Walking around Disney World property is one of the most convenient and time saving strategies. However, one of the best walkways is permanently closing.
Walking around Disney World
You might be thinking, “Why would I want to walk when I could ride?” After all, if you have heard anything about a Walt Disney World vacation, you have probably heard about the vast amount of walking you will do during your visit.
However, you may find you save a whole lot of time and annoyance by walking when possible rather than waiting for a bus, boat, Skyliner, or Monorail. For one thing, you do not have to wait to walk. You can just go when you are ready.
If you walk, you also don’t really have to worry about lines, crowds, delays, or breakdowns. So, it eliminates a bit of stress if you tend to be a worrier. Being able to walk gives you some measure of control over your travel to and from the parks.
Walking can also work out if you are traveling with a stroller or with guests who use a scooter or wheelchair. It can be much easier to just head to the parks on foot with your family members riding along with you than it is to load and unload strollers and ECVs.
You can read more about the best resorts for walking in this post.
Shades of Green walkway
Shades of Green is Disney World’s military property. Although not officially owned by Disney, it does sit on Disney World property. In fact, it is prime real estate! It is just a 5-10 minute walk to Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
Being so close to the Polynesian is a huge draw for many Guests looking to stay at Shades of Green. It is one of the reasons why I (Monica) love to stay there so much. There is a nice little walkway from the resort’s entrance, past the golf courses, across World Drive, and over to the Polynesian.
However, that walkway is now PERMANENTLY closing.
Letter to Guests
Shades of Green shared a letter, and here is a small portion of it:
Starting Monday, May 1, 2023, the World Drive Expansion Project will begin between Shades of Green and the Grand Floridian Resort. We know that it’s a lovely stroll on the walkway from our hotel to the Polynesian Village Resort. Unfortunately, it will no longer be accessible.
But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! We’re adding extra buses to the Transportation and Ticket Center route, so you can still easily get to your destination. And the best part? It’s totally free!
What are your thoughts?
It seems many others were as confused as I was reading this letter. When will it reopen? The resort confirmed this is a permanent change. Due to all the work taking place surrounding the new DVC tower at the Polynesian and on World Drive, it’s been decided the walkway will not be able to serve Shades of Green guests.
The change will cut through Cast Member parking at Magic Kingdom and also require a new entrance for the Polynesian. It also appears some roundabouts will also be constructed in the area.
This change will be incredibly disappointing to those Guests who stay at Shades of Green or utilize the Palm and Magnolia golf courses. Guests will no longer be able to cross that road at all, and golf carts will no longer be utilized to take Guests to and from the entrance of the resort to the main lobby.
In addition, Shades of Green shares the project is expected to last until 2027, so there will likely be many disruptions at the hotel’s entrance for the next several years.
As a reminder to those who utilize Shades of Green’s bus transportation, your government identification AND resort identification are required for getting on the bus. It’s recommended you keep these on you at all times, or you may be turned away from bus transportation.
Are you a Guest at Shades of Green? Will you consider staying there in the future now that the walkway is closing for good? Let us know in the comments below. Be sure to share this post with a friend who also stays here.
I was so sad to see this. We have stayed at Shades of Green often and love the walk to the Polynesian! We have gone to eat there and walking is way easier than waiting for transit to the TTC. Also for those early morning breakfasts at the park or one of the resorts, walking to get the transportation at the Poly is so helpful! Feels like a punishment from Disney. So disappointed.
Glad I didn’t schedule a dinner at the Polynesian. The logistics just getting across the street have been (perhaps intentionally) made difficult.
Since WDW is always building/ reconfiguring the park…. They could build a walk over bridge to the Polynesian Hotel from. SOG. It’s ridiculous to cut off the SOG like this…..I’m disappointed that WFW is not more considerate of the military community but not surprised.. Will definitely be sharing my opinion with them… not that it will make a difference.
This is absolute garbage. Clearly whoever made this decision has never taken 2 toddlers on a trip while their spouse is deployed and tried folding up a double stroller while wrangling children at the same time. The buses are a nice convenience for guests without strollers or wheelchairs. You can only fit so many in the buses at one time. I truly hope enough people write to Disney and ask them to rectify this situation.
HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT! now we need to find another alternative. So upsetting :(
Have stayed at Shades 4 times and have never used their buses. We love the walk tp Poly. Thinking seriously of cancelling upcoming October stay. Terrible move on part of Disney and Shades. Need a compromise where walkway is still in use.
It’s kind of like Bonnet Creek, which is why I don’t stay at Bonnet Creek. Loved the walkway to the Poly. Somewhat second guessing a trip to SoG now.
I wish everyone would send a emai to Disney with their views. Send to [email protected] subject World Drive Expansion Project Hopefully Disney will listen.
The walkway and convenience to the MK, the Poly, and the other MK resorts made it our go-to; probably no longer. I agree with the comment in regard to disabilities among the military. My sister used a scooter when we were there in December and would have had to wait over 90 minutes for a bus to MK (2 scooters max, 5 in front of her in line, a bus every half hour.) We walked it in less than 15.
This is a huge disappointment. I have stayed at Shades every year (and twice some years) for the last 7 years. The walk to the Poly is the main attraction to Shades for us. It gives easy, spontaneous access to the monorail, restaurants, gift shops, etc. Families with wheelchairs or strollers particularly relied on this path. I have so many great memories of my 5 kids playing on the walk home at night. I suspect we will still stay at Shades, but I will definitely shop around before committing now. I hope Disney will get enough feedback to consider a cross walk or walk over path. I know I have spent thousands at the Poly over the years as I am sure others have.
Will not be staying at the hotel any longer. This was one of the main reasons we stayed.
This honestly ruined my night when I got the letter. It’s a brutal decision that will make Shades much less attractive and and accessible as a destination. We’ve stayed there twice including a trip just a week or two ago and the walk to Poly was crucial to our trip as we used it every day, multiple times a day.
The bus transportation at Shades was awful when we stayed there the first time. We didn’t know about the walkway (n00b mistake) until halfway through the trip and our trip was night and day better after finding out about the walkway. I have doubts they can increase bus service enough to make transportation not a disaster.
Such a bummer. We loved the walk to Poly to access the Monorail or their bus service. It became tradition for us to stop and grab a cocktail to go at the Tiki bar after a king day at the parks. We’re also early risers and being able to walk and not wait for transportation was huge for us. We’re supposed to go back to Disney for the holidays and now I’m not sure.
It’s a real shame it is so close to everything and yet totally unaccessible now.
Very disappointing to say the least. That walkway is vital for the health and well being of all guests, but especially veterans. Many people look forward to the exercise they get from that walkway and it provided great benefits. This is a huge loss.
Considering how many disabled veterans rely on that path for transportation, and have a harder time using buses, this seems particularly cruel for Disney world to just close off that access. I do understand this isn’t SOG, but I perhaps if enough guests of SOG/WDW make some noise about how this change impacts their guests, something could be done.
I agree. My husband uses an ECV due to his service connected disabilities, so being able to just head over to the Polynesian and use the monorail eliminates the chaos of transferring to a bus for two parks. To have to get on a bus with an ECV for a 1 minute ride just to get on the monorail does not seem worth it.
What a big mistake. Disney keeps taking away “the good things” but replacing it with higher prices. When is it going to stop! This is one of the perks staying at SOG. Being able to walk the grounds to the Polynesian. Not happy. Canceling my SOG reservation for this year.
I thought it was temporary during construction. I hope you’re wrong!
It is not temporary. Shades of Green confirmed multiple times in social media comments it is permanent.
We are seriously thinking about cancelling our SOG reservations. This was such a huge draw for us and so disappointing. We loved using the monorail and the boat to Magic Kingdom and popping over there to eat, shop and of course get a dole whip.
I don’t blame you! As a frequent Shades of Green guest myself I’m considering the same.
Oh, WOW. Literally just yesterday we decided to go again next year, and talked about how we would walk to the Poly on MK days. We have often walked to the Poly and used the monorail to go eat at other resorts. We have often walked to the Poly to eat and shop there. This will greatly affect our trip. Disney has no reason, and actually has a vested interest in getting Shades customers to stay at another property. This is so disappointing
The closure is disappointing, but I realize it is not SOG’s decision. I am hoping the extra buses to the TTC will be more frequent. Maybe someday Disney will let us be dropped off with the Disney Resort buses at MK.