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Great In Park $$ saving tips with the Universal Parks...anyone have any?

Discussion in 'Universal Orlando' started by Ghostdog, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Ghostdog

    Ghostdog Active Member

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    We stumbled upon a great in park $$ saving tip while vacation @ WDW last August; if you walk up to any counter service restaurant and ask for a cup of Ice Water they will hand you a cup for FREE. It saved us from carrying around a water bottle and not to mention lots of $$$$.

    Do the Universal Parks offer this FREE perk too?
     
    Annie123 likes this.
  2. Jon81uk

    Jon81uk Well-Known Member

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    ice water is always free.
    But if you like soda then take a look at the refill mugs, you pay per day and if you get more than one can save a few dollars on the second/third. The refills are at Coke Freestyle machines which are RFID enabled so you don't need to queue up and see a member of staff for a refill.
     
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  3. Ghostdog

    Ghostdog Active Member Original Poster

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    Thanks for the water info. Not sure if we'd purchase the refillable soda mug, w're huge water drinkers in the HOT summer months.
     
  4. Disneyhead'71

    Disneyhead'71 Well-Known Member

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    The Nachos at Margaritaville are large enough to feed 2-3 people.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. JoeCamel

    JoeCamel Well-Known Member

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    Water and ice are also available in the freestyle machines if you have an activated mug, saves waiting in line at counter locations and may be worth it to you
     
  6. disney4life2008

    disney4life2008 Well-Known Member

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    Throw some chicken and nacho cheese sauce, and im down
     
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  7. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    This photo just reminded me of how hungry I am right now.
     
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  8. Ghostdog

    Ghostdog Active Member Original Poster

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    Thanks, but I really don't want to shell out $$ for a refillable mug if I can get a cup of water for free.
     
  9. Ghostdog

    Ghostdog Active Member Original Poster

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    Looks good..could possibly feed us for a light dinner.
     
  10. JoeCamel

    JoeCamel Well-Known Member

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    I fed a whole table for HHN pre festivities with one of those. It is huge!
     
  11. danpam1024

    danpam1024 Well-Known Member

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    There's free small bottled water, chips, and granola bars in the AmEx Lounge at Studios (if you have an AmEx).
     
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  12. RustySpork

    RustySpork Well-Known Member

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    The last time I stopped in they said something about checking to make sure we bought our tickets with our AMEX before they let us in. Not sure if that's standard operating procedure though.

    I wish the area was a little larger, but still it's a great place to stop and recharge.
     
  13. DisneyPrincess5

    DisneyPrincess5 Well-Known Member

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    Something we do is buy a Universal gift card from home before our trip. This gives us a few more Disney points on our Disney Visa Rewards card and it helps us watch what we spend and just be mindful of our spending while at Uni in the effort to stay within the amount of the card. Not to mention it makes everything easier...no dealing with cash and change or multiple credit card charges.
     
  14. danpam1024

    danpam1024 Well-Known Member

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    I live in FL, so Target sells $50 and $100 UOR gift cards. If you pay with your redcard, you get 5% off, I know it's only $5, but $5 is $5, almost a beer :D
     
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  15. Weather_Lady

    Weather_Lady Well-Known Member

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    Two recommendations I keep seeing (and am taking note of, as we plan our first Universal trip):
    1 - compare the price of an annual pass with the tickets you're thinking of purchasing -- it may be cheaper to get a seasonal annual pass! Plus, if you're traveling during a time when annual passholder discounts are offered for onsite hotels (up to 30% off!), an annual pass may entitle you to significant savings (or allow you to "upgrade" to a premium hotel with unlimited express pass benefits, for not much more than you'd have spent on a value hotel).
    2 - avoid eating in the parks when possible. With a couple of notable exceptions (e.g., Three Broomsticks and Leaky Cauldron, and I also keep reading great things about the Simpsons Fast Food Blvd.), the food in the parks is supposedly vastly overpriced and not all that great. Eating at CityWalk (or, of course, going back to your hotel room and cobbling together lunch yourself) will give you more bang for your buck.
     
  16. RustySpork

    RustySpork Well-Known Member

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    You won't get the best discounts with the seasonal annual pass, and it has blockout dates.

    Uni/Islands food is mostly good and pretty inexpensive compared to Disney park food prices. You can get more bang for your buck in Citywalk though. If you opt for a mid or above annual pass for even one person, you can get a discount on food almost everywhere.

    Here's a good benefits comparison tool.
    https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/tickets-packages/annual-passes/uoap-types/index.html
     
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  17. Weather_Lady

    Weather_Lady Well-Known Member

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    You're right, although if you're not visiting during a blocked-out time and plan on staying for more than a couple of days, having one person use a seasonal annual pass (which doesn't cost much more than a multi-day park-to-park ticket) to book the hotel at a discount can be a good way to save. For example, I did a "dummy" booking for this year on the Universal site, using our planned vacation dates for next year (4/28 - 5/1). The dates weren't blocked out (blockout dates only covered the weeks before and after Easter, plus the month of July and Christmas week) and there was an APH discount of 30% on the Hard Rock Hotel, where we hope to stay, that would save $360 off the price of 3 nights. The cost of getting a seasonal annual pass is about $60 more than the 4-day, 3-park, park-to-park ticket I'd otherwise purchase for myself -- meaning that in our circumstances, assuming that the same APH rates and comparable blockout dates are offered next year, we will save $300 or so by buying a seasonal pass and booking the hotel at the APH rate. If it turns out that our dates aren't covered -- no harm, no foul, as we'll wait to buy the pass until we're sure of what's on offer, and keep a "placeholder" room reservation in the meantime, so if no APH discount comes out before our penalty-free cancellation period expires, we can cancel and rebook at a cheaper hotel.[/QUOTE]
     
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  18. Pixie VaVoom

    Pixie VaVoom Well-Known Member

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    Hi there again DanPam!!

    OK - so almost a beer...is that everything but the foam?? :)
     
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