QS dining plan vs pay as we go vs grab a few groceries?

I need suggestions/experiences!

Using the dining plan calculator for 3 adults (two of them teenagers) staying at the Contemporary for 4 nights, it comes out that it is cheaper to avoid the QS plan. However, we are staying seven nights, with the first four at the Contemporary. Then, we switch to another hotel by the beach for the last three nights. One of the reasons we chose to stay on site is so we can avoid the drive from Michigan and instead fly and use Magical Express to the resort, get around to Epcot and MK by monorail, and not need a vehicle until the last three days of the trip.

The question comes in: The calculator doesn’t figure out the additional cost of Ubering to a grocery store to buy just enough basic breakfast and lunch/dinner items to keep the QS costs down. I’ve read that the cost of having grocery items delivered is on the high side, too.

I’m normally about saving costs because I like to use extra funds for fun things like shopping, etc., but I’ve come to learn over the years that sometimes the hoops I have to jump through to keep costs down are just not worth it.

Any ideas?
Thanks :slight_smile:

The dining plan is just waaaaaay too much food for our family so we did the ‘‘hoops’’ and it was simple and practical enough. Third trip is upcoming in 3 weeks and we go without the dining plan for the 3rd time. Different for each family but for us it’s perfect that way. :slight_smile:

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Do you have Amazon Prime? You can get free delivery with Prime Now, and I found it 50% cheaper than Green Grocer by focusing on the generic brand at Whole Foods.

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You might look at Publix. They offer delivery and on-line ordering.


We do have Prime.

I’m also thinking of the perishable items - not much because those mini refrigerators are 1. Rather small and 2. Not always as cold as I like.

Milk, OJ, fruit, cream cheese, lunchmeat - that sort of thing.

I’ll definitely check that out.


For the mini fridges, I buy the asceptic milk like Horizon brand. That way you only need to put a few in the fridge at a time to save space over buying a carton or jug. You can figure your Uber cost on your own.

Suggestion: I got a really great price on a rental car for one day. I’m grabbing the rental at MCO, then driving to a Walmart, and returning the rental at my resort. Total peace of mind for the price of the rental.

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Prime Now is connected to Whole Foods now, so on my list are all those sort of things. You can choose under Prime Now to shop Whole Foods.

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Two things to consider when looking at grocery delivery vs. going to the store: the time spent/lost and the cost of Uber or rental vs. delivery cost.

Garden grocer does cost $14 to deliver, and if you have packages delivered to the resort there’s a fee (I think it’s $5 per box) and a tip (well, a tip if you so choose). I imagine that Uber would cost at least as much as the delivery fees (though I could be wrong) so that’s kind of a wash. A rental car plus parking fees at the Contemporary will cost more than $5-$14.

The cost of the groceries themselves are higher at Garden Grocer, but if you place the order ahead of time they offer something of a discount. (15 Days= 5%, 30 Days= 7%, 60 Days= 10%)

Not sure how the Garden Grocer’s compares to Amazon, but I’m assuming Garden Grocer charges more.

I always like to take care of as much as possible before vacation, so to me the time lost to get a rental car, drive and/or Uber to and from the store, and shop in an unfamiliar place, is a big downside.

I come out on the “have someone else grab a few groceries for you” side of things. Last time we tried to do breakfast and lunch ourselves most days which I was happy with, but most other people in my group regretted having to make lunch ourselves. On our next trip, we’ll order groceries for breakfast (we don’t have Amazon prime) and do QS or TS for lunch and dinner. We have two rooms so we’re doing a DDP for one room, but if we only had one room we wouldn’t do the DP.

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This is essentially what we do. I use Garden Grocer for breakfast items and some drinks and snacks for throughout the day and usually a case of water (we start with 1 bottled water each for each day - I refuse to carry more than that. Sadly we pay the godawful park prices for refills). And then we QS or TS lunch and dinner. I don’t want to spend any part of my vacation food shopping or preparing any meal! :grin:

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Dining plans have always been too much food for our family, so we usually get some basic breakfast stuff for the room and snack/eat in the parks from there.
We’ve always had a car, so it was a just a quick stop at Publix on the way in.

Our next trip in December is the first time we won’t have a car. So, we will have some basics delivered with Prime.
Not that the cost of food delivery isn’t important, but time is money for us at Disney. I’d much rather spend a few extra $$ and not have to take the time to Uber for groceries.

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