Part Two of a series. Be sure to catch Part One, RV rentals, in order to get the skinny on renting an RV for your stay at Fort Wilderness, and the soon to post Part Three which focuses on transportation methods within the campgrounds.
So, you’ve chosen an RV rental company, made all your arrangements and are just counting down the days. Anything else you need to keep in mind? Food of course. If you plan on utilizing the full potential of the RV and cooking meals or just having beverages in the fridge, you will need groceries.
While Moore’s will stock the camper with groceries based on your grocery list for a small fee, you will need to find some way of getting your supplies to your camper if not booking through them.
- Carry on / checked luggage
If you like to be in control and possession of your groceries at all times, this may be an option for you. Depending on the length of your stay and the amount of cooking you intend on doing at the RV, you may be able to pack a few essentials in a carry on and call it a day. However, if you are thinking of a more authentic camping experience, you may consider an extra checked suitcase. Of course, this will only work for non-perishables such as boxed and canned goods, such as a bag of marshmallows, boxes of cereal, or small cans of coffee. Gallons of milk, packages of hot dogs, and other items that need to be kept cold will be better purchased once in Orlando. And, airline luggage fees would need to be considered. As an example, if you fly Southwest you are charged nothing for up to two carry ons and two checked bags. The third checked bag, however, will cost $75. The benefit, however, is there is a pretty good chance your groceries will arrive with the rest of your luggage.
- Rental car / Taxi
Instead of taking Disney’s Magical Express to Fort Wilderness, you can opt to rent a car or take a taxi. Both of these options would allow you to detour to one of the local supermarkets or a Walmart and stock up on all the sundries you will need for your stay. I however, always vote for Magical Express so I don’t have to drive. I am on vacation after all.
- Settlement Trading Post / Meadow Trading Post
Once checked in and settled into your RV, you can simply hop into your rented golf cart or catch one of the internal bus loops and head on over to one of the Trading Posts. These small stores have a limited selection of camp supplies. However, if you are only after a few essentials, this might work for you.
- UPS / FedEx
If carrying the groceries yourself is out of the question, perhaps you could consider using a carrier such as UPS or FedEx to delivery your groceries for you. You still would have the freedom to shop at your local stores and package up the groceries yourself. However, in this scenario, larger items such as cases of water can be included in the shipment. Perishables, of course, still must be left out. The fees will vary depending upon where you are shipping from and how large / heavy your box is. It is best to check with a local UPS or FedEx store, or use their websites, to get an idea of how much your package will cost to ship. For example, for me to ship a 24” x 24” x 12” box from NE Ohio to Orlando, for weights up to 42 pounds, would cost me about $41.68 and deliver in 3 days. Transit times will also need to be taken into account. Be sure to ship your package with enough transit time to get there when you need it too. Shipping a day or two early is recommended. Bell services will hold the package for you until you retrieve it. ***Be sure to address the package to the correct Resort address. Call Disney to obtain it. Also include the name of the person whom the reservation is under.
- Amazon / Walmart
You can shop online at these big name retailers and have the order shipped direct to your resort. As stated above, you will need to be sure you have the correct address for the resort you are staying at and include the reservation holder’s name. Shipping charges will depend upon the retailer. Amazon will ship for free if you spend over $35 and rates vary if the amount is under that. Walmart’s standard shipping rate is $4.97 for orders over $50 and $6.97 for orders under $50, however heavy and oversized items may incur larger costs. Determining the time frame for delivery may be a bit trickier using one of these services. Amazon’s standard shipping time is 4-5 business days. You can opt to pay the shipping and choose one or two day service instead. Walmart has a 1-2 day processing time and then an additional 4-7 day shipping time.
These shopping service retailers will take your order over the internet, shop at local markets, and deliver the groceries to your resort bell services area for you. Advance notice is requested and fees do apply.
- Garden Grocer
Garden Grocer seems to be the most widely known grocery delivery service amongst the Disney circles I frequent. It too is a shopping service retailer. Orders are placed online; they shop at local markets, and deliver the groceries to your resort bell services area for you. At the time of order placement you select the delivery date and a 2 hour delivery window from time slots that are available in their system. For a better chance to get the day and time you desire, early order placement is encouraged, however there is a 36 hour order placement minimum for any slots that may still be available. They deliver between the hours of 8am-9pm, 7 days a week. Cost for deliver is $14, but is reduced to only $2 if your total bill is over $200. There is a $40 minimum order. Not only does placing your order early help guarantee your delivery day/time, it also can secure you savings on your bill. Orders placed 15 days in advance take 5% off, orders placed 30 days in advance take 7% off, and those placed 60 days or more in advance take 10% off. They also have an iOS App available for download.
- Gooding’s Delivers
Gooding’s is an actual store front location that is open 24-hours and is located in the Crossroads Shopping Center off of Highway 535. If you have a vehicle you can personally visit or you can use the internet to order from the comfort of your home before your vacation begins. Orders can be placed up to one year in advance, but must you allow at least 48 hours between order placement and expected delivery. They deliver daily between 4pm-7pm to resort bell services. The minimum order is $50 with a $25 delivery fee.
Most of your preplanning is now complete. You have your RV rental and grocery situation all hashed out. Next you can think about all the Fort Wilderness campgrounds has to offer. If you are like me, you will want to explore what activities and entertainment are available at Fort Wilderness. Fellow bloggers John Scanlan and Daisy Lauren have penned some very informative articles on the subjects. Definately worth a read to aide in your planning. Once you have some campground activities picked out, you will need to plan on transportation to get there. Be sure to check out Part Three of the Camping 101 series for an indepth look at the different methods of transportation that may be right for your family.