Garden Grocer--worth it for a solo traveler?

YawningDodo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2014
I've never done any grocery delivery at WDW before, so I have zero context for the actual process. I will say that in the past when I've done trips where we brought our own snacks to Disney parks we basically never ate it since it's hard to muster interest for trail mix and energy bars when there's ice cream and soft pretzels I could buy instead--so I'm a little leery of investing a bunch of money into things meant to be taken into the park as snacks.

The way things stand budget-wise, I can afford to buy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks every day--assuming most days are two quick service meals, one table service meal on the lower end of cost, and a couple of snacks and/or sparing alcohol purchases, I'm fine and should actually have a little wiggle room to add in one or two more expensive meals. I'm kind of looking at the question of doing breakfast in my room instead, though, because my planned budget has overall hit the maximum of what I want to spend, but I don't have quite as much money set aside for souvenirs as I'd like.

Has anyone done garden grocer as a solo? With the $14 delivery fee +tip, will it really save you money if you're not buying enough food to feed a family--especially if you're only buying food for breakfasts? For further reference, it's a 7 night stay and I do plan to get a refillable resort mug for coffee and so forth.
 

Bjkandma

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
With the situation you describe, I wouldn't do a grocery delivery. We found that the amount of food served at quick service is enough. We usually only eat two meals a day. Breakfast and an early dinner with 2 snacks per day.

to give you an idea of the prices of meals and snacks go to "all ears.net". They try hard to keep up to date on price changes. It may help you budget accordingly.
 

YawningDodo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2014
I think I'm budgeting a bit high for food, but I want to guess high and have room to add some more expensive meals rather than come up short. I did spend about $70 in one day on food in 2018, but that was my only day in WDW on that trip and I went hard (so it was $70 over a 17 hour park day). I don't want to count on spending less than that--I'm assuming something like $15 per QS and $35 per TS, $6 per snack, $13 per alcoholic drink. I have a feeling QS breakfast can be done more cheaply than that, though, or conversely I could eat a really substantial breakfast and plan to eat only one more full meal after that. It's been a mixed bag for me on past trips re: how much appetite I have. On some trips two meals and a snack or two have been plenty; on others I just want to eat and eat and eat all day. I'm going in January, so I probably won't have hot weather to help suppress my appetite.

I did go through on GG and put together a cart of things I thought would cover me for in-room breakfasts. It came out to $30; with the $14 delivery fee and a $4 or $5 tip I was looking at about $7 per breakfast. Looking at Landscape of Flavors menu prices (I'm staying at AoA)...it looks like I'd be saving between $1 and $4 per meal. So I suppose that answers my question right there; it seems like a lot of fuss for not a lot of return. Might be a different story when I come back with a second person in my party in another year; not sure. So maybe I'll just aim to refrain from splurging on every single meal to give myself more wiggle room in the budget as the trip goes on and I can verify that I'm not outstripping what I set aside for meals.
 
  • brad813

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 15, 2017
    I've never done any grocery delivery at WDW before, so I have zero context for the actual process. I will say that in the past when I've done trips where we brought our own snacks to Disney parks we basically never ate it since it's hard to muster interest for trail mix and energy bars when there's ice cream and soft pretzels I could buy instead--so I'm a little leery of investing a bunch of money into things meant to be taken into the park as snacks.

    The way things stand budget-wise, I can afford to buy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks every day--assuming most days are two quick service meals, one table service meal on the lower end of cost, and a couple of snacks and/or sparing alcohol purchases, I'm fine and should actually have a little wiggle room to add in one or two more expensive meals. I'm kind of looking at the question of doing breakfast in my room instead, though, because my planned budget has overall hit the maximum of what I want to spend, but I don't have quite as much money set aside for souvenirs as I'd like.

    Has anyone done garden grocer as a solo? With the $14 delivery fee +tip, will it really save you money if you're not buying enough food to feed a family--especially if you're only buying food for breakfasts? For further reference, it's a 7 night stay and I do plan to get a refillable resort mug for coffee and so forth.
    I am doing a grocery delivery, but I am camping and want something for a quick breakfast (I have a lot of 4-5am site departure times planned), some drinks for when I get back, plus am adding toiletries and medicines as needed. Flying down so that impacts what I take.
     

    Bjkandma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2019
    Please take the time to look at all ears.net for menus and pricing. We went last in August, 2018 and are returning August, 2019. Food prices have increased some as much as $2.00 per item.
     

    YawningDodo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2014
    Please take the time to look at all ears.net for menus and pricing. We went last in August, 2018 and are returning August, 2019. Food prices have increased some as much as $2.00 per item.
    That's where I got the breakfast prices I mentioned above. Prices look the same on WDW's official site as what I saw on all ears, but the all ears menu was noted as being from 2018. I've looked at WDW's menus for budgeting estimates and then rounded up by a significant amount.
     

    Starwind

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2014
    What kids of things are you wanting for breakfast ? Which resort are you staying at ?

    The resort hotels have some food options you can bring to the room, and at least the resorts with DVC have more options -- so things like bread, PB, jam, evens eggs and the like. More expensive than a grocery store, but about the same as GG. Obviously a very limited selection.

    Also, some breakfast type items would travel well in checked baggage, again depending what you were thinking of and where you are traveling from. And then you would have free space for souvenirs for the trip home :-)

    There are also other grocery delivery options than GG. Dizzy Dolphin is one. Then there is Amazon Prime Now [who shops Amazon and Whole Foods] and Instacart [who shops Publix]. There is also Walmart Grocery, but you have to meet the delivery person.

    SW
     
  • ozliz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2013
    I always order groceries but not only to save money. I don’t eat out much normally and my stomach prefers if I don’t eat 3 meals per day prepared by someone else. Mostly I go for longer trips so I eat breakfast in the room and buy sandwich ingredients, fruit and carrot sticks for healthy snacks. I’ll eat one meal out per day and usually buy an ice cream or other treat in the afternoon (rather than dessert at a restaurant). This eating pattern is more similar to my home habits and makes me feel better. I might eat some more quick service meals towards the end of my trip as the food runs low / is less fresh and I’m closer to heading home and preparing all my food again (I usually go on a low salt, sugar and oil/fat) kick for a few days to resettle when I first return.
     

    YawningDodo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2014
    What kids of things are you wanting for breakfast ? Which resort are you staying at ?

    The resort hotels have some food options you can bring to the room, and at least the resorts with DVC have more options -- so things like bread, PB, jam, evens eggs and the like. More expensive than a grocery store, but about the same as GG. Obviously a very limited selection.

    Also, some breakfast type items would travel well in checked baggage, again depending what you were thinking of and where you are traveling from. And then you would have free space for souvenirs for the trip home :-)

    There are also other grocery delivery options than GG. Dizzy Dolphin is one. Then there is Amazon Prime Now [who shops Amazon and Whole Foods] and Instacart [who shops Publix]. There is also Walmart Grocery, but you have to meet the delivery person.

    SW
    I'm staying at Art of Animation, and I'd thought about simpler things maybe being available there--another thought I'd had was to pack a box of cereal and see if I could buy bananas and milk at the resort to supplement it. When I was looking at GG, I was thinking things like cereal, yogurt, bananas, kefir...things that require minimal prep but offer some protein and a bit of fresh fruit.


    I always order groceries but not only to save money. I don’t eat out much normally and my stomach prefers if I don’t eat 3 meals per day prepared by someone else. Mostly I go for longer trips so I eat breakfast in the room and buy sandwich ingredients, fruit and carrot sticks for healthy snacks. I’ll eat one meal out per day and usually buy an ice cream or other treat in the afternoon (rather than dessert at a restaurant). This eating pattern is more similar to my home habits and makes me feel better. I might eat some more quick service meals towards the end of my trip as the food runs low / is less fresh and I’m closer to heading home and preparing all my food again (I usually go on a low salt, sugar and oil/fat) kick for a few days to resettle when I first return.
    I'm torn, because I want this trip to feel indulgent...but I'm trying to eat healthier in general, and I know from recent slips back into junk food that I don't feel as good if I eat bunches of fried and salty fast food stuff. I think realistically I'm not going to eat very healthy on this trip overall, but I'm kind of looking at things like...if I do decide to eat QS breakfast at the resort instead of doing food in my room, I could look at ordering a children's meal and supplementing it with whatever fresh fruit they have available in the cold section, though I know the fruit is priced astronomically on property.
     

    Starwind

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2014
    I'm staying at Art of Animation, and I'd thought about simpler things maybe being available there--another thought I'd had was to pack a box of cereal and see if I could buy bananas and milk at the resort to supplement it. When I was looking at GG, I was thinking things like cereal, yogurt, bananas, kefir...things that require minimal prep but offer some protein and a bit of fresh fruit.
    While this is from 2012, a photo tour of the AOA food court to give you an idea of what is available there: http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2012/06/04/food-photo-tour-art-of-animation-resort-landscape-of-flavors-food-court/

    From 2018: https://i2.wp.com/thepointsguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Disneys-Art-of-Animation-Resort-Review-30.jpg?fit=1024,1024px&ssl=1

    And see photos starting midway down page here: https://www.easywdw.com/easy/blog/disneys-art-of-animation-landscape-of-flavors-quick-service-update/

    Amazon Prime Now, Instacart and Walmart Grocery would be less expensive options for what you are looking for than GG. Even shopping at Disney itself could be.

    SW
     

    YawningDodo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2014
    While this is from 2012, a photo tour of the AOA food court to give you an idea of what is available there: http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2012/06/04/food-photo-tour-art-of-animation-resort-landscape-of-flavors-food-court/

    From 2018: https://i2.wp.com/thepointsguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Disneys-Art-of-Animation-Resort-Review-30.jpg?fit=1024,1024px&ssl=1

    And see photos starting midway down page here: https://www.easywdw.com/easy/blog/disneys-art-of-animation-landscape-of-flavors-quick-service-update/

    Amazon Prime Now, Instacart and Walmart Grocery would be less expensive options for what you are looking for than GG. Even shopping at Disney itself could be.

    SW
    It looks like there are plenty of fruit and veggie-focused options, so getting something better for me won't be an issue. So that's great, thank you for posting those links! And yeah, having looked at the prices through Garden Grocer, I'm getting the impression that once you include the marked up prices and the delivery fee, particularly for a single person who's not buying in bulk, I'm not losing that much money by just buying equivalent food from Disney. Re: the other services...the reason I singled out Garden Grocer is that I'm not willing to deal with the logistics of having to receive the delivery in person, and I've heard bad things about Walmart Grocery's delivery service.

    I think overall I'm coming away with the conclusion that grocery delivery isn't going to save me enough money to be worth messing with it. I'll just look for other places I can save extra money to cover the souvenirs I want, or just deal with having a lower souvenir budget than I'd prefer.
     
  • Starwind

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2014
    It looks like there are plenty of fruit and veggie-focused options, so getting something better for me won't be an issue. So that's great, thank you for posting those links! And yeah, having looked at the prices through Garden Grocer, I'm getting the impression that once you include the marked up prices and the delivery fee, particularly for a single person who's not buying in bulk, I'm not losing that much money by just buying equivalent food from Disney. Re: the other services...the reason I singled out Garden Grocer is that I'm not willing to deal with the logistics of having to receive the delivery in person, and I've heard bad things about Walmart Grocery's delivery service.

    I think overall I'm coming away with the conclusion that grocery delivery isn't going to save me enough money to be worth messing with it. I'll just look for other places I can save extra money to cover the souvenirs I want, or just deal with having a lower souvenir budget than I'd prefer.
    Amazon Prime Now at least you do not have to receive in person. However, if you get perishables I would HIGHLY suggest you makre sure you retrieve them from Bell Services ASAP after they are delivered, and ocnsider choosing a 1 hour delivery window if it is offered. Amazon packages cold items in an insulated bag, but does NOT tag them as cold nor put them in the fridge or freezer in Bell Services, so the bag itself is sitting on a room temp shelf until you pick it up. So, totally managable as long as you are prepared. The main problem, IME , with APN is that their seleciton of items changes regularly, so what was available last week may not be this week. Which could be a problem if you need specific things. They have gotten better in that regard, but still an issue.

    Walmart Grocery I understand is not allowed to leave their orders with Bell Services because they refuse to not use plastic bags. So they you would have to meet.

    Dizzy Dolphin is another gocery service. I have not used them, but have read excellent reviews and will be using them on our next trip. In the past I have used GG and Amazon Prime Now, but won't this trip.

    SW
     

    ludari

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 4, 2010
    I've used grocery delivery services on all my solo trips to WDW. I'm a DVC member and my room has some sort of kitchen area and having just some basic food items in my room is convenient when I just want a quick snack or to pack my backpack with a few items to snack on while I'm walking around the parks.
     

    daae3

    Sue Donym
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2013
    I would take some protein bars from home as it sounds like it would meet your requirements...2 boxes would be less than $10 and you could take them out of the packaging and supplement with a bit a fruit for far less cost and hassle.
     

    YawningDodo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2014
    I would take some protein bars from home as it sounds like it would meet your requirements...2 boxes would be less than $10 and you could take them out of the packaging and supplement with a bit a fruit for far less cost and hassle.
    I'm thinking that's what I'll do. I brought one box to Disneyland Paris and wished I'd had more; in WDW I probably won't need them as much since the QS food there is actually good. But it'd be nice to be able to just stop for coffee at the food court without having to take the time to buy a full breakfast, and nice to save the breakfast money for something else. Might pick up a couple bananas or something on my first evening to have in the room; I know fruit is marked up outrageously at Disney but in the grand scheme of things I don't think the cost of buying it there outweighs the convenience when it's just a few pieces.
     

    Rowlf the Dog

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 13, 2015
    I always use Garden Grocer for my trips (and I'm mostly on my own) - but coming from Europe, landing late and with ordering mainly water, sodas (for the parks), some fruits but especially beer and wine there are not so many choices.
     

    Figment Mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 31, 2014
    I'm here solo now. I considered grocery delivery for water and snacks but decided it wasn't worth it.

    I brought protein bars (threw a couple of boxes in my checked luggage so I have one per day plus a couple extras).

    I'm a rope drop person so I eat a protein bar at the bus stop in the morning.

    I've decided to go bagless in the parks. It is so nice to whisk past the bag check lines. So a case of water would have been a waste for me.

    I brought flavored water drops with me because I can't drink the Magic Kingdom water but I'm not even using those.

    Yes, food is expensive, but when you're not multiplying it by 2 or more people, somehow it's easier to bear.
     

    Alicefan

    We're all mad here
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2015
    I believe I would pack some pop tarts and granola bars and call it a day on that one. I don't think you'll hardly touch any food you have delivered because like you said, there's too many other things you'll want. I would make some of my table service adr's for breakfast buffets like Boma because they will probably carry you through lunch. We never touch half of the stuff we "think" we're going to need when we hit the stores there.
     

    YawningDodo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2014
    I believe I would pack some pop tarts and granola bars and call it a day on that one. I don't think you'll hardly touch any food you have delivered because like you said, there's too many other things you'll want. I would make some of my table service adr's for breakfast buffets like Boma because they will probably carry you through lunch. We never touch half of the stuff we "think" we're going to need when we hit the stores there.
    Yeah, so when I went to Disneyland with a friend we stayed at an AirBnB and stopped at a grocery store to stock up on the first night. We bought a ton of snack bars and didn't eat most of them. We did drink the sports drinks, but we hadn't bought terribly many of them.

    I always use Garden Grocer for my trips (and I'm mostly on my own) - but coming from Europe, landing late and with ordering mainly water, sodas (for the parks), some fruits but especially beer and wine there are not so many choices.
    I think if I wanted bottled water or alcohol for my room it would be a very different story. I'm one of those people who just drinks the weird Florida water right from the fountains, though; I've never been bothered enough by it to want to spend money fixing that problem (or enough to be willing to carry a water bottle everywhere I go). The alcohol options on GG made me stop and think, but it's a funny thing--I'm fine with drinking alone if I'm having alcohol with a meal or drinking it while I'm strolling around one of the parks, but drinking back at the resort just doesn't really appeal to me.
     


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