If the park closes at 6pm (like it does outside the summer and holidays), many restaurants will only be open from 11am to 4pm. But remember that CityWalk is a 5-minute walk from the park, so you can easily consider those places, too.

In both its parks, Universal offers a simple meal plan. Dubbed the Universal Meal Deal, it entitles you to one main plate, one nonalcoholic beverage, and one snack, which can be used for ice cream, frozen beverages, and more. Adults pay $20 and kids $13; it only pays off if you were going to get that dessert anyway. Resort guests may avail themselves of a Dining Plan, good for one table-service meal, one quick-service meal, and a snack for $52 adults, $18 kids each day. The value is borderline, especially if you would ordinarily never have a table-service meal.

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In addition to the random snack carts there’s no use in listing here, there are counter-service and sit-down restaurants (including carts selling goliath turkey legs for $11) in the park. None require reservations the way Disney’s do. Kids’ meals all come in under 300 calories. Tip: Menu items do not have to be served with sides. The potato chip bags served with the posted meals hold a mere 1 7/8 ounces. Subtract them, or fries, from your meal combos to save about $2.50.

Cups good for unlimited refills at touchscreen Coke Freestyle machines, which mix soda to order using 126 flavors, cost $11 and are good for the day. 

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Islands offers some of the best theme-park dining in town, with a number of stands where you can get a quick bite to eat, plus a handful of full-service restaurants. The park's creators have taken some extra care to tie in restaurant offerings with the theme. In the Wizarding World, dining options include the Three Broomsticks and the Hog's Head, where traditional British fare is offered alongside pumpkin juice, butterbeer (a delightfully creamy concoction that comes either frozen or chilled and is nonalcoholic, of course -- think cream soda mixed with root beer and a touch of whipped cream), and Hog's Head Brew (available only in the Harry Potter lands). A wood-beamed vaulted ceiling, wooden benches, and wrought-iron accents create a rustic feel at the Three Broomsticks, while next door at the smaller Hog's Head, the atmosphere is more intimate thanks to lower ceilings and dim lighting.

No matter which Island you're on, each offers a selection of sit-down restaurants, eateries, and snack carts. To save money, look for the kiddie menus, offering a children's meal and a small beverage for $8. Also consider combo meals (good for sharing), which usually offer a slight price break. Thunder Falls Terrace in Jurassic Park, for instance, offers a rib-and-chicken combo as well as other options in the $11-to-$16 range.

There are also several restaurants and clubs that are just a short walk from the park in Universal's entertainment complex, CityWalk.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.