How to Save Money on Food at Disney World
by Carrie Kallash
May 25, 2021
You’ve made resort reservations for your family vacation to Walt Disney World, and you’ve secured your park pass reservations, everything is coming together until you see the cost of dining at the most magical place on earth…ouch! This year especially without Disney dining plans being available, limited seating in restaurants, and less dining locations being open, many guests are seeking out accommodations that allow guests to cook meals during their stay. A stay on Walt Disney World property comes with so many benefits such as complimentary transportation to the parks, fun Disney theming, access to many recreational activities at your resort and more! Even your resorts have grab and go grocery items available for purchase during your stay. Sounds easy, right?! Let me show you how to save money on food at Disney World.
When you arrive to your Disney resort you will see a gift shop right off the lobby. Upon entering the gift shop you will be greeted with clothing, souvenirs, bath products, and a small grocery area. You’ll find resorts with rooms that include a kitchenette or a full kitchen may have more groceries than resorts that don’t. There are some great options to whip together a quick breakfast, grab park snacks, or even a midnight snack. You may be surprised at the variety of what they offer, and compared to theme park pricing it may look like a savings even though it comes with an inflated price tag.
What do the pros do?
Buying groceries at your resort turns out to be not very cost effective when you factor eating at least two meals a day during your stay. Instead do what the pro’s do and follow these suggestions! If your family drove or picked up a rental car from the airport, make time to stop at a local grocery store such as Publix, Trader Joe’s or Wal-Mart that are all located on the way or nearby Disney.
If you chose to take advantage of a ride-share service, or took Disney’s complimentary shuttle service from the airport there are options for you too! Order ahead of your stay by using a grocery delivery service such as Amazon Prime Now, Instacart, or Garden Grocer. Grocery delivery is allowed to all Walt Disney World Resorts and best of all they’ll drop your order off at the front desk, where they can be refrigerated or frozen until your available to pick up your grocery order. If you prefer to have your items delivered to your room that can be arranged once you arrive for a small added charge of $6.00.
I have personally used Garden Grocer several times for my past family visits to Walt Disney World and have never been disappointed. Our first time using them we bought a variety of options like grab and go breakfast options, a case of water for use during the week, Gatorade (my family prefers this over Powerade sold in the parks), and a 6 pack of beer per my husband’s request. Ordering was super easy! When you place your order there is a preset selection of groceries (you can also make special requests that they typically fulfill). A minimum dollar amount is required of $40.00 and a delivery fee of $14.00 for orders less than $200.
Many guests prefer a newer and growing option, Amazon Prime Now. I haven’t personally used this option but it seems very convenient. Here’s why! Placing an order on the Amazon Prime Now app, you can have items delivered within 2 hours for free if you have a Prime membership (or within an hour for an extra $7.99). Selection is limited on the Amazon Prime Now app, but they have an unlimited supply of daily essentials including dry goods and perishable items like deli meat, cheese, bread, pizza, juice, and more. What is amazing with this service is you can place your order the moment your plane lands in Orlando, and by the time you arrive at your resort, your groceries may have already arrived!
What are your thoughts? Have you previously ordered groceries for your Walt Disney World vacation? What are your favorite items to have shipped to the resorts? What has your past experience been, good or bad?
Hi, I’m Carrie! My family and I live an hour north of St. Louis, Missouri. To my family and friends I am known as the Magic Coordinator! I have been planning vacations since 2015. I made my first trip to Walt Disney World in 1985 and from that moment on I was a lover of all things Disney. I have been to Walt Disney World many years throughout my childhood, teen years, and as a adult married, and with children. I am excited to say that I have traveled to Walt Disney World, and Disneyland. Disney Cruise line is next!!!
As well as planning Disney vacations, I enjoy helping my clients plan other types of vacations. I have traveled extensively through the US, and abroad. I am happy to help others make new memories through cruises, all inclusive vacations, European vacations, and all other types of budget, family, group, and romantic getaways. I look forward to bringing you excellent service as your personal Magic Coordinator.