TouringPlans is pleased to welcome back guest author Jon Self.
The other day I posed a question in a Facebook group about best snacks to get at Universal Orlando Resort for $5 or less. Many responses included variations of “I did not know there was any snack for under $5 at Universal!” Let me assure you that there are plenty of great options for snacks for $5 or less. There are so many that I will not be able to list all of them here. However, you should be warned that these will be good for your budget, but most will not be good for your diet.
Since I am going to focus on the “best of the best, sir”, some important low-cost snacks will be left out. There is popcorn, which is $5 or $2 with a refillable popcorn bucket. Universal Orlando has a plethora of large, themed chocolate candy bars, found in most gift shops, covering almost every property and/or character, and these cost under $5 each or 3/$10. You could get slushes also. Do not forget that Starbucks can be your budget friend at Universal. However, when you may desire more signature items, so as so many former team members have said:” …and we’re moving on!”
This treat solves a problem I never knew I had. I do not have to choose between a brownie and a cookie. This Universal Orlando treat is a chocolate chip cookie baked inside of a chocolate brownie, and sometimes you can find variations of this as well. Some guests get this treat every vacation to Orlando. This treat can be found in several quick services places, food kiosks, and the bakery cases across the resort and costs $3.29.
Universal Orlando is filled with bakery cases with treats of all types. The main breakfast/bakery food locations are Croissant Moon in Islands of Adventure, and TODAY Cafe and San Francisco Pastry Company in Universal Studios Florida. These places have muffins, cheesecake slices, eclairs, turnovers, and croissants (some vegan) for well under $5. The big selling point for some guests traveling the park in a rush is the jumbo cookie at these places. Some people have been known to make this their breakfast! That’s a good deal at $2.59 per cookie!
Yes, a thousand times yes…. Dole Whips exist outside of Lake Buena Vista. They are served as Schwab’s Pharmacy in Universal Studios Florida and Wimpy’s in Islands of Adventure (though sometimes found at the ice cream place in Marvel Super Hero Island). This pineapple sorbet treat is $3.99/cup and $4.49/cone. If you can avoid the feeling of saying aloha to an island friend, then this treat ranks exceedingly high on the taste scale.
You knew that Butterbeer would have to appear in this list somehow. However, at the rate prices are going up in Wizarding World area, you better get this before it is over $5. A piece of butterbeer fudge is currently $4.95. Though I would rank this the worst version of butterbeer on property, it still is butterbeer. If you prefer a different flavor of fudge, you can find that at the fudge shops all over Universal also. In addition, if you purchase six pieces of fudge then you can get a volume discount bringing the price down.
Believe it or not, there is a rather inexpensive snack you can get that is not mostly empty calories. Universal has a decent fruit cup that cost $4.29. This can be found at the fruit stands, a few quick service places, and Natural Selections snack kiosk. Now if you are a Florida resident, then this treat will be good but not magical. However, if you are visiting from an area where fresh fruit is not as common as Florida, then this fruit will taste great and be refreshing also. You can also purchase grapes and pieces of whole fruit for comparable prices.
You can discover a few unique snacks for under $5 here, including a side of falafel for $4.99 or a pita with tzatziki sauce for $3.59. If looking for something sweet, this place has edible chocolate chip cookie dough for $3.59 and Greek honey puffs for $4.59.
Sundae on a Stick
This variation of a traditional ice cream novelty treat can lead to long lines at Hop on Pop Ice Cream during busy times of year. This is an ice cream bar covered in chocolate, but with sundae topping embedded in the chocolate coating. This ice cream does not compare to Toothsome or Florean Fortescue’s, but at $4.69 it also costs way less.
Did you think I would overlook this low-cost snack spot? Voodoo only has one item over $5. A vast majority of their donuts are under $4 with some as low as $1.50. With all the regular menu item donuts and the incredible amount of seasonal donut offerings, anyone can find something to snack on at Voodoo.
Yes, I remember not too long ago that a Butterbeer was under $5. While it seems like prices are always escalating, there are still some terrific foods to be found for under $5. Next time you visit, give some of these a try for a delightful and inexpensive treat.
What are your favorite snacks for under $5 at Universal Orlando? Let us know in the comments.
Jon Self is an avid theme park fan who has the high privilege to serve as a pastor at an American Baptist Church (fbcmacomb.com) while also trying to find the proper life path with his loving spouse, a bigger theme park fan than Jon. You can follow him at @pastorjonself on Twitter and read more of his writings at faithelement.net.