ability to walk to MK will help us navigate the Christmas crowds better!
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:22 AM   #6
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What is SOG?

My family is a group of big hockey fans, and every time I see this all I can read is "Shots On Goal"... :D
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:41 AM   #7
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What is SOG?

My family is a group of big hockey fans, and every time I see this all I can read is "Shots On Goal"... :D
Shades of Green, the Military owned and operated resort on Disney property. It used to be the Disney Inn. it's like Swan and Dolphin in the amenities and perks it is entitled to.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:19 AM   #8
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Agree with the yes and no. I wish we SOG had DDP and free parking at the parks like they used to. Those parking fees add up fast. But the location and room sizes can't be beat. It is nice to watch fireworks from the resort.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:35 PM   #9
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We have never stayed at SOG, but my friends did last month. They traveled with their four children and extended family. Important to know that they have never stayed off-site or in values. Now that I think of it, their stays may have been exclusively deluxe. They are usually at Boardwalk, although last trip, they received a complimentary upgrade to a 2-bedroom suite at BC. They thought SOG was great for the reasons previous posters mentioned. First, the price was such a good deal. But they really enjoyed the proximity to Poly and how convenient it was to take advantage of Poly shopping, dining and transportation. Sounds like they spent lots of time in the Poly area. Even the walk from SOG to Poly sounded really pleasant. At the time, they did not have access to advance booking of FP+ or MBs, so that was the only negative - but sounds like that is changing.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:39 PM   #10
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I agree with mostly everyone too. SOG is a quiet resort and the grounds are beautiful... minus the Disney décor. We prefer to stay at Deluxe simply for Dining purposes and also we love being immersed in Disney ie: themed pools, rooms, restaurants and such. The cost difference is huge though. We save a small fortune by staying at Shades!!! The rooms are larger than the Deluxe resorts we have stayed in and for a family of 5 that is a huge bonus!!! We would stay again in the future but for now taking advantage of the Military discount on the deluxe while its still available.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:04 PM   #11
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we stayed there once about 10 years ago with my grandparents. my grandparents had stayed at the Disney Inn before shades of green entered the picture so they were interested in trying it. we hated it but to answer the question you asked.....it does not feel like disney at all imho. i felt like i was staying off-site, which i suppose I was. (i'm sure plenty will disagree) at that time the bus system was awful and made the disney buses seem amazing (we're not fans of the disney buses really). We really had a difficult time with using those buses. The food is awful so i'd plan not to eat there at all unless things have dramatically changed. when we were there the pool was filthy, many of the lounge chairs were broken, the hot tub was filled with bugs as was the pool. And I mean you couldn't swim around without having several in your face most of the time. we found food in the first room my husband and i were in.

I will admit that my husband and I are hotel snobs but my grandfather/grandmother was/is not. We had two rooms and switched both of them several times before giving up. I do not believe that my husband and I have ever switched rooms and my grandfather was the most mild mannered go with the flow guy ever. I say that to explain we're not whiners or impossible to please or anything. Nor were we looking for any kind of compensation. We left early and you couldn't pay me to stay there again.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:07 PM   #12
lala5176
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we stayed there once about 10 years ago with my grandparents. my grandparents had stayed at the Disney Inn before shades of green entered the picture so they were interested in trying it. we hated it but to answer the question you asked.....it does not feel like disney at all imho. i felt like i was staying off-site, which i suppose I was. (i'm sure plenty will disagree) at that time the bus system was awful and made the disney buses seem amazing (we're not fans of the disney buses really). We really had a difficult time with using those buses. The food is awful so i'd plan not to eat there at all unless things have dramatically changed. when we were there the pool was filthy, many of the lounge chairs were broken, the hot tub was filled with bugs as was the pool. And I mean you couldn't swim around without having several in your face most of the time. we found food in the first room my husband and i were in.

I will admit that my husband and I are hotel snobs but my grandfather/grandmother was/is not. We had two rooms and switched both of them several times before giving up. I do not believe that my husband and I have ever switched rooms and my grandfather was the most mild mannered go with the flow guy ever. I say that to explain we're not whiners or impossible to please or anything. Nor were we looking for any kind of compensation. We left early and you couldn't pay me to stay there again.
The resort has changed quite a bit since then. 10 years is a long time ago!!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:14 PM   #13
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The resort has changed quite a bit since then. 10 years is a long time ago!!!
well i'm glad to hear that! it has been a long time, which is why i wanted to point out how long its been so that people didn't get the wrong impression. I don't mean to be so negative, it was just a really bad experience for us. I don't like saying "always" or "never" but I can honestly say we will never go back there.

It seems like several people have nice things to say about sog so perhaps there have been a lot of improvements.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:55 PM   #14
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We were just there for the first time March 1-8 and we loved it. We've stayed at all levels--DVC, deluxe, mods, and values over the years and had no issues at all with Shades of Green. Rooms were beautiful, staff was friendly, and the resort was wonderful.

I've seen a lot of bad reviews of the food and, honestly, it was no worse and some meals were much better than the WDW counterparts. The breakfast buffet was great and we enjoyed the fact that the dinner buffet changed each night.

As far as a loss of magic--I didn't notice any. The Poly and the monorail is within walking distance. You can see fireworks from the resort. I even kind of enjoyed the fact that the SoG buses were on a set schedule--the monorail was down for a big chunk of each day when we were there and it was nice to know when the SoG bus would arrive at the TTC and plan accordingly.

Actually, I had a lot of negative issues with WDW on this trip--from the cleanliness of the parks to FP+ and line issues and SoG was the one positive of our trip. We all loved it.
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Old 03-27-2014, 05:57 PM   #15
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We have stayed at SOG many times and we have never felt like we were missing the magic. In fact, we kind of enjoy being away from everything Disney while we are at the resort. Very relaxing, and quiet. It is a beautiful resort and it doesn't take long to get in the Disney mood once you are back in the parks.
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