In 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. 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 go to the slide-out menu on the left side. Follow these easy-peasy steps:
- Under Shop, you’ll see Mobile Food & Drink Ordering. It will pull up all of the restaurant options where this service is offered. Note that restaurants are currently designated as either "Pickup", "Table Delivery" or both. Note that if the restaurant is designated as "Table Delivery," you will need to wait to order until you're seated at a table because it will ask for your table number.
- Once you make a selection, browse through the menu, ranging from combos and platters to sides, desserts and drinks (including beer!). 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
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 September 2021, these are the restaurants where you can order food and drink via the Universal Orlando app:
Universal Studios Florida:
- Fast Food Boulevard
- Louie's Italian Restaurant
- Mel's Drive-In
- Monsters Cafe
- Richter's Burger Co.
- San Franciso Pastry Company
- TODAY Cafe
Universal's Islands of Adventure
- Cafe 4
- Captain America Diner
- Cinnabon Universal Islands of Adventure
- Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous
- Croissant Moon Bakery
- Fire Eater's Grill
- Pizza Predattoria
- The Burger Digs
- Thunder Falls Terrace
Universal’s Volcano Bay:
- VB Premium Seating Dining
- Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club
- Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches
- Cinnabon Universal CityWalk
- 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. If you have a Dining Plan, you need to order in person to receive the credits. 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
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 the 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 COVID-19 Safety Measures
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!