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Universal Orlando’s Dining Plans – complete guide & tips to save money

Welcome to the OI guide to Universal Orlando Resort’s Dining Plans, which includes a detailed overview of the three types of dining plans, along with our best tips and tricks for making yours work for you.  It is critical to note that the Universal Dining Plan is no longer available for purchase at Universal Orlando Resort. This includes Full Service, Quick Service and Quick Service + Coca Cola Freestyle Souvenir Cup plans. However, since Universal Orlando has continued to honor this product for those who have already purchased it prior to discontinuation, we have maintained this guide page to provide information on how to use your dining plan during your vacation.

Where can I use the Dining Plan?

If you have already purchased your plan, the UDP-QS can be used at virtually every quick-service restaurant and food and beverage kiosk inside Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay. In addition, select locations at CityWalk also accept UDP-QS credits, including Bread Box and Hot Dog Hall of Fame for meals, while Auntie Anne’s, Cold Stone Creamery, Hub Cart, and Cinnabon offer snacks.

All full-service restaurants in the parks accept the UDP, with some restaurants in CityWalk also participating. The most up-to-date list can be found here.

How do I redeem my dining credits?

If you have already purchased your plan online, you will have to take your confirmation email to a ticket location to get your dining plan ticket. Next, you will present your ticket to the dining reservation carts located in all three parks and CityWalk, at any participating quick-service location in the parks, or at Universal Guest Services. Each guest on the dining plan is then provided with a plastic dining card, similar to a credit card, which you must present to a cashier upon check-out.

How do I know if a menu item is eligible for the dining plan?

To determine which selections can be ordered at any location, simply look for the “UD” symbol. Here, you see that the pizza combo and slices can be ordered as a quick-service credit:

Universal Dining symbol for the dining plan options
Universal Dining symbol for the dining plan options

However, some in-park locations don’t show the dining plan on the menus at all, such as Leaky Cauldron at Universal Studios and Three Broomsticks over at Islands of Adventure. Despite the signs, they do have dining plan items, so it’s always a good idea to ask when you’re ordering.

Is there anywhere that I can’t use the Dining Plan?

The UDP-QS cannot be used for any items at Universal’s full-service restaurants, nor can it be upgraded to include full-service meals. In addition, none of the dining plans are accepted at any of the Universal Orlando hotels’ various venues, and you can’t use the dining plans with mobile ordering.

For the current list, be sure to refer to Universal’s dining plan website.

Can I bring my own food into the parks?

Universal says that you cannot bring “picnic food” into the parks, implying that only the lightest of snacks are allowed through security. If you stick to the rules, you’re unlikely to face much scrutiny with basic food items – we’ve seen a lot of sandwiches and bags of chips come out of backpacks. Universal’s list of acceptable foods includes bottled water, small snacks, any food required for medical purposes or special dietary needs, and baby food and formula.

Whatever you do, definitely don’t bring in hard-sided coolers, soft-sided coolers that are much larger than a lunchbox size, glass containers, alcohol, or any food that needs to be heated.

Can I use my dining plan at Halloween Horror Nights?

Beginning in 2015, Universal extended the two quick-service options to Halloween Horror Nights. You can find more info in our complete guide to HHN tickets, Express Passes, and RIP Tours.

Can I use my full-service credits for character dining?

Full service credits may not be used for character dining experiences such as:

You’ll be able to use about $20.00 to $30.00 of your dining plan’s value on a quick-service meal, a snack, and one additional beverage. That leaves around $30.00 to $40.00 for your full-service credit, which covers an entree, non-alcoholic beverage, and a dessert. $35.00 is a good “average” price for purchasing these three items a la carte at Universal’s full-service restaurants. This means (if you choose wisely), you can definitely save some money with the UPD. On the other hand, if you’re not paying attention, you’re just as likely to lose money.

Here are some of the best values for entrees currently to be had with the full-service meals:

Universal Studios Florida

Islands of Adventure

  • Honey-Ginger Glazed Salmon at Confisco Grill – $23.49
  • Wild Caught Pacific Flounder at Mythos – $25.49


Can I use two full-service credits on the same day?

Should you have a valid UDP, you do not need to use all your credits on a daily basis – you can actually spread them out over the course of your stay. You’ll find this useful if, for example, you’d like to have lunch at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville (which requires a full-service credit) and, on the same day, have dinner at Mythos in Islands of Adventure (which also requires a full-service credit). Then, the next day, you could use two quick-service credits for meals at Universal’s quick-service locations.

Do I need to make reservations for the full-service restaurants?

To avoid either a wait or being turned away, we always recommend that you make reservations in advance for the full-service restaurants. Universal typically opens reservations a month in advance, and you can reserve a table by calling the company or booking online.

Food photos!

How could we possibly talk about all the different restaurants and dining options at Universal’s theme parks without showing you some photos of the food? We can’t, so please enjoy these images (that are in no particular order):

Krusty Burger at Simpsons Fast Food Blvd
Krusty Burger at Simpsons Fast Food Blvd (USF).
Veggie pizza at Louie’s Italian Restaurant
Veggie pizza at Louie’s Italian Restaurant (USF).
Bangers & Mash at the Leaky Cauldron in Universal Studios Florida
Bangers & Mash at the Leaky Cauldron (USF).
Green Eggs and Ham Sandwich at Green Eggs and Ham Cafe (IOA).
Green Eggs and Ham Sandwich at Green Eggs and Ham Cafe (IOA).
Gyro at Fire Eaters Grill
Gyro at Fire Eater’s Grill (IOA).
Shepard’s Pie display at Three Broomsticks
Sheperd’s Pie display at Three Broomsticks (IOA).
Kids Sweet & Sour Chicken at Comic Strip Cafe
Kids Sweet & Sour Chicken at Comic Strip Cafe (IOA).
Famous Dagwood Sandwich at Blondie’s
Famous Dagwood Sandwich at Blondie’s (IOA).
Kids Cheeseburger Platter at The Burger Digs
Kids Cheeseburger Platter at The Burger Digs (IOA).
Butterbeer at the Wizarding World
Butterbeer at the Wizarding World (counts as a snack).
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