Park Meal Deals/ Dining DealsLooking for cheap dining deals, plus a question about the park's meal deals
From Brittany LownI am traveling to Universal Studios Orlando in October on a serious budget. Any tips on where to dine in order to save money? Coupons, deals, meal deals, etc? I thought about getting the theme park meal deals and sharing it between me and my husband but is sharing strictly enforced?
Posted September 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM
I'll be the first to say that I'm cheap (with good reason. No need to point it out.
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Bob LiebeI'm not sure if the sharing rule is enforced, but it does say on their website that sharing is NOT allowed. In my opinion, the only way that the meal deal really makes sense is if you are going to eat more than two meals in the park that day. The meal deal limits you to only a few restaurants in each park and the food choices that you can get are regularly priced between $6.50-$10, without the dessert. So if you are one of those people that needs to eat a lot throughout the day, then the meal deal makes sense, but if not don't bother. When I spend the whole day at Universal, I usually eat one or two meals and a snack, so I never do the meal deal.
Posted September 9, 2012 at 12:03 AM
I don't know how many days you will be in Universal, but if it’s at least two, I suggest buying the refillable souvenir cups and use those each day of your trip (they say one day use only, but they allow you to bring them back in). You can share the cups so you could save money buy only buying one and just refilling it more often. The cup is $7.99 with one fill included and the refills are $.89 and are available at a tone of restaurants and stands in each park.
As for the meals, you should just buy them separately. Each meal does come with a decent amount of food that you could potentially split. But the nice thing about not getting the meal deal is that you have more options of restaurants and food. Universal allows you to bring in snacks as long as they fit in a smaller backpack or bag, so that is a good money saving option as well!
Last but not least, if you decide to splurge and eat at a fancier sit down restaurant (Mythos, Confisco Grille, Lombard's, ect.) fill up the souvenir cup and use that as your beverage. They won't be able to refill it for you, but it will save you a couple bucks for drinks and you could use that money for a nicer meal.
Recap: Only get meal deal if you will eat more than 2 meals a day, buy a souvenir cup, and bring in your own snacks! There are coupons available too depending on what hotels you stay in, if you buy a vacation package from Universal, ect. If you would be interested to find out more, send me a personal message through TPI and I could further explain. I don't want to write another novel! lol :-P
From Orrin CarstarphenMeal deal is NOT for someone on a budget.
Posted September 9, 2012 at 8:52 AM
From Anthony MurphyUnless you are staying at a Disney or Universal Resort, there really isn't much to do to lower the price of food. I would try to eat smart and find places that you get the most bang for your buck!
Posted September 9, 2012 at 9:03 AM
From Amy SmithI don't know if you will have a car but you could try visiting some places on Sand Lake road for some cheaper food for breakfast or dinner. The park hours are so short at that time that I wouldn't want to leave for lunch it would waste too much time, so maybe just eat a snack to hold you over? You could also bring breakfast bars to eat in the mornings and some snacky type things and then just eat a big dinner every night? Moe's in Citywalk has gigantic burritos for around $7 with unlimited chips and salsa included plus Panda Express is pretty cheap and always filling.
Posted September 9, 2012 at 5:07 PM
I would not buy the meal deal or the refill cups because it is cheaper to eat fewer large meals and you can ask every place with fountain drinks for free ice water.
From Tony DudaSerious budget has to mean you are staying off-site since you can stay 3 or 4 nights off-site for each night on-site. There are 3 web sites that I know sell 50% off meals if you pre-pay.
Posted September 10, 2012 at 12:37 PM
and restaurants.com have similar discounts. But you have to be able to drive around town to get to the various places.
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