Universal Orlando quietly delivered a lump of coal to guests this holiday week with a stealthy Universal Dining Plan price increase affecting their new Quick Service prepaid food program. The Universal Dining Plan — Quick Service program, which replaced the former all-you-can-eat Meal Deal earlier this year, formerly provided adults with one quick-service entree, two beverages, and two snacks for $18.99.
Yesterday, I noticed that all of the parks’ signage advertising the Universal Dining Plan — Quick Service, the price has increased by $1 to $19.99, and the snack allotment has been reduced from two to one. The children’s plan for those age 3-9 is unchanged.
Universal’s web site about the dining plan was temporarily disabled yesterday, but now it is back online with a new PDF detailing the table service version of the plan; we’ll keep an eye out for updated fine-print on the quick service plan, and share it with you when available.
Under the former Universal Dining Plan price, an average adult ordering a $9 entree, two $2.69 sodas (only regular-sized non-Freestlye drinks are eligible) and two $4 snacks would save $3.39 using the plan. Now, the same adult ordering one snack will lose $1.61 under the new Quick Service pricing. If you work hard to maximize the plan by ordering a double bacon cheeseburger ($10.64) with Powerades ($3.39 each) and chili cheese fries ($4.99) you’ll only save $2.42.
The bottom line is that while the old quick service Universal Dining Plan price allowed most diners to save a few bucks, the new pricing makes it practically impossible; you are much better off using an annual pass discount and ordering a la carte. If you still want to give it a shot, you can purchase here.
On a related note, Universal Orlando has recently expanded the number of Coke Freestyle beverage locations, and correspondingly increased the price of a one-day unlimited Freestyle drink cup by $1 to $11.99, with a second day of refills increasing to $9.99. The old prices are still listed on Universal’s website, so you may still be able to purchase online for the lower price.