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Last month, my family stayed at a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) villa at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. One of the big perks, besides the extra space, is the full kitchen. Cooking our own breakfast and sometimes dinner enables us to save on the exorbitant cost of food at Disney World.
Even when we don’t stay in a condo, it’s easy to utilize the small refrigerators and microwaves in regular rooms to self-cater. For shorter trips, I usually pack some oatmeal and breakfast bars in my suitcase. But for longer trips, we need to buy food at our destination.
My family prefers to skip a rental car when we can, especially with the skyrocketing costs of rental cars lately. So, grocery delivery is a stress-free time saver to get the food we need to stock in our hotel room. I looked into several grocery delivery options for our most recent trip to Disney World.
Grocery Delivery Options at Disney World
Garden Grocer: This is one of the original grocery delivery services before grocery delivery was even a “thing”. I used Garden Grocer for a 9-day Disney stay about a decade ago with no issues. Garden Grocery has a $40 minimum and charges $14 to delivery if your order is under $200. There is an extra $20 fee for next-day orders and a $30 fee for same-day orders. While Garden Grocer is reliable, I’ve found the prices on individual items to be the most expensive.
Walmart Grocery Delivery: I use Walmart grocery delivery at home, and it’s very convenient. The prices are the same as what’s in the stores. There is a $35 minimum order, and delivery fees range from $8-$10 per order if you don’t have the membership. The down side to using Walmart is that you cannot order alcohol or deli prepared meals.
Amazon Prime Now: This option is convenient since many of us already have an Amazon account. Amazon partners with Whole Foods for this. Free delivery for orders over $35. However, I’ve found the prices to be expensive and the selection limited.
Instacart: This service uses personal shoppers who keep you updated on your order via text. You can choose from a variety of stores including Target, Publix and Aldi. The minimum order is only $10, and you can order stuff from multiple stores for one delivery. Instacart delivers alcohol and deli-fresh prepared foods from grocery stores. The down side is that you don’t really know the fees until you check out, as they vary based on your order and time of day. Shipt is similar.
My Choice: Instacart
For this trip, I started building a grocery list simultaneously in Garden Grocer and in Instacart. The price of every single item was cheaper on Instacart.
The other advantage to using Instacart was that I could order prepared deli foods from Publix for an easy meal. For the night we arrived, I ordered fried chicken and some fresh salads. The meal was cheaper and tastier than what we could have found at the quick-service restaurant at our resort. So for my family, picking Instacart over Garden Grocery was a no-brainer.
Is Instacart the “right” grocery delivery service for everyone? Maybe not. With Instacart, you never know who you will get as your shopper. Some people prefer a service with consistent employees and verified reviews.
My advice: Don’t overthink it. You’re on vacation. Compare prices between a few, pick one and call it a day.
Disney resort hotels will store your grocery delivery (and refrigerate necessary items) if you are not there to receive your groceries. There is a $6 fee per order for bell services to deliver your groceries to your room. If you pick up your groceries from bell services yourself, there is no fee.
Before you place your order, be realistic about how much you will actually eat in your room. Sometimes, the lure of a good restaurant will overpower the desire to eat those homemade sandwiches. I always over-order, and I’m trying to get better at that.
Lastly, keep in mind that carrying a bunch of snacks and water bottles into the park can be cumbersome. Have a strategy for who will carry the items or how you will distribute the load.
Do you order groceries when you stay at Disney World? What is your favorite delivery service?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.