DiningUniversal Orlando ResortWalt Disney World (FL)

Comparing Disney & Universal Full Service Dining Prices and Ratings

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Here at Touring Plans, we love Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando both equally. Each resort complements the other’s strengths, like chocolate and peanut butter. In this series of articles, I’ll compare the Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando offerings directly to help you better prepare for your next vacation. In this article, we’re looking at the two resorts’ full-service restaurant offerings.


Confisco Grille at Islands of Adventure

Conventional theme park wisdom says Walt Disney World’s food is more expensive than similar Universal items. A TP-er throws conventional wisdom to the wind for breakfast, so we pulled entree prices from all Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando menus. Here are the average entree costs at each restaurant at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando:

The average price for an entree at Universal is $23.80 before tax and tip while at Disney it is $29.57, or an average of $6 more per entree. There are some things that do keep Universal’s pricing down – Disney has a larger selection of signature dining with prices to match, more exotic menu options, and more high-profile restaurants.

The two outlier points at Universal Orlando are The Palm at Hard Rock Hotel (average entree cost of $55) and Bice at Loews’s Portofino Bay Hotel (average entree cost of $41).

But the data doesn’t lie – Universal’s average price of an entree is cheaper than Disney’s. But what about a head-to-head comparison?

Skipper Canteen and Mythos: Same Quality, Different Prices

We can see that Universal’s full-service restaurants are overall less expensive than Disney’s but that only tells part of the story. So once again I am sending our favorite family of four to two similar theme park restaurants. They will order similar appetizers, entrees, drinks, and a 20% tip. Our restaurants are…

  • Skipper Canteen – 3 1/2 star restaurant with 91% thumbs up from guests located in the Magic Kingdom. The menu features grilled items, steaks, seafood, and noodle dishes with Asian, Indian, Medeterannian, and South American influences.
  • Mythos – 3 1/2 star restaurant with 91% thumbs up from guests located in Islands of Adventure. The menu features grilled items, steaks, seafood, and noodle dishes with Asian, Indian, Medeterannian, and South American influences.

(No shade, just very funny how both restaurants are so similar.)

Walt Disney World – Skipper Canteen Universal Orlando Resort – Mythos
Lunch for a Family of Four

  • Appetizer – $11
    • Falls Family Fallafel
  • Entrees – $132
    • Hanger Steak – $38
    • Fried Chicken – $28
    • Dan Dan Noodles – $28
    • Lamb Chops – $38
  • Drinks – $31
    • 2 Fountain Drinks – $9
    • 1 Beer – $10
    • 1 Mixed Drink – $12

Total: $221 with tax and tip

Lunch for a Family of Four

  • Appetizer – $12
    • Mezze Platter
  • Entrees – $114
    • Beef Loin Medalions – $28
    • Roasted Half Chicken – $25
    • Pad Thai – $26
    • Lamb Loin – $35
  • Drinks –
    • 2 Fountain Drinks – $9
    • 1 Beer – $11
    • 1 Mixed Drink – $14

Total: $203 with tax and tip

(Prices are accurate as of April 16, 2023)

Mytho’s bill is $18 less than Skipper Canteen’s, or roughly 10% less. The biggest offenders are steaks, which spike at Disney. Take another pair of restaurants with similar characteristics – Le Cellier in Epcot and Bigfire in CityWalk. Each offers a filet mignon, Le Cellier is $62 for its entree and an equivalent offering at Bigfire comes in at $45 (filet mignon with sides plus premium side of pork belly mac and cheese).

Interestingly, Universal’s alcohol prices are more than Disney’s across the board, guess they know their market.

Our rule of thumb is equivalent meals at similar restaurants expect to pay roughly 10% more at Disney. Alcohol at Universal costs $1-2 more per drink.

Couscous entree at Mythos, a personal favorite.

Touring Plans Ratings

You, Touring Plans users, submit hundreds of Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando restaurant ratings every year. Using this data we find y’all rate the Walt Disney World full-service restaurants at 84.7% thumbs up while Universal Orlando is rated at 86.8% thumbs up. On average, you will be equally satisfied with your meal at Universal or Disney.

But user-only data has its issues – guests factor in the price of a restaurant which explains Victoria & Albert’s low approval rating. Other times guests mistake one restaurant for another – Epcot is notorious for this with Takmui Tei receiving a lower rating due to confusion with Tepen Edo upstairs. Plus we wanted to add a level of consistency to our data.

Touring Plans and the Unofficial Guide solved this problem by hiring our own professional reviewers! That’s right, we deploy a team of professionals into the theme parks (much like Seal Team Six) to judge and review each restaurant. We rate on a scale of one to five stars in Quality, Value, Service, Friendliness, and Overall rating. Based on all our years of delicious research here are our professional’s overall ratings for the full-service restaurants at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando.

Now THAT is an interesting result and one I wasn’t expecting.

Several Disney restaurants reach a level Universal has never matched with their dining. Disney has the five-star rated Victoria and Alberts along with many four-and-a-half-star restaurants like Jiko and Takumi-Tei. What Universal doesn’t have are some real stinkers, like one-star Maya Grill at Coronado Springs or two-star Big River Grille and Brewery at the Boardwalk. Compare those to Universal where the only two outliers are the two-star Galaxy Bowl at Cabana Bay and the four-and-a-half-star reviewed Bice at Portofino Bay.

Universal’s restaurants stay in what I like to call the Upscale Suburban Mall Range aka Middle-Class Fancy. These restaurants are stuck between two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half-stars, always good but never excellent. You won’t find any stinkers in food quality or atmosphere but you also won’t find the highs of Morimoto Asia or Citricos.

Holy cow that was a lot of data! I hope you learned something about what to expect for food value and quality at Disney and Universal.  I don’t know about you but I’m hungry and I could go for some Sanaa for some bread service. Let’s head over to Touring Plans Travel to book flights, hotels, and dining reservations to Disney and Universal. I’m not just an employee, I’m also a customer!

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Joseph Matt

Joe covers theme parks through the lens of his quality engineering day job. He has over five years of writing experience at Touring Plans and has gone on dozens of trips to Orlando over his life. When not at amusement parks you can find Joe at breweries, enjoying live theater, playing video games, and cooking.

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