Q:can i take a can of soda into universal studios
The best response I can offer is “maybe.” The list below, provided by Universal Orlando Resort, outlines acceptable and prohibited items. You’ll notice that soda is included in neither list. My recommendation would be to try bringing the can of soda. If they ask you to discard it, it will not be an expensive loss.
- Bottled water
- Small snacks that do not require heating
- Any food required for medical purposes and medically–indicated nutritional supplements
- Any food required for special dietary needs
- Baby food/baby formula
- Soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep
- Picnic lunches
- Food that requires heating or refrigeration
- Alcohol and glass containers
- Hard-sided coolers
- Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep
- Coolers, suitcases, and bags with wheels
Source: Universal Orlando Resort
Nominations Now Open for the 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards
Yesterday, About Theme Parks opened nominations for its annual Reader’s Choice Competition! Theme parks fans and employees may nominate for the following categories:
• Best New Theme Park Attraction of 2012
• Best New Theme Park Show of 2012
• Best New Roller Coaster of 2012
• Best New Water Park Ride of 2012
• Best Theme Park Halloween Event of 2012
• Best Theme Park Holidays Event of 2012
This year, there are two exciting NEW categories:
• Best Full-Service Park Restaurant
• Best Quick-Service Park Restaurant
Nominations will be open through Feb. 11, and voting will run from Feb. 19 through March 19, with winners announced March 27.
If you have a favorite theme park restaurant, this is the perfect way to let your voice be heard and share your appreciation for the dining location!
To nominate a park and to learn more about the awards program, visit The 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards for Theme Parks and Water Parks main page.
Universal Orlando Resort’s Unlimited Coke Freestyle
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.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! Thank you all for joining Team Theme Park Foodie on so many of our adventures. We have loved interacting with you over the past year, and have enjoyed sharing our adventures at Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Universal Studios.
By far, my favorite 2012 theme park addition was Disney’s Be Our Guest restaurant; it truly is a dream come true, the Beast’s Castle come to life! Did you have a favorite new theme park treat/restaurant? Tweet me at @themeparkfoodie or send me a message to share your thoughts!
We look forward to sharing 2013 with each and every one of you. Wishing you many theme park delights in the new year!
Team TPF: Ashley (and sometimes Chris)
Ice cream, anyone? Pat O’Briens at Universal Orlando Resort’s CityWalk offers one of our favorite frozen treats. The Pat O’s Beignet Sundae consists of a base vanilla ice cream, beignets (a fried pastry dessert) and chocolate sauce topped with whipped cream, and a cherry. Big enough to share, the dessert is the perfect end for a meal from the Irish heart of the French Quarter.