$avings on the Universal Dining Plan!

Posted by on November 5, 2020 in Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

November 5, 2020

By: Maggie Ballantyne, Concierge Agent

On my recent June/July 2020 trip to Universal Orlando, I decided to invest in three entitlements (aka dining credit) on the Quick Service Dining Plan to see if it is really worth the purchase. I had done the math before based on perusing menus and learning from others’ experiences, but I needed to see and experience it for myself. After all, as Wishes agents we know because we go. Our firsthand experiences are what drive our recommendations and exemplary customer service.

One Quick Service (QS) Dining Entitlement at Universal includes one QS meal (entrée and drink) and an additional snack and/or beverage to use throughout the day. There is a lot of flexibility with this plan. You do not have to use an entitlement all in one day. You can use the components as quickly as you would like or stretch them out over the entire vacation. You could use one QS meal credit the afternoon you arrive and then not get a beverage or snack until day three. It is completely up to you!

Not everything at Universal falls under the umbrella of the dining plan. At each location there is a menu, and on that menu, there is a symbol that will indicate whether you can use a dining credit for that option. Currently, Universal Dining Plans cannot be used at resorts; however, it can be used at Universal Studios, Universal’s Islands of Adventure (IOA), and Universal’s Volcano Bay.

Let’s talk numbers. One Dining Entitlement costs roughly $27. Here is a breakdown of how I finessed the Universal Dining Plan and SAVED money:

Quick Service Entitlement Number One:

  • QS Meal: Jerk Mahi Sandwich Combo with a Diet Coke, Fries, and Chocolate Milkshake from Whakawaiwai Eats at Volcano Bay
  • Beverage/Snack: Ice Cream (Orange and Vanilla Swirl) in a cup from Koka Poroka at Volcano Bay $6
  • Beverage/Snack: Gilly Water in Hogsmeade $5.50
  • Total: $37.50
  • SAVED: $10.50

Quick Service Entitlement Number Two:

  • QS Meal: Avocado Toast with Potato Salad and a Diet Coke from the Today Café at Universal Studios $17
  • Beverage/Snack: Frozen Butterbeer in Diagon Alley $8.50
  • Beverage/Snack: 2 Scoops of Ice Cream in a Waffle Cone from Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley
  • Total: $33.00
  • SAVED: $6.00

Quick Service Entitlement Number Three:

  • QS Meal: Chicken and Ribs with a side of Corn and a Lemonade from Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade
  • Beverage/Snack: Frozen Butterbeer in Hogsmeade $8.50
  • Beverage/Snack: 2 Scoops of Ice Cream in a Waffle Cone from Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley
  • Total: $38.00
  • SAVED: $11.00

I saved $27.50 by using the Dining Plan over the course of three days in the parks! Would you turn down almost $28 dollars if someone offered it to you? I wouldn’t! I was traveling with a friend on this trip who did the same and saved more money than I did based off some of her selections. But imagine if I was a mom of a family of 4? That would be $110. CHA CHING! That number will only rise as you add dining entitlements.

A different deal I did not take advantage of was the refillable drink cup that you can add to the quick service entitlements. With this souvenir cup, you can enjoy a full day of unlimited FREE fountain drink refills at participating locations. This cup can be used for the number of days of entitlements you purchased. This is another great way to add savings to your trip! Resorts will also have options for refillable mugs that can help you save cash while traveling!

I love showing my clients ways to save money while enjoying the parks. It is all part of my complimentary services! If you are interested in booking a trip to Universal Orlando and utilizing the Dining Plan, please contact me at maggie@wishesfamilytravel.com. To learn more, you can also visit my Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/wishesfamilytravelmaggie

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