Groceries at Disney World – Delivery Services Part Two

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A couple of weeks ago, we compared two of the most popular grocery delivery services at Walt Disney World, Garden Grocer and Amazon Prime Now. For a refresher, you can see it here. We appreciate the positive responses, and many of you mentioned other services that you wanted to see included in the comparison. Not wanting to deny our dear readers of their Disney fix, we’re back with a part two, where we’ve added two of the most requested services, instacart and Shipt, to the picture.


instacart is like the Uber or Lyft of grocery stores. Rather than connecting you to a driver, their service connects you to a personal grocery shopper. They advertise that you usually receive your groceries in under two hours, but you can schedule as far out as six days in advance. In the Walt Disney World area, instacart offers delivery from four stores: Publix, Whole Foods Market, Costco, and ABC Fine Wine and Spirits. For purposes of the comparison, we’re going to focus on the Publix delivery service.

How it works: You need to create an account first. When setting up the account, you can either pay $149 for a year of free deliveries through instacart express or set up a regular account for no annual fee. With a regular account, your first delivery is free, and each delivery fee thereafter varies based on your order size and timing (starting at $5.99). Additionally, a 10% service fee (note that this is not a tip) will apply, and a Busy Pricing Fee might apply if they’re experiencing high demand. After creating the account, you can start shopping. Then just add your delivery location and time, payment information, special delivery instructions, and review.


Shipt is similar to instacart in that you get a personal shopper and can receive your groceries on the same day that you order. You’ll also need to select a store for your order, which is either Publix or ABC Fine Wine and Spirits in the Disney World area. Ordering requires a membership fee of $14 per month or $99 annually, but they do offer a trial period of two weeks free. With a membership, deliveries over $35 are free, and those that are less than $35 have a flat rate delivery fee of $7.00.

How it works: Once again you need to create an account, and this time you will add your payment information at the very beginning to cover the membership fee. You’ll need to add that payment information even if you’re doing the free trial period because they will automatically charge you for the membership unless you cancel it before your trial ends. Select your store and shop to your heart’s content. Then simply confirm delivery address, payment info, and delivery window. They also give you options for what to do if an item is out of stock: Contact Me, Use Best Judgement, and Don’t Substitute. Add any special delivery instructions, and then you’re all set.

Major Differences

Because of the personal shopper aspect, these two seem a little more personalized than Garden Grocer or Amazon Prime Now. Both services offer to have your shopper reach out to you if a substitution might be necessary. Customer service was a big pro that many of our readers pointed out for Garden Grocer in the last article, and I think that applies to these two as well. If you prefer to easily interact with another human regarding your order, then you might want to skip Amazon Prime Now.

Another big difference is that both services offer alcohol delivery, which was not available through Amazon Prime Now. However, fees can be a down side to both instacart and Shipt. Shipt requires a membership, so if you’re not ordering groceries from them back home on a regular basis, it doesn’t make much sense for a Walt Disney World trip after you use up your free trial. Although instacart doesn’t require a membership, they do charge a service fee. Plus, their delivery fee varies based on what you order, when you want it to be delivered, and how many other orders they have for that window.

Additionally, if you’re not planning to be present when your order arrives, sticking with Amazon Prime Now or Garden Grocer would be a safer bet as Disney is used to dealing with those services. Garden Grocer orders may even be waiting in your room and/or refrigerator when you arrive. Through Shipt and instacart, your personal shopper will contact you when they arrive with their groceries, so I would only use those two if I was planning to be at the resort to accept delivery.

Here’s the comparison table for all four services:

Cost Comparison

It wouldn’t be a TouringPlans analysis if we didn’t throw some numbers your way, right? Below we’ve captured the same grocery list as before for the additional two services. As a reminder, we priced some commonly recommended grocery items for Disney vacations: quick breakfasts, sandwich fixings, snacks, bottled water, paper dishware, and sunscreen. Last time, all items were available on both sites. This time, a few of them weren’t exact matches. I picked a reasonable substitute for them and colored them in blue to show that they’re slightly different. As before, I’ve excluded membership costs. If you’re already an Amazon Prime member or you’re using the free trial period through Shipt, here’s the breakdown:

Amazon Prime Now is still the winner from a pure cost perspective if you’re already a Prime member, but both instacart and Shipt are much closer. Shipt wins only slightly compared to the remaining three, but keep in mind this assumes you’re either already a Shipt member or you’re using the free trial period. instacart would come out slightly ahead of Shipt if you were to add in a $14 month-long membership fee to the cost for Shipt.

Final Thoughts

If the bottom line is your only concern, then Amazon Prime Now is still the way to go when you already have a Prime membership. Once other factors play into your decision, like the availability of alcohol or dealing with a real live person, then instacart and Shipt should be next in line. For me, instacart would win out over Shipt because of the membership costs. Not only is Shipt slightly more expensive after you use your free trial, but then you need to remember to cancel the membership when you get home if it’s not something you will continue to use. With instacart, you can just pay the delivery and service fee for each order rather than deal with a membership or recurring charge. And lastly, if your top priority is convenience and ease of use regardless of cost, I would suggest Garden Grocer. You don’t have to be there for delivery, and if you schedule it right, it may already be set up in your room upon your arrival.

Are you thinking about trying any of these services on your next trip? Have you used instacart or Shipt already? Let us know in the comments below!

Liz Mangan

Liz Mangan got her start in the trip planning business at the spry young age of five by color coding her mom’s Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with highlighters and post-it notes based on what she wanted to see and do on their upcoming trips. Over the last two decades since then, she’s enjoyed spending her spare time helping others plan their Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort vacations.

18 thoughts on “Groceries at Disney World – Delivery Services Part Two

  • August 15, 2017 at 11:20 am

    There’s another factor to consider. Garden Grocer and Amazon have smaller inventories of products available. Instacart offers the full range of products that Publix offers.

    Example: my kids prefer Fudge Pop Tarts. Garden Grocer only offered them in 8 count packages. Publix offered both 8 and 12 pack boxes. We also were able to select other types of juices, beers and bakery products…much more than Garden Grocer offered.

    • August 16, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Thanks Mike! That’s a great point, and I touched on it a bit in part one. Amazon Prime Now has the least from a pure grocery perspective, but they do offer more outside of just groceries. In my own searching, I found that sometimes Garden Grocer would have something and the other two Publix based ones didn’t have and vice versa. Even though instacart and Shipt are both Publix based for this comparison, their inventory differed from each other as well.

  • August 15, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you for the update! I would be more likely compare the cost to renting a car, since the shopping choice I would prefer is Whole Foods, and Instacart. Maybe once Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is complete, I’ll be able to use my Amazon Prime membership for Whole Foods deliveries. We’ll see!

    • August 16, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Thanks Janet! Renting a car is a whole different animal. On the one hand, you get to pick your own groceries (which can be great for things like produce), but then you’re spending vacation time renting the car, buying the groceries, etc. There are other perks to a rental car though, so it really is a tough decision. Thanks for commenting!

  • August 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    *following. We have a trip coming up in September and will probably use one of these services.

    • August 16, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Have a great trip, Cindy! Let us know how it goes if you use one of these.

  • August 15, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Curious as to why you keep leaving wegoshop off your lists. They’re very much like instacart, but have been established longer and I’ve always found the people friendly and honest. (Wish the same could be said for Garden Grocer.)

  • August 15, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    This is interesting. We used Garden Grocer last year recommended off TP message board. They were super at communicating, getting us our special requests, and when we arrived everything was being held and cold by Disney staff. I would use them in future but reading this has me thinking perhaps by our next visit there will be better options in place…

    • August 16, 2017 at 10:28 am

      Hi May! There is definitely something to be said for the level of customer service that Garden Grocer provides. instacart and Shipt seem to be pretty on top of it as well, though. If you use any of these, let us know how it goes!

  • August 15, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Sounds like these services might allow you to avoid the Disney fee for receiving deliveries and holding them for you. Can your Instacart and Shipt personal shoppers text you to meet them curbside at your hotel?

    • August 15, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      The Instacart delivery driver called me when they arrived to sign for my delivery since it involved beer.

    • August 16, 2017 at 10:30 am

      Hi Sarah! Yes, you can definitely bypass bell services with instacart and Shipt and just meet the shopper to grab your groceries.

  • August 15, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    With Instacart, the first time we signed up & used it we got an offer for no delivery fee (there was still the service charge & optional tip). I’ve also seen offers for 10% off your first order. And now that we are signed up I get occasional e-mail coupons. So you could save a few dollars there if you are a new, first time shopper or happen to have a coupon/offer.

    • August 16, 2017 at 10:33 am

      Thanks Cheryl! Great info, especially the part about occasional email coupons. That could definitely help bring the cost down even more.

  • August 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    I am going to order my perishable foods for my Disney trip in November. I was wondering what size fridge do they have at the New Orleans French Quarter? I do not want to over order and have no room in my fridge to keep them.

    • August 16, 2017 at 10:43 am

      It’s a mini-fridge, so on the inside I would guess around 2.5-3ft high, a foot deep, and 1.5-2ft wide.

      It won’t hold a weeks worth of groceries for a large family, but if you’re just looking to throw in some milk, cold cuts, yogurts, etc. it will be fine.

  • August 15, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Instacart — I did not need to be there for grocery delivery. The concierge accepted the delivery and when I got back to the hotel, they brought it to my room.

    • August 16, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Thanks for the info, Naomi! Did you have to pay a package fee to the concierge for accepting it? Anecdotally, it seems very hit or miss on whether they charge the fee.

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