Saving money at Disney World is key for any family trip. While I was helping someone recently with a Disney trip, they taught me a new trick. Use Amazon Prime Now to have groceries shipped to your resort at Disney World. Can’t believe I didn’t know this one myself already!
Since I had an upcoming Disney World trip, I decided to give Amazon Prime Now a try. As an aside, if you haven’t tried Amazon Prime Now yet, you can try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days if you’re not already a member. A few days before my trip started, I put together a small list of grocery items (milk, eggs, butter, fresh fruit, etc) and parked it in my shopping cart.
Once I arrived at my Disney World hotel, I placed the order that was sitting in my Amazon Prime Now cart. Since you can request a 2-hour delivery window for you order, other folks have reported successfully placing their order when their flight lands at Orlando International Airport.
No need for a 1-hour delivery window. Disney World handles receiving of groceries at their various hotels and will bring them to their room. They’ll also place your refrigerated items in the refrigerator (more on that shortly). I’ll be honest, I was a bit surprised by the tipping feature in the process. I’m not against tipping for good service. But, here I wasn’t sure I would even get my groceries. Seems to defeat the purpose of tipping for folks who provide great service.
About an hour after my order was placed I received an update that it was on the way.
I had opted into text messages and received one at the delivery time. Sweet! I was back at my hotel room about an hour later to check on my groceries. Hmmm, they hadn’t arrived yet. Well, we were staying in a cabin at Disney World, pretty far from the “front desk” at our resort. Maybe it would just take a while?
I had to head out for a meeting a while later. At this point it had been over 2 hours since my groceries were due to arrive. I tried calling the front desk at my resort. Disney’s phone lines all tie back to a call center. The person that answered was friendly but not very helpful. She informed me my groceries hadn’t been delivered yet. Amazon Prime Now said they had. What next?
After some gentle persuasion, I was able to get the phone agent to transfer me directly to the back office of the property I was staying at. They assured me the groceries weren’t there. They had also called over to the adjacent property just to check that they weren’t delivered to the wrong place. This was my disaster scenario. The handful of times I needed to call Amazon customer service it was bad. Really bad. Overseas call centers made it difficult to communicate and the agents weren’t particularly motivated to help me. Previous solutions were lacking.
A Pleasant Surprise
The Prime Now website gave me the option of e-mailing or calling them as contact methods. At first, I chose e-mail because I was sitting in a meeting. A few minutes after I sent my e-mail we ended up taking a break, so I figured I would call. It turned out to be a pretty easy customer service experience. There were no language barriers. The customer service agent acknowledged that they sometimes have orders “disappear” after delivery at Disney World.
There was no fighting with the agent. He immediately refunded my entire order and put an additional $30 credit on my account (roughly 75% of the cost of my order). He also advised me that I would need to place a new order on the Prime Now website. Not my first choice, but a pretty decent resolution.
I went back to the website to order again. A few of the items I ordered earlier were now out of stock. I was able to find comparable items and get a second order placed.
Second Time Is A Charm?
When I got the second confirmation that my order was delivered I called my Disney property right away. They were quick to confirm that my order had arrive. The woman I spoke with also noted that my first order had appeared. I asked her where it came from. She said she wasn’t sure, but that I had two orders. Okay…..
It was a few hours later that I arrived back at my room to find the bags sitting in the kitchen.
The bags were sealed and none of them were marked that they contained items that needed to be refrigerated. One bag that had a fragile sticker with a picture of eggs ended up in the refrigerator. It had my milk and eggs. Everything else was on the counter. After going through all the bags, none of the refrigerated items from my first order made it into my refrigerator. While they were in a thermal bag with some ice packs, the eggs and milk were still warm enough that I wasn’t willing to take a chance.
The rest of the order was accurate. My bananas and apples looked fine, probably better than I would have expected. I had one cracked egg in my dozen.
The Final Two Pennies
The original reason to test Prime Now was to see if Disney World would charge me a fee for delivering the packages. I can confirm that no such fee appeared on my bill. Further, I asked at the front desk about fees for delivery groceries. They informed me that they don’t charge anything for deliveries from grocery stores.
How about the Prime Now service? Obviously, I wasn’t thrilled. I was really pleased with the problem resolution team. However, I would have preferred things just went smoothly on my first order. I definitely would recommend staying on top of your delivery if you choose this route.
Overall, the quality of the food I received was quite good. No bruises on the bananas or apples. A cracked egg isn’t the end of the world. At least it relates to the selection on my order for Disney World, I found it somewhat lacking for our normal grocery list. All in all, it seems like Prime Now at Disney World is trading selection, and potentially delivery accuracy, for convenience. At least according to my sample size of exactly one.
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