To Cook or Not to Cook?

I’ve always enjoyed cooking and would classify myself as someone who can decently find his way around a kitchen. While I may be in the minority on this one, I find it relaxing to come home, jump into the kitchen, and unwind from a long day of work. With that being said, it tends to be the last thing I ever think about doing when visiting Walt Disney World.

A survey posted recently over on the DVC Fan Facebook Group indicates that while many share my sentiment, we all (in one way or another) utilize the kitchen in our Disney Vacation Club accommodations as a way to reduce cost and make a Walt Disney World Vacation more affordable. For many, this can be as simple as breakfast in the morning or a late night snack. Others choose to unwind over a sandwich at lunch or prepare a family meal to sit and enjoy at dinner.

Whatever your preference may be, there are a few things to consider before arriving for your next stay:

First, keep in mind that if you are planning to embrace your inner Masaharu Morimoto cooking skills, you will need to book at least a 1-bedroom accommodation at your DVC resort. This level and higher of accommodations include fully equipped kitchen areas with all the pots, pans, plates, and utensils you will likely need to whip up an Iron Chef winning meal. Staying in a studio, however, will leave you wondering how many minutes on high you will need to ‘nuke’ the raw chicken you bought for dinner in the microwave.

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto – Owner of Morimoto Asia @ Disney Springs

Next, be sure to have a plan in place for your meals throughout the week if you are looking at save money by eating in. Several years ago my wife, Amy, and I purchased a chalk board that we hang in our kitchen at home to plan our dinners. When we remember to use it, it saves us from falling back on the idea of ordering takeout or going out to eat. The same can be said when you’re at Walt Disney World. If you don’t plan ahead, the pork dumplings and pineapple coconut bread at ‘Ohana will start calling your name.

Finally, look into utilizing a grocery delivery service for food and other essentials you would like to have in your room while on property. Although I have never personally used the service, Amazon Prime Now provides Free delivery within 2 hours on all orders over $35. With their Whole Foods partnership, this means many great products are just a click away. I recently took a second to compare these prices with what Disney was charging in the Zawadi Marketplace at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House:

  • $4.29 – 12oz. Peanut Butter (Marketplace) vs. $2.49 – 16oz. Peanut Butter (Amazon)
  • $4.19 – 12oz. Jelly (Marketplace) v. $3.99 – 17.5oz. Jelly (Amazon)
  • $4.57 – Loaf Whole Grain Bread (Marketplace) vs. $2.99 – 8 Grain Bread (Amazon)
  • $4.29 – 2 Liter Coke (Marketplace) vs. $1.79 – 2 Liter Coke (Amazon)
  • $5.75 – 1.5 liter Dasani Water (Marketplace) vs. $2.49 – 1.5 liter FIJI Water (Amazon)
  • $4.29 – 9.75oz. Doritos (Marketplace) vs. $2.99 – 9.75oz. Doritos (Amazon)
  • $1.99 – Travel Size Colgate Toothpaste (Marketplace) vs. $2.99 – Full Size Colgate Toothpaste (Amazon)
  • $2.99 – Single Colgate Toothbrush (Marketplace) vs. $3.99 – Colgate Twin Pack (Amazon)
Disney loves to up-charge water…

While these are just a few brief examples, they quickly show the savings associated with utilizing this delivery service even when factoring in the recently added $6 bell services delivery fee.

Although I have no plans to be cooking in the near future, it is nice to know that this option is available within Disney Vacation Club accommodations if desired. Would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any experience with grocery delivery to your DVC resort!

7 thoughts on “To Cook or Not to Cook?

  • July 7, 2019 at 9:17 am
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    While I don’t cook per say in our villa. I do order groceries such as water, snacks, quick breakfasts and
    wine. I’ve used Garden Grocer in the past, but do find their prices high. I’ll be using another service, maybe Instacart in 3 weeks:)

  • July 7, 2019 at 9:31 am
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    We always cook easy meals like tacos or spaghetti. We allow ourselves “snacks” in the parks because our trip is not complete without a big pretzel in Germany and lunch at Pizzafari in AK (I know…insert GASP here…we love it). We use instacart and do breakfast some lunches and most dinners in our room. I plan it out ahead and order before we leave…it’s super easy!

  • July 7, 2019 at 9:58 am
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    We always cook to some degree! Normally we always eat breakfast in villa at bare minimum. We find it nice to throw something in the crockpot before heading into the parks so as to have a nice meal upon returning back at the villa. I’d so much rather do that than fight long lines at quick service / food court locations late at night when everyone is tired & starving!

  • July 7, 2019 at 1:45 pm
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    We used Amazon now our past trip. It was super cheap and saved us a ton of money.

  • July 7, 2019 at 4:10 pm
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    We’ve done both! We got used to having a full kitchen and w/d in unit years ago and now, even when it’s just the two of us, most trips will book a one bdrm rather than a studio. For the past few years, we’ve used Publix Instacart and for the most part, with very few issues. A favorite tip of mine when traveling with our adult children and grandchildren is to carry a soft sided Thermos cooler as my carryon…..filled with frozen homemade meatballs, precooked frozen ground meat, and precooked frozen boneless chicken. Everything is usually still frozen when we arrive (we have a 2 hr drive to airport, arrive 2 hrs before our flight, and a 2 hr flight and I figure about an hour from MCO to resort) so approx. 7 hrs total. I find it makes it SO easy to prepare a full meal when any meat or poultry needed is already precooked. So easy to throw together pasta, jarred sauce (which I would never use at home…but I doctor it up…and make do with it on vacation!!) and my precooked homemade meatballs with a salad and garlic bread! Or…meatball subs…..Same thing for chicken….so many meals can be prepared very quickly if the chicken is already precooked and ground beef (I’m also very picky about the type of ground beef I use…) the same….tacos, sloppy joes, etc. A know many people also use a crockpot….but since we fly every trip…..I haven’t yet packed a crockpot in a piece of luggage……

  • July 8, 2019 at 12:29 am
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    We visit WDW at least 2 or 3 times a year and I do like to make breakfast and sometimes snacks or lunch in our kitchen. We have an Owner’s Locker which is delivered to our resort each time and holds my essentials – salt & pepper, cooking spray, sharp knives, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, ziplock bags, etc. I know many people store their favorite pans or even crock pots in their locker. Even stable food like peanut butter & pasta are in mine. I highly recommend an Owner’s Locker for DVC members who come more than once a year.

  • July 8, 2019 at 1:36 pm
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    While we certainly cook . . . we really like utilizing the charcoal grills that are available at the DVC Resorts. (The only drawback is that they’re often placed in the smoking section, like at Beach Club – BUT it has been a great way to meet people while I was grilling!) I always buy some chicken and sausages, along with some Match Light charcoal and grill on vacation!

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