Whenever we go to Walt Disney World we try to find creative ways to expand the options of food available to us during our stay. We have Ubered to Publix, brought a ton of snacks in our luggage, and, now, can include using the Amazon Prime Now service. We have found it to be super helpful and easy to use. Here’s a run down of our experience and why we probably will use it for every future Walt Disney World trip.
What is Amazon Prime Now?
Amazon Prime Now is a grocery delivery service for Amazon Prime Members. You DO have to be an Amazon Prime member to take advantage of Amazon Prime Now. And you should be, because Amazon Prime Now is amazing. It offers quick grocery delivery service in certain zip codes. It is an awesome way to get groceries delivered to your Walt Disney World resort.
How to Access Amazon Prime Now
To utilize Prime Now, you need an Amazon Prime account. Once logged into Amazon Prime, go through this link to access Amazon Prime now https://primenow.amazon.com/. Or just search for Prime Now from google. Alternatively, you are able to download the Prime Now app and complete your order via your phone.
From here, enter the zip code of your Walt Disney World resort. I find it the most straight forward and easiest to use the zip code of the resort you are staying at, but you could use the general Walt Disney World Resort zip code of 32830. Both will give you the different options of where you can purchase groceries through Prime Now.
Whole Foods for the Win
When on the Prime Now page, you are able to select whether you want to shop through Whole Foods or Amazon. We selected Whole Foods as we wanted to purchase a variety of perishable groceries, including fresh vegetables, fruits, yogurt, and such. Being familiar with a Whole Foods back home, we had a general idea of our grocery options. Whole Foods has everything from Sushi to ready-made sandwiches available and the quality has always been great.
Is it cost-effective?
When you think of Whole Foods, the term ‘Whole Paychecks’ often comes to mind. Due to being historically pricy, you might not even think of giving it a try, but trust me it is worth it.
Let’s paint a hypothetical situation, if you are just planning to buy snacks and drinks from Prime Now, you’re already setting yourself up to save lots of dollar bills. Most snacks and non-alcoholic beverages at Walt Disney World cost about three to seven dollars a piece, if not more. If you have a family of four and are staying for seven days, this can add up very quickly. If every person averaged $15 dollars a day, you multiple that by four and then by seven and you’re looking at $420 just for snacks. Plus, you haven’t even touched the cost of meals…
At the time of this post, Prime Now offers free two-hour shipping with orders over $35 dollars. We didn’t find it hard to load up our cart with $35 worth of food for our family of four (including one bottom-less pit baby). However, in case you only want to purchase a few items, the shipping cost is only $4.99 for the two-hour delivery time.
Purchasing your items through Prime Now is definitely cost-effective when you are staying on property. You are able to cut costs drastically instead of purchasing 100% of your food on property. In addition to snacks, we found that if we ordered all our breakfast items from Prime Now, we would save both time and money. We were able to grab breakfast quickly in our room, usually some fruit and cereal or granola, and dash off to the parks with it in hand. No unnecessary stops at the food court were necessary!
Bell Service Fees
Additionally, while it hasn’t happened to me, bell services has stated that they can charge $5 for each package that they hold. This means if you have a 6 package order, you could incur a few fees. Five dollars a package can certainly add up, but when you average out the cost and compare it to the amount you would spend on food and snacks in the parks, the savings are still substantial.
While bell services can hold your package for a little while, I found it easier to have my order delivered during a time when we knew we were going to be at the resort. This way you can get your groceries right away and you don’t have worry about them getting lost or refrigeration.
At many of the hotels, bell services has a fridge to help keep some of your perishables cold. I wouldn’t however, count on your food being properly refrigerated. There is a chance the bell services fridge will be full or a bag with a perishable item be missed. Prime Now will include some insulated bags for your perishable items as well, but in my opinion the best way to ensure all your groceries stay at their optimal temperature is to be on site when your groceries are delivered.
UPDATE: April 2019- As of April 1, 2019, Walt Disney World has now stated that a flat fee for all packages and deliveries to the resorts will result in a $6.00 fee being charged. This may still vary per resort, but be sure to factor this into your cost analysis.
When to Have Your Food Delivered
We usually take our first day at Walt Disney World as a resort day. We spend the day recovering from travel, swimming in the pool and adjusting to our new vacation life. For us, this is the perfect opportunity to also order our food and have it delivered to our hotel.
If you don’t have the luxury of a resort day at the start of your trip, you could order your Prime Now order right when you arrive or land in Orlando. Have your order pre-loaded into the Prime Now app on your phone and place it as soon as you have cell phone service. By the time you get to your hotel and check in your food might be there! You are able to check-in to your room, grab your groceries and start your vacation.
How Much Food Should you Order?
How much food should you order from Prime Now? Of course this depends on the length of your stay and the number of bellies you need to fill. As mentioned above, we like to purchase a majority of our snacks (minus the essential Mickey Bar or Dole Whip) and our breakfast items from Prime Now. In addition, to the number of people in your party and the bellies you need to fill, what you order will be impacted by your room setup. Let’s explore the room details for a majority of rooms on property:
A majority of the regular rooms on Walt Disney World property have refrigerators. The refrigerator is usually the size of a fridge you’d use in a college dorm room. The average size is about 2.4 cubic feet and most are just a refrigerator without a freezer unit. When we stayed at Disney’s All-Star Music resort, we did have a freezer portion in our mini-fridge. However, we found this to be a hinderance to our fridge use. As with most many fridges that include a small freezer, it was hard to keep the refrigerator regulated. The freezer ended up taking over the temperature of the fridge and freezing all of our items, like our salads. If possible, see if you can get a fridge without a freezer.
Due to the smaller size, not a ton fits into the mini-fridge. Despite this, we found we were able to make it work for a small 1/2 gallon of almond milk, yogurt, raspberries, strawberries, pre-made salads and some sushi. Try to be conservative in regards to the perishables you purchase when you are filling the fridge. However, if you over-buy, don’t fret! Just get eating so you don’t waste that food!! Or, as an alternative, you can bring along a smaller cool and fill it with ice and your leftover food.
In addition to perishable foods, you can order a large variety of shelf stable items. Most of the rooms on property, including those at the value resorts, have ample shelf or counter space. Many of the rooms have undergone refurbishment and have seen many changes, but in general there are spaces on tables, on top of tv stands and in the ‘closet’ areas. Food can be stored in all of these places!
We have bought granola bars, cereal, dried fruit, nuts, individual applesauce, fruit pouches, pretzels, raisins, trail mix and so forth to store throughout our room. If you’re not a huge fan of all the individual packages in many of the smaller grab-and-go items, be sure to buy big packages and bring along some reusable snack bags from home. We love these ones and have used them on several Disney trips.
Keep in mind that most Walt Disney World resorts don’t have a microwave. If you plan on ordering items that need to be microwaved (hello, easy Mac and Cheese), you aren’t 100% out of luck. Most of the food courts have microwaves. Depending on where your hotel room is on property, it might be super easy to pop over to the food court and heat up your meal. Alternatively, you could plan to take a pit stop in the food court and bring along some of your microwave meals. Have a quick meal and you’re off to enjoy the parks!
How to Address Your Order
After you have filled your cart, you need to let Amazon Prime Now know where to deliver your groceries. Be sure to use the address of your hotel, your full name, your hotel room number and your hotel confirmation number in a few places on your order. The room number and hotel confirmation number helps to confirm that the order will be associated with you and not another Jane Smith.
In order to include your hotel confirmation number in your delivery address, you can add it in after your name. Alternatively, you can include it in the delivery instructions. Be sure to also include that you want the items to be left with bell services at your resort. Leave this note in the delivery instructions area.
Tip the Prime Now Driver
When you check-out with your order on Prime Now, there will be an option to tip. While people stand on both sides when it comes to tipping, I say, go ahead and tip. If you do a cost analysis and you are calculating and factoring how much extra that tip is going to cost you, just remember how much you are saving by buying a few groceries from Prime Now instead of at the parks. If the delivery person who brings your groceries to your Walt Disney World Resort didn’t decide to take the Prime Now delivery job, you’d be out of luck! So, I say, as an appreciation towards saving you lots of money overall, give the delivery person a tip. Besides, they will appreciate it! Bonus, you also won’t have to spend valuable vacation time driving to a grocery store. They are doing that for you!
Delivery to Your Hotel
Now that your order is complete, you get to wait for it to arrive!!!
Every time I’ve used Prime Now, I have found the order communication to be on-point.
The person processing my order has reached out every step of the way. I have received a call or text that my order is being packaged up. Then whether or not all the items are available and if substitutions are being used (you are able to select whether or not you want to allow this). Finally, when my order is in transit and when it has arrived.
At the different Walt Disney World resorts, the groceries are usually dropped off at the front desk or bell services. For our last trip, our order was dropped off at bell services and we were able to pick the groceries up right away. I have heard different resorts have different policies and procedures. Some groceries are delivered to the front desk, with all the other packages, then they are sorted and from there are brought to the bell services desk. Or, on a rarer occasion, to the guest’s room directly. I wouldn’t count on having your groceries delivered straight to your room, but know that it has happened in the past.
There ya go! The details of Prime Now from Amazon and what to expect when ordering at Walt Disney World. Would I recommend the Prime Now service? I definitely would. It is both a huge timesaver and money saver. The service provided to us has been fantastic and we haven’t had any issues. It might not be the perfect fit for everyone, but it’s at least worth a try!
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