In December, we spent a day at Universal Orlando Resort and decided to try the new Unlimited Coke Freestyle refillable cup. The new souvenir cup provides unlimited access to Coke Freestyle machines at both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure for one day. We purchased the souvenir cup for $10.99 when we arrived at Islands of Adventure at 9:00 a.m. to make sure that we got the most “bang for our buck,” and braced ourselves for a caffeine-fueled, sugar-filled day. Here’s my quick review and FAQ of Universal Orlando Resort’s new Unlimited Coke Freestyle Option!
Why Coke Freestyle?
Coke Freestyle is a new drink dispensing technology designed by Coca-Cola. In the past, one could choose from between five to 10 options from a typical fountain dispenser. With Coke Freestyle, customers can choose from more than 100 different beverage options. You can see all of the flavors available through Coke Freestyle on the Coca-Cola website. The possibilities for drink personalization are endless; you can mix and match flavors to create a combination that you love. With the Unlimited cup, we were able to try (and toss) numerous combinations. We concocted a number of new creations, and some were actually palatable. My personal favorite was what we referred to as the Coke Dreamsicle: half Orange Coke, half Vanilla Coke. If you have the time or interest to be creative with your soda, you’ll likely enjoy the Unlimited Coke Freestyle option.
Is it worth the cost?
$10.99 for unlimited soda is a decent deal. After only four refills, you’ve covered the cost of the cup. That being said, the refillable cup is rather large; I believe it was at least 18 ounces. My boyfriend is an avid soda drinker, so he could tackle that amount of sugar and caffeine with no problem. I, on the other hand, have cut soda and other sugary drinks out of my diet; by the time we were on our third cup I was sick of Coca-Cola products. Be sure to keep your own limitations in mind before spending $11 on soda! If you’re interested in trying Coke Freestyle but don’t want to spend the day on a sugar high, consider sharing the cup with a friend or family member. My boyfriend and I shared one throughout the day and we had more than our fill (11 refills, to be exact). At the same time, we saw some families of five where each member had the cup. Universal Orlando probably loves this, but the cup is large enough that two people can share it for at least a half hour per drink. I’m not encouraging you to steal by any means, but it doesn’t make much sense to pay $55 for one day’s worth of soda. That being said, if you DO share, try and be reasonable; don’t grab a refill every 15 minutes.
Does it really only work for one day?
Yes. The cups use RFID technology to communicate with the Freestyle dispensers. Each time you put your cup into the Coke Freestyle machine, a timer pops up reminding you how much longer your cup will be eligible for refills. There really is no way around the timer, so if you’re going to purchase a refillable cup be sure to do so early in the day to get your money’s worth.
The Unlimited Coke Freestyle option is a good deal and quite a bit of fun. We’ll likely see Coke Freestyle come to the other Orlando theme parks in the near future, but for now it is a unique offering by Universal Orlando Resort.* My only complaint about this refillable cup is that the locations of Freestyle machines are not well documented on the park map or any other resource. If you received a handout with your cup when you purchased it listing all of the Freestyle locations or, better yet, if the locations were printed on the cup, the Unlimited Coke Freestyle refillable cup would be a sweet deal.
*Disney does have a few Coke Freestyle machines at Downtown Disney, but to my knowledge they are not available in the parks outside of special events.