Where to Eat - (The good part!)

lighttech

Newcomer
Jun 28, 2017
35
Hotel and flight are booked. We've figured out our tickets. Now the fun part...

Where should we eat? :drool::drool:

We *love* food in this family. (My husband still wants me to pay for a day at Disney so he can go and eat at the restaurant in Germany. lol.)

It's me, the hubby, 12yo son and 8yo son. 12yo is extremely adventurous with food and will try anything. 8yo is more of a mac and cheese and chicken fingers kinda' kid. But, he'll at least sample new things, and is mostly happy eating off of the kids menu and doesn't mind waiting while the rest of us try new things. So, we can do grab and go, or sit down meals. Either is fine.

Hubby loves beer of all kinds - and enjoys anything local or new to him.

12yo is a huge HP fan and is already saving up money for extra butterbeers. lol.

We leave in TEN DAYS :jaw:. I'm usually a total planner, but this summer has been super busy and I have barely thought about vacation. I have NO reservations, NO plans, NO suggestions (except that Toothsome looks amazing.) So tell me what and where I should eat! Please! Snacks, meals, drinks - Whatever. Hubs and I are both going back to school, so this will be our last big trip for awhile and I want to do it all! lol
 

Andysol

Veteran Member
Jun 21, 2016
3,173
Couple questions-

1- Where are you staying?
2- Are you planning or considering upgrading to an annual pass?
If you're having an AP- you can take advantage of passholder appreciation aug 14-sept 30 and get the buy one get one 50% off dining plans. Get a combo of kids and adult meals so you can take advantage of cheap snacks.
Makes two adult plans $33 or two children plans $21. After 2 $7 frozen butter beers, you're talking $7 for two kids meals and 4 drinks (2 with meals 2 "additional") or $19 for two adult meals and 4 drinks.
Small hint: peach fizz, the lemonade or pumpkin juice can be used as a drink- so great value there. Butter beer, green ale and orange fizz are considered snacks.
Shakes and icees- when ordered with a combo meal at Volcano Bay (or Jurassic Park) don't count as a snack either- just counts as the drink for meal. :)


My opinion-
Universal is your stereotypical quick service food. Theme park Hamburgers and pizza. Disney has them beat. Except the two Potter quick service locations- which are the best quick service in all of Orlando.
The benefit with Universal; however, are the "Table Service" prices. They can't be beat. Finnegans at USF and Confisco at IoA are my go to places because I can get sandwiches or fajitas for a hamburger/pizza QS price- except I get service and nice AC. Mythos is solid too- but pricing has gone up and quality isn't as good as say, 3 years ago. Still a great choice.

The resorts and city walk are so close you could really eat anywhere. Your kids would love Toothsome- arguably the best themed Table Service place in Orlando. Also has walk around characters w/o the overpriced nasty buffets that are associated with characters. Open lunch and dinner.
Cowfish is awesome- open lunch and dinner.
The Mexican place, Antojitos, in city walk Universal has is good too- dinner only.
Royal Pacific has a top three restaurant in Tchoup Chop. On par with Jiko/V&A

For snacks:
Butter beer, Simpsons Giant Donut and Flor's ice cream in USF/Diagon Alley are the highlights.

For booze:
Hogsmeade and DA both have their own Signature HP beer. Simpsons has the flaming Moe.



Have a blast!
 
Last edited:

SeventyOne

Veteran Member
Jul 1, 2010
2,619
Orlando
Biggest question is will you have a car? Greatly expands your opportunities.

BTW, if you do, to save $400 on Disney admission drive east to Willow Tree Cafe in Sanford (half hour-ish if you avoid traffic). Great German food, and blocks away there are three craft brewers plus a Belgian beer bar.
 

lighttech

Newcomer
Jun 28, 2017
35
Biggest question is will you have a car? Greatly expands your opportunities.

BTW, if you do, to save $400 on Disney admission drive east to Willow Tree Cafe in Sanford (half hour-ish if you avoid traffic). Great German food, and blocks away there are three craft brewers plus a Belgian beer bar.
No car. So, we'll just be eating on property. Too bad, we always love to try a new German place and some craft brew!
 
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lighttech

Newcomer
Jun 28, 2017
35
Couple questions-

1- Where are you staying?
2- Are you planning or considering upgrading to an annual pass?
If you're having an AP- you can take advantage of passholder appreciation aug 14-sept 30 and get the buy one get one 50% off dining plans. Get a combo of kids and adult meals so you can take advantage of cheap snacks.
Makes two adult plans $33 or two children plans $21. After 2 $7 frozen butter beers, you're talking $7 for two kids meals and 4 drinks (2 with meals 2 "additional") or $19 for two adult meals and 4 drinks.
!
Thanks for the tips.
I am buying an AP. Everyone else will just have regular tix. Did some looking, and the discounts should more than pay for the extra cost.
I hadn't looked at the dining plans at all, but that deal sounds pretty good! Guess I've got some more research to do...
Know any good threads on the Dining plans?
 

Andysol

Veteran Member
Jun 21, 2016
3,173
Know any good threads on the Dining plans?
Ya. This one. :)

It's as basic as it gets. Quick service dining plan is 21.99 for adults and 13.99 for kids.
It includes:
-1 QS Entree and Drink (adult for adult kid for kid)
-1 Snack
-1 Additional Drink (water, coke, pumpkin juice, etc)

You can, of course, just buy extra kids ones if you'd rather eat a kids meal. Not "officially", but because kids are with you it's not an issue. Call it "repayment" for having to drag kids around the park with you :D

Now- management is a pain in the ass, as they just give you cards and each card has 1 of each on there. So if you buy 6 adult plans and 6 kids- you get 12 cards. Better remember which one has a snack and drink left. I use a sharpee and bring it in my backpack and mark each with an "M, S, D" for meal snack and drink. Seriously :(

Again- august 14-September 30 is buy one get one half off, so it effectively makes an adult $16.50 each when you buy 2 and a kids $10.50 each when you buy 2.
I usually get a few kids ones just for the butterbeer and potter lemonade drink and my kids get to eat lunch and dinner that day just as a side bonus. ;)
 
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lighttech

Newcomer
Jun 28, 2017
35
Ya. This one. :)

It's as basic as it gets. Quick service dining plan is 21.99 for adults and 13.99 for kids.
It includes:
-1 QS Entree and Drink (adult for adult kid for kid)
-1 Snack
-1 Additional Drink (water, coke, pumpkin juice, etc)

You can, of course, just buy extra kids ones if you'd rather eat a kids meal. Not "officially", but because kids are with you it's not an issue. Call it "repayment" for having to drag kids around the park with you :D

Now- management is a pain in the ass, as they just give you cards and each card has 1 of each on there. So if you buy 6 adult plans and 6 kids- you get 12 cards. Better remember which one has a snack and drink left. I use a sharpee and bring it in my backpack and mark each with an "M, S, D" for meal snack and drink. Seriously :(

Again- august 14-September 30 is buy one get one half off, so it effectively makes an adult $16.50 each when you buy 2 and a kids $10.50 each when you buy 2.
I usually get a few kids ones just for the butterbeer and potter lemonade drink and my kids get to eat lunch and dinner that day just as a side bonus. ;)
Awesome! Thanks so much!!!
This is a perfect summary. Sounds like this could be a good deal for at least a couple of the days. (We're there for 4).
 

UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,214
There is so much good food around the resort that it's actually frustrating to try to fit as much as I can into the short amount of time I'm there. Just some of my faves...

Mythos (IOA)
Tchoup Chop (RPR)
Jake's (RPR)
Toothsome (CityWalk)
Vivo (CityWalk)
Antojitos (CityWalk)
The Kitchen (HRH)
Mama Dellas (PBH)

and for some reason, all the pool restaurants at the hotels are REALLY good too.
 
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lighttech

Newcomer
Jun 28, 2017
35
Great suggestions! Thanks!
Any favorite snacks we need to try? 12yo is a HUGE HP fan, so I know we'll be drinking some butterbeer.
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
11,339
Pittsburgh, PA
No car. So, we'll just be eating on property. Too bad, we always love to try a new German place and some craft brew!
If you want craft beer best bet is NBC Grill Brew for appetizers and beer. Main entrées are ok.

Potter is the best bet for food along with Fast Food Boulevard (aka Simpsons quick service location) and Thunder Falls Terrace.

I am extremely anti-meal plan. I don't think they're good deals nor flexible enough for most people.
 

GadgetGuru

Premium Member
Dec 2, 2011
2,218
Seattle, WA
I think everybody covered it, but I'll add in my two-cents:

* Universal sticks to standard theme park food for quick service, but does it well. Stick to Potter + Simpsons if you're going in the parks for quick service.
* I've never done table-service in the parks because I don't think it's worth it. Stick to CityWalk. There's more variety.
* If you have a car, try out the rest of Orlando + Windemere/Winter Garden. Outside of the International Drive corridor (which has EVERY chain restaurant ever created in the history of humanity), there's an unbelievable amount of great restaurants within a short drive.
* Meal plan is a waste. Unless you order drinks and dessert for every meal. I've never understood the appeal honestly.
* If you're looking to save money, try eating off-site. I-Drive has a ton of restaurants (every variety) and you can save a decent chunk of change.
 

Ejones81

Newcomer
Apr 7, 2017
50
Does the dining plan work in the resorts? our plan for lunch was just for every one (2 adults, 3 kids 13,11,9) to have kids meals. maybe I should buy 5 kids dining plans? can I buy 5 kids dining plans?
 

JoeCamel

Premium Member
May 20, 2015
4,686
Ever Lurking
Does the dining plan work in the resorts? our plan for lunch was just for every one (2 adults, 3 kids 13,11,9) to have kids meals. maybe I should buy 5 kids dining plans? can I buy 5 kids dining plans?
No it does not, resorts are operated by Lowes not Universal
 

Hoodoo

Newcomer
Aug 17, 2017
1
NC, USA
We are headed going to Universal for the first time this month as well and I was unaware of the meal plan discount. We have the lowest annual pass, the "season pass" . Do you know if the discount will work for us?

Also, I like the idea of buying children dining plans. Is there any restriction to purchasing two adult and two children plans even though my kids are older than 10?

Thanks for the info.