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Shades of Green Help Save "Green"

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Updated March 18, 2006
by Sgt. Jennifer Antoine

For many children, visiting Walt Disney World may be the Mecca of vacation spots. Taking pictures and getting autographs with Disney’s finest is one thing they might very well remember for their whole lives. What do the parents remember, though? Expensive resorts, high-priced meals and out-of-this world attraction prices are all things found while visiting Orlando.

However, there is an answer for all the headaches that accompany planning a visit to the ‘The Happiest Celebration on Earth.’ For those who don’t want to deal with all the stress and headaches that might go along with Disney, the Armed Forces Recreation Center Shades of Green is the one-stop answer. This resort is one of four AFRC around the world designed to give military personnel and their families all the comforts and benefits of a resort, while specifically catering to their needs and rewarding them for their services.

The Shades of Green is nestled between the Palm and Magnolia Golf Courses on Walt Disney World Property.

According to Charles Fitzpatrick, director of training and professional development at The Shades of Green, for more than a decade, the resort has been catering to servicemembers with amenities that would rival the most expensive resorts in Orlando. It boasts 586 guest rooms, 10 family and junior suites, two heated pools and a hot tub, state-of-the art fitness center and transportation to all of Orlando’s many attractions, to name a few.

The Shades of Green also has an on-site ticket office, which provides discounted tickets to dozens of locations, including all Walt Disney World theme parks, Universal Studios, Sea World Orlando and Kennedy Space Center. Staying at the resort offers special perks such as extended hours at the parks and reduced rates at the golf courses, said Fitzpatrick.

If holiday vacations are in the plans, the resort has seasonal celebrations for Oktoberfest, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, in addition to poolside barbeques, according to Fitzpatrick.

All active duty members and their families, along with retired, guard, reserve and DoD employees, are among, but not limited to, those who qualify for eligibility said Fitzpatrick.

As eligible Shades of Green guests, servicemembers, along with a dependent spouse, are each allowed to sponsor three additional rooms, making the Shades of Green a perfect place to have a family reunion or special occasion, such as a wedding.

The room prices are divided in to three categories. The first category is E-1 through E-5. The second category is E-6 through E-9, 0-1 through 0-3, WO-1 to CWO-3, GS-1 through GS-10 widows, NF-1 through NF-3, Medal of Honor recipients and 100 percent disabled veterans. The third category is O-4 through O-4 through O-10, CW-4 and CW-5, GS-11 through SES, NF-4 through NF-6, and retired Department of Defense civilians.

With so much to do in the Orlando area, Shades of Green is a place where the servicemembers and their families can go see Disney and other area attractions without the hassle and headache. For more information or to begin scheduling a vacation getaway in Orlando, call 1-888-593-2242, or visit the resort’s Web site at www.shadesofgreen.org.

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