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How to Use Mobile Ordering at Universal Orlando

by Mommy Frog on October 4, 2023 9 Orlando

Mobile Ordering at Universal Orlando - PinterestIn recent years, technology has made a huge impact with wait times at theme parks. Leap and I are always amazed at how quickly things have progressed since we were young tadpoles ourselves! Universal Orlando Resort changed the game with Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon by introducing virtual queues in 2017. In late 2018, the Mobile Express Pick Up service quietly launched at a few spots. Today, the service is widely used around Universal Orlando Resort. We’re here to help you navigate mobile ordering at Universal Orlando — skip the long lines, and satisfy your rumbling stomach faster than ever before!

Universal Orlando mobile food ordering makes planning your day super easy. You can order food at any time. All you have to do is hit “Prepare My Order” when you’re near the restaurant and ready to eat. Even if you’ve used this service before, you can always refer back to this post in case Universal adds even more options or improves the process.

How to Use Mobile Ordering at Universal Orlando

In order to use Universal Orlando’s Mobile Express Pick Up, you’ll first need to download or update to the latest version of the Universal Orlando Resort app. (Some functions will not work unless you use the latest version of the app and you'll be out cold — with hungry bellies and cold food, that is!) We’d recommend downloading it and setting up the Wallet function with your credit card information before your trip. The parks have free Wi-Fi, but sometimes it can be spotty or slow when all of the other frogs are on it. Avoid any potential frustration by having the app ready to go!

Universal Orlando mobile food ordering only works once you’re inside whichever park you want to eat at. When your frog fam is hungry, open the app and click on the "Mobile Food & Drink Ordering" icon. Follow these easy-peasy steps:

Mobile Ordering at Universal Orlando - Platter Mobile Order

  • Browse the available restaurants you can mobile order from and when something strikes your fancy, click on it.
  • Scroll through the menu of your chosen restaurant, ranging from combos and platters to sides, desserts and drinks (including alcoholic beverages). You’ll be able to scroll through to see the prices and ingredients of each item.
  • When you click on an item, it will prompt you to select the quantity. Depending on the food item, you’ll also choose your sides or toppings at this time (as seen in the screenshot).
  • Everything’s all set? Confirm the details and check out by entering your credit card information (if you haven’t already saved it).
  • After you place an order, you don’t have to head to the restaurant right away. Feel free to ride Revenge of the Mummy again!
  • The venue won’t get your food ready until you hit Prepare My Order. This is perfect if you’re coming from the opposite side of the park. Rest assured, the food won’t turn cold while sitting on the counter. As we mentioned before, if you're eating at a "Table Delivery"-designated restaurant, wait until you're seated at a table before you tap the Prepare My Order button.
  • After you press Prepare My Order, you can check the order status and see when it’s ready to be picked up or delivered to your table.
  • Enjoy your meal!

Restaurants That Offer Mobile Ordering

Mobile Ordering at Universal Orlando - Pick Up Sign

Upon reopening in June 2020, mobile ordering was offered at many restaurants to help with social distancing. The list of restaurants that offer it has been frequently changing since then, but we frogs are constantly monitoring the fluctuating situation. As of January 2023, these are the restaurants where you can order food and drink via the Universal Orlando app:

Universal Studios Florida:

  • Cafe La Bamba
  • Flaming Moe's
  • Krusty Burger
  • Leaky Cauldron
  • Louie's Italian Restaurant
  • Luigi's Pizza
  • Richter's Burger Co.
  • San Francisco Pastry Company
  • TODAY Cafe

Universal Islands of Adventure

  • Blondie's
  • Cafe 4
  • Captain America Diner
  • Comic Strip Cafe
  • Croissant Moon Bakery
  • Doc Sugrue's Desert Kebab House
  • Fire Eater's Grill
  • Pizza Predattoria
  • The Burger Digs
  • Three Broomsticks
  • Thunder Falls Terrace

Universal Volcano Bay

  • Bambu
  • Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club
  • Volcano Bay Premium Seating
  • Whakawaiwai Eats

Universal CityWalk:

  • Bend the Bao
  • Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches
  • Hot Dog Hall of Fame
  • Red Oven Pizza Bakery
  • Voodoo Doughnut

The Cons of Mobile Ordering at Universal Orlando

As frogtastic as mobile ordering at Universal Orlando sounds, there are still some drawbacks and limitations.

Currently, credit cards are the only acceptable form of payment. You can’t redeem gift cards or vouchers through the “Wallet” function. Annual passholders can scan the barcode on their passes to apply their discount, but other discounts cannot be applied. So, if you wish to take advantage of these benefits, you’ll have to talk with a team member.

Also, on the topic of payment, it may be harder to track your spending and stick to your budget when you have easy access to food. Since you’re not physically opening a wallet, it’s toadally possible to get a little carried away with the delicious eats and treats.

The Pros of Mobile Ordering at Universal Orlando

Mobile Ordering at Universal Orlando - 30 Rock Midtowner

Of course, the biggest benefit of mobile ordering is the amount of time that you save. By not dealing with long lines at restaurants, you can spend more quality time going on rides or watching shows. It’s much better than dealing with a #hangry alter ego (not naming any names, but it happens to the best of us). It’s also hopful that you can browse through menus on the go. Pass the time in a ride queue by figuring out your meal and ordering it so that the food is ready when you hop off. Who doesn’t love convenience and instant gratification?

Universal Orlando mobile food ordering also helps out large families or groups, especially when everyone wants to eat something different. You can easily divide and conquer mealtime without having to hand out money or wait in line twice. Family and friends should still keep a phone on hand so they can show the confirmation details. It is, however, best if you choose places that are close to each other so you’re not carrying your food all over the park.

Mobile Ordering with Safety Measures in Place

If you just want Butterbeer, avoid the restaurants and hop to The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Hopping Pot, Hog's Head or the Butterbeer carts instead.

If you order from the app, you should wait until you are seated before you hit Prepare My Order, and yes, you do have to wait in the line to grab a table. In this case, mobile ordering is replacing the need to order from the normal counters and to avoid exchanging money, rather than a way to speed up the process. After you’ve ordered and paid for your food with the app, at the "Table Delivery"-designated restaurants, you scan a QR code at your table that alerts team members to where you are seated, and they bring your food to you!

If you haven't updated the app to the latest version, you will not be able to input your table number, and you may have to find a team member to assist you so your order does not get lost. On slower, less busy days, some restaurants may have a pick-up window, so you can order ahead. But if it's too busy, the pick-up line will be closed, and you'll need to wait to place your order until you're seated at a table.

Have any questions about mobile ordering at Universal Orlando? Feel free to ask away in the comments below!

Related: Top Five Universal Studios Counter-Service Restaurants

Related: Top Five Islands of Adventure Counter-Service Restaurants

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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Jun 23, 2022 at 11:52 a.m. Lisa Says...

Can you still use cash for food purchases? no smart phone for any mobile access.

Jun 24, 2022 at 9:53 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lisa!

Yes! If you're at a venue that utilizes mobile ordering, let a team member know you'd like to pay in cash and they'll direct you to the register for assistance.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Mar 29, 2022 at 12:39 p.m. Natalie Peterson Says...

Where are you supposed to actually eat your food comfortably if you choose the pick up option?

Mar 29, 2022 at 8:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Natalie!

All of the places that use Mobile Order are quick-service restaurants (even if you aren't Mobile Ordering, you would still be picking your food up at the counter), and there is plenty of seating available.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Oct 10, 2021 at 3:41 p.m. K Says...

Are the wizarding world restaurants sit down restaurants or can you take the food to go?

Oct 11, 2021 at 10:33 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi K!

The Three Broomsticks and the Leaky Cauldron are not full-service, sit-down restaurants. You pay first at the counter (or through mobile ordering, if in use, but neither have been appearing as mobile order options lately). If mobile order is not an option, then: At Leaky Cauldron, you are guided to a table and wait for your food to be brought out. At the Three Broomsticks, you are handed your food first and are then guided to a table.

If mobile order is an option, then you must wait in line outside. You can start the mobile order, but you need wait to hit "Prepare My Order" until you are seated. Then your food will be brought out to you. Most meals are served on plastic dinnerware, but it may be difficult to transport if you take it to go. You do not need reservations for either restaurant.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Apr 4, 2021 at 4:01 a.m. Drew Says...

If universal is pushing for mobile ordering and for the dining plan, why aren’t these two concepts merged? I would like to get the quick service dining plan but it seems to put me at a disadvantage to not be able to use mobile ordering.

Mar 14, 2021 at 8:10 p.m. Jennifer Brommer Says...

How far in advance should you place a mobile order before arriving at a quick service, pick-up destination? Is there an Order Here vs. Pick Up window at quick service stops to avoid standing in line if you’ve already done mobile ordering?

Mar 15, 2021 at 1:47 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer!

At Universal, it depends on the restaurant. On the latest version of the app, you should be able to see if a restaurant is “table delivery” or “pick-up” (some spots may have both, but usually it’s one or the other). If it’s table delivery, then you’ll have to wait in a line if there is one. Once you’re seated, that’s when you should press “Order Here” because you have to input the table number so they can deliver the food to your table. If it’s pick-up, then there should be a pick-up window to grab your food.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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