Universal Dining Plan sales suspended indefinitely (2023)

Universal Dining Plan sales suspended indefinitely (1)

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Table of contents[Hide][Show]
  • What to do instead of a universal menu?
  • Food allergies at Universal
  • Where to buy discounted universal tickets
  • How did the Universal Full Service Dining Plan work?+
    • Key Details – Full Service Plan
  • Universal Fast Service Meal Plan+
    • More flexibility with quick service meals
  • Coca-Cola Freestyle Souvenirbecher
  • Universal Dining Plan Snack Credits
  • Places NOT included in meal plans

On July 2, Universal Orlando notified travel agencies that it would indefinitely suspend sales of table service and quick service meal plans. Here are tips on how to manage grocery costs at Universal without a meal plan.

First of all, congratulations on your decision to visit Universal Studios Orlando. You will have a magical time! As someone obsessed with Disney, I was a little concerned that I wouldn't feel the same way about Universal on my first visit. Boy was I wrong. Regardless of age, there is something for everyone at Universal Studios.

Continue reading:Planning a vacation at Universal Studios? Start here!

Every time we visit Walt Disney World, my family always buys thisDisney meal plan. I've done the math several times and can see that we're actually saving money this way. I also like that the meal plan feels more like an all-inclusive vacation.

Even when Universal Orlando meal plans were available, they were NOT the same as those at Walt Disney World. Here's what you need to know about Universal Dining now that meal plan sales have been "indefinitely suspended."

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What to do instead of a universal menu?

Without the option to purchase a Universal Dining Plan, I have a tip to help you know how much you're spending on groceries without the budget stress while having fun at the theme parks: Buy Universal gift cards before your trip, to cover the cost of your meal.

I did this on a last minute trip and it worked great. I purchased $200 Universal gift cards for each day of our visit (we are a family of 4) and used them solely for groceries. We knew exactly how much money we could spend on meals and never had to worry about staying within budget.

I like to have everything paid for when I'm on vacation because let's face it, who likes to stress out and do math on a trip? Not this girl!

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Food allergies at Universal

Universal works very well with guests who have food allergies. I recommend contacting Guest Services in advance to discuss your dietary needs and options during your stay. You can contact Guest Services at (407) 224-3463. Also, when you arrive at the restaurant, you can talk to the restaurant manager and the chef.

Need help planning your trip to Universal? Join our...Universal Orlando Planning & Tips Group on Facebook!

Where to buy discounted universal tickets

Traveling Mom recommends purchasing your Universal tickets through the online storeescaped today. Not only does the company have the lowest prices, but they also offer the best price guarantee. If you ever find cheaper parking tickets,escaped todayNot only will you match the price, the company will beat it. When you call to make your purchase, don't forget to mention SheBuysTravel!

How did the Universal Full Service Dining Plan work?

Editor's note:The information below applies to universal meal plans sold prior to July 2021. All prices listed were correct for universal meal plans sold in 2018.

First, the Universal Full Service Dining Plan is exclusively for pre-purchase with aUniversal Orlando vacation packageor at the Universal Ticket Center for on-site resort guests only. This is the only meal plan that offers full-service and quick-service dining, as well as snacks.

The Universal Full Service Dining Plan provides guests with one (1) full service meal, one (1) quick service meal, one (1) snack and one (1) soft drink per day.

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The full service menu includes an appetizer, dessert and a soft drink. The quick service menu includes a starter and a soft drink. Each guest receives their own menu.

Universal Dining Plan sales suspended indefinitely (2)

Key Details: Full Service Plan

  • Reservations are recommended for full-service restaurants. Can secure dinner reservationsonline,or by calling (407) 224-FOOD up to thirty (30) days in advance.
  • Credits on the Universal Dining Plan (Full Service) expire at the end of your stay (or within 14 days).
  • Gratuities are not included in the meal plan price.
  • Theme park admission is required for dining at Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure, and Universal's Volcano Bay.

Universal Fast Service Meal Plan

The universal Quick Service meal plan is available to all guests, regardless of where they are staying. You can purchase the Quick Service Dining Plan at any time during your visit by visiting any of the kiosks located at the main gates of the parks. The Quick Service Meal Plan provides guests with one (1) quick service meal, one (1) snack and one (1) soft drink per day. The cost is $25.55 for adults (ages 10+) and $17.03 for children (ages 3-9) per day.* Yes, that's pretty cheap for a theme park if you ask me.

If you were to pay for these items out of pocket, it would most likely exceed the $25.55 price tag. Let's put a price just to be sure. Say you have lunch at the Leaky Cauldron and order fish and chips ($13.99) along with a bottle of water ($2.75). Order a frozen Butterbeer now for your later-day snack, it's about $7.50 with tax. At the end of the day, order a Powerade for $3.29. Your daily total is $27.53, which is $1.98 more than the price you paid for your Quick Service meal plan.

More flexibility with quick service meals

The best thing about the Universal Quick Service Dining Plan is that the credits don't expire. You can transfer your credits from one day to another. If you can keep up with the coupon, you can use it on your next Universal vacation as well. Another great benefit is that you don't have to buy the plan for every day of your trip. Let's say you want to spend three days at the parks and two days relaxing by the pool. You can choose to buy only three days of the meal plan. Even better, if you want to buy the plan for kids rather than adults, you have that option. With Universal you are very flexible with your quick service meal plan.

Universal Dining Plan sales suspended indefinitely (3)

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Coca-Cola Freestyle Souvenirbecher

If you've ever looked into the Universal Dining Plan, you've probably heard of the Coca-Cola Freestyle souvenir mug. What is it exactly and do you need it? Let's go through the details. You can purchase the Freestyle Cup for $11.99 (per day) or add it to the Quick Service Dining Plan for an additional $6.00. The cup can be reactivated for an additional $5.99 per day. There are approximately six (6) freestanding self-serve soda fountains in each park that can only be activated by the RFID computer chip in the base of the Freestyle Cup. To avoid sharing, there is a 10 minute wait between charges.

Universal Dining Plan sales suspended indefinitely (4)

Buying the Coca-Cola Freestyle souvenir mug for multiple people to share is not a good idea. Carrying that big mug around all day can be cumbersome. If you're carrying a backpack through the parks, you should be fine. Make sure you take the mug to the parks every day you plan to use it. If you are like me and suffer from itKinetoseYou'll be grateful to have unlimited soft drinks throughout the day to settle your stomach.

Universal Dining Plan Snack Credits

Each of the two meal plans includes one (1) snack per day. What is a snack in the universal dining plan? Let's check. You can find snacks at various food trucks and quick service locations throughout the parks. Some examples of snack credits include churros, sundaes, popcorn, pretzels, funnel cakes, and my personal favorite: frozen butterbeer! The key to saving money on the Universal Dining Plan is to maximize your credit by purchasing the most expensive items covered. For example, it's always better to use your snack credit to buy a $7 butterbeer than spend $2.99 ​​on a churro. As a general rule of thumb, to really maximize the benefits of the universal meal plan, try to buy snack credits that cost $5 or more.

SheBuy's travel suggestion: Curious about what exactly counts as a snack? TouringPlans.com has a great tool within itUniversal Orlando menu pageThis allows you to search for "UDP-enabled snacks".

Places NOT included in meal plans

My main complaint about the Universal Dining Plan is that NONE of the restaurants at the resort hotels are included. These include full-service and quick-service restaurants, as well as dinner shows. If you intend to dine frequently at your resort, the Universal Dining Plan may not be the best option for you. Another negative aspect of the plan is NONEDining experiences with characterare included in the Universal Dining Plan.

There are some universal onesRestaurants CityWalkYou cannot participate in the Universal Dining Plan including: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Emeril's Orlando, Hard Rock Cafe Orlando and The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen.

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Did Universal get rid of dining plan? ›

Updated 2023: Universal Orlando has unfortunately canceled all new dining plans as of July 2021.

Can you buy a universal dining plan? ›

Universal Dining Plans serve up carefree ways to dine with delight throughout your stay. Purchase this plan at the parks anytime during your visit, and save up to 25%*on select entrée, snack and beverage combinations.

What Universal ride is closing in January 2023? ›

Universal Studios Florida

Woody Woodpecker's KidZone Permanent Attraction Closures – The adventures of Fievel's Playland, Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster, Curious George Goes to Town, DreamWorks Destination, and Shrek and Donkey's Meet & Greet have come to an end with their closure on January 15, 2023.

How far out can you make universal dining reservations? ›

Universal Orlando Dining Reservations

The in-park restaurants only take reservations 30 days in advance, but most of the CityWalk and hotel restaurants accept bookings 90 day out.

Why did Disney Remove the dining plans? ›

The Disney Dining Plan was suspended in Disney World following the closures due to the global pandemic in March of 2020. When the parks reopened later that year, the Dining Plan did not return and it has been missing ever since!

What is the cost of universal dining plan? ›

Universal Dining Plan – Quick Service

This includes (1) quick service meal (1 entree and 1 non-alcoholic beverage), (1) snack (from a cart or quick service location), and (1) non-alcoholic beverage. This plan costs $25.99 (+ tax) per day.

Why did Blue Man Group leave Universal? ›

On February 1, 2021, it was announced that the Blue Man Group would be ending their residency at Universal Orlando, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic affecting its operations.

Does Universal Studios have all you can eat pass? ›

The full-service plan costs $64.99 per adult per day ($24.99 for kids) and includes everything the quick-service plan does, plus one table-service meal (entrée, soft drink, and select dessert; tax and gratuity not included) per day.

Can anyone buy Disney dining plan? ›

Disney resort guests, only. The DDP isn't available as an à la carte option. It is ONLY available bundled as part of a package that includes a Disney resort room and theme park tickets.

Why is Ripsaw Falls closed? ›

While Universal never confirmed the reason for the closure, it's believed the Ripsaw Falls sustained some damage due to Hurricane Ian – and Universal bumped up its seasonal Winter maintenance schedule to fix the issues and refurbish the attraction sooner.

Why is the Hogwarts Express closed? ›

The Hogwarts Express will be closed for refurbishment June 9 - 18, 2022. Aurore Kathy Melamed and 258 others like this.

Is Universal Orlando closing Jurassic park ride? ›

After closing in early January, Jurassic Park River Adventure at Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park is expected to open again in February, according to Universal's website. Jurassic Park River Adventure is expected to open after Feb. 3, 2023.

Can you make reservations at Three Broomsticks? ›

The Three Broomsticks – hours and reservations

Note that no reservations are available – it's first come, first serve. Breakfasts, however, are something of an exception. Universal sells vacation packages, a feature of which is a breakfast at both Hogsmeade's Three Broomsticks and Diagon Alley's Leaky Cauldron.

Do you need reservations for Leaky Cauldron? ›

To answer a very common question up front: no, there are no reservations for lunch and dinner – it's first come, first serve. Breakfasts, however, are something of an exception: Universal sells vacation packages, a feature of which is a breakfast at both Diagon Alley's Leaky Cauldron and Hogsmeade's Three Broomsticks.

Does Universal have a reservation system like Disney? ›

Getting In

Unlike Walt Disney World, where are Park Pass reservation system is used to manage capacity, Universal Orlando does not require advance park reservations to visit. It's rare, but the parks can reach capacity during peak travel times like spring break.

What does Disney do with uneaten food? ›

At Walt Disney World Resort, food waste is sent to an off-site commercial composting facility where it naturally breaks down and is recycled into a nutrient-rich soil product, often used for gardening, farming, landscaping and more.

Will Disney get meal plan back? ›

Disney Dining Plan is not yet back at Walt Disney World, but Disney will soon be offering a significant dining incentive for resort hotel stays in the summer of 2023.

What Disney executive was fired? ›

Bob Chapek, who was fired as CEO by Disney last fall, received a pay package worth $24.18 million for 2022 and is set to receive severance payments worth more than $20 million. The company's board on Nov. 20 announced that it was replacing Chapek with former CEO Bob Iger for a two-year term.

How much is your client saving by purchasing the Universal dining plan? ›

Universal Dining Plans serve up carefree ways to dine with delight throughout your stay. Purchase this plan at the parks anytime during your visit, and save up to 25%*on select entrée, snack and beverage combinations.

How can I save money on food in Orlando? ›

Check out our top tips for saving money on dining at the Orlando theme parks.
  1. Eat your biggest meal at breakfast: ...
  2. Choose counter service instead of table service: ...
  3. Enjoy snacks you can share: ...
  4. Enjoy character dining at breakfast: ...
  5. Find the freebies: ...
  6. Purchase a refillable cup: ...
  7. Buy a Kids Eat Free Card:

How much does a person spend on dining out per month? ›

The average American dines out 5.9 times per week and according to BLS data, the average household spends about $3,500 on eating out every year, or just shy of $300 per month.

Is the Universal Orlando Dining Plan worth it? ›

My answer in short- YES. Not only can purchasing some dining plan days save you money, it can help you budget for your Universal Orlando vacation.


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