Universal Orlando Resort

Grocery Delivery at Universal Orlando

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Whether you want your special coffee every morning, save money by eating breakfast in the room, or take snacks in the parks, having groceries in your hotel room makes it feel a little bit more like home. Grocery delivery services offer an easy way to shop for groceries in Orlando if you don’t have access to a car. In this article we will look at four services that serve Universal Orlando’s hotels.

(Photo by Julia Mascardo)

What is Hotel Grocery Delivery?

Ever arrive at your hotel and wish you had your favorite snacks and drinks? Then resort grocery delivery services are made for you! With hotel grocery delivery you can get items from popular stores (Publix, Aldi, club stores, and drug stores), the delivery company buys the items at local Orlando stores, and then deliver them to your hotel.

How Do They Work?

Guests build a grocery list full of items, either a category or specific item (“cheddar cheese crackers” vs Goldfish crackers), on a website or smartphone app. Upon checking out on the website guests will decide a date and time for their grocery delivery and then pay the charges. Depending on the service guests will then work with the delivery service on the delivery day to pick up the items at the hotel.

Universal Orlando Delivery Rules

Universal allows grocery delivery to all their hotels within the following rules:

  • Grocery items cannot be held by the bellhop
  • Guests must be present for grocery delivery
  • No glass items around the pool areas or park, but you can order glass items for your room


Several grocery delivery services operate in the Orlando area, from Cast and Team Member run LLCs to venture capital-backed apps. There are many delivery apps, but these are the ones Touring Plans has tested and delivered to Universal Orlando. Savanna Sanders and Becky Gandillon wrote about several of these services through the lens of a Walt Disney World traveler:

Garden Grocer

The longest-running grocery delivery service serving the Orlando theme parks, Garden Grocer offers grocery delivery to Disney, Universal, and surrounding hotels. Building a grocery list is easy on their website or iOS app and you are charged at check out. Nearly everything is on Garden Grocer’s site and with brand names, from baby supplies to beer and liquor. Garden Grocer delivers to Universal hotels daily between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Garden Grocer requires 48 hours notice for purchases, with a range of discounts available if you book two weeks or longer out. Delivery is $15, or free for orders over $200, and canceled orders require three days’ notice without a restocking fee. No other rental services or vacation services are offered as part of Garden Grocer, just grocery delivery.

(photo by Michael Carelli)

Magical Vacation Services

Not a fan of building grocery lists? Want to rent a magical wand? Then choose Magical Vacation Services which features pre-selected grocery packages, rentable theme park items, package shipping, and more! MVS was started by Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Cast Members with an eye toward extended family vacations. Want a Keurig coffee maker for your room? A box fan? Harry Potter wand? MVS has you covered. They also offer a personal shopping service for when you return home and realize you didn’t get the dog sitter a chocolate frog. They’ll even pick up a cake from Publix for a birthday.

MVS charges $25-30 for delivery, with an additional $10 charge for alcohol. They also have fewer delivery times and take Sundays and Wednesdays off. Reservations are made 48 hours in advance and orders can be cancelled up to 24 hours before your order.

Vacation Grocery Delivery

Vacation Grocery Delivery was started by former Cast Members and promises to be the lowest prices available with no markups… with some catches. VGD offers grocery delivery, gift bags, fans, and strollers for rent at low prices. They’re able to achieve this by shopping local deals, coupons, and sales daily.

On the plus side, you will get the best price available for the items at a cost: online pre-checkout totals are not available. For accurate pricing, you will need to request a quote. VGD charges a $25 delivery fee plus a 5% service fee, alcohol is another $10 fee and a 5% service charge. An additional 35% surcharge is applied for orders placed within a week of delivery, so book early.

The current rental options from Vacation Grocery Delivery

Becky rented a stroller from them and raved:

I would 100% use this service again… I’m only writing about it here because it was such a positive experience that I want to share it with others. It will often save money compared to other grocery delivery services, it will always save money compared to other stroller rental companies, and it seems to be a much more pleasant experience.


The 500 lb gorilla in the room, InstaCart is the most famous of the store delivery apps. Guests use the website or app to fill a cart with brand-name items at the current price. Once the order is placed a gig economy employee will arrive at the store, shop for your items, and then deliver them to your hotel. InstaCart does not require pre-booking of groceries.

We like InstaCart’s app the best, their Publix Quick Delivery option delivers items within 30 minutes, and their integration into the store’s retail systems provides current pricing and discounts. InstaCart also picks up from all local stores including drug stores, big box retail stores, and specialty shops. Downsides include you do not work with someone beforehand, it is assigned once you order and they do not rent out common vacation items. Finally, InstaCart does not offer rentals or other vacation services.

Touring Plans Tips

  • Book your grocery delivery as soon as possible to lock in your arrival day and save money.
  • Avoid over-ordering. Ask yourself how often you will be in your room and how often you will eat there. Learn from my family’s mistake when we had many grocery items remaining at the end of our trip.
  • While tipping is optional it is highly recommended – 10% – 25% of the grocery list total is common.

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Joseph Matt

Joe covers theme parks through the lens of his quality engineering day job. He has over five years of writing experience at Touring Plans and has gone on dozens of trips to Orlando over his life. When not at amusement parks you can find Joe at breweries, enjoying live theater, playing video games, and cooking.

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