The new Universal Dining Plan looks set to be a hit!

Universal could never be accused of being left behind lately as it invests huge amounts in the Orlando resort’s theme parks and accommodation businesses.
It has for some reason, followed a very different route to Disney’s dining plan for some time now.

Up until July 2013, the only option was the Universal Meal Deal, offered to all park guests for a flat fee of $24.99 ($12.99 Kids) per day.   The food options are limited to fast food locations only.
While the Meal Deal looks set to continue for casual park guests, the new Universal Dining Plan is going to gear up for Universal’s on site Hotel Guests, offering a broader selection of places to eat within the Universal Orlando Resort.

For $45.99 ($17.99 Kids), guests staying at the Loews Royal Pacific, Portofino Bay and Hard Rock Hotels, and upcoming Calabana Bay Beach can pretty much enjoy a full day of dining at several locations throughout the parks and CityWalk.

Universal Dining Plan – Quick Look

  • $45.99 + tax Per Adult
  • $17.99 + tax Per Child (age 3-9)
  • Only Available to On site Hotel Guests
  • Not available to theme park only guests
  • Must be booked as part of an accommodation package
  • Participating locations only
  • Food Entitlement per Day
    • One Table Service Meal and Non Alcoholic Drink
    • One Counter Service Meal and Non Alcoholic Drink
    • One Snack
    • One Beverage
  • Food Exchanges are not permitted

The Universal Dining Plan – Opinion

The Universal Dining Plan seems to come in at a high price to pay for most adults, and you would have to work hard each day of your stay to get value for money from the deal!

When you consider that most adult counter service meals hopa round the $15 mark, and a snack at the $5 mark, there’s £26 worth of table service meal to make up in order to get your return.

While regular park visitors know that this can easily be done, it’s not exactly worth locking yourself into for the modest savings involved!

Our advice for now, is keep your cash in your wallet and trade off those tiny savings that the Universal Dining Plan might offer!
Bear in mind, that if you choose to spend a few days or afternoons away from Universal, you will probably lose your benefit!

The freedom of choice offered by ‘doing your own thing’ is better than the possible benefit of the Universal Dining Plan right now.
Watch out however for offers when booking accommodation as slightly discounted or even ‘free dining’ would make the Universal Dining Plan well worth it!

The worst effect of the Universal Dining Plan is that some fine restaurants that are already badly overloaded will turn into living nightmares for park guests.  Anyone that loves dining at Mythos, will be in complete despair at the announcement of being included in the new dining plan!

Universal seem to have overlooked that their park dining, is already quite heavily loaded and the addition of this plan will probably push the park to the limits long before the HUGE crowds arrive for the new Diagon Alley area at Universal!

Unclear Facts about the Universal Dining Plan

  • Can unused daily benefits be ‘rolled over’ to other days?
  • Do guests have to take dining plan days for each day of their hotel stay?
  • Are Discounts offered to annual pass members?