Choosing to visit Universal Orlando is an easy decision. The theme parks are full of your favorite movies come to life, the resorts offer everything you need and meet any budget, and the food offerings are amazing. It’s a stress free vacation, and the Universal Dining Plan makes it even easier!
When you purchase the Universal Dining Plan, do you really know what you are buying? Today, I am going to share information on each of the Universal Dining Plans with you! Before you know it, you’ll be indulging in Butterbeer, sushi, and churros.
Adding a dining plan for Walt Disney World is very common, and can save you money if you use it properly. But is is the same with Universal?
A Brief Summary of the Universal Orlando Dining Plans
Deciding whether or not to purchase a theme park dining plan is entirely up to you. Many guests appreciate the “all inclusive” feel it gives to your trip. The carefree way to just grab a snack, sit down for a meal, or fill a mug while you are enjoying the parks. I am one of them!
Universal Orlando offers guests two dining plans…well, maybe 2 ½.
First is the Universal Quick Service Dining Plan. Secondly, you can add the Universal Quick Service Dining Plan PLUS a Refillable Coke Freestyle Mug. Then, there is the Universal Full Service Dining Plan.
The Universal Quick Service Dining Plan
This plan is exactly as it says, quick service. This is walk up style, cafeteria style dining. This plan gives you lots of flexibility, and you aren’t tied to dining reservations. With the Quick Service plan, each person is entitled to one quick service meal, one snack, and one non alcoholic beverage each day.
The Quick Service Dining Plan is roughly $27 per adult and $20 per child per day. Let me just say, that is pretty cheap for theme park food. If nothing else, you will break even adding the plan than paying out of pocket. Also, keep in mind the entitlements carry over from day to day.
The Universal Quick Service Dining Plan can be used in both theme parks and at Citywalk.
Universal Quick Service Dining Plan with Coca Cola Freestyle Mug
This plan is the “½” I was referring to above. It’s a plussed up version of the Quick Service Dining Plan. Guests are still entitled to all the same perks and food items. The addition of the Coca Cola Freestyle Mug makes it a great value!
In turn, guests are eligible for FREE refills at the Coca Cola Freestyle Machines in the Universal Parks for each day they purchased the dining plan.
This version of the Quick Service Plan costs roughly $40 per adult and $30 per child.
The Universal Full Service Dining Plan
The Universal Full Service Dining Plan offers the most variety and the most options for guests. As with the QS Plan, it can be purchased per person and/or per day.
This dining plan includes the following:
- One Full-Service Meal one entrée, one chef-selected Dining Plan dessert and one non-alcoholic beverage.
- One Quick Service Meal consisting of one of each; entrée and non-alcoholic beverage.
- One Snack (such as popcorn, ice cream or a frozen beverage) from food carts or quick service locations.
- One Beverage (non-alcoholic) from food carts or quick service locations.
These entitlements do not include any character dining. However, this makes sense since most of the character dining offerings are at the resorts, and none of the meal plans are accepted at the resorts.
Note this dining plan does NOT give the option of adding the Freestyle refillable mugs. That said, you can purchase them in the parks if you really want them.
The Dining Plan costs roughly $70/adult and $30 per child. Still, not hateful and fairly reasonable for a theme park dining plan!
If you choose the Universal Full Service Dining Plan, reservations at the table service locations are highly recommended. Some can be made over the phone, and many can be found on Open Table as well.
Important Things to Keep in Mind
Upon arrival at your Universal Orlando Resort, you show them a voucher that shows you paid for the dining plan, and they will exchange that for a card. This card is shown/swiped anytime you want to redeem your meal credits.
Universal Orlando allows guests to purchase a dining plan PER person and/or PER day. It is not all or nothing, like the Disney Dining Plans. So you could purchase it for all the children in your family, just the adults, or even for 3 days out of a 5 day stay. It’s very customizable!
If you forget to add the Quick Service Plan to your package and decide you want it, you can purchase it right in the park at kiosks. The Full Service Plan can ONLY be purchased in advance.
As of the writing of this, neither of the Universal Dining Plans can be used at the resorts or at Volcano Bay. Also, your dining plan does NOT include a resort refillable mug. Those need to be purchased separately at the resorts.
While MANY locations accept the dining plans, there are a few at Citywalk that do not. It is best to check the updated list on the Universal app or website before you go to make sure you can use them at the locations you want to dine.
If you book your Universal Orlando trip as a package to include an on site OR an off site “Partner Hotel”, you can add either of the dining plans. Again, that is a huge perk and makes it convenient for even off site guests!
In the end, we all want to know if it’s “worth it”. In my mind, yes. I think it’s easy to add, makes it convenient in the parks, and in the grand scheme you pretty much break even as far as your budget is concerned.