We have stayed at POR twice but have the option of staying at SOG this trip. We are a family of 5 so the larger room at SOG would be nice. However, the bus schedule concerns me (1st bus only 30 minutes before RD) so we would probably end up driving. Would love your opinions especially on SOG since it is new to us.
Shades is a nice place to stay. If transportation is an issue, you can walk to the poly and use the busses and monorail from there. For my family, the price of shades makes it a no brainer.
My neighbor's daughter said rooms much bigger at SOG.
I've stayed at SOG many times. It's basically a deluxe resort with lower than moderate prices. The rooms are the largest single rooms on property, you have inside corridors, a nice lobby with a waterfall and attractive grounds. I've heard that the new pool is also very nice, although I haven't seen it. Another benefit is that there is an AAFES there, so you can buy various items (including alcohol) at very reasonable prices. I personally like the SOG buses; they run on a set schedule and are typically not as crowded as Dis buses. For early MK days, you can walk to the Poly in about 10 min and get on a monorail from there.
The ONLY reason stopped staying there is that it's not a "Disney" resort, so you can only make FPPs at 30 days. Also no free parking at the parks. One other downside is that the food there is not great. The AM buffet is "standard", but less than half the price of a Disney equivalent; the dinner buffet is not good. But as I virtually never eat at the resort, this doesn't bother me. The Starbucks kiosk in the lobby, however, is a nice to have.
Thanks so much for all of your replies. It's about $300 cheaper to stay at SOG by the time you add in the cost to park at SOG and at the parks if we drive. How far is the walk to the Poly?
I couldn't tell you in miles, but it takes about 10 min. I'd call it comparable to the walk from MK to the CR.
You can also use the Shady Shuttle. Basically, they will drive you in a golf cart to the edge of shades of green property then you can walk across the street to the poly. It only runs at certain times of day. There is a little stand in the lobby area where you request the shuttle. I seem to remember it not running very late into the evening.