First trip to Universal questions about dining

We are going to Universal for the first time February 1-3. There will be three adults, my husband, 20 yr old son (bottomless stomach) and myself. We do a dining plan at Disney, with my 2 guys eating it actually saves us money. Now planning the Universal trip is so different than Disney and I’m just trying to figure if the Universal dining plan is worth it. To me it doesn’t seem like it but then the prices I’ve seen look high in the park quick service places. I didn’t purchase the tickets or hotel (RP) reservation through Universal so the only plan available to us is the quick service that has one meal a day, a drink and a snack, correct? So we would have to pay out of pocket for the other 2 meals. The plan is 25.99 a person the prices I have seen doesn’t look like we would be saving anything?

Are there any tips out there for saving money on meals while at Universal for 3 days? We have park hopper if that helps any.

Another quick question do the standard rooms at Royal Pacific Resort have microwaves for maybe heating up quick breakfast food?

Any info or tips are appreciated.

Thank you!

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No Microwaves in the room unfortunately but they have a brand new grab and go and quick service location. Some liners have reported good success maximising the dining plan. I think @rebeecky? If I recall correctly it takes a bit of planning but it garnered around $7 in savings.

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I used the Universal DP last April. I didn’t care for it. The dinning plan isn’t anywhere as popular at Universal as it is at WDW. There were many TMs that didn’t even understand how it worked. I know I got waaaayyy more food that I was allowed due to multiple cashiers not ringing it up right.

I had all my meals credits “mathed out” / planned. On my last day I still had, at least, multiple full days worth of meals on each voucher. I gave them away to a young couple at CityWalk on my out.

It always took longer than paying out of pocket and held up the line for those behind me too.

Even though it worked out in my favor. It was such a hassle at each place that I would not do it again.

I did ABSOLUTELY love the refillable Freestyle Coke mugs. I hooked a “D” ring carabiner on the handle and put it through my belt loop. Hands-free drinking all day!

There are ways to save.

For example, if you don’t care about taste, if you eat at Captain America’s diner in IOA, just order the kid’s burger…it is the same burger with slightly fewer fries and no tomato, but at like half the price! We did this in our trip. (Admittedly, the burgers are pretty poor quality, but we just wanted sustenance.) Ordering from the kid’s menu even for the adults is always a way to save some money. No one ever questioned it…although we always did order at least one adult meal at the same time.

We also ate at this Italian pizza place (Louie’s?) in Universal where we bought a whole pizza to share…on a per-person basis, it was cheaper than ordering individual items or other places.

I have definitely saved money with the quick service plan. My last trip, in December, I found out that you now get one entree, one drink, one snack and then either an additional drink OR SNACK. This made it even more worth it. For example: Thunder Falls Chicken and Ribs Platter ($16) plus a drink with that meal ($3.29) plus a frozen butterbeer snack ($7) plus a waffle cone with two scoops of ice cream from Florean Fortescue’s snack ($6.50) would have cost $32.79. Using the dining plan, which costs $25.99, would save $6.80, which buys a hot butterbeer. The trick is to plan it out. And I never had any holdup at a register. Once I decided what entree I wanted and that the cost was worth it, I bought it at that checkout. I never came across a cashier who didn’t know how to use it and never felt flustered. I have had only good experiences every time I have used it. Perhaps I was just lucky, but I would highly recommend it if you plan on buying high dollar entrees.

Note: Don’t rely on what the Lines app says as far as what locations accept the dining plan. The app says Florean Fortescue’s does not accept it, but I confirmed that they did and was able to use it.

Update: I just remembered that pumpkin juice counts as a drink, not a snack, and that normally costs $4.49, so that could actually increase your savings to $8 if you like pumpkin juice. I feel like you get some of the best deals using your credits in the Wizarding World.

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Hey I was right!

You indeed were!

Also, at the start of this year, snack carts take the snack dining credits. I’ve heard that even if the TM says it won’t work, ask them to try it, and the register will take it.

And, the snack and drink credits being interchangeable makes it more worthwhile. That way they both can be used for the expensive Butterbeer.

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I’m going to look into this. I didn’t know about the change and didn’t even look at it, but it might save us a little bit. The fact that a snack is included, and the fact that we only planned a single quick-service meal each day at Universal might work for us. Gotta do some math now.

Thanks for all the tips everyone!!

Just finished the math. If we got the quick service dining plan at Universal, we would end up spending about $43 more, total, than in NOT getting the plan. Definitely not worth it for us.

It definitely depends on what you would normally eat.
Entrees like burgers, etc. won’t be worth it. Alll those things I listed were things I planned on eating anyway, so it was a win for me.

Also, look at some of the menus. Several places have Combo entrees which include a milkshake, and still one Q.S. credit. So, if you have a bottomless pit son, it might be worth it for you even when not for others.

For us, the combo thing will make it more worthwhile. I expect DD and I will be splitting combo meals several times.

Also, if you’ll be there for more than one day. You don’t have to buy the plan for your entire trip like you do at Disney. You can buy a plan during the meal in which you will use it. So, you can buy the number of plans that you figure will be the minimum. Then buy more later if you need to.

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I did not know this! Have you used it that way before? That WOULD make it a good deal as well! You would essentially end up with another drink credit.

Yeah, check out the online menus. I remember seeing that at pizza places and hamburger places (maybe not all)

One general complaint about the dining plan is that in order to get bang for your buck, you have to order more food than you can eat. Then people end up leaving half of each entree behind. But, that won’t be your problem.

Yeah, this is not a problem for me! :rofl:

Inspired by this thread I just booked the quick service plan for my day at UOR in the summer as a test. I have a three day / two night on-property stay in the fall, so I’ll see how it works out.

What counts as a drink? Butterbeer is a snack?

I know that sodas and pumpkin juice are drinks. Any form of butterbeer is a snack. I can’t remember how the other Wizarding World drinks, such as the Fishy Green Ale, are categorized.

With a drink with meal does that have to be used with the meal you’re using the plan for or can it be used another time. For instance if I use the FP for combo meal at Thunder Falls then use the drink credit for a Pumpkin Juice at 3Broomsticks then use the snack credits for butterbeer & then ice cream would that work? Also is there any documentation that shows its one snack then another snack or beverage? I can’t see that change listed anywhere.

I meant DP for combo meal, not FP :slight_smile:

Another question: do all the credits have to be used the same day? Could we using the meal credit one day and the snack credit another day?