For many, a vacation at Disney World is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and while we will always do our best to treat our family to excellent meals out and treats from one of the many exciting vendors around the parks, most of us rely on small grocery shops to stock up in between; reducing costs and ensuring that there is something to satisfy that midnight munch.
When it comes to the best way to do a grocery trip when you’re staying at a Disney World resort, there are plenty of options, all with their advantages and disadvantages, so that’s where we come in because we want to help you find the best possible service for you. Whether you’re looking for a full shop or just a few extras to get you through your stay, we understand the importance of grocery shopping except with Disney World, nothing is conventional and that’s part of the excitement!
Getting Groceries By Car or Delivery Service
Many grocery stores offer a delivery service straight to your hotel making it one of the easiest ways to get a hold of your much-needed shop. It is important to note, however, that for guests staying at The Swan and Dolphin will not be able to receive grocery deliveries.
Pros of using a car delivery service
- Any groceries that are ordered using this method will be dropped off at Bell Services. The good news is that they have a great storage arrangement, including refrigeration units meaning that all your goods will be kept at the appropriate temperature until you either collect or arrange delivery to your room.
- You’re in control of delivery windows and can select the one that best suits your day. It should be noted however that this is subject to change depending on the company you use.
- Some stores are happy to deliver alcohol, for those looking for a bottle of spirits. Even if you have been walking around drinking all day!
Cons of using a car delivery service
- Most stores require a minimum order price, so you need to make sure you’re keeping an eye on what that is and meet it to ensure the availability of the service.
- As of April 2019, Bell Services charge a $6 delivery fee to deliver directly to your hotel room door (however you can opt to collect your order for free if you’d prefer).
Garden Grocer (a family favorite!)
Garden Grocers offers a grocery delivery service that is run through an online ordering system. Once you’ve filled your basket and proceeded through checkout, you’ll be able to select a delivery window that best suits your requirements. If we were to recommend any service, this is the one!
Pros of using Garden Grocer
- Incredibly reliable service with lots of guests recommending them.
- There is NO minimum order cost. You simply order your groceries and on orders under $200, there is a $14 delivery fee.
- For guests who order in advance, there is a discount structure available (15 days in advance = 5% discount, 30 days in advance = 7% discount, 60 days in advance = 10% discount).
- They will deliver alcohol if purchased.
Cons of using Garden Grocer
- You are restricted only to the products available on their website.
- They will only deliver groceries to Disney World resorts.
- Deliveries to the following resorts are available only between 4:00 pm and 9:00 pm; Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk Resorts, and Disney campgrounds.
WeGoShop is an excellent grocery shopping service that will go to multiple stores to complete your order and then deliver it during a 30-minute window as selected at checkout. Stores included in this are Publix, Trader Joe’s, Winn Dixie, Whole Foods, Sam’s Club, and/or Walmart.
It should be noted that to use this service for your grocery shopping while you stay at Disney World, there is a unique costing structure to be conscious of and the cost varies depending on the size/expense of the order you place.
- For orders up to $50 in value, there is a $19 shop and delivery fee.
- For orders between $50 and $100, there is a $24 shop and delivery fee.
- For orders between $100 and $200, there is a $29 shop and delivery fee.
- For orders between $200 and $300, there is a $39 shop and delivery fee.
- For orders over $300, the shop and delivery fee costs 13% of the grocery receipt total.
As well as this, there are additional costs to consider, such as:
- $5 per additional store that you request your shopping from.
- $3 surcharge for fuel on all orders.
- 15% gratuity for all orders delivered to Bell Services.
- There are also additional costs for services such as same-day delivery, after-hours delivery, grocery bagging, and warehouse stores.
Pros of WeGoShop services
- There is no minimum order amount.
- WeGoShop also offers delivery of both alcohol and flowers upon request.
- You are provided with plenty of options for stores, so you can be sure that you’re getting the products you’re after.
- Guests will be paying the same amount for each product that they would if they picked it up in-store. There is no mark-up on these prices and the receipt you receive will be original and true to the original pricing of the product.
Cons of WeGoShop services
- Delivery fees are more expensive using this service than with others.
- There are lots of additional fees that you need to monitor to be sure you’re getting the best possible deal for your money.
- You will not know how much your order is going to cost until you receive it. Shoppers pick up items at the price they are on the day in the shop, they could be subject to offers, price changes etc meaning you will only know how much your shop costs once it has been checked out and the receipt has been supplied.
Amazon Prime Now
A spin-off of its namesake Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Now offers its own separate mobile device app and website and offers an exclusive grocery delivery service to those who have subscribed to a Prime membership. This is a great solution for those that have these memberships, so this comes highly recommended.
Pros of Amazon Prime Now
- This is a far less expensive way to shop because Amazon isn’t exclusive to Disney World.
- It’s a convenient way to shop because it will all be done online and be delivered to your door.
- You can find far more than just groceries on here. Forgot your phone charger? Not a problem. You can find all of your vacation essentials as well as your groceries.
- Delivery is fast! It’s using the same technology as Amazon Prime, it’s just specific to groceries and shopping.
- Delivery is affordable (free for 2 hour delivery on orders above $35, just $4.99 for orders below $35 and $9.99 for orders needed within an hour).
Cons of Amazon Prime Now
- The only real disadvantage to this service is that it is only available to those who have a Prime membership.
Dizzy Dolphin Delivery
Started by owners of Disney Vacation Club, Dizzy Dolphin Delivery offers a specialized grocery delivery service exclusively for Disney World resort guests. All orders are fully customized to suit the needs of the guest.
Pros of Dizzy Dolphin Delivery
- This service offers a shop at multiple different stores, including wholesalers.
- For large orders ($250+) there is no additional shop cost.
- They’re able to deliver a plethora of additional products such as Gluten-Free items, alcohol, and gift baskets.
Cons of Dizzy Dolphin Delivery
- There is a minimum order amount of $50.
- It can take up to 3 days for you to receive a quote for your order.
- On orders less than $250, there is a $14 shop fee.
Instacart delivery service
Instacart is similar to a few of the services that we have already mentioned. They utilize personal shoppers to pick up grocery orders received from numerous stores such as Publix, Whole Foods, Costco, and ABC Fine Wine and Spirits. The delivery costs are entirely dependant on the nature of the customer’s order (accounting for factors such as size, price, and how fast delivery is required).
Pros of Instacart
- This is a very convenient and easy service to navigate, especially for repeat customers.
- You can purchase your products from a selection of different stores.
- You can receive alcohol in your deliveries.
- The minimum order fee is low, at just $10.
Cons of Instacart
- You will not know your delivery cost until checkout as there are no fixed charges.
- If you order at peak times, you may also be subject to ‘Busy Pricing’ fees.
Similarly to several of the aforementioned, shipt.com relies on personal shoppers to pick up grocery orders from local stores on a membership basis.
Pros of shipt.com
- Delivery is free on orders of $34 and over.
- It’s an easy and convenient service, particularly for those who have used it in the past.
Cons of shipt.com
- It requires you to hold a membership. (Monthly or Annually).
A retail giant, we are all aware of what Walmart has to offer and for Disney World guests, the extent of its service extends to the very useful delivery service from one of the local stores.
Pros of Walmart
- Familiarity and reliability. It’s a service that is proven to work from a store that’s proven to provide the very best service.
- Delivery fees are relatively low compared to competitors with a cost of $7.95-$11.95 depending on the delivery window you choose.
Cons of Walmart
- You cannot order alcohol. They will not deliver it.
- There is a minimum order fee of $30.
- Delivery can often take longer than some of the other services we have already mentioned.
Getting your own Groceries
If delivery services are not for you, it is important to remember that it isn’t your only option. There are many opportunities available for guests to collect their groceries, including orders that they may already have placed.
Pros of getting your own groceries
- There are no limitations. You pick your groceries in the way you want to pick them. Freedom of choice is yours in this instance.
- You’re not restricted to the stores that you choose to use.
- You can order in advance, meaning that it will be prepared for your order.
Cons of getting your own groceries
- You will require a vehicle to get your groceries, this could mean potential costs for a Taxi etc.
- It takes time out of your vacation because you’re doing it entirely yourself.
Speedway Gas Stations
There are several gas stations located at Disney resorts such as one at Disney Springs and one close to the Boardwalk Resort. These are great quick stop locations to collect a few essentials for your vacation.
Pros of speedway gas stations
- This is particularly convenient if you’re staying at either the Disney Springs or Boardwalk resorts. Just a quick dash and you can get what you need.
- Prices are incredibly reasonable and not any more expensive than you’d expect from any gas station.
Cons of speedway gas stations
- Prices while reasonable for gas stations, are more expensive than you’d expect from a grocery store.
- No delivery fees to worry about!
- Selections are more limited which is to be expected from a gas station. It is great for necessities but you won’t necessarily be able to find more niche items.
Taxi or Uber Services
If you’re looking for a ride to get from point A to point B, then you can, of course, rely on catching a taxi or uber service to go and pick up your order from a store or simply to get you there. Particularly useful, of course, for those of us that don’t travel by car to the resort.
Pros of using a taxi or uber service
- You will be taken exactly where you request with ease.
- You can choose the stores you want to visit.
Cons of using a taxi or uber service
- They can be expensive, as we all know.
- Takes time away from your vacation.
Limo or Car Service
For those guests that have hired car services (including limo services) to and from the airport, generally speaking, these companies will offer you the opportunity to complete a short grocery trip with them as long as you’re armed with a list and ready for a quick dash.
Pros of using a limo/car service
- It means you can sort out your grocery shop without it taking too much time out of your day because you complete it at arrival.
- It means you’ve got what you need for the duration of your vacation from the start.
- Driving in style! What’s better than being picked up by a limo?
Cons of using a limo/car service
- Costing depends entirely on the service that you use. They will offer their prices for such a service.
- A shop in a limo does, of course, come at a cost. It’s important to realize this is an expensive service.
Walmart Grocery Pick-up
Rather than having to go through the store and select your groceries, this option allows you to complete an order on the Walmart website and they will pick and pack it for you so that you simply have to pick it up. You show up, you take it home.
Pros of Walmart grocery pick-up
- The service is free to use. You’re simply paying for your groceries.
- It’s a time-saver. It negates the need to spend hours in the shop.
- Provides a happy medium between having to do it yourself and paying the premium to have someone else do it for you.
Cons of Walmart grocery pick-up
- You will need transportation because you do need to get yourself to the store to pick it up.
- The stores are not conveniently located – it takes a bit of time to get there because they’re not on the doorstep of Disney World resorts.
Shipping your groceries
Another popular solution amongst guests is to arrange to have necessities shipped to their resort from home; a great way to manage only the items that you need, rather than make spur of the moment shopping decisions. It is best to order around a week before your trip to make sure you’ve accounted for any potential days and it is there, ready for your arrival.
Pros of shipping groceries
- As mentioned above, you only need to ship the things you need and you’re not running into the risk of spending beyond your means on unnecessary items that are more expensive to obtain.
- You can arrange to have items shipped from places such as Amazon, etc. It does not have to be from home.
- It limits disruption to your trip as you’ve already prearranged the delivery of the items.
Cons of shipping groceries
- Disney will charge you $5 per box that you have delivered to the hotel.
- Delays in delivery are possible. Do not rely on this because you cannot guarantee the delivery date.
- It is difficult to ship certain items, such as refrigerated items.
- If you’re arranging deliveries from places such as Amazon, you can expect to pay delivery charges on top of the $5 fee from Disney.
Where to address your packages:
Your name (it must be the name of whoever’s name the reservation is booked under)
c/o The name of your Disney World Hotel’s Front Desk
Arrival Date: M/D/YYYY
123 Some St.
Lake Buena Vista, FL, 32830
It is incredibly important that you make sure you use the correct booking and mailing information to prevent there being any issues with your packages.
Other ways to receive groceries
Checked luggage is an excellent way to transport groceries. All you need to do is ensure you’ve paid to have that luggage and consult your airline’s guidelines on food transportations and weight requirements on luggage. This is a simple and easy way to get your groceries from A to B while remaining in full control and not having to worry about delays and deliveries. It is worth noting, however, that it can be a little bit more difficult to make sure you get perishable goods there safely.
In-room grocery delivery is available for guests staying at Disney Vacation Club Villa and the Fort Wilderness cabins. You can order any groceries available at their on-site stores and must be ordered 3 days in advance to be delivered to your accommodation. It comes at a cost of $10 but is an easy, reliable system to use where you will be working directly with your resort. It is worth considering though that you will pay a premium to use this service, the goods come at a higher cost, much like you’d expect from on-site stores.