I’m a huge fan of the Disney Dining Plan! It’s a convenient way to prepay for your meals AND save a little money along the way.  Even with all the yummy food that comes with the plan, we often find that there are a few things we could save on if we purchased them elsewhere in advance.   We have a few different options when pre-ordering items for our trips to Walt Disney World.

First, you can use a local grocery delivery service like Garden Grocer or Instacart. You can head to their website, pick out the grocery items you want and pick your delivery date and time. They do charge a nominal delivery fee and you can expect that most items will cost a little more in the immediate area surrounding Walt Disney World than you are used to at home, but this is such a great service to utilize if you don’t have access to a vehicle on your vacation. If you pick up your items from the main lobby at your resort which is typically where your groceries would be delivered, there is no fee. If you’d like your items to be delivered to your room by Bell Services or Luggage Assistance, there is a $6 delivery fee per order.

Another great option is to order ahead through Amazon Prime. If you don’t have a membership, the first 30 days are free and then it’s $99 per year.  You’ll get the opportunity to purchase many items with free 2-day shipping. The part of the membership that comes in handy for groceries is Prime Pantry. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, orders over $35 will ship completely free! If the order is less than $35 OR you are not an Amazon Prime member, there will be a flat shipping fee of $5.99. Most Prime Pantry orders can take up to 4 days for delivery as Prime Pantry utilizes ground shipping, so something you may want to keep in mind if you’re going to go this route and need your package to be waiting for you upon arrival.

Things we often order:

–          Bottled water and juice boxes

–          Snacks (pretzels, crackers, etc… this for when the kids get hungry and it’s not convenient to eat a full meal or snack)

–          Toiletries for longer stays if you don’t want to have to pack them (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, sunscreen) – keep in mind that Disney does stock your guest room with basic toiletries

–          When utilizing Garden Grocer or Instacart, some stores will even deliver beer and wine to those who are 21 years of age or older

Side note: I always suggest bringing some Ziploc bags with you from home. These will come in handy for if you’re ordering larger packages of your snacks to take into the parks, or for if you’re planning to bring any beverages into the parks that you want to keep cold (like your bottled water or if you have a younger child that will want milk). You can fill the Ziploc with ice at the ice machine before heading to the resort and keep it in a soft cooler bag, and if you need more during the day, you can ask a cast member at any quick- or table-service restaurant for a cup of ice to refill your Ziploc. Super handy to have on hand!

When we are traveling with little ones, we also order baby supplies! Diapers (including swim diapers if your little one wants to go swimming and isn’t potty-trained yet), wipes, baby shampoo/body wash, formula, baby food and snacks… SO much easier than trying to lug all of this in your luggage, especially for longer stays! Also, when I’ve traveled with my children when they’ve been in a bottle/sippy cup phase still, I tend to order a roll of paper towels and a small bottle of dish soap to make it easier to wash them in the room if I’m not staying in a suite where Disney would already supply these items for us. You can even bring a sponge from home if you’d like, or you can order one if you prefer.

Overall, we find that this really saves us money and makes traveling so much easier! For instance, for around $3 (give or take, depending on the brand), you can order a package of 12 bottles of water… compared to buying a bottle of water at Walt Disney World for $3.50 each!!

When shipping, be sure to address the package to your resort, including your name, arrival date, and Resort Confirmation Number. For example:

Art of Animation Resort
1850 Animation Way
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
C/O Jane Smith (Insert Confirmation Number) – Arrival 1/1/2021

The most current details about shipping and receiving packages as well as grocery orders at the Walt Disney World Resort can be found here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/mail-services/

Do you ship items ahead for your vacation? We’d love to know what works best for you!

Aly Hirst

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