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. Now that it’s available at many more dining locations throughout the parks, 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 just need to 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 the Universal Orlando Resort app. 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 on property. 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 Order Food and Drinks. It will pull up all of the restaurant options where this service is offered.
- 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.
- 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 pick your food up 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.
- After you press Prepare My Order, you can check the order status and see when it’s ready to be picked up. This only takes a few minutes, as if you had ordered from the register.
- When you arrive at the dining location, look for the “Mobile Express Pick Up” sign and show your order number. Enjoy your meal!
Restaurants That Offer Mobile Express Pick Up
It started out at only a handful of restaurants, but mobile ordering at Universal Orlando has now quickly expanded within its first year. It’s still not offered at every quick-service location, but there is a larger variety of choices these days. We frogs also continue to keep an eye out in case Universal adds more dining locations in the future!
Universal Studios Florida:
- Fast Food Boulevard
- Louie’s Italian Restaurant
- Mel’s Drive-In
- Monsters Cafe
- Richter’s Burger Co.
- Today Cafe
Universal’s Islands of Adventure:
- Cafe 4
- Captain America Diner
- Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous
- Comic Strip Cafe
- Pizza Predattoria
- The Burger Digs
- Thunder Falls Terrace
Universal’s Volcano Bay:
- Kohola Reef Restaurant and Social Club
- Whakawaiwai Eats
- Bread Box Handcrafted Sandwiches
- Hot Dog Hall of Fame
- Red Oven Pizza Bakery
The Cons of Mobile Ordering at Universal Orlando
As frogtastic as mobile ordering at Universal Orlando sounds, there are still some drawbacks and limitations that deal with payment and customization.
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. Any discounts, including the annual passholder discount, do not apply when you use mobile ordering. So, if you wish to take advantage of these benefits, you’ll have to hop in the regular line.
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 app allows you to customize your order, but only to a certain extent. For instance, you can swap out fries for a side salad. However, you can’t pick out the tomato slices from a sandwich. If you need to make sure your food doesn’t come with a certain ingredient, it’s probably best to skip the app and order directly from the cashier.
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 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.
Have any questions about mobile ordering at Universal Orlando? Feel free to ask away in the comments below!