One way our family saves money on our Walt Disney World vacations is by having groceries in our room. When we don’t have a rental car we will have the groceries delivered. While this article is talking about our experience with Disney, this is something to investigate for any vacation destination since most hotel rooms have a mini-fridge. All resort rooms have a mini-fridge on Disney property.
If you have a car with you on vacation getting groceries for your room is easy. Just run and grab them yourself. We tend to shop at either Publix or the Super Target that is near Disney property. We went to a Super Wal-Mart back in 2011, and didn’t like it much and haven’t returned since then.
Even if you have a car, you may want to look at the delivery options. Why? Vacation time is precious. It is so convenient to have your groceries delivered to your resort. If you are staying on Disney property, bell services are equipped for these requests and you can have your groceries delivered for a time before you arrive. Bell services have refrigerated and frozen storage areas to keep your items stored properly. Then when you arrive at your resort you can then have bell services bring your groceries to your room. You need to call and request they bring them to your room, they will not automatically deliver.
There are many services out there for grocery delivery, the 2 main reputable companies I have heard the most feedback on and Travel Agent Dad recommends are www.gardengrocer.com and WeGoShop.com. These 2 companies have completely different business models but both are known for excellent service.
Garden Grocer has a virtual grocery store. You browse through their large selection of items on their website. Add them to your shopping cart and then you pay via credit card or PayPal. There is a $40 minimum order. They have a 2-hour delivery window and the delivery fees are small. There is a $14 delivery fee for orders under $200 and $2 delivery fee for orders over $200. I have no personal experience with Garden Grocer, but amongst the Disney online community they are raved about and I have no issues recommending their services.
WeGoShop has a different shopping model. This company is made up of independent location owners across the US and international locations. I have only used WeGoShop for the Disney resort area. This is a personal shopper service. There are no items listed to select from on their website. You make a detailed grocery list and submit it via a website form. If you have a specific store you want them to shop at they will do it. If you wish that they buy things that are on sale or the store brands, just let them know. Keep thinking personal shopper. You will pay for your groceries and then they will add shopping rates based on your order amount. There are some misc. fees they list for unique shopping requests. When comparing them to Garden Grocer, the fees are higher. They start at $19 and go up to 13% of your grocery bill for really large orders. Remember though there is no mark-up on the items purchased. They are profiting what they charge in fees and gratuities you include. I like this approach to ordering groceries. I think it is transparent. Check out the website, it explains it all better than I can. There is no minimum order amount. They let you know an estimated delivery time about a week out from your trip. They have cash, credit card, and gift certificates for payment options.
We used WeGoShop for the Disney Resort area, which is operated by Amy Martin, on this past trip in July 2014. This was our second time using the service. I placed my order about 10 days in advance. I was emailed later the same day with confirmation that my order was received and the estimated delivery time. I requested a 4:30 pm delivery time since I was hoping to be in my room by then. However, they adjusted the delivery time to 2:30 pm to meet their schedule. Since bell services could hold my order, I was fine with this.
The day of delivery was also the day we were checking into Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village. Our room was not ready when we arrived so we went over to the pool to do swimming and get our vacation started. Amy and her husband Drew showed up around 2:10pm They had called to let us know they were at the resort ready to deliver. My husband let them know we weren’t quite ready to meet them yet because we were still in the process of changing back into dry clothes. They made another loop around the resort to give us some extra minutes. I want to clarify that you typically do not need to be there in person for your delivery. I chose to meet them because I wanted to pay with cash. If you are paying by credit cards, then the process is simpler.
Our grocery costs were $251.65. I bought a ton of food and drinks because we had 5 adults and 3 children (15, 8, and 7) in our 2 bedroom Disney Vacation Club Villa. We had a full kitchen to work with and we planned on eating the majority of our meals using the groceries we had purchased, including taking snacks to the parks. They shopped at Albertson’s and then had to run over to Publix because I had a birthday cake for my son on the list. Albertson’s was out of cakes that day so they needed to run to Publix to pick one up. They did not charge me the fee for going to 2 stores because it was an unforeseen circumstance and really all items should have been able to be purchased at the one store. The fees from WeGoShop were $42 ($39 shopping service and $3 fuel charge). With tip, the total cost came to $305.
If you read the blog about our dinner at Boma costing $270 for our party, then you can see how having groceries can add up savings pretty quickly.
My advice for those who would like to use WeGoShop is to make your shopping list as detailed as possible. I gave permission to swap out items if my items couldn’t be found or to save money if a cheaper option was available. The only minor issues I had with my order was that I had not been specific on my grocery list. I asked for steak but did not specify which type. They bought what was on sale (buy one get one free) and it was a lower quality than I wanted and my son didn’t like it. He is a carnivore and loves his meat. I loved that they were trying to save me money, though. The other item was I had asked for was a frozen Salisbury steak meal. I was thinking family size and they thought individual serving. Make sure to be specific about the items you would like.
I love WeGoShop and their business model as a personal shopper. If you use them, tell them you heard about them from TravelAgentDad.com. They are starting a referral program and while I don’t know the specifics, I do want them to know we support their service.
Also, I want to share a picture of my son’s birthday cake because I think it was one of the best things we did on this vacation. My request to WeGoShop was for a “10-inch round birthday cake with chocolate cake and buttercream frosting. A plain exterior is fine since we are bringing items from home to decorate”. My son loves jewels and gems, so we went before vacation we let him pick out plastic jewels to decorate the cake. We also brought candles from home as well. He had an awesome birthday celebration in our room. The cake was bought at Publix for $17.99.
Update: Amy from WeGoShop read my blog. I want to add her comments.
This is a family run, veteran run business.
We appreciate your positive feedback. As for the 2 items that were of issue, you are absolutely right….we always go for a smaller size if there is no direction and I do not go for the most expensive meats unless you tell us to…I never want anyone thinking that we are trying to pad a bill.
I love supporting veterans and I think the response she provided on my 2 items makes me trust them even further.
Blog post was written by Kim Slusher (aka Mrs. Travel Agent Dad).
We received no special consideration from Disney or any other service provider. We paid for 100% of this vacation. While this post is very flattering to WeGoShop we have not received any compensation from them.