For many people, the excitement of shopping at Disney World is right up there with riding the attractions and sampling the food. I’m down with that. Disney does a great job of creating high quality merchandise that can help you remember your vacation and take a little bit of the Disney magic home with you.
But there is one problem. Carrying your newly purchased treasures around with you all day can be a real hassle.
Fortunately, Disney has two great ways to make your shopping experience easier and save you from having to haul packages around all day. And one of the best parts of these two services is that they are both free. Yes, free. Why is Disney being so nice? Because they know that if they make shopping easier, you are likely to shop more. It’s a win-win, really.
Let’s take a look at these two free services:
1 – Package Pickup
What it is: When you make a purchase, instead of carrying it with you, Disney will deliver it to a Package Pickup location at the exit to the park. This free service is available to any park guest.
How it works: When you make a purchase, tell the Disney Cast Member at the sales register that you want to use the Package Pickup service. They will ask you to fill out a simple form and then give you a receipt. When you are ready to leave, show you receipt at the Pickup location, get your stuff, and be on your merry way.
How long it takes: It can take up to three hours for Disney to deliver your package to the Pickup location. Make sure that you will be in the park at least that long before you plan to leave.
Considerations: The Package Pickup locations are near the entrance to each park. Remember that Epcot has two entrances – a main entrance at the front of Future World and the International Gateway entrance near the France pavilion. If you are staying in an Epcot-area resort like the Walt Disney World Swan, Walt Disney World Dolphin, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, or Disney’s Boardwalk, then you will probably want to request that your package be delivered to the International Gateway entrance.
2 – Resort Delivery
What it is: When you make a purchase, instead of carrying it with you, Disney will deliver it to the gift shop of your hotel. This free service is available to guests at Disney resort hotels, plus a few of Disney’s partner hotels in the Disney Springs Resort area.
How it works: When you make a purchase, tell the Disney Cast Member at the sales register that you want to use the Resort Delivery service. They will ask you to fill out a simple form and then will give you a receipt. When you arrive back at your hotel, you can go to the gift shop in your resort and pick up your merchandise.
How long it takes: You can pick up your package at your resort gift shop after 3pm on the next day. That means that you may not be able to user this service on the last two days of your vacation.
Considerations: Some larger resorts have multiple gift shops, so ask which one will have your package.
In addition to all the Disney resorts and Disney Vacation Club locations, the following hotels also participate in the Resort Delivery program: Walt Disney World Swan, Walt Disney World Dolphin, Shades of Green, Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Buena Vista Palace, Doubletree Guest Suites, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Wyndham Lake Buena Vista, and the Royal Plaza. The list could change, so ask at the cash register to confirm your hotel is included.
Disney does not allow you to ship food to your hotel. Maybe they are worried about the delivery guy taking a little taste of your fudge.
While this program used to deliver your merchandise directly to your room (which was extremely cool), it now delivers it to your resort (which is pretty cool). It’s still a pretty good service – especially since it is free.
Take Advantage Of Earlier Shopping
Disney will occasionally print discount codes on the receipts for meals, offering a discount for shopping earlier in the day. This happens especially during busy times. This approach helps Disney to even out the crowds. If you get one of these discounts, consider taking advantage of it and then using the Package Pickup or Resort Delivery service. It could help you save a bit of money, face smaller shopping crowds, and enjoy your merchandise without having to haul it around with you all day long.
Do you like Disney’s free Package Pickup and Resort Delivery services?