Universal offers an "all-you-care-to-eat" dining plans, allowing you to partake of as much food as you'd like throughout the day. The cost is $22 for adults and $11 for children ages 9 and under, plus tax; if you're eating on both parks on the same day the cost is $26 and $13 respectively.
Only three restaurants (all counter service) in each park participate in the Meal Deal. The Universal Studios one-park plan provides access to three fast-food restaurants: Mel's Drive-In, Louie's Italian Restaurant, and the Monsters Cafe. Three restaurants participate at IOA: Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous, the Comic Strip Cafe and The Burger Digs.
One thing to note is that drinks are not included in the cost of the meal plan. Our advice is to carry around with you a bottle of water and fill that as needed. Universal will try to sell you a $11 all-you-can-drink "souvenir" cup with the meal plan, raising the cost to $33 for adults and $22 for kids. We're not trying to sound like New York's Mayor Bloomberg, but no one needs that much soda.
Is the Universal Meal Deal worth it?
Not in our opinion. The food selection is poor and the quality is so far below average that we'd rather go hungry than eat the two or three times needed to break even on the cost. For example, a beef and pepper stir fry we once sampled at the Studios had absolutely no trace of Oriental spices and could have passed for "Mom's Sunday Pot Roast" at Mel's Drive-in or "Danny's Irish Stew" at Flannigan's. Your best bet is to pick up a hot dog to tide you over until you can drive somewhere better off site.