Universal Dining Plan

Mel's Diner at Universal Studios
Mel's Diner at Universal Studios

Universal had offered Meal Deals to all park guests for some time but on July 1, 2013 it introduced its own dining plan, named appropriately the “Universal Dining Plan”. The Universal Dining Plan is similar to the Disney Standard Dining Plan, which includes some table service restaurants.

The standard Universal Dining Plan can only be purchased as part of a Universal Orlando Resort Vacation package whereas the Quick Service Dining Plan can be purchased by all guests.

In November 2013 it dropped the “all-you-can-eat” Meal Deal in favour of a second cut-down dining plan called the “Universal Dining Plan - Quick Service”. The advantage of the Quick Service Dining Plan is that it is available to all guests but you are limited to one meal per day.

The Universal Dining Plan can be purchased for a specific number of days and offers you a fixed number of meal options per day.

Note that the table service restaurants are only available on the more expensive Universal Dining Plan.

There are over 100 participating restaurants and food cart locations at Universal Studios, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk. Each can be identified by the Universal Dining Plan logo and valid items are identified on the specific menu boards.

Remember that not all restaurants serve breakfast, lunch and dinner; many only serve lunch and dinner and a couple only open for dinner in the evening. Also there are no substitutions so you cannot swap things like a salad or an appetiser for a dessert.

Table service restaurants like Lombard’s Seafood Grille and Finnegan’s Bar & Grill at Universal Studios, Mythos Restaurant and Confisco Grille at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Bob Marley - A Tribute to Freedom, Pastamore and Pat O’Brien’s at Universal CityWalk are all included in the Universal Dining Plan. Unlike Disney, Universal’s own resort hotel dining facilities are not included.

However, some restaurants such as the new Simpsons Fast Food Boulevard and quite a few at CityWalk including Emeril’s Restaurant Orlando, The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Hard Rock Café, NASCAR Sport Grill and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville are excluded from the dining plan.

When you purchase a Universal Dining Plan, you basically get two meals and a snack each day:

  • one table service meal (entrée, dining plan dessert and non-alcoholic beverage)
  • one quick service meal (entrée and non-alcoholic beverage)
  • one snack from a food cart or quick service location plus
  • one additional beverage from either a cart or counter service location

The Quick Service Dining Plan excludes table service restaurants and offers:

  • a quick service meal with an entrée and non-alcoholic beverage
  • one snack from a food cart or quick service location plus
  • a non-alcoholic beverage

Also like Disney, gratuities are not included and reservations are recommended for all table service restaurants. Note that children aged 3 to 9 must order from the Kid’s Menu.

Universal Orlando Dining Plan 2017 ticket prices

All prices are subject to change and you should check with Universal Orlando for the latest prices.

Universal Dining Plan - Quick Service Adult Child
The Universal Dining Plan - Quick Service entitles you to one quick service meal, one snack and a non-alcoholic beverage per day.
Does not include theme park admission.
$21.99 per day
plus tax
$13.99 per day
plus tax
Universal Dining Plan - Quick Service plus Coca-Cola Freestyle Souvenir Cup Adult Child
The Universal Dining Plan - Quick Service plus Coca-Cola freestyle Cup entitles you to one quick service meal, one snack and unlimited Coca-Cola freestyle soft drinks per day.
Does not include theme park admission.
$27.99 per day
plus tax
$19.99 per day
plus tax
Universal Dining Plan Adult Child
The Universal Dining Plan entitles you to one full service meal, one quick service meal, one snack and a non-alcoholic beverage per day.
Does not include theme park admission. Only available as part of a vacation package
part of a package part of a package

Universal Meal Deal .v. Universal Dining Plan Comparison

The Universal Meal Deal used to offer you unlimited lunch and dinner at participating restaurants and could be purchased online or at the parks whereas the Universal Dining Plan is only available in advance as part of a Universal vacation package.

The choice of restaurants for the Meal Deal was small compared to the Dining Plan and did not include any table service restaurants but prices for adults were around half that of the Dining Plan. Child prices were slightly less than the Dining Plan.

For the Meal Deal there were four participating counter service restaurants in Universal Studios, four counter service restaurants in Universal’s Islands of Adventure but none at Universal CityWalk. The Universal Dining Plan includes around seven table service restaurants and over twenty counter service restaurants.

With a Meal Deal, each time you went through the line you were entitled to one entrée and one dessert which meant you could go back for a second helping. Beverages were not included but you could buy a Souvenir Cup giving unlimited refills.

With the Dining Plan there is a clearly defined number of meals you can get per day but it does include some beverages.

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