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Universal Orlando Dining Plans

Universal Orlando offers two different Dining Plans:

  • Universal Dining Plan — Quick-Service
  • Universal Dining Plan

Universal Dining Plan — Quick-Service

Quick Service Universal Dining Plan provides one quick service meal (including an entree platter and soft drink), another soft drink, and one snack. The cost is $23.99 (plus tax) for adults and $15.99 for kids age 9 and younger, plus tax. It’s valid at most quick-service eateries in both parks (including Three Broomsticks at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, The Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley, and Fast Food Boulevard in Springfield U.S.A.), several places in Volcano Bay, and a smattering at CityWalk, but not at any hotel eateries.

Virtually every entree at participating venues can be purchased with a quick service meal credit, even combo platters that include a side salad or milkshake. A few of the most expensive items, like whole pizzas, aren't covered. For your non-alcoholic beverages, you can choose from a regular-sized fountain soda; bottled water, juice, or sports drink; or coffee, cocoa, or tea (including tall Starbucks brews). Eligible snacks include churros, pretzels, popcorn, ice cream (regular-sized cup or cone, or novelty bar), funnel cakes, cookies, and pastries. Some larger items from snack vendors, like turkey legs and hot dogs, count as a quick service meal. Credits can even be used inside the Wizarding Worlds, though the Universal Dining eligibility logo doesn't appear on Potter menus for thematic reasons. However, signature beverages like Butterbeer will count as a snack, not drink. The full list of all participating locations can be found on the Universal website.

If two sodas a day isn't enough for you, a souvenir Coca-Cola Freestyle cup can be added to any quick service dining plan for an additional $6, which includes unlimited refills from the Freestyle machines found around the parks (see below).

Universal claims the plan can save you up to 30%, but unless you use all your credits and order carefully, you’ll probably do as well or better buying a la carte with an Annual Pass or AAA discount (which cannot be applied to purchasing the plan). We're also not big fans in principal of pre-paying for meals, but thankfully Universal doesn't tie you down by forcing you to book it for every day of your vacation, or every member of your party. It is possible to purchase the quick service dining plan in advance when reserving your vacation, but there's really no need to. Instead, take advantage of your ability to buy into the plan on a day-by-day at any participating restaurant after you’ve already made your menu selection.

If your entree and drink add up to at least $15 before tax, and you aren't eligible for any discounts, it's probably in your best interest to ask the cashier to sell you a quick service plan. The extra few dollars will net another beverage (worth about $3) and snack (worth $3-$6) for the afternoon, saving you on balance between one and four bucks. Order a ribs platter and soda with a dining plan, and your second drink and snack are essentially free. On the other hand, if you are order an $8 cheese pizza and $3 bag of chips, you'll lose about $3 on the deal. The dining plan cards aren't tied to a particular person, so they can be traded among family members, and they don't expire at the end of the day – unused credits hold their value as long as you hold onto the card.

Universal Dining Plan

The Universal Dining Plan is also offered to on-site hotel guests buying vacation packages, but it’s an even worse bargain. The full-service plan costs $51.99 per adult per day ($17.99 for kids) and includes everything the quick service plan does, plus one table service meal (entree, soft drink, and select dessert; gratuity not included) per day. This particular dining plan, however can only be booked as part of a hotel and ticket package, rather than on a day-by-day basis like its Quick-Service sister.

Unfortunately, there are only a dozen participating restaurants on property, none of which are in the resort hotels. The four in-park Table Service restaurants (Mythos, Confisco Grille, Finnegan's, and Lombard's) are included along with Antojitos, Bob Marley, Margaritaville, Pat O'Brien's, Red Oven Pizza, Vivo Italian Kitchen, The Cowfish, and NBC Sports Grill & Brew from CityWalk. The full list of all participating locations can be found on the Universal website. The table service plan probably wouldn't be a great deal even if Universal gave it away “free,” like Disney does with their dining plan; at full price, you're basically throwing money away.

Last updated on April 12, 2019

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