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Orlando Informer: Where are the closest grocery stores and malls to the theme parks?

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Column by Dan Hatfield

I am planning a trip to Orlando. We are not quite sure whether we want to stay on Disney property, on International Drive by Universal Orlando, or by SeaWorld. But my question isn’t about accommodations – it’s about shopping. Since I don’t know the area, can you help me locate the closest grocery stores and non-Disney shopping malls to the attractions?

Great question! I can certainly help. There are a number of grocery stores, regular shopping malls, and outlet malls all over the Orlando area. There are so many in fact, I decided to create a custom Google map to display them all. Click Here to open the map. Once you’re inside the map, click on any of the venues to view its address. From there you can punch in your hotel’s address if you’d like to get specific directions.

I’ll also go through a few highlights, just to help you get your bearings.

Grocery Stores
As with any city there are a lot of grocery stores around. If you’re staying at Walt Disney World, the single closest grocery store is Goodings. It is open 24-hours and is located at Disney World’s north entrance, in the Crossroads shopping and restaurant complex. You can take a virtual tour of Goodings on the OrlandoInformer.com Facebook page. There is also a Winn-Dixie about two blocks east of Goodings.

Otherwise, Orlando’s biggest grocery chain is Publix, and you’ll find them in almost all the neighborhoods. Just check out my custom-made map for locations.

If you’re looking for a larger selection, there are also a two Super Targets and two Walmart Supercenters around the attractions. Their locations are also marked on my Google map.

Shopping Malls
The three closest malls to the attractions are Florida Mall, Mall at Millenia and Festival Bay Mall. I’d also like to throw in Kissimee’s The Loop & Loop West, which is an outdoor shopping area similar to mall. Out of those four, Florida Mall is going to be about as “normal” as you can get for a mall. It is anchored by a JC Penny, Sears, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Mall at Millenia is worth a visit too, if only to window shop. It is Orlando’s luxury mall, and their “exceptional collection of retailers is presented in a distinctive environment of dramatic architecture and amenities.” It is quite beautiful. Mall at Millenia was also recently the scene for an Orlando Flash Mob! Cool stuff.

Don’t forget about the outlet malls. There are two big ones in Orlando, Premium Outlets International Drive near Universal Orlando (formerly Prime Outlets), and Premium Outlets Vineland Ave. near SeaWorld.

In case of emergency, 24-hour Walgreens and Liquor Stores
You never know just what complications may arise when you’re on vacation. For that reason I’ve also marked the closest 24-hour Walgreens and liquor stores on my Google map. And don’t forget that in Florida regular grocery stores sell beer and wine.

If you think I missed anything, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. You may also be interested in seeing the other 10 custom-made Google maps I’ve created, covering everything from the Magic Kingdom resort area, to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to Lake Eola and Thorton Park. Click Here to see the collection.

Do you have a question you’d like to have featured in my weekly column? Please contact me and put “Attractions Magazine blog” in the subject. Thanks! Have a great week.

Dan Hatfield is an Orlando enthusiast, vacation planning specialist, local blogger, and full-time student at UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management. He runs OrlandoInformer.com, a site dedicated to providing practical knowledge and insider tips about a wide range of Orlando vacation activities. You can reach Dan via his website, on Twitter at @OrlandoInformer, or at [email protected].

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14 comments

Dan Hatfield March 22, 2011 - 1:59 pm

I was right in the middle of updating the map when this published!

Anyway, I added two supermarkets on I-Drive, and I corrected the 24-hour Walgreens also on I-Drive (the one next to Wet ‘n Wild is more visible but it isn’t 24-hours).

Be sure to comments with questions or feedback. Thanks!

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Reid March 22, 2011 - 2:56 pm

There are Publix Grocery stores near all three major theme park areas. They are my store of choice.

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Natalie Covey March 23, 2011 - 6:51 am

As mentioned in the article, Winn-Dixie is about 2 blocks from Goodings in Crossroads. I would highly recommend going the extra distance to pick up groceries. The prices are similar to what I pay at home in NC and I even have a Winn-Dixie discount store card. I racked up on some great deals two weeks ago.

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Michael Rowland March 25, 2011 - 10:21 am

I agree it is much better to drive the extra distance to another supermarket besides Goodings. Gooding’s prices are inflated resort prices and the store is not clean.

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Patrick March 25, 2011 - 12:21 pm

I just rent a car and go to Whole Foods – it’s about 10 minutes from Disney property and it has groceries for any dietary needs. I need gluten-free food which is hard to get at other places, especially bread! The food is delicious. Yes you will pay a premium, but when you have allergies-restrictions-intolerence, this is the best place to head to for specialty stuff. Their website is at: http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/orlando/

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Dan Hatfield March 25, 2011 - 12:44 pm

Whole foods is a great option. It’s on my Google map too. There’s also one in Winter Park, on the north end of town, if you ever happen to be in that neighborhood.

I wish they’d put one in the Water Tower shopping area in Celebration. There used to be a Goodings here, but it’s gone. And even though the Whole Foods near Universal isn’t too far, 10 minutes is pretty optimistic. With the traffic on I-4 and on Sand Lake, I’d plan on more like 20 minutes one-way.

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Matt Roseboom March 25, 2011 - 12:55 pm

If you’re trying to get to Whole Foods from Universal or Disney, you don’t have to take I-4. I’d suggest Turkey Lake Road.

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Dan Hatfield March 25, 2011 - 1:24 pm

Yeah Turkey Lake is a good call.

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Patrick March 25, 2011 - 11:10 pm

That is Turkey Lake that I take; it was easy with a GPS, but I’m not sure I would find my way without 🙂 And yes, it was probably more like 15 minutes… 10 minutes in Disney minutes I guess! What I like too is they have coupons right on their website to print for money savings!

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John April 16, 2011 - 6:47 pm

I was just at the Winn-dixie it is well worth the few extra blocks. They had great deals and awesome customer service.. They have a delievery service or they will shop for you which is what I did. It was ready when I arrived. The number is 407-465-8600.

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