Complete Guide to the Universal Orlando Dining Plan

Complete Guide to the Universal Orlando Dining Plan

In this article we breakdown the Universal Orlando dining plan! With so much fun to be had at Universal Orlando and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you’ll be sure to work up a Hagrid-sized appetite! When planning your vacation, the easiest way to make sure your meals are carefree is with the Universal dining plan. It can be a great way to lock in a great price for amazing food at over 100 dining locations throughout the Universal Orlando theme parks and Universal CityWalk.

Determining whether or not you should purchase a dining plan isn’t always an easy answer. The best way to decide if the Universal Dining plan is the best fit for you and your family is to review all of the details. We hope you find this post helpful, and if you are planning a trip to Universal Orlando be sure to check out our other FREE vacation planning tools. Our goal at The Park Prodigy has always been to help you save time on your next vacation and find the cheapest Universal Orlando tickets!

To learn how the different Universal Studios Dining plans work and what perks you can look forward to when staying on property, read on!

SPECIAL NOTE: If you’re looking for the best time to visit Universal Orlando make sure to check out our Universal Crowd Calendar! 

 2021 Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar

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April 2021 Update: Here at The Park Prodigy we are committed to bringing you the most up-to-date information when planning your next trip. It’s important to note that based on the reopen Florida tasks forces guidelines we do expect the park experiences to be different for the foreseeable future. This does mean some of the attractions, entertainment, and restaurant experiences might be altered at Universal Orlando. Be sure to reach out to our team if you have any specific questions about park safety measures!

How Does the Universal Orlando Dining Plan Work?

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The Universal Studios Dining plan is accepted at over 100 locations throughout Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios, Volcano Bay, and CityWalk. Guests can pre-purchase dining credits with Universal Orlando tickets and Universal vacation packages prior to their trip and trade those credits in for meals during their visit.

It is important to note that the Universal dining plan options tend to be very different from the plans offered at Walt Disney World. We have found that certain aspects are better and certain things simply are not. The Universal meal plan is a great choice for families who prefer to have budget certainty when dining.

What Are the Universal Studios Dining Plan Options?

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The Universal Dining Plans are broken into three options with each offering different perks:

  • Universal Dining Plan – Full Service
  • Universal Quick Service Dining Plan
  • Universal Quick Service Dining Plan – Plus Coca Cola Freestyle Cup

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How Much is the Dining Plan at Universal Studios?

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The Universal dining plan cost will vary based on the option you choose (prices below do NOT include gratuities and are subject to change):

  • Universal Dining Plan – Full Service: $64.99 per adult and $24.99 per child ages 3-9; Only offered as part of a vacation package.
  • Universal Quick Service Dining Plan: $25.99 plus tax per adult and $19.16 per child ages 3-9
  • Universal Quick Service Dining Plan – Plus Coca Cola Freestyle Cup: $34.99 plus tax per adult and $28.74 per child ages 3-9

Related Post: Complete Guide to Dining in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter 

Full-Service Universal Studios Dining Plan

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Exclusively available for pre-purchase when booking a Universal Orlando vacation package or at the Universal Ticket Center for on-site Universal hotel guests. This Full-Service Universal Studios meal plan is only available for on-site resort guests no matter when or where you purchase.

This is a fantastic plan for foodies and those with flexible schedules as you’ll have full access to both sit-down restaurants, quick service meals, and snacks. It’s important to note that this is the only Universal Studios dining plan which allows a mix between full service and quick service meals. To receive your meal credits, you’ll use a dining card that’s given to each person in your party.

Things to keep in mind with the Universal dining plan

  • This plan is only offered to those who purchase a Universal Orlando Vacations hotel vacation package
  • Restaurants tend to fill up quickly, we recommend making your reservations as early as 30 days in advance for sit-down service meals. Be sure to visit their website Universal Orlando Dining Reservations or call (407) 224-Food
  • Your meal credits for the Universal Full-service dining plan expire at the end of your stay (or within 14 days)
  • Gratuity is not included in the price of your dining plan
  • Theme park admission is required for dining locations inside the parks
  • It’s not valid for use at the Universal Orlando resort hotels 

What’s Included With the Universal Full Service Dining Plan?

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The Universal Studios Full Service Dining plan includes one full-service meal, one quick-service meal, one snack, and one non-alcoholic beverage per day per guest.

Universal Dining Plan Broken Out

  • 1 Full-service meal per day – (includes an entree, a dessert, and a non-alcoholic beverage)
  • 1 Quick service meal – (includes an entree platter and a non-alcoholic beverage)
  • 1 snack
  • 1 non-alcoholic beverage

The great aspect of the Universal Orlando dining plan is also guests will each receive their own dining card. This will allow all guests to possibly dine at different locations if they choose to do so which is perfect when traveling with young teens.

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Universal Dining Plan Restaurants for Full Service

CityWalk Orlando Dining

Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food

Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom

Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville

Pat O’ Briens

Red Oven Pizza Bakery

Vivo Italian Kitchen

The Cowfish

NBC Sports Grill and Brew

Universal Studios Dining

Finnegan’s Bar and Grille

Lombard’s Seafood Grill

Universal’s Islands of Adventures Dining

Confisco Grille

Mythos Restaurant

Universal Orlando’s Quick Service Dining Plan 

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Ah, the beloved Quick Service Dining Plan! In our opinion, this is the best dining plan to go with for those with full-packed schedules, or even those with a limited number of days while visiting Universal.

Available to all guests (whether staying on-property or not), the Quick Service Dining Plan can be added anytime during your visit by stopping by one of the kiosks at the opening gates of the parks. That said, this is something you don’t have to add to your vacation package when you initially book a Universal resort.

It’s important to note that guests can bundle their quick service dining plan with all Park Prodigy Universal Orlando tickets! 

What’s Included with the Universal Quick Service Dining Plan? 

  • 1 Quick service meal
  • 1 snack
  • 1 Non-alcoholic beverage per day

Things to Keep in Mind with the Quick Service Dining Plan

  • Your food credits don’t expire, you can roll them over into the next day
  • If you still have credits at the end of your trip, you will receive a food voucher that you can use when you visit the parks again
  • You can select which members of your party to put on the dining plan, opposed to the Full Service Dining Plan which is automatically includes everyone on the resort reservation
  • You can purchase a quick service plan at the restaurant’s register when you check out
  • You have free range to choose which days you want to take advantage of with this plan, it is up to you to choose which days you want to use it
  • Themed drinks such as Butterbeer will count as a snack credit instead of a drink
  • You can purchase the plan on a day-by-day basis

Universal Orlando Quick Service Dining Locations

CityWalk 

Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches

Hot Dog Hall of Fame

Universal Studios Florida

Fast Food Boulevard

Kid Zone Pizza Company

Leaky Cauldron

London Taxi Hut

Louie’s Italian Restaurant

Mel’s Drive-In

Richter’s Burger Co.

San Francisco Pastry Co

Classic Monster Cafe Universal

Universal’s Islands of Adventure 

Doc Sugrue’s Desert Kebab House

Blondie’s

Cafe 4

Captain America Diner

Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous

Comic Strip Cafe

Croissant Moon Bakery

Fire-Eater’s Grill

Green Eggs and Ham Cafe

Pizza Predattoria

The Burger Digs

Three Broomsticks

Thunder Falls Terrace

Wimpy’s

Universal’s Volcano Bay 

Bambu Jungle Kitchen

Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club

The Feasting Frog

Whakawaiwai Eats

Related post: Complete Guide to Universal Studios for Adults

How Can I Purchase the Universal Orlando Dining Plan?

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Unlike the Disney Dining plan, there are two different options when purchasing your Universal Orlando dining plan in advance. Both options depend on if you are hoping to purchase a quick service Universal Orlando Dining Plan or a full-service Universal Orlando Dining Plan.  

The first option is the Universal Orlando quick service dining plan which can be purchased two ways. The first is by pre-purchase when booking your Universal Orlando vacation package online or when purchasing your Universal Orlando tickets through a travel company such as The Park Prodigy.

The second is when you arrive on Universal Orlando property, your Universal Orlando hotel, at select Universal Orlando quick service dining locations, or a few different carts throughout Universal Citywalk. Be sure to check with your front desk team member for additional location if purchasing your Universal quick service dining plan once you get to Orlando.

The full-service Universal Orlando dining plan must be purchased online or through your travel agent in advance.  Unfortunately you cannot purchase a Universal Orlando full-service dining plan once you arrive in Orlando.

Related Post: Complete Guide to Universal Studios Orlando Parking

Food Allergies and the Universal Dining Plan

So what if you have food allergies, is the Universal dining plan still a good fit? We have found that Universal is really good when it comes to accommodating guests with food allergies. I would however call guest services before you purchase the Universal dining plan to discuss your unique allergies and needs. You can call Universal guests services at 407-224-3463. If you do decide to purchase the dining plan at Universal and have additional questions once you arrive you can speak with the restaurant manager before you dine.

Dining Perks for Guests Staying on Universal Orlando Property 

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It’s no secret that Universal’s CityWalk is home to some pretty spectacular restaurants. From casual to upscale dining, there’s something for every type of crowd. For guests staying at Hard Rock Hotel, Portofino Bay or Royal Pacific Resort, priority seating is a fantastic perk that places you at the top of a wait list for a table from the moment you arrive, without a reservation. Mangia!

If you’re unsure which Universal Orlando hotel works best for you, be sure to check out our Universal hotels Guide!

Universal Orlando Meal Plan Tips & Tricks

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1) Best Snacks at Universal Orlando

If either one of the Universal Dining Plans feels like a good fit for your family, it’s important to keep in mind that both plans include one snack per person, per day. To get the best bang for your buck, we recommend using that snack credit on snacks that cost over $5. For instance, if you want a sweet treat go for the $7 butterbeer over at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter instead of a $2.99 pretzel at any given food cart.

2) Best Snack Deals

Although most theme park vacations come with a hefty price ticket, Universal does a great job at taking the pressure off your wallet with their refillable mugs, popcorn bucket and the Coca-Cola Freestyle Souvenir cup.

3) Universal Souvenir Popcorn Buckets

Priced at $8.99 (plus tax) per bucket, you’ll be able to refill these at four locations throughout the Universal theme parks at a discounted rate. Just look for the popcorn machines!

4) Souvenir Cups

Priced at $16.99 (plus tax) per cup, you’ll be able to refill your drink at nearly any beverage counter or quick service restaurant inside the parks at a discounted rate. With this cup, you can also pay $8.99 per day for unlimited refills at any Coca Cola Freestyle machine.

5) Coca Cola Freestyle Program

With the purchase of a $15.99 souvenir Coke cup, you’ll have access to unlimited free refills at any Coke Freestyle machine at any of the three parks for that day. After that first day, unlimited daily refills will cost $8.99 to activate.

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Early Park Admission at Universal

Universal Dining Plan Questions and Answers

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Q: Is the Universal dining plan worth it?

A: This is a very common question and it all depends on your group. If you prefer a fixed budget for all of your meals then yes. It’s important to note that the dining plan does not guarantee you will save money. We would suggest keeping an eye on the Universal Studios food prices at each restaurant to get the best bang for your buck.

Q: How do I know which food items are eligible?

A: Simply look for the “UD” symbol at your dining location. It’s important to note a few of the dining locations in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter do not include the “UD” symbol but are included. We also always recommend when in doubt just ask.

Q: Can I use the Universal dining plan at Halloween Horror Nights?

A: Yes, Universal does offer two quick service options at Halloween Horror nights. Guests can also check out our complete guide to Halloween Horror Nights 2021! 

Q: Does the full service Universal dining plan include character dining?

A:  Unfortunately no, these credits can not be used towards character dining.

Q: Which CityWalk restaurants aren’t included in the Universal dining plan?

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Emeril’s Orlando, Hard Rock Cafe Orlando, and The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen are not included in the Universal dining plan.

Q: Are Universal hotels included in my dining plan?

No, you cannot use your dining plan at any Universal hotel, even if you are a guest there. This is something to keep in mind if you were planning to eat at your resort often during your stay, and were hoping to include it in your dining plan.

Q: Can I use my dining plan when ordering ahead on the Universal mobile app?

A: No, at this time you can’t use your dining plan when ordering ahead on the mobile app. However, you can use an annual pass discount if you have one!

For additional facts and questions on the Universal Orlando dining plan check out their website!

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Start Planning Your Universal Orlando Trip!

We can help you pick the best time to visit Universal’s Orlando! Our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We breakdown park hours, crowd levels, and ticket prices.

If you’re brand new to Universal vacation planning be sure to check out our free resources. We break down everything you need to know before you go , including Discounted Universal Orlando Tickets, Universal Hotels, and Volcano bay.