Universal Orlando parks – Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure – have four general levels of dining: Full-service restaurants/buffets, fast food, limited food and vendors. While most vacationers opt for fast food because it feels right, a sit-down meal adds a nice break to the day. Alternately, a quick meal from a vendor doesn’t take time that’s better spent on rides.
Things to know
- Full-service restaurants: Each park has only one or two, and since no single land feels exactly elegant, the restaurants can feel slightly out of place. But don’t avoid them for that reason.
- Reservations: Some inside-the-park full-service restaurants accept reservations through Universal’s reservation line at (407) 224-3613.
- Universal CityWalk: The entrance to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are at opposite ends of CityWalk, Universal’s bar/restaurant playground. To enjoy a wide selection of full-service restaurants, leave the park for one meal and eat in CityWalk.
- Fast-food restaurants: Both parks offer a wide range of entrees. All take credit cards and sell at least beer. Quality varies. For some reason, Islands of Adventure’s food seems a bit better than Universal Studios menus.
- Limited service: Many spots offer enough food for a meal, though many times without nearby tables.
- Kid menus: Virtually all sit-down and fast-food restaurants post a separate kids’ menu.
- Vendors: Found throughout both parks in semi-permanent street-side carts, vendors sell everything from turkey legs to popcorn to ice cream.
- Alcohol: Beer is sold almost everywhere inside both Universal theme parks; mixed drinks aren’t much harder to track down.
Universal Meal Deal
While prices and availability could change in a New York second, the Meal Deal is a great way to eat as much as you want at a reasonable cost. For a set price that starts at $20 for an adult in one park, guests can eat as much as they want. (For some reason, it’s $24 with a one day/two-park ticket, as if you’ll eat more in two parks than you will in one.) Kids cost $10 or $12 depending on ticket. It’s a bargain if eating at least two meals, and a gold mine if you pack away tons of food.
It comes with restrictions, of course: Limited restaurants and limited entrees. At Islands of Adventure, for example, it applies only at Circus McGurkus, Burger Digs, or Comic Strip Café. And at those restaurants, it applies only to Cheese or pepperoni pizza, chicken sandwiches, chicken fingers, hamburgers, select salads, spaghetti and meatballs, meatball sub, Fettuccine Alfredo, fish and chips, a sweet and sour platter, or a beef and broccoli platter.
Another big restriction: Beverages cost extra. Universal also charges a hefty delivery fee if you order the Meal Deal online before arrival – currently $14 within the U.S. and $19 internationally.
For a full rundown of terms, conditions, and prices, visit Universal’s Meal Deal web page.
FAQOrlando.com has an independent listing of restaurants inside each Universal park that can be used to plan ahead or, via a smartphone, while inside the parks. For specific restaurant info inside each park, go to: